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.

 

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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.

February 27, 2018

ER 1.6, Chicago Heat: The Temperature Isn’t the Only Thing That’s High

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 5:06 pm by Jenn

Ughhhhhhh

Summary: Mark is, yes, sleeping, but this time he’s at home. He gets called in to work on his day off, and he has to take Rachel with him. Carol tells him that Mercy has closed to trauma, and another ER has lost power, so County’s the only one open. Also, it’s really hot, even though it’s October, and the air-conditioning isn’t working, so everyone’s a little moody. Until Rachel’s babysitter can come get her, she’ll have to hang out at the hospital, with all the dead bodies and stuff.

Lydia takes Rachel, so Mark goes in to help Doug with a five-year-old named Kanesha who’s experiencing heart problems. He tells Kanesha that he’ll bring Rachel in to meet her when she’s feeling better. Jerry tells Mark that a pizza delivery guy called to say he was stabbed and is driving himself to the ER. Unfortunately, the driver either passes out or forgets to hit the brakes, and his car crashes right into the ER. Tag steps out of an exam room, takes in the scene, and quips, “Somebody order a pizza?” Thanks, Tag.

Kanesha now has a fever on top of her congestive heart failure. The doctors are stumped and decide they need more information from the family. Benton examines the delivery guy, who only needs a Band-Aid. His “stab wound” is only a scratch. The delivery guy insists that it was a really big knife.

Jerry and the nurses make bets about a patient’s blood alcohol level. They range from .200 (Wendy) to .550 (Susan). Susan’s sister Chloe arrives to be annoying for the first of too many episodes. She couldn’t pay her rent, even with a handout from Susan, so she needs a place to stay for a few days. Susan says no, but Chloe wears her down, promising not to screw up again. It’s implied, but not confirmed until later episodes, that her screwups involve drugs. Susan orders her not to have any friends over.

Kanesha’s father, Mr. Freeman, tells Mark that she had some heart problems years ago, but they were supposedly resolved. He’s worried, while his other daughter, a teenager, is just bored. Kanesha’s hypertensive now, making Mark wonder if she ingested poison. Ivan is back yet again, having shot someone who was trying to rob him. Mark, Doug, and a woman from the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) tell Mr. Freeman that Kanesha’s okay, and doesn’t have congestive heart failure – she overdosed on cocaine.

Ivan’s caused a lot of damage to the robber, a teenage boy. Benton takes care of everything himself, telling Carter to stay out of the way. Susan and Malik tend to a patient named Monty who’s HIV-positive and has been drinking. Susan warns him not to mix alcohol with his medication. Langworthy comes to the ER to look at the robber, but Benton won’t give up his position in charge of the trauma.

Mark takes Rachel to meet Kanesha, and they have a really cute five-year-old conversation. Rachel wanders over to the next trauma room and gets an eyeful of Benton and Langworthy pulling open the robber’s chest. Mark finally pulls his daughter away, saying that someone bad must have hurt the robber. Carter stitches up a cut on Ivan’s head as Ivan defends his decision to shoot before he could be shot. He thinks anyone else would do the same in that situation.

Doug apologizes to Carol for ambushing her at home, but she’s not receptive. He winds up in an elevator with Tag, who’s a little more gracious. After all, he gets why Doug would want to still be with Carol. Benton and Langworthy do…something, then rush the robber to the OR. Ivan sees them going, seemingly realizing for the first time how serious things are.

The drunk patient’s blood alcohol level is .473; Lydia was the closest, having used her patent technique that involved smelling him. Mark complains to Jerry about a dead body that hasn’t been moved all morning. A pharmaceutical rep named Linda Farrell brings in a pizza to try to get on Jerry’s good side. She claims she’s supposed to meet Mark (who runs off to hide), and says she’ll wait when Susan tells her Mark is busy.

As Carol helps Tag fix a patient’s dislocated shoulder, he tells her that Doug is still in love with her. Carol says that he always wants what he can’t have. Tag wants them to live together again, but Carol is hesitant. Another patient in the room is enjoying the scene. She wonders if Carol’s unsure about moving in with Tag because of Doug. Carol says she’s standing in her own way. Mr. Freeman tells the woman from DCFS that the cocaine wasn’t his, and he doesn’t know how she got it. The home doesn’t seem dangerous, so Kanesha won’t be removed from it. Doug, however, isn’t going to send her home until he’s confident that she’ll be safe.

Susan finds her locker open a crack and realizes that her wallet is empty. She’s annoyed but not surprised. Div tells her to report her credit card stolen, even if it means Chloe gets arrested. Susan can’t bring herself to go that far, but she’d like Div to talk to Chloe as a psychiatrist. She’ll just introduce Div as her boyfriend to cover up what he does. Div notes that the conversation could reveal some deep, dark secret Susan doesn’t know about. He won’t go along with the scheme.

Benton breaks the news to Ivan that the robber isn’t going to be okay. Ivan says he was scared. He wants to stick around, probably in denial that things won’t turn out all right. After Benton leaves, Ivan starts to cry. Rachel goes back to see Kanesha before she leaves, and Mark asks Doug how long he’s going to keep her there when she doesn’t need to be admitted. Rachel suggests that Kanesha live with Mark. Mark tells her that some families don’t have both a mom and a dad, but things work out anyway.

Doug tells Carol that Tag accepted his apology, so maybe all three of them can be adults around each other. He tells her again that he’s sorry, offering to let her hit him if it’ll make him feel better. Linda interrupts to flirt, and Carol chooses that moment to take him up on his offer and punch him in the arm. She’s totally jealous that Linda might become the new object of his affection.

Monte tell Susan that he’d like to get into a program to deal with his alcoholism. But he needs money – just $100, or even $50. Susan refuses to give him anything. Things get heated, and Jerry has to drag Monte away as he yells that he was only asking Susan for help.

Mr. Freeman confronts Doug for keeping his daughter from him. He thinks it’s a race issue, and says Doug has no right to judge him. “Watch me,” Doug replies as he walks away. (I think Connie’s judging him, too, and that can’t be about race.) The robber doesn’t survive surgery, and when Rachel asks Benton if he made the boy better, Mark says they tried but couldn’t. Rachel confirms that Benton’s sad, and asks why he’s not crying. He says he’s crying in his heart.

Connie tells Doug that Mr. Freeman was right about Doug having a racial bias in this case. Doug thinks he’s making the right decisions to protect a little girl. Connie suggests that they ask Mr. Freeman if he’ll take a drug test. They can also find out who’s been hanging around the house, and drug-test other people. The drunk patient cleans up nicely, and is now standing upright, so I guess he’s sober again. Jerry still hasn’t moved the dead body, so Rachel gets another look at him as she leaves.

A detective questions Benton, who tells him that, according to Ivan, the robber had shot him twice. He thinks Ivan was justified in defending himself and doesn’t belong in jail. The detective reveals that the robber was unarmed this time. Ivan chased him out of the store and shot him on the street. Benton tells Ivan that the boy died, but I guess the police aren’t going to arrest him, because he just leaves.

Doug tells Mr. Freeman that his drug test was negative, but his teenage daughter’s was positive. Mr. Freeman isn’t surprised. He asks if Doug has kids. (He does – a son – but we never meet him, and Doug rarely talks about him.) Mrs. Freeman died not long ago, and she and her older daughter fought a lot in the months before her death. Mr. Freeman thinks his daughter is trying to harm herself because of her grief. He doesn’t know what to do for her. Doug promises that he can help.

As Mark puts Rachel to bed, she asks if he would fix her if she got hurt. He says he would. She wants to confirm that he wouldn’t let her die. Mark says that she’s the most important thing in the world to him; he would do anything to make her better. Susan gets home and finds that Chloe, who’s not there, has left a mess everywhere. To add insult to injury, her TV and VCR are missing. Div’s there, and he decides he’ll talk to Chloe and get her some help.

Thoughts: Andrea Parker (Linda) will always be Miss Parker to me.

It’s so weird watching Rachel as an adorable, sweet little kid when I know what a horror she is as a teenager.

A five-year-old ingested cocaine and the police don’t get involved? Huh?

February 20, 2018

ER 1.5, Into That Good Night: If Anybody Had a Heart

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 4:49 pm by Jenn

I care more about this guy than I do about Mark

Summary: It’s 4 p.m., and Doug and Carter are continuing the show’s tradition of having doctors woken up at the beginning of the episode. Mark is on the phone with Jen, telling her he has to work and can’t meet up with her. Doug and Susan both tell him to go. They’ll probably regret that, since some accident victims are coming in. One is Sally, a woman who’s almost seven months pregnant, and another is the female gang member who hit her with her car. Sally’s injuries are minor, but she may be in early labor.

Mark meets Jen by the river and she tells him she’s been offered a federal clerkship in Milwaukee. He’s happy for her, even though it’s far away. She suggests that he transfer to a hospital there. Mark doesn’t want to give up his chief residency, so he thinks Jen should just commute. She points out that she’ll have less time with Rachel that way. Mark agrees to make some calls and look for a job in Milwaukee. Jen reminds him that she’s made a lot of compromises, so it’s his turn to do the same.

Sally’s baby is in distress, and when her water breaks, the doctors can no longer try to stop her labor. It’s time for her to go up to labor and delivery. Mark returns and tells Susan about the possible move to Milwaukee. Benton and Carter tend to the gang member, Ms. Suarez, who claims she hasn’t used any drugs.

Jerry’s amazed that the board is so light. He’s probably just jinxed it. Sally gave birth in the elevator, but the baby is premature and its lungs haven’t completely developed yet. Carter pulls Doug aside to ask about the possibility of an STD in a patient who feels a burning sensation when he urinates. Doug tells him how to do a test, then lets Carter know that he knows they’re not talking about a hypothetical patient. Yes, Carter hooked up with Liz, and he probably didn’t use a condom.

A cop wants to take Suarez in to the station; she stole the car she hit Sally with. Benton wants her to stay in the hospital, since she could have serious injuries, and he gets to overrule the cop. Susan’s on the phone with her mother when another trauma comes in. The patient, Samuel Gasner, had a heart attack, but the EMTs have already gotten him stabilized. He needs a heart transplant and has been on a waiting list for a while. He’s in town from Cleveland for a builders’ convention. Samuel passes out, but the doctors quickly revive him. For someone who needs a new heart, he’s in pretty good spirits.

Doug’s next patient is a girl named Sandy who’s having an asthma attack. Doug tells her mother they’ll need to get rid of their cat. Sally’s husband arrives and learns that the baby was born. Samuel’s EKG doesn’t say anything different than it usually does; he asks what he always asks: “Am I going to make it tonight?” His heart stops again and they shock him back into rhythm. He says he doesn’t usually have two episodes in one day.

Mark asks Benton if it’s too late for Samuel to have a heart transplant, assuming they can get him one. Samuel doesn’t think he’ll survive the night. Sandy, however, is doing better, but will need to start taking asthma medication. Susan tells Carol that Mark might move to Milwaukee, though she doesn’t think he’d be happy there. Carter sees Benton practicing tying one-handed knots and wonders if he ever goes home. Benton claims to be listening to Snoop Dogg, but he’s really listening to a cardiology book on tape.

Kayson examines Samuel as he talks about how weird it is to sit around waiting for someone to die so he can get a transplant. He jokingly asks if Mark will lend him his heart for the weekend. Samuel has a nine-year-old daughter and laments missing so much of her life so he could travel for work.

Carter asks Jerry if he’s received test results for his patient, “Car…tere.” Benton calls around for a heart for Samuel, but, as he notes to Mark, they can’t just pull one out of thin air. Ivan the liquor store owner is back with another gunshot wound, but this one was self-inflicted. He got a gun for protection and accidentally shot himself in the foot. He’s grateful that in America, you can get seen by a doctor without having to bribe one with vodka, like in Russia.

Susan asks Benton how hard it is to find a heart with type A blood. Apparently pretty hard, since Kayson and another doctor, Flint, are just happy not to be Samuel. Susan suggests putting Samuel on heart-lung bypass until they find a donor. Kayson says the stress would kill him. He has a transplant team on call, so if a heart becomes available, Samuel can be in surgery within 20 minutes.

In the lounge, Doug amuses himself by playing wheelchair basketball, using Carter as a backboard. Carter explains to Mark that he lost a bet. Lydia has to remind Doug that he’s a doctor and has patients to take care of. Carter makes small talk with Mark about Milwaukee and Samuel. Mark’s never had a patient like Samuel before. He tells Carter to get some sleep while he waits for Benton to call it a day.

Doug advises that an elderly patient get x-rays after a fall, but she resists since she thinks she’s pregnant. Doug promises they won’t hurt the baby, then hands her off to Lydia, pretending the woman really is pregnant. Susan tells Div that she’s worried about Kayson being on her review board. Div thinks she should relax – Kayson “loses so many patients, he gets endorsements from funeral homes.” Susan’s a good doctor, and she shouldn’t be so concerned with what the attendings think of her.

Mark lets Samuel know that his wife’s on her way. Samuel’s extremely pale now and knows his chances of surviving are pretty slim. Mark tells him that without a transplant, he probably won’t live through the night. It’s 2 a.m. already, so that means he has very little time left. He invites Mark to call him by his first name instead of Mr. Gasner.

The cop waiting for Suarez has been standing around for hours; Benton finally tells him that she died. The cop doesn’t really care. Benton finally leaves, which means Carter can go home, but since he only has five hours before he has to be back on call, so he doesn’t see the point in leaving. Susan brings him in to observe an intubation.

Sally’s husband thanks Doug for taking such good care of his wife and baby, who’s supposed to be okay. A friend of Susan and Carter’s patient tells Susan that they were playing a drinking game. The patient, Daniel, had 15 or 20 tequila shots, as well as some beer. His blood alcohol is .832 and he needs dialysis.

Samuel’s wife, Elaine, and daughter, Sarah, arrive at the hospital. Mark tells Elaine that they only have a couple of hours to find a donor heart before Samuel most likely dies. Mark checks on Samuel, who starts to tell him a joke, then stops. He tells him that every decision you make in life counts, but then you die anyway. Cheery! Samuel cries, saying he’s not ready to die and leave his family. He asks to see his daughter.

Mark steps out to get Sarah, but has to take a moment to collect himself. Carol asks him not to tell her that she should be grateful to be alive. He says that’s not what he was thinking, but he doesn’t say what he was really thinking about. He calls around again for a heart, simultaneously telling Susan that he thought marriage would be easier. If he moves to Milwaukee, he’d have to be a junior resident. It’s a step down, but, as Samuel said, “it all counts.”

Sandy’s back in the ER at 4 a.m., and her mother admits to Doug that she didn’t get her the medication she needs. It costs $30, she doesn’t have the money, and Medicaid won’t pay for it for another week. Doug looks for a spare inhaler and medication samples that will hold Sandy over until then. Carter asks Jerry for his lab results again, and Jerry reveals that he put them on the bulletin board. A group of staff members have gathered around to see the results. Liz is back in the ER, picking her next doctor to hook up with: Kayson.

Sarah goes to see her father, completely aware that he doesn’t have much time left. She tearfully asks Mark why he can’t fix Samuel. He admits that they can’t fix everything. Sandy’s doing better, but Doug can’t find a spare inhaler for her, so she’ll need to go to a clinic the next morning. Her mother argues that she can’t take time off of work to take her there. Doug insists that it’s her only option.

Samuel’s time is almost up, and Elaine is with him. Mark and Carol try to revive him when his heart stops again, and their attempts at CPR allow him to tell Elaine that he loves her and Sarah. Susan checks on Daniel, making him promise that he’ll never drink this much again. She thinks he can spare the few million brain cells he’s lost.

Doug finds Mark playing basketball outside the hospital and asks to borrow $40 so he can run an errand. He tells Mark to go home, but I guess Mark didn’t learn the real lesson Samuel wanted him to learn, which is that he needs to treasure his time with his family instead of spending his spare minutes at the hospital.

Doug buys Sandy’s medication and inhaler and takes it to her building, which is full of people who, like Sandy’s mother, can’t afford to take time off of work to take their children to clinics. She promises to take Sandy in for treatment. Mark finally goes home and tells Jen that he’ll move to Milwaukee if that’s what she really wants to do. But now she’s okay with commuting, since she knows Mark would hate the move. Rachel comes in, happy to see her father, and the family snuggles in bed together.

Thoughts: Sally is played by Brenda Strong.

Carter, if you were too dumb to use a condom, please don’t become a doctor.

“Div, there are a lot of subjects that interest me, and believe me, your ex-wife tops my list.” Hee!

January 23, 2018

ER 1.1, 24 Hours: Doctor, Doctor, Gimme the News

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 8:48 am by Jenn

This show is brought to you by the color sea green

Summary: Dr. Mark Greene is woken by Nurse Lydia Wright at 5 a.m. so he can see a patient. He tells her to give the patient to an intern, but she tells him it’s Dr. Ross. Mark heads to the mostly quiet ER, where Doug Ross is drunkenly singing “Danny Boy” to himself. Mark and Nurse Wendy Goldman start to sober him up in an exam room as Doug tells Mark about a date who was surprised to learn how sexy a pediatrician could be.

Doug asks if Mark and his wife, Jen, have resolved their problems. He hopes Mark doesn’t leave the ER. Wendy asks Mark if Doug does this a lot; Mark says it’s just on Doug’s nights off. He goes back to bed, but Lydia wakes him again to ask a question. She wakes him for real at 6:30 so he can start his shift.

Dr. Susan Lewis and Dr. Peter Benton are also on duty. Desk clerk Jerry Markovic is done for the day and heads out with the shift change. Benton sees on the news that a building has collapsed, which means a number of patients will be coming in, and Benton will have lots of people to operate on. Mark gives instructions to his intern, then strikes them all so they can prepare for the mass casualties coming in.

As Nurse Carol Hathaway takes a patient, Doug wakes up hungover. Benton works calmly on his patient, with a better bedside manner than we will ever see again over the next six seasons. Despite his adventures the night before, Doug steps in to help, working with Nurse Haleh Adams. Benton tells a surgeon that he’d better save a patient’s hand, since he told the patient they would. The other surgeon knows that Benton would love to do the operation, but he’s only a resident, so he’s years away from being able to handle it himself.

Susan’s patient only has minor facial injuries, and also lets us know that it’s St. Patrick’s Day, and the hospital is called Cook County General. He asks if Susan’s married; she says no, since she’s a doctor. He starts to ask her out, but she shuts him down, saying that he wouldn’t want to fall on his face again.

Benton takes over Doug’s patient just before she starts coding. They work to shock her heart back into rhythm. Doug helps Susan with her next patient while Nurse Malik McGrath tries to get Benton to check out some more people. He’s still working on Doug’s patient, and is able to revive her. Mark tells the son of one of the victims of the building collapse that his father died. The son pounds on Mark a little, then breaks down in tears.

Once things have quieted down, the doctors go to a lounge to do paperwork and catch each other up on their patients. Benton complains that the nurses keep coming to the doctors’ lounge and drinking their coffee, but Mark makes him calm down. The doctors hope that their new medical students, who are starting that day, will be better than the last bunch.

Carol comes in with more paperwork, and Benton confronts her for being a coffee thief. She tells him to make more. Benton complains that they work 90 hours a week for very little money; they shouldn’t have to make their own coffee. Carol has no sympathy.

Mark rushes off to the cafeteria to see his wife, assuring Susan that everything’s fine. (Spoiler alert: It’s totally not.) Mark and Jen’s daughter, Rachel, is also there, being cute and eating grilled cheese for breakfast and showing no signs of the brat she’ll become in a few seasons. Jen asks if Mark is going to go to an interview for a job elsewhere; the hours would be better, allowing them to spend more time together. Mark doesn’t seem that excited about taking a job somewhere else.

Later in the morning, med student John Carter arrives in a tailored white coat, which the doctors quietly make fun of. Carter is Benton’s third-year surgical student, and Benton isn’t that excited about having to teach him. He gives Carter (and us) a quick tour and a run-down of things he’ll need to know. Despite being a third-year, Carter has never started an IV, which doesn’t help Benton’s impression of him.

As they pass Carol, Benton mentions that “she goes with an orthopod who used to be a Big 10 tackle and looks like King Kong.” (Who says “goes with”?) Then he takes five seconds to teach Carter how to start an IV. Carter tries to take notes on everything Benton says, but he’ll never be able to remember it all. Benton introduces Carter to Dr. David Morgenstern, the head of the ER, warning that he eats students for lunch. Morgenstern says that Benton is one of the best residents at the hospital, and Carter’s lucky to learn from him.

Benton takes Carter to a suture room to stitch up a woman’s hand. Meanwhile, Doug meets his own student, Tracy Young, who seems immune to his charms, somehow. Wendy calls Benton away, so Benton leaves Carter to finish with the woman by himself. Tracy is much more confident with her first patient, though she could use some help with bedside manner (that’s where Doug’s charms help). They determine that their young patient has an ulcer, most likely because of his super-type-A mother.

Benton checks on Carter, criticizing him for taking so long with the woman. The woman is pleased with the work and asks when she should come back to get the stitches removed. Carter makes something up. Susan does some labwork, then gives Carol some instructions for a patient. Carol is clearly a higher-up, as other nurses come to her with questions. She also used to date Doug, and obviously regrets that they’re not still together.

Carter’s next patient is Officer Martin, who accidentally shot himself in the leg. Carter tries to start an IV but is hopelessly incompetent. Officer Martin asks how often Carter has done this before. “I’d hate to tell you how often I’ve done this before,” Carter replies. Officer Martin complains about his wife, who he was fighting with when the accidental shooting occurred. Officer Martin needs some anger management, and his wife should probably move out.

Mark and Carol tend to a man who had double vision when he woke up. Since he doesn’t have any other symptoms, Mark doesn’t want to waste the patient’s money by calling in a neurologist. He should just go home and come back if the double vision returns. The man accuses Mark of refusing to treat him because he’s black. Since Mark appears to be Jewish, at least according to the patient, he should be more sympathetic to discrimination. Mark tells Carol to call neurology and bill the patient for the consult.

A cab driver runs in and announces that there’s a woman in labor in his cab. Mark grabs Carter to help him bring the woman in from the snow. Carter has to put his hand between the woman’s legs to hold the baby in before they get to a trauma room. Doug comes in to help, but the baby comes so fast that Mark is the only one ready to deliver it. Carter just stares at the miracle of birth, amazed. Benton tells Carter to go back to his actual job; the ER doctors can screw things up on their own.

An x-ray tech takes a long time with Officer Martin’s x-rays, only telling Benton what he already knows. Mark’s next patient has an injured ankle and only wants to know if he gets workers’ comp. Mark thinks he should be glad he’s still alive, unlike the next patient over. Doug diagnoses a young boy with an ear infection, and the boy’s mother comments to Haleh that Doug is handsome. “He knows it,” Haleh remarks.

Carter asks Benton for his next patient, but Benton tells him he can go have lunch. Carter says he’s fine and wants to keep working. Benton tells him not to be a hero – it may be a while before he gets to have dinner, so he should eat when he can. Tracy is shocked to see that a crack dealer in the ER is just a kid. She has to call security in case the dealer’s rival gang members come in to finish him off.

Just as things are getting hectic in the ER again, Mark announces that he’s going off to an appointment. He meets with a Dr. Harris, who has a job opening in a private practice that will pay Mark tons of money. Harris thinks that the ER is for young doctors. Mark will be much happier going to conferences around the world and working in a calm, nice-looking facility. Mark still isn’t that enthusiastic.

It’s 3 p.m. and the snow has turned into rain. Mark returns to Cook County, where Doug asks about his interview. He also wants to know about the rumor that Mark hooked up with a technician. Doug knows it’s not true; Mark is faithful to Jen. Mark adds that he’s also too tired to cheat.

Susan leaves her patient, Mr. Parker, to take a phone call from a guy named Paul. He wants to go out; she thought they broke up. She goes back to Mr. Parker with bad news: There’s something in his lung, and it might be bad. Susan doesn’t want to say anything definitive, but Mr. Parker wants a straight answer.

She finally tells him that, with his history, he could have cancer, but he shouldn’t jump to conclusions until he’s had more tests. Then she tells him that he probably has six months to a year to live, if that. Mr. Parker thinks this is a good time to take his wife to the Bahamas. He thanks Susan for being straight-forward, then remarks that at least now he doesn’t have to quit smoking. He starts to cry, but Susan tells him that, in her job, she’s learned that nothing’s certain. He hugs her, then leaves. Susan takes a moment to collect herself, then goes back to work.

A nicely dressed woman named Mrs. Raskin tells the desk clerk, Timmy, that she needs medical attention. He directs her to Mark, who hesitates to take care of her hangnail, since it’ll cost a lot of money. Mrs. Raskin is wearing a fur and wouldn’t be out of place in Millicent Carter’s circle of friends, so she doesn’t care. She’s very familiar with Mark and even knows that Jen is studying for the bar exam.

There’s another shift change, and Jerry and Nurse Connie Oligario come in as some other nurses head out. Carol takes something from the drug lockup before leaving for the night. Carter stitches up the foot of a teenager who’s upset that she crashed her father’s new Cadillac. When her dad arrives, at first he’s just happy that she’s okay, but when the news sinks in, he’s pretty angry. Carter makes a great “if I sit very still, they won’t know I’m here” face.

Benton criticizes Carter’s speed again, telling him that since it’s St. Patrick’s Day, they’re going to have a lot of people to look after. One of them is a little boy who swallowed a key. His mother is more concerned about being locked out of the house than she is about the fact that her kid ate something that wasn’t food. Doug and the kid giggle at her.

Carter questions a patient who denies that she’s pregnant, even when Carter warns that she could have an ectopic pregnancy that could require surgery. He takes the case to Benton, who gets the girl to admit that she’s had sex. He agrees with Carter’s assessment that she has an ectopic pregnancy.

Mark and Susan have coffee, and he complains about Jen’s expectations of him and how often she laments the little time they get to spend together. Mark gets paged, and the two return to the ER, where the staff is practically silent. Doug is shaken, wondering how this could happen “to her, of all people.” An ambulance arrives with “her” – it’s Carol, and she’s unconscious from an overdose.

Lydia asks why she would overdose, but Mark chastises that they don’t ask that about any other patient who overdoses, so they can’t ask it here. Mark and Susan work on Carol as other staff members, including Doug, watch. Mark finally notices and has Malik close the curtain around them so they can have some privacy.

Morgenstern is called in, but he’s not sure if they should keep trying to save Carol. Mark thinks they have to keep working, if just for the morale of the unit. Morgenstern tells him everyone’s looking to him: “You set the tone.” They all feel guilty and angry and scared because one of their colleagues is in the ER, but they need to take care of her, then take care of everyone else. He repeats that Mark sets the tone and will need to get the unit through this crisis.

Doug can’t believe that, after a day when she seemed so normal, Carol would try to kill herself. Mark tells him to go get some coffee, but Doug has a hard time making himself leave. Meanwhile, Benton takes on a patient who was stabbed, but Carter struggles to keep down his lunch. Mark notices him going outside for fresh air and follows him. Unlike Benton, who’s spent the whole day telling Carter to move faster, Mark tells him to take his time.

Carter apologizes for getting sick and emotional, but Mark says he shouldn’t be sorry. There are two kinds of doctors: those who get rid of their feelings and those who hold on to them. It’s more important to help the patients than think about their own feelings, but it’s not easy to keep them inside. Sometimes it’s enough to make Mark want to quit. He tells Carter again to take his time recovering, then reveals that Benton got sick all the time in medical school, so Carter shouldn’t take any crap from him.

Once he’s better, Carter finds Benton and tries to make small talk. Benton says not to worry about what just happened, but he shouldn’t make a habit of it. Susan talks to an administrator about Carol; she thinks Carol took the right drugs to get the job done, so she knew exactly what she was doing. No one had any idea that she was suicidal, even her fiancé. The administrator worries about how the hospital will look now.

Mark wants to admit a patient, Mr. Larkowski, who has an ulcer and pancreatitis. Larkowski starts crying, thinking that Mark is trying to sugarcoat his real diagnosis. Mark assures him that he doesn’t have cancer. Larkowski doesn’t seem to hear him, so Mark says firmly that he’s okay – he just needs to stop smoking and drinking. Larkowski’s more upset about that than he is about being terminally ill.

Doug treats a baby who fell out of his crib, according to his babysitter. Doug tells her that the baby was beaten, so he’s calling the proper authorities. The babysitter worries that she’ll get in trouble. Mark treats a woman who burned her legs when she accidentally spilled hot water she was pouring into the sink. She tries to flirt, but Mark stays professional. Lydia witnesses the whole thing and gives some great “you have to be kidding me” faces.

Benton’s next patient was supposed to undergo an operation for an aortic aneurysm next month, but it’s leaking. He needs immediate surgery, but no one’s available to do it. Benton tells Susan to call Morgenstern in; Benton will get things started. Susan reminds him that, as a resident, he’s not qualified, but Benton knows the patient will die if he doesn’t go to the OR immediately. He admits to the anesthesiologist that he’s scared, but he thinks he’s the patient’s only chance at survival.

Just before it’s time to scrub in, Benton sticks his head into another OR and announces that he’s operating next door and would like some help when the surgeons are done. They think he’s joking. Benton gets started, and though the bleeding and beeping alarms indicate that things aren’t great, he keeps his cool and repairs the leak. Morgenstern and another doctor are on their way, and Peter comments that now he has all the help he wanted before.

While working on a patient, Mark stops and says he can’t give up working in the ER. Lydia tells him Jen is on the phone, and he tells her to say he’ll call back. Benton and his thrown-together team take a break while waiting for Morgenstern, and Benton’s about to start jokingly reflecting when Morgenstern finally comes in. He blasts Benton for the ugly incision he made on the patient, then takes over. Benton starts to leave, disappointed not to be acknowledged for his life-saving measures. Morgenstern then praises him for doing the right thing. Benton quietly celebrates with a fist pump in the hallway.

Doug’s patient’s mother has arrived, and she’s annoyed that Doug hasn’t given the baby anything that will calm him down. She blames the babysitter for the baby’s skull fracture, but Doug knows the sitter isn’t responsible for that or the other injuries the baby has sustained in the past. The mother also denies responsibility, but Doug has seen enough abuse to know she’s lying. He yells at her for beating a child, then takes out his anger on Tracy. He assures the sitter that the baby will be okay, and that she did the right thing.

Benton finds Susan in the lounge and asks after Carol, who isn’t doing well. A young cop brings in a man in diabetic ketoacidosis, and is proud of himself when Mark says he probably saved the man’s life. Jerry, unimpressed: “What do you want, a medal?” After tending to the patient, Mark realizes he didn’t call Jen back. He decides to wait until the morning.

Benton checks on the man he operated on, who’s doing well in recovery. The patient’s wife is grateful that Morgenstern came so quickly and saved her husband. She wants to thank Benton, too, but he pretends he only helped out a little. Doug apologizes to Tracy for yelling, and she invites him to get coffee. It’s safe to assume that they end up in bed together after that, but we never see her again, so who knows?

As Carter finishes his day of doing stitches by doing more stitches, Susan falls asleep while listening to a call-in radio show. A caller is complaining about how much doctors charge for their services. Susan just rolls her eyes. Benton goes off to get some sleep in an empty room, while Carter decides that the chairs in a hallway are comfortable enough. Mark asks Lydia for another 6:30 wake-up call, just like that morning. It comes before he knows it.

Thoughts: I make no promises about recapping the entire series, since it’s 15 freaking seasons. But I’ll see what I can do.

Mr. Parker is played by the late Miguel Ferrer, George Clooney’s cousin. Carter’s pregnant patient is played by a very young, unrecognizable Shiri Appleby, who also plays Daria in season 15. Officer Martin is played by Troy Evans, who later plays Frank Martin. Officer Martin’s first name is Jonathan, but I think we’re supposed to assume that he and Frank are the same character.

Most people probably know this, but Carol was originally supposed to die. The audience liked her character, so the writers saved her.

Speaking of likable characters, Benton is more likable here than at any other point in the series. And he’s still kind of annoying here.