April 23, 2019

ER 3.19, Calling Dr. Hathaway: Dale Edson? More Like FAIL Edson

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 5:09 pm by Jenn

Look at the way he looks at her! He’s totally still in love!

Summary: Doyle accidentally wakes Carter up (he’s asleep – drink!) when she stumbles over him in the doctors’ lounge. It’s a good thing she does, though, because he’s late for something. Mark thinks he’s getting the hang of parenting Rachel alone, since Jen is still gone, but he forgot that she has a Brownie meeting he was supposed to speak at. He offers to take her to Six Flags that weekend to make up for his parenting failures.

Carter makes it to rounds late and unfamiliar with the case Dale is presenting. So not only does he look inferior to Dale, but it’s all in front of Anspaugh. Doug and Carol meet up with each other on their way to work, and she tells him her MCAT results came in. She hasn’t opened them yet because she’s sure they’ll be bad. Doug grabs them from her, but before he can open them, Weaver tells Carol she did well. Incredibly well, actually. Weaver tells Mark he has to work on Saturday, so now the Six Flags trip will have to wait.

At Carla’s place, Benton helps her adjust to having gestational diabetes. At first it looks like she’s warmed toward him a little, but when he tells her he has to go to work, she cools again. Word spreads that Carol did great on the MCAT, but she reminds people that she hasn’t even applied to med school, so they shouldn’t call her a doctor yet. Jerry prepares a mouse trap, since he saw a rodent around, and Weaver tells him a lab animal escaped and there’s a big reward out for it (but only if its captured alive). Looks like this will be Jerry’s plot this week.

Carter’s been banished to the lounge for the day to practice laparoscopic procedures. He thinks Anspaugh has turned on him since Carter went behind his back with Bartok’s surgery. Yeah, no kidding. Carter shows Doyle how to use robot graspers to stack dice. Jerry looks for the mouse, Heidi, in an exam room where Jeanie’s trying to, you know, do her job. Her patient spots the mouse, but Jeanie loses patience and turns out the light to finish her procedure.

Doug sends Carol’s med-school dreams floating off into space when he tells her how much he had to borrow to pay for his education. He’s still paying off the loans. They tend to a baby named Joel who has a shunt in his heart and was found unconscious in his crib. His mother, Andrea, wants to stay in the trauma room; Carol lets her stay, but Doug gets impatient having to answer her questions.

Benton’s helping with a trauma when Jerry tells him Carla’s on the phone for him. Carter takes over the trauma with the idea to use a catheter to open an artery. He was inspired by a People magazine article he wrote about paramedics rescuing a girl from a well. The girl was fine; her puppy…not so much. Benton is so impressed that his praise for Carter might be described as “exuberant.” When they hand the patient off to Anspaugh, he chooses Dale to scrub in over, even after Benton says Carter saved the patient in the ER.

Doug still won’t answer Andrea’s questions, so she asks Carol for explanations. Carol finally removes her from the room and gently tells her what’s going on. Andrea’s only request is that Carol let her go back into the trauma room if Joel gets worse – she doesn’t want him to die alone.

Jerry and Wendy place some humane traps around the admit desk in hopes of catching Heidi. Mark’s next patient is Brenda, who got stuck on a bucket-turned-latrine while camping. Carol tells Andrea that Joel should be conscious again soon, then offers to get her food or coffee if she wants it. Doyle chastises Carter for letting Dale edge him out for surgery, not getting that surgery is all a game and Carter has to play a certain way. He hears Benton on the phone with Carla, about to skip out on his shift to go help her again.

Mark and Haleh try to brainstorm ways to get the bucket off of Brenda. Her supposed husband, John, calls her by the wrong name, making Mark suspicious. He uses a can opener to cut a hole in the bucket, releasing the suctioning pressure and removing it. The patient Carter saved earlier, Gunderson, is now having a post-op allergic reaction, and Dale’s in surgery with Anspaugh, so Carter saves the man again. He’d like to talk to Dale about this right away.

Weaver wants to pull Carol off of Joel’s case to show her a more interesting one. Carol leaves Chuny to take over for her with Joel, asking her to bring in Andrea as soon as Doug says she can. Back at Carla’s, Benton gives her an injection, then offers to go grocery shopping for her, since she’s supposed to stay off her feet. Now Carla’s fine with him going to work and leaving her alone, but Benton calls in with claims of a family emergency so he can stay with Carla.

Carter stabilizes Gunderson, then tells Dale that he’s allergic to the antibiotic Dale gave him. Dale first says he didn’t take the patient’s history since he thought Carter did it. When Carter says he heard Anspaugh tell Dale to do it, Dale says he did, and Gunderson didn’t mention any allergies. But the portion of his file for allergies is blank, so Dale didn’t write down that he didn’t have any.

John and Brenda do something in a supply closet (no, not sex), which Mark hears the tail end of. Weaver basically makes Carol an honorary med student so she can teach her about doctoring stuff. Carol bows out pretty quickly when she realizes that Joel is doing poorly. Doug doesn’t want Andrea back in the trauma room, since he’s had to open Joel’s chest, but Carol brings her in. Unfortunately, she’s too late, and when Andrea gets back to the trauma room, Joel has already died.

Carol’s half upset that Joel died and half upset that she was with Weaver instead of Andrea when Andrea really needed her. Andrea’s now doing tasks like calling the mortuary and trying to figure out what to do with her son’s clothes. Carol thinks it would benefit her to see her son and hold him one last time.

Jeanie and Wendy spot Heidi in an exam room while they’re tending to a patient who suddenly wonders what kind of dump he’s in. Jeanie threatens to bring in her cat tomorrow. She feels something on her foot and realizes she’s stepped in one of Jerry’s trap. (Good thing they’re humane.) She has to go to a suture room to use wire cutters.

Dale brings Anspaugh to Gunderson’s bedside, where Carter explains his allergic reaction. Dale has altered the chart since their last conversation; it now says that Gunderson has no known drug allergies. Anspaugh says in that case, they couldn’t have known he would react badly to the antibiotic, so no one’s in danger of being sued. Dale’s in danger of having his face punched by Carter, though.

Carol lets Andrea hold Joel’s body, telling her to take all the time she needs. Brenda and John return to the ER, as John now has a button stuck up his nose. He claims he sneezed while wiping his nose on his cuff. Haleh notes that his cuff isn’t missing any buttons, but Brenda says he changed his shirt. Mark thinks he can solve this without a specialist. It takes him just a few seconds, but now he wants Haleh to call for a psych consult.

Jackie runs into Benton while he’s shopping for Carla and warns that he’s in for a lot of errands. Benton complains that Carla’s been more difficult than usual. (Ohhhh, just wait, buddy.) Jackie asks who Carla will depend on if Benton doesn’t keep helping her. Weaver has Carol assess a patient, then tells her she can perform an intubation. She does well, and Chuny teases that Carol is Weaver’s new pet.

Nina comes for John and Brenda’s psych consult, but they quickly explain their weird behavior. They’re clinic researchers studying creative problem-solving in ERs. Mark did an awesome job. The researchers say the study is being funded by some very high-up people, including some government officials. In fact, Mark could get some follow-up contact from Hillary Clinton. (Because she…needs information on ER problem-solving?)

Doyle finds Carter brooding by the river, and he tells her what Dale did. She can’t believe Carter didn’t tell Anspaugh that Dale changed the chart, which is both unethical and illegal. Carter says that they have to be team players, and he’s already hurt himself by his actions with Bartok. Doyle thinks Carter’s just scared.

Nina teases Mark that John and Brenda’s study could make him famous for being innovative. He admits that he’s having trouble in other areas of his life, like with Rachel. Nina can’t believe “Super Doc” is having problem keeping his commitments. Weaver needs the room where Andrea’s still holding Joel, but Carol stands up to her, wanting Andrea to take her time. Weaver tells her she’ll have to stop thinking like a nurse once she becomes a med student. Carol says she’s not a med student yet.

Anspaugh and Dale come to the ER for a patient Doyle and Carter are working on, and Doyle decides to do what Carter don’t. She urges Dale to tell Anspaugh anything he hasn’t mentioned yet about Gunderson. Dale just says he’s called Gunderson’s mother, which makes him look like a better doctor for worrying about Gunderson’s emotional care. Doyle gives him another chance to ‘fess up, but Dale keeps quiet. After he and Anspaugh are gone, Doyle slams Carter for also keeping quiet.

Later in the day, Carter encounters Dale in the lounge and calls him a liar. Actually, he calls him a “liar, liar, pants on fire,” because Carter is less mature than Rachel right now. Dale tells him to go to Hell, so I guess he’s not that mature, either. He thinks his “adjustment” to Gunderson’s chart wasn’t a big deal. Carter threatens to tell Anspaugh, which could hurt Dale’s career. Dale promises to help Carter out in exchange for silence, but Carter isn’t about to take any favors from him. He warns that if Dale ever pulls a stunt like this again, Carter will bury him.

Mark solves his Brownie problem by inviting Rachel’s troop to the hospital for a tour. Nina thinks this was a very creative solution. Mark asks her out, though it’s more of a group outing than a date; they’ll be bringing their daughters along. Andrea’s done holding Joel, and she’s very grateful to Carol for giving her this extra time. They pray over the baby’s body together.

Doyle admits to Carter that she can’t really judge his actions since she doesn’t understand the surgery game. He admits back that he might be full of crap. She encourages him to talk to Benton, since Carter trusts his judgment. She reveals a secret stash of beer in the lounge fridge, which is all Carter needs to put together the feelings he’s been developing for her and start to ask her out. “Not a chance,” Doyle says. (I guess Carter thinks she’s bi, or else he’s forgotten that the ex they ran into at the shooting range was a woman.)

Jerry’s annoyed with Jeanie for wrecking one of his traps. Jeanie tells him to take it out of his reward. But there may not be any reward – Wendy has accidentally squashed Heidi. Jeanie determines that the mouse is still breathing, and when she learns that there are thousands of dollars at stake, she decides it’s worth it to do a little work. She orders Jerry to being “mouth-to-mouse resuscitation.” (HA!)

Jeanie reveals that she once worked in a vet’s office. Once she gets a promise from Jerry that he’ll split the reward with her, she works with Wendy to revive Heidi. Once the mouse is okay, Jeanie heads off to get her reward – which she’ll be sharing with Wendy, not Jerry. She offers him 10% for being in the room while the women did all the work.

It’s nurses’ night at some restaurant, but Carol doesn’t get invited along. She’s annoyed that she spent the whole day being treated like a beginner. She’s good at her job – why does she want to change that? Mark and Nina take their girls bowling, and she clearly wishes the two of them were alone. They kiss, and Rachel doesn’t look too happy about her dad’s blossoming relationship.

Carla invites Benton to hang around after he’s made her dinner. She gets all juvenile and whiny when he says he has to go home and do some things for work. He said he’d be a part of the baby’s life and her pregnancy, but now he’s busy. As they fight, Carter shows up to give Benton some files and talk about Dale. Benton just brushes him off. Carol goes to nurses’ nights and tells her co-workers she’s going to stick to her current job. Everyone’s happy.

Thoughts: John is played by Harry Shearer. Brenda is played by Julie Hagerty.

Interestingly, Carla’s now fine with needles.

Mark gets the credit for creative problem-solving, but Haleh deserves some, too.

Weaver tells Carol to hold her breath while doing the intubation – if she runs out of air, she’s taking too long. If that were me, I’d focus too much on holding my breath and get distracted, or I’d rush before I passed out. Yet another reason I’m not a doctor.

April 16, 2019

ER 3.18, You Bet Your Life: Who Would Pick Al Over Greg??

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , at 5:07 pm by Jenn

Nope, wrong choice

Summary: Mark has been having a little trouble juggling parenting and work, now that Rachel’s staying with him, so he’s been late taking her to school for a few days. Rachel’s annoyed by that, and by her after-school arrangements to play with a girl she doesn’t really like. At County, Benton goes looking for Carla, who’s already been sent home. Coburn catches him looking at her chart and chastises him for violating Carla’s privacy. She already knows that Benton is the baby’s father. Benton asks about a test Coburn ordered, but she tells him to ask Carla.

Greg wants to make weekend plans with Jeanie, who’s in a bad mood because she found out her viral load has gone up. Plus, today would have been her and Al’s ninth wedding anniversary. Greg reminds her that she had the flu last week, which explains her increased viral load. It should be undetectable again soon. He wants to give her happy memories of her former anniversary by going away for the weekend.

Jerry has leased a new car, though Malik is surprised he could afford it. Anspaugh tells Mark that he and Weaver both applied for a teaching job, and though Mark is the better candidate, he hasn’t published any articles. He needs to find an interesting case and write it up soon. No pressure, but if he doesn’t, Anspaugh will look foolish for backing him to the hiring committee.

Carol’s reading over a textbook and thinking of all the questions she screwed up on the MCAT. Doug tries to cheer her up, but he can’t erase the fact that nurses don’t exactly have a glamorous job, and they have to take orders from younger doctors. Carter and Lydia treat a gambler named Bartok (though he prefers to call himself an investor, since he uses scientific methods to place his bets). Carter agrees to place a $5 bet. Bartok asks to keep his hat on, which is part of his “scientific” methods – he always keeps it on after he makes a bet.

Al comes by with flowers for Jeanie, but she doesn’t want to celebrate their horrible marriage. Now they’re both in a bad mood. Marks tends to a woman named Ida who has stomach pain and thinks she needs surgery. She’s already had five of them, but Mark thinks they might have been unnecessary. He thinks she has porphyria, which can be misdiagnosed as a surgical ailment. If Mark’s right, this could be the perfect case for him to publish.

Paramedics bring in an unidentified woman they found unconscious in a car near a cemetery. Mark confirms his porphyria diagnosis, foreseeing his case study being published in all sorts of newspapers. Haleh bursts his bubble when she realizes that Ida is a psych patient who likes having surgery. Benton tries to call Carla, then talks to Carter about Bartok; Carter wants to stick with him for the day to make sure he doesn’t get overlooked. Amazingly, Benton approves of this, even though it takes Carter out of the OR for the day.

The unidentified woman was found with a bunch of pills, including some for HIV, so Weaver and Jeanie guess that she OD’d. One of the pill bottles says her name is Suzanne. The staff isn’t sure about one of the medications she took, so Jeanie suggests calling Greg to help them out. She wonders what made Suzanne want to hurt herself.

While Jerry brags to someone on the phone about his new car, Weaver gets a call for “Dr. Markovic” from a cryogenics lab. Apparently he’s been making donations at a sperm bank, pretending to be a doctor, and has used the proceeds for his car. Jerry thinks it’s fine; women focus on the fact that he’s tall and has an IQ of 150, not on his fake medical credentials. Weaver doubts he has an IQ of 150 (hers is 145) and challenges him to take a test to prove it. If he doesn’t score a 150, she’ll bust him for lying.

The nurses find a wedding ring on Suzanne’s finger, but her address on her pill bottles is for a motel, and someone who works there says she lives alone. Suzanne has two pictures of a child in her car, and Greg finds the girl familiar. Suzanne regains consciousness and tells Jeanie the girl is her daughter. “I killed her,” she says.

Carter checks on Bartok, who has an intestinal blockage and will need surgery. Bartok’s scared, but Carter tells him the chief of staff will be taking care of him. Bartok asks for his phone so he can call his daughter. Carol is giving an injection to a patient when Doyle stops her, saying he needs an IV instead. The patient, a former Marine, doesn’t have a problem with a second needle stick.

Nina comes down to the ER to see Ida and flirt with Mark a little. She panics when she learns that Mark left Ida alone in her trauma room. See, Ida has a habit of eating things she shouldn’t when she’s been denied surgery, so she’ll have to undergo it anyway. This time, she’s eaten medical instruments.

Benton lies that Carla’s one of his surgical patients so someone other than Coburn will let him see Carla’s ultrasound tape again. Greg figures out that Suzanne’s daughter, Katie, was one of his patients, but she died of AIDS-related pneumonia last month. Jeanie realizes that Suzanne blames herself for Katie’s death because she gave Katie HIV.

Carter shows Bartok’s chart to Anspaugh, but Anspaugh thinks he’s too sick for surgery – he’s septic already. Carter thinks Bartok will have a better shot with surgery, but Anspaugh doesn’t want to take the risk, and probably not just because it’ll make the hospital look bad for losing a patient. Carter gives the news to Bartok, who thinks the doctors are just pushing him aside to let him die. Carter promised that he would be okay, and now he’s gone back on his word. Carter decides he can’t just let things end there.

Doyle needs to draw blood from the Marine, but she’s having a lot of trouble with it. Carol advises Weaver to help her, but Weaver thinks Doyle needs to learn sometime. Carol complains that nurses should be allowed to do this kind of procedure, since they know what they’re doing. Carter takes Bartok’s case to Hicks, who agrees with Anspaugh that it’s too much of a risk to operate. She admits that he could have a chance if they act quickly, and Carter says Bartok’s okay with just having a chance.

Mark sees all the stuff Ida swallowed on her X-ray and realizes this could be the unique case that will get him ahead. Thanks to some methanol she ingested, Suzanne is now blind. Jeanie tells her that her husband is on his way and asks if there’s anything Suzanne wants to tell him. Suzanne just says she’s sorry.

Jerry takes his IQ test while Weaver keeps an eye on him nearby. I don’t think the front desk is the ideal place for this test, and Weaver should probably be treating patients instead of reading and babysitting Jerry, but okay. Jerry attempts to ask Doug for help, but Weaver tells him it’s an IQ test, not a survey. Doug is called away to treat a teenage girl, Betsy, who had a gallbladder attack on her way to prom.

Suzanne’s husband, Roger, arrives and is pleased to learn that his wife is dying and is pain. She cheated on him, got AIDS, and gave it to their child, so this is what Roger’s been waiting for. Hicks and Carter operate on Bartok, though Carter’s the only person who thinks it’s worth it. Anspaugh interrupts to tell Hicks that he rejected Bartok as a poor surgical candidate. Obviously Hicks didn’t know that, so Carter went to Mommy when Daddy said no. Anspaugh is furious, and Carter will have to beg for his job at the end of the day. Hicks tells Carter to scrub out.

Mark wants to remove the surgical instruments from Ida through an endoscopy, but she refuses, still wanting surgery. Mark changes her mind by telling her how invasive and traumatic an endoscopy is. But before Mark can do the procedure, he gets called to Rachel’s school to pick her up. Benton shows Carla’s ultrasound to a neonatologist named Tabash, who tells him everything looks fine. He’s not happy to learn that Benton went behind Carla’s back to get more information.

Betsy needs to have her gallbladder removed right away, which means she’ll have to miss the prom. She’s willing to take antibiotics and risk getting worse if she can delay the surgery until tomorrow. Doug tries to negotiate with her so she can go to prom, then check back into the hospital as soon as it’s over. Betsy’s more stubborn with Doug, but it’s good practice for when he has to deal with his own teenage daughters.

Mark meets with Rachel’s teacher, who asks if she has any restrictions…because of her leukemia. Apparently she’s been telling her classmates that she’s dying of cancer. After a fight with a popular girl, Rachel is now on the outs with a lot of her classmates. Doyle and Carol take care of a patient together, but things get awkward when Doyle insists she can insert a central line and Carol doubts her abilities. Doyle snaps at her, so Carol says she’ll call a surgeon to do it.

Doug sends Betsy and her date, Jeffrey, to the prom in an ambulance. Betsy has to stay on an IV and isn’t allowed to eat or smoke, so I’m not sure how much fun she’ll have, but at least she won’t have to miss the dance. Carter meets with Anspaugh and Hicks, who are more than ready to terminate his residency. Carter has no regrets, since they gave Bartok another chance. He survived the surgery, which just makes Carter look like more of a hero.

Doyle wants to give her patient a medication that could harm his kidneys, but she ignores Carol’s warnings. Since Doyle is the only doctor in the room, the nurses have to follow her orders. Doug comes in and takes over, effectively ending the Doyle/Carol stand-off. Suzanne’s declining and thinks that Greg is her husband. She begs for his forgiveness, so Jeanie tells Greg to just say he forgives her. Greg resists, disappointing Jeanie.

Weaver scores Jerry’s IQ test and tells him he did horribly – worse than if he’d just guessed on everything. She forces him to call the sperm bank and change his profile. Mark returns with Rachel, and Weaver tells him she performed Ida’s endoscopy, which Mark had told Haleh to delay until he got back. Weaver wants to co-author a paper with Mark about Ida, entitled “The Woman Who Ate the ER.”

Doyle tracks down Carol and calls her out for her attitude and second-guessing Doyle’s orders. She doesn’t care if she’s younger than Carol – Doyle is the doctor and Carol is the nurse. Doug overhears, so not only has Carol been embarrassed by the icy student council president, but it happened in front of the hot captain of the football team.

Speaking of confrontations, Mark tells Rachel what her teacher said about her lies. Clearly she just craves attention from her father, and thinks being sick will do the trick, since he spends his days taking care of sick people. Suzanne dies, and Greg approaches Jeanie while she’s wrapping things up with the body. Jeanie brushes off his apology over not pretending to be Roger, but she’s not ready to go away with him for the weekend.

Carter visits Bartok post-op and tells him that while he’s going to recover, they had to remove so much of his intestine that he’ll never be able to eat solid food again. He can still drink and smoke, though, so he’s okay with that. Bartok asks how the horse he bet on did, but Carter doesn’t know. Bartok decides it doesn’t matter.

Jerry has retrieved Jeanie’s flowers and put them on the front desk, because Jerry has very low standards for things. Malik is now taking over his sting and is setting up an appointment at the sperm bank as “Dr. McGrath.” Benton finally goes to Carla’s place to tell her he wants to be a father to their child. She gives in and tells him to come back that weekend to help out around her apartment.

Carol tells Doug that Doyle’s right – she hates taking orders from someone younger. They come from the same neighborhood, and Doyle got through med school, but Carol can’t even get through the door. Doug tells her she can always get through his door. “Anything in a bra can get through your door,” she points out. He claims he’s reformed and raised his standards. He greets Betsy as she and Jeffrey return to the hospital, happy that he let them go to the prom.

Rachel falls asleep in the lounge waiting for her father to get off work. Haleh brings him a case that would be great for an article, but Mark’s in dad mode now and tells her to give it to Weaver. Hicks informs Carter that he’s on probation but somehow still has a job. She wanted to kick him out, but Anspaugh wants him to stay. This is his last chance, and he needs to remember that he’s not a law unto himself.

Jeanie goes to Al’s and apologizes for being rude about the flowers when he was just trying to be nice. He asks if she really thinks their entire marriage was a disaster. They agree that some things were good, and he takes responsibility for the bad ending. He doesn’t blame her for hating him. Jeanie says she doesn’t hate him, and she doesn’t want to be mad anymore. She admits that she misses him, then hugs him.

Thoughts: Nina, I don’t want to tell you how to do your job, but calling a psych patient a “fruitcake” isn’t exactly professional.

So do Rachel and Jen live in Chicago again? Rachel’s in school there, and Mark didn’t have to go far when he visited at Christmas, but I don’t think a move was ever mentioned.

Listen, I have nothing against Al. He’s fine. But…he’s not a better choice than Greg! Jeanie made a mistake.

April 9, 2019

ER 3.17, Tribes: Black, White, and Greene

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

Okay, let’s keep the child out of the ER

Summary: Mark, Doug, Carter, and Malik are playing basketball outside the hospital when an ambulance brings in a combative patient named Mr. Thomas. He OD’d on his son’s jimson weed tea, and the son is worried about how his father will react when he comes down. Carol is dealing with a college student named Lori who’s worried she’s pregnant. She got drunk at a party and may have hooked up with a guy named Mike, but it might not have been consensual.

Thomas, still high, admires his family jewels, which Weaver isn’t as impressed by as he is. Thomas wonders if Malik’s are prettier and grabs his butt. Whatever Malik gets paid, it’s not enough. Benton arrives outside, and Mark suggests that he and Doug play Benton and Carter in a game of two on two. Benton declines, because the idea of bonding with his co-workers has no appeal to him.

Once the basketball playing is over, Mark helps Lily wrangle a woman named Babs who’s either mentally unstable or on drugs. Thomas’ son has brought in the tea his dad drank, and Weaver is barely able to stop Jerry before he drinks some. Carol tells Lori that a drug screen shows she was roofied. Lori feels stupid for trusting Mike. She’s not sure they should call the police, since she’s not positive that she was raped. Carol calmly says they’ll finish her evaluation and see if there’s any evidence.

Paramedics bring in two gunshot victims from a drug deal gone bad. One is black and one is white. The black victim isn’t hurt too badly, so Mark prioritizes the white one. Doyle takes care of the black one, Kenny, assuring Mark that he’s not armed. Kenny’s brother, Chris, arrives and tries to find out who shot him. He’s furious that Mark is tending to the white guy, Brody, and seemingly ignoring Kenny. Mark says they’re taking care of both guys, and the hospital treats everyone the same.

Kenny starts declining, so Mark joins Doyle in working on him. No one will tell Chris what’s going on, so he turns to the only other black man in the room, Malik. Malik recognizes Kenny’s name and tells Mark he’s a star high school basketball player. Chris runs to the trauma room next door and asks Benton to come take care of his brother. Mark keeps working, asking someone to get security to remove Chris from the room, since he’s getting aggressive.

Carter chats with Babs, who’s now lucid. She tells him she’s had chest pain for a few weeks. Jeanie seems to have moved past her hesitation to sleep with Greg, because she’s gathering supplies and would like Weaver to write her a prescription for a diaphragm. She’s still nervous, though, and isn’t sure she wants to potentially expose Greg to HIV when they’re still at the beginning of their relationship. Then, without even knowing who she is, Jeanie meets Carla, who’s been brought in after a car accident.

Mark meets Brody’s parents and tells them he’s stable but will need surgery. Chris overhears the polite conversation and complains that Mark is treating the white family like their VIPs. Mark insists that, based on the initial exam, Brody was in worse condition than Kenny, so he was prioritized. Chris spits that when Mark saw Kenny, he just thought of him as “another shot [n-word].”

Mark joins the Brodys, telling them that their son was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and was an innocent bystander. But the Brodys have some information that turns the whole case around: Brody is often in the wrong place at the wrong time because he’s a crack addict. That means, while Mark assumed Kenny was a drug dealer, he was actually the innocent bystander.

Carol examines Lori and determines that she was raped. Lori jumps to the worst-case scenario, worrying that she’s contracted an STD. Carol has already called a counselor, and she wants Lori to call the police, at the very least to get Mike off the streets before he can attack anyone else. What’s worse, if he’s combining roofies with alcohol, he could kill someone. Lori asks Carol to stay with her, and Carol promises she will.

Carter calls the hospital that released Babs before she came to County and yells at them for dumping her because she doesn’t have insurance. Kenny’s basketball coach, Stan, comes to the hospital with some of his fellow players, who are upset about their friend being hurt. They’re pleased that Chris has already been there and is probably taking care of things.

Carla’s baby seems to be fine, but she needs stitches and an x-ray of her ankle. She confides in Jeanie that she hates needles and plans to have a natural birth. Chris and the basketball players want to be let onto the surgical floor while Kenny’s in surgery, but Jerry won’t give them access. He complains to Mark that “the natives are restless.” Connie accuses him of making a racist comment, but Jerry defends the use of the word “natives” because the guys are locals. Mark tells Jerry to watch his mouth.

Doyle says that the basketball players think Kenny was shot by someone who bet on the other team for a championship basketball game. Mark can’t believe that someone would be shot over a sport. Connie points out that people are shot over basketball shoes. Doyle suggests that Mark set the guys straight and tell them that Brody was a drug dealer. Mark notes that that’s a privacy violation, and the police need to take care of that stuff.

Rachel and Jen arrive with the news that Jen’s mother had a stroke in Florida. They’re heading down there, which means Rachel will have to miss school, as well as soccer practice. Mark suggests that Rachel stay with him instead. Jen doubts that Mark can balance work and parenting, but Mark insists that he can handle it.

Benton and Hicks operate on Kenny while they discuss Carter’s transfer to Hicks’ team. Benton claims not to have a problem with it, as long as it’s for Carter’s own good. Carter sees that Babs has an abnormal EKG and needs to be admitted for monitoring. She shouldn’t have been sent away from the other hospital. Lori leaves, grateful that Carol stayed by her side through her ordeal.

Jeanie chats with Carla, who’s definitely decided to let Benton keep his distance from the baby. She thinks that if he were to try to be a responsible parent, he’d spend the whole time wishing he were somewhere else. Weaver treats a ring bearer who swallowed his mom and stepdad-to-be’s wedding rings right before the ceremony. The bride and groom will have to wait until he passes the rings. The ring bearer thinks this is awesome.

Paramedics bring in a man named Mr. Brown who was hit by a car while crossing the street in a wheelchair. Weaver objects to a paramedic’s use of the word “handicapped” and suggests “person with a disability” instead. She quickly determines that Brown is drunk, and possibly high on something. He objects to having his stomach pumped, but Weaver ignores him.

Because Carla has A-negative blood, she’s also rh-negative, which could cause a problem with the baby if the father is rh-positive. Carla’s torn between getting stuck with a needle and asking Benton his blood type, neither of which seems like a fun activity to her. She opts for the less painful one, telling Jeanie that the baby’s father actually works at County. Jeanie’s stunned when she learns it’s Benton.

Carter tries to track down a cardiologist named Smith who treated Babs years ago. That’s like finding a needle in a haystack. A number of Kenny’s friends have come to the hospital and are hanging around the hallway, so Mark asks Malik to send them to the waiting area. Malik just loves having a white man ask him to talk to other black people so he doesn’t have to do it himself.

Rachel’s still around, waiting for a babysitter to pick her up, and asks why Mark isn’t taking care of Jen’s mother. He promises that she’s getting good care from the doctor where she lives. Another gunshot victim arrives, this one from the school playing Kenny’s in the championship. Doug thinks someone shot him as payback for Kenny. Mark locks eyes with Chris, who certainly doesn’t seem broken up about this.

Mark handles the trauma while he squares away arrangements for Rachel. Because single parents can have it all! Brown has used a bunch of drugs, and he asks if Weaver is going to bust him for “wheeling under the influence.” He thinks he’s justified in taking drugs because he’s paralyzed. She guesses that he’s not doing physical therapy after the gunshot wound that put him in the wheelchair. She tries to counsel him about adjusting better, but Brown isn’t interested in that, or in rehab.

Kenny’s doing poorly in surgery and will most likely never be an athlete again, if he even survives. Jeanie comes by to pull Benton aside and ask his blood type. She tells him Carla’s in the ER with minor injuries, and she wants him to share his blood type. Benton doesn’t know it, so Jeanie will draw some to find out. The newest gunshot victim is stable, and Doyle wonders if the game will be canceled. The staff guesses there will be more victims.

Mark tries to smooth things over with Chris, telling him that Kenny was injured during a drug deal but wasn’t involved. The rival player shouldn’t have been targeted since Kenny wasn’t shot on purpose. Chris balks at being accused of arranging the shooting, but Mark just wants him to spread the word so no one else tries to get revenge. Chris thinks he’s being profiled. Mark yells that he sees gunshot victims every day, but Chris doesn’t care, since Mark has never seen his brother bleeding to death in the ER.

Carter finally tracks down Babs’ former doctor and records, which let him know that her EKG hasn’t always been abnormal, so it’s a good thing she’s in the hospital. Benton gives Jeanie his blood sample, wondering if he should swing by the ER and see Carla. She didn’t say she wanted to see him, so he heads back to surgery. Mark asks Malik to tell Kenny’s family he’s still in surgery so they can have an update. Malik is again annoyed to be Mark’s messenger.

Weaver tells Mark about Brown, still interested in getting him into rehab. Then Mark heads to another trauma, as a fourth gunshot victim has come in. Weaver lies about Brown being motivated to get sober so she can get him a bed in rehab. Hicks comes to collect the latest trauma patient, and Doug praises Carter for saving him. She gives them the bad news that Kenny died in surgery. She apologizes for keeping Carter in the ER all day, but he’s not unhappy about it.

Doug examines two Little League players who collided during the game. Their fathers start arguing, so Doug sends them out of the room, telling them not to let their sons become rivals off the field. Mark asks Malik to come with him when he tells the Laws that Kenny died. Malik finally puts his foot down and reminds Mark that he’s a nurse – if he’s scared, he should call security. Mark goes to the waiting area alone and tells Chris that his brother died.

Carla’s started laboring, so Coburn has to give her an IV to give her medication to stop it. Jeanie offers to do the needle insertion, knowing Carla hates needles. Weaver tries to convince Brown to check into rehab, offering painkillers if he’ll try it for a few days. Brown accepts. Jeanie calms Carla by telling her to imagine a happy place. Carla won’t share where that place, since “it’s X-rated.” Heh.

Rachel’s sitter hasn’t arrived, so Doyle offers to take her to Doc Magoo’s for dinner. She’s still in the ER when the Laws and Kenny’s friends walk past, mourning Kenny. Rachel asks if Mark took care of Kenny like her grandmother’s doctors are taking care of her. Doyle says he did. Mark asks Haleh if she thinks he made racist assumptions when Kenny first came in. Haleh diplomatically says that black and white people see the world in different ways. White people often say certain things don’t have to do with race, but for black people, everything has to do with race.

Babs has a heart attack, so Mark rushes to help Carter, who stabilizes her. Coburn gives Carla an ultrasound, quizzing Jeanie on the procedure. They determine that the baby is a boy, which makes Carla happy. Mark beats himself up for thinking Babs was on drugs, as if he hasn’t made enough mistakes today. He tells her she’ll be fine, thanks to Carter. “Never shoulda smoked that crack, huh?” she responds.

After their day of saving gunshot victims, Hicks tells Benton that she has space for him on her team of general surgeons. Instead of being ambitious and seeking a tough specialty, he should focus on healing people. At first it looks like he’s going to decline, but he accepts. This means he’ll be working with Carter again, which amuses him.

Worried that putting off tending to Kenny led to his decline, Mark has talked to the surgeons, but there’s no way to know for sure. He admits to Doug that he does make assumptions based on race, and he tries not to act on them, but…you know. Racism. Doug says Mark is the least cynical person he knows.

Brown goes back on his deal with Weaver, leaving the hospital without checking out rehab. Weaver predicts that he’ll be back. Lydia’s like, “Yeah, he’ll be back to get drugs.” Mark tells Malik that he was right to call him on his behavior today. Appeased, Malik rejoins the basketball game. Benton goes to see Carla, who’s asleep, and watches the tape of her ultrasound, getting his first glimpse of his son.

Thoughts: Brown is played by Clifton Collins, Jr. Thomas is played by Richard Fancy.

Carla: still enjoyable for now. It’s weird.

Mark’s bedside manner in this episode is as faint as his hairline. He’s usually much better than this.

February 19, 2019

ER 3.10, Homeless for the Holidays: Employee X

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 4:54 pm by Jenn

It’s Doug’s best day ever!

Summary: Jeanie meets up with Weaver at Doc Magoo’s after a meeting with her doctor. Her viral load is now undetectable on her new medication, and she thinks County might now be okay with her continuing to work there. Weaver is less hopeful, but she’s also upset that Jeanie’s been sidelined with administrative tasks instead of seeing patients. Whatever happens, however, at least Jeanie’s health is good.

Randi criticizes Mark’s choice of Christmas presents for Rachel, a sled. Gant likes it, but his judgment might be compromised, since he’s been working for about 24 hours. Things get even worse for him when his girlfriend, Monique, calls to cancel their holiday plans.

Weaver meets with Mark and Anspaugh to discuss Jeanie. She can’t be fired because she’s HIV-positive, but it’s legal to make her life miserable, basically. Anspaugh tells Weaver and Mark to come up with a fair policy they can apply to any staff member with HIV. This means the two feuding doctors will have to work together.

Gant still has ten more hours to go before he gets a holiday break, part of which he’ll be spending with Carter’s family (but not Monique). Doug’s trying to buy his mom some last-minute flowers, but Carol hangs up the phone while he’s on hold to force him to see patients. She doesn’t want to hear his holiday complaints, since her mother started her prep for their traditional Ukrainian Christmas celebration at 5 a.m.

Doug asks Mark what his meeting with Anspaugh was about. Mark says they’re working on a departmental policy on HIV-positive workers, which makes Doug think there’s someone in the ER with HIV. Weaver and Carol treat a drag queen, Miss Understood, who had a fight with her boyfriend over who was cooking their Christmas goose and now has chest pains. She’s still clutching the goose and refuses to give it up, but Carol out-stubborns her.

Rumors are now circulating that someone in the hospital has HIV. Jeanie overhears Connie and Randi talking about it but keeps a poker face. Carol tries to get her to stitch up a patient, but Jeanie says she’s doing triage again. As Charlie arrives with Ahmed, the baby Doug has been trying to get into the hospital. Doyle tends to a woman named Beth who has some bad facial injuries and a possibly broken jaw. Doyle sees in her chart that she’s been there before multiple times and angrily guesses that Beth’s husband is abusive.

Mark and Weaver get to work on the policy, trying to balance federal law with state regulations. Mark argues that he’s concerned, not a bigot, and no one wants to fire Jeanie. They just need to remember their responsibility to their patients. Weaver notes that they also have a responsibility to Jeanie, who’s a good employee. If they reveal her personal information, they could get sued. Mark says this is bigger than Weaver’s loyalty to a friend.

Doug’s treating a baby who snacked on mistletoe when he notices Charlie and Ahmed. She’s worried that Ahmed’s mother, Gloria will realize that Charlie brought him there and will be upset. Doug doesn’t care, telling Charlie to get Gloria to the hospital. Paramedics bring in a homeless man, Collins, who has burns and a yappy dog named Nick. Collins makes Mark promise not to send the dog to a kennel.

Doug determines that Ahmed has a mass in his abdomen and will probably need surgery. Gloria hasn’t arrived yet and there are no other adult relatives, so there’s no one to give consent. Charlie wishes she’d brought him in sooner, since Ahmed’s tumor is affecting his kidney function, but Doug praises her for getting the child medical treatment.

Keaton, Benton, and Carter operate on Ahmed while Carol tries to get a history from a woman who was found dancing with elves at Marshall Fields. She’ll only speak through a reindeer hand puppet and will only give her name as Blitzen, “the most overlooked of all the reindeer.” Carol decides to write Blitzen down as the woman’s name.

Doyle’s telling Beth about a shelter she can go to when her husband, Mr. Lang, arrives. He pretends that she was hurt when she fell down some stairs. Doyle coolly sends him back to the waiting area, saying they still have some things to do. Mark tries to find Nick something he’ll eat, but the dog is picky. Also, Collins’ condition is declining. As Carol’s trying to get “Blitzen” a psych consult, a man arrives looking for her.

Nick finally gets some food, finding Miss Understood’s goose. Ahmed comes through surgery fine, but he’ll need to stay in the hospital for a while. Doug tells Charlie that he has to call Social Services, since Gloria didn’t do anything when Ahmed got sick. Charlie’s worried that Gloria will throw her out. Doug agrees to give Gloria a chance to explain herself.

Keaton wants to make last-minute Christmas Eve plans with Carter, so he says he’ll try to get out of things with Gant and his family. Doug treats Charlie to lunch and tries to get her to open up about her family life. She ran away from home in Cleveland because her mom had a string of bad boyfriends who often turned their attention to Charlie. She hasn’t talked to her mother since.

After 34 hours of work, Gant is ready to party with the rich people. Carter says he might not make it to his family’s party, because there’s a “girl” he wants to go see. Gant understands, but Carter feels bad. Not bad enough to give up Keaton, of course.

Weaver and Mark keep discussing their policy, overhearing Lily and Chuny as they gossip about the employee who might have HIV. Mark decides to address this head-on, but this leads to a debate among the nurses. Chuny doesn’t think a worker with HIV should be involved in a bloody trauma. Carol doesn’t see the problem as long as the person wears gloves.

Connie asks if the worker, whom Mark is calling Employee X, got HIV from a needle stick. Doyle doesn’t see why it matters. Haleh says that universal precautions are supposed to prevent transmission, and Lydia notes that they work on HIV-positive patients using those precautions. As Jeanie comes by, Mark says they’re trying to determine whether patients have the right to know that their doctor or nurse or whoever has HIV.

Chuny asks if there’s an actual Employee X, or if this is all hypothetical. Weaver says they’re just discussing policies for now. Employee X could be anyone. Tired of being talked about, Jeanie steps forward and says, “Would everyone stop calling me Employee X? I am HIV-positive.”

Weaver and Mark continue their discussion in the lounge, now with Jeanie present. Mark would be uncomfortable with letting Jeanie participate in a trauma involving deep, penetrating wounds, but Jeanie says she wouldn’t be comfortable with that either. She’s been more careful since she got her diagnosis, and she would never want to harm a patient. Mark knows this, but they need to reconcile state and federal policies.

Jeanie wants to continue helping people, which is why she hasn’t quit her job. She asks what else Mark is concerned about. He notes that dementia can be a sign of full-blown AIDS, and would obviously put patients at risk. Jeanie says that some hospitals have someone monitor employees with HIV to keep an eye on their health. Weaver volunteers to do that for Jeanie. Coming out of the meeting, Jeanie realizes that her co-workers are now looking at her differently. Carol says she wishes she’d known about Jeanie’s HIV, obviously implying that she would have been nicer if she had.

Doyle and Malik tell Mr. Lang that Beth will probably have to stay overnight for observation. They send him back to the waiting area as they wheel a covered gurney outside. Beth is on the gurney, sneaking out to go to the bus station. Doyle even gives her money for her bus ticket and food. Then she tells Malik the money was really his, as he won the employees’ bowl game pool.

Mark looks for an animal shelter that will take Nick, ignoring Chuny when she reminds him that he told the now-dead Collins he wouldn’t send the dog away. Mark’s mad that he had to pay Miss Understood $50 for the goose Nick ate. Chuny guilts him into changing his mind by telling him the shelter will kill the dog if they can’t find him a home. But hey, now Rachel might have a better Christmas present.

Gloria comes to the hospital, furious that no one will give her Ahmed. Doug can tell she’s high, which certainly isn’t going to make him hand over the kid. Charlie’s mad when Doug threatens again to call Social Services. She though he was different from every other adult she’s met with any kind of power.

Mark bathes Nick in the lounge sink and tells Doug he’s giving the dog to Rachel. Doug offers to help with the bath if Mark gives him $20 (he lost his wallet). It’s a good thing he doesn’t pay up front, because the dog escapes. Mark slips and hits his head, staying behind while Doug chases down the dog. Needing stitches, Mark turns to Jeanie for help, extending an olive branch.

Carter and Keaton are exchanging Christmas presents when Benton comes by Keaton’s office. Carter hides under her desk. Benton wants to do another pediatric rotation and hopes Keaton will give her replacement a recommendation (she’s going to Pakistan, remember). Keaton says Benton is a great surgeon, but it’s not enough for pediatrics. He only took the rotation to challenge himself; he doesn’t have a passion for pediatrics. Benton leaves without a recommendation for another specialty, saying he doesn’t want to waste any more of Keaton’s time.

While Jeanie stitches him up, Mark tells her she’s an asset to the ER. He wants her to stay. However, she’ll have to work within the limits they’re setting up, and Jeanie knows Mark wouldn’t be comfortable with her, say, giving Rachel stitches. Doug brings the dog back, then heads off to spend Christmas Eve alone.

Jeanie tells Mark she’s sorry she lied about her health. After he leaves, Carol comes into the lounge and tries to relate to what Jeanie’s going through now that the news about her health is out. When she came back to work after attempting suicide, she felt like everyone was staring at her. Carol hopes the two of them can become friends.

Charlie’s waiting for Doug at his place, having gotten his address from his wallet, which she stole. She has no place to go since, as suspected, Gloria kicked her out. Al visits Jeanie at the hospital and gives her some Christmas cards that were sent to them as a couple. He also has the star they used to put at the top of their Christmas tree. They reminisce about the early days of their marriage.

Carter goes looking for Gant, who fell asleep finishing his charts. Since Gant is doing his scut work, Benton has time to visit Carla and give her a gas station poinsettia. Apparently her standards are low because she lets him come in. At Carol’s, where she’s hosting Ukrainian Christmas, her mother chastises her for not having an extra chair for an unexpected visitor. It’s tradition, but also a necessity when Doug shows up with Charlie, wanting Carol to take her in for the night.

Mark takes both the dog and the sled to Jen’s house, but sees that Rachel has already gotten two puppies for Christmas. Jen’s new husband, Craig, spots him as he’s leaving and notes how coincidental it is that Mark brought a dog. Rachel doesn’t seem to care that Nick is scraggly and not as young or cute as her puppies. Mark pretends the dog is his and can barely hide his glee when Nick bites Craig. Charlie enjoys herself with Carol’s family, and Carol agrees to let her spend the night. Carter and Keaton spend the evening in bed, discussing her move to Pakistan. They recite “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Okay, leave already.

Mr. Lang falls asleep waiting for his wife at the hospital, and Doyle just lets him stay there. She tells Jeanie that the tree in the waiting area is missing something. She thinks Jeanie was gutsy for coming forward as Employee X. Jeanie realizes that she has the one thing that will make the tree look complete – the star Al brought her. Doyle says that since the star is from Jeanie’s first Christmas with Al, it’s an heirloom and should go on her family tree. But Jeanie says that’s exactly where it is.

Thoughts: Miss Understood’s drag cabaret act is the Mighty Morphin Gender Changers. That is BRILLIANT.

34 hours of work should be illegal.

I’ve always liked how much Weaver fights for Jeanie. I think it stems from having a disability – she’s most likely been mistreated at work, so she wants to stand up for someone else who’s being mistreated.

Apparently escaping from your abusive husband is just that easy.

When Benton comes by, Keaton tells him she was just “reviewing some anatomy.” Cough.

October 2, 2018

ER 2.12, True Lies: Heirs Apparent

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 5:09 pm by Jenn

Could you be mean to this man? Never

Summary: Rachel’s asleep – drink! Mark wakes her up and serves her breakfast, getting the hang of this single-father thing. Jen calls to check on them, and for some reason thinks Mark is bad-mouthing her to their daughter. Rachel’s struggling with her parents’ split and the fact that they live so far apart. She thinks Mark will eventually move back home. He decides to distract her with pancakes and ice skating.

Helen is well enough to be discharged from County and moved to a nursing home. Vucelich avoids questions from Ruby about when she’ll be able to walk. He invites Benton to a dinner party at his place that night; he’ll be able to put in some face time with some prestigious bigwigs. He’s also encouraged to bring a guest. Ruby’s concerned that Helen isn’t really ready to leave the hospital, but all the doctors involved think she is. Carter ushers them out the door, as he’s been told over and over is his goal. Whatever happens to Helen, she’s not his responsibility anymore.

Mark brings Rachel to the hospital for a few minutes before they go ice skating. She holds Susie while Mark tells Susan that the past few days have been tough. He invites her to come skating with them, an idea Rachel doesn’t like. She’s starting to display the attitude we’ll see a lot of when she’s a teenager. Carol tells Doug that his dad keeps calling, but Doug doesn’t want to talk to him.

Carter tells Benton that he finally got rid of the Rubadouxes. He asks who Benton will take to Vucelich’s party, vetoing his first choice, Jackie. Carter suggests Jeanie, laughing at the idea of Benton bringing his sister to a party full of surgeons and their trophy wives. Benton knows he’s right and quickly invites Jeanie to the party. She accepts once they establish that it’s not a date.

A patient comes in after a car accident that left him impaled on a guardrail. (Owwwwww.) A maintenance man has to bring in a saw to cut him off of it. Mark, Susan, Rachel, and Susie go skating (Susie’s in a little sled; it’s cute), but only three of them have a good time. Rachel clearly doesn’t like that her father has a new woman in his life, even though they’re just friends.

“My first medical consult!” the maintenance man declares as he finishes his work with the saw. Hicks arrives to help Benton and Carter take the patient to the OR so Vucelich can operate on him. Just then, the Rubadouxes return – Helen passed out. Benton tells Carter to take care of her but not “make a career” out of her. In other words, treat her and street her again.

The skaters return to the hospital, where E-Ray is filling in for a sick Jerry. Desk clerk is actually a better job for E-Ray than nurse, as he’s better with computers and administrative tasks than he is with medicine. He’s also a licensed daycare worker, so he offers to look after Rachel. Hicks and Benton operate on Mr. Guardrail, waiting for Vucelich to join them. Since he’s going to take a while to get there, Benton insists he can do the operation himself. Hicks agrees to let him.

A drunk woman is brought to the ER in respiratory distress, and Susan soon loses her pulse. Lily sees from her ID that her name is Barbara Dean, and today is her 50th birthday. She looks older than that, probably as a result of lots of partying. Helen (whom Ruby calls Sylvie, which is really confusing) is unconscious, and Carter and Jeanie tell Ruby that she may have had a stroke. Ruby’s worried that he was right about her leaving the hospital too soon.

E-Ray entertains Rachel by showing her pictures of skin lesions. He thinks she’ll benefit from “confronting [her] fears in a supportive and nurturing environment.” Susan calls Barbara’s daughter, who wants nothing to do with her mother. Lily finds her medical records, which show lots of alcohol-related injuries and illnesses. Doug’s father calls yet again, and Doug tells E-Ray to say he died. Carol has big news for everyone: Morgenstern is in the suture room, wearing a Catholic schoolgirl’s uniform. They all run off to see.

Benton’s attempts at surgery aren’t going so well, and he loses his shot at proving himself when Vucelich finally arrives to relieve him. Hicks takes responsibility, saying she let Benton’s enthusiasm cloud her judgment. Benton just looks on as she and Vucelich finish up. Aww, poor Benton. Now he won’t get to sit at the big kids’ table!

Ruby’s distressed over Helen’s condition, and Carter isn’t as sympathetic or gentle as he’s been in the past. A bunch of staff members giggle over Morgenstern’s clothes, considering taking a picture they can use as blackmail material for the next several years. Mark and Susan finally go in and learn that Morgenstern lost control of a caber, a huge log thrown in the Highland Games. His schoolgirl’s uniform is really traditional Scottish attire. Mark determines that his leg is probably broken.

Benton tells Jeanie he has to stay late at work, so their dinner non-date is off. Noah and his brother Kenny come in after being hit by a car; Noah only has minor injuries, but Kenny’s hurt pretty badly. Noah says that he doesn’t know where their mother is, and their father isn’t around. (It seems like the actor screwed up the line, or it was poorly written; it’s the mother who isn’t around.) Carol recognizes him as a previous County visitor.

Carter gets stuck between a rock and a hard place, where Ruby is the rock and Benton is the hard place. Carter’s trying to get Helen admitted to County, but Benton thinks he’s spending too much time on something unimportant. Barbara has a do-not-resuscitate order in her records, but Susan wants to put her on a respirator to treat her breathing problems. Barbara refuses to revoke the DNR.

Benton tries to leave a message with Vucelich’s assistant canceling his attendance at the dinner party. The assistant says that unless he has a terminal illness that will kill him before the party, he’d better be there. She also admits that he’s a last-minute addition because someone else canceled, and Vucelich’s wife doesn’t like empty chairs. He should think of this like surgery: If Vucelich requests his presence, he shouldn’t decline.

Morgenstern plays bagpipes in the suture room while waiting for his x-rays to come back. He’s disappointed that having to wait to get a cast on his leg means he’ll miss partaking in the haggis and reciting Robert Burns’ “To a Haggis.” He practices while Mark takes a phone call. Benton tells Jeanie he can make it to dinner after all, so she’ll be expected there, too. Jeanie is somehow fine with this.

Rachel plays jacks with Malik, who’s used to playing with girls since he has four sisters. Carol tells Doug that she remembers Noah because he came in with his father last fall after his father passed out drunk. DCFS is now getting involved. Doug blasts Dave Donovan, the DCFS rep, for not getting the kids out of their home where they’re obviously unsupervised. Dave says he’s familiar with the family and didn’t think the kids needed to be removed – their father’s gotten sober and is going to AA. The kids were playing hooky; their dad isn’t responsible for what happened to them.

Jeanie bugs Carter to tell Ruby that Helen’s doing poorly, so he needs to prepare himself to say goodbye. Carter brushes her off. Barbara’s daughter, Karen, comes in but doesn’t want to actually talk to her mother. Susan urges her to make peace before Barbara dies. After making calls to multiple departments in an attempt to get Helen admitted, Carter finally gets neurology to accept her for a nerve study she’s probably not really qualified for. He no longer cares; he just wants her off his hands. He also still won’t tell Ruby how serious Helen’s condition is.

Mark decides it’s time to tell Rachel that he and Jen aren’t going to get back together, and he won’t be moving home. He wishes it didn’t have to be this way. Jen arrives to pick her up, but Rachel doesn’t want to leave her father. She screams as Jen carries her away. Benton goes to Vucelich’s party, where Jeanie is already socializing and is probably better liked than Benton will ever be.

Kenny and Noah’s father comes to County, and Doug interrogates him on where he was while his kids were playing in the street and getting hit by a car. Carol tries to mediate as Doug blasts the father for making multiple visits to the ER in the past because of his drinking. Carol finally pulls Doug aside and tells him to call his dad if he wants to yell at a father. Noah and Kenny’s dad is doing the best he can.

Morgenstern’s family comes to see him in the ER, playing bagpipes and drums. They’ve even brought the haggis. Haleh enjoys herself until she learns what’s in haggis. Karen’s now sitting with Barbara, remembering the times she saw her mother unconscious when she was a kid. She used to be afraid or angry; now she doesn’t have the energy to be either. She’s not sure if that’s a good thing or not.

Vucelich’s dinner party is exactly how you would expect a dinner party full of rich, white people to be. Benton praises the work of one of his colleagues, and another says that Vucelich considers him “the heir apparent.” Benton confides to Jeanie that after his horrible showing in surgery that day, he doesn’t think he’ll be the heir anymore. He expects Vucelich to kick him off his study. The two of them try to figure out which part of their meal is a truffle.

As Doug sees Noah’s father hugging him, trying desperately to be a good parent, Vucelich asks Benton if they can speak alone. Benton prepares himself for the worst. Barbara’s declining quickly, and since she signed a DNR, there isn’t much Susan can do for her. Now Karen wants more time with her mother, and she’s distressed when Barbara flatlines and Susan and Lily do nothing.

Vucelich offers Benton a cigar and booze, neither of which he wants to partake in. (I’m not sure if it’s been mentioned before, but Benton doesn’t drink.) Benton apologizes for performing badly in surgery and backs up Hicks’ earlier assertion that he overstepped his bounds. But Vucelich knew that would happen, and that Hicks would keep an eye on things. He likes that Benton keeps one eye on details and one on the horizon, like all good surgeons.

Vucelich says he enjoys looking at puzzles and assessing risks. Benton replies that that’s why he’s enjoyed being on Vucelich’s team. Vucelich wasn’t sure, since Benton never expresses that enjoyment. He was afraid he was seeing something in Benton that Benton doesn’t see in himself. Benton says he wants to see it. Vucelich likes that. Back at County, Doug finally calls his father but hangs up before he gets an answer. Susan and Mark come in, and the three end their tough day with some of Morgenstern’s family’s booze.

Ruby finds Carter as he’s doing paperwork and blasts him for lying. He knows now that Helen will never get better, and will never be able to leave the hospital. He’s sure that Carter knew the whole time but didn’t say anything, even though Ruby thought they were friends. Carter argues that he was just doing his job. He admits that he doesn’t know if Helen got worse because she was released from the hospital.

Carter lists all the things he did for her, but Ruby knows that he only sees him and Helen in terms of their problems, not as people. He just wants Carter to tell him the truth. Carter yells that Helen’s dying, and Ruby thanks him, finally getting confirmation of what he’s been fearing. He no longer wants Carter to call him by his nickname. They are definitely not friends.

Thoughts: Vucelich’s assistant must really hate Benton, because why else tell him he didn’t make the first cut for the guest list?

Carter, Benton, and Vucelich are lucky that Ruby never sues for what could probably be classified as medical malpractice.

Yvonne Zima (Rachel) is great in this episode, and especially impressive when you realize that she was only seven at the time.

It seems like this episode confirms what’s been obvious for a while – Benton’s way of practicing medicine doesn’t work. Carter tried it and got burned. He’s a much better doctor when he ignores Benton and forms a relationship with his patients. He has to see them as people, like Ruby says, and not like medical cases to be worked through before he can go home for the day.

September 11, 2018

ER 2.9, Home: Jen Is at the Top of Santa’s Naughty List

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , at 5:08 pm by Jenn

I’m sure those pencils will keep him warm when he’s sleeping outside in Chicago in December

Summary: Doug’s asleep – drink! Susan wakes him up and asks him to examine Susie, who has a cough. Doug pronounces her happy and healthy, which must be because Susan’s so great with her. They hand the baby off to Connie and go to meet another baby, this one much sicker than Susie. As Haleh takes the frantic parents out of the trauma room, Doug decides that the baby can’t be saved. He has to tell Susan a couple times to stop trying to revive him. Doug gives the horrible news to the parents as Susan takes Susie back from Connie.

Carter and Harper have worked things out and are dating, or whatever the kids call it when they spend a lot of time together and hook up. They try to make out in an elevator but Benton interrupts. They get clumsy in their attempts to find a quiet place where they can be alone, then have to pretend they’re looking for someone’s films when they realize Susan is in their hiding spot. (Thank you, Susan and Benton. I didn’t want to watch that.)

Carol brings stuff in for the hospital’s Christmas drive, trying to get rid of some things her mother wants to off-load since she’s moving. Doug and Mark laugh at her old records and baton. Carter and Harper finally find a make-out spot, but it’s the hospital chapel, and they’re soon joined by some nuns. These two are definitely going on Santa’s naughty list.

Shep shaved! It’s a Christmas miracle! He thinks Carol should be sadder about her mom selling her childhood home. He’s brought in an unidentified patient who’s now drawing something in an exam area. Doug and Mark tend to a man named Ethan Brown who was hurt in a hit-and-run. He’s able to ask for his wife through his possibly broken jaw, but Mark wants him to leave on his oxygen mask and stop trying to talk.

Carol tells Shep’s patient, Mr. Sullivan, that he can’t smoke in the hospital. She and Jeanie tend to his minor wounds as he tells them he’s an architect. He doesn’t seem completely mentally aware, so Carol tells Jeanie to call psych. As Benton notices a hickey on Carter’s neck, the two of them check out Ethan. Jeanie tells Carol that she’s identified Mr. Sullivan, whose real name is Joshua Shem. He has schizophrenia and ran away from his residential home. Because it’s his third time running away, they won’t take him back.

Doug told Mark he can’t work that night, so some of the female employees wonder if he’s going on a date. He remains mum. Ethan’s wife arrive, frantic at first but much calmer when Mark assures her that her husband will be okay. A teenager comes in with her sister, Reba, who was treated for injuries at a skating rink but had a seizure on the way home from the hospital. Looks like she has a head injury that the doctor who treated the cuts on her legs didn’t discover. (That doctor will also be on the naughty list.)

A police officer who came in with Ethan tells Mark and Susan that a witness told him who was driving the car that hit him: his wife. Mark quickly tells Lydia to call security, but Mrs. Brown has already found her husband and is trying to finish what she started with her car (this time with her bare hands). Ho ho ho, Mrs. Brown is getting coal in her stocking.

Mark tells Susan he’s spending the holidays with Jen’s family, clearly a sacrifice he doesn’t really want to make. Susan checks on Reba, who says she doesn’t remember what happened, then promptly has another seizure. Carter runs into Vucelich in the bathroom and says that Benton wanted to have an interview with him, but Carter forgot to sign him up. Vucelich agrees to see Benton anyway.

Susan struggles to end Reba’s seizures, finally guessing that she’s having an allergic reaction to the lidocaine she was given at the previous hospital. Records faxed over from St. Anne’s show that she was given a toxic dose. Weaver thinks Susan should write a case report, then have the hospital pay for her to present it in Miami. Susan doesn’t think she can take time away from the ER to do the necessary research, then leave town when she has both work and family responsibilities. She worries that Mark is disappointed in her for turning down the opportunity.

Dr. Myers meets with Joshua, who declines the offer of medication. He just wants to work on his drawing and go home (though he doesn’t actually have a home). Myers can’t hold him, since he’s not a danger to himself or others, and Joshua says he can take care of himself. Jeanie thinks Myers is just checking this case off his to-do list, but Carol defends him. Myers gets dozens of cases like Joshua every day and does everything he can for his patients. They’ll just have to stall and hope they can find Joshua a new residential home.

Carter, now wearing a huge bandage on his neck, tries to rearrange his plans with Harper since he now has to stay for Benton’s interview. He still hasn’t told Benton about the interview, though. When he tries to bring up the subject, Benton says he doesn’t want to participate in the study Vucelich is interviewing doctors for. Good job, Carter!

Carol catches Joshua trying to leave and admires his drawing of an arch. He says he draws what “they” tell him to draw. She tells him about her new house, and he identifies the style and interior. He tells her there’s a fireplace she didn’t know about. Weaver asks why Joshua hasn’t been discharged, and Carol says she wants to put a sterile dressing on one of his cuts. She’s actually stalling by offering Joshua food, but Weaver’s fine with letting him warm up and have a meal.

Carol hears Doug on the phone, confirming his plans for the evening and promising the person he’s talking to that she’ll look beautiful no matter what she wears. He still won’t give any details on who he’s meeting. Mark then gets a call from a hospital in Milwaukee and learns that Jen and Rachel were in a car accident. Rachel’s fine but Jen’s hurt. Doug offers up his car keys as Mark rushes off to see his family.

Susan calls the hospital back and tries to get information on Jen, but she has no luck. It makes her wonder if County is this tight-lipped. Lydia mentions that she used to date an OR tech at the hospital, so Susan makes her call him. Carter recognizes the arch from Joshua’s drawing as the Sullivan Arch, which he’s seen pictures of in an installment at the Art Institute. Carol remembers that Joshua introduced himself as Mr. Sullivan.

Shep amuses himself by looking through Carol’s old yearbook and the things her friends wrote. He wants to rescue it from being given away. Weaver tells Susan that Morgenstern wants to talk to her about presenting Reba’s case – he’s excited for this great opportunity. Benton ruins Carter and Harper’s plans by giving them more work to do. Jeanie calls around, looking for a place for Joshua, with no luck.

Benton goes to his interview with Vucelich, which turns into a field trip. Joshua’s mother, Madeline, arrives but says she can’t take him home. He’s let go of everything in his past and won’t stay. He was going to be an architect, but a breakdown in college derailed his plans. Madeline gives Joshua some money and pencils, the old thing he still cares about.

Morgenstern helps Susan and Carter tend to a man who fell off a ladder while setting up a Christmas display. He laments that he crushed Rudolph, though he should be more upset about the long, sharp thing sticking out of his arm. I know I am. Morgenstern tells Susan how great Reba’s case sounds, but she again declines the opportunity. He reminds her that she’s a candidate to be chief resident next year. Susan knows she needs to start publishing, but she thinks she’s taken on enough responsibility and doesn’t need “extra credit.”

Mark makes it to the hospital in Milwaukee, and I guess the episode ran short because we have to see him running around instead of just going right to Rachel and Jen. Jen is stable but has a broken leg and possible internal injuries. Despite being a doctor at County, Mark has no standing at this place, so he’s kept away from her as she’s treated.

Susan gets a Christmas card from Chloe that’s full of money. Anyone else would be excited to get $3,000, but Susan isn’t appreciative. Doug, who knows all about deadbeat relatives, advises her to take what she can get. In Milwaukee, Mark finds Rachel and meets a guy named Craig, who was in the accident with her and Jen. In fact, he was driving their car when they were hit. Mark’s too distracted to understand the significance of this.

Jeanie can’t find a place for Joshua, but he’s already taken off. She wonders if she’s cut out for doing this kind of work, since her previous job as a physical therapist let her see her patients’ progress. Carol says they just have to do what they can for everyone. She finds Joshua’s pencils under his bed.

Vucelich takes Benton to an operation so he can see firsthand the work Vucelich does. Benton knows his stuff and is suddenly interested in joining Vucelich’s study. Vucelich tells him to scrub in. In Milwaukee, Jen’s doctor tells Mark that she doesn’t have internal injuries, and surgery to repair her leg went fine. Craig asks Mark to translate from medical jargon to English.

Doug’s dinner date is with his mother, Sarah, and though his relationship with his father is nonexistent, he and his mother get along well. He tells her his father called, and she guesses that he wants money or is up to something. Doug isn’t worried and promises that his father can’t touch them ever again.

Carol takes Joshua’s pencils to the Sullivan Arch, which Joshua has made his home. He says they’re all he needs, but she gives him a blanket, too, ensuring her spot on Santa’s nice list. Carter finally finishes his extra work and meets up with Harper, who’s chatting with Jeanie. She guesses that they’re dating, but Carter says they don’t have time in medical school. Harper mentions that she’s going into the Air Force after med school. Carter teases that she’s going to become an astronaut after that.

Susan runs into a neighbor while doing laundry, and doesn’t correct the neighbor when she thinks Susan is Susie’s mother. It looks like that sounds good to her. Carol puts on some music at home, and she and Shep take hammers to a wall to uncover the fireplace Joshua told her was there. They celebrate by dancing and making out to “Take a Letter Maria.”

The lyrics “take a letter Maria / address it to my wife / say I won’t be coming home” foreshadow the conversation Mark is about to have with Jen (well, if Jen were the husband and Mark were the wife). He’s figured out that Craig isn’t just a friend or co-worker or second cousin or whoever she was going to pretend he was. Jen’s in love with him. Merry Christmas, Mark: Your wife is cheating on you.

Thoughts: Joshua is played by Adam Goldberg.

Jen’s father is a reverend. WELL, HIS CHRISTIAN TEACHINGS SURE DIDN’T STICK.

Susie’s at that age where babies babble in almost-intelligible language. I love that age.

July 10, 2018

ER 1.25, Everything Old Is New Again: Goodbyes, Both Spoken and Unspoken

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 5:07 pm by Jenn

Clooney should trademark that look

Summary: Carter’s asleep – drink! Malik wakes him up for a trauma, and since no other doctors are available, Carter’s somehow in charge. The 14-year-old patient shot himself in a suicide attempt and needs a crike, a procedure in which a hole is cut in his throat. Lydia is able to outline the steps for Carter, because nurses are awesome, but Benton arrives in time to do the actually cutting. When he learns that Carter was about to do it, Benton just chuckles. He remembers that this is Carter’s last day as a med student, and instead of giving him some advice or words of wisdom, he gives administrative instructions.

It’s raining when Carol wakes up on what’s meant to be her wedding day. Amazingly, the rain doesn’t annoy her. Chloe and Susie are staying with Susan, and though Chloe was invited to the wedding, she doesn’t feel strong enough to go. Susan thinks she is. At County, Mark encourages Doug to go see Diane and tell her how he feels. Doug thinks the breakup is for the best, though he feels bad for Jake. Benton tells Carter that he needs to fill out an assessment of their time together. Carter’s thrilled to get to write down his feelings about the rotation.

Mark tries to talk to his next patient, a drunk woman named Bonnie who would rather have a cigarette than any medical treatment. Carter gives Benton a horrible assessment, with some egging on from Haleh. Out of a possible 40 points, Carter gives Benton 16. He feels a little bad, but Haleh points out that Benton had to evaluate Carter as well, so he’s probably not going to get any kind treatment there.

Swift helps Mark with Bonnie, overruling Mark’s diagnosis and recommending conservative treatments. As soon as he leaves, Mark overrules his overruling. Doug and Carter meet with a preteen named Caleb who’s feeling sick after finishing chemo. Caleb’s annoyed at their concern, so Doug tells him they can’t rule out meningitis, which can cause irritability, because the irritability might just be from Caleb’s personality. (Basically: “Stop being a brat so we can figure out what’s wrong with you.”)

Benton runs into Jeanie, who claims she hasn’t returned his calls because she’s been busy. Also, he shouldn’t call her at home. She asks to meet him later so they can talk. Mark was right about Bonnie’s diagnosis, and instead of being offended, Swift praises him for making a tough call. Then he tells Mark that the hospital has been served with a wrongful-death suit over what happened to Jodi O’Brien. Mark is upset but not surprised.

Benton examines Susan’s patient, Thomas, who has end-stage AIDS. Since Benton has no bedside manner, Susan explains things to Thomas’ partner, Jason. An oncologist sees Caleb, admitting him for antibiotics. Carter has no responsibilities, somehow, so he offers to hang out with Caleb and his sister, Sarah. Caleb continues being irritable, so Carter gives him one last chance to be nice and ask Carter to stay. Caleb declines.

Thomas is declining, and Benton tells Jason that he may need surgery. Thomas’ mother has power of attorney and is on her way, but possibly not quickly enough. As Susan heads out to get ready to be Carol’s bridesmaid, Benton tells Carter that the person who was going to take the ER sub-internship went elsewhere. The slot is open again, and it’s Carter’s if he wants it. Carter excitedly accepts, then races to take back the assessment he turned in. It’s too late – Hicks already has it.

Swift tells Mark that he’s going to take Morgenstern’s recommendation and hire him as an attending. Mark wants to discuss it with Jen, but he’s grateful for the offer. At Doc Magoo’s, Benton laments to Jeanie that he didn’t get to say goodbye to his mother. She tells him that she likes him, but this is about Mae. Benton says they’d both like to think that. (This scene is really vague. I’m pretty sure she’s trying to say they have nothing connecting them except Mae, while he’s saying there’s chemistry there.)

When Susan gets home to grab her wedding outfit, she finds Susie there alone, and Chloe nowhere to be found. She’s left a note saying she went to buy cigarettes, which is such a deadbeat-parent cliché. Carter asks Hicks if he can get his evaluation back for some edits, but instead, Hicks offers to show him Benton’s evaluation of him. Surprisingly, Benton had nothing but positive things to say about Carter. Carter pretends he just filled out a negative review because he was upset about not getting the sub-internship. Hicks graciously allows him to retract his evaluation, as long as he fills it out honestly.

Thomas’ mother, Marjorie, sings a lullaby to her unconscious son. Benton recommends a procedure, but Marjorie doesn’t want Thomas to endure any further pain. Benton agrees to keep up the current treatment in hopes that it’ll work. Outside the room, Jason tells Benton that Marjorie made the decision Thomas would have made. He wants to take Thomas home to die, but Benton thinks he should stay so they can manage his pain. Jason says that Thomas’ loved ones have already said their goodbyes, but they’re still not ready to let him go.

Doug tells Caleb’s father that he seems to have an infection unrelated to his chemo. Carter comes back to try to befriend the kid again, this time succeeding with an offer to play Mortal Kombat. Susan has to take the baby to the wedding and hand her off to the Greenes, since Chloe didn’t come back in time. The wedding party greets Carol outside the church, and everyone’s ready to proceed…but Tag isn’t there.

Benton sits with Thomas, holding his hand and inevitably thinking of his mother. Carol finds Tag sitting by himself, worrying that she doesn’t love him as much as he loves her. She assures him that she wouldn’t marry him if she didn’t love him. She admits that he’s right, but she still wants to be with him. Tag doesn’t feel the same, so we have a runaway groom.

At County, Connie teases Doug that Carol and Tag must be hitched by now. I guess Connie didn’t get invited to the wedding? That sucks – Haleh and Lydia got to be bridesmaids. Jake comes by to try to fix Doug and Diane’s relationship, but Doug knows it’s unfixable. He admits that sometimes he hurts people without knowing why.

Now that Caleb has softened a little, Carter opens up to him: His own brother had cancer as a child and sometimes took out his anger on Carter like Caleb does on his sister. Carter knows he was just trying to mask his pain. As Sarah looks on, Caleb tentatively asks if Carter’s brother made it. Carter says no, but he had a different kind of cancer than Caleb does. Plus, it was a long time ago, and medicine is better now – and the kids are tougher.

The wedding is off, but everyone gathers for the reception anyway. Malik wonders what will happen to the food. When Rachel says she’s hungry, Mark decides it’s okay to raid the buffet. The bridesmaids and Jen are ready for the open bar. Doug goes to the church, where the non-bride is crying in a pew. She asks what’s wrong with her, and why she can’t fall for a good guy. Doug says Tag is boring, which makes Carol laugh. She confides that she’s afraid she’ll never be happy. He assures her that she will be, not even realizing that when she is, it’ll be with him.

Carter thanks Benton for teaching him over the course of the year. Benton tells him he’ll be a good doctor, possibly the first kind words he’s ever said to Carter’s face. The reception is going on as if the wedding actually happened, and when Carol arrives, she expresses her gratitude for having friends who care about her. She’s had a great year because of them. Everyone dances to “Tequila,” and it looks like the actors are really enjoying themselves. Of course, Doug can’t keep his eyes off of the non-bride.

Back at the hospital, Carter turns in the contents of his locker, ready for a summer off before he begins his sub-internship in the fall. Sarah tells him that she hopes one day she can make a difference in someone’s life like he did for Caleb today. Rolando encourages Carter to come back and visit sometime, unaware that Carter will be working there in the fall. He heads off as the busy hospital continues to operate without him.

Thoughts: One season down, 14 to go! Things are about to get a lot more interesting. (Two words: Kerry Weaver.)

I was expecting Marjorie to be hateful and judgmental, which would be an easy direction for the show to go with that storyline. I’m glad they didn’t.

The plot parallels in season 1 don’t hit you over the head like they do in later seasons. It’s nice.

The Carol/Tag breakup is so anticlimactic, but she really wouldn’t have been happy with him. He’s a jerk, though. If you don’t think it’s a good idea, call it off before everyone gets to the church.

 

June 26, 2018

ER 1.23, Love Among the Ruins: Everyone Has a Big Decision to Make at the Same Time! What a Coincidence!

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 5:07 pm by Jenn

I know it’s the obvious caption here, but still: Same

Summary: Mark is…NOT asleep! He’s awake in the middle of the night, having stayed at Jen’s place even though she was resistant to let him. He talks about happy moments in their past, then tries to get romantic with Jen, who resists. Mark, let it go. You’re better off without her. At County, Jerry is in a much better mood than Mark, having been cast as Romeo in a production for the Shakespearean theater group he just joined. He recites the balcony monologue to Lydia, who isn’t impressed. Then Swift scares him with a mask and invites him to help wake up some sleeping drunks.

Susan and Malik tend to a cab driver who was mugged. Kovalev is also a matchmaker, hooking his passengers with each other. Div happens to be one of those passengers, so now Susan knows what he’s been up to since they split up. Swift chases out the drunks, offering them donuts as they leave, then tells Carter that he received his application for the ER sub-internship. This is the first Benton is hearing about it. Carter says he hasn’t made up his mind yet about whether he wants to focus on trauma or surgery.

Mark learns that Doug will be coaching Jake’s Little League team; Mark thinks this is a big step in Doug and Diane’s relationship. He hasn’t heard about the attending position he was supposed to get, and he’s not about to approach Swift about it. Benton complains about having to write a recommendation for Carter for the ER sub-internship, telling Carter to write something himself that Benton will just sign his name to. Haleh gives Benton a message from his student-loan service stating that he’s three months behind on his payments.

Susan sends Chloe off to appointments for the baby and some social services. Chloe demands lunch money, then offers to make dinner for her sister. Susan begs her not to. Carter stitches up Kovalev, who tries to find a woman for him in his matchmaking album. Carter himself can be included in the album for just $10. Carter declines, but Kovalev extends him a freebie in exchange for the medical treatment.

Carol complains to Tag that a woman getting married right after them at the same church wants to buy their flowers, since they’ll already be there. But since the flowers will be “used” by then, she’ll only pay a third of the original cost. All the wedding planning is getting to Carol, and the couple still has to write their vows. They run into Diane, whom Tag knows, and when she says she’s heard a lot about Carol, Carol wonders if she heard it from Doug rather than Tag. They chat about the wedding, and Carol invites Diane. Tag’s not happy, because now Doug will come.

As Mark and Susan treat a guy who drove his car into a tree, Diane gives Doug something he left in her bedroom while he was sneaking out to avoid being seen by Jake (which is dumb, since Jake knows he’s been sleeping there). They sneak a quick makeout session, which Carol sees. Mark and Susan’s patient, Donny, wrote a suicide note for someone named Amy, which explains why he drove into a tree. Swift joins the trauma and takes over when he disagrees with Mark’s ideas for treatment. Mark leaves, deciding he’s not needed.

Sometime later, Lily tells Susan that the Amy from Donny’s letter is on her way to the hospital. Susan thinks Lily tracked her down, but Lily says Amy called on her own. Doug chastises Mark for walking out of the trauma room, which will definitely hurt his chances for becoming an attending. Mark claims that he doesn’t care about the job anymore. Doug tells him he’s being an idiot. And when Doug thinks you’re being dumb, you’re definitely being dumb.

Benton is at the admit desk when a man comes in with a cut on his hand. Benton determines that he needs stitches and passes him on to Carter. Carter recognizes the man as Howard Davis, the father of one of his former classmates, and a member of the board of directors. Swift also recognizes Davis and makes sure he gets preferential treatment. Benton, not Carter, will be tending to Davis’ wound, though Davis asks Carter to tag along. Jerry quips that he hopes Davis didn’t hurt the hand he writes checks with.

A bunch of high school basketball players come in with their nun coaches; one of the girls is sick, and Doug suspects meningitis. All of the players and coaches will need to be isolated until the doctors can determine if they’ve also contracted meningitis. Amy arrives and hears that Donny is in a coma. Susan gives her the suicide note, and Amy tells her that Donny made his attempt in front of her house, hoping she would witness it. He took pills after their last breakup, but Amy was told that it was a cry for help. She didn’t think he would try again for real.

Davis chats with Carter about his son, who dropped out of college and now writes for Vanity Fair. Benton is bored but perks up when he learns that Carter used to do dressage. He had a white Icelandic pony! Named Marigold! Benton keeps a poker face but probably hasn’t been this happy in years. He’s probably trying to figure out how to work that into Carter’s recommendation.

The sick basketball player will be okay, but Doug and Carol want her teammates and coaches to take a preventive drug to make sure they don’t get sick as well. Because it can be harmful to pregnancies, the also have to take pregnancy tests. The head coach, Mother Lawrence, asks for exemption for herself and her assistant coach, Elizabeth, since they’re nuns, but she has no problem letting the girls take the tests.

Donny wakes up, but Amy leaves without talking to him. Carol teases that Doug must be loving the chance to examine a bunch of Catholic schoolgirls. Tag comes by to have lunch together so they can work on their vows, but Carol needs to keep working with Doug. Tag pulls a Mark and walks away, hurt.

Speaking of Mark, Swift asks if he has a problem with authority. Mark says only when that authority is undermining his judgment. He doesn’t like being treated like a med student when he’s a resident. Swift says he doesn’t act like it. Morgenstern talked him up, but Mark seems grumpy. Swift doesn’t treat Mark the way he does because he wants to, but because Mark doesn’t have his head in the game.

Amy’s still hanging around the hospital, and she’s willing to go talk to Donny, but she doesn’t want to get stuck taking care of him. She tells Susan that Donny has a lot of problems and always needs help. His sweetness has always kept Amy around, but she claims this will be the last time. She’s just afraid that Donny will try to kill himself again. It’s hard for her to walk away, but she can’t be responsible for his life. She gives Susan a note to give to Donny.

Doug’s shift is over, and he’s pleased to report that no one’s pregnancy test came back positive. Susan tries to call Chloe, admitting to Mark that she hates not knowing where her sister is. He tells her that he finally talked to Swift, who wants him to adjust his attitude. Benton gets another call about his loans, which makes Susan and Mark complain about their own. Benton remarks that Carter must be happy not to have to worry about loans. After Carter leaves, Benton tells Mark, Susan, Jerry, and Malik that Carter’s family is super-rich.

Haleh brings in two patients with pool balls stuck in their mouths. One did it on a dare; the other did it to show the paramedics what happened to his friend. Haleh names them Dumb and Dumber. Carol tells Lydia that she hasn’t been sleeping much because of all the wedding plans. By the way, the wedding is two weeks away. She asks if Lydia had any doubts leading up to her marriage. Lydia says no, but the marriage only lasted four years before her husband left. She can’t imagine Tag leaving Carol the same way.

Elizabeth asks to talk to Carol privately, revealing that she didn’t take the preventive medicine. She may be pregnant. A man runs in carrying his son, who (squeamish people, look away) fell on a hanger and got it embedded in his mouth. Doug goes to Jake’s Little League game, providing lots of good encouragement for the kid. Back at County, Mark and Swift determine that the hanger is close to some major arteries, so removing it will be tricky. It’s probably good that the boy’s father speaks little, if any, English and can’t understand when Swift tells Malik to find some bolt-cutters.

Elizabeth is praying in the hospital chapel when Carol comes to tell her that her pregnancy test was negative. Elizabeth admits that she’d kind of hoped it was positive. Her boyfriend wants to marry her, but she’s been preparing to become a nun for more than two years. She’s not sure which path God wants her to take. If she were pregnant, the decision would be made for her.

Wendy tells the boy’s father what the trauma team is doing as they do it. Mark and Swift work well together, with neither second-guessing the other or trying to take over. They successfully remove the hanger and send the boy to surgery to fix his wounds. Susan finds Carter writing his recommendation and reads what he’s written about himself. He’s conscientious and punctual, which Susan says makes him sound like a train conductor.

Malik finds an article about Carter’s family, and he, Benton, and Jerry discover that Carter’s father’s net worth is $178 million. (Also, Carter’s father’s name is Roland here, but later it’s Jack, because first-season continuity on this show is awful.) Jerry wishes he’d been nicer to Carter. Jeanie comes by and asks Benton for help with a paper she’s writing for her classes to become a physician’s assistant (formerly nursing classes, because…well, first-season continuity on this show is awful). They may see each other later when they go see Mae.

Jake hits an inside-the-park home run at his game, but he misses touching first base when he rounds the bases. A kid on the other team notices, but Doug ignores him. When the umpire asks whether or not Jake touched the base, Doug says he did, so the home run stands. The kid on the other team yells that Doug is a liar.

After the game, Doug admits to Jake that he screwed up, and he has no excuse for lying. His father would have done the same thing, and since he’s the only paternal role model Doug has to draw from, Doug hasn’t developed great parenting skills himself. The two agree not to tell Diane what happened. On the plus side, at least Jake hit a home run.

Carter gives Benton his recommendation, which Benton signs without reading. Annoyed, Carter asks what Benton wants from him. Benton turns the question around on him, and Carter replies that he wants the surgical sub-internship. Then he’ll have a better chance of becoming a surgical resident, the best way he knows to challenge himself. Carter admits that he’s not sure he can hack it as a surgeon. Benton asks why he’s applying for the ER sub-internship if he wants the surgical one. Carter responds by ripping up his application.

Doug brings Jake back to the hospital to meet up with Diane. He claims he’s pleased that he’s traded in his bachelorhood for the life of a family man. The guys see Jerry leave in his costume, bidding them good morrow. Carol finds Tag working on his vows and asks to hear them. They say that Carol’s the only woman Tag has ever truly loved, and the only one he can see spending his life with. Carol likes them and promises that she feels the same way. Tag wonders why she isn’t sleeping well, if that’s the case.

As Doug and his new little family leave for the night, Benton goes by Mae’s room, running into Walt. Walt tells him that Jeanie just left and reminds Benton that she’s married. He knows Benton has a crush on her, since he starts talking like Barry White when she’s around. Walt makes Benton laugh by singing “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe,” but Benton’s feelings for Jeanie clearly aren’t a joke.

Susan’s on her way out for the night when she goes by Donny’s room and finds Amy with him, promising to stick around. There’s obviously a parallel here to Susan and Chloe’s relationship, and when Susan gets home and learns how irresponsible Chloe’s been all day, she says she’s done being a caretaker. She’s spent her whole life bailing Chloe out, and she’s done. Chloe needs to leave, and since she’s 34, she’s only enough to figure out where to go.

A woman from radiology, Melanie, comes to Carter’s for Kovalev’s films. She saw his picture in the matchmaking album and wants to go out with him. Carter’s so surprised that, no matter what Melanie says, all he can respond is, “Uh-huh.” Jen’s already in bed when Mark gets home, and though he plans to go read in the living room and give her some space, now she wants to get it on. (Maybe Walt can serenade them.) Rachel wanders in with a stomachache, so even though Mark and Jen aren’t going to be getting any closer tonight, at least their family is all together…for now.

Thoughts: Elizabeth is played by Amy Ryan.

Hey, Davis, having a kid who writes for Vanity Fair in his mid-20s is pretty impressive, whether or not he dropped out of Brown.

I’ll admit I’m a little disappointed that we didn’t see Doug trying to convince two nuns to take pregnancy tests.

June 19, 2018

ER 1.22, Men Plan, God Laughs: Unfixable

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 4:56 pm by Jenn

Hi. I’m back for no reason

Summary: Maybe we should have a drinking game where we drink every time an episode starts with someone sleeping. This one does, so drink! Mark wakes up for work at 5:45, sharing his bed with medical journals instead of his wife. Benton complains to a doctor at Mae’s new facility about how she’s not mobile enough. The doctor doesn’t think Mae is ready for the mobility Benton wants her to have. She has to remind him that Mae broke her hip and won’t heal overnight.

Susan calls her mother to help with Chloe’s health insurance, now that she’s back in Chicago. Rolando the desk clerk isn’t organized enough for Swift’s liking, and he blames a cold, so Swift tells him to go home. Paramedic Doris Pickman brings in a man who was caught in a metal press, and Doug enlists Carter to help him with the trauma. Benton joins in as well, climbing on the patient’s gurney to put his dislocated hip back in place. This saves the man’s leg, and may be the only thing Benton has control over in his life right now.

When Mark makes it in to work, he tells Susan that he wound up not going to see Jen after Susan encouraged him to. She warns him to get on Swift’s good side, but Mark plans to leave early so he can go to Milwaukee. He confides that he’s not sure things are going to work out. Carter’s studying for the boards, even though they’re four months away. He hopes to get a surgical sub-internship, though Susan thinks Mark will recommend him for one in the ER. Carol and Doug scare Carter by telling him that the boards’ failure rate has gone up.

A teenager named Katie went to work with her mother at a naval base and pulled off her earmuffs at the firing range, temporarily deafening herself. Doug checks her over, asking the mother why there’s a naval base on Lake Michigan anyway – “who’s going to invade? Canadians?” Mark checks out a baby named Henry whose lips turn blue when he eats. His father, Leonard, blames himself, since heart problems run in his family. Mark detects a murmur in the baby.

A manic patient named Mrs. Dibble tries to engage Susan in conversation until Malik takes her back to her room. Susan tells Mark that she appreciates that her brain creates the right balance of chemicals. She complains about Chloe’s poor habits as a guest and says she won’t let Chloe derail things like she’s always done before. Swift asks Mark to meet with him at the end of his shift for a joint commission survey, but Mark says he has personal business. Swift asks when residents started having personal business.

A girl named Samantha fell off a wall at school and is unconscious. Benton can’t figure out why her condition is deteriorating when she gets to the ER. Diane wants to close Doug’s file over the incident where he attacked an abusive father, but that requires Doug to go to a therapy session, and he’s resistant. She wears him down, partly because she’s doing her job and partly because she likes Doug.

Susan’s next patient is a doctor named Strong who wants pain medication for a back problem. Susan wants to finish his workup first. Benton and Carter realize that Samantha’s coma wasn’t caused by a head injury but is a result of diabetic ketoacidosis. Haleh offers to pass the case along to Doug, but Benton wants to stay in charge. As Doug gets a phone message from Linda, who’s been out of the picture for a while, Carol tells Mark that she and Tag want Rachel to be their ring bearer. Mark says he’s not sure where they’ll be in May.

Chloe arrives for an appointment, and Susan works hard not to gripe at her sister for wearing her clothes and breaking her blender. Mark, Haleh, and Wendy treat a drunk, combative patient named Reicher and give him an endoscopy. Using a camera to look into his stomach, they see that he has an ulcer. As Mark leaves the trauma room, he runs into Mrs. Dibble, who’s more stable but is feeling low now. She says she doesn’t think anything good will ever happy again. Mark can relate.

Samantha’s stabilizing but hasn’t been taking her insulin. Haleh again offers to pass the case on to another doctor, since it’s not surgical, but Benton still wants it. Rolando calls for a replacement, now thinking he has the flu. Reicher’s wife arrives and reveals that her husband lives on the street. She’s brought him some clean clothes, but she doesn’t want to see him. She just wanted to know if he was alive.

Connie shows Susan some of Strong’s test results, and Susan sees that he signs his name Dr. Lyle Strong, M.D., a redundancy a real doctor wouldn’t make. She makes up a diagnosis, then busts him for providing urine with chicken blood in it in an attempt to score pain meds. Connie suspects that Strong got his self-diagnosis from a medical textbook. Before the interrogation can continue, he runs out in just his gown and shoes, passing Jerry as he arrives to replace Rolando.

Henry may have a hole in his heart, and his father, Mr. Offenbach, still blames his genetics. Mrs. Offenbach is pretty calm about the fact that her eight-week-old needs an operation. Mark assures Mr. Offenbach that his son’s condition isn’t his fault. Jake asks Doug to help out with coaching his Little League team, and Doug easily agrees. Linda shows up, inviting Doug to celebrate a deal she just closed, and Jake pays very close attention to her flirting. Doug declines the offer and assures Jake that just because Linda flirted doesn’t mean he returns her affections.

Jeanie comes by to chat with Benton, inviting him to grab dinner with her during a break. He hesitates, possibly because she’s married, and possibly because he’s Benton and doesn’t like to socialize. He examines a teenager named Charlie who’s been having a weird feeling in his arm and leg. He still feels a little sick from a recent flu, and fell a couple days ago. Benton passes him along to Doug, and as Benton leaves, Charlie remarks that he’s nice. That’s probably the first time someone’s said that about him, and it may be the last.

Susan’s annoyed that Chloe isn’t taking her pregnancy more seriously, but she can’t help laughing at the thought of their mother becoming a grandmother. Samantha’s awake now, and Benton reveals to her mother that she hasn’t been taking her insulin. Samantha’s angry that she’s sick and could be facing unfair complications like blindness. Benton says that pretending she doesn’t have a serious illness won’t get her anywhere. She needs to accept that things are the way they are. He tells her flat out that if she doesn’t take her insulin, she’ll die. I bet Samantha doesn’t agree with Charlie that Benton’s nice.

Doug examines Charlie and determines that he needs an MRI. Charlie doesn’t get why he needs to have his head scanned when his leg is the problem. Away from Charlie, Doug tells Malik to make him a priority and bring Benton back to the case for a consult. Coburn gives Chloe an ultrasound and confirms that she’s having a girl. Chloe still wants to name the baby after Susan. She’s thrilled, but Susan is much more reserved.

Benton gets Charlie’s MRI back as Doug goes to his therapy session with a doctor named Murphy. He pegs Doug as “a reasonably normal guy with sloppy impulse control.” The next time he wants to take out his anger on someone, it needs to be in a bar, not the hospital. Doug can’t believe that Murphy is telling him it’s okay to hit someone. After asking Doug to promise never to attack someone in the ER, Murphy says he’s free to go. Doug asks to talk about his other problems, so Murphy recommends therapy.

Carter asks Mark about the ER sub-internship, even though Mark isn’t sure his recommendation will do him much good right now. Charlie has an aneurysm pressing on his spine, and he needs immediate surgery. The requisite surgeon won’t perform it, but he knows a doctor at another hospital who will. Mark treats a woman’s dog bite and seems confused when she says she’s going to tell all her friends to come see him when they have medical emergencies.

Dyer, the doctor Charlie needs, is out for a run, so Benton makes Carter hand over his car keys so Benton can go hunt him down. Carter thinks that Benton’s going above and beyond for his patients because he can fix them while he can’t fix his mother. Doug thinks Carter’s been taking too many psych classes. Mark tells Doug that his dog-bite patient may have been hitting on him. Doug agrees, saying that Mark’s been moody, and “women like to save moody men.”

A man comes in with a gunshot wound, and his mother tells the trauma team to let him die. She calls him the devil as Carol removes her from the trauma room. Doug takes over for Mark so he can make his train to Milwaukee. The patient’s mother tells Mark that her son is a killer, so saving him is a bad idea. Mark’s like, “I guess my day could be going worse.”

Diane tells Doug that she’s fine if their relationship doesn’t work out, but she’d like to know what kind of future they have so she can be prepared for the possibility of Jake getting hurt. Doug just says he hopes they’ll be together for a long time. Mark passes his patients off to Susan, then nervously goes off to see his wife. Yeah, I wouldn’t be in any rush to go see her either.

Swift’s looking for Benton, who’s still out looking for Dyer. Carter tells him Benton’s in surgery and gathers up the charts Swift needs. Jerry thinks Carter’s trying to suck up so he’ll get the sub-internship. As Benton finds Dyer, Swift grabs Carter to come help out with a woman named Leslie who was struck by lightning. He lets Carter run the trauma, which he does confidently. He credits Benton, Mark, and Susan for being good teachers. When he won’t say which is the best, Swift praises his diplomacy.

Dyer accepts Charlie as a patient, and Benton sees him off to Dyer’s hospital. Charlie has guessed that something is really wrong with him, and Benton is honest with him about the seriousness of his condition. Charlie could die, but Benton promises that he won’t. (In later seasons of the show, that would mean he definitely would, but it’s season 1, so we just never find out what happens to him.)

Benton returns to County, where Swift compliments his work with Carter. Carter has finished Benton’s charts, letting Swift believe that Benton did the work himself. Benton thanks Carter, who asks him to repeat himself, just because he wants to hear the words twice. Chloe has gone on a shopping spree and brings all her new baby things to the hospital to show Susan. Susan’s upset about all the money Chloe spent using her credit card. Chloe points out that she’s going to be someone’s mother. If their mom could do it, she can, too.

Mark spends a little time with Rachel, then tries to talk to Jen, who doesn’t want to get into it. He tells her that he needs to have more time with his daughter. He offers to move to Milwaukee, even if he and Jen are really over. He doesn’t think he’ll get the attending job anyway. Jen is noncommittal and hesitates before letting Mark spend the night.

Benton and Jeanie have dinner together, talking about their parents’ embarrassing behavior at their graduations. Benton is trying to come to terms with the fact that Mae will never get better, and that there’s nothing he can do about it. He thanks Jeanie for helping him through everything. Jeanie tells him that he seems able to get through anything. Benton says he used to think so.

Thoughts: Mrs. Dibble is played by Debra Jo Rupp.

I am, ultimately, a Carol/Doug shipper, but I like Diane a lot. Her sass with Doug is exactly what he needs in a girlfriend.

I appreciate Malik’s attempt at humor when he’s moving Charlie and jokes that they drop a lot of people, but..probably not the right audience or time.

Rachel: “3 plus 3 is 6. And 4 plus 4 is 8. And 6…Daddy, I don’t have any more fingers.” Hee.

May 15, 2018

ER 1.17, The Birthday Party: And Benton’ll Cry If He Wants To

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 5:08 pm by Jenn

Still not in the top 10 of weirdest things to happen in the ER

Summary: It’s the middle of the night, but Doug’s awake, and not in bed with the woman he hooked up with the night before. He doesn’t even know her name (though she doesn’t know his either, so they’re equally pathetic). He leaves, saying he has to go to work, even though it’s 4 a.m. Things are slow and Doug’s not actually on duty for a while, so he goes to the lounge to do paperwork. Carol’s still around, since she didn’t want to leave Tatiana. Doug tells her he’ll keep an eye on her while Carol gets some sleep before her morning shift.

Benton’s asleep on Jackie’s couch but wakes up when his nephew, Jesse, comes into the living room. Jackie reminds him that it’s their mother’s birthday, and there will be a party that night. He tells her he’ll have to rearrange his schedule but promises to be there. This is easier said than done, as he can’t find someone to change shifts with him.

Carter faces off with a patient who has poured gasoline all over himself and is threatening to light a lighter. Carter thinks he’s bluffing and warns that he’ll just set off the sprinklers, soak himself, and be embarrassed. The guy calls Carter’s bluff right back, saying there’s no sprinklers in the hallway. Carter starts to take the situation seriously and attempt to approach the guy and get his lighter. Benton ends the stand-off by spraying a fire extinguisher while Lily grabs the lighter.

Doug’s patient is a little boy who stuck his head in his father’s taxidermied tiger. His father blames his multiple viewings of The Lion King. Doug will have to remove the tiger’s jaw with a bone saw to free the child. His father objects, since the tiger’s been in his family for decades. Susan and Mark’s patient is more critical; she’s a frequent visit named Rene who often comes in looking for Demerol. They have to pump her stomach, and it’s not the first time.

Carol talks to a social worker named Mrs. Brown about Tatiana’s options, which aren’t great. There’s a children’s home/hospice that will take her, but that doesn’t sound appealing. Carol sadly watches her leave. Benton treats a man who lost a finger while boning a fish. His co-workers brought in a big crate of fish, which Chen and Carter will have to look through to find the missing finger. At least it’s on ice, which will give it a better chance of being reattachable.

Mark tells Rene’s father that she’s stable after overdosing on a mixture of drugs. He suggests that the family send her to in-patient treatment, which her father says didn’t work last time. Chen and Carter search the fish while discussing which sub-internships they might pursue for next year. Carter’s contemplating staying in the ER, though Chen warns that there’s only one spot. Benton unofficially gets to make the final decision. Chen has already applied. She also finds the missing finger.

Doug and Benton work on a little boy who might have a spinal injury. Another boy comes into the trauma room, covered in blood, and says, “I killed him. I killed Drew.” Doug determines that he isn’t injured, just in shock, but the boy, Kyle, says he shot his brother. Carol and Lydia tend to a man named Mr. Thornberg who’s in the late stages of lung cancer and is altered mentally. Susan and Mark play rock, paper, scissors to determine who takes the case. (Susan loses.)

On the phone with Walt, Benton promises again that he’ll be at the party. Carter overhears and thinks it’s Benton’s birthday. He asks about his chances for getting the trauma sub-internship; since 12 others have already applied, Benton puts his chances at 1 in 13. Mark’s like, “You’re aware that that was a really dumb question, right?” After Benton leaves, Carter tells Mark that it’s his birthday. Mark mentions that it’s also Rachel’s birthday. Carter thinks they should throw together a party. Mark advises him to work with Lydia on that.

Drew and Kyle’s father, a police officer named Thomas, has arrived, and Doug has to tell him that Drew needs surgery and might not live. Thomas keeps telling a crying Kyle to be quiet, but he eventually sits down and hugs him. He guesses that the gun Kyle shot Drew with was his service weapon. Carol and Lydia chat with Mr. Thornberg’s friend, who met him at church and started taking care of him since he doesn’t have a family. She says it felt like the right thing to do.

Rene’s boyfriend, T.J., is now with his girlfriend, and is trying to argue that she didn’t mean to hurt herself. Rene wants to go home with him instead of checking into a treatment center. Rene’s father knows there’s no use in arguing. Hicks learns that Benton wants to change shifts and calls him on rearranging his schedule a number of times recently. It’s not forbidden, but it upsets a balance Hicks and Morgenstern want their residents to experience. Benton starts to tell her that his mother’s sick, and she suggests that he take a break from the program and rejoin next year if necessary. Benton isn’t about to do that.

Lydia summons Benton to an exam room where two sisters are writhing in their beds. Carter and Malik are there for the big reveal: Carter has hired belly dancers for what he thinks is Benton’s birthday. Other staff members gather for the entertainment while Doug and Carol tend to a little girl who fell off a balcony onto her driveway. Doug remarks that it’s a “tough day to be a kid.”

Later in the day, Carol and Tag look at a church for their wedding; she declares that she hates it. She’s obviously just in a bad mood because she’s worried about Tatiana. She wants to do more to help the girl…like adopt her. Tag asks how much time Tatiana has left; he doesn’t want to adopt a child and then spend years watching her die. Carol is able to look past that, just wanting to help. But she assures Tag that he’s not a bad person for not feeling the same way.

Carter’s convinced that Benton is lying about today not being his birthday. Mark tells Susan that he has a patient who’s celebrating his 60th anniversary. She says her longest relationship was 60 weeks, and she doesn’t think she’ll ever get married. As Diane comes to the ER looking for Doug, Jeanie shows up and asks Benton if he can give her a ride to Mae’s party. Her husband can pick her up afterwards. Benton didn’t realize Jeanie was married, since she takes off her ring when she works with her physical therapy patients. He tells her he may not make it to the party after all.

Doug checks out a boy named Billy who may be anemic. He blames Billy’s diet, which has left him malnourished. Billy’s mother, Mrs. Larson, has four kids and has to rely on food stamps. In the winter, some of her money has to go to heat, so there’s little left for food. Doug has Lydia give her the names of some food banks and shelters, though Mrs. Larson doesn’t want to go to one. He tells her sternly that Billy’s teeth are rotting, so she needs to get him food wherever she can.

Malik tells Doug that the girl who fell off the balcony is stable, but Malik found a footprint on her back. Doug speeds off to the waiting area to confront the girl’s father, Wilson, who Doug thinks is abusive. Malik and Jerry have to restrain him before Wilson becomes the ER’s next patient. Doug has to cool off outside, but Mark doubts that Wilson will press charges; he has bigger things to worry about, now that he’s being investigated for child abuse. Doug refuses to apologize, and Mark says he doesn’t need to, but he’ll probably have to go to therapy. He adds that Diane’s still waiting around for Doug.

Carol stops Mr. Thornberg from smoking, but he figures one more cigarette won’t do any additional harm. I mean, he might ignite his oxygen tank, but okay. Police accompany a white supremacist into a trauma room after he was stabbed. Benton, Malik, and Connie are all there to tend to the man who has a death threat against people of their color tattooed on his arm. Lily wonders how he feels about Asians.

Doug finally makes it over to see Diane, who, let’s be honest, is totally turned on by his attack on Wilson. Carol and Jerry leave for the night, giving instructions to Rolando, the next desk clerk on duty. Jerry remarks that he doesn’t think they lost anyone today, though the verdict is out on the white supremacist. Benton and Hicks are about to operate on him, which means Benton has an excuse to keep avoiding the multiple phone calls Jackie has made.

As Carol goes to see Tatiana in her new group home, Mark goes home for Rachel’s birthday party, which is full of screaming girls. Jen’s ticked, but she got help from a co-worker. Then Mark gets ticked when he learns that Jen bought Rachel a Super Nintendo after he thought they agreed not to get her one. He has another present for Rachel, though it’s one Susan asked him to pass along. Jen announces that she’s accepted the offer to extend her job in Milwaukee. Since Mark made a decision on his own about his job, she feels like she could do the same.

Benton makes it home too late for the party; Mae’s already in bed. Poor Jeanie has to sit there and watch Benton and Jackie be passive-aggressive with each other. Benton laments that he missed the party to save the life of a man who would love to see him dead. Back at the hospital, Malik wakes Susan and tells her that Rene’s back, having overdosed again. Susan wants to keep the zero-deaths streak alive, so she works hard to save Rene while her father waits outside the trauma room, a place he’s become familiar with.

Thoughts: Mrs. Larson is played by Janel Moloney.

Jesse must get aged later on, because he’s only four here, but in season 7, he’s closer to 14 or 15.

Ving Rhames looks so much like Mos Def in this episode that I did a double take.

Next page