November 2, 2021

ER 9.17, The Advocate: How I Killed Your Lover

Posted in TV tagged , , at 5:02 pm by Jenn

Haaaaaaaave you met Keith?

Summary: Weaver is at a City Council meeting, arguing against the closing of a clinic that helps a huge amount of underserved people. Thanks in part to Alderman Bright, the vote goes in her favor. He’s proud of her tenacity and thinks she could become surgeon general someday. As the two of them go to his office to chat, he dodges a call from someone about an amendment allowing gay marriage. Bright says he’s sympathetic to the cause but it will never pass, and he won’t allow the amendment to tank his bill.

Alone in his office, Bright tells Weaver that he needs a favor. Remember how he has syphilis? His partner is showing symptoms as well. Make that his top-secret partner who happens to work for him. It’s all consensual and legal, and the two are in love, so this isn’t an issue of Bright wanting Weaver to break any laws. He just needs her to treat his partner and not tell anyone. Weaver says no, since she could lose her license, and she’s already risked it once to treat Bright himself. He tells her he understands…but they’re voting that afternoon to possibly eliminate emergency services at County, so…you know…she might want to change her mind.

Carter’s Jeep is in the shop, so Millicent has him dropped off at County before she goes to do whatever it is she does all day. He gives her back the engagement ring he’d planned to give Abby, since he never offered it to her. He doesn’t think Abby knows he was planning to propose. Carter suspects that Millicent is relieved, since she’s never exactly sung Abby’s praises. Millicent gives the ring back to him and tells him she trusts his choices. He can marry whomever he wants.

It’s that time of year when med students put in their bids for where they want to serve their residency. Gallant is considering specializing in emergency medicine and staying at County. He still has a few years left in his military obligations, but he can roll them into his residency. As a guy shows up looking for Weaver, Susan complains about all the drinking that lands people in the ER around St. Patrick’s Day. On a positive note, she’s looking forward to a quick trip to Las Vegas with Chen and some other co-workers. Susan tries to sneak a peek at Abby’s hand, but she’s not wearing a ring, so Susan just looks weird.

Luka, Elizabeth, and Abby start to tend to an unidentified teenager who was found unconscious at Union Station. Myers wants to talk to Luka, who was supposed to continue having sessions with him but keeps blowing them off. He doesn’t see the point in therapy. As Myers leaves, Luka voices over that it’s hard to connect with the patients he treats. They come in at their most vulnerable, and the staff gets to know a little more about them, but it’s all temporary. There’s no real connection. The voiceover is coming from a conversation Luka’s having at another time with someone we can’t see.

Elizabeth asks her patient, now ID’d as Molly, if she remembers what happened to her. She’s been participating in a boot camp-type program for troubled teens, and she says one of the counselors beat her. Elizabeth wants to call Molly’s mother, but Molly says her mother was the one who sent her to the boot camp.

The guy looking for Weaver finally finds her and reveals that he’s the secret partner Bright wanted her to treat. Weaver tries to keep a poker face over the fact that he’s, well, a he, since she assumed Bright was seeing a woman. Keith is also a lot younger than Bright; he’s in grad school. As Weaver gives him a shot of penicillin, Keith says that he hopes he didn’t give Bright syphilis. OH, HONEY.

Carter treats a woman named Mrs. Sanberry, who’s showing signs of arsenic poisoning from the wood-processing plant where she worked for many years. Away from the patient, he and Abby commiserate over how Mrs. Sanberry and her husband keep sniping at each other. Molly’s mother, Mrs. Banks, arrives, having been called by the boot camp. She claims that Molly ran away the second day of camp, so no one there could have assaulted her. Mrs. Banks sent her there because she’s been acting out for three years. Elizabeth silently thinks about how lucky she is that Rachel no longer lives in her home.

Anspaugh tells Weaver that County’s budget has passed without any cuts. He appreciates whatever she’s been doing to maintain a good relationship with Bright. Just then, Frank tells Weaver that Keith has been brought back in after passing out across the street. When Susan wonders if he has any allergies, Weaver realizes he must be having a reaction to the penicillin she gave him. She lies that she doesn’t know why he was looking for her earlier.

Once Keith is stable, Weaver leaves a message for Bright to call her back ASAP. She casually tells Susan that Keith works at City Hall, but Susan has already connected the dots, since Keith and Bright both have syphilis. (She thinks Bright left without having it treated, though, since Weaver covered up his treatment.) Weaver plays innocent, saying they don’t know for sure that Keith’s allergic reaction was to penicillin.

As Keith regains consciousness, Weaver finds an excuse to send Abby out of his trauma room so she can talk to him alone. She tells him that the doctors will figure out what happened, but he needs to keep quiet about his connection to Bright. “We have to protect him,” she insists. She suggests a cover story: Keith took a friend’s penicillin so he wouldn’t have to see a doctor.

Frank thinks he got rabies from a fish that bit him while he was reeling it in. Carter says it’s just an infection. Thanks for your contribution to this episode, Frank. Abby confirms for Carter that Mrs. Sanberry has high levels of arsenic in her blood; maybe she’s depressed and tried to kill herself. He notices a patch on the back of Abby’s neck, and she tells him she’s trying to quit smoking. In fact, she stopped smoking a few days ago, but Carter didn’t notice.

Molly isn’t happy about her mother being at the hospital, since Mrs. Banks lied about where they were going when she took her to the boot camp. Elizabeth angrily tells Molly to stop yelling and struggling. Instead, Molly kicks an equipment tray into her mother’s face. As Elizabeth has Molly restrained, Mrs. Banks tells Weaver that her daughter has been acting out like this since she was two.

Luka has a new patient who doesn’t even make it to a trauma room before Weaver tells him to declare time of death. The man is Sikh and was shot by someone who tried to order him to leave a bus. Cool, another reason to feel depressed about racism in America, and for Luka to feel depressed about everything in general. Weaver notices Susan and Abby extubating Keith and goes in to make sure he doesn’t say anything he shouldn’t. Keith tells Susan and Abby exactly what Weaver suggested he say – he took a friend’s penicillin when his ex-girlfriend told him she had syphilis.

Gallant is struggling to examine a very unhappy baby who might have an ear infection. He blows up a glove like a balloon, which makes the baby happy. Gallant asks Luka to write him a recommendation for his dean’s file, but Luka declines without giving a reason. Weaver tries to reach Bright again, then confronts Luka for blowing off therapy with Myers. He insists again that he doesn’t need it.

Keith is declining again, this time because of a perforation in his stomach. Weaver blames Abby for bagging him too hard. Susan defends her, but Weaver ignores her. Abby checks in next door, where Molly is experiencing a complication from her assault. She has a hematoma near her eye, and the collection of blood is affecting her vision. Elizabeth has to make a small incision next to her eye to drain the blood. Molly gets scared and asks for her mother to stay with her.

Luka voices over that when a patient is scared, you say everything will be okay, no matter how bad things are. Secretly, he’s always disgusted with himself, with his co-workers, and with the system. Elizabeth makes the incision. It’s gross. Ugh. I have a thing about eye trauma. Elizabeth leaves Luka to stitch Molly up so she can go help Weaver and Susan with Keith, who needs surgery.

Now that she’s not scared anymore, Molly no longer has any desire to see her mother. Luka points out that she was just there holding Molly’s hand, so she must care. Molly argues that that doesn’t make up for all the years they’ve spent fighting. She thinks her mother hates her. She doesn’t care, since Molly hates her, too. Luka thinks she’s still the scared girl she was just a few minutes ago. It’s better for Molly to be at home with someone she constantly fights with than on the street, being assaulted. Molly asks him to talk to Mrs. Banks about letting her come home.

Weaver watches Keith’s surgery through a gallery window, unable to do anything when the surgeons lose his pulse. Luka and Gallant fix up the guy who shot the Sikh man, which you know Luka is thrilled about. Romano comes by for a consult and accidentally gets his reattached arm stuck under the head of the patient’s bed. Obviously he doesn’t have enough feeling in the arm to notice.

Carter and Abby send Mrs. Sanberry off for treatment, now a little amused about how much she and her husband fight. Hey, Pablo’s back! Hi, Pablo! Carter invites Abby to get dinner, but she has plans…with her AA sponsor. She’s back on the wagon. Gallant tells Luka he’s thinking of applying to County for his residency match; he wanted a letter of recommendation for his application. Luka still doesn’t want to write it.

The two hear yelling from the ER and rush in to find the baby choking on the glove balloon Gallant blew up for him. Luka fishes around the baby’s throat for it, trying to go by feel instead of sight. He voices over that he has a lot of skills as a doctor – maybe not the same skills as his colleagues, but enough to help him save lives. Just today, he helped save Molly’s sight, and he saved the baby. But he didn’t feel anything.

Anspaugh wants to meet with Weaver and Romano, but Bright is just now arriving at the hospital, so Weaver wants to deal with him first. She’s quietly furious with him for not taking her calls earlier, and for forcing her to treat Keith off the record. He didn’t survive surgery. Before Bright can react to the news, Romano approaches, and Bright puts on his politician face to pretend he’s just there to check on a staff member.

He takes Weaver to a quiet spot where they have enough privacy for her to rant about everything that went wrong. Bright argues that he told Keith he was going to receive penicillin, and Keith clearly didn’t know he was allergic to it, so this would have happened whether he was treated off the record or in the manner he should have been.

Weaver wants to come clean, but Bright thinks all their tracks have been covered, so there’s no reason. Weaver is upset that a man died and Bright doesn’t seem to care. He says he does, but for someone who claims to have been in love with Keith, he sure doesn’t seem upset that Keith is dead. He tells Weaver that if she confesses to something that wasn’t her fault, people will treat her like it was.

Bright asks if Keith said anything about him, and Weaver assures him that he didn’t. “He loved you, and I killed him trying to hide that for you,” she tells him. He wants her to make an appearance at a press conference addressing Keith’s death, but Weaver would clearly rather be anywhere else. As she walks away, Bright congratulates her for her successes of the day.

Weaver goes to the meeting with Anspaugh and Romano, which is already tense. Anspaugh has decided to remove Romano as chief of staff and give Weaver the position. After storming out because he’s a child, Romano goes to Elizabeth for treatment for some scrapes he got when his arm was stuck in the bed. He’s running out of patience for making a full recovery, and he knows no one else thinks he’ll regain full use of his arm. He wonders if they all think this is karma. Yeah, he’s brutally honest, but isn’t that better than lying? He doesn’t think he deserves this.

As they leave work together, Carter gets Abby to confirm that she knew he was going to propose the other night. He says the moment didn’t feel right, but he’s not sure why. Maybe that means something in their relationship isn’t working. Abby basically gives him permission to break up with her. Carter says he’s confused because she’s suddenly a completely new person, with her nicotine patch and her return to AA. It’s great if it’s real, meaning she wants to be different, but not if she’s only doing this to prove something to him.

Abby angrily says it’s not about him. She woke up sick of herself, and she wouldn’t blame Carter if he’s sick of her, too. She feels like she’s always disappointing him and that will never change. Carter yells at her to stop with her “fatalistic, black-cloud, nothing-good-is-ever-going-to-happen routine.” Abby says it’s not a routine – that’s who she is. Carter asks what he has to do to get through to her. Well, nothing, right now, because he just gets in his now-fixed Jeep to leave. As Abby heads off on foot, Carter follows her and they silently make up. This relationship is ridiculous.

Luka tries to convince Mrs. Banks to let Molly come home, but Mrs. Banks refuses. Elizabeth, holding Ella, intervenes and tries to reason with Mrs. Banks in a much calmer way. Mrs. Banks thinks Molly will just go back to her old ways. She can’t keep dealing with a daughter who doesn’t want to change. She tells Elizabeth to enjoy Ella while she’s still too young to hate her mother.

In the lounge, Gallant admits to Luka that he feels horrible that the baby choked on the glove. Luka tells him not to worry about it, since they saved the baby. He adds that Gallant is one of the best medical students to come through County in a long time, and the hospital would be lucky to have him if he matched there.

As Luka leaves, he voices over that a recommendation letter from him wouldn’t mean much. He just goes through the motions at work, day after day. It looks like he’s talking to someone in an office, but it’s not Myers – it’s a woman. He tells her about a cartoon he once saw of a man stuck in a room with two doors. One door says, “Do not enter,” and the other says, “Do not exit.” All the man can do is sit there. The camera pulls back to show that Luka’s not in an office after all, and he’s definitely not talking to a therapist. His conversation partner is a prostitute, and she’s ready to get down to business.

Susan happily finishes up her shift as Chen arrives, already dressed for a night in Vegas before they even get on the plane. The news is showing Bright’s earlier press conference about Keith’s death. Weaver is standing behind him, looking shell-shocked. Bright only says generic things about Keith, as if he was just a normal member of Bright’s staff. In the present, Susan and Weaver exchange a glance, Susan looking like she’s horrified and disappointed by Weaver’s actions.

Thoughts: Keith is played by Josh Radnor (hence my recap title).

This episode is pretty timely, since boot camps for troubled teens have been in the news recently.

I really like Susan standing up to Weaver for Abby. As I’ve said before I love how Susan doesn’t look down on Abby for being a nurse – she treats her as an equal. I think it’s because Susan’s spent so many years in the ER and gets how hard all the nurses work.

I don’t think anything ever comes from Weaver’s actions in this episode – not in terms of consequences, but in how what she did affects her. I hate when something big happens and the writers never follow up.

September 28, 2021

ER 9.12, A Saint in the City: Men of the People

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 5:02 pm by Jenn

Thanks for stopping by and causing a fight, Millicent

Summary: Pratt is talking to the head of maintenance at County, trying to get Leon a new job. The boss is skeptical that Leon can work, since he has a cast on his hand from injuries sustained from his recent beating. Also, the boss hates doctors, since they’re so arrogant. Pratt pleads for Leon to get a chance, and the boss gives in.

In the ER, a woman named Jessie has just been brought in after a car accident. She’s asking for her husband, Tom, who’s having to be cut out of the car. There’s a problem with lighting in the ER, and just as Susan tells Jerry to call someone from engineering, they come back on. A woman also comes in, yelling that everything’s okay and no one should panic.

Weaver knows what she’s talking about – an alderman named John Bright is being brought in after falling off the stage where he was giving a speech. Weaver treats Bright like a VIP and tells him he doesn’t have to answer when Susan asks if he’s been drinking. He proudly says he’s in AA and just got his two-year chip. Weaver tells him he’s in the best hospital in Chicago. Of course, that’s when the lights go out again.

As Weaver rushes Carter and Pratt to get Jessie out of her trauma room so Bright can be brought in, Leon comes looking for Pratt. He happily tells Pratt he got the job in maintenance, which means the two of them will be working together. The lights go out again. What’s the point of this? Pratt tells Leon they’ll celebrate that night, but Leon has already been assigned to the late shift. He promises he can find the place where he’ll need to pick up his uniform by himself.

Bright’s assistant demands a fax number so her office can issue a press release. Bright knows the ER sees around 100,000 patients a year, so he appreciates all the attention Weaver and Susan are giving him. Susan determines that Bright has a ligament injury, and Weaver says she’ll call their top orthopedist. A guy in scrubs says they should get a tox screen first. He’s a journalist, and he wants to know if Bright is using drugs. Weaver kicks him out. “Have you ever heard of the First Amendment?” the journalist asks. “Have you ever heard of an awake colonoscopy?” she shoots back.

Luka arrives for a night shift as Carter’s leaving for something fancy, judging by the tux he’s wearing. Tom is coming in, and Carter asks Jerry to make sure he and Jessie get connected. He tells Susan he has to go to a fundraiser and present a check. He then tries to hand off a patient to her, a woman named Mrs. Hawkes who has a bad cough. Susan says she probably has the flu, and Carter should give her to Pratt just to bug him.

Abby’s going with Carter to the fundraiser, though fancy parties aren’t really her thing. She’s excited to get free food. She wonders what a canape is. Carter promises that next time, they’ll do something she wants to do. You know, something plebeian. Chuny gives him a wolf whistle as she passes by, and he jokingly threatens to circulate a petition about her harassment. I’m glad we’re all joking about this.

Sarah comes looking for Carter, knowing he wanted McNulty to come back in. He won’t take time off from his clinic to take care of his own health, even though he’s not managing his diabetes well. Tom comes in and Carter assures him that Jessie’s stable. Sarah wants Carter to talk to McNulty since he won’t listen to her about looking after his health. She’s afraid he’s eventually going to die. Carter has to rush off to take care of Jessie, who’s no longer stable, but he tells Sarah he’ll try to stop by and see McNulty at his clinic.

Pratt determines that Mrs. Hawkes has pneumonia and will need to be admitted to the ICU. He takes her kids, Martin and Rachel, to get a soda while Susan talks to her. Martin suggests that they call their brother, Doug, who’s 20. Mrs. Hawkes doesn’t want to stay in the hospital, but Susan insists that she’s too sick to leave. Mrs. Hawkes says they can call her aunt to come look after her kids. When Pratt mentions Doug, Mrs. Hawkes says she doesn’t want him around the kids.

Chuny grabs Pratt to help Carter with Jessie, who’s being brought back to the ER after crashing during a CT. Carter thinks Pratt missed something and thought she was stable when she wasn’t. Luka and Gallant are taking care of Tom, who needs surgery for internal bleeding. He asks to see Jessie first. Luka opens the door between their trauma rooms, but Carter tells him to close it. Jessie’s too far gone to save, and Luka volunteers to break the news to Tom so Carter can leave.

Weaver’s annoyed that the staff isn’t working faster to get Bright assessed and released. She tells Susan that he’s a good guy; he helped finance a domestic-abuse shelter. Susan informs her that Bright might not be so good after all – she found a sore on his penis that might be syphilis. Weaver says that if the test comes back positive, she’ll handle talking to him.

Luka tells Tom that Jessie’s brain was deprived of oxygen for too long, and she’s not going to wake up. He needs to go to surgery now. Tom doesn’t want to leave her in the ER to die alone, and Luka tells an impatient Romano that he’s not going to rush Tom. Romano says that if Luka doesn’t have Tom in the OR in the next ten minutes, he’ll take out Luka’s spleen instead.

Weaver and Bright talk about how hard it is for County to treat patients with such limited resources. Romano joins them and chastises Weaver for not getting Bright a private room. Bright says he wants to be with the people he serves so he can see what they experience. As Romano leaves, he quietly orders Weaver to get Bright a private room.

Weaver tells Bright about the sore Susan found. He already suspected he had syphilis. He’s only had one partner in the past year, so at least it’ll be easy to alert anyone who may also be infected. Unfortunately, Weaver has to report the case to the public health department, and it’ll go on Bright’s medical record. Since he has to release his records when he goes up for reelection, voters are going to find out. Bright promises that he and his partner will get treated, but he’d like privacy for both of them.

Someone called Doug after all, and though his siblings are big fans, he doesn’t come off as responsible or a good role model. His mother tells him to leave, suspecting he’s high. Doug says that Mrs. Hawkes gets drunk while the kids are around, so it wouldn’t be much worse for them to see him get high. Before Mrs. Hawkes can argue more, she starts coughing up blood. Pratt reveals to Susan that he called Doug. He was just trying to help. Susan says he can best help his patients by listening to them and honoring their wishes.

Weaver tries to intercept Bright’s lab work, which has already been sent for testing. She asks Jerry to cancel the order. Pratt apologizes to Susan for calling Doug; he thought he was doing the right thing. She chastises him for making a tough situation worse. But Mrs. Hawkes’ aunt is unable to take care of the kids, so Doug might be their only option. The doctors tell Doug that Mrs. Hawkes will be in the ICU for at least a week, and the kids need a place to stay. Doug is the only person who can step up, though he’s not exactly eager to do it.

Luka tries to convince Tom to go to the OR; he could die without surgery. Tom refuses to go until Jessie has died. Jessie’s heart monitor shows her flatlining, and Luka tells Tom that she’s gone. He finally agrees to go to surgery. But Luka has just removed one of the leads connecting her to the machine, and she’s still alive. Luka, no! That can’t be in the Hippocratic Oath!

Chuny brings Weaver Bright’s lab work, which confirms that he has syphilis. Weaver says she asked Jerry to cancel the order because the sample was mislabeled. Pratt is now tending to Jessie, which confuses Weaver, since Luka pronounced her dead an hour ago. She blasts Jerry for not canceling Bright’s lab order, like, don’t make him the fall guy in your crazy scheme.

Weaver asks Luka about Jessie, and he admits that he basically faked her death so Tom would go to surgery. Weaver is stunned and asks what will happen when Tom comes out of surgery and finds out his wife is still alive. Luka says he’ll call it a miracle. Weaver tells him he’s not acting in the best interest of his patient, but Luka argues that Tom is his patient, not Jessie. They get interrupted when paramedics bring in a nine-year-old boy named David who fell out of his bunk bed.

Abby’s enjoying herself at the fundraiser, which is for a $58 million music hall. She and Carter wonder what McNulty would be able to do for his clinic with $58 million. Millicent greets them, having forgotten that she’s met Abby before. Abby immediately sticks her foot in her mouth, asking what canapes are. Are they different from appetizers? Millicent is like, “John, please stop bringing dumb people into my orbit.” She wants Carter to take his father’s place on some board, as his father will be taking Millicent’s place. She thinks Carter needs to stop acting like a “disaffected youth” and start fulfilling his responsibilities to the family.

As Weaver and Luka examine David, who has some old bruises, Malik comes in looking for guidance on Jessie. Luka says she has a DNR and can’t be saved, so they shouldn’t bother to do anything for her. Weaver disagrees, wanting to keep treating her until Tom’s out of surgery and is able to make decisions for her care. Romano pulls her out of the trauma room to complain that Bright hasn’t been discharged after five hours in the ER. Weaver should be treating him as even more of a VIP than she already has been.

Back at the fundraiser, Abby tells Carter that his response to his grandmother was rude. Uh, I think it’s rude of her to dismiss his career as a hobby and expect him to drop it so their family can continue making a bunch of money. Carter tells her the family business is basically just showing up places and giving away money. If he worked for the family full-time, he’d be like “Prince Charles without the castle.” He warns Abby not to try to tell him what to do with his life.

Luka and Chuny tend to David, whose father is just now arriving. He tells Luka that David gets hurt all the time. It’s gotten worse since his mother left. Mr. Scott thinks his son just doesn’t pay attention. Luka, however, thinks Mr. Scott is abusing his son. Susan brings in Adele to help Doug figure out where Martin and Rachel should stay. Mrs. Hawkes’ chances aren’t good. Doug doesn’t think he can take them in, so the kids will probably end up in foster care. Pratt doesn’t like that sound of that, especially since the kids will most likely be split up.

Doug is overwhelmed and leaves. Pratt follows him and tries to convince him to take in his brother and sister. Doug knows his mother’s right about him not being responsible enough for that. Pratt thinks he’ll surprise himself with what he’ll be able to do for his siblings. Doug tells him that he never should have called. Everyone who’s judged him is right. “Make them wrong,” Pratt challenges, but Doug says he can’t.

As Weaver “fixes” the mislabeling problem with Bright’s sample, Carter and Abby leave the fundraiser, chatting awkwardly. He doesn’t appreciate her lecturing him about his family. He doesn’t want to be like his father, doing whatever Millicent wants so that rich people can get nice paintings and see pretty tile floors when they go to the symphony. Abby encourages him to change what the Carter Family Foundation does. He should find something he’s passionate about. Carter says he’s already passionate about his job.

Abby tells him that he shouldn’t be ashamed of being born into wealth. Carter claims he’s not, but since he drives a Jeep and has a two-bedroom apartment instead of a mansion, he’s not exactly embracing it. He wants everyone to think he’s just like them, a man of the people. Carter says he has a job that makes a difference. Abby thinks that’s great, but his money could make a big difference, too. Carter says the family’s money came from the coal market during the Great Depression. In the winter of 1933, when children froze to death, his family just got richer. Abby says there are still plenty of kids freezing to death.

Weaver discharges Bright, telling him that she’s taken care of keeping his diagnosis off of his medical record. She lies to Susan that he tested negative for syphilis. Luka has called security to keep Mr. Scott away from David; DCFS hasn’t come to assess the situation yet. Weaver doesn’t think Luka has done everything he should have to confirm his suspicions. She goes to see David, who says he and his father are actually really close. He admits that he didn’t fall out of bed – he jumped.

Carter goes by McNulty’s clinic, hoping to convince him to accept a more effective treatment for his diabetes. After all, he won’t be able to help others if he doesn’t take care of himself. McNulty doesn’t want judgment or help from a guy in a tux. Carter ignores him and writes him a check so he can get some newer and better equipment for the clinic. McNulty chalks up his interest to white liberal guilt and tears up the check. “I’m not here to make you feel better,” he says. Carter still wants to help, so McNulty tells him to sweep the floor.

Doug returns to the ER, having decided to take Pratt’s advice and try to disprove everyone’s judgment of him. He’s afraid he’ll let down his siblings, but Pratt encourages him to do his best. He apologizes to Susan for getting so involved in the case, but she’s not too upset about it. Pratt gets a call and leaves his shift early once again. Weaver complains, then tells Luka that David isn’t being abused. He hurts himself so Mr. Scott will stay home and spend time with him.

Elizabeth pops in with four minutes left in the episode to tell Luka that Tom is out of surgery. Okay, ‘bye, Elizabeth! Luka checks on Jessie and tells her that Tom will be okay, so she can let go now. In the lounge, Susan gives Weaver a baby gift, which is really sweet, except for the fact that Weaver lost the baby. The chances of miscarrying an embryo implanted through IVF are 30%, a fact Weaver is obviously keeping in mind so she won’t mourn too much.

Leon is at the police station, having been found in a possibly stolen car with a shotgun and some guys with criminal records. A cop assures Pratt that Leon didn’t commit any crimes, but since he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, he got busted. He lets Pratt go see Leon as a favor, since the doctors at County have always been so good to the cops.

Leon tearfully tells Pratt that he just wanted to tell his so-called friends about his new job. Pratt breaks it to him that since he missed his first shift, he probably doesn’t have that job anymore. Also, Leon can’t get bail until the morning, so he’ll have to spend the night in lockup. Leon cries and begs Pratt not to leave, but Pratt doesn’t have a choice.

Thoughts: Bright is played by Bruce Weitz. Doug is played by Aaron Paul.

I love Weaver treating Bright like he’s the president while I had to look up what an alderman is. (Apparently it’s a Chicago thing. They’re basically the same as a city councilman.)

Weaver’s actions were obviously bad, but at least she didn’t try to secure funding first.

Abby’s right. Carter can’t complain that his family’s foundation doesn’t help enough people, then do nothing to change that. Like, if you feel bad that your family has too much money and others don’t have enough, maybe…do something?

’00s music alert: Jason Mraz’s “The Remedy,” which fittingly plays when Carter goes over to McNulty’s clinic, because Carter thinks he’s McNulty’s remedy.

April 20, 2021

ER 8.11, Beyond Repair: Worst Birthday Ever

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 5:04 pm by Jenn

Two people who had very bad days

Summary: Abby’s asleep – drink! She wakes up to the sound of her neighbors yelling at each other. She ignores her ringing phone but rushes to pick it up when she realizes Maggie is calling to wish her a happy birthday. Weaver and Sandy’s relationship has moved along quickly, and they’ve spent the night together. Sandy teases Weaver about her snoring. This is easily the happiest we’ve ever seen Weaver in six seasons.

Carter brings Millicent home from her rehab center, and they’re surprised to find Eleanor at the mansion. Millicent clearly hates Eleanor and doesn’t bother trying to hide it. Leaving for work, Abby passes her warring neighbors, Joyce and Brian. Brian is terse but Joyce is friendly and invites Abby over for coffee sometime. She also offers Abby a ride, though the car isn’t working, so she couldn’t follow through on that even if Abby had said yes.

Eleanor has agreed to go to a luncheon for a pediatric cancer charity, since Millicent doesn’t want to attend. Carter tells Eleanor she doesn’t have to go; Millicent always accepts their offers to look good, but never actually goes. With Jack out of town, Eleanor has decided to stay a while, knowing she won’t have to run into him. Carter tells her he knows they’re getting divorced. She doesn’t seem too broken up about it.

Paramedics bring in a homeless man named Andy who was found in a Dumpster. Abby recognizes him as a frequent patient nicknamed Icicle Andy. The ER is cold, and Frank blames the holes in the ozone layer. Abby passes Andy off to Susan as Frank remarks that he thought Andy died last year. “The iceman cometh back,” Abby replies. Heh. When Susan, Abby, Gallant, and Malik try to warm Andy up, Abby accidentally snaps off one of his frostbitten fingers. “Ah, he gave you the finger, huh, Abby?” Malik quips. Heh again.

A boy named Douglas wanders in and Abby tries to get him to leave. He’s looking for his mom, who he says was treated in that trauma room. Abby takes him out and passes him off to Frank to look for his mother. Frank might not typically be a good choice for someone to look after a child, but he just asks Douglas if he wants a donut.

Abby then joins Luka to treat a woman named Meryl who fainted after feeling sick for a few days. She’s been taking fertility drugs and might be having a bad reaction to them. She tells Abby she got tired of waiting for the perfect man and decided to have a baby on her own. Abby notes that she hasn’t seen Luka lately, and he tells her he’s been working nights. His new year’s resolution is to help out more, so he’s going to spend some time working with Doctors Without Borders.

Mark complains to Frank about the temperature, and Frank tells him to get used to the cold since we’re moving toward another Ice Age. Mark tells Elizabeth that he found a lighter in Rachel’s clothes, and since Andrew was smoking pot, now they have reason to believe that Rachel is, too. Mark considers searching her room, but Elizabeth thinks that’s too big a violation of her privacy.

Carter and Chen do some window shopping at the mall, pausing at a toy store so she can look at a kids’ doctor’s set. She laments that she’s not allowed to send any presents to her son. But his parents are still in touch with her and sent her a video of him walking. Chen worries that all of the decisions she’s made recently have been bad. She reveals that she asked a waitress at Doc Magoo’s if she remembers Weaver getting any pages the night Paul died. The waitress didn’t remember pages, but she saw Weaver come back later and find her pager in the bathroom. Now Chen is armed with some very damning information about her former boss.

Andy didn’t make it, so Abby and Malik do whatever nurses do after a patient dies. Abby finds Blackhawks tickets in Andy’s pocket, and Malik tries to call dibs. She tells him that’s grave-robbing. Malik argues that no one’s going to claim the body of a homeless man, so the tickets will just go to waste. Abby ignores him and keeps the tickets.

After giving Gallant some guidance on a patient (demonstrating that she still has her med-school knowledge), Abby sees that Frank still hasn’t returned Douglas to his mother. Frank can’t find any records of a woman with her name checking in that morning, and he thinks someone just dumped Douglas there. Abby disagrees, since Douglas said his mother was treated in a trauma room.

Richard shows up and takes Abby across the street for coffee so he can tell her he’s getting remarried. Dude, on her birthday? I’m glad Abby left him. His fiancée is a teacher and has a six-year-old son, so Richard will finally get to have the kid he’s always wanted. Abby didn’t realize he wanted to be a father. She, like me, can’t believe he told her this today of all days. He doesn’t know what she means, since he obviously forgot that it’s her birthday. Abby graciously tells him that she hopes this marriage works out better than theirs did.

Carter and Susan have lunch in the lounge, and Abby catches them kissing. Carter apologizes for not telling her sooner that they’re dating. He tries to downplay the relationship as a friendship, but Abby notes that Carter’s never kissed Frank like that. She tells Carter not to worry about it. Douglas is still hanging around the ER, so Abby offers to bring him some food. She bugs Frank to work harder to find his mother. Frank asks if he can have the Blackhawks tickets if he succeeds.

Gallant can’t find Luka, and Meryl’s having trouble breathing, so Abby tries to help. As Luka joins them, Frank tells Abby that he thinks he found Douglas’ mother; she came in last night with a headache that was actually a brain bleed. Douglas spent all night in the waiting room with no idea what was going on. To make things worse, his mother died. Abby tells Frank to find Douglas’ father and bring him some food.

After Abby has successfully figured out what’s wrong with Meryl and helped stabilize her, she bugs Frank some more about his lack of people-finding skills. She tells him to act like the cop he used to be. Weaver was the mother’s doctor, and she’s not in yet, so Frank offers to page her and make her come in and tell Douglas his mother died. Too late – Douglas overhears the conversation, so Abby has to give him the news herself. He refuses to believe that she’s dead and runs around the ER, looking for her.

While Douglas was running around and crying himself to sleep, Frank found his father, who’s on a business trip in Australia. He can’t get a flight out until the next night, so they’ll have to turn Douglas over to Social Services. Could this kid’s day get any worse? Gallant asks Abby if they do psych transfers to other hospitals – he has a patient with minor injuries from a slip-and-fall who wants to be taken somewhere else. Abby goes to see the patient herself and is stunned to see that it’s Paul Sobriki.

Abby has security restrain Paul, who asks Susan to call his caseworker. Abby pulls Susan out of the room to tell her who Paul is. She wants to have him transferred before Carter can see him, but since Paul might have a head injury, Susan doesn’t want him moved yet. Abby tells her to at least move Paul to another room, since he’s in the same trauma room where he stabbed Carter and Lucy. She adds that they need to erase his name from the board so Carter doesn’t find out he’s there.

Abby takes Douglas to the morgue so he can be completely and utterly traumatized by the sight of his mother’s dead body. Abby’s like, “Maybe my day isn’t so bad after all.” When they return to the ER, Weaver chastises Abby for taking him, but Abby needed a way to get to him believe that his mother was dead. She hasn’t called Social Services yet, since she’d rather find a family member who can take Douglas until his father gets to Chicago. Weaver reminds her that that’s not her job.

Randi’s entertaining herself by reading people their horoscopes. Frank’s is pretty accurate – he’s cranky and no one likes him. Carter is open to new ideas and is compassionate. Randi asks Abby for her sign, but Abby isn’t interested in hearing her horoscope. Carter notices that his patient was moved from the suture room, and Abby distracts him from going to see the patient who was put in there instead (Paul).

Paul’s caseworker tells Susan that Paul was found not guilty of his attacks on Carter and Lucy because of his schizophrenia. He spent some time in a psych facility, but he’s now out on conditional release. The caseworker thinks Paul is justified in being agitated right now, since he’s been out on release for just a few days and was brought to the scene of his crimes. Apparently a professor from Paul’s law school got some colleagues to help arrange for his early release.

Abby’s annoyed, but the caseworker doesn’t think Paul will become violent again. He wants Paul’s restraints to be removed. Abby objects, but the caseworker notes that Paul is lucid and coherent, and has been stable for more than a year. He needs to be treated with respect right now. Abby laughs at that, but Susan seems to agree with the caseworker.

Gallant needs Abby’s help with something again, and she’s not happy about it. Meryl is upset that the drugs that were supposed to be helping her get pregnant have led to serious medical problems instead. She hates that women grow up praying they won’t get pregnant when they don’t want to; then, when they do want to, they can’t. She hopes she didn’t miss her chance. A few years ago, she had an abortion. She wanted to wait until she was ready to have kids, but maybe she waited too long.

Chuny reminds Abby to call Social Services for Douglas, and as Abby goes to the phone, she spots Samantha Sobriki with the little girl she was pregnant with when Paul attacked Carter and Lucy. Malik bugs Abby about the hockey tickets, and she’s apparently gotten tired of the whole thing, so she hands them over, telling him that Susan wants one of them. Carter approaches Abby just as Paul is wheeled down the hall. Abby tries to keep Carter from seeing Paul, but the second Carter hears Paul’s voice, he recognizes it.

Carter slowly approaches Paul, who apologizes. Samantha tells Carter that Paul’s out on conditional release and even has a job. Paul says the person who attacked Carter and Lucy wasn’t him. He’s in treatment and is okay now. Carter blankly says he’s glad Paul is okay, then goes down the hall to the bathroom. As “Battleflag” comes up on the soundtrack, Carter splashes water on his face, looking over his shoulder to make sure no one’s behind him. He seems okay, then leans over and throws up in the sink.

Weaver and Sandy go to the Blackhawks game together, but Weaver panics when she spots Susan and Malik there. Sandy easily figures out that Weaver’s not out at work. She’s upset that Weaver came on to her but is now trying to hide their relationship. Sandy says she doesn’t have time to be with a woman who doesn’t want anyone to know they’re together.

Douglas talks to his dad on the phone, getting the promise that he’ll be in Chicago the next day. His dad lives in L.A., so Douglas will have to move, but Abby thinks he’ll like California, where it’s warm and sunny and he can go to Disneyland. Samantha approaches Abby with a note for Carter and tries to convince Abby that Paul isn’t a threat to anyone. He has a disease, but he’s being treated – the goal of any hospital. She won’t give up on her husband or their family. Abby wishes her good luck.

She finds Carter in the lounge and gives him the note, which he won’t take. She invites him to get dessert across the street, but Carter says he has to get home. He pretends everything’s fine. A social worker tries to take Douglas somewhere for the night, but Douglas begs to stay with Abby instead. She tells him she’s not at the hospital all the time, but he can come visit her whenever he wants. She has to watch as the social worker carries him away, crying.

Gallant has more questions for Abby, who’s fed up with him treating her like she’s his attending. If he wants to be a doctor, he needs to start acting like one. Aww, Gallant. It’s not you. Mark goes to Rachel’s bedroom to talk to her, but she’s not there, so he starts snooping through her things. In her backpack he finds a cigarette pack that holds both cigarettes and condoms.

Rachel catches him and says she bought the cigarettes on a dare and got the condoms in health class. Mark accuses her of lying, but Rachel says it doesn’t matter what she says, since he never believes her. Mark confirms that he can’t trust her. Rachel dramatically yells that she’s smoking, taking drugs, and having sex. Okay, but can you do all that quietly?

Carter hired a private-duty nurse for Millicent, but Eleanor sent her home, planning to take care of Millicent herself overnight. Carter asks why Eleanor is suddenly in town, making big decisions. She should stop trying to be helpful, since she doesn’t actually help. Carter’s made all of Millicent’s medical decisions, so Eleanor needs to consult with him. Eleanor says she’ll call the nurse back, but she’s not leaving – she won’t let Jack break up their family.

Carter scoffs that they’re barely a family, since Eleanor hasn’t been much of a part of it for 20 years. Eleanor tries to leave the conversation, but Carter refuses to let her make herself out to be the wronged party. He reminds her that he was stabbed, and Eleanor and Jack didn’t come see him for three weeks. They’ve kept their distance for Carter’s whole life.

Eleanor asks if Carter blames her for his addiction. He yells that he blames her for not being his mother. His brother died as a child, and Eleanor checked out of the rest of her maternal duties. Eleanor doesn’t know how to respond, so she just goes to bed. Carter notes to himself that she’s running away like she always does.

Abby runs into Joyce again when she gets home; Joyce is hanging out in their brownstone’s lobby until Brian falls asleep, so they don’t have another fight. She offers Abby a beer and invites her to sit with her and unwind. Abby takes a drink, setting her sobriety back to zero. She tells Joyce it’s her birthday, and Joyce wishes her a happy birthday, unlike everyone else in her life who couldn’t be bothered to all day (except Maggie).

Thoughts: Joyce is played by Christina Hendricks.

Hey, Carter, maybe be more available to your med students so Gallant doesn’t have to keep turning to Abby for help. Why fight so hard to become chief resident if you’re not going to do the job?

I’m surprised they didn’t do more to connect Abby to Meryl’s storyline, since it’s so heavy-handed. I’m also surprised that there’s really no follow-on on Carter and Paul’s encounter. We should have at least seen Carter considering/talking about taking painkillers or talking about going to a 12-step meeting or even making an appointment with Deraad. Instead, he yells at Eleanor and then doesn’t talk about it again.

April 13, 2021

ER 8.10, I’ll Be Home for Christmas: Does Santa Visit Perjurers in Jail?

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , at 4:57 pm by Jenn

Benton, you have a child. Please learn how to hug

Summary: It’s December 13th and Carter is horrified that Susan rooted for the Suns while living in Phoenix. They appear to be dating, but they’re acting the way they always have, so it’s hard to tell. Susan makes Carter buy her breakfast at the Roach Coach as he takes a phone call from Jack. He reports to Susan that for the first time in nine years, his parents will be in Chicago for the holidays.

At County, Romano is in a good mood and wants to share some Christmas cheer with Benton by enlisting him for an operation on an alderman. Benton wants to discuss his schedule first, since he needs more flexible hours to spend time with Reese. Romano pressures him to accept his surgery offer instead.

An enthusiastic Santa is ringing a bell and asking for donations in the ER. She complains that no one will give a break to “a female Santa in a man’s world.” Weaver tells her she can’t ask for donations in the hospital. Ms. Santa says she works at the Salvation Army, but when Weaver asks to see her ID, Ms. Santa admits that she just eats there.

Luka arrives late for work and isn’t very apologetic about it. Abby asks Chuny when Weaver’s going on Christmas vacation. Chuny calls her Scrooge and says she’ll never leave. Abby tries to lighten the mood with Luka, but he’s mopey because no one knows where Nicole is. Apparently she stole from her last job, too, so she’s burned a lot of bridges in Chicago. No wonder she wanted to go to Canada. He finally admits that Abby was right about Nicole being a habitual liar.

Sandy brings in a couple of kids who are slightly injured, but not so badly that they can’t fight with each other. She reminds Weaver that they were supposed to make plans to get together, but Weaver never called. She’s clearly gun-shy about getting into a relationship, and she’s also clearly worried about her co-workers finding out she’s a lesbian.

Susan asks Benton to check out a cut a man (later ID’d as Stan) sustained while running from police at the airport. He didn’t have a ticket or any ID. Stan says he’s going to miss his flight, but if he doesn’t have ID, he’s not getting on a plane, so… He also doesn’t appear to know who he is. Benton notices Ms. Prager across the ER and ditches Susan and Stan.

In the lounge, Ms. Prager tells Benton that Judge Alter has denied some motion she filed, and now wants Reese to pick which father he wants to live with. Um, what? He’s four! No judge would ask a four-year-old to make that decision! Ms. Prager says he wants Reese’s opinion, which is totally reasonable, but…come on. If he says he wants to live with Mickey Mouse, will the judge send him to Disney World? Ms. Prager is annoyed that Benton keeps trying to fight Roger when Roger is willing to compromise on visitation. Benton refuses again, so Ms. Prager warns that he’s making Roger look like the better option.

Weaver chats with Sandy again, finally extending a lunch invitation. Sandy recognizes Stan, who’s serenading the ER, and tells Susan he’s homeless. Stan tells Susan that whatever Sandy told her isn’t true. He has amnesia and definitely isn’t this guy who sounds like a rough character. If he were smart, he’d clean up, get a suit, and go to the airport instead of spending the day on the street, alone, at Christmastime.

Benton has made at least a small compromise and has agreed to meet with Roger and Wharton before they’re supposed to see Judge Alter. They want Roger to get visitation with Reese every other weekend, plus two weeks in the summer (a common arrangement for divorced parents). Ms. Prager wants to renegotiate for a little less time, but Benton refuses the deal outright. He announces that he won’t negotiate his time with his own son. Roger notes that he’ll have to take his chances with the judge.

Carter visits Millicent in her no-doubt super-expensive medical facility, where Jack is already with her. He’s alone, since Eleanor won’t be in town until later in the week. Carter and Millicent are both happy to have Jack with them for Christmas, but Jack clearly doesn’t feel the same. Oh, go be WASP-y in Aspen or Aruba or wherever rich white people go for the holidays. No one wants you here anyway.

Back at the courthouse, Alter uses a sign-language interpreter to ask Reese about his two dads. He calls Benton “Daddy” and Roger his other daddy. Alter asks which dad gives him better care when he gets hurt. Reese says Roger, but it’s because his Band-Aids have cartoon characters on them. And that’s why you don’t ask a four-year-old which parent he wants to live with.

December 19th: The custody trial continues, and Roger talks about how much time he’s spent with Reese – more time than Benton has. He makes Reese a priority, which is what’s in his best interest. Carter meets Jack at Doc Magoo’s for lunch, which is just hilarious. Carter wants to know why Eleanor is still in Costa Rica, especially since her mother-in-law is in the hospital. Jack announces that 1) Eleanor isn’t coming after all, and 2) they’re getting divorced. Carter immediately guesses that someone had an affair, then that Eleanor got bored with her marriage. Jack reveals that he’s the one who left.

Back in court, Benton testifies that he let Carla take on a lot of the parenting while he pursued his career, but it felt right because Reese was with his mother. Now that things have changed, Benton is going to adjust his hours so he can spend more time with Reese. He’ll work regular hours on weekdays and have all weekends off. The judge asks for proof of the new schedule by the end of the day.

As soon as court is adjourned, Benton tries to call Romano, who’s in surgery. He starts to head to County, but Roger pulls his car up behind Benton’s to confront him for lying about his schedule change. He thinks Benton is treating Reese like a prize to be won so he can give Jackie a son to replace Jesse. Benton moves toward him like a punch is going to be thrown, but Roger makes it clear that that action will send him straight to Alter. He tells Benton he can’t change who he is.

Weaver and Sandy meet up for their lunch date but can’t find the restaurant they were going to go to. They decide to go to Weaver’s place and order in instead. At County, Benton tries to talk to Romano about his schedule again. Romano is willing to listen this time, but he won’t give Benton nights and weekends off. They work in an urban trauma center; they can’t schedule when emergencies happen. Benton will work when Romano wants him to or not at all.

In response, Benton resigns. His bluff called, Romano agrees to give Benton weekends off. It’s not enough, so Benton says he’ll finish out the week, then be gone. Romano yells after him that he’s giving up a major career so he can play Mr. Mom. Um, that’s Dr. Mom, sir. Actually, it’s Dr. Dad, because the term “Mr. Mom” is ridiculous, but I don’t expect Romano to grasp that.

Abby takes a newborn to the OB floor after he was brought in by paramedics. The mom went into labor in a department store, and the baby was delivered by a shoe salesman. I hope he got a big Christmas bonus for that. And I hope the kid gets free shoes for life. As she’s leaving, Abby spots Nicole in a recovery room. She reads in Nicole’s chart that she really was pregnant, but she isn’t anymore. (It’s not clear if she miscarried or had an abortion. Your guess is as good as mine.)

Benton goes to the clinic where Cleo now works and tells her he quit his job. She told him there’s a position open there, so Benton asks to meet the person doing the hiring ASAP, so he can get proof of his new job and hours. Cleo reminds him that she just started working there, so she can’t ask her new colleagues for favors this quickly.

Abby waits until Nicole’s out of recovery and tells her that Luka’s been looking for her. She wants to know why Nicole told Luka she wasn’t pregnant. Nicole says it’s none of her business. Abby apologizes for accusing Nicole of lying, but Nicole doesn’t really care – Abby was right about Luka’s kindness not being love. She asks Abby not to tell Luka the truth about her pregnancy.

Benton waits impatiently to meet with his potential new boss. First thing the next morning, he gives Alter a letter showing he’s been offered a new job. Alter’s a little suspicious that Benton left County and got a new job in just 12 hours. Benton says it was always a possibility and he just needed to work out the details. Alter’s suspicious again, since Benton never mentioned he was looking for a different job.

Benton doesn’t think it matters, since he got the better schedule he said he would. Alter notes that Benton told a different story yesterday, and he doesn’t appreciate dishonesty. Benton says he’s doing what he needs to do for Reese. He heads to County, running into Elizabeth and telling her he’s done all he can in the custody case. He also lets her know he’s leaving County. She’s surprised that he’s making such a big change so he can keep custody of Reese.

Carter and Susan work on a 12-year-old boy named Ben who fell off a ladder while hanging Christmas lights. Benton comes to give a surgical consult and decides Ben should stay for observation in case he needs to have his spleen removed. Ben’s parents don’t quite get that a spleen isn’t a vital organ, and that they don’t need to get their large family tested to see if anyone’s a match for a donation. As Carter takes them to a waiting room, Ben’s mother, Amparo, faints.

Carter examines Amparo, who says she’s fine. Benton assures her that Ben doesn’t seem to be badly injured. Carter finds a node on Amparo’s neck, and she tells him he doesn’t need to run any tests. She’s already been diagnosed with lymphoma. She hasn’t told her family yet, since she didn’t want to ruin their Christmas. Benton assures her again that Ben will be fine.

Luka and Abby stitch up a man who cut his hand on an ice skate – part of a pair he was shoplifting for his kids. After he’s done, he’ll be arrested. He doesn’t have anyone to watch his kids, so Luka considers posting his bail. (The man has a job, but it pays minimum wage and he can’t afford a security deposit on an apartment, so the family has been living in a motel. God bless America, right?) Abby doesn’t want to tell Luka not to get personally involved with a patient’s family, but she also doesn’t want to tell him not to help out this nice family when he has to spend Christmas without his own.

At the courthouse, Alter asks to talk to Reese again, this time without his dads or their lawyers present. Sure, Benton and Roger will just hang out alone in the courtroom, not getting violent with each other or saying anything they can’t take back. No problem. Back at County, Ben’s family accompanies him up to the OR floor, since he needs exploratory surgery. Carter’s like, “So that’s what it’s like to have a big family of people who all like spending time together.”

Susan and Carter meet up in the lounge to exchange presents, though he forgot to bring hers. He tells her he’s distracted by news of his parents’ divorce and his mom’s absence. Susan thinks it’s a blessing in disguise. Her parents fight all the time and should be divorced. She’s relieved that Carter isn’t having difficulties because of something that has to do with her. He tells her she’s pretty much the only thing going right in his life right now.

Cleo and Jackie join the court proceedings as Alter and Reese come into the courtroom. Alter talks about how, in a typical custody case, each parent retains his or her role as mother or father no matter which way the decision goes. In this case, Alter basically has to void one father’s title as Daddy. Both Benton and Roger love Reese, and both have made sacrifices for him (though Benton’s was sketchy and Alter isn’t happy with him). Alter thinks Reese would do well in either household, but based on Benton’s new job and history as Reese’s father, he gets custody. Roger will get visitation every other Saturday.

Christmas Eve: Benton, Cleo, and Reese decorate her place for Christmas, and Benton invites Cleo to lie under the tree with him and look up at the lights. She notes that they need to get moving or he’ll be late for his last shift at County. “What are they going to do, fire me?” he asks. He remembers lying under the tree as a kid.

Since both of them are going to be working in Schaumburg, Benton suggests that they relocate (by which he means they should get a place together). He’s spent so long working hard, trying to get to the end zone, and now he’s realized that the end zone is his family, not his job. He and Cleo start kissing, but Reese interrupts so they can put the star on top of the tree.

Mark finally appears in the episode as paramedics bring in a six-year-old boy named Teddy who has a gunshot wound. His mother, Paula, states blankly that she shot him. Benton finds Roger waiting for him on the OR floor, curious about whether Benton really got a new job. He said he would change his hours, yet here he is working on Christmas Eve. Benton says it’s his last shift at County. Roger’s there to drop off Reese’s Christmas presents and remind Benton that he’ll get Reese in two weeks. Benton tells him he can come over tomorrow and give Reese the presents in person.

He heads to the ER, where Paula is telling Mark and Susan that she mistook Teddy for a burglar. She heard glass break and thought it was a window, but it was an ornament Teddy dropped. Mark pulls her out of the trauma room so she doesn’t have to watch Benton open her son’s chest. They take Teddy up to the OR, though Romano doesn’t think they can save him. Elizabeth joins him and Benton as Benton tries hard to help Teddy while Romano says over and over that it’s pointless. Benton finally kicks him out. Elizabeth is also skeptical about Teddy’s chances, but she stays to help anyway.

Mark tries to reassure Paula, both that Teddy has a chance to make it and that she shouldn’t beat herself up for shooting him. She says she just wanted to protect her home. Back in the OR, Benton is able to repair the damage in Teddy’s chest, stunning Elizabeth. Even Benton doesn’t know how he did it. It’s a Christmas miracle!

Elizabeth sends Benton to give Paula the good news, telling him that everyone at County will miss him. (Well, except Romano.) Benton doesn’t feel the same way, but he admits that the job has had its moments. He tells Paula that Teddy will recover, then watches Elizabeth wrap up the last surgery he’ll ever perform at County. Passing Romano without a word exchanged between them, he leaves.

Christmas Day: Carter waits for Benton on a bench on his normal jogging route. He learned of Benton’s departure from County in a message, and he knows there’s no way to change his mind. Carter gives him the El token Benton gave him during his second week as a surgical intern. They’d worked on a bunch of patients over the course of half a day, and Carter asked for a break because he was exhausted. Benton kicked him out of the OR.

Carter was so tired that he started crying in the hallway. Benton gave him the token and a choice: Use it to go home or commit to his job and use it to come back the next day. Benton jokes that he was expecting a Rolex. Carter tells him that if Benton gets tired of Schaumburg, he can use the token to come back to County. Or, since the El doesn’t use tokens anymore, he can call Carter and ask for a ride.

Getting a little teary, Carter tells Benton he owes him, then hugs him. Benton breaks it off as soon as he can, pretending he needs to keep jogging before he gets too cold. As he leaves, Carter says he’s a good doctor because of Benton. Benton replies that he isn’t, but he should keep trying.

Thoughts: Paula is played by Anne Dudek, because apparently everything I recap now has to include someone who’s been on The Magicians. Amparo is played by Lea Salonga, and it’s too bad Ming Na isn’t in this episode, because then we would get to see both Mulan’s voice actress and the actress who did her singing.

Roger’s visitation proposal is incredibly reasonable and Benton is a jerk for not accepting it. And it’s not like Roger is some horrible monster who’s a threat to Reese’s safety. He’s a good father and Reese loves him. I get Benton being territorial, but it’s gotten out of hand.

I love Carter and Benton’s scene together at the end. It’s perfect for their characters and their relationship.

This marks the end of Benton and Cleo’s time on the show – almost. They both appear at the end of the season, and Benton returns at the end of the series.

April 6, 2021

ER 8.9, Quo Vadis?: It’s a Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad World

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , at 5:01 pm by Jenn

I need you two to stop

Summary: Jackie has just dropped Reese off at County’s daycare after keeping him at her house for the night. Benton comes by to see his son, but he only gets to spend a minute with Reese before Shirley summons him to the ICU. Benton’s supposed to be off in five minutes, as if Romano cares. Then he gets paged to the ER. As they leave the daycare room, Jackie reminds Benton that Carla once said she wanted him to spend Father’s Day with Reese. He needs to tell the judge that at the custody hearing that morning.

Susan sent Millicent lilies, but she’s made a bad impression yet again, since Millicent is allergic to them. Carter notes that lilies are also for funerals, so that’s another mistake. Millicent is recovering from her broken hip and is more worried about Jill than herself (fortunately, Jill is also recovering, and Millicent gave her some money to head off a lawsuit). Benton comes to the ER, wondering why Elizabeth can’t do whatever it is he’s supposed to be there to do. Mark expositions that she’s been cleared to perform surgery again after all those patient deaths. Frank is skeptical that she didn’t do anything wrong.

Benton joins Luka and Gallant to try to save a woman who was shot. Elizabeth comes in to relieve Benton, who has to rush off to court. The patient is brain-dead, and Elizabeth tells her husband, Mr. Pruitt, that there’s nothing they can do for her. She mentions that Mrs. Pruitt has an organ-donor card. Mr. Pruitt says he guesses that’s what she wants.

Mark calls Elizabeth in to help him with a teenager named Rudy who was injured during a boxing match. They chat while working, and Mark asks Elizabeth to help Rachel with her math homework after work. (It’s that or the Revolutionary War, and it makes sense that Elizabeth, a Brit, would want to opt out of that subject.) Luka bugs Weaver about getting Nicole rehired, even though she was busted for stealing. Weaver reminds him that County has a zero-tolerance policy about theft. Plus, Luka didn’t screen her better before helping her get hired. Uh, I think that’s HR’s fault, but okay.

After spending a moment with Carter, doing their weird version of flirting, Susan joins Gallant to tend to a teen named Jorge. He’s Rudy’s brother, as well as Rudy’s boxing opponent. Their father, Mr. Escalona, lets Jorge know that Rudy will be okay. Jorge gets very stoic when his father comes in, sending up a red flag to Susan and Gallant that something strange is going on here.

Benton meets up with his lawyer, Ms. Prager, before the hearing, and she tells him to be as stoic as Jorge when people are testifying. Their judge, Alter, tends to favor the mother in custody cases, though that won’t be an issue here. Ms. Prager thinks Benton’s tie is showy, so her assistant gives Benton his own tie. Ms. Prager tells Benton not to get too emotional during his own testimony. Benton criticizes his new tie as the whitest one he’s ever seen. The assistant is like, “…It’s blue.” Ha, and also, that guy’s not white, but okay.

Carter and Abby tend to a woman who keeps having an allergic reaction for unknown reasons. (I don’t know her name, so I’ll call her Allegra.) She and her husband are in Chicago on their honeymoon. Abby and Chuny spot Nicole entering the ER, most likely to meet with HR and get officially fired. Abby suggests that Allegra has a latex allergy, but she hasn’t had any contact with latex recently. She and her new husband stopped using condoms when they got married. Meanwhile, Susan tells Jorge that Rudy’s unconscious but his vitals are good.

In court, Roger’s lawyer, Wharton, guides him through testimony about his closeness with Reese and his ability to maintain a flexible schedule. Unlike Peter, Roger has never needed or wanted to pass him off to someone else for childcare. Because…not having a flexible schedule makes you a bad parent who doesn’t want to spend time with his child? Having to rely on help makes Benton less of a father? Ugh. Roger also testifies that Reese has said Roger’s place is his home.

Elizabeth talks to Mr. Pruitt about donating Mrs. Pruitt’s organs, but he hasn’t quite accepted that they have to harvest the organs while her heart is still beating. He doesn’t get that brain death means death death, no matter which organs are still working. Elizabeth gives him some more time to sit with his wife and figure out what to do.

Abby mentions to Luka that she saw Nicole and is sure she’ll find another job. Luka says she might want to stop working now that she’s pregnant. Abby is surprised that Nicole wants to keep the baby. She’s even more surprised that Luka wants to help her raise the baby. She asks if Nicole actually took a pregnancy test, and if Luka saw the results. Luka gets defensive, which is fair, but also, Luka, you’re so dumb.

Mr. E. regrets letting Rudy get in the ring with Jorge, since some weak arteries in his head mean he could possibly hemorrhage. Mark tells Mr. E. that it’s actually a preexisting condition, and it’s fixable. Gallant thinks Jorge blames himself for his brother’s condition. Carter asks Susan and Abby if they’ve ever heard of someone being allergic to semen. He thinks that’s what’s going on with Allegra. A boy named Sean comes in with his foot stuck in a toilet. Well, that’s a new one. Sandy accompanies him in the ambulance and reunites with Weaver. Nicole’s back in the ER, and Abby manages to be nice to her for once, offering her some coffee.

Back in court, Cleo testifies that Benton is a wonderful father to Reese. Wharton asks about her relationship with Benton, which hasn’t been stable. In fact, they broke up a while ago and just got back together recently. What if Cleo and Benton break up again in the coming weeks, months, or years? I don’t know, Wharton – what if Benton dies, like Carla did? What if Roger dies? What if a giant asteroid hits Earth and we all die, except Reese? What then?? Have you thought about that??

Wharton asks about the incident where Reese got hurt while Cleo was watching him. He chastises Benton for letting Cleo take care of Reese when he was supposed to be in Benton’s care. Freaking A, are people not allowed to use babysitters in this guy’s world? Also, Benton’s lawyer sucks, because she’s not doing enough to object or mentioning that Wharton keeps interrupting Cleo when she tries to respond to his questions.

Abby gives Nicole regular coffee, probably trying to trick her into drinking caffeine to show she’s not really pregnant or doesn’t care about the baby. It doesn’t work. Abby offers to give Nicole an ultrasound, since she hasn’t had a prenatal exam yet or even confirmed that she’s really pregnant. She tells Nicole this isn’t the way to “get” Luka.

Abby has questions about Nicole’s father; at one point she said her father killed himself, but then she said he kicked her out when she was a teenager. Nicole clarifies that the father who kicked her out was really her stepfather. “I guess you have an answer for everything,” Abby remarks. “I guess everything is your business,” Nicole replies. Ooh, point to Nicole. Abby says she just doesn’t want Luka to get hurt. Nicole says she wants him to be happy. Abby tells her that a made-up life won’t accomplish that. If this is all real, great. If not, Luka’s smart enough to figure it out.

Weaver and Sandy chat a little about the night they met and how Sandy’s one of very few female firefighters in the city. Sandy says she’s like one of the guys. She hasn’t had her hand checked out, since she doesn’t like doctors. Oooh, Sandy, you’re about to like a doctor very soon. Rudy has stopped breathing, and Mark determines that the pressure in his brain has increased. As he’s trying to stabilize Rudy, Rachel calls to check in. Go away, Rachel. Mark and Gallant end up having to shock Rudy’s heart.

Luka thinks he has a solution to Elizabeth’s problem getting Mr. Pruitt to agree to donate his wife’s organs: Take her to the OR, turn off her ventilator, wait until her heart stops beating, and then get him to consent to the organ donation. After two minutes of cardiac arrest, they can remove her organs without any damage from lack of oxygen.

Elizabeth doesn’t see the point in rushing Mr. Pruitt. Luka tells her that this is the only circumstance under which Mr. Pruitt will agree to the organ harvesting. Elizabeth is annoyed that he gave Mr. Pruitt that option without consulting her. She’s the one who has to get consent, and she’s the one who has to do the actually harvesting.

Carter has a hypothesis he wants to test on Allegra and her husband. They just need an empty exam room (preferably one without a dead body in it). Mark and Gallant haven’t been able to revive Rudy, and Mark tells Mr. E. that they’re not going to be able to. He invites Mr. E. and Jorge to say goodbye before Rudy dies. Mr. E. praises his son for fighting hard and never giving up. Jorge gets distressed hearing Mr. E.’s goodbye message and yells at him to shut up.

Luka and Nicole take a walk by the water, and he tells her not to worry about working while she’s pregnant. Nicole doesn’t want to just lounge around and be a kept woman, even if it means Luka covers her rent. She has a friend who’s opening a café and needs help…but the café is in Montreal. She appreciates Luka’s generosity, but she’s ready to move on.

Luka asks to talk more after his shift, but Nicole says she’ll call him in a few days. He worries that she’s mad at him or thinks he’s mad at her. Nicole says that he talked himself into loving her, but this isn’t real. Luka tells her he made an OB appointment. Nicole says it’s not necessary – she’s not pregnant. She didn’t want to lose him, so she came up with a way to keep him around, but it was all a lie.

Susan and a patient hear some noises coming from an exam room, but Carter says they’re just from maintenance workers doing their job. Lies! The noises are Allegra and her husband banging. Carter tells Susan he’s “conducting a clinical trial.” She teases him for running a brothel. He argues that it’s not a brothel if they’re married. (Also, no money is changing hands. But still, I don’t think Weaver would care about the details if she found out what was going on.)

Mark gets Rudy’s labwork back and asks Mr. E. if he’s ever taken stimulants. Mr. E. says he’d never let Rudy take drugs. They found ephedra in his blood, and Jorge explains that it must have come from the power supplements Rudy was taking. Mark says the ephedra probably raised Rudy’s blood pressure and led to a blood vessel in his brain rupturing. Jorge tells Mr. E. that Rudy wanted to power up so he could make their father proud.

Mr. E. is upset that Jorge knew what Rudy was doing and didn’t stop him. Jorge notes that Mr. E. was always pushing Rudy, so he felt like he didn’t have a choice. Rudy was just a kid. Mr. E. says Rudy wanted to be a champ, but Jorge argues that that was what their father wanted. He’s done with boxing and letting Mr. E. press his children to excel. Mr. E. says Jorge was born with a gift, so Jorge ruins the gift by punching a wall and injuring his hand.

Jackie comes to the courthouse to give Benton some moral support. Benton tells her that Roger is making it sound like Benton calls him for help with Reese all the time, when he’s only asked for help a couple times. Jackie thinks they should bust Roger for perjury. She tells Roger to leave them alone and tell the truth. “Get your own family!” she yells.

Carter finds Susan in an exam room next to Allegra and her husband’s, and accuses her of listening to them have sex. Dude, if they’re loud enough to be heard in the ER, she didn’t need to get closer. Also, how long do they need to go at it for Carter’s hypothesis to be proven or disproven? I’m all for the scientific method, but this is overkill. Finally, the sex stops, and the two go check on the patient. Mark and Gallant walk by, and Mark asks what’s going on. Susan tells him to ask Carter. Gallant makes a face that says, “I know exactly what’s going on, and you two are very naughty.”

Mark and Gallant tell Jorge he’ll be in a cast for a few weeks. As Mark leaves to treat someone else, Gallant tries to assure Jorge that everyone has daddy issues. Jorge says it’s different for him, since Mr. E. is so old-school. He’s from Cuba and immigrated to the U.S. before his kids were born. He was a great boxer in Cuba, and when he tried to leave, his hands were broken. He pushed his kids to have what was taken from him. Gallant urges Jorge to talk to Mr. E. about his feelings on the situation.

Allegra and her husband weren’t able to…fully test Carter’s hypothesis. What, you mean they weren’t able to finish while in an exam room in a busy hospital where anyone could walk in at any time? Preposterous! Carter tells them to use condoms until they can test the hypothesis under medical supervision. Allegra wonders why she would suddenly develop an allergy to semen. Carter and Susan say it could be the result of having multiple sex partners. Allegra’s like, “Okay, yeah, that makes sense.” Her husband isn’t happy to hear that.

Paramedics bring in a 16-year-old who fell off a lamppost. A cop tells Mark and Carter that he and a girl were stealing street signs. Mark recognizes the patient as Andrew, then easily (and correctly) guesses that the girl is Rachel. The teens aren’t under arrest, but a cop wants to take Rachel to the police station to scare her a little. Mark approves. Meanwhile, Sandy returns to the hospital, having decided she wants a wound check after all.

Wharton questions Benton about his work hours and childcare arrangements. He notes that Jackie had trouble taking care of Reese right after Carla died, then brings up Jesse. Is Jackie stable enough to take care of a child when she’s still grieving the death of her own child? Is she taking psychiatric medication with side effects that could hamper her ability to take care of a child? Getting angry, Benton tells Wharton to start asking questions about his parenting abilities and how he’s taken care of Reese for years. There’s nothing more important to him than his son.

At the end of the day, Ms. Prager chastises Benton for blowing up on the stand. He doesn’t regret it, since he said what he had to say. The judge seems to be leaning toward Roger, so Ms. Prager tells Benton they need to do something to tip the scales toward him. Right now, his work hours are hurting him the most, so he needs to make some sacrifices to put Reese first.

The cop who busted Andrew and Rachel returns Rachel to the hospital after her little field trip of fear at the police station. Mark tells her that Andrew tested positive for marijuana, so he has some questions about whether Rachel has used pot, too. She’ll need to provide the answers in a cup. Rachel complains that Mark doesn’t trust her, as if she’s given him even one reason to trust her over the past five episodes.

Luka tells Abby that Nicole’s leaving town and there’s no baby. Abby very graciously doesn’t say, “I told you so.” Allegra’s back in the ER, having finished Carter’s research in a pickup truck. Looks like his hypothesis was right. Benton’s also back and being sent to the OR. Gallant talks to Mr. E. about arrangements for Rudy’s body, and Mr. E. expresses regret over his fight with Jorge. He doesn’t think Jorge understands his reasons for pushing his sons so much. Gallant says Jorge might surprise him. Mr. E. joins Jorge in the room where Rudy’s body is still lying, and the two hug each other and cry.

Elizabeth hands Mrs. Pruitt off to Benton; her husband finally consented to the organ harvest, but he still needs some hand-holding. Benton doesn’t want to hold anyone’s hand, and since Elizabeth has been dealing with Mr. Pruitt all day, he tells her to deal with it. Elizabeth says he just wants to talk to the surgeon who will be doing the harvesting. Benton sucks it up and acts human, learning that the Pruitts have a young daughter, and Mr. Pruitt will now be parenting her alone. Benton blankly tells him he’ll have to do the best he can. Wow, that was almost like compassion! Good job, Benton!

Weaver tends to Sandy’s hand and makes small talk about her co-workers. Then Weaver takes a huge leap and asks Sandy if she’d like to go out sometime. We don’t find out Sandy’s response, but she does confirms that Weaver has read her right as a fellow lady lover. Rachel tested negative for pot, and Mark tells her he had to test her because he has to make sure she’s safe – that’s more important than not making her angry. Rachel, a typical teen, doesn’t want to hear it.

Benton starts Mrs. Pruitt’s organ harvest, turning off her ventilator and waiting for her heart to stop. Carter and Susan chat about Allegra and her husband – apparently there’s a way for them to have a baby that involves washing the husband’s sperm and then doing artificial insemination. Susan thinks it’s weird that they had sex in a truck, but it’s not as weird as when she once had sex on a Ferris wheel. Carter asks for more tales of Susan’s strangest sexual encounters. Guys, just kiss already. Oh, hey, they listened to me! Ew, no, stop. It’s weird.

Mrs. Pruitt’s heart is still beating after almost an hour, and she’s breathing on her own, so Benton can’t harvest her organs yet. He tells Shirley they’ll have to keep waiting. I guess there’s a metaphor here for how Benton also has to be patient and can’t rush the custody fight. But also, he could be stuck there all night, which means he has to spend more time away from Reese. So much for making sacrifices.

Thoughts: Sean is played by future Two and a Half Men half man Angus T. Jones. IMDb says Keegan-Michael Key is also in this episode, but I didn’t see him. And chances are you’ve seen Tom Wright, who plays Wharton, in something, but Magicians fans will know him as Santa. (For those who aren’t familiar with The Magicians, yes, I mean Santa Claus.)

“Quo vadis?” means “where are you going?” Not sure why the show thought the Latin was necessary.

The Nicole plot is so pointless. The show was able to land Julie Delpy as a guest star and this is the crap they give her?

Ah, yes, teens stealing street signs. I live near an exit 69, and that sign had to be replaced quite a few times when I was younger because people kept taking it.

March 30, 2021

ER 8.8, Partly Cloudy, Chance of Rain: Power Struggle

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 4:55 pm by Jenn

The set people did a good job of making this look like a real disaster

Summary: It’s raining in Chicago. A lot. County’s staff is supposed to gather for a surprise goodbye party for Cleo, but no one seems particularly excited about it. Most of them are busy, and Lily’s annoyed that she can’t find some money she was sure was in her purse. Frank and Haleh try to keep everyone at the admit desk for the party, but they all have stuff to do (and obviously don’t care much about Cleo).

Weaver meets Gallant, who asks about a warning letter he received for missing something called Journal Club. Sounds like something for preteen girls, but obviously it has to do with med school. Weaver doesn’t care about his excuse that he had another commitment until he explains that it was for his Army Reserve duty. She lets him off the hook and tells him to just review someone’s notes about what he missed.

Frank gives Benton a package from a genetics lab. Frank doesn’t know about Benton’s paternity test, so he wonders if Benton is having himself cloned. Benton heads to the lounge for some privacy and runs into Nicole, who seems to be doing something she doesn’t want anyone to see. As soon as she leaves, Benton tears into the test results. He’s not happy with what he reads.

Mark is fighting with a patient about whether the patient was completely forthcoming when Mark asked his history. Mark asked him about heart disease, but the patient apparently didn’t think his heart attack fell into that category. He only had one, and his angioplasty fixed him, so why mention it? Idiot. Also, when he had chest pain that morning, he went to work instead of seeing a doctor. Double idiot. Susan chastises Mark for his poor bedside manner and suggests that he get out of the ER.

Abby tells Mark that a medevac helicopter is bringing in a patient who nearly drowned. The storm kept them from going to a children’s hospital instead. Cleo finally makes it to the admit desk, where her ice cream cake has melted, thanks to the delay. Also, no one’s there for the party because they’re all working. It’s for the best, really, since the cake is mint chocolate, which Cleo hates. Susan advises her to stick around, even though her shift is over, since everyone wants to say goodbye to her.

Susan and Carter do their version of flirting, and we learn that they haven’t talked since they almost kissed. Weaver is waiting for a stabbing victim to be brought in, and she takes Gallant out to the ambulance bay with her to wait for the ambulance bringing in the patient. Gallant has known Weaver for all of ten seconds and already gets that this isn’t going to be a fun working relationship.

Mark and Abby go to the roof to meet the helicopter in the pouring rain. Abby distinctly remembers the weatherman saying that morning that the forecast was “partly cloudy, chance of rain.” Their patient is 12-year-old Daniel, who fell into the river with his younger brother, Joey. A rescue team is still looking for Joey.

Meanwhile, Weaver and Gallant wonder where their patient is. He gallantly (forgive me) offers to get her a jacket while they wait. She makes small talk, asking about his military experience. Since Gallant did a year of active duty, Weaver guesses he’s used to chaos. Gallant tells her that the ER is “a whole different kind of crazy.” (Also, this was 2001, so he probably didn’t see much action.)

Benton demands a meeting with his lawyer, who told him not to fight Roger’s custody suit. He tells Cleo that he’s not Reese’s biological father, and while he doesn’t care about that, he knows Roger is going to try to use that against him. Cleo wants to go with him to see the lawyer, party or no party. As they leave, Cleo tells Weaver she’ll call the staff later to say goodbye.

An ambulance finally arrives, but instead of Weaver and Gallant’s patient, it’s transporting a woman named Jill who was the victim of a hit-and-run. Weaver yells at Zadro for bringing in a patient without letting them know ahead of time, and for not keeping better tabs on the patient they thought was coming in. Poor Zadro – he’s just trying to save people’s lives.

Frank finally provides some answers: The other ambulance was in an accident, and it was bad enough that the people involved have to be cut out of their vehicles. Oh, and for some added drama, the stabbing victim is pregnant. Weaver decides it’s better to go to the scene and help the patient there instead of waiting for her to get to County. She enlists Gallant to go with her.

Mark and Abby treat Daniel, who has a chest wound that’s leading to breathing problems. He just wants to know if his brother is okay. Weaver and Gallant make it to the scene of the crash, which is chaotic enough even without the rain making everything more difficult. Firefighters have to cut through the ambulance door, where Doris is stuck with a leg injury that prevents her from helping the pregnant patient. A firefighter named Sandy Lopez tells Weaver to stay back, then cuts her hand while getting through the door. Great, another patient.

Once the door is off, Zadro gets Doris out of the ambulance, and Weaver starts asking the patient, Vicki, questions. Suddenly sparks fly out of a nearby utility pole. It comes down, and Sandy grabs Weaver to pull her out of the path of its power lines. One of the lines hits the ambulance, electrocuting a firefighter who’s holding the door. Ignoring Weaver’s warning not to touch the firefighter, Gallant runs across the street and tackles him to get him off the electrified door.

Weaver and Gallant tend to the firefighter, sending Sandy to check on Vicki. Weaver chastises Gallant for his actions, but he knew he would be okay as long as his feet didn’t touch the ground. Weaver reminds him that water conducts electricity, and it’s pouring, so his logic didn’t quite hold up. Sandy returns and tells Weaver that Vicki’s okay, but the wire on the ambulance is preventing anyone from getting in to actually take care of her. Since Vicki’s in labor, she needs help ASAP.

Once Weaver and Gallant have stabilized the firefighter, Weaver joins Sandy at the ambulance. Vicki didn’t feel a shock when the ambulance was electrified, so at least she doesn’t have a third medical issue on top of her pregnancy and stab wound. Weaver determines that the baby is probably in distress, so she decides she needs to get in the ambulance. Sandy refuses to let her, since she could become another victim the first responders have to take care of. But while Sandy’s talking to someone about turning off the power to the line on the ambulance, Weaver jumps in.

Back at County, Carter tends to Jill, who was just taking her dog for a walk when she was hit by a car. Unfortunately, the dog died. Next door, Daniel is doing okay but might need surgery. He’s sure that since Joey hasn’t been found, he must have drowned. Daniel feels horrible that he made Joey go to the river; Joey was scared, but Daniel called him a baby and forced him. He wishes he’d drowned instead.

Gallant sees the electrocuted firefighter off to the hospital, then joins Weaver to help Vicki. Another utility pole falls, creating more sparks. Gallant hopes the transformer will blow and the power will go out. Imagine hoping that the electricity goes out while you’re in the middle of a crisis. In the ambulance, Weaver realizes she can’t take care of Vicki on her own. She gets Gallant to jump in, then explains to Vicki that her placenta is detaching. They’ll need to deliver the baby surgically.

Sandy and Weaver yell at each other about the power while Weaver simultaneously comes up with a plan to help Vicki. She warns that she’s an ER doctor, so she’s only trained to deliver a baby after the mother has died. The only way to save both Vicki and the baby is to do a C-section, then deal with Vicki’s internal bleeding. Weaver asks if Vicki is willing to take that risk with her. I don’t think she has a choice. Gallant hasn’t done an OB rotation yet, so he’s never even observed a C-section. At least he knows how to take Vicki’s blood pressure. He asks Weaver the last time she did a C-section, like it’s not clear she’s never done one.

Benton’s lawyer, Ms. Prager, tells him and Cleo that Roger is allowed to contest Reese’s paternity. He’s already drafting a motion for visitation, so Benton needs to resume those visits now. If he doesn’t, he’ll look like the bad guy when they get in front of a judge. Benton can’t believe that he’ll be seen as the villain when Roger is trying to take his son away. Ms. Prager tells him he needs to make it look like he’s only concerned with Reese’s well-being.

Weaver tells Sandy that she and Gallant need more light, so Sandy tells a fellow firefighter to turn on the fire truck’s brights. Weaver calmly starts Vicki’s C-section and tells Gallant how to assist her. After sending Jill for some scans, Carter teases Susan for being so sympathetic about Jill’s dog when Jill could have serious injuries. That’s no reason not to care about the dog, Carter.

Frank can’t find his Palm Pilot (aw, remember Palm Pilots?), and he’s sure someone stole it. Alger brings in Millicent, telling Carter that he found her in the driveway in the rain. She may have broken her hip. She tells Carter that it started raining while she was out driving, so she went home, but she slipped in the driveway. She was in an accident and thinks she hit a dog. Carter and Susan quickly put things together. “It was supposed to be clear. It was supposed to be sunny,” Millicent says.

Sandy gives Weaver an update on the power situation (still not off) while Weaver continues the C-section. She accidentally cuts a uterine vein, which leads to bleeding, and since they’re out of blood, that’s…bad. She tells Sandy to call County and get them prepared to take care of Vicki and the baby. The electrocuted firefighter is now at County, as are Daniel’s parents, who aren’t happy with his actions, especially since Daniel’s blood tests came back positive for marijuana.

Vicki’s baby is now out, but it will still be ten minutes or so until the power’s off and they can safely move from the ambulance. Weaver tells Gallant that he needs to get the baby to the hospital right away. Vicki is now unconscious and bleeding out, so Weaver has to work hard to save her. Gallant decides he needs to jump out of the ambulance, holding the baby, and land in a place where he won’t be electrocuted. Sandy loudly objects, but Weaver tells Gallant to go, and he’s more scared of Weaver than Sandy, so he jumps. Seconds later, the transformer blows.

Mark’s bedside manner with Daniel is a lot better than with his heart patient earlier in the evening. Daniel tells him that his father is actually his stepfather; Joey is his and his wife’s “real” kid. Daniel’s mother, Mrs. Pendry, blasts him for taking his brother to the river and never using his head. Daniel tearfully says that he should have been the one who drowned. Mrs. Pendry agrees. Yikes, someone call Adele and get Daniel placed with a nicer family.

Mark pulls Mrs. Pendry out of the room and reminds her that even though her younger son is missing, her older son still needs her. Daniel already blames himself for what happened, and Mrs. Pendry isn’t going to help by feeding those feelings. Her husband, Chris, interrupts to announce that Joey’s been found.

Benton and Cleo are giving Reese a bath when Roger shows up. He tells Benton he just wants an arrangement that recognizes that Roger has been helping to take care of Reese for most of his life. Benton refuses – he’s not letting Roger take his son. Back at County, Nicole offers to buy coffee for anyone who wants it. Mark tells Luka about Weaver and Gallant’s adventures so he can take care of the baby when Gallant arrives.

Frank hears an alarm going off and recognizes it from his Palm Pilot. He realizes it’s in Nicole’s purse. Luka tries to stop him from digging into Nicole’s bag, but when the contents fall out, it’s clear that Nicole took the Palm Pilot. Luka gives Nicole a chance to explain herself, but instead, she runs off. You know, like any innocent person would. Luka starts to go after Nicole, but Abby makes him stay since Gallant has just brought in the baby.

Vicki’s finally out of the ambulance, but she’s declining fast. Sandy stays with Weaver to help however she can. Weaver tells her to find someone to take her place, since she has a hand injury, but Sandy says she needs to control the scene. She even stays behind while Weaver transports Vicki to County in another ambulance. Don’t worry, Weaver – you’ll see her again.

Mark and Abby head back to the roof, this time to get Joey. He’s in bad shape. Millicent regrets not listening to Carter when he told her she had to stop driving. Carter tells her that she may have done more than just kill a dog. Now Millicent feels even more horrible, and she’s upset with herself for leaving the scene of the accident. Jill is back in the ER, now declining, so Carter rushes to save her (and save his grandmother from a manslaughter charge).

Daniel peeks into the trauma room where Mark is trying to revive Joey. Chris yells at him to leave, and Mark tells Chris he has to go, too. Romano isn’t happy with Weaver’s heroics, since I guess it would have been better to just let her and the baby die. As soon as Vicki’s on her way to surgery, Weaver goes to check on the baby, who’s doing fine. Unlike Romano, Chuny and Gallant think Weaver did a great job.

As Carter and Susan successfully stabilize Jill, Mark has a harder time saving Joey. He tells Abby and the rest of their team that they’re not going to let him go. As Daniel watches from the next room, they get Joey’s heart started again. Mark gives Daniel a thumbs up through the window. Abby looks outside and sees that it’s finally stopped raining.

Carter studies Millicent’s scans as she undergoes them, but he has to pull her out of the machine when she starts panicking. She tells him to call her husband so he can take her home. Carter has to remind her that John I is dead. It takes Millicent a few moments to remember that she’s at the hospital, and that she was in a car accident. But she only remembers hitting the dog, not Jill.

Luka sends Nicole off in a cab, then tells Abby that she’s struggling. Abby’s on a high after watching Mark save Joey, but it comes crashing down when Luka tells her what’s going on with Nicole: She’s pregnant. The stealing was unrelated, since she doesn’t know how to trust people. Her father kicked her out when she was 16, so she’s been on her own since then. That sends up a red flag for Abby, who probably remembers Nicole telling her that her father committed suicide when she was little. Luka laments letting their relationship get this far. Abby asks if he’s sure the baby’s his, or if Nicole is even really pregnant. Luka denies that Nicole would lie to him.

Mark lets Daniel know that, despite being practically dead for a long time, Joey seems to be fine. He tells Daniel that parents don’t always know what they’re doing, and some adults are wrong a lot. Daniel needs to remember not to listen to his parents when they tell him he’s not as good or as smart or as special as his brother. It might take them a long time to realize that themselves, and when they do, Daniel needs to be able to say that he already knew.

Gallant tells Weaver that Romano had to perform a hysterectomy on Vicki, but she’s out of surgery and doing well. Romano also warned Gallant to stay away from Weaver if he wants to survive med school, but Gallant can already tell that Romano is the person he needs to avoid. He praises Weaver for her work, saying she didn’t let on that she’d never done an emergency C-section before.

Weaver tells Gallant he should take the baby up to Vicki. She’s really proud of work – he did exactly what an ER doctor should do. Gallant admits that he was scared, and Weaver confides that she was, too. He tells her the electrocuted firefighter will also be okay, which means they saved everyone. Their presence at the scene really made a difference. Weaver tells him that some days at County are good days, so he should enjoy them when they come. As she heads home, the rain starts back up.

Thoughts: Jill is played by Amy Jo Johnson, AKA Julie on Felicity.

I’ve always felt like this episode was just another disaster story for the series, but for some reason, this time around I saw more in it. It’s almost like a redemption episode for Weaver after she’s alienated herself from her co-workers. It shows a different side of her leadership – she doesn’t just yell and give orders. She makes quick decisions and does what she thinks is best for her patients, even if it means taking risks. But then she doesn’t let them go to her head. She just did what she thought needed to be done and moved on.

I love Sandy. She takes zero crap from Weaver and won’t let her bully her way into being in charge. I don’t think Weaver ever thought someone like that existed.

Daniel’s plot is huge foreshadowing for Mark and Elizabeth’s family later in the season. Interesting that Mark has more sympathy for Daniel here than…well, you’ll see.

I like that Chuny tells Weaver, “Nice save” about the baby. Chuny isn’t a Weaver fan (no one is at this point), so it’s really nice of her to speak up.

March 23, 2021

ER 8.7, If I Should Fall from Grace: Plenty of Goofuses, Just One Gallant

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 5:03 pm by Jenn

Never fear, Gallant is here!

Summary: Med student Michael Gallant is reporting to County for his first day of work, and we are all the better for it. He finds a child’s glove on the floor and tries to turn it in to a lost and found box, but the ER doesn’t have one, since, as Haleh explains, someone stole it. Gallant is supposed to meet Carter at 8:00 a.m., but he’s so excited for his first day that he’s early. (We’ll also find out later that he’s in the military, where, if you’re not early, you’re late.)

Susan speaks to a patient named Fred who says he hasn’t been feeling like himself lately. It all started when a woman bit him on the neck. Susan tells him it’s a hickey. Gallant meets Mark while Elizabeth yells at Luka about a patient she thinks will need surgery. Luka notes that she doesn’t usually come to the ER until a patient’s labs are back, so she doesn’t need to be bugging him right now. Elizabeth tells Mark that she thinks Luka is just pretending he doesn’t need a surgical consult because he doesn’t want Elizabeth to do it, thanks to all of her recent patient losses.

Frank is annoyed that there aren’t any donuts in the lounge. Abby tells him they’re out of petty cash, though he knows they had $50 yesterday. Susan mentions having a patient who thinks he’s a vampire, and Abby calls him Count Fred, then asks if he’s alone in his exam room. She tells Susan that Fred is a vampire, in that he drinks people’s blood. Indeed, the two of them and Gallant find Fred drinking from a blood bag. Welcome to the show, Gallant!

Carter isn’t in any rush to get to County to meet his new student, since he takes the time to intervene in an argument between Millicent and her driver, Alger. She thinks he’s lying about a car not working so she won’t try to drive. Carter points out that she has a driver, so she doesn’t need to drive. Millicent doesn’t want a chaperone. As she gets up to ask him a question, she suddenly passes out.

Without Carter to guide him, Gallant is bugging Abby about sneaking him a couple of cases so he can get started at his job. Nicole has moved on from transporting supplies to learning to become a nurse’s aide, which amuses Abby. Luka calls both of them over to help him with a patient named Jeremy who was in a skateboarding accident. Gallant comes in to watch as Luka makes Abby teach Nicole stuff. Nicole doesn’t know how to do anything (fair, since she’s just starting her training), but Gallant is able to make a correct diagnosis.

Carter brings Millicent in, which gives Susan a chance to make a better second impression than her first one (not like that’s hard). Millicent insists she’s fine, but she briefly passes out again. Susan tries to reassure Carter that it could be nothing serious. Gallant is so eager to do something helpful that he asks Cleo if he can intubate Jeremy. Yeah, no, definitely not. Benton joins them and sends Gallant away, annoyed that Gallant is asking so many questions. You’d think Benton would be thrilled to have someone like Gallant there, since he’s basically the opposite of William White.

Nicole praises Luka for saving Jeremy’s life, then goes back to…whatever she was doing. Abby confronts Luka for letting Nicole be in the trauma room and do things she’s not qualified to do. Luka thinks Abby’s just mad because he likes Nicole. That may be part of it, but Abby also doesn’t want Luka to break the rules for his new girlfriend. By making Abby teach Nicole, he prevented Abby from helping him save Jeremy.

As Benton is heading to the OR to operate on Jeremy, a process server gives him a subpoena: Roger is suing for custody of Reese. A mall security guard named Hilliker asks Luka how Jeremy is; he’s the person who called 911 after Jeremy’s accident. Gallant notices that Hilliker is limping, and Hilliker explains that he twisted his ankle chasing Jeremy and his friends through the mall, trying to get them to leave.

Abby tries to treat a nun who insists on letting Carter change her bandage. Looks like she and her fellow sister have crushes on him. “What is it with you and nuns, Carter?” Haleh asks. I’m going to need more details on that. Carter’s too busy worrying about Millicent, so Abby says she’ll take care of the nun. She also has to clean up a patient who puked, so she decides this is the perfect time to teach Nicole the ways of nursing.

Elizabeth was supposed to operate on a patient, but the case was given to Dale. (Ugh, that guy. Fortunately, we don’t have to actually see him.) Romano tells her she’s not back on service today – they have to wait for the CDC to wrap up their investigation. The good news is that, while there was a criminal investigation, there was no evidence that Elizabeth deliberately killed anyone. Romano doesn’t think the deaths have anything to do with Elizabeth, but he has to follow the CDC’s rules. He thinks Elizabeth should enjoy her downtime by spending time with Ella and catching up on dictation.

Instead, Elizabeth confronts Kit while she’s drawing blood from a patient in the ICU. She thinks Kit was actually injecting something into the patient’s IV. Kit explains that the IV was clogged, so she injected something to improve the flow. Elizabeth doesn’t believe her until she finds the vial Kit used. Poor Kit. So underappreciated.

Hilliker chats with Luka about the years he spent as a police officer before becoming a security guard. Luka then goes to talk to Jeremy’s mother, Mrs. Norris, while Jeremy’s in surgery. When Hilliker follows, Jeremy’s friend Russ calls him out for chasing them at the mall. He accuses Hilliker of throwing a stick at them, which caused Jeremy’s wipeout. Hilliker says he just asked the kids to leave.

Mrs. Norris believes Russ, and there’s some yelling until Luka sends Hilliker back to his exam room. Gallant comes running back a moment later to report that Hilliker seems to be having a heart attack. While Luka treats him, Hilliker tells him that the kids were taunting him. Jeremy stole his hat and threw it in a fountain. Oh, well, in that case, Hilliker was totally justified in throwing something at him and putting him in the hospital.

Elizabeth starts reviewing charts and questioning doctors she’s worked with on her now-dead patients. One of them tells her that Babcock, the anesthesiologist, is really the person she needs to talk to. Benton and Romano wrap up Jeremy’s operation, and Romano notes that Benton seems to be in a bad mood. Benton doesn’t open up to him, of course. He goes to tell Mrs. Norris that Jeremy came through surgery, but it’s not clear if he’ll ever wake up.

Gallant takes his eagerness to Mark, who’s normally happy to have a new shadow but finds Gallant a little too intense. He asks Susan to save him. Susan says that at least Gallant seems nice. Mark says they all start out that way; then they turn into residents like Carter. Susan comments that she wishes they were all like him. Mark thinks she means that in a way other than professionally.

Carter tells Susan that it looks like Millicent has something called Shy-Drager, which as far as I can tell from some brief Internet research is a degenerative neurological disorder that eventually makes your whole body shut down. Yikes. He finally meets Gallant, but he’s not really in the mood to be a teacher right now. Abby takes pity on Gallant (and probably Carter, a little) by offering to find him a case to work on.

Elizabeth goes back to the ICU, this time to apologize to Kit and ask her about some patients. Once again, Babcock’s name comes up. Kit tells Elizabeth that sometimes Babcock will insist on removing a patient’s central line instead of letting a nurse do it. That sets off alarm bells in Elizabeth’s head.

Back in the ER, Gallant questions a patient who took some of her husband’s old penicillin. He demonstrates both medical knowledge and good bedside manner. As he’s leaving, another patient, Grace, suggests an underlying condition the patient might have. She’s a second-year med student, but not at County, so Gallant doesn’t appreciate her input. Grace tells Carter that Gallant is bad at taking patient histories, so they should test the patient for something he missed. Carter agrees.

He starts examining Grace, who thinks she’s coming down with the flu and wants some medication to keep her going. Carter learns that she’s in both med school and law school at the same time. Gallant meets Nicole, who tells Luka that Abby showed her how to bathe a homeless man. Luka seems to guess that Abby is punishing Nicole, so he tells her to shadow Malik or Haleh instead. Trust me, Luka, they’ll do the same thing.

Hilliker only had an anxiety attack, not a heart attack, and Luka lets Gallant give him the good news. Nicole follows him to Hilliker’s exam room, where they find him hanging from the ceiling. Gallant sends Nicole to get help, then uses a scalpel to cut through the belt Hilliker hanged himself with.

Carter tells Millicent that she has Shy-Drager, which affects her blood pressure and could lead to a heart attack or stroke. Most people who have it die within ten years. Millicent says she’s not sure she wants to live that long anyway, so she’s not bothered. She just wants to go home.

Abby finds Nicole crying in the ambulance bay and makes herself extend some kindness. She reports that Hilliker will be okay, thanks to Gallant, and Nicole shouldn’t let it bother her too much. Apparently people try to commit suicide in the ER all the time. How lovely. Nicole tells her that her father hanged himself, and she was the one who found his body. Abby asks if Luka knows about this. Nicole has never told him. She admits that she’s not sure she can handle this job. Abby tells her it’s not always this bad, and it’s okay for her to cry.

Elizabeth tells Mark that she’s found one commonality in all her cases: Babcock. She’s upset that he didn’t step forward when he found out Elizabeth was being investigated. Uh, how did the investigators not notice that he was involved in so many of her cases? Frank gives Mark a message from Rachel’s school: She was suspended. Yep, sounds about right.

Luka checks on Hilliker, who’s told Gallant everything. Gallant relays that Hilliker doesn’t want them to call the police, since he still has friends on the force. Also, Hilliker lost his wife last year. Again, not an excuse for what he did. Gallant tells Luka that Hilliker took the job as a security guard so he could help people. Dude, it doesn’t matter! He made a kid wipe out on his skateboard, and now the kid might be in a coma forever!

Carter tells Grace she’s rundown and should probably pick which career path she wants to take instead of trying them both. She tells him her parents will only pay for her to go to med school if she also graduates law school. Carter wonders why she doesn’t have health insurance, since her parents are both lawyers. Grace says she has a complicated relationship with them. Hmm, sounds familiar. Carter tells her to eat better, reduce her stress, and make sure she’s sleeping well. That’s pretty much impossible for Grace, so she asks for some halcyon. Carter doesn’t think that’s a good idea, but Grace talks him into it.

He then updates Susan on Millicent, who went home with Alger. Susan notes that they need to call the DMV so Millicent’s license will be revoked. Carter hasn’t gotten that far – he didn’t want to make Millicent’s life worse by telling her she can’t drive anymore. Plus, he doesn’t feel like he can call the DMV to rat out his own grandmother. Susan offers to do it for him. Abby calls Carter back to Grace, who passed out. Susan comes along to help and notices cuts on Grace’s arm.

Elizabeth tries to talk to Romano as he scrubs in for surgery, but Babcock is in the room, so it’ll have to wait. Benton meets Jackie at Doc Magoo’s to get some advice on what to do about the subpoena. Her friends from the courthouse said he shouldn’t fight it, in case it makes him look like has something to hide. He should get a DNA test and prove that Reese is his biological son. Benton worries that he’ll prove the opposite instead.

Elizabeth looks through Babcock’s lab (I guess he’s doing some side experiments) but doesn’t find anything incriminating. Babcock catches her, but she covers by saying she just had some questions about some cases. Then she pretends she got paged so she can leave. Babcock asks her to return the keys she took to open some things she shouldn’t have been looking through.

Carter and Susan question Grace, who says she self-harmed and had an eating disorder as a kid because of a difficult home situation. Carter doesn’t believe her and asks to look at her other arm. He thinks she has an infection from recent cutting. Susan questions how well she has her eating disorder under control. Grace doesn’t want to listen to any more accusations, so she starts to leave. Carter wants to keep her on a psych hold, since she could be a danger to herself.

Gallant arrives as Grace gets agitated, insisting that the doctors are making too big a deal out of this. Carter just wants to help because he knows what it’s like to refuse it when you need it most. Grace sneers at Gallant for watching this unfold, since he wasn’t smart enough to make the diagnosis she did. Susan calls for a sedative, which just makes Grace more upset. Yeah, she’s totally stable. She begs the doctors to let her go, saying they’ll ruin everything. Instead, Carter lets Gallant sedate her.

Mark picks Rachel up from school, where she’s in trouble for threatening a girl she thinks is trying to steal Andrew from her. She says it’s not a big deal, though she’s been suspended with a threat of expulsion if there’s another offense. Mark tells her she can’t ride to school with Andrew anymore and she’s grounded for a month. Also, she has to do chores. She didn’t have to do chores already?? Come on.

Rachel complains that her father’s being too hard on her, when really, he’s basically doing the bare minimum of parenting. He tells her he sees all sorts of teenage girls at the hospital who wind up in horrible situations because no one cares about them. She’s just cursed with a father who actually cares.

Cleo finds Benton in the daycare room, playing with Reese. He tells her that Jackie suggested he take a DNA test. Cleo knows Carla claimed Reese isn’t Benton’s, and she tells him that, whatever biology says, Benton is Reese’s father. She invites them to have dinner at her house that night. Reese gets annoyed that they can’t go home, since Benton still has work to do. Reese asks for his other daddy instead.

Carter has apparently given Millicent the news that she’s not allowed to drive anymore, but she ignored him and has been driving around for a couple of hours just to stick it to him. Susan got Carter to call the DMV, but now he might have to report his own grandmother to the police. Susan offers to go to Millicent’s and wait with Carter to make sure she gets home safely.

Babcock has told Romano about Elizabeth’s snooping, so the three of them are now in Romano’s office to sort everything out. Elizabeth tries to play innocent, then decides to just put everything out there. Babcock is next to play innocent, telling Romano that Elizabeth’s dead patients shouldn’t have been considered eligible for surgery anyway.

Elizabeth points out that they all died from the same post-op infection. Babcock’s like, “If they hadn’t had surgery, there would be no post-op, and they wouldn’t have died.” Romano decides that until the health department wraps up their investigation, Elizabeth and Babcock will both be kept out of the OR. Both of them refuse to work with each other ever again. Romano kicks them both out of his office, hilariously sending them off with, “God is love.”

Gallant’s shift is over, but he decides to stick around and study. He goes to see Grace, offering her a book so she can study for an upcoming exam. She apologizes for taking out her problems on him. Since they’re both struggling with the same topic, they start studying together. Elsewhere, Benton gets swabbed for a DNA test.

While waiting for Millicent at her mansion, Carter tells Susan about his fentanyl addiction. He’s been sober for more than a year now. She asks to see the scar from his stabbing, which is such a bizarre way to respond to someone’s trauma. Carter recognizes that there’s some “adolescent sexual tension” between them and admits that he used to have a crush on her. She says she liked him, too, but he was a med student and he was a resident. Carter notes that he’s a resident now. He’s glad Susan came back to Chicago. Thank you, Millicent, for arriving just then, before anything can happen.

Thoughts: Grace is played by Bellamy Young. Russ is played by Dan Byrd.

My love of Gallant blinded me to the fact that his early eagerness could be kind of annoying. But Lucy was eager, too, and at least Gallant comes in with more skills than she did.

If you were hoping for a satisfying conclusion to Elizabeth’s plotline…sorry. We don’t get one.

Is it even possible to do med school and law school at the same time without only sleeping half an hour at night?

Carter and Susan never made sense to me as a couple, and I don’t know why they didn’t put him with Abby right away, since it was always obvious that things were heading in that direction.

March 9, 2021

ER 8.5, Start All Over Again: Everyone’s Having a Horrible Day (Well, Maybe Not Rachel)

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 4:58 pm by Jenn

Things between these two are about to get really weird

Summary: Susan is reporting for her first shift back at County since moving back to Chicago. Weaver is coolly professional with her, but Malik and Haleh are happy to work with her again. Cleo hands over some patients from her night shift and watches closely as Benton and Susan catch up. Classic Cleo. She’s on her way out of County, though – she’s taken a job running a pediatric urgent care 40 minutes away.

The morning is a little chaotic at Mark and Elizabeth’s house, and Rachel’s presence doesn’t help. She rushes off to school with a boy named Andrew, who Mark knows nothing about. Susan jumps right back into things at County, trying to treat a guy named Mr. Ashman who accuses her of being a pervert just because she wants him to change into a gown. Mark’s a little amused.

Carter brings a couple of med students through the ER, “babysitting” them as part of his new position as chief resident. Susan tries to get Abby’s attention by calling her Nurse, since she doesn’t know Abby’s name. Carter introduces them, and Susan asks Abby to do some nurse-like things for her. Paramedics bring in a man named Howard who passed out unexpectedly. Carter takes the lead, even though Susan outranks him.

One of the med students, Mooney, tends to a patient with chest pain, giving him three sprays of nitroglycerin. He’s not supposed to get that much at once, and his heart protests the medicine. Luckily, Abby’s there to fix things. Susan tells Carter that the last time she saw him, he could barely start an IV, and now here he is, running traumas. Abby lets him know that Mooney gave the three nitro sprays all at once instead of over the course of five minutes. She cleaned up the mess, but Carter needs to keep a better eye on his students. You’d think he would have learned that lesson with Lucy.

Mark and Chuny rush a gurney out to a car in the ambulance bay, where a man named Alan is unconscious. Chuny finds bruising on the man’s body. Susan goes over the now-comatose Howard’s lab work with his brother while a maintenance worker does something loud to a light in the ceiling above them. This…couldn’t wait? Howard’s lab work doesn’t show what’s wrong with him, so Susan asks his brother if Howard has ever seen a psychiatrist. They narrowly miss being hit by something falling from the ceiling. Susan tells Howard’s brother that Howard seems to be faking his coma. She also promises to move him to a quieter room.

Benton and Weaver join Mark to take care of Alan, who apparently was hit by a car. His daughter, Tracy, says she didn’t see exactly what happened. Alan regains consciousness and murmurs something about her not seeing him. Tracy cries and apologizes, then runs out of the trauma room. It doesn’t take a detective to figure out that Tracy must have accidentally hit her father with her car.

Elizabeth chats with a patient named Mrs. Wilson and her daughter April while determining that Mrs. Wilson needs surgery. April asks if the operation can wait a few days, since her mother’s so weak right now. Elizabeth says that’s not a good idea. Mrs. Wilson asks if Elizabeth would recommend the operation for her own mother. That’s probably not a good question, considering Elizabeth’s tense relationship with her mother, but we won’t tell Mrs. Wilson that.

Susan grabs Elizabeth to talk about Mr. Ashman, since he’s insisting on speaking to her. Elizabeth thinks he’s a drug-seeking hypochondriac, and she doesn’t want to deal with him until Susan’s examined him. Susan is sure that Mr. Ashman will complain of post-op pain so he can go up the chain and talk to Elizabeth. She then asks Abby to do some more nurse-like things, which Abby doesn’t seem interested in, even though it’s, you know, her job.

Good news: Howard is awake. Bad news: His brother is beating him with the metal pole of an IV stand. Worse news: His brother isn’t his brother. He’s an enforcer for a loan shark. Weaver tells Tracy that Alan may need surgery for a pelvic injury. It had to have been sustained when the car hit him and crushed him against something. Tracy admits that she thought she was in reverse but instead drove forward and pressed him into a wall.

Abby asks Carter if Susan has always been so high-maintenance. Carter denies that she is. He totally has a crush on Susan, by the way. Elizabeth finally comes to the ER check on Mr. Ashman, but before she can start, she gets called to the ICU. Susan’s next patient is Amal, a teen with abdominal pain. She insists that she has to be home in two hours, no matter what.

Mark sends Alan to surgery with Benton, then talks to a cop who wants to find out if Tracy had been drinking before she hit her father. She hasn’t been arrested yet, so Mark is hesitant. He thinks she deserves a break since her father’s in bad condition. The cop is like, “Yeah, she put him in that condition.” Mark won’t draw Tracy’s blood, so the cop says he’ll find someone else to do it. Weaver compromises, saying they’ll draw Tracy’s blood once Alan is out of surgery.

Amal is pregnant, and though she wants to have an abortion, Susan thinks she should take some time and consider her options. Amal says that she has to be a virgin on her wedding day. If her parents find out she’s had sex, they’ll send her to their home country. Susan discovers that Amal has an ectopic pregnancy, which means she’ll need surgery immediately. Amal thinks her mandatory family dinner is more important, so she’ll risk a ruptured fallopian tube and possibly bleeding to death. Susan gets her to agree to stay while Susan handles another situation.

Luka meets Susan when they team up to tend to a woman named Mrs. Gadasco who’s having seizures. Susan is unfamiliar with the anti-seizure medications County stocks, so Luka tells her they have to come up with a plan B for what Susan wanted to do. Elizabeth is unable to revive the ICU patient she was summoned to help, and Romano notes that this is her third post-op death in a week. Not that he’s keeping track.

Back in the ER, Susan speaks to Mr. Gadasco about medications his wife might be taking. The couple only speaks Spanish, but Susan knows enough to communicate with Mr. G. She realizes that Mrs. G. accidentally overdosed on her medication because the label is in English. She was supposed to take a pill once a day, but “once” in Spanish is 11, so she took 11 times the prescribed amount.

Carter’s other med student, Stanley, grabs him and Abby to help with the patient Mooney almost killed. Carter lets Stanley shock the man, but Stanley forgets to say “clear” to make sure no one’s touching the patient during the shock. The patient’s arm shoots out and smacks Carter in a very painful, unfortunate part of his anatomy. Man down! Man down! The good news is that the patient’s okay.

Mrs. G. is still seizing, but Susan and Luka have used up all the medicine they have available to stop the seizures. Susan tells Yosh to call around to other hospitals to try to get more. Benton and Romano are scrubbing in for Alan’s surgery when Roger calls to talk to Benton. Alan starts crashing, so Benton has to keep Roger on hold. In the ER, Susan and Luka realize that they won’t be able to save Mrs. G. Susan volunteers to give her husband the news. Luka compliments Susan on figuring out what was wrong, not that it did any good.

Carter’s still in some pain, but he’s doing better than his patient who keeps throwing up. Stanley, who studied alternative medicine in Hong Kong, offers to try a muscle energy technique on Carter, but Carter would like to keep his distance from Stanley. Roger shows up in the OR while Benton’s operating, frantic because he doesn’t know where Reese is. Roger was supposed to pick him up from school; when he wasn’t there, Roger thought Benton must have gotten him. Did he…not ask the teacher who picked Reese up? Benton tells him to call Carla’s mother.

Mr. Ashman is feeling better, thanks to some water he drank. It was water provided by the woman who keeps throwing up, so that probably won’t last. Susan is upset to learn that Amal left and no on mentioned her departure to Susan. Abby points out that she didn’t say anything about Amal needing to stay. As Susan is trying to track her down, Millicent reluctantly comes to the ER. Her driver reports that she fainted. Susan doesn’t know who Millicent is and tries to send her to the waiting area. She’s embarrassed when she realizes she just blew off Carter’s grandmother.

As Elizabeth finishes Mrs. Wilson’s surgery and sends her to post-op observation, a woman named Carmen comes to speak to her from the hospital’s infection-control department. Elizabeth’s third patient death of the week has triggered an investigation, and Elizabeth needs to have cultures taken to see if she’s carrying an infection that she’s passing to her patients. Elizabeth says she doesn’t have time, since she has another patient to tend to. Carmen warns that Elizabeth’s surgical privileges could be revoked if she doesn’t cooperate. Plus, Romano and Anspaugh have approved the investigation.

Susan doesn’t know how to convince Amal to come back to the hospital, so Mark tells her to lie to Amal’s parents and say she needs surgery for an ovarian cyst. Susan hopes that Amal will just come back on her own. Weaver tries to show some sympathy toward Susan after Mrs. G.’s death, but her robotic nature makes it difficult. Frank interrupts the conversation to report that Tracy’s blood work is back, and she was just over the legal limit when she hit Alan with her car. Weaver asks Susan to do some of the nurse-like jobs on her own, since they’re short-staffed.

Mark asks Susan to cover the last hour of his shift; Elizabeth is stuck in surgery and someone needs to relieve the nanny. Roger returns to the OR, having been unable to figure out where Reese is. Benton tells him to call the police. He wants to leave the OR to look for his son, but Alan is unstable and Romano thinks he’ll die if Benton doesn’t keep his hands exactly where they are.

Millicent insists she’s fine and she just got dizzy because she didn’t eat lunch. Carter thinks she might be depressed in the wake of her husband’s death. Millicent says she just misses him; she doesn’t need therapy or anything like that. She has a lot of things to do. Carter wants to keep her overnight so they can monitor her heart, but Millicent doesn’t want to put off her responsibilities.

Susan calls Amal’s house, pretending to be a school friend with a homework question. Her parents won’t let her come to the phone while they’re having dinner. Yosh reminds her that she still hasn’t told Mr. G. about his wife’s death. In a scene totally in Spanish, with no subtitles, Susan tells Mr. G. that his wife had a heart attack, and they tried for two hours to save her, but she died. Mr. G. is furious about the label miscommunication; his wife thought she was following her doctor’s directions. All Susan can say is that she’s sorry.

Elizabeth gets a bunch of body parts swabbed, sarcastically asking if Carmen wants a sample of her breast milk, too. Actually, Carmen does. As soon as Benton’s done with Alan, he brushes off Tracy and takes over the search for Reese. Weaver realizes that Amal left the hospital without Susan’s knowledge, and that Susan hasn’t been able to get her to return. Susan says she’s trying to protect Amal from her parents, so she can’t do much. She asks Weaver to trust her judgment. Yeah, not going to happen.

Benton makes some calls, trying to find anyone who might have gotten Reese from school. Roger complains that he has too many people on his list of approved caregivers. Better too many than too few, right? Anyway, Reese is fine, and it turns out he’s been with Jackie. Apparently Reese bit a girl at school (Reese, no!), and when the school couldn’t reach Benton, they called Jackie. She left Benton a message he didn’t get. So why didn’t someone tell Roger that Jackie had already gotten Reese when Roger went to the school?

Jackie’s surprised that it was Roger’s day to pick up Reese. They’ve been hanging out two days a week. Jackie says that Reese’s teacher wants to know if he’s having problems at home. Uh, yeah, his mom just died. Roger thinks Jackie is making a dig at him for not providing more stability. Reese wasn’t getting in fights when he lived with Carla and Roger. Benton suggests that Reese just stay with him for a little while.

Millicent has decided she’s given County enough of her time, so she’s leaving. Carter begs her to stay so they can make sure she’s not at risk for a heart attack or stroke. She refuses, so Carter asks her driver to check in on her later in the evening. Susan feels bad about not being nicer to Millicent, but Carter promises it’s okay. He complains that his grandmother never takes him seriously. Susan still hasn’t talked to Amal, and is going to give her a little longer to come back on her own. She’s starting to regret coming back to County.

The two of them work together to deliver a baby. The mother’s bed suddenly starts rising, so Abby thinks Susan accidentally stepped on a pedal that raises the frame. Instead, the mother’s amniotic fluid has leaked onto the switch and shorted out the electronics. The bed continues going up until it’s too high for the doctors to reach, so Susan grabs a ladder from the maintenance guy who was working on the lights in the trauma room. She and Abby joke that Carter used to be in the circus, so he’s very qualified to deliver a baby high up. Other than that, everything goes fine with the delivery.

Alan didn’t survive surgery, and Tracy is distraught at the thought that she accidentally killed her father. The cop adds insult to injury by trying to arrest her. Weaver asks him to let Tracy see her father’s body first, I guess so she can take that memory with her to jail. Rachel hasn’t called for a ride home from the party she went to after school, and Mark is starting to get that parenting a teenager takes work. When she gets home, she complains that her father wants to know things like where she is and who she’s with. She says it would be easier to keep in touch if she had a cell phone.

Amal finally comes back to County, having had to wait until her parents weren’t paying attention so she could sneak out of the house. Susan has to get Amal’s chart from Weaver, who’s on the phone in the lounge. Susan thinks Weaver is calling Amal’s house, so she hangs up the phone. Weaver was actually making a personal call in an attempt to find her birth mother. The lead she got from her PI is wrong yet again. Freaking A, Weaver, stop listening to that guy. He sucks.

Thoughts: Vondie Curtis-Hall (Roger) directed this episode.

They’re setting up Abby and Susan to be rivals, so I’m happy that that’s not what ends up happening. Other than Weaver’s relationships with her co-workers, the show is very good at establishing female friendships instead of perpetrating the stereotype that women are always competitive with each other.

I’ve always liked that Susan’s scene with Mr. G. is all in Spanish with no subtitles. The actors make the situation clear even if you don’t understand them. (Credit my high school Spanish classes for my ability to translate.)

February 23, 2021

ER 8.3, Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magic: Bleeding Hearts

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 5:01 pm by Jenn

The new and definitely-not-improved Rachel

Summary: Benton is leaving Reese with Jackie for the day, and Jackie looks a little shaky about taking care of a child, but Benton doesn’t have any other choices, now that Carla is dead. Carter’s over at his grandmother’s house, listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers (so we can get the episode title from one of their songs) before work. Millicent wants him to see a doctor about the back injury he suffered when he fell while running over to Doc Magoo’s. He says it’s an exacerbation of his stabbing injury.

Abby’s moving her things out of Luka’s apartment post-breakup. She grabs her jacket from the coat rack, which she accidentally knocks over, right into the new aquarium. She cracks the glass and water starts leaking out. As Mark and Elizabeth arrive at County, still struggling with sleep deprivation, Abby calls around to try to get a replacement aquarium. They’re pricey and she doesn’t know if she needs one for saltwater or freshwater fish. She spots Luka entering the ER and quickly hangs up.

The ER is full of patients, so Mark does some quick rounds to determine who can be discharged quickly. One of the patients is a kid with his hand stuck in a piggy bank, and Mark asks who’s sick, the kid or the pig. The kid doesn’t appreciate it but I think it’s funny. Weaver disapproves of Mark fast-tracking procedures and skipping all the details on people’s charts. Chen asks her a question about a patient, but instead of answering, Weaver takes the patient from her. This frees up Chen to take care of an abandoned newborn brought in by a paramedic named Niki.

Benton tells Cleo that Reese keeps asking to sleep with him; Reese says he’s having nightmares but won’t go into detail. Cleo feels bad for Reese, who must be confused about his mother not being around. Benton can’t believe that his son will grow up without a mother, and there’s nothing Benton can do about it. Dave tells Cleo he treated one of her patients, which makes her mad. She says she was waiting for a surgical consult, but Dave chastises her for chatting with her boyfriend instead of working. And when Dave thinks you’re slacking, you’re really in trouble.

Abby hides in an exam room while trying to avoid Luka, but instead encounters Carter. He stepped on some broken glass at Millicent’s house and is trying to remove a piece of it from his foot by himself. Abby tells him that she and Luka broke up, and Carter manages not to cheer out loud. When Carter leaves the room and Luka asks if he’s seen Abby, Carter sends him in the opposite direction to give Abby more time to hide out.

Carter joins Chen to treat the newborn, who was left at a church just moments after birth. They both have trouble inserting an IV to give the baby fluids, so Carter suggests inserting a line in her umbilical cord. He hasn’t done this since he was an intern, so Chen is hesitant and wants to get a more senior doctor. Carter insists he can do it.

Dave starts to ask Mark a question, but he gets distracted when he sees Niki down the hall. He follows her into an elevator, because Dave will follow a pretty woman anywhere if it means he can get some. She’s heard about him (more specifically, she’s been warned about him) and isn’t happy to be followed. She’s even less happy when the now-full elevator stops.

As Luka and Abby are finally forced to work on a patient together, Mark spots a familiar face in the ER: Rachel (now recast and slightly older). She took a train from St. Louis by herself, since Jen kicked her out. Chen and Carter keep working on the baby, noting that whoever delivered her tied off the umbilical cord with a shoelace. Chen thinks it’s time to ask Weaver for help, but Carter calmly inserts a line in the umbilical cord and is able to give the baby fluids.

The people in the stuck elevator are impatient to get out, but Dave stays calm, probably because he’s exactly where he wants to be. A patient named Eldon feels sick, but Dave tells everyone that if they all chill, everything will be fine. Eldon ignores him and vomits blood. Wow, Eldon, you found one of the few ways you could make this experience even worse. Good job.

The last time we saw Rachel, she was sweetly accepting her grandmother’s pearl necklace from Mark. Now she’s listening to loud music, talking about being a vegetarian, and complaining about her mother. She doesn’t go into detail about why Jen kicked her out, just saying Jen is crazy. Mark insists that they call Jen to let her know where Rachel is, though Rachel doesn’t think she’ll care. Elizabeth stops by the ER and is surprised to see Rachel. Mark just says she and Jen are having mother/daughter issues, which Elizabeth knows all about.

Eldon isn’t breathing, so Dave and Niki work together to revive him. Dave also keeps his eyes on the other passengers, making sure one of them keeps another from falling when she starts to pass out. Luka and Abby are also working together, keeping things professional but chilly. He tells her he’s sorry if he hurt her, and she says he didn’t. He just wants her to be happy, which she never seemed to be with him. Really? To me, she seemed happier with him than she ever did anywhere else. Also, I guess Luka’s allowed to brood but no one else is.

Dave and Niki continue working on Eldon, enlisting other passengers as nurses. Everyone’s pleased when Dave successfully performs a tricky procedure. Romano comes to the ER to bicker with Weaver over how Dave, Chen, and Carter treated Paul, the patient they failed to diagnose with Marfan’s. Weaver says it’s tricky to recognize, so it’s not the doctors’ fault that they screwed up. Romano reminds her that that’s why they have attendings. Weaver pretends she was just busy somewhere else, not across the street on personal business. Romano urges her to find a scapegoat if necessary.

The stuck elevator finally gets unstuck and all the passengers flee, other than Eldon. In other good news, Carter and Chen have stabilized the newborn. The woman who found the baby at the church comes by to see how she’s doing. She asks Carter to let her sister see the birthmark on the baby’s chest. She thinks it’s a sign of the Virgin Mary (it looks a little like a bleeding heart) and that it helped her arthritis. Chen thanks Carter for his help, and he says he’s available whenever she needs.

Abby didn’t have time to get the glass out of Carter’s foot before Chen needed his help, so she sits him down to keep working at it. She tells him about her mishap at Luka’s apartment, which she hasn’t mentioned to him. Carter advises her to replace the aquarium so Luka doesn’t think she broke it on purpose. Abby says she’s working on it but needs help getting a new tank into the apartment. Carter guesses that she means she needs his help, and he’s not on board. Abby reminds him that she removed glass from his foot, so like the animals in the fable about the thorn in the paw, he owes her.

Chen learns that Carter discharged the patient Weaver took from her, so she thinks Weaver didn’t trust her to treat the patient correctly. Carter reminds Chen that Weaver made her chief resident, so she must have some faith in Chen’s abilities. Chen thinks she only got the position by default.

Mark brings Elizabeth in to consult on a patient named Mrs. Tanzi who may have appendicitis. She has dementia and her health has deteriorated to the point where she can’t take care of herself or recognize her husband. He thinks she’s ready to die, so he wants to turn down the surgery Elizabeth says she needs. Mark is willing to agree, but Elizabeth isn’t.

Rachel interrupts while they’re discussing the patient, crying because Jen flipped out about her running away and threatened to send her to summer school. She thinks Jen hates her. Weaver goes looking for Dave, who’s needed to help with a trauma, and finds him with Niki in the back of her ambulance. They’re on a break, and they’re not fully clothed. Weaver tells Dave he’s fired. He tries to talk his way back into his job, but Weaver sticks to her decision. She erases his name from the patient board, and after she leaves, he writes it back in.

Mark calls Jen, who’s on her way to Chicago to retrieve her devil’s spawn. Mark spots one of his patients trying to leave before having his shoulder injury x-rayed. The patient says he saw the baby, so he’s going back to his rugby game. Mark’s understandably confused. Dave tries to get Mark to talk to Weaver on his behalf, but Weaver spots him and kicks him out again. Things get more hectic for Mark as Mr. Tanzi tells him that his wife isn’t in her bed. He’s worried that she wandered off. Mark goes to deal with that, telling Rachel to hush and Dave to talk to Weaver himself.

Cleo wraps up a loose end in a non-plotline when she learns that, after weeks of preventive treatments, she’s HIV-negative. She feels like she’s gotten her life back. Carter goes back to the baby’s trauma room, since she’s in distress again. He jokes to Chen that she might be worn out from performing miracles. He suggests that they repeat one of her blood tests. Weaver finds Mrs. Tanzi in the room and has a nurse take her back to bed. Chen discovers what’s wrong with the baby, and Carter gives her the credit for deciding to repeat the blood test, so Weaver will think she did something right. Weaver isn’t impressed, though.

Mr. Tanzi is surprised that his wife is suddenly better. Mark thinks that her appendix burst, which temporarily relieved her pain. He tries to talk Weaver into giving Dave his job back, noting that he’s not the first employee to have sex in the hospital (Mark himself has done that). Mr. Tanzi thinks his wife’s going to stay this lucid, so he changes his mind about her having surgery. Mark tells him her lucidity probably won’t last, but Mr. Tanzi wants her to be given every possible chance to stay alive.

After they leave the room, Weaver tells Mark that he’s not doing what’s best for the patient. Mark tells her that she’s free to take his patient away like she took Chen’s from her. Weaver argues that she was justified in firing Dave, considering his history of insubordination and disrespect. Mark tells her she can’t get rid of an employee just because they don’t get along. If she fired everyone she fought with in the ER, they’d have no staff.

Abby and Carter take an empty aquarium to Luke’s place, but Abby realizes too late that she left her key inside, so they can’t get in. She thinks a window might be open, so she makes Carter bend over so she can boost herself up on his back and reach the fire escape. It’s stuck, of course. She left the aquarium leaning against the building, and it starts to wobble and fall over. Carter rushes to catch it and leaves Abby dangling from the fire escape.

Jen is in Chicago now, and Mark sits her and Rachel down in the lounge to make them work things out. He thinks they’re both to blame for the breakdown in their relationship – Rachel needs to be more responsible and Jen needs to work less. Jen says they’ll figure things out when they get home. Rachel refuses to go back to St. Louis with her. She storms out, and Jen asks Mark to help them, but he has to go do his job.

Paramedics bring in a young woman who was hit by a car. Witnesses said she was already lying in the crosswalk before she was hit. Benton notices that she has a severed umbilical cord, and Haleh sees that she’s missing a shoelace. Looks like we found the mom of the miracle baby. Over at Luka’s, Abby and Carter have set up the new tank, but as they’re leaving with the old one, someone rings the doorbell. It’s the police.

The doctors stabilize the miracle baby mama, Anna, who claims that she doesn’t have a baby. In fact, she says she was never pregnant. Mark brings the baby into her trauma room and tries to get her to face reality. Anna finally admits that she left the baby at the church, thinking God would protect her. Chen says He did, and some people even think the baby is a miracle.

Carter calls his lawyer from the back of a police car, though Abby notes that they haven’t been charged with anything yet. She wonders what they would even be arrested for – “aquatic mischief?” Luka arrives and Abby starts worrying that he’ll press charges. Instead, Luka tells the police to let them go. Carter urges Abby to talk to him, but she wants to put that off.

Mark prepares to send Rachel back to St. Louis, telling her she can call him any time. She asks if she can stay in Chicago and live with him. She guilts him by saying she wants to get to know Ella and spend more time with Elizabeth, who’s a great role model. Mark seems open to the idea, even though it would be a huge change for Rachel.

Elizabeth operates on Mrs. Tanzi while Babcock talks about how mentally incompetent the patient is and how they shouldn’t bother trying to save her. Shut up, Babcock. Elizabeth is so sleep-deprived that she falls asleep during a lull in the procedure. She denies it, saying she was just resting her eyes. Babcock is skeptical, of course, but so is Shirley, and when Shirley’s worried, we should all pay attention.

As Benton is scrubbing in to operate on Anna, Jackie shows up with Reese. She can’t bring herself to spend time with Reese because he reminds her of Jesse. Benton tells Romano he’ll find someone to look after Reese while he operates, but Romano tells Benton to go spend quality time with his son. When Benton’s back is turned while he’s picking up Reese, Romano signs to Reese, “Take care of your father.”

Chen finds Dave moping in the ambulance bay and tries to assure him that Weaver will back down once she’s not so mad at him. Of course, she’s always mad at Dave, so… Dave thinks they’re right to be on the hot seat for not saving Paul. Dave was so intent on saving the patient that he didn’t look closely enough at his x-rays to see what the real problem was. Chen says that Paul’s death just means Dave is a real doctor. Medicine is the only thing Dave’s ever been good at, and he doesn’t want to give it up.

Abby and Carter go to her apartment, talking about a time she borrowed a car without permission (so, stole) to buy Wham tickets. Her upstairs neighbors are fighting, and the woman next door to Abby suggests that someone go up and talk to them. (This is possibly setting up a plot later in the season, but it doesn’t quite hold together, so it’s kind of pointless.)

When Elizabeth is done with Mrs. Tanzi’s surgery, Mark asks how she would feel about letting Rachel move in. He’s sure she would help out around the house and provide free babysitting. Elizabeth figures that Mark has already told her she can stay, so her opinion doesn’t really matter. Except we all know Elizabeth is the boss in this relationship, so if she said no, Mark would listen. Anyway, Rachel gets to stay, and we’ll all suffer the consequences.

Dave is finishing up his shift, and Weaver isn’t happy about it. He knows that if she really wanted to fire him, she would have to go through review and disciplinary committees, which would inevitably refer him for counseling instead of terminating him. Weaver points out that he has five letters in his file for unprofessional behavior and has been counseled for those five instances. He’s also failed two rotations. She might not be able to fire him outright, but she can make sure he can’t work in the ER anymore.

Dave thinks Weaver has it out for him because he doesn’t suck up to her. He knows he goofs around, but he’s also a good doctor. He thinks this is about her not liking him, not his performance. Weaver confirms that she doesn’t like him – he doesn’t respect his co-workers or the hospital. He thinks he’s a cowboy about medicine, but he can’t back it up. He makes mistakes that kill people.

The writers decide to throw in a dab of character background in some of Dave’s last minutes on screen: He tells Weaver he needs the job because he has a child to support. This is news to her, since he’s never mentioned being a father. Dave notes that she’s never asked about his personal life. Weaver repeats that he’s fired. He rants that she’s sad and cold-hearted, and no one likes her. The ER is so important to her because she has nothing else in her life. He ends the fight by calling her a “Nazi [gay slur I won’t repeat].” And thus Dave ends his last speaking appearance by losing all the sympathy he’d been building up.

Thoughts: Don’t cry for me because Dave is leaving. Rejoice with me because soon we’ll have Gallant.

’00s music alert: Cake’s “Short Skirt/Long Jacket”

“Too broken to fix?” “It was more like a crack.” Those familiar with later seasons of the show might agree that this exchange about Luka’s aquarium is a metaphor for his relationship with Abby. Okay, I’ll stop talking like an English major now.

Mark calls Dave and Niki’s romp in the ambulance an “unauthorized physical.” Funny, when Mark and Jen got caught doing the same thing in a bathroom, I said she was “giving him a physical.”

February 9, 2021

ER 8.1, Four Corners: What You Think Is Right

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , at 4:57 pm by Jenn

You can play Where’s Waldo? with this picture, but instead of Waldo, look for someone who isn’t a WASP

Summary: A young woman named Alice gets out of an ER bed and starts wandering the halls. Abby and Carter are at the admit desk, talking about someone’s death. Mark and Elizabeth are bickering over a patient he doesn’t think is well enough for surgery. Randi tells Mark that Romano wants to talk to him about Derek. As he heads to that no-doubt pleasant meeting, Benton asks Mark if Cleo’s doing okay on the triple cocktail, the medicine she’s taking to try to prevent her from developing HIV.

Carter is annoyed with a doctor who won’t agree to admit one of Carter’s patients. He’s on his way out and tells Abby to call him if the patient, Holly, hasn’t been admitted in half an hour. As Weaver arrives for a shift, Luka tells Abby that he’s found an apartment with two bedrooms in an area she likes. Ooh, they’re ready to live together! (Don’t get too excited.) Abby is hesitant to take that next step. Their conversation in the ambulance bay is interrupted when there’s a crash on the overhang above them. Alice rolls off it and falls to the ground.

The episode is split into the overlapping perspectives of four characters. First is Weaver. She buys a Kenyan bracelet from a vendor on the street, then heads to County, listening to a talk-radio argument about gay people. Weaver is back at work after three weeks off, and no one knows how to talk to her, either because they now know she’s a lesbian or because she’s Weaver and they never know how to talk to her. While Carter, Abby, and Luka interact in the background, in the scenes we just saw, Randi admires Weaver’s bracelet. Weaver lies that she got it in Kenya, the place she spent the last three weeks.

From the lounge, she hears the crash of Alice falling on the ground and goes to a trauma room to wait for Luka and Abby to bring her in. Chuny fills in some details: Alice was waiting for a psych consult, and she’s also pregnant…with her brother’s baby. Yiiiiikes. Things in psych are slow now that Legaspi’s gone. Yeah, things in psych were slow before that. Just ask Lucy. Oh, wait, you can’t, because she’s dead. Anyway, Abby asks if Weaver has heard from Legaspi, but Weaver doesn’t respond. She inserts a chest tube into Alice and gets sprayed with blood.

Benton joins the group, so Luka tells Weaver to go get cleaned up. After she does, Chen thanks her for giving her a second chance at becoming chief resident – Chen got the position. As Luka gives some bad news to a woman named Mrs. Jenkins, the guy Chen is treating says they should sue some Scottish guy. Chen explains to Weaver that her patient, Carl, started a brawl on a talk show. Turns out his girlfriend is transgender and decided to tell him on TV. Weaver gets in the middle of the fight between the homophobic Carl and his now-ex-girlfriend, whom he calls a freak.

Luka settles Carl down, then asks Weaver if she’s going to the M&M for Derek. She asks if anyone talked about her while she was gone. Before he can answer, Anspaugh joins them. They all head to the M&M, where Mark is questioned about his treatment (or, more accurately, his lack of treatment) of Derek. Weaver spaces out, remembering her last conversations with Legaspi and Romano. She imagines that everyone in the room is staring at her. Then they really are staring at her, but it’s because Anspaugh wants her to weigh in on whether Derek’s treatment was compromised. She doesn’t think they were too busy to give him the appropriate treatment.

After the M&M, Romano makes small talk with Weaver, suspicious of how she disappeared for three weeks without any warning. She plays it cool, then scrambles to make sure he hasn’t spread her big news. Romano says that he backed off of Legaspi after Weaver threatened to take the situation to the press, the county, and the ACLU. Legaspi decided to leave on her own. When Weaver asks if Romano has told anyone about her, he pretends not to know what she’s talking about. She spells it out for him and he says he assumed that her sexuality is confidential and shouldn’t be discussed at work.

Benton: While at Walt’s garage to get something repaired on his car, Benton learns from his niece Joanie that Jackie was fired. She took too long of a leave of absence after Jesse’s death. Joanie invites Benton and Cleo over for dinner sometime, and he tells her they’re taking a break. Joanie perfectly channels her mother when she asks what he did wrong. Benton says Cleo is going through something difficult and just needs some space.

At County, Benton treats the Scottish talk-show host Carl mentioned he wanted to sue. The host says he’s been hosting the show for a while, and while brawls sometimes break out, no one has ever gotten hurt before. Benton gets distracted when he sees Cleo talking to Mark. He leaves the host to try to talk to Cleo about how she’s doing. She sends him to examine Alice, who sustained some injuries in the brawl. She’s also trying to deal with the news that her boyfriend is also her half brother.

This means we’re back in time, and Benton is examining Alice in the room where we first saw her. Mrs. Jenkins comes in, wanting to explain things to Alice, who turns out to be her daughter. Alice is understandably furious that Mrs. Jenkins took her on TV to tell her that she’s dating her brother. After Mrs. Jenkins is escorted out of the room, Alice admits to Benton that she thinks she’s pregnant. He confirms this, making Alice’s day even worse. Benton is gentle with her but clearly has no idea how to handle this situation.

He leaves Alice in Chuny’s care as Malik runs into the ER, warning everyone that Weaver’s there. Benton moves on to treating another participant in the talk-show brawl, but he ditches her to talk to Mark about Cleo. Next he goes up to the OR, where Joanie’s waiting for him. She’s upset because she thinks Jackie and Walt are going to break up. Benton tells her they’re acting like any parents who lost their son. Joanie thinks Jackie is getting too upset about things Walt is doing, and she shouldn’t still be grieving this much after almost a year.

Benton gets paged to the ER to tend to Alice after her jump. Someone asks what Benton said to her, and he has to admit that he didn’t say anything. He, Luka, and Abby work hard, but Luka determines that they won’t be able to save Alice. He goes to give Mrs. Jenkins the news before Benton declares Alice dead, knowing it’s only a matter of time.

After his shift, Benton goes to Jackie’s house to see how she’s doing after losing her job. She’s cleaning out the garage, trying to stay busy. She and Walt were making plans to change some things around the house, and when Jackie went to pick up some pictures of their backyard, she found some photos of Jesse on the roll. She realized she would never see any other pictures of Jesse. He’ll never grow older than 15. Every day, Jackie thinks things are getting better, but then something like this knocks her back to the beginning. Benton comforts his sister as she laments not being able to take care of her baby anymore.

Carter: The death Carter and Abby were discussing at County was Carter’s grandfather’s. He, Millicent, and Carter’s parents, Jack and Eleanor, attend the funeral together. Carter’s phone rings during the service and he quickly turns it off. (It’s kind of random, but my assumption is that that was Abby calling to talk about Holly.) Afterward, in a limo, Carter tries to make small talk with Eleanor, who’s, like, the dictionary definition of WASP. Abby calls to tell him that Holly still hasn’t been admitted. This is before the conversation we saw earlier, so Carter asks the limo driver to take him to County.

Holly’s upset that Carter left her in the ER without saying goodbye. He promises that he’ll get her moved to her own room and out of the noisy ER. He tells her to get Abby to call him if she wants to talk. Now Carter goes to the admit desk to light a fire under the doctor who was supposed to admit Holly, as we saw at the beginning of the episode. Abby compliments his suit and jokingly asks who died. Carter replies that his grandfather did. Oh, Abby. She offers to go to the reception with him in case he wants to talk.

Carter and Eleanor finally make it to Millicent’s house to do their WASP-y duty of pretending everything’s fine even though they just lost their family’s patriarch. Jack tells Carter to mingle and be a good host, like this is a garden party and not a funeral reception. Eleanor and Jack barely interact with each other, and no one seems particularly sad that their loved one has died.

Abby shows up and tells Carter that his harsh words on the phone worked, and Holly has been admitted. She notices that the birdbath in the backyard is broken and asks if John I drove his power lawn mower into it. Carter says he did, but not on purpose – he was having the heart attack that killed him. Abby’s embarrassed but Carter’s amused. She apologizes for crashing the funeral, but she felt bad that Carter didn’t feel like he could tell her his grandfather died.

Eleanor joins them and tells Carter to go find Millicent so she can “make an appearance.” Carter tells Abby that his parents don’t handle loss well. They haven’t had to deal with death in a long time, since Carter’s brother died as a child. He goes to look for Millicent but instead finds Jack listening to financial news. He just couldn’t wait until after the reception to check on his stocks.

Carter encourages him to spend the night at the house to be there for his mother. He tells Jack not to run away again. Jack snaps at Carter to drop the subject, but Carter doesn’t want to. He reminds Jack that his brother Bobby isn’t coming back. If Eleanor wants to spend the rest of her life in a bubble, she can, but Jack shouldn’t let her hold him inside it, too. Jack ignores him and goes back to the financial news.

Carter finally finds Millicent in the garage, trying to start some fancy old car. She wanted to drink a bottle of champagne she and John I were saving for their 60th anniversary next year. Carter urges her to save it, but she wants to toast her late husband. Carter opens the bottle, spraying the windshield in the process (I don’t think that was supposed to happen; Noah Wyle and Frances Sternhagen look genuinely amused). After they toast, they go for a drive.

Mark: After undergoing a routine scan to make sure his tumor is still gone, Mark goes to the ER, where the talk-show brawlers are just being brought in. Luka is a little nervous about speaking at the M&M, but Mark is totally calm, or at least pretending to be. Cleo is struggling with nausea from her medication, which is also affecting her liver. She only has a week left on it, and Mark thinks she should stop taking it; she should have had enough to prevent HIV.

Adele has recovered from her gunshot wound, but she’s still dealing with paralysis. She doesn’t think she’ll make a full recovery. Romano wants her to go to the M&M as a bit of show and tell. Mark joins Elizabeth in a trauma room; she’s back at work for the first time since her six-week-long maternity leave. They work on the patient they were bickering about at the beginning of the episode. They take the conversation from the trauma room to the admit desk, where Randi tells Mark to go see Romano.

Romano warns Mark that the legal department has flagged something in the nurses’ notes about Derek: 17 minutes passed between when Mark left the trauma room and when he delivered Derek to the surgical floor. Before Mark can explain that the elevator stopped, someone comes in to tell Romano that Alice jumped from the fourth floor into the ambulance bay. Mark quickly tells Romano his version of events: The elevator stopped, the battery in the defibrillator ran down after Mark used it a few times, and it took a long time to get help. Romano thinks that’s a reasonable story.

Mark presents the case at the M&M, where Elizabeth realizes that Derek was conscious in the elevator. The look she gives Mark says that she knows exactly what he did. Back in the ER, Abby tells Luka that she wants to go to John I’s funeral reception. Mark passes by them on his way to Alice’s trauma room, where Mrs. Jenkins is sitting with her daughter’s body. She tells Mark that the show set up the drama, and none of it was real. Alice and her boyfriend aren’t related. Mrs. Jenkins lied to get them on the show.

At home that night, Mark and Elizabeth discuss their shared patient, whom she operated on after all. He admits that it was a matter of a judgment call. “You do what you think is right,” she replies pointedly. He starts to tell her what really happened in the elevator, but Elizabeth thinks they’ve discussed Derek enough for one day. It’s clear that she knows what he did, but she also knows why, so she’s going to let it go.

Thoughts: Jack is played by Michael Gross. Eleanor is played by Mary McDonnell. Mrs. Jenkins is played by the late Conchata Ferrell.

I don’t usually like gimmicky episodes, and the gimmick here doesn’t do anything for me, but it could be worse. It could be a musical episode or a backwards episode (stay tuned for that in season 9).

Color me shocked that the one time someone wants Romano to be discreet, he actually is.

Of course Jack and Eleanor named their children Robert and John. They would love the Kennedys, wouldn’t they?

Carter’s section of this episode (and, by extension, the season) is SO BORING. I don’t know why the writers thought we would care about his family beyond Millicent. I would much rather learn about Weaver’s family and her upbringing.

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