March 9, 2021

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

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

Things between these two are about to get really weird

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

February 23, 2021

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

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

The new and definitely-not-improved Rachel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 25, 2020

ER 6.21, Such Sweet Sorrow: Moving On

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

I love a happy ending

Summary: Carter is lying awake in bed in the middle of the night while some sad Bush song plays, talking about pain and stuff. He goes outside to smoke a cigarette. Carter! What would your grandmother say? Carol’s also awake, but it’s because one of the twins is crying. In case it hasn’t been made clear over the past six months, Carol is a single mother to twins and has to do all the parenting on her own.

Abby grabs a little more sleep than her co-workers, taking a 20-minute nap during her overnight shift, but Haleh wakes her up to tend to a patient. Abby asks Haleh and Lydia if they’re hazing her because she’s a med student, or if they just hate her. The nurses joke that they hate her. Abby says she never thought she would get into med school. She just wanted a change. Haleh tells her to shut up.

Mark is looking through photos at home, organizing David’s things after his death. Rachel is in town, and Mark watches her sleep and tells her he loves her. Since he and his father rarely said it to each other, Mark clearly wants to make sure he says it to Rachel as often as possible.

When Carol gets to County for her shift, she finds Luka playing basketball outside. He asks if the flowers he gave her on her birthday upset her. He knows they weren’t as meaningful as the animal crackers Doug sent her. Luka asks if Carol’s still in love with him. Carol admits that she’s still angry with him for leaving, and that clouds her other feelings. But she also makes excuses for him not coming back when he found out she was pregnant.

Carol could have moved to be with him, but she wanted him to see her as important enough to come back for. Luka says he still loves his wife, but he needs to get on with his life. He offers to help Carol get the girls to daycare. And now Carol will spend the whole day thinking about how to get on with her own life.

Abby examines a woman named Kathy who may have an infection. Abby’s getting more confident in her work, and even thinks she doesn’t need to get Dave to sign off on the patient before she’s discharged. Abby knows she’s seen more cases like Kathy’s than Dave has. Chuny offers to run the case by Weaver, but she’s been working long hours and Haleh doesn’t want to bother her. They’re happy that Mark will be coming back to work today.

Weaver comes to the ER yelling for Amira, who’s not there. A guy named Frank Martin has been sent there from personnel to work as a clerk. He has no experience (he was a cop for 26 years before this), so Weaver isn’t impressed. She borrows Lydia’s rape whistle, tells Lydia to call everyone who’s late, and blows the whistle to wake Dave from a nap. He has 30 seconds to find a patient and start looking “compassionate and engaged.” Frank starts regretting his life decisions.

Carter and Chen get yelled at for being five minutes late for their shift, then get to work. Weaver tells Dave to keep an eye on Abby. Malik tells the morning shift that a terminal cancer patient is being brought in via ambulance. Dave comments that Carter looks rough, and Carter admits that he’s been having trouble sleeping. Dave says he thinks Weaver has it in for him. Oh, you picked up on that? Carter goes to the bathroom to splash some water on his face and try to prepare himself for a long day.

Weaver and Carol start examining Sheila O’Brien, the patient with terminal cancer. Her liver isn’t functioning properly, and her husband, Steve, wasn’t able to wake her up. She has a DNR, but Steve wants them to make her comfortable. He’s brought their two young daughters with them, and the older girl says it’s always her job to bring some of her mother’s things with them to the hospital.

Carter is much peppier when he goes to see his first patient, Mrs. Wyatt. Weaver sends him a second patient, Mr. Papazian, who’s having breathing problems. Chen offers to help Carter, but he says he can handle two people at once. He goes back and forth, asking each one questions about medications and allergies. Chen watches him, concerned.

Sheila’s liver appears to be failing, and there’s nothing Weaver can do for her other than make her comfortable. Steve tries to grasp the fact that his wife doesn’t have much time left. He asks Weaver and Carol to do everything they can to keep Sheila from suffering. Abby discharges Kathy, asking her to wait a minute so Abby can get her a list of clinics that treat STDs. Kathy says she’ll wait outside, so she can smoke. Abby runs the diagnosis by Dave and asks him to sign Kathy’s chart.

Frank tells Abby she dated something wrong; it’s the 11th, not the 10th. Abby says she was expecting the day to be horrible, but it’s turned out okay. Dave thinks it has something to do with astrology. This leads to Frank listing the moons of Jupiter. The nurses aren’t entertained. Kathy collapses in the ambulance bay, so Abby and some nurses bring her back to the OR. An ultrasound shows that she ruptured…something that shouldn’t rupture and needs emergency surgery.

Carter – now even peppier than before – goes to check on Mrs. Wyatt and Mr. Papazian. Mrs. Wyatt hasn’t received her antibiotics yet, since Malik’s been busy tending to Mr. P. Carter decides to get the medication himself. Mark arrives and Carol expresses her sympathy over David’s death. Mark is trying to get him into a VA cemetery. Carol thought David wanted to be buried next to Ruth, in San Diego, but Mark doesn’t know what David wanted.

He comments that Carol looks tired, and she says Tess hasn’t been sleeping. She adds that Luka blames teething. Mark remarks (…heh) that Luka sees the girls enough to know things like that. Carol gets defensive, saying she’s already struggling enough. But Mark isn’t being critical – he wants Carol to be happy. She admits that she still feels unsure. Mark thinks she just doesn’t want to make herself vulnerable again.

Sheila’s awake, and she tells Steve and Carol that she wants to go home. Steve tells her she needs to be admitted so they can make her comfortable. Weaver suggests to Steve that they arrange for hospice care so Sheila can die at home. Steve is uncertain, but Weaver helps him understand that it’s what his wife wants, and it would make her death more comfortable. Carol resists the decision as well, but Weaver tells her they need to respect Sheila’s wishes.

Carter brings Mrs. Wyatt her antibiotics, then checks on Mr. P., who’s doing a lot better. Mrs. Wyatt immediately has trouble breathing, though. She had the same reaction when she once received a medication she’s allergic to. Carter quickly remembers that she said she was allergic to the exact medication he just gave her. He gives her something to counteract the reaction, then tries to cover up his mistake when Malik and Chen come in. Chen is suspicious and asks some questions, but Carter snaps at her. He runs to the bathroom and starts crying in a stall.

Elizabeth interrogates Abby and Dave over missing whatever it was Kathy had that ruptured. Abby admits that she bypassed Dave in the treatment process, since she thought her experience in OB qualified her to make the diagnosis and treatment plan. Elizabeth blasts her for this, then tells Dave that the staff thinks he’s lazy and careless.

Chen tells Mark that she’s concerned about Carter’s behavior and mood swings. She thinks he should see a psychiatrist. She’s even used the DSM-IV (not the DMS-IV, Ming-Na) to diagnose him with bipolar disorder. Mark points out that Carter was almost killed just a few months ago, and he feels responsible for Lucy’s death, so of course he’s struggling. Chen wonders if that’s all that’s going on. If they care about Carter, they should try to help him.

Steve tells Carol that just two years ago, Sheila was vibrant and happy all the time. He wishes he could go back and make up for all the time he spent away from her because he was working. He kept working long hours even after she was diagnosed, which he now sees was a horrible decision. Carol is clearly regretting her own time missed with the man she loves, and how happy he used to make her.

Sheila stops breathing, and Steve begs Carol and Connie to keep her alive until their daughters (who are in the cafeteria) can come say goodbye. Carol sends Connie to get Luka instead of Weaver, then bring the girls to see Sheila. When Luka arrives, Carol asks him to authorize the use of a breathing device that will keep Sheila alive without violating her DNR.

Weaver arrives just after they stabilize Sheila, and Luka’s annoyed to learn that he treated her patient without knowing it. Weaver pulls Carol and Luka out of the room and confronts Carol for going against Sheila’s wishes and not respecting Weaver’s authority. If Carol can’t do what she’s told, she shouldn’t be working there. Carol apologizes to Luka for getting him in the middle of the mess, but he doesn’t want to talk to her.

Elizabeth comes to the ER to talk to Weaver about Dave, but runs into Mark instead. She gives him the pearls David gave her and suggests that Mark give them to Rachel instead. Carol tracks Luka down and he tells her she had no right to put him in that position. He went against his superior and could lose his job. He accuses Carol of taking advantage of their personal relationship. Carol says she did what she thought was right. Luka says she was allowed to make that decision for herself, but not for him.

Carol gets amused at how mad Luka is, like, he could get in a lot of trouble, Carol! Maybe you should take this seriously! She says she kind of thought she was immune to Luka’s anger. He softens a little when he says she’s not. Carol promises it will never happen again. Luka kisses her, and she kisses back for a bit, then breaks it off, though she pretends everything’s okay.

Carol finds Frank reading to Sheila and Steve’s girls and asks Frank to take the younger one to see her mother. She stays behind with the other girl, who’s old enough to understand that her mother is about to die. She doesn’t want to just have a dad – she wants a full family like she used to have. Carol takes her to her mother’s room, where Sheila’s awake again, and she watches the family as they prepare to go from four members to three.

Carter hides out in an exam room for a while, until Mark comes to check on him and casually ask how he’s been doing. He offers to give Carter a referral for a psychiatrist. Carter at least pretends to be open to seeing someone. After Sheila dies, Luka comes to Carol while she’s finishing paperwork and invites her to get dinner. She doesn’t seem that excited, so he tells her she doesn’t have to accept if she doesn’t want to.

The remaining O’Briens come by, and Steve thanks Carol for everything she did for the family. He asks if she believes that they have soulmates – one person everyone’s supposed to find and love. Steve didn’t used to, but now he does. He doesn’t think he’ll ever love anyone the way he loved Sheila.

Carol quickly goes from thinking this is a sweet sentiment to applying it to her own life. She tells Mark she has to leave and won’t be at work tomorrow. She’s going to drop the girls off with her mother, then catch a plane somewhere. First, though, she tells Luka she can’t have dinner with him. She tells him she’s sorry, but she has to go find out if Doug is still in love with her.

Carol’s still in love with him, and has been since she was 23. Doug makes her life feel complete when they’re together. He’s her soulmate. She knows Luka will find someone who will love him the way his wife loved him. She kisses him goodbye, then leaves the hospital, crying. After squaring away the twins, Carol rushes to the airport and catches a plane to Seattle. Her seatmate tells her she almost missed it.

Mark takes Rachel to the waterfront and invites her to come to San Diego with him to bury David’s ashes next to Ruth. Rachel says she’d like that. Mark admits that he and David had a hard time coming around to liking each other, though now Mark can’t remember why. He gives Rachel the pearls, which she loves. He asks her not to grow up too fast, which is funny because the next time we see Rachel, she’s been aged slightly (and is played by a different actress).

Carol arrives in Seattle and knocks on the door of a house. No one answers, so she goes around to the backyard, which looks out onto a lake. Doug is there, and he’s surprised but happy to see her. He asks where the girls are, his only line of the episode. Carol says it’s beautiful there, and the two of them kiss, then grin at each other. And that’s the last time we’ll see either of them until season 15.

Thoughts: George Clooney only agreed to come back for this episode if his return wasn’t advertised, since he didn’t want to pull focus from Julianna Margulies in her last episode. The show kept his appearance so secret that only Margulies and a couple of crew members knew about it. Unfortunately, the plan backfired, since the viewers didn’t care as much about Margulies leaving as they did about whether Clooney would make an appearance.

It’s not clear if Frank is supposed to be the same character Troy Evans played in “24 Hours,” but it fits.

Thanks to Mark’s attack in season 3, I get tense every time we someone on this show in a bathroom.

All those months where David was dying and no one asked him where he wanted to be buried? Really?

’90s ’00s music alert: “Taking You Home” by Don Henley

May 26, 2020

ER 6.8, Great Expectations: Happy Thanksgivi-Birthday

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

Want to feel old? These girls are now college-age

Summary: This episode is all about Carol, so we follow her as she gets up in the morning, gets on an El train, falls asleep, and almost misses her stop. She slips on the El steps and drops the pie she’s carrying. She’s too pregnant to bend over and pick it up, so she just kicks it to the side. Outside the hospital, Cleo is jumping rope, in case we haven’t gotten the hint yet that she’s very fit. Carol tells Cleo that she used to be that thin. No one cares, Carol.

Weaver’s surprised to see Carol, since yesterday was supposed to be her last day of work before her maternity leave. Carol has come in to show Lydia how to do a report, but she’s late and Lydia’s already gone. Connie invites Carol to stay for the staff’s Thanksgiving potluck, but Carol decides to go home and nap before she spends the holiday with her family. Malik asks about the pie she was supposed to bring and Carol says it was a casualty of her pregnancy.

On her way back out, Carol runs into Carter and Chuny, who are having a snowball fight. This is before Carter gets traumatized and forgets how to have fun. A stray dog has found Carol’s pie and is having a nice Thanksgiving feast of his own when Carol returns to the El. Just moments after she sits down on a train, her water breaks.

She gets off the train and sits on a bench in a station, which is where Luka finds her 15 minutes later. She’s trying to get up the strength to get on a train and go back to County, but she’s had a couple contractions. I would think a crowded, moving train is the last place you’d want to be while in labor anyway. Luka tells her they’ll wait for the next train; if it doesn’t come in five minutes, he’ll call an ambulance.

Back at County, things are so quiet that Malik and Dave are playing a modified game of hockey. Dave’s goofing off in a wheelchair and flips over backward when Malik hits him with the can they’re using as the puck. Weaver tells Dave that things will start picking up as people in Chicago start having dinner and get sick. I imagine there will also be some carving knife-related injuries. Carter has a medical mystery and shares it with Weaver, but it’s Dave who diagnoses the patient with poisoning from a tropical fruit. Carter’s skeptical, since Dave isn’t the smartest guy, but Weaver thinks it’s worth looking into.

Luka gets Carol on a train just as she has another contraction. A man on the train wants to pull the emergency cord, but Luka tells him not to stop the train, since they’re only going one stop. They bicker for a little bit until Carol yells at the guy not to pull the cord. Mark has the day off, and he, David, and Rachel are spending Thanksgiving with Elizabeth. This is her first time meeting David and Rachel. She doesn’t impress them with her pilgrim hat (which was supposed to be a table decoration) or her lack of a working TV, which means David can’t watch football.

Carol’s contractions are getting closer together, and Luka declares that she’s in active labor. He advises her to hum to help get through the contractions – it helped his wife when she was in labor. Carol’s too distracted to comment on the mention of Luka’s wife. They do some off-key humming for a while. Carter tells Dave that his diagnosis was correct, and he wants to know how Dave knew what was wrong with the patient. Dave says he’s seen it before; he spent some time in the jungle. After Carter bugs him a bit, Dave admits that he went to med school in Grenada. He didn’t have the grades to go to a U.S. school, but the end result is the same – he and Carter are both M.D.s.

Luka finally gets Carol on her feet, and as they head down the big staircase from the El station, she asks about his wife. He mentions that they had two children, but his family doesn’t live in Croatia anymore. (More details on that in later episodes.) Carol has to stop and sit on the steps, but Luka doesn’t want to delay the trip to the ER any longer. She passes out, so he picks her up and carries her the rest of the way to the hospital. Carol regains consciousness as Weaver, Luka, and Carter are taking her to a trauma room. Carol thinks she’s fine to just go up to the labor and delivery ward, but Weaver wants her in the ER.

Mark praises Elizabeth for being willing to put up with his family on Thanksgiving. She’s much more hospitable than Rachel deserves, as Rachel turns up her nose at the bacon Elizabeth put on the turkey. She reminds Elizabeth that Brits don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, since it’s to commemorate the pilgrims leaving the Brits’ persecution. Elizabeth notes that the pilgrims then turned around and persecuted the Native Americans. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

David insists on carving the turkey, wanting to show Mark that he’s still capable of doing things since Mark doesn’t think he is. In fact, Mark wants to send him to a nursing home. Mark corrects that it’s a retirement community, but David notes that it has nurses. In the kitchen, Rachel accidentally drops the bowl holding the mashed potatoes.

Luka leaves Carol to tend to an elderly woman who skipped her last dialysis appointment to get her hair done for her birthday. Now she’s in congestive heart failure, so I’m going to say it probably wasn’t worth it. On top of that, the ambulance that brought her to the hospital was hit by a car. Luka isn’t sure if her heart problems are due to her kidney issues or the accident.

Weaver examines Carol and announces that she’s already dilated to 10 centimeters. There’s no time to get her to labor and delivery, so she’ll have to deliver in the ER. Carter wants to be part of the delivery, but Carol isn’t willing to let him participate in something so intimate. Weaver agrees with her decision to kick him out of the room. He goes next door to help Luka with his patient, who’s gone downhill fast.

Mark is summoned from his family Thanksgiving to go to County, since he’s Carol’s birthing coach. He tells David and Rachel he’ll take them home, but the two of them and Elizabeth decide to have Thanksgiving together without him. Mark tells Elizabeth to lock them in a closet if they cause her any trouble. Rachel’s off to a good start, insisting that she’s not going to eat any turkey, since animal fat is bad for your heart. Her grandfather isn’t here for that brattiness.

Weaver, Chuny, and Haleh help Carol through her delivery, but they determine that they’ll need some help from L&D. Weaver calmly tells Carol that the first baby’s heart rate is down, but as long as it stays above 80, everything’s okay. Next door, Luka and Carter are unable to save their patient. Luka sadly wishes her a happy birthday.

Speaking of birthdays, it’s about to be Carol’s twins’ birthday. Cleo comes in to help with the end of the first twin’s delivery, but Weaver has no trouble finishing up by herself. The baby is a girl and seems to be healthy. She’s also way bigger than a newborn would be, and having Carol comment that she’s small just draws more attention to it. Carol has already picked out a name, Tess. One down, one to go!

Up on the L&D floor, a nurse named Abby Lockhart takes over Carol’s care. This is the most competent and confident we will see Abby for a while. Carol asks Weaver to stay with Tess as she’s taken away to get cleaned up. Mark arrives as Carol learns that there’s time for her to have an epidural before she delivers the second baby. She tells him she quits. She apologizes for pulling him away from his family, but Mark would rather be with her.

At Elizabeth’s, David is using various Thanksgiving dishes to illustrate the story of D-Day. Elizabeth is somehow not chugging wine to get through this. Mark helps the anesthesiologist, Babcock, prepare for Carol’s epidural, which she orders Babcock to get right the first time. Does Carol have to micromanage everything? Dr. Coburn comes in and mistakes Mark for the babies’ father rather than Carol’s birthing coach. Carol’s OB is out of town, so Coburn is covering her practice.

David tells Elizabeth about witnessing the death of one of his Naval shipmates, who fell overboard. He’s happy to have gotten a homecooked meal from Elizabeth, his first since Ruth died. David asks how Mark is dealing with his mother’s death. Elizabeth says he doesn’t talk about it much, and Elizabeth doesn’t push him on it. David says he’s always been a mystery. Ruth was the only one who could understand him. David feels like she was a bridge for him and Mark; with her gone, David has lost the connection to his son. Rachel’s been in the bathroom for a long time, so Elizabeth goes to check on her. Rachel tells her to go away.

Mark flips through the TV channels in Carol’s room, making her wonder if she’s boring him. She’s very happy to have gotten the epidural. Mark leaves to call Elizabeth, and Carol asks him to call her mother as well. Mark asks pointedly if there’s anyone else he should call. But no, Carol doesn’t want to contact the father of her children while she’s delivering them, thank you. Abby asks another nurse if there’s an open OR, making Carol worry that she’ll need a C-section. Abby tells her they just need to be cautious in case the baby rotates and becomes breech.

Back at Elizabeth’s, Rachel’s hiding out in the bathroom because she just started her first period, at the young age of ten. Elizabeth only has tampons and doesn’t want to start Rachel off on them, so she sends David out to get pads. He’s not that familiar with them, so Elizabeth tells him to ask a clerk for help. “What if he’s a guy?” David asks reasonably.

Carol’s ready to deliver the second baby, and the heart rate is dropping, so Abby checks her again. She realizes the umbilical cord is cutting off the baby’s oxygen, which means Carol needs to deliver immediately. Since she’s only six centimeters dilated, she’ll need an emergency C-section. In the OR, Coburn and Mark butt heads a little, and though she lets him take charge for a while, Coburn gets the final say in what happens. Carol’s terrified and begs Mark not to let the baby die. The second baby is also a girl, and though she’s not as immediately healthy as her sister, she improves quickly.

On his way back from the store, David slips on some ice outside Elizabeth’s apartment building and cuts his head. He tells Elizabeth he wants a drink before she takes him to the hospital for stitches. Back at County, Carol is bleeding, because women never have smooth deliveries in TV dramas. Coburn decides she needs a hysterectomy. Carol won’t consent, and Mark asks Coburn to come up with another solution. He tells her to respect Carol’s decision, since she’s a nurse and knows the risk of not having a hysterectomy.

Thanks to blood loss, Carol passes out before her fate is decided, and she wakes up in a recovery with two healthy babies. Mark tells her that the hysterectomy wasn’t necessary after all. Abby tells her to thank Mark for advocating for her. Mark teases that she should have some more babies since the first two came out so well. Carol doesn’t see that happening any time soon.

Mark asks Carol what she wants to name the second baby. Carol invites him to name her, suggesting that they give the baby Mark’s mother’s name. Carol doesn’t like the name Ruth, but Ruth’s middle name was Katherine, and Carol likes the name Kate, so Kate it is. Abby sends Mark to the ER to check on David, and after he leaves, Carol asks Abby if she can make a long-distance call on her room phone. She’s finally going to call Doug.

Elizabeth stitches up David in the ER and informs Mark that Rachel started her period. Luka interrupts to ask how Carol is. Mark tells him she had two girls and everyone’s fine. Elizabeth leaves Mark to finish up with David while she visits Carol. David tells Mark that he likes Elizabeth. Abby teaches Carol to nurse, then leaves to go tend to someone else. She tells Carol she was very brave. Carol is left alone with her two girls on their first Thanksgiving/first birthday, and Carol realizes for the first time how much work she’s in for.

Thoughts: Tess Ross? Poor kid.

Dave going to med school at “the Harvard of Grenada” makes me think of Jimmy from Better Call Saul going to the University of American Samoa. (Goooo, Land Crabs!)

Enjoy bratty Rachel, because that’s who we’re stuck with from now on.

December 3, 2019

ER 5.5, Masquerade: The Scariest Thing This Halloween Is the Stupidity of the Future Doctors of America

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , at 4:51 pm by Jenn

Peter Benton (can ya dig it?)

Summary: It’s Halloween, and Jerry’s plotting something. He stashes something behind a Dumpster in the ambulance bay, then tries to pretend he didn’t. Mark and Chuny meet an ambulance bringing in a woman named Coco who’s babbling. She claims to be pregnant, but the paramedics don’t think she is. Jerry calls someone to report that their plan is in motion.

Weaver tells Lydia that the night shift isn’t wearing costumes this year, since they might scare the patients. I don’t think Lydia’s French-maid costume will scare anyone, except maybe a patient who thinks he or she is being treated by an actual maid instead of a certified nurse. Weaver suggests festive pins instead. She thanks Randi for reading her memo about costumes, but Randi, who’s wearing a suit not unlike one Weaver might wear, has dressed up as “a total stiff.”

Yosh sends Doug to the new pediatric area of the ER, telling him there’s a child with puncture wounds. It’s just a prank organized by Carol, who wants to kiss her boyfriend with vampire fangs. He’s not amused, which is pretty interesting since, as Carol points out, he’s pulled plenty of pranks in the past. He wants to be more serious now that he’s an attending. He’s also asserting some power by insisting on signing off on all pediatric patients. That means he’ll be looking over Mark and Weaver’s shoulders.

Mark asks Carol to help him with Coco, who continues to claim to be nine months pregnant without any evidence. Mark asks for a tox screen and psych consult. Elizabeth has dressed up as a milkmaid, I guess, because she loves Halloween. Benton teases her for thinking that Halloween involves romantic hayrides. After all, they’re in Chicago. He says he has something against costumes. Elizabeth is sure that when he was a kid, there was someone he wanted to be. Benton claims there wasn’t. Dale ruins Elizabeth’s bad mood by giving her annoying work to do.

Weaver brushes off a man who comes to the ER looking for Mark; she’s busy trying to get a computer to work. Lily brings a wheelchair and some medical supplies into the ER, saying she found them in the ambulance bay. Jerry offers to take care of putting it away, then takes it right back outside. Carter arrives with Roxanne, who’s going to a teamster party that night, which gives her an excuse not to help Carter chaperone a dorm party. Lucy catches them as they’re about to make out, and she doesn’t get the hint that Carter wants her to go away. He gives her a fake arm so she can practice inserting IVs.

Weaver gives Carter a bunch of files so he can present a case at a conference the next day. She notes that it would be good experience for someone who eventually wants to be chief resident. Paramedics bring in a drunk man named Joe who claims he wants to quit drinking. Carter tells Lucy to set him up for detox.

Mark meets up with the man who was looking for him, Dan Litvak, a potential new chief for County. Weaver recognizes his name and beats herself up for not being more polite to him earlier. Doug gets a real patient, a kid named Jared who had an allergic reaction to his clown makeup. That means he’ll have to skip trick-or-treating. Jeanie promises to find him something fun around there instead. “Fun stuff around here sucks,” Jared declares, possibly making George Clooney break character and laugh.

Mark checks in on Coco, who would like to know where her baby is. He tells Carol to give her Haldol, an antipsychotic. Weaver finds an excuse to talk to Mark so she can wrangle an introduction to Litvak. She pretends not to know who he is or why he’s there. She learns that he’s there for his second interview, and the search committee plans to vote tonight on who to hire. Weaver didn’t think the vote was until next week. Litvak isn’t very impressed with his supposed competition for the job.

Lucy does well with the fake arm, so Carter agrees to let her try an IV on a real patient. She’s apologetic for not being truthful with him before, but he admits that he wasn’t supervising her closely enough. They head off to take care of Joe, but he’s fled the hospital. Lucy hopefully asks if anyone else needs an IV.

As Elizabeth tries to guess who Benton wanted to be as a kid, they meet up with Reese, who’s come by for a visit. He’s adorably dressed as a bee. Carla says they just came from a party at Jackie and Walt’s, and she was unable to convince Walt to put on one of his ’70s “supa-dupa-fly” costumes and come with them. Elizabeth makes sure to get a picture of Reese with his parents.

Thanks to the Haldol, Coco is now coherent, but she still says she’s pregnant. Carol tells her she’s not, but Mark realizes they didn’t get a pregnancy test, so it’s possible she is. Coco tells them she has schizophrenia and stopped taking her medication when she found out she was pregnant. The Haldol could leave the baby with malformed limbs.

Benton and Weaver work on a trauma patient together, debating whether a sternal saw should be used in the ER or just the OR. She thinks his preferred way of doing things is too slow. Mark confirms that Coco’s pregnant, but they don’t know if the Haldol affected the fetus. Coco wonders if she’s really up for carrying the pregnancy to term, since it means staying off her meds. Mark thinks she should wait a little while before she makes a decision.

Later, Mark tells Carol that he thinks Coco might terminate the pregnancy. Carol notes that that would get him off the hook for possibly harming the baby. She invites him to get a drink after work, but he has plans to meet up with Jen for some kind of talk. Carter tells Lucy that she can leave early, since everything in the ER is under control. She heads off to get ready for the party he’s chaperoning.

Joe is brought back in, repentant over leaving earlier. He says again that he wants to quit drinking and make a fresh start. The drink he left the hospital to have will be his last. Mark says he’ll get Joe a detox bed if he promises not to run off again. He’s decided to believe Joe when he says he’ll stay; he was a cynic with Coco, and look how that turned out. Carol decides to get some extra insurance by taking Joe’s clothes.

Weaver tries to examine a little girl named Amanda who won’t stop screaming. Doug steps in to come up with a way to test her without using needles. Benton, Elizabeth, and Jeanie tend to a preteen named Barbie Klingman who was in a car accident. She has an abdominal bruise from her seatbelt, which may mean she has a bowel injury that will require exploratory surgery.

Litvak observes as Doug and Weaver keep tending to Amanda, using a pad that gives her a painkiller without an injection. Weaver, never Doug’s biggest fan, is very pleased with the method. Litvak is familiar with it, as his hospital participated in some trials. Lucy’s one of only a few people at the dorm party, so Carter feels comfortable going off to do some work for his presentation. Lucy offers to be in charge while he’s gone, as if the three med students there need a chaperone.

Benton, Romano, and Dale operate on Barbie, who still has glitter on her face from her princess costume. Romano makes some Benton-seriously-report-him-to-HR comments about how Benton and Elizabeth should check into a jungle-themed hotel room for the night. The surgeons find a couple of masses in Barbie’s abdomen that appear to be abnormal lymph nodes. Instead of letting Elizabeth scrub in, Dale sends her to pathology to get the masses tested.

Jeanie tries to get Doug to realize that he can’t see every pediatric patient on his own, so he needs to send some to the regular ER. Rachel comes by to hang out in the lounge while Mark and Jen talk. She mentions that she and Jen are moving to St. Louis, which is news to her father. Elizabeth returns to the OR with results from the biopsy of the masses. They’re testicles.

Carter returns to the dorm, where the party has really gotten going. Maybe a little too much. For example, the med students have set some furniture on fire and are in the process of throwing it out a window. These people are studying to be doctors. Pray you never get sick. Lucy’s been drinking, so she’s not much of a chaperone. Carter gives the fire-starters a fire extinguisher, then declares the party over. A tipsy Lucy doesn’t get why and asks if they were too loud. “No, the furniture was too on fire,” Carter replies.

Mark complains to Carol that once again, Jen has made a major life decision and he’s the last to know. Carol laments that it’s right on the heels of Mark getting to spend extra time with Rachel. Mark was able to convince the necessary people to give Joe a detox bed, but he’s taken off again. Mark is having a really bad night.

Elizabeth sits with Dale as he tells the Klingmans (Klingmen?) that Barbie is biologically male, but her anatomy didn’t develop properly, making her appear female. She’ll need estrogen to continue life as a girl. They had to remove the testicles because other people with her condition have developed malignancies. Elizabeth tells the Klingmans that Barbie’s genetics don’t matter; she was raised as a girl, so she’s a girl. However, her male anatomy means she’ll never have children.

Elizabeth says they’ll get the Klingmans in touch with a genetic counselor to figure out how and when to give Barbie the news. As they leave, Dale compliments Elizabeth on her skills at speaking with patients’ family members. Just when it looks like he might not be a 100% horrible person, he cracks that the Klingmans will have to change Barbie’s name to Ken. IT’S CALLED INTERSEX, DOCTOR. Look it up.

Lucy and some fellow med students keep drinking in their lounge, complaining about the horrible assignments they’ve been given by their residents. Lucy uses the fake arm to hold a shot for her. At County, Weaver tells Romano how important it is for the ER staff to be able to use a sternal saw in traumas. Romano doesn’t think it would get enough use or would fit within the standard of care. Weaver says the current standard of care is poor anyway. Romano advises her to do a study and enlists Benton to work on it with her. Benton doesn’t support the idea, but Romano thinks Weaver’s proposal will fail anyway, so it doesn’t matter.

Elizabeth’s good mood from earlier is faltering, and she’s not sure she’ll be up to a date with Benton after they’re off work. He calls Walt to ask for help in turning things around. Mark goes to Doc Magoo’s with Jen and Rachel so they can talk about how Jen is moving to another state and hasn’t said anything yet. Mark surprises her by not fighting her decision to move. They can’t both spend every day with Rachel, and he accepts that. Spending extra time with her over the summer helped him see that he and Jen need to think about her more than themselves.

Barbie wakes up after surgery and laments not being able to go trick-or-treating. She at least had fun making her costume with her mother. Elizabeth finds her tiara and puts it on her. Lucy, Bernard, and a third student are now pretty drunk, and think their fourth friend, Willie, has passed out from overindulging. They pull the prank on him where you put shaving cream on someone’s hand and then tickle his nose with a feather. Willie doesn’t regain consciousness, making Lucy realize that something’s really wrong. She sends the guys to call 911 while she gets Carter.

Carter determines that Willie’s not breathing, so he gives Willie CPR. His reward is vomit in his mouth. As an ambulance arrives, Lucy realizes that Willie took liquid ecstasy. Another student says a classmate, Branch, also took some, so Lucy rushes off to check on him. Mark settles a sports bet with Officer Al, then learns that Joe has turned up at a liquor store. Mark offers to call off the bet if Al will get Joe and bring him back to the ER.

Lucy and Carter find Branch passed out in a bathroom and give him CPR together. Benton checks on Elizabeth, who’s working late with Dale (though he calls her a “great little intern”). Benton pulls rank and tells Dale to let her leave already. Elizabeth is back to being excited about Halloween and wants to put her costume back on before she and Benton go out. She’s also still trying to guess his childhood dream job.

Al brings in Joe…only he’s not Joe. He’s Lloyd, Jerry’s cousin, and has used the hospital supplies Jerry took for him to enter a costume contest. He’s proud to have won an honorable mention. Weaver compliments Doug on all his work over the day, then gives him charts for all the patients the other doctors saw, since he said he wanted to sign off on all of them. Suddenly Weaver likes this new process. Carter and Lucy accompany Branch and Willie to the hospital, but since Lucy’s been drinking, Carter won’t let her assist.

Elizabeth exits the hospital to find Benton in one of Walt’s “supa-dupa-fly” suits, leaning against a vintage card. He’s filled the backseat with hay and gotten his nephew, Peanut, to take them for a hayride. Music comes on, and Benton notes that Elizabeth never figured out who he wanted to be as a kid. She recognizes the song as the theme from Shaft.

Weaver gives Jerry a bill for all the supplies he borrowed for Lloyd. He doesn’t have the money, so he’ll get some of it taken out of his paycheck for the next ten weeks. Mark tells Weaver that the search committee voted to hire Litvak as the new chief. He has a huge ego, so he wasn’t Mark’s first choice. He admits that he voted for Weaver. Jerry has a question about his paycheck garnishments, but now that Weaver won’t be in charge anymore, she decides to tear up the bill. She puts on some devil horns as she leaves for the night.

Carol stays late with Doug as he unloads some supplies in his new workspace. He gets her back for her earlier prank by pretending to cut himself with a box cutter. Carter meets up with Lucy back at the dorm after determining that Branch and Willie will be fine. Lucy says she didn’t know they were doing drugs, but Carter blasts her for not being better at being in charge. Lucy notes that she wasn’t responsible for policing everyone – he was supposed to be in charge. Carter chastises her for not being more mature. You were supposed to be in charge, Carter! Gaaaah!

And now, my favorite Benton/Elizabeth moment ever: As Peanut drives them around Chicago, Benton leans back coolly, channeling Richard Roundtree. Elizabeth sings along with the song and he teases her about not having rhythm. She cracks herself up by playing air tambourine badly enough that Benton has to ask what she’s doing.

Thoughts: You still can’t convince me that Benton was ever actually a child. He’s like Chidi from The Good Place – a 40-year-old in a child’s body.

Parents, don’t name your kid Barbie. She’ll never be able to escape “where’s Ken?” jokes. Also, don’t name your child Branch. That’s just mean.

Bravo to Kellie Martin for doing all the party scenes on skates, since Lucy was dressed as a roller-skating ’50s waitress.

November 19, 2019

ER 5.3, They Treat Horses, Don’t They?: In Case You Didn’t Know, Insurance Companies Are Awful

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

I mean…just…sigh

Summary: The ER is being painted, and for some reason, the painters are starting in the copy room. Weaver disapproves. Mark tries to make conversation with Rachel, who’s showing signs of the teenager she’ll later become. She makes bare-minimum conversation with her father, then gushes to her mother when she calls. Weaver learns that her title has changed from acting chief to interim chief. Anspaugh tells her they’re forming a committee to look for a permanent chief. She gives him an evaluation she did of Doug.

Carter has gone from living in a mansion to living in an okay apartment to living in a dorm and having to share a bathroom with a bunch of guys. Poor Carter, slumming it with the middle class. Having to fix a clogged toilet and losing your toothbrush down it in the process isn’t fun, but his beard may be worse. When he gets to work, Randi says he’s starting to look “mythic.”

Weaver asks Mark if he thinks “interim chief” sounds better than “acting chief.” He tells her Anspaugh asked him to serve on the committee to find a replacement. She hopes he can remain unbiased since she’s one of the candidates. He decides to pass on the opportunity. Jeanie returns from a music camp in the wilderness and meets Lynette. She isn’t working until noon, so she volunteers to help out at the clinic. Her first patient is a boy who has roundworms, which is definitely worse than losing your toothbrush while unclogging a toilet.

Benton meets with a doctor who confirms the audiologist’s findings: Reese has hearing loss. Benton has looked into cochlear implants, but the doctor isn’t a fan, since they require destroying the patient’s residual hearing. Plus, Reese isn’t a candidate right now. He should use hearing aids right now and get into speech therapy. Benton asks about sign language, but the doctor thinks that will just limit him.

Doug wants to take Carol and Mark to lunch, but he won’t tell them what the special occasion is. A painter finds some papers in the copier and gives them to Jerry, who sees Doug’s name on them and tells Randi to put them in his box. Roxanne comes by to talk to a nurse about insurance and asks Carter to examine her healing toe. He’s a little more interested in her than he was the last time he saw her.

It’s Elizabeth’s last day as a fellow before becoming an intern again. Benton is distracted as they scrub in together, and she’s worried that he thinks she made the wrong choice. He says he just can’t imagine being an intern again. Anspaugh lets Benton know that the patient they were about to operate on just died.

Mark, Lucy, and Carol get a patient named Rodney who took a carving knife to the forehead. He’s drunk and combative, so Lucy helps tie restraints around his arms. She doesn’t tie hers properly, so he flails and sends her flying. Carol is quickly getting fed up with the inept student. Doug’s new patient is a 15-year-old named Dana who broke her leg while playing soccer. However, she didn’t fall or have a collision, which means she probably has a tumor.

Doug finds the papers in his box and is confused about why they’re there. Benton fights with someone with his insurance company in his attempts to get hearing aids for Reese. Dwight tells Mark that a call came in about a hostage situation and shootout; he’s welcome to tag along with the paramedics if he’d like. Mark is hesitant but decides to accept.

Lucy uses Rodney’s unconscious body to practice inserting an IV. She fails and Malik has to redo it. She admits to Carter that she asked him for help, which Carter encourages her to do, since they can teach her a lot. Mark and Dwight meet up with a bomb squad, since the person who took hostages has explosives. He’s also been taken down by the cops and needs medical attention. Dwight is up for the job, but the guy running the show wants Mark to go since he’s a doctor.

Doug tells Jeanie, who was helping him with Dana, that she may have Ewing’s sarcoma. He gives Jeanie the chance to bow out and see other patients, but Jeanie wants to stay on the case. Paramedics bring in an elderly woman named Emily whose neighbor found her unconscious. Carter stabilizes her, telling the neighbor that it’s not clear if she’ll live. The neighbor doesn’t care about Emily, per se; she just wants to know if her apartment will become available, since her sister’s looking for a place.

Doug and Jeanie tell Dana’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ellis, that she may have cancer. Dana hasn’t been told anything yet. Mark works with a bomb squad guy, Clark, to try to treat the bomber without, you know, blowing anything up. (Clark calls the bomber Boris; I have no idea if that’s actually his name, but I’ll go with it.) Back at County, Benton tells Carla what he’s learned about Reese’s hearing. She thinks everything will turn out fine. Benton’s insurance is awful, especially for a doctor, and he doesn’t have much in the bank, but Carla can chip in. Elizabeth spots the three of them together.

A woman named Margo introduces herself to Carter as a representative from Emily’s HMO. She reveals that Emily has a DNR, so all the work Carter did to stabilize her was for nothing. Margo won’t approve her admission to the hospital; she can’t justify spending money on a woman who shouldn’t be alive. Carter argues that she’s on a ventilator, so she has to be admitted. Margo disagrees.

Mark and Dwight bring in Boris after he’s been separated from the explosives. Benton helps tend to him in the ER and discovers a box that might be a detonator. Clark says that as long as they don’t mess with it, it should be fine. Good thing Clark is here to reassure the staff. Hey, everyone! It “should be fine”! A guy from the bomb squad says so!

Boris has wrapped chicken wire around himself and the detonator, which will have to removed in the OR. Jeanie pours saline on it, which shorts out the electricity. Clark yells that everyone has about five seconds to get out. As the others run for cover, Benton stays behind, counting. He cuts out the detonator, tosses it in the corner, and covers himself. After it goes off, he checks out the minimal damage, then goes right back to work.

Having run out of time to go out for lunch because of Mark’s heroics, Doug buys pizza for him and Carol. Before he tells them why he wanted to have the meal together, he gives a dramatic reading of the papers in the copier – it’s his evaluation from Weaver. Shockingly, it’s negative. Doug then announces that the evaluation doesn’t matter. A friend on a committee told him he’s already been approved to become a pediatric ER attending. Carol’s thrilled, and though Mark had doubts, he’s happy for his friend.

Weaver interrupts the celebration to tell Mark that Rachel’s there. Somehow, she came across a horse with colic and promised its owner or handler or whoever that Mark can help. Mark points out that he’s a people doctor, not a veterinarian, but there are no vets close by who can help. Mark is obviously going to help Cherry Blossom, because how else will he get his daughter to pay attention to him again?

Roxanne is still hanging around the hospital, and when she spots Carter again, she asks to get together sometime to talk about…investing. Sexy. She gives him a free guest pass to a health club and tells him she’s there every night around 7. Woo-hoo, Carter’s gonna sauna and talk about interest rates! At least it’s better than fighting 30 guys for a shower.

Weaver treats a man who’s having trouble breathing. They paralyze him to intubate him, but they don’t have a big enough blade for the procedure. Randi may have a solution, since she’s gotten her hands on the knife extracted from Rodney’s forehead and would like to keep it. Mark goes in to help Weaver, who feels like she’s being pushed aside. Then she learns from a painter that the copy room’s being painted because it’s being turned into an exam room for the new pediatric attending.

Carter tries to get Weaver’s advice on Emily, but Weaver’s not in the mood. She tells him that if he wants to be chief resident, he needs to start making big decisions on his own. Elizabeth tracks down Benton, thinking he’s going back to Carla, and asks him to let her know if she’s about to be dumped. He assures her that that’s not what’s going on. He snaps that he’s not avoiding her, then reveals that he’s dealing with Reese’s hearing problems. He didn’t want to tell her because it’s private.

So…Mark treats the horse. Jerry reluctantly helps give Cherry Blossom an enema, not wanting to get too close to his hindquarters. Doug visits Dana, who’s heard that she needs to see an oncologist and is smart enough to know what oncologists treat. She overheard him talking to her parents and mentioning possible amputation. Doug tells her that the doctor will go over all her options, but Dana just wants a straight answer.

He tells her that amputation may be her best option. Dana’s adamantly opposed to that, though her survival isn’t guaranteed either way. Doug says that if she were his daughter, he’d opt for amputation. Dana asks if the doctor amputates even if she says she doesn’t want that. He tells her they’ll go over all the facts and options before any decisions are made.

Carter calls the person who holds Emily’s power of attorney; he has more than 700 clients and hasn’t met any of them. Yet he’s allowed to make their medical decisions. Carter fills Mark in, trying to figure out what he should do. Mark reminds him that Emily has a DNR, so they need to let her go. Carter goes back to her trauma room and starts the steps to do so. When he takes her off the ventilator, she starts breathing on her own. Jerry goes out to check on Cherry Blossom, who hasn’t shown signs of the enema working yet. He helps get Cherry Blossom out of his trailer so he can walk around a little. As a result, he gets crapped on. Womp womp.

Weaver pulls Mark into the lounge to ask if he knew that Doug got the attending position. She’s annoyed that no one kept her in the loop. Mark tells her to accept it and move on. Weaver’s annoyed that Mark told her he didn’t support Doug getting the position, then celebrated when he got it. Mark says they have to live with the hospital’s decision. He thinks she’s really just mad that she hasn’t been made the permanent chief. She needs to decide if she wants to be a doctor or an administrator.

On her way out for the day, Lucy stops by to see Carter, who’s sitting with Emily. She’s now declining again, and Lucy’s surprised that Carter doesn’t do anything to save her. He tells her this is what Emily wanted, and she’s not suffering. As soon as she’s died, Carter starts signing the charts Lucy needs him to sign.

The Ellises are upset that Doug talked to Dana about her treatment. While he told her that amputation is her best chance at survival, he also offered some alternative treatments. Doug says he wants her accept that amputation might be what’s best for her, rather than being forced to comply with a treatment she doesn’t want. Mr. Ellis say it’s their decision, not Dana’s. He tells Doug to stay away from her. Doug says Dana needs to feel like her parents are on her side, not working against her.

Mark has changed his mind and wants to be on the search committee to find a new chief after all. Roxanne helps Carter hook up a new sound system in his room, then slow dances with him. And…that’s it? That’s the end? Whatever.

Thoughts: Clark is played by Dean Norris. Dana is played by Ashley Johnson. Mrs. Ellis is played by Ann Gillespie.

Benton with the bomb has to be his coolest moment in the whole series.

Do you think Carter and Benton ever talked about how they both like jazz? …Yeah, probably not.

November 12, 2019

ER 5.2, Split Second: Waaaay Too Much Talk About People’s Lower Halves

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

Thanks for showing up and doing nothing, Rach

Summary: Two students (one of them is Bernard) wake Carter at 2:45 a.m. so he can let them into the dorm room they’re locked out of. Carter probably regrets taking a job as an RA. Benton is also up late/early, and eager to finish up a date with Elizabeth. There’s already another man in her apartment, but Benton quickly learns that he’s no competition – he’s Elizabeth’s father, Charles. Carter is woken again with a complaint about an overflowing toilet.

Lucy’s at work early, checking to make sure she didn’t lose track of anything the day before. Jerry teases that she’s the favorite of all the med students, since she was able to insert an IV on her first day. Doug pulls her away to help him examine a baby. He manages to keep the joy out of his voice when he informs Weaver that his probation is over, so she won’t have to look over his shoulder anymore.

Carter’s just going back to bed when his father calls. Millicent told him that Carter’s living in a slum, which Carter says is a huge exaggeration. He admits that County might not be able to pay him this year, but his RA role is “practically a faculty position.” He feels good about being able to pay his own way for the first time in his life.

Carol comes back from a meeting in a great mood – thanks to some support from Mark, she’s been approved to hire an RN to work at her clinic. Connie is teaching Mark to answer radio calls from paramedics; he’s considering taking the EMS liaison job he was told about. By the time he gets all the steps right, the paramedics have already arrived and can tell him everything in person.

Elizabeth, Benton, and Charles go to Doc Magoo’s for breakfast, discussing Charles’ offer to let Elizabeth join his practice in England. They spot Romano in the restaurant, which will make it hard for Elizabeth to keep trying to avoid him like she’s been trying to. Charles thinks she should join him for a high-tech operation and impress him. Maybe he’ll regret not renewing her fellowship. When Romano comes over, Charles is icy to him. Elizabeth says she’ll do the procedure – and instead of assisting Romano, he’ll be assisting her. Charles invites himself to observe.

Lucy thinks her and Doug’s patient needs to have metabolic tests done, but Doug thinks they can determine his condition better by just cooling down the room. He tells Lucy she had the right instincts, but he has a hunch that the boy has no sweat glands. Jerry tells Benton that Carla called to say she may not make it to an appointment for Reese to have his hearing checked.

Lucy brings Carter coffee and tells him she signed him up for a couple of possibly interesting cases. She’s already taken the patients’ histories and reviewed their previous charts. She wants to put herself in a good position for her eventual residency. She figures Carter’s been looking toward becoming chief resident since he was an intern. Carter pretends she’s right. Jerry tells Lucy not to call him Dr. Carter – he’s “just Carter.”

Carol thinks hiring a nurse for the clinic will be fun. She’s impressed that Mark has already mastered answering radio calls. Paramedic Doris has brought in a teen gangbanger who attacked her when he thought she was going to take his gun. Mark takes her away to examine the cut on her forehead. The teen, B.G., recognizes a patient in the next room as his friend Toine, who was also shot. Toine is somehow not completely embarrassed that his wound is in his butt.

Carter and Lucy go hunting for a case they can help with, but Carter thinks B.G. and Toine are stable enough not to need their help. Mark asks Doris some questions about paramedic procedures and mentions that he might become the liaison. She tells him she’s been a paramedic for seven years, and they’ve said the whole time that they need more EMTs. Instead, they get their budget cut.

Weaver tells Doug that his probation is, indeed, over, so he’s free. She says she was assigned to babysit him and didn’t actually enjoy it. Doug doubts that. She tells him people keep calling to ask for ultra-rapid detox since they know it worked for Josh. Mark talks to Weaver about the coordination position, which she thinks is a good idea. He heads off to attend a soccer game Rachel’s playing in.

Carter tells Weaver that he put in a salary request because his financial situation has changed. She’s already approved the request and is glad he’s trying to look professional. People who practice medicine just as a hobby look like dilettantes. Carter says that not worrying about money will help him achieve his goal of becoming chief resident. Weaver thinks he has a good chance since his med student is performing so well, which means he’s a good teacher.

While Jerry struggles to make the ER an acceptable temperature (the D-plot of the episode), Benton wraps up surgery with Anspaugh. He mentions taking Reese to an audiology exam to follow up on some hearing problems he had before. Benton thinks they were do to fluid in his ears after an infection. Anspaugh notes that a medicine sometimes given to preemies can cause damage to their hearing. Benton tries not to worry.

Elizabeth examines Toine, who needs surgery. B.G. and his girlfriend, Elan, make obnoxious comments, and when B.G. picks on Yosh, he’s dead to me. Weaver tells B.G. to be more supportive of Toine. That won’t happen after B.G. and Elan hear that Toine will need a colostomy bag after his operation. A girl named Moselle shows up to see Toine, and she and Elan get into a fight. B.G. taunts Toine for getting shot in the butt because he was running away from gunfire.

Weaver tells Elizabeth that she’s sorry Elizabeth will have to find work somewhere else. She’s heard about foreign doctors starting over as interns, an idea neither of them finds appealing. Weaver breaks up a fight between Elan and Moselle, kicking them out of the hospital. Carol and Elizabeth are both impressed. As Carol deals with a guy named Savage who thinks he can smoke in a hospital, Weaver tells Jerry to call someone who can send them some parkas.

Mark cheers Rachel on at her game, trying to out-yell the sexist father of another player. As Rachel blocks a goal, she falls and hits her head on the metal holding up the net. We get a dramatic zoom in on Mark’s face, but Rachel seems okay. The sexist dad’s son apologizes for kicking too hard, and the sexist dad is nice enough to offer up an (empty) first-aid kid and some ice.

Savage tries to light up again in his exam room, like this is the ’50s or something. Elan goes from visitor to patient when her fight with Moselle ends with Elan being stabbed. Benton checks Reese’s chart in the neonatal ICU, where he runs into Tabash, the doctor who took care of Reese. Tabash says his hearing was normal both before and after he was given the medication that could have affected it.

Carter takes charge tending to Elan and tells Lucy to draw her blood. Her hemoglobin comes back much lower than it was before, and Carol realizes that the machine wasn’t calibrated properly. As everyone else worries that Elan is less stable than they thought, Carol reruns the test and gives the new reading, which is fine.

After the trauma, Lucy beats herself up for not doing the procedure properly. Carol says she won’t cover for her again. If she doesn’t know something, she needs to ask. Everyone knows that she’s still learning. Lucy laments that med students get judged on everything from their first day. Carol notes that they have to be, since they’re doing life-saving procedures. Lucy needs to stop worrying about being perfect.

Carter interrupts to tell them that a guy just came in with an intestinal perforation from a carrot. Lucy naïvely asks how he swallowed a whole carrot. Carter and Carol have a good laugh at her expense when she figures out what really happened. After Lucy leaves, Carter tells Carol that he really lucked out getting her as a student. Carol says she’s good, but she’s still a beginner, so she needs more guidance. Carter thinks Lucy’s a natural and Carol’s just jealous.

Carol spots Savage smoking in his exam room and confiscates his cigarettes. He should probably be smarter about his behavior, since the exams he needs done are on his lower half, and the last person you want messing around down there is an angry nurse. Elizabeth does her operation with Romano and a voice-activated robot. Everyone’s impressed except, possibly, Romano.

Weaver pulls Doug out of an exam room to deal with someone who’s insistent on seeing him. Doug mentions to the patient’s mother that she may need an endoscopy, which Weaver thinks he only mentioned to get a reaction out of her, since it’s an invasive procedure. Carol asks Lucy to insert Savage’s IV, saying he’s the perfect patient for her since he doesn’t seem to feel anything.

The man insistent on seeing Doug is an addict who wants ultra-rapid detox. Weaver told him that Doug is the only one who could help him, though Doug says he doesn’t treat adults. He tells Weaver she’s made her point. She thinks he should write a journal article to spread the word further. They bicker for a while until a teenage karate student is brought in after being injured in class.

Jerry introduces Carol to Savage’s private-duty nurse, who reveals that he didn’t actually need treatment. He enjoys having certain procedures done, especially by nurses. Carol realizes she sent Lucy in to do his IV, so she rushes to get Lucy away from the weird man who should be in the turkey file. She calls for a psych consult, realizing that the private-duty nurse isn’t actually a nurse. Carol suggests that she undergo a psych consult, too.

Paramedic Dwight chats with Mark about how unprepared regular people are for medical emergencies. Mark mentions that there was no first aid available in the park during Rachel’s game. The injury the karate student suffered was one that could only cause damage during a specific split second. The fire truck Dwight was on didn’t have an automatic defibrillator, one thing that can easily be changed.

Reese undergoes his test, which shows that he has hearing loss. Romano praises Elizabeth for her work in the OR and says it made him rethink revoking her fellowship. Unfortunately, the money is no longer available for her position. Doug teases Lucy about the carrot thing, so word of her naïvety has spread. They discover that the patient he was examining when Weaver interrupted him caught an STD from her mother while in the birth canal.

As Elizabeth and Romano operate on Toine, Romano mentions the job offer Charles extended to her. He says he could never work with someone in his family. “Robert, you can’t work with anyone,” Elizabeth points out. Lucy goes with Doug to tell their patient’s mother about her condition. Doug questions the mother about STDs, then says she should have had a C-section so she wouldn’t infect her daughter. The mother puts an end to the lecture by announcing that her daughter is adopted.

The audiologist tells Benton that Reese’s hearing loss is considered severe. Benton thinks she’s jumping to conclusions after just one test. The audiologist says he’s in the range that can be aided with hearing aids. He could eventually learn to talk, too. Benton is annoyed because two weeks ago, a doctor said Reese was fine. He wants to talk to the doctor.

Weaver hears that Doug is talking to Babcock and wonders why. Carol coolly tells her to talk to Doug himself if she wants to know details. Jerry boasts that he’s finally gotten the temperature in the ER right. Weaver and Lucy disagree. Carter and Jerry continue teasing Lucy by presenting her with a carrot.

Carol meets Lynette Evans, a nurse Anspaugh thinks would be a good fit for the clinic. Carol was told she could have an RN, but Lynette would be a better choice, since, as a nurse practitioner, she can write prescriptions. She even used to run her own clinic. As B.G. gets ready to leave, rudely saying goodbye to the staff, Lynette stops him and makes him show some manners. Carol quickly offers her the job at the clinic.

Doug asks Babcock if he knows how Josh is doing after the ultra-rapid detox. His mom hasn’t brought him back for a follow-up, and though Doug thinks that’s a bad sign, Babcock says she might have just moved out of state to be closer to family. Doug worries that Josh’s mom will press charges. A teen Doug previously treated recognizes him, and Doug chats with Babcock about how his pain is being managed. Babcock says they have to figure out what kind of pain he’s having.

At Elizabeth’s apartment, she tells Charles that she’s turning down his job offer. Operating on Toine, as low-tech and un-fancy as it was, has made her decide she can handle going back to the basics and being an intern again. Charles guesses that she really just wants to stay in Chicago to be near Benton. Elizabeth would never make a decision based on a man, but…she can’t deny that that was a factor. After a year as an intern again, Elizabeth will have a license to practice in the U.S. Charles thinks that, instead of giving up, she’s fighting for what she wants.

Benton puts on some music at home, hoping Reese will be able to hear it. No matter how loud he turns up the volume, Reese doesn’t respond to it.

Thoughts: Lynette is played by Penny Johnson Jerald. Elan is played by Taraji P. Henson, just four episodes after she played a different character.

Doug vs. Weaver is so annoying. We get it, they don’t like each other! Let’s move on.

Here’s an idea so crazy is just might work: Don’t let your med student do a procedure until you’ve seen for yourself that she can do it successfully.

July 16, 2019

ER 4.9, Obstruction of Justice: Two Protests With Very Different Results

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

These two really should have ended up together

Summary: Jeanie’s worked her last day at County but is up the next morning to go sign papers. Al is still confident that he’ll find work in Atlanta, though he’d appreciate Jeanie not nagging him about getting a job. Synergix sends some computer equipment over to County so they can work there on a trial basis. Weaver tells Anspaugh that she thinks Jeanie’s rumblings about getting litigious over her termination weren’t serious. The budget will be proof enough that they needed to let people go. Anspaugh praises Weaver for her handling of a difficult situation.

Mark’s hungover from his drunken antics with Cynthia the night before. She’s worn his lingerie gift to work, and she gives him a peep show in the doctors’ lounge. Doug was supposed to be back at work today, but he called to say his car broke down. Carol wants to make it very clear that he called the hospital, not her personally. Mark and Cynthia emerge from the lounge, and Carol and Chuny should probably hose it down before they go in.

Jeanie goes to Doc Magoo’s to meet up with a couple of lawyers Doyle knows. The fact that she’s never been disciplined works in her favor, but I’d say the fact that she performed a procedure she wasn’t supposed to because of her HIV doesn’t. Anyway, Jeanie wants her job back. At County, Carter asks Anna and Randi if he can borrow a dollar to get a soda. I guess he doesn’t have anything in his wallet smaller than a $50. Anna gives him a buck, noting that, according to legend, JFK also never carried cash on him. She lets him keep the change.

Carter’s cousin Chase shows up, calling Carter “Scooter,” which I’m going to need an explanation for. At least Anna now has a nickname to use for her least favorite colleague. Chase needs medical treatment for what he says is a spider bite. West meets Mark, who’s fine with the Synergix partnership because it means less work for him. West shows Weaver a new verbal dictation system that includes a hands-free mic.

Carol finds Cynthia in the restroom and tells her that there can be no more sex in the lounge. Cynthia laughs that off, saying she was just “trying to cheer up three of the Seven Dwarfs: Grumpy, Sleepy, and Doc.” She thinks Carol should be happier about Mark’s happiness. Jeanie shows up for work, saying she’s not going to accept her termination. Yeah, that’s…not how that works, Jeanie.

Carter and Chase chat about how their grandparents want Chase to be the next prominent successor of the family, working with the family company. Carter has no interest in that, and Chase is being overlooked despite already working for the company. Weaver and Carol tend to a man named Mr. Jackson who says he needs pain medication for a sickle cell crisis; someone stole his Percodans. Carol and Weaver think he’s a drug-seeker and won’t give him the dose he says he needs.

Paramedics bring in a mother and daughter hurt in a car accident. The mother is unconscious, and the daughter, Allison, is having trouble speaking. Weaver brings West in to help her with Allison. Benton and Elizabeth come in to replace West, and Benton shows the best bedside manner he’s ever displayed when he tells Allison they won’t let her die. Next door, her mother regains consciousness but soon flatlines. Elizabeth takes Allison to surgery for leg injuries.

Chuny tells Weaver that Jeanie clocked in for work. Carol can’t get anyone on the phone at the clinic Jackson says he usually goes to, which makes his story seem even fishier. He demands Demerol, but Weaver still won’t budge. Then she goes to confront Jeanie. She points out that Jeanie’s off the payroll and is no longer covered by malpractice insurance. Jeanie says she won’t see anymore patients, but she’s not leaving. Weaver threatens to have her forcibly removed from the hospital. Jeanie says Weaver can do what she needs to do, and Jeanie will do the same.

Allison’s mother dies in the ER, and Benton volunteers to take the news up to Allison in the OR. Herb arrives to shadow Mark, who hasn’t told anyone what’s really going on. Herb just wants to do a couple of sutures, nothing big. Mark’s like, “Cool, I can go from one malpractice suit to another!” Chase invites Carter to go to lunch, but Carter declines because he has to work. He explains to Anna that his family thinks he’s just dabbling in medicine and will quit sooner or later.

A screaming woman named Darlene is brought in after apparently being beaten up by her husband. Both spouses are drunk, and the husband, Eddie, says Darlene ran him over with her car. The cops believe him, though Darlene says she was trying to get away from her husband. She knows Billy, the officer who accompanied them in, is just siding with Eddie because they’re buddies. He’s handcuffed Darlene, but Carter makes him remove the cuffs so he can do his job. Billy demands that Carter get Darlene’s blood-alcohol level.

Benton tells Elizabeth that Allison’s leg injury is too bad to be repaired; they need to amputate. Elizabeth wants to do a procedure that she thinks will save the leg. Benton thinks Elizabeth just wants a guinea pig to practice the procedure on. Romano, of course, gets the tiebreaker, and he’s eager to see Elizabeth perform her procedure.

Weaver tells Mark that Jeanie is still fired, no matter what kind of protest she wants to stage. She hasn’t been able to reach Anspaugh. Mark’s happy he doesn’t have to deal with the stuff Weaver does. He gives Herb some scrubs and asks for some details on how, exactly, Herb plans to defend him from the Laws’ lawsuit (…heh). Herb says it doesn’t matter.

Billy urges Eddie to back him in filing charges against Darlene for assault with a deadly weapon. Apparently they’ve tried to press charges against her before, but Eddie always backs down. While Carter and Anna are telling Eddie that he’s not badly injured, Billy tries to force Chuny to draw Darlene’s blood for a blood-alcohol test. Darlene starts declining, so Carter and Anna rush to help her. Carter tells Billy he’ll need to get a warrant before they’ll agree to the blood draw. He knows both his and Darlene’s rights.

Apparently scrubs and a stethoscope are all you need to pass as a doctor, since Malik and Doyle both mistake Herb for one. Doyle thinks he’s from Synergix. It helps that he knows some medical stuff, having hired an ER doctor to teach him some terms and procedures. Mark sends him to the lounge to practice sutures on a pig’s foot.

Doug arrives and the nurses immediately put him to work. Carol runs up to him, eager for a reunion, but has to tone it down when she remembers other people are there. West invites Weaver to a Synergix conference in the Caribbean next week, which is definitely not an excuse for them to be alone in the tropics without anyone knowing that they’re totally sleeping together.

Mark sends Doug to an exam room to examine a patient complaining of insomnia and a loss of appetite. Doug suggests a psych consult, but Mark wants Doug to handle it himself. The patient is really Carol, and Mark wanted to give them some time alone. Cynthia catches them making out, and though Carol is briefly embarrassed about doing the same thing she told Cynthia not to do, she lets it go so she can go back to kissing her secret boyfriend.

Carter asks Mark what he should do if the police want blood from a patient who’s refused to give it. Herb tells him that he’s allowed to side with the patient and decline. He offers a consult if Carter needs one, but Mark pulls him away. Weaver catches Jeanie trying to help Yosh with a patient, and she’s finally fed up. She tells Chuny to call security, like Chuny should be dragged into this. She’s already on the phone, since Anspaugh is calling to summon Jeanie for a meeting.

Darlene’s blood alcohol is .270, but her vomit doesn’t show any pill fragments, so that’s one less thing for Carter and Anna to have to deal with. Billy arrives with the warrant for Darlene’s blood and asks for the stomach contents as well. That’s not on the warrant, so Carter flushes them right in front of Billy. Billy responds by arresting him for destroying evidence. Mark tries to step in, but Carter is nonchalant, knowing he was just protecting his patient’s rights.

Anspaugh, Jeanie, Weaver, and one of Jeanie’s lawyers meet to discuss the possibility that Jeanie was fired for something other than budget cuts. There’s a case for discrimination and a violation of the disciplinary process. Anspaugh determines that Jeanie will drop the matter if she gets her job back. He promises to have a decision today. After Jeanie and her lawyer leave, Weaver tells Anspaugh that if he hires Jeanie back, he’ll be giving in to blackmail. But Anspaugh knows the case could blow up, and he doesn’t want to deal with the bad PR.

Benton assists while Elizabeth and Romano perform her procedure on Allison. Mark asks Cynthia to find him when Rachel is dropped off at the hospital for a dentist’s appointment. Cynthia’s excited to meet her boyfriend’s daughter. Mark tries to call the hospital’s lawyer for Carter, but they’re not quite sure what to do. To add insult to injury, Darlene and Eddie are in the process of making up. “Carter went to jail for this?” Mark asks Anna dryly.

At the police station, Carter tries to name-drop, saying the commissioner is a family friend. The officer booking him is unimpressed. Carter smiles during his mug shot, because he has no idea what he’s doing. Carol asks Doug for advice on handling Jackson; she can’t figure out if he’s a drug-seeker or if he’s actually in pain. Either way, he’s not happy. Doug examines him, talking to him about what might have brought on his crisis. He tells Jackson to trust him, and Doug will trust him in turn. He gets Jackson to visualize a calm place, which helps him relax.

Weaver tells Jeanie that she can have her job back. Jeanie immediately gets back to work, ignoring Weaver when she claims the termination was never about her HIV. In the OR, Allison declines, and Benton tries hard to revive her. Romano decides they can’t take the time to give her CPR; they need to cut open her chest for compressions. Herb asks Mark to let him help reduce a woman’s dislocated elbow. He reminds Mark that they had a deal that would let Herb do actual procedures. Mark gives in, and Herb is thrilled to get to help.

Rachel arrives and immediately makes friends with Cynthia. While Mark’s distracted, Herb helps himself to a patient chart. Mark asks Cynthia to take Rachel to the dentist for her so he can figure out how to help Carter. Mark stops Herb from doing more sutures without supervision, but when they come across a patient in distress, Herb grabs a crash cart and shocks the patient before Mark can react. The patient stabilizes.

Jeanie meets up with Al and gives him the news that she got her job back. But Al has gotten the job he wanted in Atlanta and is eager to move. Jeanie doesn’t want to just walk away from a job she fought for. Al thinks she doesn’t believe in him. Jeanie knows he wants to keep his HIV status quiet in Atlanta, which will make her feel like they’re running away. Al wants a fresh start; Jeanie may have a life in Chicago, but he doesn’t. Jeanie says he doesn’t get what her job means to her.

Because he only committed a misdemeanor, Carter doesn’t have to wait for a fingerprint check, and he can leave lockup as soon as he pays his $100 bond. He tells the cop who booked him to run one of his credit cards. The police station only accepts cash, though, and all Carter has is the change Anna let him keep from her dollar.

At County, Mark decides that his deal with Herb is too much trouble, so it’s over. When Herb hears that Carter’s in jail, he tells Weaver it’s not a big deal. Then he tells Mark that he’s already taken care of his case – he got a buddy to convince the Laws to drop the charges. The patient Herb saved sings his praises in the hall as Herb leaves, pleased with his exciting day.

Jen shows up to get Rachel, unhappy to learn that Mark sent her off with Cynthia. She’s even less happy when she discovers that the two went to a salon after the dentist, and Cynthia let Rachel dye her hair pink and purple. (Fortunately, it’ll wash out.) Mark pretends he’s not upset, but he does ask for a night off from Cynthia.

Anna objects to letting Carter stay in jail all night when they can easily get a bail bondsman to get him out. She also knows they can’t call his family for help. Mark sends her off to handle things. Doug gives Jackson some medication, and Weaver complains that he helped a drug-seeker get exactly what he wanted. Doug believes Jackson’s story and says he can’t function without pain medication. Weaver says people live in pain but suck it up. Doug thinks she’s suffering the consequences of all the responsibilities she’s taken on.

Cynthia emotionally apologizes to Mark for overstepping her boundaries with Rachel. She thinks Jen hates her now (to be fair, I don’t think there are many people Jen doesn’t hate). Mark tries to comfort her. Carter is left in lockup with a muscled guy who knows he’s a doctor. Despite his angry demeanor, the guy is also in for obstruction of justice. He pulls down his pants, freaking Carter out, but he just wants Carter to examine a bump. Carter’s actually about to when Anna arrives with his bail. He’s so happy to see her that he kisses her.

Anna jokes that this is Carter’s Christmas present. She tells him that Darlene did, in fact, try to kill Eddie, but they’ve made up. Carter laments that he could have had lunch with Chase after all. Anna notes that it’s expensive to have a rich friend. Benton brings Elizabeth some tea as she checks on Allison after surgery. Her leg is still attached, but now she’s in a coma. Elizabeth wonders if she did surgery because of personal reasons, not because it was best for Allison. Benton admits that he also struggles with the balance between helping and being ambitious.

Weaver has to take a break on a bench as she heads home that night. Jeanie thinks Al has already left by the time she gets home, but he’s still around, wanting to see if she’s changed her mind. Jeanie says again that she’s worked too hard to walk away from her job, no matter how she’s been treated there. Al doesn’t want to walk away from their relationship, either. They’ve been together on and off since they were teens. But this is where it ends for them, and it’s the last time we’ll ever see Al.

Thoughts: Jackson is played by Hill Harper.

I’m totally sympathetic to Jeanie, but showing up to your job after you’ve been laid off makes you look crazy.

I’m so disappointed we didn’t get a scene where Millicent got a call about her grandson getting arrested for standing up to the police.

Remember how Anspaugh was painted as tough and tyrannical when he was first introduced? He’s actually very fair and level-headed.

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.

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