May 19, 2020

ER 6.7, Humpty Dumpty: Things Went a Lot Better the Last Time Carter Was in Charge

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

Oh, ELIZABETH

Summary: Mark is playing Tetris at 5:30 in the morning, unable to sleep because he’s feeling stressed about his father coming to visit. He’s arriving that afternoon and staying through Thanksgiving. At County, Haleh wakes Benton up in the on-call room so he can help with a trauma. A church choir in town for a gospel festival was in a bus accident. Carter informs Benton that he’s the triage officer today, having requested more responsibility as a senior resident. In other words, he’s pretty much running the ER, which means he can tell Benton what to do. Benton checks to make sure he’s actually awake and not having a nightmare.

Carter goes to another trauma room to check on Cleo, who calls him John, which just…sounds weird. He bugs Lucy about arriving late in between second-guessing his colleagues’ decisions. He gets knocked off his high horse by a little boy who needs someone to take him to the bathroom. With no one else around to do the job, Carter escorts the boy himself.

Carol has reached the stage of her pregnancy where she can’t really do anything, so she’s been assigned to help out at the front desk. She’s a little bit of a diva about it, asking people to do stuff for her. Luka was sent away when Lawrence was hired, but now that Lawrence has been let go, Luka’s back. Yay! Elizabeth checks in on Benton while he’s operating, and he asks her for some time off to attend his custody trial. He agrees to work other shifts to make up the time. There’s a big car accident somewhere, and Benton is asked to go to the scene to take care of people. Elizabeth says she’ll go instead.

Romano holds a staff meeting, which Carter tags along to with Mark. Weaver told him he couldn’t come, but Mark didn’t know that, so, as Weaver notes, Carter played Mommy against Daddy. Romano wants Carter out, so Mark asks if he wants the staff to think they’re just there to serve him without knowing what goes on behind the scenes. Romano has no problem with that. But he admires Carter’s little trick to get admitted to the meeting, so he can stay.

A teen named Chad Kottmeier is brought in by his mom, who’s sure his behavior has changed because he’s using drugs. Lucy doesn’t want to give him a drug test when he denies using, so Mrs. Kottmeier asks for someone with more seniority. Cleo steps in and asks Chad directly if he objects to being tested. Chad gives in, mostly just wanting his mom to shut up. Outside the room, Lucy calls Cleo on questioning her decision. Cleo advises her to take the path of least resistance more often. Lucy tells her to take the case herself.

A woman comes in with a gunshot wound, having been accidentally shot by her husband when he tried to scare her to stop her hiccups. Carter wants the case, but Weaver tells him to do something administrative instead. He has to review charts from the past 72 hours and call anyone who wasn’t given the appropriate antibiotics. Then he can check the hospital’s compliance on TB mask fitting. Carter now resents asking for more administrative experience.

Elizabeth arrives at the scene of the huge accident and starts triaging patients. One guy, Dean, is stuck in his car. Dave asks Carol to order a test for him, but she says she’s just answering phones. Cleo tells Lucy she understands how hard it is to be a fourth-year med student; she feels comfortable enough to fly solo, but she’s not allowed to yet. She sends Lucy to check out the rest of the choir members who haven’t been seen yet. Dave calls Carol from a phone booth to ask her to order his test. Heh.

A detective named Cruson asks Elizabeth if there was a passenger in Dean’s car, which he’s finally been removed from. In truth, it’s not Dean’s car – he carjacked the real owner. Dean won’t answer the detective’s questions, and he’s bleeding from his carotid artery, so Elizabeth is more concerned with saving him than helping the police. Cruson is desperate for information, so Elizabeth tells Dean she’ll let him bleed to death if he doesn’t tell her where the carjacking victim is. Dean says she’s in Lincoln Park. Pam the paramedic, who’s listening in, is like, “I do NOT get paid enough to deal with this kind of thing.”

Elizabeth delivers Dean to County in handcuffs, which aren’t really necessary, since his massive carotid bleeding is going to keep him from doing anything threatening. A nurse from the jail ward comes to the ER to ask Carol to visit Meg; she had her baby and wants to see Carol. Carter tries to invite himself to join Elizabeth and Benton in treating Dean, but Haleh sends him to do the TB-mask testing instead.

Benton tells the officer with Dean to take off his handcuffs so they can roll him over and check him for more injuries. The cop refuses so Benton tells Lily to get some bolt-cutters. His bluff successfully called, the cop removes the cuffs. Lucy stitches up the choir director, Mr. Owens, noticing that he’s having some breathing issues. He admits that he has congestive heart failure, but he’s more focused on the gospel festival and making sure his choir is ready than he is in taking care of his health.

Dean’s carjacking victim is brought to the hospital with multiple stab wounds. Chuny notices abrasions that indicate that she was raped. Cruson asks the woman, Sandra, for a description of her attacker, but she’s pretty out of it and just asks for her husband. Luka sends Cruson out of the trauma room so he and Weaver can take care of Sandra.

Cruson goes to Dean’s trauma room, where Elizabeth notices that he’s showing weakness on one side of his body. Benton thinks it’s just because she tied off his carotid, but Elizabeth guesses that he’s having a stroke. Cruson objects when Malik throws out some of Dean’s clothes, since they’re covered in blood. Elizabeth agrees to keep the rest of his belongings in case they have Sandra’s blood on them. Cruson leaves to get an arrest warrant.

Next door, Sandra is bleeding a lot, and the blood bank doesn’t have any O-negative readily available. Chuny runs around the ER, asking if any staff members are O-negative. Carter is, so he comes to the trauma room, still wearing a TB mask, to donate. Elizabeth and Benton install a shunt in Dean’s neck, hoping they can save him so he can go on trial for his crimes. As soon as he’s donated blood, Carter wants to join a trauma, but he’s not steady enough to help.

Sandra’s husband, Ron, arrives as Weaver and Luka are about to cut her chest open. They hear music and send Haleh to find out where it’s coming from. She finds the gospel choir practicing in an exam room, Lucy’s compromise to get Mr. Owens to stick around while they wait for some test results. Haleh reluctantly tells them they have to leave, so Mr. Owens decides they’ll go outside to sing.

Cleo gets Chad’s drug-test results, which are negative, though his liver is functioning abnormally. Carol gets dizzy getting off her stool at the counter, so Cleo wants her monitored. Sandra is getting worse, while Dean has stabilized enough for surgery. Elizabeth stays behind to answer Ron’s questions about how Weaver and Luka are treating Sandra. Sadly, they’re unable to save her.

An OB determines that Carol’s babies are fine, but she needs to be resting instead of working. Mark comes to check on her and agrees with the OB. He tells Carol that David didn’t get on his flight to come to Chicago, and his neighbor went to check on him but couldn’t find him. Mark is a lot more calm than I would be about not knowing where my elderly father was.

Cleo busts Chad for being drunk and tells him she’ll need to tell his mother. Chad doesn’t care, since Mrs. K. also has a drinking problem. Luka and Weaver have the unfortunate job of having to tell Ron that they need to perform a rape exam on his dead wife. To add insult to injury, they need to make sure he didn’t rape her.

Dean has a lot of injuries and may not be able to be put back together (like Humpty Dumpty. Like the episode title. Get it?). Cruson has his warrant and is ready to do his job to get Dean charged with murder one. Outside the hospital, Lucy continues treating Mr. Owens while he conducts his choir. He’s insistent that they leave for the festival, promising that he’ll come back as soon as they’ve performed. Lucy has to get a doctor’s approval to let him leave against medical advice.

Cleo brings Adele to the ER to try to get Chad some treatment. Lucy asks Cleo to talk to Mr. Owens about his treatment, but she’s too late – the choir’s bus is already pulling away. Lucy laments that she didn’t get Cleo sooner; she thought she could handle the situation. Mark gets a message that David went to the airport this morning, so his failure to arrive in Chicago doesn’t make sense. He gets a call to go up to the sixth floor to see Lawrence, who’s undergoing a neurological exam where he has to identify pictures of things like funnels and volcanoes. He’s not enjoying it.

Weaver and Luka examine Sandra’s body and confirm that she was raped. Mark invites Lawrence to get coffee while he waits for some test results. Mark has called Lawrence’s son, since he needs a caregiver to participate in a clinical trial. Lawrence didn’t want his son involved and doesn’t think he’ll babysit his father anyway. Mark notes that Lawrence took care of his son as a child; now his son can return the favor. Lawrence admits that he was always too busy to be much of a father. He doesn’t want to be a burden.

Mark is optimistic that the trial will give Lawrence more time, though Lawrence doesn’t see the point. Mark ask if he’s going to give up because he’s too proud to ask for help. Lawrence doesn’t think it matters – the end result is the same. He thinks it’s too late for any trials or treatments to make a difference in his condition.

Romano tells Elizabeth that Dean raped Sandra. Someone at the public defender’s office has heard that Elizabeth coerced Dean into telling her where Sandra was, and Romano would like to hear from her whether that’s true. Elizabeth admits that it is, which means the confession, having been coerced, could be thrown out in court. Not to mention how unethical it is to threaten to withhold treatment like Elizabeth did.

Carol finally goes to visit Meg, who’s spending her last few minutes with her baby before he’s taken away by Social Services. Meg asks Carol to talk to someone about letting her take him to jail with her. Carol owes her, since she’s the reason Meg got arrested. Carol says she did what she thought was best for Meg and the baby. Meg asks if being away from her new son for ten months is what’s best for him. Carol thinks she can get him back if she proves she’s turned her life around. Meg calls her self-righteous and begs Carol to do something. Carol says she can’t, and leaves while Meg screams at her.

Lawrence waits for his son in the ER while Cleo tells Mrs. K. that Chad needs treatment for his drinking. Mrs. K. says she didn’t give Cleo permission to do anything except test Chad for drug use. Cleo asks if Mrs. K. is avoiding the truth because she has her own drinking problem. Mrs. K. storms off.

Carter gets in over his head with a patient, unsure of why he’s having seizures. Lawrence is sitting right outside the trauma room, so Carter asks for his help. Lawrence says he doesn’t work at County anymore, but Carter’s desperate, so Lawrence comes in to help. He quickly diagnoses the patient, having had a similar case 20 years ago, and gives him the proper treatment. “Score one for the absent-minded professor,” he quips to Weaver and Carter.

Weaver acknowledges that the patient would have died if Lawrence hadn’t been there. She, too, wouldn’t be where she is without Lawrence’s guidance. She asks what he’s going to do. Lawrence tells her that he and his son talked, and they’ve made arrangements to live together.

Mr. Owens returns to the ER, upset that he missed the festival. It’s not clear, but it sounds like Lucy sent paramedics to the festival to bring him back, claiming that he needed treatment for carbon-monoxide poisoning. David shows up next, having taken a later flight because his first one was overbooked and he wanted the $200 passengers were offered to get off the plane. Mark gives him a tour of the hospital.

Weaver thanks Luka for his good work on a difficult case. She calls him by his first name, the sign of trust he previously mentioned to Carol he was hoping for, and tells him she wants him to take Lawrence’s slot as a permanent doctor. He doesn’t ask about his salary, sure that Weaver will be fair. Benton and Elizabeth operate on Dean, her lamenting that Sandra died and him pointing out that at least she didn’t die alone. Dean starts crashing and Elizabeth hesitates before shocking him back to stability.

Thoughts: Chad is played by Emile Hirsch.

I didn’t realize until he showed up that this episode kicks off the horrible Dean Rollins story arc. Kill me now.

I’m imagining myself telling my boss to do my job herself, like Lucy does with Cleo. Hold on. Imagining it…imagining it…and…it doesn’t end well. Watch your attitude, Knight.

March 17, 2020

ER 5.20, Power: This Emergency Room Is Really Not Equipped to Handle Emergencies

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

Holland Taylor is so good in everything she does

Summary: Carol and Mark are going for a jog in the park, talking about politics. We’ve moved forward in time a little, as she’s now into her second trimester of pregnancy. She’s written Doug a letter telling him she’s pregnant and hopes he doesn’t just drop everything and come back to Chicago. Mark thinks he will.

Roxanne (remember her?) has asked Lucy to meet her at a coffeehouse so they can talk about Carter. She’d like to know if Lucy and Carter are involved. Lucy says they’re not, and in fact, they’ve barely spoken in the past few months, since Lucy’s been doing other rotations. Roxanne says that means her and Carter’s relationship has just stalled out on its own. The women agree that Carter is sweet but mixed up.

A couple on the El is flirting, which Carter and some other riders find amusing. The power goes out, just one of a bunch of recent blackouts in the city. The couple continues making out in the dark. Lucy’s back for another ER rotation, and Mark tells Carter he’ll be supervising her again. Maybe this time they’ll keep their hands to themselves.

Carter asks Jerry to send something to his mom in Bangkok for Mother’s Day. Jerry and Mark realize they forgot about the occasion. “Better call the bowling alley,” Jerry says. Haleh secretly can’t wait for her usual Mother’s Day of burnt toast and runny eggs in bed hours before she wants to wake up. Romano says he always surprises his mother; last year he gave her a helicopter ride. OH. OH, WOW. Haleh has a hard time picturing the woman who gave birth to Romano.

Romano’s spending the day in the ER, wanting to see what goes on there since he’s supposed to be in charge, at least temporarily. Mark tries not to cringe. Roger brings Reese to the hospital for daycare; Roger’s enjoying spending time with Reese but isn’t that familiar with his schedule. He didn’t even know that Reese is still in speech therapy.

Mark takes Romano to a patient, Dottie, who seems to have fallen at home. Her neighbor, Gladys, brought in Dottie and her husband Army, who has Alzheimer’s. Romano can’t get out of the room fast enough. He narrowly dodges a sexual-harassment claim by asking Mark if Carol’s been putting on weight, then saying he’s had fantasies about her. If only Doug were here to punch him. Romano asks if Mark has ever fantasized about Elizabeth. He then brings up the trauma fellowship, which he doesn’t think is worth the money.

Lucy’s patient is Phyllis, and Lucy, Chuny, and Lydia are intrigued by her. She sells pheromone-containing perfumes designed to attract men. Lucy puts some on her wrist and passes it under Carter’s nose as she hands him Phyllis’ chart. Phyllis has shortness of breath possibly connected to a stroke she had a couple years ago. She thinks it was just anxiety because she has a big meeting with Marshall Fields.

Elizabeth asks Carol if she’s faxed her letter to Doug yet. (She hasn’t.) Elizabeth goes looking around the ER for a patient she’s supposed to do a consult on. She finds a guy from transport bringing a patient back from x-rays, but not the patient she was looking for. Romano points her to a different patient, a woman who fell down an escalator. Elizabeth and Mark get to work together, exuding what’s supposed to be sexual tension, though I certainly don’t see it. The patient does and asks if she should leave so they can be alone.

The power goes out, but Mark calmly says the generator will come on. Carol comes in to tell everyone to plug any necessary machinery into the plugs fed by the generator. The lights come back on, so Carol cancels the order. Some patients’ family members are concerned about the hospital’s procedures when the power goes out, so Jerry tries to assure them that they have generators and backups for everything.

He tells Carter that Roxanne came by looking for him. She’s chatting with Phyllis, trying to sell her insurance. Carter blasts her for it, but Roxanne says Phyllis tried to sell her perfume first. She accuses Carter of trying to pick a fight so he’ll have an excuse to break up with her. If he wants to end things, he should just say so. Carter says so, so they’re done.

The patient Elizabeth saw with the guy from transport has been left on a gurney in the middle of the hallway. Elizabeth and Haleh realize she’s not breathing and rush her into a trauma room. She’s been beaten, and Romano discovers that she was sexually assaulted. Elizabeth admits that she’d never seen the transporter before and isn’t sure if he’s from transport or is an x-ray tech.

A nurse comes down from the medical wing to get the patient, who’s been missing since that morning. Connie and Haleh are a little freaked out about the idea of an unidentified man beating and raping patients in the hospital. Romano tells the nurses to keep an eye out but keep things quiet so patients don’t panic. They shouldn’t hand patients off to anyone they don’t know or anyone who isn’t wearing an ID badge. There are police posted in every hallway, just in case.

Carol and Lucy tend to Dottie, who may have broken her hip. Lucy also has to deal with Gladys, who yells everything because she’s not wearing her hearing aid, and Army, who’s grumpy and doesn’t think anyone can help his wife. Lucy tells Carter that Dottie has a bad bedsore and probably broke her hip. Gladys says she heard a bang and just knew that Dottie had fallen. Lucy wants to call psych for Army, thinking he’s depressed. Carter doesn’t think that’s what she should be focusing on, but he tells her to go ahead.

Mark tells Elizabeth that the assaulted patient, Laurie, has been in a vegetative state since a car accident ten days ago. Her family is trying to decide whether to put her in long-term care. Elizabeth wishes she’d paid more attention to the man with her so she could ID him. Mark notes that she might have scared him off when she talked to him.

Tony doesn’t have his badge on him, and he objects to a cop telling him to go get it instead of taking the escalator patient for stitches. (She doesn’t get a name, so I’ll call her…Rose. Because she rose on an escalator. I’ll see myself out.) Carol vouches for Tony and tells him to wear his badge. Jerry has heard about Carter and Roxanne’s breakup, which means she won’t be coming by the hospital anymore. Jerry wishes Carter had thought of everyone else at work before deciding to end things.

Lucy’s with Phyllis again, checking out her perfumes. She tells Carter that Phyllis seems a little confused and should probably have a head CT. Carter hustles her out to take care of other patients, but not before Phyllis calls out, “Sex!” She just remembered the name of one of her perfumes, Fair Sex (or maybe Pher Sex, because of the pheromones). Phyllis talks to Carter and Lydia about pheromones and intimacy and Carter’s success with the ladies. Carter does a neurological exam and decides Lucy’s right about Phyllis needing a CT. She asks if he was breastfed as a baby.

Elizabeth and Benton bicker in the scrub room, still feeling competitive over the trauma fellowship. Okay, guys, we’re all sick of that, so cut it out. Jerry comments on Carol coming off a break, since she never takes them. She starts faxing the letter to Doug, but before it can go through, the power goes out. She may be in a bad spot, but at least she’s not Benton, Elizabeth, and Romano, who had just started operating on Laurie.

Carter stumbles in the dark and knocks over some of Phyllis’ perfumes. Mark enlists Carol to help make sure everything’s plugged into the right slots. She asks Jerry to try to get her fax out of the machine. Jerry deals with angry families while Carol and Mark quietly note that the rapist is still unaccounted for. What’s more, the ICU’s new backup generator never came on, so they want to send six critical patients to the ER.

Lucy brings Myers to talk to Army as Haleh tells patients in the waiting room that they’ll have to keep waiting until the power comes back on. Mark tries to negotiate with the ICU, but he can’t get a phone line to work. Carol heads off to check on a low-battery alarm, running into Carter, who’s covered in perfume. Thanks to the phones being down, Shirley can’t call the daycare so Benton can check on Reese.

The doors to the ambulance bay are controlled by a keypad, and with the electricity out, they won’t open. That was some A+ planning on someone’s part. The family member who’s been bugging Jerry all day is annoyed that he can’t get outside to smoke. Carter can’t get Phyllis to CT for a while, and he’s not happy that they can’t better accommodate a patient who seems to be getting worse.

An ambulance arrives, even though the hospital’s supposed to be closed to trauma. The doors are still stuck closed, so Mark and the EMTs try to pry them open. The patient was electrocuted, possibly having been struck by lightning, but is currently stable. The doors won’t open no matter how hard everyone pries them apart, so Mark moves the EMTs to a large window. Carter suggests smashing it, but Mark is like, “Calm down, Hulk. It’ll open.” The EMTs pass the patient through the window on the gurney, and Mark sarcastically welcomes him to County.

Benton goes up to daycare, looking for Reese (and calling his name, which…come on, Benton). Reese is normally afraid of the dark but seems to be doing okay. It helps that someone put glow-in-the-dark stars all over the ceiling, and they look pretty cool with all the lights out. Back in the OR, Elizabeth wonders if they should have operated on Laurie. She’s been through a lot, and her family should just let her go. They’re about to close, but Laurie’s heart starts to give out.

Mark and Carol work on the electrocuted patient, Joiner, whose injuries don’t seem too severe. Benton’s still on the clock, so he brings Reese with him to the ER in a backpack instead of leaving him in the dark. (In a moment I really like, Connie fingerspells “hi” to Reese.) Carter and Lucy work on a worsening Phyllis, who may have a clot. They need a certain test to find out; without it, the treatment they give her could make her worse.

The backup power goes out, which means any patients on ventilators will have to be manually bagged. Benton’s having trouble working with Reese on his back, so he hands Reese off to Connie, who says Jerry can look after him. Yeah, because Jerry isn’t dealing with enough right now. And because Jerry seems like such a good influence on children. Elizabeth and Romano work to save Laurie, having to open her back up without knowing exactly where the problem is. Whatever they do works.

Carter turns to Mark, who suggests a low-tech test to determine if Phyllis has a clot. The test says she doesn’t, but Mark advises a lumbar puncture to confirm what he thinks is really going on with her. Joiner’s heart stops, but Benton gave away the defibrillator in their trauma room. Carol finds Rose getting stitched up by a man she doesn’t recognize and fears that the rapist has returned. The man is actually a nurse who lives nearby and came in to help out when he heard about the power outage. Rose assures Carol that he’s doing a great job.

Myers confirms Lucy’s suspicions that Army is depressed. He’s having suicidal thoughts and is a danger to himself. Lucy asks if he’s also a threat to others. Benton finds a defibrillator that works on batteries and is able to revive Joiner. Tony is put to work bagging a patient and says he might take the MCAT and become a doctor. Lucy examines Dottie again and realizes that what she thought was a bedsore isn’t. That bang Gladys heard wasn’t Dottie falling – it was Army shooting her.

Weaver brings in fried chicken for the staff and jumps in to help out. Carol is beyond grateful, because her entire thing this episode is being hungry. Mark, Carter, and Lydia do Phyllis’ LP in the dark, and Carter thanks Mark for providing backup (unlike the generators *cough*). Chuny and Connie proudly tell Weaver about how Benton stabilized Joiner, then diagnosed him with rhabdomyolysis, a breakdown of his muscle. Weaver realizes she missed all the major cases today. At least she provided food. (Benton asks for chicken, which means someone forgot that he’s a vegetarian.)

Romano praises Elizabeth for saving Laurie, then tells her that her surgical skills would go to waste if she took the trauma fellowship. He knows she hates working with him, but he’s willing to keep his distance if it means she’ll stay in surgery. He takes over bagging Laurie so Elizabeth can talk to the police. They’ve found a man who hanged himself somewhere in the hospital, and they want her to see if she can ID him. As the power in the hospital comes back on, Elizabeth confirms that he’s the rapist.

Mark tells Carter that he felt some weird energy while they were doing the LP together. It was almost like Carter was being territorial and admiring, or even flirting. Carter realizes that the pheromones in Phyllis’ perfume must have made it seem like he was attracted to Mark. After he leaves, Mark and Lydia share a laugh over their prank.

Army tells Lucy and Myers that he lost his insurance after he retired and his company went under. Thanks to an error with his pension, if he dies before Dottie, she doesn’t get any money. Lucy asks where he was aiming the gun, so they can determine what internal injuries she might have. Army just talks about the gun, which he got from a Nazi in World War II.

The staff tries to clean up and reorganize everything that got chaotic in the dark. Elizabeth doesn’t want to face more time in the dark, so Mark comments that they shouldn’t have a candlelit dinner. She wants to go home, but he thinks they should do something so they don’t get depressed by all the trauma they faced. Carol goes looking for her fax, which Jerry was able to get out of the fax machine. It didn’t go through, so Carol will have to try again later. Jerry promises that he didn’t read the letter.

Lucy debriefs with Carter about Army and Dottie, who’ve been married for 54 years. They wonder what made their relationship last. Carter says he’s never had a lasting one, so he would have no clue. Lucy says her mom was so good at parenting alone that she doesn’t really see the need for a partner. Carter teases her about spending too long in her psych rotation. Mark and Elizabeth go to an arcade and play a skiing video game to cheer themselves up. Elizabeth’s very happy to have electricity…which then goes out.

Thoughts: As mentioned above, Phyllis is played by Holland Taylor.

Laura Innes (Weaver) directed this episode.

Speaking of directors, I just learned that Lily Mariye, who plays Lily, is now a director. She’s done episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles, Criminal Minds, Nashville, The Fosters, How to Get Away With Murder, and The Terror.

Romano is, of course, a jerk, and is normally bad at managing people, but he handles the situation with Laurie well. He could have easily just snapped at everyone to calm down and do their jobs. Instead, he focuses on safety and security, and tries to keep things running normally.

Carter’s “let’s just smash the window” moment makes it seem like his awesome leadership skills in “Exodus” were just a fluke.

Phyllis’ plot feels like it was originally meant to lead to Lucy and Carter flirting, so I don’t know why that got dropped.

Why did Carol think a fax, of all things, was the best way to tell Doug that she was pregnant? Imagine being the person who pulled that letter off the fax machine at Doug’s new hospital and had to pretend she hadn’t read it.

February 29, 2020

Felicity 1.8, Drawing the Line, Part 2: The Rest of the Story

Posted in TV tagged , , at 1:29 pm by Jenn

Story wears a lot of barrettes in this episode

Summary: Noel is considering a big change and wants to share it with a friend: He’s thinking about growing a goatee. He rubs his face to show where it would be. “Yeah, I know where a goatee goes,” his friend replies. I love you, unnamed friend. Felicity interrupts the thrilling conversation to talk to Noel about something that’s actually important. As Unnamed Friend (who apparently is in a few episodes but never gets a name; I’ll call him Brian because that’s the actor’s name) leaves, he tells Noel not to grow a goatee. Thank you, Brian.

So anyway, Felicity tells Noel that he can’t tell anyone else what she’s about to reveal. She announces that Zach raped Julie. Noel asks if Julie’s okay, and Felicity says she’s fine physically, but not necessarily mentally. Felicity isn’t sure what she plans to do. Noel says that, according to his RA training, 95% of people who have been raped don’t report it. He can’t remember the official procedure for handling it. Felicity asks to borrow the book so she can get some guidance on what to do.

Next, she makes a tape for Sally, saying how amazing it is that she started caring about Julie after knowing her for such a short time. She’s convinced Julie to go to the hospital, which Julie finds silly, since she’s fine. Felicity offers to stay with her while she’s being examined. Julie declines. Her bed is still bare.

At the hospital, Julie calmly tells a doctor about her night with Zach. They had a few drinks after a recording session, and he walked her back to her room. After some making out, he started taking off his clothes. Julie said she didn’t want to rush things, and Zach said that was fine. Still, he took off her bra. She told him she wanted to wait to have sex, but he kept trying to touch her in ways she didn’t want. Julie said no, but when Zach got on top of her, she was unable to get him to stop.

Julie stays mostly emotionless through the conversation and tells the doctor she doesn’t want to get overly dramatic. Nothing violent happened, and Zach didn’t scream or anything. When he left in the morning, it was like nothing had happened. Julie’s not even sure this classifies as rape. The doctor tells her it does. Julie says Zach didn’t use a condom, so that’s a whole other mess to deal with.

As they’re leaving the hospital, Julie tells Felicity that she has to take some pills to prevent pregnancy. She’s grateful to Felicity for getting her new sheets. A detective named Dennis finds them and asks to take Julie’s statement. Julie hesitates, and though Felicity encourages her to talk to Dennis, Julie asks to hold off until later.

Felicity tells Sally that if she hadn’t come to New York, she and Julie never would have met, and Julie might not have told anyone what happened to her. As Julie takes a morning-after pill, a girl named Story shows up at Felicity’s door. She’s a prospective student Felicity forgot she signed up to host for a few days. Conscientious Felicity did not, amazingly, tell Meghan about this ahead of time.

Since Felicity is dealing with some stuff right now, she asks Meghan to look after Story for a little while. Meghan refuses to be responsible for an impressionable high school student. You know, that’s probably a good idea. Meghan says Story can sleep in the room, but if she touches Meghan’s box, she’s dead. Felicity goes to Elena to ask her to house Story instead (also a good idea), though she can’t give Elena any details on why she needs the change. Elena seems to get that something major is going on and agrees, though she regrets that when Story asks to go to a club.

Felicity tells Sally that Julie’s become withdrawn. Felicity gets her to come to lunch, where Zach approaches them and asks why Julie hasn’t been returning his calls. She acts like everything’s normal, while he doesn’t seem to get that anything bad happened. Somehow, Felicity doesn’t throw her tray at him and chase him out of the cafeteria while screaming horrible names at him, which is what I would have done. The two see Zach chatting with Ben, and Julie starts to cry a little, the first real emotion she’s shown since the assault.

Noel and Felicity meet with a counselor named Gina to discuss Julie. Gina tells them to keep listening to her and believe what she tells them. She also wants Julie to get help. Noel asks about the protocol for reporting the rape, if Julie decides she wants to. If she goes to the police, the DA probably won’t take the case; it’s too hard to prosecute cases of “acquaintance rape” where drugs or alcohol were involved.

If Julie reports it to the school, she’ll need to write a detailed description of the assault. The dean of students would gather evidence, including medical and police reports, and witness statements. The dean would also meet with Zach, and if there was enough evidence for investigation, the Student Conduct Committee would take over. Julie would have to testify. It’s not a great experience, but it would be worse to do nothing. Gina warns that Julie’s sense of trust and control will be compromised right now. Almost a third of people who have been raped contemplate suicide.

Julie’s distracted on a walk through the city and almost walks in front of a car. Felicity finds her and admits that she went to the counselor to talk about Julie’s options. Julie accepts the pamphlets Gina gave Felicity to give her, but she insists that she doesn’t need counseling. Felicity thinks she’s too close to the situation to really see everything. Julie blows her off and says she’ll call Felicity later.

Ben and Zach hang out at Ben’s place, talking about Julie and the movie. Sean’s new business idea: vending machines that sell disposable cameras. Okay, not the worst idea. I mean, until camera phones come out and Sean goes bankrupt. Zach’s RA, Darryl, comes by so Zach goes into the hall to talk to him. Darryl has heard something about Zach and Julie and wants to know if Zach raped her. If it’s true, Darryl will make Zach’s life miserable. But in case you thought it was because Darryl is a good guy, it’s really because this incident could threaten his job, which could threaten his tuition. Thanks anyway, Darryl.

A very confused Zach finds Julie in the laundry room and asks why Darryl might think Zach raped Julie. Julie pretends she didn’t say anything to anyone. She says she’s confused about what happened. Zach yells that he doesn’t get how she couldn’t know what happened. Their night together might not have been perfect, but he’s sure it wasn’t a crime. Plus, Julie started the makeout session, and they were both having a good time in her room. It’s not like Zach attacked her or ripped her clothes off.

Julie tries to leave, but he grabs her arm and keeps her there. He asks if she reported him, and Julie says no. She’s not sure if she’s going to, either. She says again that she’s confused. Zach tells her he’ll probably be expelled if she says he raped her. Julie asks him to let go of her arm. Zach insists that he didn’t rape her, but she ignores him and storms out.

Javier asks Felicity to work tomorrow, but Felicity’s trying to keep her schedule light. Julie interrupts the call to ask Felicity who she told about Zach. Felicity says she only told Noel because he might be able to help them deal with the situation. Julie says Felicity’s not the one who has to deal with it. Felicity says she was just trying to help. Julie tells her that pamphlets won’t help. She hates how condescending Felicity has been.

Felicity argues that Julie keeps saying she’s fine; she doesn’t think Julie would believe her if their situations were reversed. Julie says Felicity can’t understand what she’s going through. Felicity keeps saying that Julie should do the right thing, but she can’t know what that means. Plus, Felicity’s a virgin, so Julie doesn’t think she can understand the situation. Felicity says that, virgin or not, she can understand that someone was abused.

Julie says what happened was her fault. She gave out the same message to Zach that she gives to all guys. “I know what I am,” she says. Felicity thinks reporting the rape is easy, but it’s not that black and white. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened to Julie. She won’t be going to Gina or doing anything else that Felicity wants her to do. Felicity says she won’t sit there and watch Julie do nothing. Julie tells her she’s upset that Felicity told Noel what happened. Why did she ever think that Felicity would understand?

Noel has failed to listen to Brian and is working on his facial hair. Sigh. Felicity comes in and blasts him for telling Darryl about Julie and Zach. He wanted to warn Darryl that there was a possible rapist living on his floor. Felicity says that Julie thinks Felicity betrayed her, which…maybe she did. Noel tells her that, based on statistics, Julie probably won’t do anything, and Felicity can’t change that. She notices his new stubble and asks what “that thing” is. Maybe now he’ll shave.

Elena tries to study while Story makes a lot of noise with a magazine. Story blathers about nightclubs. Elena asks why she wants to go to college. Story wants to do something science-y, and college is the only way to do that. Elena says she’d go out if she didn’t have to study, but she does, so Story needs to be quiet. Story doesn’t listen. Make her sleep in the hall, Elena.

Ben approaches Felicity in a classroom the next day and asks what’s up with Julie. He’s heard rumors and hasn’t been able to reach her. Felicity tries to stay out of it, for once, just telling Ben to talk to Julie. Ben asks if Zach knows what’s going on. Felicity’s facial expressions help him grasp that Zach is the one who perpetrated the rumored rape.

Ben finds Zach in the cafeteria and asks what happened. Zach insists that it was all consensual, but Ben believes the rumors over him. He gets aggressive with Zach, who says that Ben should know what Julie’s like, since they kind of went out. Ben says they didn’t sleep together since Julie didn’t want to. Zach tells him that Julie felt differently about him. Ben tackles him and hits him a couple times. Zach tells him to stop, and Ben does, saying that that’s the difference between them.

Elena tells Felicity that Story tried to get her to go out at 2 a.m. the night before. Felicity thinks it sounds sweet, but Elena isn’t amused. She’s done with babysitting and is sending Story back to Felicity. To her credit, Felicity doesn’t object, and even thanks Elena for taking Story in at all. I think Felicity owes Elena a big favor. Like, free food at Dean & DeLuca for the rest of her life.

Ben visits Julie, who guesses that he’s heard the same stories everyone else has about her. Ben tells her that his father always let him down as a kid, never showing up at important events (including graduation, which is why we didn’t see him there). He’d also get angry and violent. Ben spent his life trying to figure out what he was doing wrong to set off his father. Now that he’s away from home, he can see that he didn’t do anything wrong. Julie seems to get what he means.

As Zach studies the fat lip Ben gave him, Julie steels herself and goes to see Gina. A woman goes to Zach’s classroom looking for him, and he doesn’t look surprised to be called out of the room. Felicity tells Noel that Julie went to see Gina; Noel already knows, as Julie credited Felicity with talking her into it. Story meets Noel and asks if he wants to go to a club. Go away, Story. I want Brian back. Felicity tells Noel to shave, but Story likes the facial hair. Seriously, go away, Story.

Felicity, Ben, and Julie try to study together in Felicity’s room, but Julie’s not paying much attention. When Meghan comes in, Story starts talking to her about her I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. Meghan asks if Story looked in her box. When Story says no, Meghan says, “Forget it.” She’s going out to a club, and Story is thrilled to finally find someone who wants to party with her. Felicity’s like, “What just happened?”

After they leave, Julie announces that she wants to go talk to Zach. He has no idea what’s going on, and she wants him to know that she’s pursuing punishment. She tells him she reported the rape and is going to testify. He may not think he raped her, but she knows he did. Zach quietly says he agrees. He admitted it to the dean and is going to leave school. He even wrote Julie an apology letter. It says that night must have been horrible for her and he wishes things had gone differently.

Julie says she didn’t want him to be expelled. She just wanted him to know what happened. Zach tells her that nothing that happened or that’s happening now is her fault. That night with her was his first time (both for sex and for rape), though he knows that’s not an excuse. He hopes that one day, Julie won’t hate him so much, because he’s truly sorry. Julie says she is, too.

Sally’s tape back to Felicity is about blaming ourselves when horrible things happen. She even blamed herself when her fiancé died. She thinks it’s human nature to try to make sense of things. While Ben plays video games alone and Story and Meghan go out together, Felicity holds a mirror so Noel can shave. Sally says that bad things sometimes just happen without a reason or purpose. Julie reads Zach’s letter as Sally says that life involves picking up the pieces of what’s happened to us.

Thoughts: Story is played by Riley Weston, who was a writer on the show. She was hyped as a 19-year-old phenom but was later discovered to really be 32. The truth cost her the writing job and a six-figure deal with Disney. So in this episode, they thought they’d cast a 19-year-old to play a 16-year-old, but she was actually playing a character half her age.

I liked the scene where Noel and Felicity went to see Gina. Not only was it informative for the audience, but it showed how much they wanted to help Julie.

Amanda Foreman (Meghan) must have had a lot of fun going to wardrobe and seeing what she got to wear each episode. I bet the wardrobe department loved getting to put together crazy outfits for her.

February 22, 2020

Felicity 1.7, Drawing the Line, Part 1: Doesn’t Anyone on This Show Respect Boundaries?

Posted in TV tagged , at 1:08 pm by Jenn

Suddenly, a silly love triangle doesn’t seem so important

Summary: You guys! Felicity’s not making a tape for Sally! Instead, we start with Noel sharing his problems for once, instead of being the one who has to listen to other people’s problems. He says a guy on his floor has a connection with a girl, but she keeps telling him about her feelings for another guy. The person Noel’s talking to says he has “the nice-guy friend thing” going on. Noel says his “friend” feels like there’s a spark between him and the girl.

Noel is making up this story at an RA meeting, which was supposed to be about the new fire code. Astrid is there, which means she has some level of responsibility in the dorm, which scares me a little. Noel tells her that he doesn’t know what to tell his advisee about the girl he likes. Astrid and a couple of RAs agree that the advisee needs to draw a line with the girl – tell her to stop talking to him about the guy she likes.

Oh, now Felicity’s making a tape. Sigh. She shares that the word “buttinsky” is in the dictionary. It means someone who’s nosey and makes trouble. Felicity admits that she’s one, though she doesn’t mean to be. Flashback to a work shift, when she sees Ben walking by Dean & DeLuca. Felicity knows that she ruined things with him by rewriting his essay.

Elena’s on hold with someone in the school’s administration when Blair brings her a record player and Ben Webster record. She tries to turn down his gifts, admitting that she’s not sure if she’s staying at school. Zach sits down with Julie while she’s in the cafeteria with Felicity and Elena, and announces that some agent is coming to the school and will be seeing Zach’s movie. Elena tells him not to get his hopes up.

Zach asks Julie to do some guitar music for his film. They share a chaste kiss, which Julie admits to Felicity must be a statement of some kind. Elena bluntly asks if they’ve screwed yet. Julie says no, then changes the topic to Felicity and Ben. No, they haven’t screwed yet, either. They’re also not talking. But he’s in the cafeteria, so Felicity approaches him to invite him to sit with her and her friends. He coolly declines.

Felicity, of course, goes to Noel to talk things over. She feels like she and Ben were starting to develop a friendship before the paper thing, but now he hates her. Noel looks like he’s imagining jumping out the window just to get away from this topic. Finally, he tells her he needs to draw…a comparison. A friend of his went through something similar. He tells Felicity to pretend she left something at Ben’s apartment, which will give her an excuse to talk to him while she looks for it. Felicity hugs him and says he’s such a good friend.

Back in Felicity’s room, Meghan asks if Felicity opened her box. Felicity says she didn’t know Meghan had a box. Okay, this sounds weird. Meghan has some sort of keepsake box, and she thinks Felicity did something with it. Felicity wonders why they live together in such a big room when they could live in two rooms with a wall between them. After all, they have two doors. Why do they have two doors?? Meghan says she’s leaving, and taking her box with her. Felicity’s fine with that, but Meghan thinks she’s using reverse psychology. I have no idea what just happened.

Time for another RA meeting. Astrid teaches everyone that the singular of “graffiti” is “graffito.” She urges them to use the word in conversation because it freaks people out. No, Astrid, I think you’re the one who freaks people out. Another RA doesn’t get how they’re supposed to balance their schoolwork with all their RA responsibilities. For example, they have to counsel people with eating disorders and a guy who keeps peeing in the sink. Noel says that he told his advisee to draw the line with his friend, but the advisee had some trouble with that. Astrid tells him to repeat his advice the next time his advisee comes to him.

Felicity tries Noel’s trick at Ben’s place, pretending she left a notebook there. Sean chats with her about his stolen idea book, which he’s since replaced. His new idea is a board game version of Quarters, called the Quartermaster. Ben helps look for the supposedly missing notebook as Felicity babbles about how people probably do a lot of crazy things when they’re just starting out at college. She feels like she’s grown up a lot in the past week. Ben doesn’t care. Felicity asks if he’s going to be mad at her forever. Ben says he’s not mad – he doesn’t feel any way about her at all.

Guess where Felicity goes next? Yep, Noel’s room! He’s working on his web page, noelcrane.com (which, as I said in the last recap, doesn’t contain anything. I know, I’m disappointed, too). Felicity starts talking about Ben, and Noel stops her and announces he’s drawing a line. There will be no more conversations about Felicity and Ben. Noel isn’t Felicity’s girlfriend, and he doesn’t want to be the person who always talks to her about a love interest. Any other subject is open for discussion, just not Ben. Felicity decides to leave instead of risking breaking the new rule.

She goes to Julie next, but Julie’s on her way to meet Zach. Felicity, I told you to make more friends. There has to be someone out there willing to listen to you whine about Ben. Felicity admits that she’s jealous of Julie and Zach’s relationship, but also happy that Julie’s happy. Julie promises that Felicity is still her closest friend.

Blair spots Elena as she’s going in to the financial services office. He goes to Elena’s room to leave her a note, telling Felicity, who’s there for a chat, that Elena’s not there. He laments that he keeps trying to reach out to Elena, but she keeps shutting him down. Felicity can relate, since she’s going through the same thing with Ben. Finally, someone who can relate to Felicity’s problems and doesn’t mind listening to her complain about them!

The two get coffee together in the cafeteria and talk about their respective friendships. Felicity doesn’t think Blair should worry about Elena, since there are a lot of students who have financial issues, which Felicity knows from her job in the admissions office. Blair gets an idea, but Felicity preempts it, saying she can’t look at Elena’s file. She doesn’t want to be a buttinsky. Blair thinks something serious is going on, since Elena said she might have to leave school. Felicity knows from past experience that looking at students’ files could be disastrous. Looking at Elena’s would be crossing a line. Blair asks her to do it anyway.

That night, Meghan wakes Felicity up by rattling her box. Felicity denies touching, shaking, or picking up the box. She asks what’s in it that’s so important. Meghan won’t tell her. Felicity asks what it would matter if she had looked through the box and seen Meghan’s naked pictures or drugs or whatever. Meghan announces that she’s buying a fingerprint kit. What’s in the box, Meghan? WHAT’S IN THE BOX???

Felicity decides that since she’s up, Noel should be, too, so she can yell at him about the line he drew. Noel says he’s just setting one boundary in their friendship. He’s fine being friends with Felicity, as long as they talk about things other than Ben. Felicity asks about Hannah, who…I don’t think has anything to do with this. Well, other than the fact that Noel’s dating her but also has feelings for Felicity.

Felicity asks how long it’s been all about Ben. Well, honey, since minute 1 of the pilot, I’d say. She doesn’t get how Noel can insist he’s fine just being friends with her when he has feelings for her. Noel points out that that’s exactly what Felicity’s going through with Ben. Yeah, it’s called a love triangle. He says she’s just a lovesick schoolgirl. Felicity accepts that.

Sean teaches Ben and Blair how to play the Quartermaster. It looks like it just involves sliding quarters around on a little table, and scoring points based on which colors they land on. Blair brings up Felicity and Ben’s issues, but Ben doesn’t want to talk about her. Blair says she may be trouble, but she also has a good heart, and he likes her. Ben just smiles a little.

The RAs are hanging out again, though I think they’re just eating together, not having another meeting. Astrid thinks one of her advisees is running a phone-sex line. Noel says his friend drew the line with his crush, but she got mad. Now he’s thinking about redrawing the line. The other RAs object like Noel just said he was going to get drunk and call his ex. If the guy takes back his line, the girl could draw her own line. He should stick with the first line. The RAs (and Noel) agree that the guy’s an idiot.

Julie plays something on her guitar for Zach, who loves it. In fact, he loves it so much that he starts kissing her. They make out on the bed, and when he puts his hand on her breast, she moves it away. He goes back, this time reaching up her shirt. She tells him she wants to move slowly, and he apologizes and stops.

Felicity goes to her job in the admissions office and lets Blair get a look at Elena’s file. He then goes to Elena’s room, where she’s packing up to leave. She explains that her father, who travels a lot, never paid her tuition. Now he’s not supporting her choice in schools. Blair reveals that he knows the truth: Elena’s scholarship didn’t go through, and her father can’t afford the rest of her tuition. He makes just enough to disqualify her from financial aid.

Blair has brought some information on scholarships, including a private one that would be perfect for Elena. It wasn’t awarded this year, so the money’s available. Elena gets stuck on the part of the scholarship that designates it for a woman from a “moderate- to low-income family with one parent.” She thinks someone must have tipped Blair off that she fits that category. Blair admits that he talked to Felicity the buttinsky.

Noel comes to Dean & DeLuca to tell Felicity that he’s redrawing the line. (The other RAs, elsewhere in the city: “NOOOOOO!”) Felicity says the line is a symptom, not the real problem. Noel was right about Felicity talking about Ben too much. Noel says he’s willing to hear about Ben now, just not any sex Felicity might have with Ben. Felicity says she’s going to draw the line now.

But before she can, Elena comes in and confronts her for being a buttinsky. She doesn’t appreciate pitied for being black or having less money than Felicity and her friends. She’d rather not stay at school with them. Elena says she got to go to a really nice high school because of scholarships based on her race and low-income status. The scholarship she was supposed to get for college was based on merit. She earned it. Elena won’t take handouts or be a cliché.

Another RA meeting? How often do they have to meet? Anyway, the latest rules is that students can’t bowl in the hallways. Oh, come on! Let them have some fun! Of course, Noel turns the attention on himself, admitting that his friend redrew the line with his crush. Now they’re not friends anymore. Astrid thinks the crush goes deeper than just a crush. Also, she’s guessed that Noel is the “friend” he keeps mentioning. She tells him to just keep being friends with his crush, in case something more comes of it. Noel realizes that all the RAs knew he was the “friend” all along.

Julie and Zach come back to her room after a studio session. He’s been drinking, and he invites himself in for more making out. Noel checks in on Elena and tells her he also had a scholarship. It wasn’t enough for full tuition, so he had to apply for grants and loans. He’ll never be judged for how he got here, but he’d be judged if he didn’t go to college at all. No one cares how Noel pays for school, and no one will care how Elena pays for school. It’s her attitude that matters. Noel acknowledges that they’ve been through different things, but if he were in Elena’s position, he’d take any scholarship he could get.

Elena puts on the Ben Webster record Blair gave her, then pulls the discarded scholarship information out of her trash. Later, she tells Felicity that she contacted the woman offering the scholarship. She was one of the first black women to graduate med school in New York – she finished second in her class. She’ll pay Elena’s full tuition, with no terms. She won’t even let Elena pay her back in the future. Instead, she wants Elena to offer her own scholarship when she eventually becomes a doctor.

Ben approaches Felicity next and says Blair told him how Felicity helped Elena get her scholarship. So I guess the ice between Ben and Felicity has thawed because she was a buttinsky in a good way for once. Felicity goes to see Julie, who’s visibly upset and standoffish. Felicity is cool back to her, then notices that Julie has thrown her sheets in the trash.

Julie tells her that Zach came home with her last night. Felicity guesses that they had sex, but Julie replies, “He was pretty aggressive.” Afterward, Zach fell asleep. Julie sat in a chair all night. She’s not sure why she’s surprised about what happened. Felicity gets her to admit that she didn’t want to have sex, and asks if she told Zach that. Julie just nods. To be continued…

Thoughts: One of the RAs is played by Taraji P. Henson.

So many TV shows depict rape as sudden attacks or violent acts by people who are distinctly villains. I appreciate that this show didn’t show us Julie’s rape at all, and that it was what has to be a common occurrence for college students – things started off innocent, then went too far. Rape on TV doesn’t always have to be a woman getting dragged into an alley or being kidnapped at gunpoint. Date rape is just as traumatic and difficult to get past.

Now that I think about it, a friend of mine might have had two doors in her dorm room. It was a strangely shaped triple, and I think the doors led to two different hallways. Still, there’s no reason for Felicity and Meghan to have two doors.

Yeah, I’ll bet Felicity loaned Julie a Sarah McLachlan CD. As if Julie wouldn’t have her whole discography.

August 6, 2019

ER 4.12, Sharp Relief: MISTAAAAAAAAAAKE!

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , at 4:53 pm by Jenn

This scene from “Scrubs” went through my head multiple times during this episode

Summary: Doug and Carol meet up in the doctors’ lounge before she goes out for a paramedic ride-along. He’s off for the day and planning some big surprise at 5 p.m. He urges her to say “I love you,” which he usually says first. Jeanie meets Romano, who’s going over Scott’s scans with Benton. He needs surgery for some sort of obstruction.

Doug goes to Doc Magoo’s, where Mark has started smoking again. Doug reveals that he’s gotten wedding rings, and his surprise for Carol is a trip to the clerk’s office to get a marriage license. He wants to show her how serious he is. At 12:01 tomorrow morning, he wants to get married. Mark happily agrees to be his best man. Doug says he knew every other relationship he was in was wrong, but he wants to spend the rest of his life with Carol.

As Carol leaves for her ride-along with Doris and Greg, Mark and Weaver receive a patient who’s in pain from a possible ectopic pregnancy. The paramedic bringing her in regrets having to drive farther than usual to transport her; County is the closest receiving hospital. Jeanie checks on Scott, who refuses to have another operation, even though his tumor is back and has to be removed. She tells him straight out that without surgery, he’ll die. Scott still won’t budge, so Jeanie bribes him with hockey tickets.

Elizabeth is supposed to be part of Scott’s surgical team, but she wants to help out with Allison’s vocal-cord surgery instead. Romano passive-aggressively complains about her spending so much time on Allison’s case. Then he tells Allison not to worry, since he taught Elizabeth everything she knows. Weaver complains to West about her patient’s long ambulance ride, thanks to hospitals in the area closing. West has plans to make things better.

Carter and Anna’s patient, Mr. Dwyer, has a worm in his leg, which he contracted after drinking river water. Anna uses a toothpick to start pulling it out. Carter has heard that the worms can be as long as a meter. “I really didn’t need to hear that,” Mr. Dwyer says, laughing good-naturedly. Anna can only pull a couple of centimeters of the worm out every day; if she pulls out too much at once, it’ll break off. Mr. Dwyer says he should put in for combat pay.

Chase shows up, supposedly looking for Compazine for nausea, but Carter knows he’s covering something up. Chase says he stopped using heroin a couple days ago and just needs something to help him get past the worst part. He denies that he wants help detoxing. They yell at each other for a little while, and after Chase storms out, Anna tells Carter it’s better to let him go. She had a friend in med school who had a drug problem, and Anna has been in Carter’s position many times. She warns Carter not to let his cousin drag him into his problems.

The paramedics take a break at their station, and Greg complains about Dwight’s vegetarian cooking. Carol praises his carob brownies. While operating on Scott, Romano tries to rope Benton into trash-talking Elizabeth with him, but Benton won’t take the bait. Romano says female surgeons always have something to prove. Yeah, they have to prove their skills to sexist pigs like you. Romano continues that he likes Benton because he’s “not one of those militant minorities.” Shirley the scrub nurse confirms that the tumor indicates that Scott’s lymphoma is back.

Weaver has done some research and found out that Synergix has closed a ton of hospitals in the Midwest. West tries to dance around how bad that sounds. Instead of just closing bad places, they’re reconfiguring them and turning them into specialized centers. But that means closing trauma centers, and it means charging more for that specialized care, which means the people with the greatest need for medical care can’t get it anymore. West tells Weaver that County is essential and won’t be going anywhere. Weaver shoots back that they can’t close if everyone else does.

Jeanie asks Malik to help her get hockey tickets, since she didn’t actually have them yet when she told Scott she did. Malik thinks she’s going on a nice date. Elizabeth observes Allison’s surgery, offering moral support more than assistance. Weaver’s skipping a big Synergix luncheon, now uncertain that they should be taking over the ER’s operations. She tells Anspaugh they might want to delay the board’s vote for a couple weeks. Benton interrupts to tell Anspaugh that Scott’s cancer has come back.

Cynthia smells cigarette smoke on Mark, which means he has to give her a dollar. I like that system. She wants to hang out that night, but Mark brushes her off because of his secret plans with Doug. Carter asks to leave work early, wanting to go check on Chase, who left him a bunch of messages but now isn’t answering his phone. Anna guesses that he’s going over to help him, the exact thing she told him not to do.

Carol, Greg, and Doris go to an apartment where an elderly woman is bleeding and unconscious. Distressed, Greg blurts out that she’s dead. Carol takes control of the case, trying to keep Greg calm at the same time. He gets the woman breathing again, but Carol is worried about him. Back at County, Allison’s procedure is successful, and she’s able to speak for the first time in weeks.

The paramedics deliver the woman to the hospital, then leave for another run before they can find out if she’ll be okay. Carter goes to Chase’s apartment and offers his help. Chase denies that he needs it, and he doesn’t want the help Carter’s there to provide anyway, in the form of the names of treatment centers. Chase doesn’t want his secret addiction to get out, since he comes from such a prominent family. Also, he’s definitely not getting clean, since his dealer arrives moments later to make a sale. Carter tells Chase that if he buys, he’s on his own for real. Chase sends the dealer away.

The paramedics’ patient doesn’t survive, and it turns out she’s one of the growing number of elderly rape victims the ER has seen recently. There are different detectives on the case now, since the perpetrator has crossed district lines. Mark notes that he hasn’t heard anything on the news about the case. There have now been three victims, and the public has no idea what’s going on.

Carol asks Greg if he’s okay, since he had such a strong reaction when they found their patient. The patient’s wallet is in the ambulance, and when Greg sees a coupon inside for cat food, Carol says that someone should go back to the apartment and check on the cat. Anspaugh tells Jeanie that Scott needs more chemo, and no one knows how long his treatments will take. Anspaugh asks Jeanie to be Scott’s part-time private-duty caregiver, since they’ve developed such a good relationship. Father and son both admire her a lot.

Carter patiently tends to Chase as he goes through detox in his apartment. Then he’s not so patient anymore, and Chase practically turns feral, and really, the whole thing is a mess and a bad idea. Elizabeth tells Benton that Allison’s procedure went well, and Kotlowitz thinks she’ll have full use of her voice in a couple weeks. She invites him out for a drink, dismissing his excuse that he doesn’t drink alcohol. He can have something else.

Carol and Greg return to their patient’s apartment, where no one investigating the crime scene has seen a cat. The door to the roof is open, so Carol and Greg head up there, finding the unfriendly pet. Greg confides that when he first saw the patient, he was reminded of his mother, who hanged herself when he was nine. He found her body. Greg first felt angry, then felt guilty because he was thinking of himself instead of the patient. He sees his mother as selfish for not thinking how her death would affect the family.

Carol says that she thought about everyone but herself when she attempted suicide. She was so caught up in everyone else’s expectations for her that she didn’t consider her own. Now, she’s okay. Greg praises her for opening the clinic, calling her a super-nurse. He tells her she can leave, if she has somewhere to be; he’ll wait for the cat to agree to go inside with him. She decides to stay. This is a MISTAKE, because Greg is totally into Carol, and he kisses her, and she doesn’t fight it, and it’s worse than Chase’s detox.

Weaver tries to avoid West as she leaves for the night, but he doesn’t take the hint. She asks him to delay the board vote – she no longer believes in Synergix’s supposed mission. They’re turning decent health care into a luxury. Weaver says she just needs more time to think about the whole thing. West wonders if she means the Synergix arrangement or their relationship. I’m going to go with both, West.

Carter bugs someone at the hospital pharmacy for a prescription he ordered for Chase. Anna delivers it herself, along with some other things she knows Chase will need. Elizabeth and Benton play darts together at a pub, discussing Benton’s decision not to drink alcohol or eat pork. He’s not Muslim and doesn’t have control issues; he just doesn’t like the taste. Elizabeth recommends Pimm’s, which tastes like ginger ale and fruit. She suggests a darts contest, with the winner picking the loser’s next drink. Benton cracks an actual smile, enjoying himself, at least until Elizabeth hits the bull’s-eye after throwing her dart backwards.

Scott wakes up after surgery and tells Jeanie that since he agreed to have it, he wants his hockey tickets. She produces center-ice seats, which means Malik’s connection with the team must be really good. Scott asks Jeanie to stay with him so he’s not alone. Anna sticks around Chase’s apartment for a while, admiring some photos he’s taken. Carter says his cousin is very talented, which makes his addiction even more tragic. Anna admits that her med-school friend with drug problems wasn’t really a friend – he was her boyfriend. Carter admits that he doesn’t know what he’s doing, but Anna thinks he’s handling things fine.

Benton has loosened up, either from the Pimm’s or the company, and he and Elizabeth are dancing at the pub. They’re having so much fun that they stay until closing. Elizabeth indicates that she wants to continue the date, but she doesn’t want to make a move while Benton’s tipsy. He tells her he had a great time.

Carol finally gets home hours after she was supposed to meet Doug. She didn’t call, so he was worried that something happened. Carol says she and Greg both had a tough day, so they were talking things through. After that, she went for a long walk so she could do some thinking. All the engagement/marriage talk is moving too fast, and she doesn’t think they’re ready. Doug says he is. Carol admits that she and Greg kissed, but things didn’t go further than that. Doug storms out, rejecting her apology.

Thoughts: I remember yelling, “Noooooo!” at Carol when this episode first aired. It’s okay, 15-year-old me. It’ll all be okay.

No way did Weaver not do her homework about Synergix’s closings before she pushed County to get in bed with them. No way was she that personally affected by her attraction to West that she wouldn’t do research.

Romano: “You know how it is with female surgeons.” Benton: “No, I don’t. Why don’t you tell me?” Is…is that…my respect for Benton? Is that what this feeling is?

July 30, 2019

ER 4.11, Think Warm Thoughts: The Passion of the Carter

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

Illness is no excuse for that hat, Scott

Summary: Carol’s on her way out of the house to go to work, but Doug wants her to take a minute to set a wedding date and determine her ring size. She doesn’t want to make a big deal out of their eventual marriage, since she’s done that before. She’s fine just being engaged for now. Weaver and West have spent the night together again, and she apparently accepted his invitation to spend Christmas with him in the Caribbean. She thinks Anspaugh will be very happy with the work Synergix has done on the budget. After they get in their cars to go to work separately, they have phone sex.

Speaking of sex, Romano makes a remark about it to Elizabeth while they’re discussing cars. Take a moment and think about what would have happened if Romano had been around during the #MeToo movement. Just imagine it. Anyway, Allison Beaumont needs more surgery on her leg and is ready for the next steps in her recovery, though she’s down about her vocal-cord paralysis. Elizabeth wants to do a procedure that will fix it, noting that there’s a doctor in Chicago who can do it. Romano reminds her that it’s not covered by Allison’s insurance.

Someone in the ER waiting area is very upset that the vending machine has eaten his money. In turn, Randi is annoyed that the guy is making too much noise. She gives him his money back so he’ll shut up, but she won’t do the same for another patient, Carlene, who claims she put money in the machine, too. Mark is trying to quit smoking, which makes Chuny happy. Swift has been sent over by Synergix as a substitute attending, so he and Mark will be working together again. The angry patient accidentally knocks over the vending machine onto himself, cracking up Carlene.

Carter speaks to a bunch of second-year med students about why they should consider emergency medicine as their specialty next year. When it’s time for a Q&A session, a student asks if patients ever come to the ER with foreign objects in their rectums. Carter tries to keep things professional, but he does admit to removing a bowling trophy from someone’s rectum.

Another student asks if Carter’s ever killed anyone. Carter talks about the patient he accidentally killed in “Do One, Teach One, Kill One.” A student is surprised learn that he left surgery for medicine. Can he really make a career out of emergency medicine? Can he see himself still doing it in 10 or 15 years? Carter isn’t sure about that.

West presents his budget ideas to Anspaugh, who’s impressed with how quickly West has put everything together. Anspaugh sends him out of the room so he can ask Weaver what the staff thinks about Synergix taking over. Weaver says she hasn’t heard anything negative, though she hasn’t had a conversation with Mark about it. Anspaugh wants to find out how everyone feels before he makes any decisions.

In the ER, Swift tells Mark and Chuny how awesome it is working for Synergix. He has a regular schedule with plenty of time for his personal life. Synergix also uses different methods to determine injuries, so they can skip expensive tests and scans. Elizabeth visits Allison, who’s using a laptop with a speech program to communicate. It’s been tough for her, since she’s a talkative person, but she’s in good spirits, though still eager for vocal-cord surgery.

Benton has also been speaking to students along with Carter, and he chats with one named Laura as they’re leaving. She spots Carter and recognizes him from the PBS documentary. Benton complains to Carter that speaking to students is a waste of time. They’ll never know what being a doctor is really like until they’re actually doctors, and by that time, many of them will be in the wrong profession. Like Carter’s students, Benton’s were only interested in whether he’s ever killed anyone. His response: “Just med students.”

Weaver asks Mark his opinions on Synergix, and he says it seems like a fast transition to let them take over. He’s worried about having to give up authority over patient care. Weaver promises that they’ll only take over things like administrative tasks like billing. Yosh arrives with Christmas cookies, wanting to keep the holiday spirit alive even though it’s January. Carlene complains that the nurses are slacking off instead of treating patients. Then she gets racist with Chuny, so now no one wants to deal with her.

The vending-machine guy, John, is done being treated for accidentally self-inflicted injuries, and he hits on Randi as he’s leaving. He wants her to know upfront that he spent some time in prison, but he’s done his time and thinks they could have some fun together. Randi’s interested. Carol tends to a client patient who’s brought a bird in with him, in his beard. Carol either doesn’t see this as a big deal or she’s too busy to worry about it, so she just sends him on his way.

She gets pulled away when her mother arrives to announce that Doug came to ask for Carol’s hand in marriage. Helen really hopes it’s a joke. She had no idea that Carol and Doug had been back together for eight months. She has doubts that they’ll actually get married. Carol tries to send her away, so Helen reminds her that she was there when Doug broke Carol’s heart the first time around. She knows men like him don’t change.

Anspaugh tells Mark that his 12-year-old son, Scott, was treated for lymphoma the year before, and he’s being brought in from school with abdominal pain. Scott and his previous doctor didn’t get along, so Anspaugh would like Mark to take care of him. Weaver spots the two talking and wonders what it’s about. Both are surprised that Anspaugh has kids (he also has a daughter); since his wife died, he’s a single parent. Mark enlists Jeanie for assistance, though Jeanie isn’t sure Anspaugh would want her involved. Mark mostly just wants her there because she’s a friendly face.

Scott arrives and sees his trip to the hospital as unnecessary. He just has a simple stomachache. Mark and Jeanie let him walk in instead of riding in a wheelchair, as Carol tries to call Doug to talk about her mother. Scott’s brattiness quickly explains why he and his previous doctor didn’t get along. He’s pretty bold to yell at Mark in front of Anspaugh that he won’t let anyone stick him with a needle.

Elizabeth goes across town to talk to Dr. Kotlowitz, the doctor she wants to perform Allison’s vocal-cord surgery. She thinks that when he meets Allison, he’ll want to perform the procedure out of the kindness of his heart. She makes it clear that she’s there for Allison, not Romano. This week in Plotlines No One Cares About, Anna and Chuny find a Tamagotchi left behind by a patient. Anna will have to take care of it so it doesn’t die before the owner comes back.

Jeanie tells Scott that she made a bet with Anspaugh that she can stick him to draw blood without him feeling it. If she wins, she’ll give Scott some of her $10 prize. Scott blasts her for talking to him like a kid and sends her away. Jeanie stands up to him, telling him that if he doesn’t cooperate, she’ll get a nurse to hold him down while she does her job. Anspaugh spies through the door as Jeanie earns her $10.

Anna, Tamagotchi, Maria Bello should fire her agent. Cynthia misses low-tech toys like her Barbie van. A Meals on Wheels volunteer named Susan brings an elderly woman named Mrs. Reilly who seems to be struggling to take care of herself. Susan worries that she’s had a stroke. Mrs. Reilly is calm and pleasant, but she thinks it’s August and that Carol is someone she knows.

Laura shows up for Carter’s next speaking engagement, ready to get a sales pitch for emergency medicine. Cynthia teases Mark for going through a pack of nicotine gum so quickly. As she looks through her bag for another pack, Mark spots her birth-control pills and sees that they haven’t all been taken. She reminds him that she has another pack in his bathroom. She definitely doesn’t want to get pregnant.

Doug calls Carol back as she and Yosh are examining Mrs. Reilly. She’s annoyed that Doug talked to Helen about their engagement before Carol could even tell her they were back together. As Yosh and Susan are changing Mrs. Reilly into a gown, Carol spots “whore” written on her back. She sends Yosh and Susan away, though she asks Susan to stick around a little while longer, since Mrs. Reilly doesn’t seem to have any family.

One of the detectives from Mrs. Larkin’s case comes in to talk to Carol and Mark about Mrs. Reilly. They’re not sure if she’s altered and can’t remember her assault because of dehydration, Alzheimer’s, or trauma. Mark asks if the police will be making any announcements about what appears to be a serial rapist. Cynthia lets Carol know that Yosh is still seeing clinic patients while she’s working with the police. Carol says Yosh can’t handle them alone, but Cynthia reports that Doug has come in to help. She thinks Doug believes Carol’s mad at him. Maybe not so much anymore.

Jeanie takes Scott for some scans, though he’s already guessed that his tumor is back. Jeanie tells him not to worry until he knows for sure. She asks about his interests, and he scoffs when she says that she shares his love of John Woo movies. Laura catches Carter as he’s leaving for the day and asks if she can shadow him in the ER sometime. He’s working that night and invites her to join him. Then he asks her to dinner before his shift.

Benton heads to work as well, running into Romano, who thanks him for speaking to the students. He calls Peter “Pete,” which Peter says he doesn’t like. Romano thinks he should like it, but Peter won’t budge. Elizabeth was right about Kotlowitz, as he’s just met Allison and agreed to do her procedure. Romano pretends he’s totally fine with that.

After Kotlowitz leaves, Romano yells at Elizabeth for going behind his back (she’s even worked things out with Anspaugh to give Kotlowitz temporary privileges). He finds the procedure unnecessary; the one her insurance covers is satisfactory. Elizabeth disagrees – Allison wants her voice back, and it’s their job as her doctors to do everything they can for her. Romano asks if Elizabeth is questioning his commitment to Allison’s best interests. If she is, she’s making a huge mistake.

Doug makes America swoon by hanging out with a baby, then chats with a pregnant woman named Sherry who has Down’s syndrome. Her food stamps have been cut, so she needs to know what she can do without. (Carol helped her make a food chart the last time she was there.) Doug offers to make some calls and find an agency that will help Sherry out.

Mark performs a rape exam on Mrs. Reilly, who seems to think it’s decades earlier, and that she’s receiving an exam because she’s pregnant. After a few moments, she realizes that’s not right, but she still doesn’t remember her assault. Mark thinks she’s lucky in that way. The Tamagotchi owner arrives, but despite Anna’s daylong efforts to take care of it, it’s dead. Cynthia gives her a comforting pat on the hand and says she did the best she could. Then she gives the young owner the bad news while Anna smacks the Tamagotchi around, trying to revive it. I hope she doesn’t do that with her human patients.

Anspaugh thanks Jeanie for all the work she did with Scott. It’s not clear yet if his abdominal problems mean his cancer is back. On their way to the hospital after dinner, Carter and Laura come across an unconscious homeless man. Elizabeth and Romano are cool toward each other as they scrub in for Allison’s leg surgery, but Romano has decided to back down and allow Kotlowitz to do his procedure. He tells Elizabeth she was right to do everything she could for Allison. Elizabeth asks if the two of them are all right. “You and I are a match made in Heaven,” he replies.

Carter and Laura help bring the homeless man into the ER, where Mark starts tending to him. Swift’s shift is over, and he and Mark are supposed to get dinner together, but Mark can’t leave just yet. Laura’s really impressed with Carter’s skills, and Mark can see she likes him. Susan has to go home, which means Mrs. Reilly is really alone in the hospital. Susan admits to Carol that she won’t feel comfortable delivering meals to Mrs. Reilly’s building anymore. Carol assures her that she’s not a horrible person for feeling that way. She did a wonderful thing by looking out for Mrs. Reilly.

West comes by to get Weaver and asks if Anspaugh said anything about his proposal. She laments that Anspaugh asks Mark to help with Scott, when she would have been just as good a choice. She thinks Anspaugh has forgotten that she’s a doctor, since she’s doing so much administrative stuff now. Carter thought the homeless man was hypothermic, but he’s just drunk. Without the rush of an emergency or the flashiness of a special procedure, Laura’s no longer interested. She moves on to Benton instead.

Doug’s hours in the clinic have definitely helped Carol forgive him for approaching her mother. He’s proud of all the work she’s done at the clinic. Carter complains to Mark that he didn’t inspire any of the students he spoke to. He wanted them to see the passion he has for emergency medicine. Mark tells him that, over all the years he’ll work as a doctor, the sum total of his patient care will be what counts, not his passion.

Mrs. Reilly thinks she just got a bump on the head and made an unnecessary trip to the hospital. She tells Carol that she’s become forgetful in her old age; the other night, she accidentally left her keys in the doorknob. This triggers a memory, and she remembers a man coming into her apartment and attacking her. Carol holds her as she cries over her remembered trauma.

Thoughts: Carlene is played by Telma Hopkins.

Who wrote the tamagotchi plot, and where do I send my complaints?

We get it, Carter gave up glamor when he left surgery. Let’s move on.

I love Susan so much. The world needs more Susans.

July 23, 2019

ER 4.10, Do You See What I See?: The Miracle Worker

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

Couldn’t be cuter

Summary: Carol wakes Doug up at the end of a night shift, and they lament that they won’t be able to spend Christmas together the next day. Herb gets his picture taken pretending to shock a patient as he finishes up his stint as Mark’s lawyer. He’s made the whole lawsuit disappear, and even got Mark out of having to apologize to the Laws. Weaver’s spent the night with West in his hotel room, so…that happened.

On his way to work with a bunch of presents, Benton runs into Anna, who warns that Reese might spend his first Christmas playing with the boxes his presents came in. An ambulance arrives at the same time they reach County, and they pause to tend to the patient being brought in, a homeless man named Bart. He’s blind, but when Benton touches his forehead, Bart opens his eyes and starts exclaiming that he can see.

As the doctors move Bart into a trauma room and start treating him, he describes everything he sees, proving he really can see. Benton isn’t sure he was really blind before. Carol tries to get a nurse to swift shifts with her so she can spend Christmas with Doug, but she has no luck. She asks Carter if she should provide Millicent with anything special when she comes to see the clinic that afternoon. Carter warns that she’ll be under intense scrutiny.

Henry’s still working on completing his clerkship, and he thinks the only thing he has left to do is a major emergency procedure. Carter’s not sure that’s all he’s lacking, but he’s probably going to let that slide, since he’s eager to get rid of Henry. Cynthia learns that her credit card limit has been frozen, so she can’t pay for the present she picked out for Mark. He hasn’t gotten her present yet, either, so he offers to pay off her debt.

Paramedics bring in a seven-year-old who got stuck in the chimney while trying to find out if Santa could really fit. Carol tells an EMT named Greg that he can get cleaned up in the hospital, since he’s covered in soot. Henry asks to do the kid’s intubation, but Mark doesn’t want him to treat this as a teaching case. Jeanie wants to give some of County’s needles to a clinic patient so he doesn’t spread his Hepatitis B to people he’s been sharing with. Jeanie says the patient won’t report her – will Kerry?

Word of Benton’s supposed miracle has spread, and Carter teases him about it. Benton blows it off, then corrects Lydia when she says Bart is blind. He’s taken off, and Benton figures he just wanted some attention. Anna thinks he’s being too humble. West has arranged to work a shift with Weaver, so either he’s really into her or he’s playing some weird long con. Carol asks for a taxi voucher for Pablo, who’s misplaced his shoes. Weaver tells him he can wait in chairs instead of outside in the cold, so she’s in a good mood. West suggests that they make arrangements with a cab company for comped vouchers.

Carol officially meets Greg, who’s now squeaky clean. Carter gets a new patient, Vinnie, who has chest pain and isn’t doing well. West joins him and Henry for the trauma, and Henry asks to do any necessary intubations. Instead, he’s assigned to bag Vinnie, who keeps murmuring something about a woman named Maria. Elizabeth comes in to do some paperwork before heading to England for Christmas. Romano invites her to join him for Allison Beaumont’s next operation, which, if successful, will save her leg.

Carter, West, and Henry are unable to save Vinnie, but Carter figures Henry can still use his body to practice intubations. Vinnie’s brother, Joey, arrives just then and thinks that Vinnie’s still alive. Carter plays along as he rushes Joey out. Mark and Anna tend to a 67-year-old woman named Mrs. Larkin who was bound and gagged, then raped in her apartment. Chuny finds “whore” written on her stomach in black marker.

Jeanie goes to the lounge to take her medication but realizes she didn’t bring it to work with her. As Elizabeth and Romano operate on Allison, Jeanie asks Weaver to get her a dose of the medication she left at home. Weaver easily agrees. Carter and Henry tell Vinnie’s family that he didn’t make it, leaving out the part where he was already dead when Joey showed up. Henry tries to be helpful by telling Vinnie’s wife that his last thoughts were of her. Except – oops! – she’s not Maria. Maria is Joey’s wife. Stop helping, Henry.

Mark and Carol continue taking care of Mrs. Larkin, having to ask her questions about her assault. Hearing about it makes Mark think of his own attack, and he has to excuse himself from the room. Anna tells Benton that she looked up Bart’s records, and when he was in the year before, he was definitely blind. Benton wonders what Bart’s angle is. “The Lord words in mysterious ways,” Anna teases. Another homeless man comes in, having heard from Bart that Benton works miracles, and asks Benton to make him walk again. Benton says he can’t help.

Mark tells two detectives about Mrs. Larkin’s assault, getting annoyed when they question whether her memories are accurate. Elizabeth is about to leave for the airport when she learns that Allison, who’s been in a coma for the ten days since her car accident, is waking up. She’s still intubated, so she can’t speak, but she’s fine mentally and wants to know where her mother is. Elizabeth breaks the news that her mother died.

Mark finds a toy Cynthia bought, which she claims is for a friend’s child. Moments later, she comes clean: It’s for her own five-year-old son. She hasn’t seen him for three years and never mentioned to Mark that she had a child. He lives with his father and grandparents, and though Cynthia misses him, she knows that’s what’s best for him. Thanks to Mark’s money, she’s able to give him a nice Christmas present.

Carol tries to swap shifts with Chuny but again has no success. Millicent arrives for a tour of the clinic, dragging along Chase, who’s dressed as Santa. They realize a little Christmas tree near the admit desk is on fire, and Carol quickly puts it out with a fire extinguisher. The smoke sets off the sprinkler system. Womp womp. Weaver decides that the lights at the desk need to be taken down because they’re old and could be dangerous. She’ll let Cynthia’s brand-new light-up Rudolph stay, though.

After a quick change of clothes, Carol shows Millicent around the clinic. Carter runs into them and sees that Chase is filling in for their grandfather as Santa. Benton comes across Nat, who’s struggling with a broken floor buffer, and they chat about Reese’s first Christmas. When Benton pats Nat on the shoulder, the buffer starts working. Carol searches the lounge cabinets for decaf coffee, which doctors would never drink, because what’s the point? He tells her about Cynthia’s secret child, wondering if the fact that she didn’t mention him is a bad sign. Doug may have been right about her being a bad fit.

Elizabeth admits to Benton that she kind of wants to confess to Allison that her eagerness to do a special procedure led to Allison’s coma. She knows that it’ll make her feel better to let go of the guilt, but it won’t help Allison. Benton reminds her that she did her job, and everything has turned out fine, so there’s no point in bringing it up.

Mark talks to the detectives again, wanting more information on Mrs. Larkin’s case. He can tell they’re not that concerned with helping her. Carter helps Chase get some presents from the car to pass out to hospitalized kids. Carter’s relieved that their grandfather skipped the visit because now he doesn’t have to defend his decision to go into medicine. Chase notes that he still thinks Carter’s a surgeon, not back to being a lowly intern.

Henry wants to perform a spinal tap on a patient, but Carter tells him he misdiagnosed the flu. Maybe Carter should just let him finish his clerkship right now so he can go back to the lab and be far, far away from people. Carol introduces Millicent to Jeanie, who agrees to let Millicent shadow her for a while. Elizabeth extubates Allison, then decides she needs a head and neck surgeon.

Millicent observes as Jeanie chats with a teenager named Gina who’s pregnant and denies that she could have been exposed to HIV. She figures since she doesn’t sleep with drug users or gay guys, she’s not at risk. Jeanie reveals her own HIV status by saying she never slept with a gay man or drug user, either. Gina agrees to get tested.

Bart’s back, and he’s blind again. He asks Benton to touch him again and redo his miracle. Benton touches him, but nothing happens. Mark finishes up with Mrs. Larkin, who regrets having to miss Christmas Mass. She usually plays the organ, and she doesn’t think the church will be able to find a substitute in time. Mark tells her she shouldn’t worry about that. Mrs. Larkin admits that she hates her rapist, but she doesn’t want to be like that – as a Christian, she’s supposed to forgive. Mark says she doesn’t have to, but Mrs. Larkin knows hatred won’t undo what happened to her.

Mark leaves work a little early, telling Weaver and Cynthia that he has something to take care of. He also wants to hold off on making any plans with Cynthia. Carol finishes up Millicent’s tour and invites her to stay for a staff potluck. Millicent declines, probably because she’s never attended a potluck before. Carter finds Chase in Millicent’s limo, shooting up heroin. Chase says he’s not an addict; he just does it when he’s bored. Carter realizes that the spider bite he treated Chase for wasn’t really a spider bite. Carter isn’t interested in his medical opinion. They both clam up when Millicent joins them.

A neurologist finds a mass in Bart’s brain that explains his blindness. She can’t explain his brief return of sight, since the mass means he shouldn’t have been able to see anything for years. Elizabeth has missed her flight, so she’ll be spending Christmas in Chicago. Romano invites her to a party, but Elizabeth wants to wait for news on Allison, who may have paralyzed vocal chords.

Connie has Gladys Knight tickets on New Year’s and is desperate to change shifts with someone so she can go. Finally, Carol has someone to trade for her on Christmas. In more good news, Millicent has sent over a huge Christmas tree for the staff to enjoy, plus a check for $150,000 for the clinic.

Mark goes to the Laws’ house and tries to apologize to Kenny’s mother for not saving her son, but she doesn’t want to hear it. Chris comes out to confront him, and Mark says he knows now that Chris wasn’t the person who attacked him. Chris admits that he was happy when he heard someone hurt Mark. But even if the family had successfully sued Mark for medical malpractice, Kenny would still be dead. Chris can’t find any meaning in his brother’s death. Mark just says he’s sorry.

Benton tells Bart that he has a tumor, and though it’s operable, he probably won’t regain his sight once it’s out. Bart is still hopeful, since seeing anything today was also unlikely. He spent the day in the park with his guide dog, watching him in the snow. He’s pleased that he got to see something so beautiful. Carol tells Doug that she got the next day off, but she’ll have to work New Year’s. In a twist worthy of O. Henry, Doug switched shifts with Anna so he and Carol could work together on Christmas. Okay, not really; he’s just kidding.

Carol decides it’s time to tell their co-workers that they’re back together. She takes Doug to the potluck and announces that they’re seeing each other. No one gets the big deal. Turns out they all knew (except Weaver and Anna), and they’ve been taking bets on when the couple would finally come clean. Doug adds a surprise: He wants to marry Carol. He tells everyone to talk her into it. Carol doesn’t accept or reject the proposal, just teasing that Doug always has to outdo her.

Everyone goes outside to enjoy the tree and the snow. West invites Weaver to join him somewhere warmer for the holidays. She and Jeanie wish each other a Merry Christmas. Carter wants to skip his family’s party, so he tries to make plans with Anna. Henry has finished his last procedure, so Carter gives him his Christmas present – an evaluation that says he passed emergency medicine. It’s really a present for Carter, who no longer has to deal with him. As Elizabeth sits with Allison as she undergoes an exam, Cynthia and Mark spend the evening together. Benton leaves to spend Christmas with Reese, taking a moment to admire the tree.

Thoughts: Greg is played by George Eads, later Jorja Fox’s (Doyle) co-star on CSI.

Oh, good, we’re starting the old-ladies-keep-getting-raped arc. Merry Christmas, everyone!

“I made it so you don’t have to say you’re sorry” isn’t something you want your lawyer to say. If it’s between saying you’re sorry and possibly paying thousands of dollars, just apologize.

April 9, 2019

ER 3.17, Tribes: Black, White, and Greene

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

February 26, 2019

ER 3.11, Night Shift: He Gant Take It Anymore

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

‘Bye! See you on “House”!

Summary: Mark and Chuny are on their way to County to work a night shift. Things are quiet when they arrive, and they learn there are no patients in the ER. Mark mentions that he’s up for tenure, and his biggest competition is Weaver. She’s currently working on a research study about the effects of exercise on night-shift workers. She’s enlisted Wendy to help her get the staff to do things like jumping jacks. Lydia isn’t bored enough yet to participate.

Keaton is packing up her office and practicing her Urdu in preparation for her move to Pakistan. Carter stops by, then has to hide when Gant comes in looking for him. Carol learns that the ER budget is screwed up, so two nurses have to be fired. The three on the chopping block are Malik, Chuny, and Connie. Carol only has until 8 the next morning to decide who to get rid of.

Randy entertains herself by drawing on the empty patient board while the nurses discuss how they would want to die if they had the choice. Chuny picks OD while Malik thinks a stroke is the way to go. Connie points out that he wouldn’t necessarily die. Doug arrives and apologizes to Carol for surprising her with Charlie on Christmas Eve. Carol reports that the girl stole Helen’s silverware. Doug announces that his New Year’s resolution is to stop being so charitable.

Weaver tells Mark that they need to do a safety check, which involves running down a checklist and keeping the ER up to code. Doug volunteers himself and Carol to do it. She reminds him that he was going to stop being charitable. Wendy asks if anyone wants to participate in Weaver’s study, and everyone yells, “No!” Hey, don’t take it out on the messenger.

Gant finally finds Carter and complains that Benton hasn’t given him the time off he requested to go see his girlfriend. Carter points out that since Monique seems to have moved on to another guy, going to see her probably won’t do anything. Carter lies about being busy so he doesn’t have to go get dinner with Gant. He’s tired of listening to Gant complain about Monique.

A woman named Shelly comes in with symptoms of meningitis. She refuses any treatment, even a shot of antibiotics. Mark warns that she could die, but Shelly, who sounds mentally addled, doesn’t care. Mark doesn’t think she’s competent to refuse treatment and wants to work her up. Lydia and Chuny tell him that, thanks to new hospital regulations, he’ll have to go through the risk management department first.

Carol and Doug check out a trauma room and write down all the potential safety risks. Weaver attempts to get Jeanie to agree to her study, and Jeanie attempts to use her HIV as an excuse not to participate (she’s not sure she’s healthy enough not to skew the results). They head into the trauma room where Carol and Doug are working, and Carol accidentally drops a clock on Weaver’s head when Jeanie bumps into her ladder. She needs stitches, so Randi finally has a patient to put on the board.

Carter’s in the ER when a patient comes in via ambulance, so he tries to elbow his way into a case that should be overseen by Doyle. They disagree about which of the patient’s complaints needs attention first. The patient shuts down the discussion by revealing that he just wants a flu shot. Malik recognizes him as a frequent visitor who calls 911 and plays possum when he wants a ride to the hospital. Carter generously tells Doyle the patient is all hers.

Benton asks Anspaugh about continuing to work in pediatric surgery after Keaton works. Anspaugh tells him to talk to a doctor named Kenner. Shelly knows that Mark wants to give her a spinal tap without her consent, so she talks to the hospital’s lawyer, Guinet. He thinks Shelly is mentally competent to make her own decisions, which means a possible lawsuit if Mark proceeds. Guinet tells Mark, Lydia, and Chuny that their jobs could be at risk if they do anything without Shelly’s consent. They should put her on a psych hold and call for a consult first.

Weaver bugs Jeanie about her study while she gets her stitches. She and Wendy shut down all of Jeanie’s attempts to turn them down, and Weaver adds a drop of guilt to get Jeanie to change her mind. Since the only patient in the ER is Shelly, and no one’s allowed to even touch her, the staff is back to being bored. Lydia’s trying to find her family.

Doug and Carol are continuing their safety check when Charlie shows up asking for money. She needs to pay a pimp $100 so he’ll leave her alone. Doug thinks she’s lying, so he sends her away. Charlie yells that he’s a pervert, got her pregnant, and now won’t pay for her abortion. “Lovely girl,” Carol comments as she and Doug leave.

Benton tries to get a few moments with Kenner, who’s busy. He gives Gant some assignments on top of the assignments he’s already trying to complete. Apparently no one else Benton supervises ever has to do any work. Connie and Chuny read personal ads in the lounge while Mark does paperwork. Things get awkward when one of the men who wrote an ad sounds like Mark. He insists it’s not him.

Psych finally sends someone for a consult, but it’s an intern, since no one in psych actually takes anything seriously in the ER. Doug and Carol end up in a storage hallway where they used to make out when they were dating. Shelly’s temperature is up to 103.5, so Mark and Lydia think they need to get a move on her treatment. The psych intern ignores them and continues his assessment, which Shelly passes. (She even throws in an insult – when he tells her to spell “world backwards,” she replies, “U-O-Y-W-E-R-C-S,” which is “screw you” backwards.)

The intern tells Mark that Shelly’s status is fine, so she’s allowed to refuse treatment. Mark notes that the intern is making a life-or-death decision for Shelly. The intern says she has the right to make her own decision, even if it’s a bad one. Mark demands to see someone higher up.

One of Kenner’s patients declines while Kenner’s still in surgery, so Benton takes over his care. He’s annoyed that Gant isn’t around. Jeanie has to ride an exercise machine with dark glasses on, so her body thinks it’s night. Between scenes, Gloria Reuben fires her agent. Benton finds Gant hanging out with Carter in the cafeteria and yells at him in a room full of people for not doing his job properly. If he makes another lazy, stupid mistake, he’s gone. Carter tries to cheer his friend, but he’s called away for a code.

Carol admits that when she and Doug were together, she wasn’t happy with herself. Now, she feels more confident and in control. She even got a B+ on her chemistry midterm. Carol confides that she has to fire two nurses and has no idea who to choose. Doug tells her that he was happier when they were together.

Carter and Doyle meet up while running to another wing of the hospital for a code. All they find are a maintenance worker and an overflowing toilet. When they finally get to the patient, the maintenance worker is putting his CPR training into use and doing their job for them. Once the patient is stable, Doyle tells the maintenance worker that Carter can take him to the broken toilet.

Doug and Carol talk about Charlie and how many chances she should get. Carol thinks they have to cut her off at some point, which Doug finds familiar. Chuny reads Mark the personal ad she and Connie wrote for him. They call him handsome and say he likes motorcycles. Mark hasn’t ridden the bike in a while and doesn’t want to mention it, since he could attract “motorcycle chicks.” Chuny says she’s one of them.

Lydia realizes that Shelly’s gone and alerts Mark. He finds her on a bus bench, and when she won’t go back inside, he picks her up and carries her in. They’re giving her a spinal tap when Guinet arrives and notes that they haven’t gotten a psych hold. He takes down Mark, Lydia, Chuny, and Malik’s names in case of legal action.

Doug teases Carol for falling asleep while they were having a deep conversation. Now she only has five hours to decide who to fire. But there’s a bigger problem – Charlie’s returned to the hospital covered in blood, having been beaten. Gant tells Carter that he thought about telling Anspaugh about Benton’s treatment of him, but maybe Benton’s right and he’s not as on top of things as he could be.

Weaver makes Jeanie run around outside while Wendy drives her around in a golf cart. Where did they get a golf cart? Charlie has a broken jaw and wrist, plus some facial injuries. Carol thinks she may have been raped. Malik tells Chuny and Carol his million-dollar idea: flypaper in a can. You spray it on your car, then peel it and all the bugs sticking to it off in one sheet. He’ll call it Bug Off. His second idea: stethoscope condoms.

Benton returns to Kenner’s patient and tells Kenner the treatment he gave him. He’s doing better, and Kenner’s appreciative, but not appreciative enough to bring Benton onto his team just yet. Benton says that he and Keaton just didn’t mesh, so she won’t give him a recommendation. Kenner urges him to have another discussion with Keaton about that meshing, and get her to give the recommendation.

Doug wants to get Charlie to tell him what happened before he gives her a rape exam. Carol runs into her three nurses on the chopping block, seeing how much they’re enjoying each other. Carter and Keaton spend their last few minutes together in her office, unable to get to the unlocked door before Benton can open it and see them together. Carter tries to hide his identity by putting a book in front of his face. Nice try, Carter.

Chuny thinks Mark showed a lot of guts by standing up to Guinet. Guts, stupidity – it’s all the same, right? He tells her he’s going to take full responsibility, so she doesn’t need to worry. Shelly’s spinal fluid shows she does have meningitis, so I guess this was all worth it. Carol goes looking for the nursing budget, and Randi says she took a look and figured out how to solve everything. If ER nurses work eight-hour shifts instead of 12-hour shifts, the hospital can stop paying them overtime and will save more than enough money to keep everyone on staff.

Keaton asks Benton if he’s going to be discreet about her relationship with Carter, or if he’s going to use it to blackmail his way into another pediatric rotation. That thought hadn’t even crossed Benton’s mind. He doesn’t want Keaton’s recommendation if it isn’t based on his work as a doctor. Keaton tells him he’s going to be a great surgeon, but not one who operates on children.

Shelly’s brother George arrives, having finally been tracked down by the police. He heard from her a few days ago, when she called to say she was sick. She doesn’t have any psychiatric problems, so her mental state was the result of the meningitis. Carter tells Benton that he and Keaton never discussed Benton, and definitely never said anything negative about him. Again, the thought hadn’t crossed Benton’s mind.

Anspaugh calls Benton over to discuss a complaint Gant has made about yelling at him in the cafeteria. Benton argues that Gant neglected his duties, so Benton had every right to chastise him. Gant says that he should have addressed him privately. Since Carter was present, Anspaugh asks his opinion. Carter says he understands why Gant’s upset, but given the circumstances, Benton was justified in his actions. Anspaugh tells Gant to toughen up, and next time something like this happens, he should discuss it with Benton before tattling to Daddy.

Carol gathers the nurses to announce that she thinks she’s solved the budget problems without having to fire anyone. The nurses aren’t happy that they have to give up overtime and work more hours for less money. Lydia reminds everyone that there’s a contract negotiation coming up, so if management tries to float this plan, the nurses will walk.

Carter tries to smooth things over with Gant, but Gant doesn’t blame him for speaking his mind when he was put on the spot. Carter leaves him to go search for something to do. Doug takes Charlie for a CAT scan and gently asks if she was raped. She asks him not to tell the police or a social worker, then says she was. Chuny catches Mark as he’s leaving and he invites her to get breakfast with him. He needs to ride his bike around a little to charge up the battery, so she offers to ride with him.

Jeanie drops out of Weaver’s study when she learns she’ll have to get in some sort of glass box to have her lung function tested. Not wanting all of her research to be for nothing, Weaver puts Wendy in the box. Doug tells Carol that Charlie was raped, and he clearly has no intention of keeping his promise not to tell the police or a social worker. Mark and Chuny skip breakfast in favor of a romp in his bed. Oh, and he still has the dog.

After a long, quiet shift, the ER finally gets a trauma. A man was hit by an El train after either jumping or falling onto the tracks. His face is injured, so no one can tell who he is. Benton tells Lydia to page Gant, and as Carter and Doyle bicker once again, the patient’s pager goes off. Doyle realizes that Gant is the man they’re trying to save. The episode ends with them still working, but it’s time to say goodbye to Omar Epps: Gant is dead.

Thoughts: You have to love that every member of the main cast wound up working a night shift together. That’s not contrived at all.

If the budge issues hadn’t gotten sorted out, Carol’s probably could have still been solved easily. Chuny and Malik put the hospital at risk by following Mark’s orders, so Carol could have fired them without having to make her own decision.

Find me one person who thought Mark and Chuny made a good couple. Just one. And did that person also think Carter and Keaton made a good couple?

March 13, 2018

ER 1.8, 9 1/2 Hours: You Win Some, You Lose Some

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

Me, quietly: “Kiss…kiss…kiss”

Summary: Someone may have stolen Benton’s salad from the work fridge, which means someone’s about to get yelled at. Susan’s having a bad day herself; her car isn’t working, and it’s Chloe’s fault. She had to hotwire it to get to work. Div gets on Jerry’s case for handing off a patient without a chart (though really, that seems like a legitimate complaint). Mark is out for the day, so Doug is in charge. Benton’s shocked that Mark has taken a day off.

Haleh reminds Benton and Langworthy that the announcement for their fellowship will be coming today. Benton is nervous about it. Doug is already annoyed with the amount of work he has to do, so he wants to make Mark come in, no matter how sick he is. In reality, Mark isn’t sick at all, or at least if he is, he self-prescribed sex with Jen as a treatment method.

A police officer has brought in a woman named Jamie who hasn’t said anything about what happened to her. She tells Carol she shouldn’t have gone with the friend of a friend she was with; what happened to her was her fault. She has a hard time believing Carol when she says everything will be okay.

Susan chastises Div for snapping at Jerry for something so minor. Div doesn’t think the encounter was that big of a deal. She reminds him that he also snapped at a cashier at Starbucks that morning. He tells her she’s wasting his time and leaves to do rounds. Susan still can’t get someone to fix her car, but Carter knows someone who can help. In return, he wants her to help him get in on a surgery.

Michael, a 17-year-old high school wrestler, is brought in unconscious. Benton and Susan are unsure why he’s having heart trouble. Haleh spots Mookie coming in late and yells at him. He asks how much doctors make, and she says $30,000 a year. If he wants to become one, he’ll have to get used to being overworked and underpaid.

Carter consults a book to try to figure out what’s wrong with Michael. Benton doesn’t appreciate the effort. When shocking Michael doesn’t work, Benton decides to do a procedure with a catheter. Susan’s a little uncertain about that, but it’s successful and Michael is stabilized. Doug continues struggling with paperwork, wondering how Mark gets everything done – is he a machine?

Oh, ha ha, it’s supposed to be a sex joke. Thanks, writers. Mark and Jen are still getting it on; Jen seems energized by how great her job has been going. She never understood before why Mark enjoys his work so much. He admits to feeling guilty about staying home “sick,” but Jen thinks he’s earned it, since he didn’t take any sick days the year before. They ignore the phone when Doug calls to order Mark to come in. Since Mark has covered for Doug a bunch, Jen thinks Doug owes him this.

Carol continues talking to Jamie, who confirms that she was raped. Carol assures her that, since she said no, she did all she needed to show she was resisting. They need to do a rape kit, taking evidence for the police so they can arrest the rapist, Todd. Jamie thinks people will believe he’s innocent.

Haleh tells Benton that he’s now Mookie’s supervisor, so Mookie has to do everything Benton says. Benton’s first assignment: clean out the fridge. After someone takes pictures of Jamie, Carol and Lydia finish her rape exam. Soon, though, Jamie regrets moving forward with charges. Carol promises that she’ll get through this and move on. Carter’s guy fixes Susan’s car, thinking the two of them are dating. Doug calls Mark again and easily unravels the lie Mark told to get out of work. Instead of being mad, Doug is amused.

Carter finds Michael exercising on his gurney, as if he didn’t have to be shocked back to life just hours before. Carter mentions that he was also a wrestler in school. He’s figured out that Michael isn’t eating so he can stay in the right weight class. Michael doesn’t want to let his team down. Carter encourages him to tell Susan the truth so she can admit him. If Michael keeps starving himself between matches, he’ll die. Doug’s patient, Ben, also isn’t eating, but it’s because he has a sore throat.

Walt brings in Benton’s mother, Mae, who sprained her ankle. She has some mental issues because of a previous stroke, and when she hears Carter’s name, she tells Benton that she thinks his family used to own their family. Awkward! She doesn’t hold a grudge, though, as she invites Carter to Thanksgiving dinner. Benton quickly shuts that down. He wants Carter to tend to Mae, but Carter wants to go do whatever Benton’s going off to do. Benton shuts that down as well, telling Carter to make sure Mae eats something, since she never eats enough. Is that the theme for the episode? What’s up with that?

Haleh gets the announcement about the fellowship winner and shows it to Doug, Susan, Jerry, and Lydia. Benton sees it next and tries to hide his disappointment – Langworthy won it. He pretends that he didn’t expect to win, since he’s a year behind Langworthy. Mark and Jen take a bath together, discussing their schedules. She admits to having some insecurities about Mark’s relationship with Susan. Back at the hospital, the police bring in another patient, a man who’s yelling about wanting to be let go. Susan thinks he’s depressed and possibly suicidal, so she has Div paged.

Langworthy calls Benton out for ignoring her, so he tries to fake graciousness about losing to fellowship. She thinks he wanted her to lose if he couldn’t be the one to win. Langworthy wants to help Benton become a better surgeon, but he’s not interested. She thinks he has a problem losing to a woman, and he wants to sleep with her so he won’t feel so threatened. Langworthy leans in like she wants to kiss him, and Benton seems to lean forward as well. Then he tells her that not only has he never wanted to sleep with her, he’s also never fantasized about it…unlike her, apparently. She doesn’t believe him.

The yelling patient, Mr. Randall, has stopped yelling, but he’s definitely depressed, as Susan guessed. He lost his wife and son in a car accident. Div is less than sympathetic, saying that self-pity isn’t the way to go. Randall attacks him, so Div has him committed for 72 hours. Randall goes back to yelling. Susan can’t believe that Div had a sad drunk committed, especially when he didn’t do a full psych exam. Div continues to be unsympathetic, then changes the subject to ask Susan to dinner.

Lydia tells Carol that Jamie’s exam turned up multiple types of pubic hairs, which means she was with multiple men. Carol wonders how much of what Jamie said was the truth. Jamie said there were other guys there; she starts sobbing and says she’s just now remembering everything that happened. Carol tries to comfort her.

Ben stops breathing, so Doug has to intubate him. Benton finishes stabilizing his patient, with help from Nurse Lily Jarvik, then goes next door to assist Doug. He takes over the case, ticking Doug off. Later, Doug tracks Benton down outside and accuses him of trying to prove something because he lost the fellowship. Benton says Doug was taking too long and could have harmed the patient.

Doug argues that he had a choice in the procedure to perform. After a few moments of silence, Benton admits that he should have let Doug make the call. Doug reminds Benton that he lost a fellowship, not a patient. Benton confides that he did horribly in the fellowship interview. Doug thinks he should be happier about the fact that he saved just saved two lives in five minutes.

Carol brings in a cop to take Jamie’s statement, but Jamie has taken off. Mark and Jen’s day of sex is about to end, since Rachel’s on her way home. She takes a call from someone at work, ignoring Mark when he encourages her to get off the phone quickly so they can hop back in bed. So, to sum up: Jen thinks her job is more important than Mark’s.

Jerry introduces Doug to a new ER aide, Bogdanilivetsky. Doug will never be able to pronounce that, so he dubs her Bob. Susan secretly signs Randall out of psych; he’s much calmer now, having sobered up. He claims he sustained the cut on his head when he walked into a door. She tells him his 72-hour commitment has been canceled and he can go home.

Benton stops by Walt’s garage and admits that he’s taking the loss of the fellowship hard. Walt thinks it’s harder for Benton to lose because he’s used to winning. He has a hard shell and doesn’t let people in, just like his father. But Walt thinks he’s “basically a good guy,” so it’s nothing to worry about.

After work, Carol runs into Jamie across the street from the hospital. Jamie’s boyfriend doesn’t believe that she was raped and doesn’t want her to come home. She blasts herself for not fighting Todd harder. Carol reminds her that she said no, which was also she needed to do. She needs to see this through, or it’ll never end. Carol gives Jamie her scarf, then walks her back into the hospital so she can give her statement to the police.

Thoughts: Jamie is played by Brigid Brannagh.

I’m honestly surprised that Benton didn’t make Carter clean out the fridge.

When Carter wrestled, was he in the super-ultra-mega-lightweight class? I mean, he has zero muscles.

The difference between Carter and Benton is that, after they both hear that Susan needs a car repair, Carter actually does something to help while Benton does nothing, even though his brother-in-law is a mechanic.

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