May 12, 2020

ER 6.6, The Peace of Wild Things: Father Figures

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

A fun thing to do during boring episodes is play Spot the Mulleted Nurse

Summary: Carter and Weaver run into each other on the way off the El early in the morning. There’s already an ambulance approaching the hospital, making them think this will be a busy day. At County, Mark tells them there was a fire at a nursing home, so a lot of elderly patients are coming in. Plus, there’s no desk clerk and Jeanie isn’t coming in.

Jackie’s squabbling with her teen daughter when Benton comes into the kitchen for breakfast. Jackie complains to Benton that her daughter can sink a basket from 20 feet away but can’t get her clothes in the hamper. Put a basket over it! Benton tells Jackie that Carla told him Reese might not be his son. Jackie crabs about Carla putting him through all the custody stuff when she doesn’t even know if he’s Reese’s father. Benton confides that he’s thinking about taking a DNA test, but he’s worried about the results. Jackie thinks he should find out sooner rather than later, so Reese doesn’t find out first and accuse Benton of lying to him.

Carol tracks down Meg, who’s been out of touch for a while. She has a bladder infection, so Carol wants her to come back to the hospital for treatment. She urges Meg to go to the detox program she ran out on. Meg says she quit using on her own a few days ago. Weaver demands more nurses from another part of the hospital to help with all the elderly patients, but whoever she’s talking to won’t budge. Weaver says she hopes the person gets in a horrible accident and lands in the ER so Weaver can be of no help to him or her. Ouch. On the plus side, a desk clerk named Andrew has arrived, so that’s one position filled.

Carter helps a woman named Jean find her husband, Barry, who was admitted after the fire. Carol and Lawrence both arrive in the midst of the chaos, and Weaver asks Carol to help out at the desk. Dave and Haleh tend to a woman with some breathing problems, though Dave can’t figure out what’s causing them. Haleh guides him like he’s a child until he realizes what’s wrong.

Andrew’s an aspiring comedian, so Malik urges him to practice his impressions. Carol is semi-amused by his passable Keanu Reeves impersonation. Weaver’s annoyed that Jeanie keeps skipping work and tells Malik to call her and tell her to come in and explain herself. Dave brags to Lucy that he made a tough diagnosis while doing something with a Bunsen burner in a lab. She tells him he has to jiggle the handle on the burner to get it to turn off. She adds that Haleh already told her that she made the diagnosis, not Dave.

Carter has taken over Barry’s care, and he tells Jean that they need to intubate him to help him breathe. There’s a small chance he’ll get better, but he most likely won’t. Jean wants to be optimistic and give intubation a try. Carter says Barry’s heart could be causing problems, so they should run some more tests and make sure they know what’s really wrong.

Cleo presents a patient to Lawrence, who can’t handle tending to a woman with dementia. Because he probably has dementia. Got it? Are we all on the same page? Good. Mark and Weaver smell gas and start to move people out of the trauma hallway. Mark goes into a room, tracing the source of the gas, and gets blown back by a sudden explosion.

Once Mark is determined to be okay, Weaver reports that the fire department thinks the explosion was caused by a Bunsen burner. Cleo used one earlier but is sure she turned it off. Romano comes in to ask questions and be grumpy. Carter examines a preteen boy named Eddie who has flu-like symptoms. In the lounge, the nurses check out a cake they’ve gotten for Carol’s surprise baby shower. Connie finds a pair of glasses in the fridge, and Weaver recognizes them.

Benton visits Elizabeth in her new office but can’t start a conversation before Romano interrupts. He wants Elizabeth to take one of his surgeries the next day while he deals with administrative stuff. She learns from him that Mark was involved in the explosion in the ER. Romano then shifts gears to ask how much she would pay for his sperm. He claims a sperm bank is recruiting him for a donation. Elizabeth is somehow able to keep from laughing in his face.

Weaver returns Lawrence’s glasses to him and tells him where they were. She’s definitely worried about his mental state. Carol asks Cleo for a prescription for Meg’s bladder infection, even though Meg hasn’t come in to be examined. Carter has determined that Barry’s heart is failing, which is probably what’s causing his poor health. He thinks it’s time for Jean to let him go. Jean isn’t ready to make such an important decision, but she agrees to sign a DNR.

Weaver goes to see an old colleague named Dr. Spielman, Lawrence’s previous boss. Weaver thinks he left his last job because of politics, but Spielman implies that something else was going on. Once Weaver has gotten answers to her questions, she goes back to County, where Lawrence is taking care of a stabbing victim with Dave. Whatever Lawrence’s problems may be, he still has skills, and he and Dave are able to save the patient.

Lucy overhears Chuny and Yosh talking about how Cleo could get fired for not turning off the Bunsen burner. They think she was the last one to use it. Andrew does a Christopher Walken impersonation for Benton, who’s not impressed. Neither am I, and Andrew also needs to get his movie facts straight, because he seems to think Walken played Billy Crystal’s role in The Princess Bride. Anyway, Benton takes Reese to an exam room and swabs both of their cheeks for a DNA test.

Carol goes to the pharmacy where Meg works and finds her outside, having a suspicious conversation with a guy. She’s smoking and tells Carol that her personal care is none of Carol’s business. Lucy confronts Dave over possibly causing the explosion, but Dave insists he turned off the burner. He doesn’t care that Cleo might get fired. Carter talks to Cleo about Eddie, whom he’s diagnosed with diabetes. Cleo offers to come with him to talk to Eddie’s father about his poor diet and lack of exercise.

Weaver tells Mark that Lawrence was forced out of his last job. She jumped at the chance to hire him because he was her former teacher; she clearly didn’t think about why he might have been dismissed from his job. She admits that it was because Spielman thought Lawrence was showing symptoms of having Alzheimer’s. When she asked him to undergo testing, he blew up at her and quit. Mark thinks Weaver has to fire Lawrence; he’s showing the symptoms at County, too, and could endanger patients. Weaver doesn’t think she can fire her mentor, whom she loves like a father.

Cleo tells Eddie’s father, Mr. Bernero, that there’s a trial they can get Eddie into, but the medication he requires is expensive. Mr. B doesn’t have insurance right now and can’t afford the medication and monitoring Eddie needs. Cleo tells him that if Eddie changes his diet and starts exercising, he could improve his health without the medication.

Mr. B starts a new job soon and will get insurance in a few months, so he’d like to wait until then. Cleo warns that waiting could lead to complications. Mr. B notes that diabetes would be a preexisting condition, so the new insurance may not cover it if they start treatment now. Mr. B’s mother is in an HMO and also has diabetes – can’t Eddie take her medication? Cleo won’t accept that as appropriate treatment, but Carter is okay with Mr. B’s ideas. The two of them argue about their options, and Cleo reminds Carter that if he lets Eddie leave without appropriate treatment, his life will be endangered.

Carter goes back to Barry, who’s declined quickly and will be dead soon. Mark tells Lawrence that he left a patient in the waiting area hours ago, waiting for a prescription. Lawrence writes it and hands it over without a chart or refresher on the patient’s condition. It turns out Mark set him up – the patient is an employee from accounting, and Lawrence has never seen her before. Lawrence tells Weaver and Mark that he was just confused, since he’s treated so many people today. Weaver replies that she saw Spielman. Lawrence storms out of the ER without responding.

Barry has died, and Jean kisses him goodbye and tells him how sweet he was. She thanks Carter for all his work. Carol and Reggie track down the guy Meg was talking to at the pharmacy and catch him and Meg engaging in a drug deal. Reggie and some fellow cops ambush and arrest them. Meg sees Carol in Reggie’s squad car and yells at her for her actions.

Dave finally grows a conscience and tells Weaver that he may have been the person who caused the explosion. Fortunately, the fire department found a rupture in a pipe, so no one’s to blame. Dave needs to be more conscientious of safety, though. Weaver tries to call Lawrence, who hasn’t come back. Mr. B brings Eddie’s chart to Carter and asks him to tear up the page that says he has diabetes. Carter says that’s illegal, but Mr. B is desperate and begs Carter to help. Ugh, the American healthcare system SUUUUUUCKS.

Carol tells Mark that she did something and isn’t sure it was the right thing. Mark says he did, too, possibly ruining the rest of Lawrence’s career. He offers to sit and talk with Carol, but she knows the nurses are throwing her a surprise shower. She admits that she misses Doug, but she hasn’t called him or responded to the messages he leaves when he probably knows she isn’t home. She doesn’t know what to say to him. I don’t know, maybe you can say, “Are you planning to be involved at all in your children’s lives?”

Carter pretends he misplaced a sheet in Eddie’s chart and has to fill out a new one for his patient, who only has the flu. Jeanie finally comes in and tells Weaver that she’s resigning. She’s the happiest she’s ever been and wants to spend as much time as possible with her family. Weaver is happy for her and doesn’t try to get her to change her mind. She invites Jeanie to come back to work when Carlos gets a little older.

Benton takes Reese to Carla’s and tells her he took a DNA test. He has the results already but isn’t going to open them. He was there for every step of Carla’s pregnancy and every day Reese was in the NICU. Reese is the first and last thing he thinks about every day. Benton loves him, and Reese is his son, no matter what DNA says. Benton doesn’t have much in his life, and he’s not willing to lose his child. He emotionally asks Carla not to take him away.

Carol is summoned to her surprise party and pretends she didn’t know anything about it. Malik tells Weaver that Lawrence is back and looking for her. She finds him in a trauma room, where he recites a poem about stillness and the “peace of wild things” (hey, just like the episode title!). He doesn’t get how he can remember a William Blake poem he memorized 30 years ago but not which patients he saw today. I don’t know, man, but that ain’t a Blake poem.

Lawrence admits that he started noticing symptoms about a year ago and saw a neurologist. He started taking medication to slow the development of Alzheimer’s, but clearly it didn’t do enough. Weaver encourages him to sign up for trials in the hospital, but Lawrence would rather kill himself than prolong his life like this. He accepts that he can’t practice medicine anymore. Weaver thinks he could lecture med students, but Lawrence doesn’t see the point in being a doctor if he can’t treat patients.

Seeing the woman with dementia that morning shook him – she had no clue who or where she was. Lawrence knows that’ll be him in a few years. He’ll be unable to care for himself, and no one will come visit him. Weaver cries as she says she will. Lawrence notes that he won’t know who she is. In the lounge, Jeanie clears out her locker, looks in on her co-workers at Carol’s party, and happily leaves to go home to her family.

Thoughts: I’m going to advise Lucy not to wear her hair in braids. She already looks 20; her patients aren’t going to be comforted by her young hairstyle.

Why do ER doctors need Bunsen burners in the ER? Doesn’t their hospital have lab techs? Is this like House, where the doctors always did all their tests themselves?

Carter is excellent with Jean – very patient and gentle. Exactly who you would want as your dying husband’s doctor if you were Jean.

Carol really doesn’t have anything better to do than meddle in Meg’s life? You’re about to have two babies, hon. Go buy cribs or paint the nursery or something. You can’t save everyone.

Goodbye, Jeanie, possibly the only normal person on this show. Enjoy your cool husband and cute baby.

May 5, 2020

ER 6.5, Truth and Consequences: Damage Control

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

Hi. I ate paint. Next I’m going to play the most annoying character on “Angel”

Summary: Mark is walking to work when Dave zooms up to him on a bike. Mark chastises him for not wearing a helmet. Dave ignores him and complains about Weaver. He’s curious about why she uses a crutch. Mark says he doesn’t know and has never asked. Jeanie and Reggie have settled into a family routine, working different shifts so someone’s always home with Carlos. She reminds him to wear gloves while changing the baby’s diaper, but Reggie knows all the precautions to take for Carlos’ HIV.

At County, Weaver deals with a cranky crossing guard, then tells Dave to stop storing his bike in the lounge. She sends him to tend to a patient named Jesse. Dave isn’t interested and tries to pass him off to Lucy, who notices that the crossing guard has stolen Dave’s bike, which he promptly crashes. While Jeanie shows the nurses new pictures of Carlos, Lawrence looks for a chart he misplaced, because, as we’ve already figured out, he has memory problems. Carter shows him a new glue that replaces sutures. Lawrence says the Army’s been using it for 30 years.

Weaver tells Lawrence his handwriting is illegible, which he thinks is how it’s supposed to be; no doctor has legible handwriting. She suggests that he use the computer instead. Carter offers to show him how, but Lawrence thinks he’s an old dog who can’t learn new tricks. Elaine comes in and asks to talk to Carter. Dave asks Lawrence if Weaver ever told him what happened to her leg. Randi overhears and tells Dave to ask Carter, since he used to live with Weaver.

Meg is back for another appointment and brings with her the news that she got a job at a pharmacy. She says she’s not taking anything stronger than prenatal vitamins, but Carol orders a tox screen anyway. As Jeanie worries about Carlos while trying to focus on her job, Mark and Benton tend to a teen named Ben who was in a car accident. Benton wants to have someone from genetics consult since Ben has cystic fibrosis. Carol has a contraction but thinks it’s just Braxton-Hicks.

Lucy has taken over Jesse’s case after all; he’s revealed that he ate half a tube of paint. He’s struggling with his art and had a bad day. Julian from genetics (the doctor Doug took advantage of while treating Ricky last season) comes to the ER to see how Ben is doing, so Mark goes to check on Carol. She insists that she’s fine and can keep working.

Benton tells Ben’s father and brother that he’ll need surgery but should be fine. Mr. Hearn offers to donate blood, not wanting Ben to have a transfusion from a stranger. At Doc Magoo’s, Elaine apologizes to Carter for avoiding him while trying to deal with her medical issues. She has an appointment with a plastic surgeon, and after that’s sorted out, she’s thinking about going to Europe for a couple of months. Carter realizes he’s getting dumped, though I don’t think they were officially in a relationship to begin with.

When Carter gets back to County, Dave asks him about Weaver’s leg. Dave, please do your job and mind your own business. Jeanie takes a radio call reporting that a mass trauma is coming in. Lucy tells Jesse how dangerous eating paint is, then busts him for using cocaine. He claims it’s just to expand his mind and help his creative process. She wants to put him in a rehab program, though he worries that will hurt his art. He promises to check it out.

The mass trauma cases start coming in, the victims of an explosion in a high school chemistry class. Weaver and Mark take the patient who’s the worst, the teacher, and Weaver tells Lawrence to manage the rest of the traumas. Lawrence does well with triage for a while, but keeping track of so many patients eventually confuses him. For some reason, this makes things go slow-motion. Is that a symptom of Alzheimer’s?

Lawrence joins Weaver to take care of the teacher, Mr. Sutherland, and snaps at Lucy when she questions some of his instructions. Lawrence wants to do a procedure that the ER has been doing with a kit for a while; he’s impatient and says the kit isn’t reliable. When Weaver tries to change his mind, he throws the kit across the room. He dismisses himself to go take care of someone else.

Once the traumas have all been handled, Lawrence apologizes to Weaver for his tantrum. He blames being overwhelmed by all the cases. In her third year of med school, they handled a mass trauma, and everyone lost it but Weaver. Lawrence admits that she drove him crazy sometimes because she asked so many questions. Obviously it’s paid off, though, since she’s the chief of emergency medicine.

Carol confronts Meg for her tox-screen results – she tested positive for opiates. Meg denies using drugs but Carol doesn’t believe her. She reminds Meg that using while pregnant puts the baby at risk. Meg says she only uses a little, so she doesn’t get sick. Carol offers to try to get her into a detox program. Lucy’s gotten Jesse into the same program, and he’s grateful for her help. Carol asks Dr. Myers for a space, asking him to at least consider squeezing Meg in.

Benton finds Ben’s brother Aaron and informs him that his blood screening showed he’s HIV-positive. Aaron admits that he suspected he was. Benton offers to help him get treatment, but Aaron worries about his parents finding out. Benton tells him family support is important when dealing with the illness. Aaron knows his family would disown him, since he couldn’t even get close to coming out to them. He doesn’t think keeping a secret like this from his family is that big of a deal.

Meg has taken Jesse’s spot in detox, bumping Jesse to outpatient treatment, and Lucy’s not happy. Carol thinks Meg deserved the spot because she’s pregnant. When Lucy tries to discount Carol’s opinion, since she’s a nurse, Carol yells that Lucy’s just a med student. Hey, where’s Mark to call Carol on her attitude the way she would call him on his if he were the one yelling? Carol says she didn’t know that Jesse was Lucy’s patient, as if that matters. She says Jesse will get the next bed available.

Mark asks Weaver if she discussed Lawrence’s meltdown with him. She downplays it, but Mark says he’s setting a bad example. Weaver calls Lawrence eccentric and one of the best doctors she knows. She thinks Mark is just mad because Weaver hired him. Benton tells Aaron and Mr. Hearn that Ben will be fine, then mentions that he couldn’t use Aaron’s blood in a transfusion. He pretends it’s because of antigens that made it incompatible with Ben’s blood.

Carter tends to the last victim of the explosion, Howie, who didn’t come in until after everyone else had been treated. Carter gets suspicious about how much Howie knows about the explosion. Howie asks for doctor/patient confidentiality first. Weaver and Jeanie tell a patient’s father that his son, Nathan, has a bad eye injury. Mr. Perez thinks it’s bad enough that it will end Nathan’s chances of getting an athletic scholarship. Jeanie reminds him that supporting his son is more important right now.

Reggie calls to tell Jeanie that Carlos is sick, so Weaver sends her home. Mr. Perez asks if Howie has come in – according to Nathan, Howie was responsible for the explosion. Howie is currently admitting this to Carter; the jocks in the class talked him into switching some chemicals to cause a small reaction. Mr. Sutherland changed the experiment and Howie didn’t get a chance to warn him. He insists that it was just a joke.

Mr. Perez overhears and confronts Howie for causing Nathan’s partial blindness. Howie tells him that Nathan and his friends came up with the idea. Carter tries to get Mr. Perez to leave the room, but Mr. Perez throws him into a window. Mark comes in to wrestle Mr. Perez to the ground, in the process accidentally breaking his larynx. Mark, Carter, and Chuny rush to get him breathing again. So Mark is probably facing another patient lawsuit.

Dave tries to cheer up a patient named Quinn who’s going to be left with scars after her burns heal. Dave’s bedside manner could use some work. Quinn cries over looking like a freak while Dave silently begs for another explosion to take him out. Carter tries to assure Mark that he did the right thing tackling Mr. Perez; if necessary, Carter will testify that Mark’s actions were justified. He checks on Howie, who’s sitting with Mr. Sutherland. He liked his teacher a lot and doesn’t want to accept that he might not recover.

Aaron tells Benton that he gave his father the news that he’s HIV-positive. He got kicked out and disowned, but at least there are no family secrets. Lucy tells Jesse that he can’t go into the inpatient program, but Jesse has a new view on his life now. He watched all the doctors, paramedics, and cops today, doing something meaningful, and he feels pathetic for eating paint. He knows he needs to get his life together.

Dave asks Lucy to talk to Quinn, since he hasn’t had luck helping her. Carter’s feeling down, and Lawrence guesses that it’s because of his love life. Carter asks for advice, but Lawrence doesn’t have any other than to not waste his time on regret. Meg has left the hospital instead of going to detox, so Lucy’s going to be thrilled. Benton asks Julian about DNA tests they can use in the ER. I’m sure he’s totally not thinking about using one on himself and Reese.

Lucy is much better with Quinn than Dave was (shocking!), so Quinn is more optimistic about her condition. Dave’s curiosity about Weaver’s leg has gotten back to her, as she tells him she heard he wanted to ask her about it. Dave pretends he had questions about a patient. Weaver says if he does ever want to know the truth, he should just ask. Dave says of course he doesn’t want to ask any questions – it’s not his business.

Romano tells Mark that he needs to issue a formal apology to the Perezes. Romano will try to do damage control, but Mark can’t hide from the consequences of his actions. Jeanie calls in and tells Mark that she might be late to work tomorrow. I’d be late, too, if my choices were working in a chaotic ER and hanging out with a cute baby. Carter goes to Elaine’s and kisses her, telling her he’ll leave if she wants him to. He starts to take off her robe, ignoring her when she says she doesn’t want his sympathy. The gap in the robe shows her mastectomy scars, which she tries to cover up, but Carter doesn’t mind them.

Weaver finds Lawrence wandering in the parking garage, looking for his car, which he thinks must have been stolen. He always parks in the same spot on the same level. She points out that they’re not on that level. Lawrence blames mild confusion, but Weaver’s now concerned that there’s something more serious going on.

Thoughts: Jesse is played by Vincent Kartheiser. Mr. Perez is played by Miguel Sandoval.

What was the point of the Carter/Elaine stuff? Could the writers not think of any other plotlines for Carter?

This episode shows again that Lucy should have focused on psychiatry instead of emergency medicine. Ironic, then, that a psych case is eventually her downfall.

One of the students loses a finger in the explosion, so he gives it to his friend to hold on to, but the friend misplaces it. How do you lose a finger?? You had one job, friend!

April 21, 2020

ER 6.3, Greene With Envy: How Dare Someone Be Better at Medicine Than Mark!

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


Summary: A gray-haired man has come to the ER looking for Weaver. Randi shows him a badge that Weaver has been handing out to employees. It lists the four qualities she wants all of them to have: creativity, accountability, respect, and excellence. Hey, that spells CARE! What a coincidence! Malik escorts in a guy with a stab wound in his arm and brings in Lucy to treat him. The gray-haired man tends to him instead. He uses a blood-pressure cuff as a tourniquet and stops the man’s bleeding. He notes that he employed the creativity from Weaver’s badge. Weaver introduces Lucy to the man, Gabe Lawrence, the ER’s new attending.

Mark is next to meet Lawrence, whom he’s heard a lot about…except for the part where Lawrence is the new attending. Over at Doc Magoo’s, Benton talks to a lawyer about Carla’s claim that Reese isn’t Benton’s. The lawyer doesn’t think that will be an issue – if Carla had doubts about Reese’s paternity, she should have said something three months ago when Benton filed for custody. The lawyer suggests that Benton do a DNA test to make sure Reese is really his before he puts himself through a whole trial. Benton doesn’t see the point.

Carter, Carol, and Elizabeth work on a 16-year-old boy named Josh who was shot. Romano comes in and tries to get Elizabeth to postpone an operation she was supposed to perform later so he can have the OR. She refuses, since her patient needs a mastectomy more than Romano’s needs his operation. Romano gives up a lot faster than I would have expected. Carter asks Elizabeth if her patient is Elaine. When he calls Elaine a family friend (yeah, a family friend he’s seen naked), Elizabeth decides they shouldn’t be talking about her.

Romano assigns Elizabeth to show a journalist around the hospital. The journalist is doing a story on Romano, but he figures she’d rather spend time with Elizabeth than him. Good guess. Mark and Chuny treat a patient who flirts with Chuny and asks about her badge. Mark hasn’t gotten one yet. Lucy and Luka tend to a woman named Lauren who claims she hurt her arm falling off a ladder. Luka seems skeptical.

Weaver shows Lawrence around as Jeanie opens some wedding presents from the nurses. She and Reggie are going to New Orleans that night to get married. Weaver gives her a badge, which she calls a Core Values badge, though shouldn’t that be CARE Values? She tells Jeanie to always wear it, quipping that she can take it off on her wedding night.

Lawrence gives Mark’s patient a neurological exam and teaches Carter a way to detect head trauma without any scans. He thinks the patient can be released. Benton takes Reese to Cleo, thinking he might be sick. Cleo notes that it must be nice having him nearby all day, in the hospital’s daycare. She diagnoses Reese with an ear infection and asks Benton if he had them as a kid, since they’re often hereditary. Benton says he didn’t.

Mark can’t find his patient, whom Lawrence has already discharged. He finds Lawrence in the lounge, telling Elizabeth about the history of the stethoscope. Mark is annoyed that Lawrence let his patient go without a CT. Lawrence says he gave the patient instructions on what to do if he exhibits signs of head trauma. Mark notes that he could pass out, and since he lives alone, no one would know. Lawrence asks Elizabeth for her opinion, and though Elizabeth tries to decline to answer, she admits that Lawrence did enough to examine the patient.

Mark confronts Weaver for hiring Lawrence without saying anything. Weaver only found out he was available a few days ago. Plus, he’s one of the founding fathers of emergency medicine, so Mark should be happy they have him. Mark reminds her that her badges list respect as a core value, so she should have shown him some. Carter surprises Elaine as she’s waiting to be taken for her mastectomy. He wants to make sure she knows that he doesn’t see their relationship (or whatever it is) as just sex. He’s willing to support her through her medical treatment. Elaine tells him to go away, but Carter doesn’t want to.

Luka looks up Lauren’s records and sees that she’s been treated at County for various injuries. She’s also been to other hospitals. He thinks she’s being abused. When he and Lucy return to Lauren’s exam room, her husband, Pauly, is with her. He backs up her story that she fell off a ladder. Lauren acts like nothing’s wrong, which, of course, she would do if she were being abused and didn’t want anyone to know.

Romano introduces Elizabeth and Mark to Paula, the reporter Elizabeth will be showing around. Josh, who’s now on a ventilator but doing okay, gets a visit from his cousin, whose arrival sends Josh into distress. Carol sends the cousin out of the room as Lawrence comes in to help her out. Josh keeps his eyes on his cousin and mimes shooting a gun. Carol realizes that he’s trying to say that his cousin (well, “cousin”) was his shooter.

Lawrence goes after the cousin, who takes off running. Someone sees him pull a gun and screams that he has a weapon. Elizabeth shields Paula as a security guard faces off with the cousin in a hallway. Mark pulls a patient into a room as shots are fired. Benton runs to the exam room where Reese was being seen and finds Cleo protecting him and some other kids. The cousin shoots until he runs out of bullets, then takes off. I’m sure he’ll be picked up by the cops pretty quickly, since there were about three dozen witnesses.

Dave gets off an elevator and enters an eerily quiet ER. Elizabeth and Lawrence rush to tend to the unconscious security guard, who’s bleeding. In a trauma room, they realize he wasn’t shot – the blood is from a cut on his hand. He’s unconscious because he fainted. Dave, always eager to be in the middle of things and probably sad that he missed all the danger, quickly offers his help, so Lawrence tells him to give the security guard stitches. The staff checks on all the patients who were near the shootout, but no one was hurt.

Mark and Cleo take the next patients brought in, the Bradleys, a father and son who were in a car accident. Mrs. Bradley says they asked the paramedics to take them to another hospital, as recommended by their doctor, but the paramedics brought them to County since it was closer. Paula’s nearby and asks if paramedics can ignore a patient’s wishes. Cleo tells Mrs. Bradley that until her son, David, has some tests, he’s not going anywhere.

Elaine is overwhelmed and tells Elizabeth she’s not ready for surgery. Elizabeth invites her to go for a walk and talk things over. The nurses give Jeanie some flowers as she heads out with Reggie. Weaver pulls them into the lounge to give them another wedding gift: Carlos. Thanks to some urging from Weaver, Adele has gone to bat for the couple and gotten approval for them to take Carlos in temporarily. Once Jeanie gets approved as a foster patient, they can reevaluate and maybe make it permanent. Reggie and Jeanie decide to get married in Chicago instead of New Orleans.

Lawrence treats a 12-year-old girl named Crystal who has sickle-cell anemia. Mark looks over his orders afterward and tells Chuny to add a couple of tests. Luka pulls Pauly away from Lauren as she’s being discharged and tells him he thinks Pauly is mentally ill and dangerous. Pauly says Luka’s the one who’s ill. When he returns to Lauren, security guards are there to restrain him. Luka’s having him involuntarily committed. Lucy tells him this is a horrible idea – if psych doesn’t find any problems with Pauly, they’ll just send him home to Lauren. Luka says he’s giving Lauren a chance.

Elizabeth tells Elaine that she can delay her surgery, but not for long. Elaine wonders what will happen to her breast after it’s removed. She doesn’t like the idea of it just being thrown away. Elizabeth tells her that a lot of women have had mastectomies. Elaine wonders how she can be with anyone again once her breast is gone. She wishes she could still be herself. Elizabeth says she can. Elaine tells her to make sure she cuts everything during the surgery.

Lawrence tries to cheer Crystal up about her illness: the gene that causes sickle-cell anemia also protects her against malaria. He discharges her as Mark asks about the labs he added, which haven’t come back yet. Lucy brings in Deraad to tell Luka that he can’t have Pauly committed. He doesn’t appear to be a danger to himself, and there’s no proof that he hurt Lauren. Luka asks Deraad to come talk to Pauly with him. This goes horribly: Luka accuses Pauly of hurting Lauren, but she denies it. Luka baits him, making Pauly angrier and angrier until he decks Luka. Luka’s like, “Yeah, he’s definitely not a danger to others.”

Crystal’s labs come back, and Mark tells Lawrence there’s a problem. The two run after Crystal and her parents, who are just leaving the ER, and tell them to come back in. Lawrence missed something huge. The Bradleys’ doctor, Jacobs, comes to the ER and tells Cleo that David is going to be transferred. Cleo doesn’t feel comfortable having him moved and asks for half an hour while a test comes back. Jacobs won’t back down.

Mark gives Crystal an ultrasound to show her and her parents what Lawrence missed: She’s pregnant. Further, it’s an ectopic pregnancy, so she needs emergency surgery. Lawrence asks Mark if he was checking up on him, but Mark says he was just looking after the patient. Cleo has given in and is helping move David out of the hospital when he crashes. Carter and Benton take over his care, wondering why he was being transferred.

Jeanie and Reggie go to a courthouse to get married, but they only have a few minutes before it closes. They’ve brought Randi along as a witness, and Weaver was supposed to be their second, but she’s not there. They spot a UPS guy and all get the same idea. Back at County, Paula tries to observe as Carter and Benton treat David, but Benton kicks her out. He talks Carter through a procedure he’s never done before, and together they stabilize David.

The UPS happily holds Jeanie’s flowers as a judge marries Jeanie and Reggie. Carlos gets fussy, so Jeanie has to delay the vows for a few moments so she can try to quiet him. The bride and groom both seem thrilled with their new reality. Elizabeth finishes up with Paula, who questions Benton’s decision to let Carter do a procedure he’d never done before. Elizabeth promises that, in this teaching hospital, residents are carefully supervised. Mark thinks Elizabeth should have turned down Romano’s request to show Paula around.

Luka and Carol chat about his decisions regarding Pauly and Lauren. Luka gets that he made things worse by provoking Pauly in front of witnesses. Carol thinks that maybe now Lauren will get how dangerous her husband is. She didn’t go up to psych with him, which is a good first step. Cleo tells the Bradleys that David’s stable and now in surgery. Jacobs praises her for catching what was wrong with him, but Cleo’s annoyed that she gave in to his demands. If she’d just waited until his tests came back, they could have operated in a controlled environment.

Elaine comes through her operation fine and next faces reconstructive surgery. Weaver tells Luka that now that Lawrence is an attending, he won’t be needed anymore. No, don’t send the pretty away! Pauly’s released and heads home with Lauren. Mark, Lawrence, and Dave take care of a gunshot victim together, and Lawrence uses a foley to make a balloon and put pressure on the patient’s wound to stop the bleeding. Mark has to admit that he’s a skilled doctor.

Carter looks in on Elaine in recovery but decides not to go in and talk to her. Carol passes Luka as he’s walking home and offers him a ride. Jeanie and Reggie pick up some baby supplies after their wedding, and Reggie picks out a toy police car for Carlos. Mark tries to smooth things over with Elizabeth, by which I mean he asks her to apologize for siding with Lawrence earlier. She teases that he’s jealous and is afraid he might learn something.

Benton asks Jackie if Reese looks like him. “Hope not. He’s got enough problems,” Jackie says, exactly as any sister would. Benton asks if he had a lot of ear infections as a kid. Jackie doesn’t remember, but she knows he was always getting sick from something, which explains why he became a doctor. Carol drives Luka home and learns that he’s living on a boat. Mark and Elizabeth end their day in bed, and I don’t think anyone needs to know anything more than that.

Thoughts: As shown above, Lawrence is played by Alan Alda, who got an Emmy nomination for this role. Mr. Bradley is played by Felicity’s dad.

Erica Gimpel (Adele) and Cress Williams (Reggie), who have their first scene together in this episode, later played Wallace’s parents on Veronica Mars.

Guys, don’t forget to run every hiring decision by Mark. He is, after all, in charge of the ER. Oh, wait – no, he’s not. Shut up, Mark.

Mark should stop second-guessing Lawrence and keep a better eye on Luka, because…yikes.

April 14, 2020

ER 6.2, Last Rites: Mark vs. Weaver, Round 1 of 1 Billion

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

I will not apologize for finding this man attractive. I WILL NOT

Summary: Elaine enters the ER in slow motion, for some reason. She wanders around looking for Carter, because, as we know, security at County is a joke and people can just walk around whenever and wherever they want. She finds him and asks what time he’s off work. Elaine, try the phone next time.

Mark is in San Diego, cleaning up his parents’ house after his mother’s funeral reception. He checks on a sleeping Rachel, then goes to the garage, where David is making a linen chest he once promised to make for Ruth. He thanks Mark for his eulogy, and Mark says the color guard at the funeral was nice. David says that Ruth’s death doesn’t feel real yet.

A new doctor, Malucci (sorry, Dr. Dave), has started at County. He and Lucy tend to a teenager who keeps getting beaten up for dressing punk/goth. Lucy can’t believe that his principal hasn’t done something to stop the bullying. Carter tells Dave to call plastic surgery for one of the teen’s injuries, but Dave thinks he can handle it himself. We get to see more of the differences between these two when Dave gives Lucy vague treatment instructions while Carter gives her specific ones.

Dave notices his fellow newbie, Cleo, arriving at work and calls her Jackie Joyner. She tells him to get a life. Do better, Cleo. Reggie brings in a drunk guy who flirts with Jeanie. Reggie calls her his fiancée, but Jeanie tells Yosh they’re “not exactly” engaged. Romano leads a surgeons’ staff meeting, which Benton ignores to chat with Elizabeth. Romano announces that Elizabeth is now associate chief of surgery. This is news to her.

Carter treats a young woman named Amy whose cancer has spread all over her body, including to her brain, leaving her with an altered mental status for weeks. Her father, Mr. Stehly, tells Carter that she has a DNR and doesn’t want to go back to the ICU. He brought her in to be made more comfortable, but not for any other treatment.

Mark comes back from California and goes straight to work. Carter brings him into Amy’s case. Weaver has instituted a new charting system where every complaint a patient has is detailed on a different form. Sounds tedious. Elizabeth bursts into Romano’s office 15 minutes later than he expected her to come confront him. He tells her he gave her the position as associate chief because he needs her to smooth things over with their colleagues. In other words, she gets to do all the stuff he doesn’t want to do. Elizabeth doesn’t want the job, but she knows she needs to take it.

Carlos is doing a lot better and hasn’t exhibited any side effects from the HIV medications he’s started receiving. In fact, he’s well enough to be discharged. He’s going to an intake center since no appropriate foster family has been found (and his mother died yesterday). Jeanie worries that he won’t get the care he needs.

Carol assists Luka as he treats a boy with a sore throat. The boy asks about Luka’s accent, so Carol asks where he’s from (Croatia). She asks if he’s going to give the boy Tylenol for his fever. Luka says no, since fevers have a purpose. They’re the body’s natural way of fighting infection. Carol notes that Tylenol would make the boy feel better.

Benton meets with a therapist who’s been assigned to assess his family dynamic for his attempts to keep Carla and Roger from taking Reese to Germany. She asks about Benton’s feelings toward Roger. Benton doesn’t think Roger has anything to do with the custody situation, even though, you know, Reese lives with the guy. Benton is confident that Carla won’t be able to take Reese out of the country.

While doing something on the surgical floor, Carter spots Elaine as she’s about to have a consultation with Elizabeth. Carol checks on a patient named Vanessa who’s been admitted from her nursing home. Carol notices a Sacred Heart on a journal Vanessa has with her, and the two talk about their religions. Vanessa laments that her husband’s Catholicism didn’t help him at the end of his life. However, she’s so sick that she’d appreciate going to Heaven right now. Carol offers to find her a priest to talk to, but Vanessa declines.

Jeanie tells a DCFS social worker named Bob that she’d like to take Carlos in. She hasn’t been screened or trained yet, so Bob says that won’t be possible. However, he thinks he might be able to approve of her taking Carlos while they look for a foster family for him. Jeanie thinks she’ll be able to get licensed in the meantime and keep him longer. Carlos brings Reese to her meeting with the therapist, and Benton inadvertently gets a point in his favor when Reese cries over being taken away from him.

Mark and Carter do a procedure on Amy that will make her more comfortable. Elizabeth comes by and checks on Mark, asking how David is doing. Mark isn’t sure how he’ll adjust to life without his wife. He heard about Elizabeth’s new role and wonders what Romano’s up to – why did he pick her? Elizabeth’s offended and says she’s considering accepting the role. Dealing with Romano is a small price to pay for the freedom she’ll get. She tells Mark to stop being passive-aggressive about how he feels. He warns her that Romano has screwed her over in the past, so there’s no reason to think he won’t do it again.

Carter’s annoyed that Dave did his patient’s stitches on his own without calling plastic surgery. Dave says he consulted with them and they thought he did a great job. Carol brings him Vanessa’s chart, but Dave trusts whatever Carol’s done to treat her and doesn’t bother to follow up. Elaine shows up to see Carter again, pretending she had a meeting nearby and came by to ask him to lunch.

Dave runs in from the ambulance bay, asks Randi about an empty ambulance outside, then heads back out. He tells Carter that there’s a construction accident down the street. Dave grabs some supplies while Carter uses the radio to call for an ambulance whose crew is currently inside it. The two of them run to the accident site, where a man named Joe is trapped under a bunch of stuff. Carter needs to intubate him, but he doesn’t have a lot of room to work, so Dave has to serve as his eyes from a higher vantage point. By the time paramedics arrive, Carter’s done.

Amy wakes up while her father’s out of the room and begs Mark to help her: “I don’t want to die today.” She agrees to be put on a ventilator, though it’s likely she’ll never be able to come off of it. She repeats that she doesn’t want to die. Lydia reminds Mark that Amy has a DNR, but he wants to override it.

While Joe is brought into the hospital, Mr. Stehly confronts Mark for ignoring Amy’s DNR. Weaver gets involved, trying to smooth things over. She tells Mr. Stehly to get the paperwork proving Amy has a DNR. He wants Amy to be taken off the ventilator, but Weaver agrees with Mark that she shouldn’t be taken off until she can breathe on her own.

The paramedics give Dave the evil eye as Carter introduces him to Benton as a new resident. He encourages Dave to call Benton “Dr. Pete.” Ha! Dave tries to run the trauma, but Benton edges him out, then gives the same treatment instructions. When Dave objects, Benton kicks him out of the trauma room. Dave doesn’t get why someone who outranks him and doesn’t know anything about him might not trust his medical skills. Zadro tells him that if he wants to play paramedic, he has to leave his patients with the doctors after they get to the hospital.

Mr. Stehly threatens to call a lawyer, but Mark thinks his actions were justified. Weaver next moves on to breaking up a fight between Dave and the paramedics. Carter’s handling it well already, noting that the EMTs were MIA, and the site was just down the street. Another EMT points out that they could have gotten a call and would have had no idea that Carter and Dave took some of their equipment.

Zadro offers to take things outside with Dave, who’s ready to fight him. Weaver rolls her eyes at both of them and sends the EMTs off. Then she yells at Carter and Dave for ditching their responsibilities at the hospital to do a job they weren’t trained or covered for. The hospital could have been hit with a major trauma while they were gone, and they would have been down two doctors. Dave is like, “But that didn’t happen, did it? That means it’s all okay!” Weaver, whose patience with people is never above a 5 on a scale from 1 to 10, is already at a 2 with Dave.

Bob is upset to discover that Jeanie had Carlos tested for HIV without his mother’s consent. He doesn’t think it will affect her chances of becoming his foster mother, though; she clearly cares about the baby. However, his director won’t approve the arrangement. Jeanie asks if her race or HIV status are factors. Bob says race isn’t, but her HIV status doesn’t help. Not matter how Jeanie approaches the situation and how well-suited she is to care for Carlos, Bob won’t budge.

Benton tries to take Joe into surgery, but Romano banishes him back to the ER and gives Elizabeth the procedure. He reminds Benton that it was his choice to take the trauma fellowship. To add insult to injury, Elizabeth’s new role as associate chief gives her the honor of being allowed to operate by herself. Mark’s having a stressful day, but he doesn’t take Carol’s suggestion to take more time off from work. He already took a week off, as if burying his mother was a restful vacation.

Vanessa is declining and asks Carol when the priest is coming. Carol hasn’t called one, since Vanessa told her not to, but she promises to find one. Weaver learns that Jeanie wants to become a foster parent and tells her she gave Bob a great referral. Jeanie says it’s not going to work out; some things aren’t meant to be.

Weaver tells Mark that she needs a detailed record of the care Mark gave Amy. Mark snipes that her new charting system will help with that. Weaver tells him this is serious, and he’s put the hospital in a bad position. Mark notes that Amy’s over 18 and gave him clear instructions. Weaver replies that Mark overrode a signed DNR.

Carter interrupts to ask how he should treat Amy. Weaver and Mark give him different instructions, then fight about whether Amy was mentally competent to revoke her DNR. Carter’s like, “Oh, crap, Mom and Dad are fighting.” Weaver says that she’s not sure Mark is in a state of mind to be objective about his patient, so she’s taking over. Mark says she’ll have to fire him first. Weaver ignores him and tells Carter to call her if Amy codes. Mark tells Carter to call him instead.

Carol has a hard time finding a priest before Vanessa dies. She’s also looking for Dave and asks Lucy where he might be. She quips that he’s probably off doing a search-and-rescue mission with the Coast Guard. Luka is on his way out for the day but offers to stay to help Carol with Vanessa, since Dave isn’t around to approve her treatment.

Romano chastises Elizabeth for taking a conservative approach to her solo surgery. She tells him to lay off Peter and let him back in the OR. Romano says he was just messing with Benton. He does want Elizabeth to oversee Benton’s procedures, which is quite a reversal from a couple seasons ago, when Benton was Elizabeth’s boss. Romano hands over a list of people Elizabeth will need to terminate (so he doesn’t have to do it himself).

Carter asks Elizabeth about his “patient,” Elaine, and why she was on the surgical floor. Elizabeth says she came for a second opinion about a breast cancer diagnosis. She’ll need a mastectomy. Haleh calls Carter to Amy’s room, where she’s crashing. Carter wants to shock her, but Weaver joins him and refuses to let anyone resuscitate Amy. Not only does she have a DNR, but she has no chance of making a meaningful recovery.

Vanessa mistakes Luka for a priest, so he plays along, telling her that she can die in peace. Carol looks on as he gives her a blessing. Mark returns to Amy’s room and gets Carter to give her CPR, then tells Weaver that if she doesn’t let him shock Amy, he’ll quit. Weaver gives in but asks him how far he’s going to go to try to save her. She wanted a ventilator, but would she want this? Mark tells her to shut up or leave. As Vanessa dies, Amy’s heart gives out and Mark decides to declare her dead. Weaver follows him out of the trauma room, but he’s in no mood to talk to her.

Jeanie goes to see Reggie at the police station and tells him she wanted to accept when he proposed and get married right away. She didn’t because she thought it might be for the wrong reason – getting married to help her chances of getting Carlos. Now that she knows she can’t have Carlos, she’s realized that she really does want to marry Reggie. Aw, now he can call her his fiancée for real.

Carol isn’t sure about the ethics of Luka pretending to be a priest, but he thinks it’s fine since he just gave her a blessing, which anyone can do. What’s important is that she held on to her faith. He just threw out a little Latin and a little Croatian and faked it. Carol feels the babies moving around, and Luka asks if he can touch her stomach. I guess Carol learned something from Dorothy last week because she lets him. After Carter and Elaine have sex, she guesses from the way he’s looking at her that he knows why she was meeting with Elizabeth. She covers herself up and tells him to leave.

Carla tracks down Benton and asks if he hired a PI to ask her friends questions about her. Benton says he hired a lawyer but doesn’t know if that lawyer hired a PI. Carla says that Roger’s job in Germany is a great opportunity and Benton shouldn’t keep him from it. Benton says he’s Reese’s father…but Carla says he might not be. UM, WHAT? She slept with someone else around the time he was conceived. Benton firmly replies that Reese is his son, then walks away.

Thoughts: Amy is played by Paige Moss.

I know Dave is obnoxious. I know. But…he’s so cute!

I love that when Dave comes in asking about the ambulance, he tells Carter to call 911. It sounds so weird to hear someone saying that in a hospital. In fact, when they get to the site and Carter asks if anyone has called 911, a worker asks, “Ain’t you the 911 guys?” Heh.

I’m not a lawyer, but I think if Benton’s name is on Reese’s birth certificate, that’s enough for him to have legal rights.

April 7, 2020

ER 6.1, Leave It to Weaver: Another Day at the Circus

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

Hello, gorgeous

Summary: Carol starts out her morning by getting on an El train. Judging by the size of her stomach, it’s been a few months since “Getting to Know You.” A guy on the train recommends that she sit, then asks a 20-something guy to give up his seat. Carol says she’s fine standing, and the guy won’t give up his seat anyway. After she’s off the El, Carol almost walks in front of a couple of rollerbladers. One of them falls and gets a little scraped up.

Carol heads to a coffee shop, where the guy who wouldn’t give up his seat is first in line. (There are a lot of unnamed characters in this episode. We’ll call this guy Rudy, because he’s rude.) An older woman in front of Carol chats with her about her pregnancy, then asks to touch her stomach. Carol declines, tired of everyone wanting to touch her. The woman (we’ll call her Dorothy; she just looks like a Dorothy) is like, “Well, I asked nicely, didn’t I?” Yeah, step away, Ms. Entitled.

Instead of just making herself warm milk at home, Carol orders it at the counter. The kid behind her (Pip, because he’s a pipsqueak) says that’s nasty. He’s getting a vanilla latte. He’s, like, ten, by the way. They bicker a little. A girl’s balloon pops and Carol jumps. The girl, Michelle, demands another balloon, even though she had two. Carol is probably regretting getting pregnant at this point. One thing she won’t regret: leaving the coffee shop when she does, because seconds later, a pickup truck drives right through the front of it.

Carol hitches a ride to County in an ambulance transporting the rollerblader who fell. Rudy is also brought in, and when Benton doesn’t treat him quickly enough for his liking, he demands to speak to a manager. He recognizes Carol, whom Mark tells him is the manager. Heh. Blood loss finally makes Rudy shut up.

Weaver takes charge of the mass trauma as Randi asks when the new doctor, Kovac, is coming in. A guy with a migraine asks to be seen, but Weaver doesn’t consider him a priority. Once they’ve made sure Benton has a handle on Rudy, Carol and Mark go check on Michelle’s mother, Mrs. Kinney. She doesn’t know where Michelle is. Randi brings in a doctor named Charles Cameron who was supposed to have coffee with Elizabeth. He agrees to wait while Elizabeth works. She tells Mark she has an interview at another hospital. She’d like to save the cardiothoracic fellowship at County as a last resort.

Anspaugh has to leave Carter alone with a patient so he can take a phone call. Haleh and Chuny tell Carter that there’s a rumor that Anspaugh is quitting as chief of staff and going back to surgery. He’s tired of all the administrative stuff involved with the chief position. The guy with the migraine (Wade, after the actor playing him, because I can only be so creative today) yells for help again. I’d think that yelling would make his migraine worse, yes? Weaver asks Randi to kill him.

Carol asks if Michelle has come in. Lily says a couple more patients are on their way, even though Weaver declared County closed to more traumas. Randi tells her that Romano overruled her. Weaver tries to overoverrule him. Mark and Elizabeth work on Mrs. Kinney, who has injuries to her heart and lungs that can’t be fixed surgically. Elizabeth decides to put her on bypass. Romano stops by and recognizes Cameron, who doesn’t reveal while he’s in town.

Benton wants to take Rudy to surgery, but Romano tells him to make sure Rudy doesn’t have a clot first. Benton just loves being second-guessed in front of his colleagues. A very, very handsome man comes to the hospital and spots Michelle sitting in the back of an ambulance. He introduces himself as Luka. (Get it out of your system now: HE LIVES ON THE SECOND FLOOR. HE LIVES UPSTAIRS FROM YOU. YES, HE THINKS YOU’VE SEEN HIM BEFORE.) Michelle doesn’t want to get out, so Luka asks if he can sit with her.

Weaver helps Lucy treat a woman’s dislocated shoulder while agreeing to be her mentor. Wade continues yelling about needing help. If he’s that desperate and impatient, why doesn’t he go to another hospital? Lucy wants to focus on emergency medicine for her final year of med school, and she’d appreciate having someone to go to with questions. Weaver understands, since that helped her a lot when she was a student. Carter asks Weaver about the rumors about Anspaugh quitting as chief. Lucy has heard a worse rumor: Romano will be the new chief.

Weaver runs to Mark to ask for a chat when he has time. Right now, he and Elizabeth are starting Mrs. Kinney on bypass, which does what Elizabeth wanted it to. Mark tells Weaver that Anspaugh would have said something to him if he were leaving the chief position. Suddenly the fire alarm goes off. Everyone starts moving patients in case it’s not a drill or false alarm.

Rudy crashes, so Benton enlists Carter to help him as he does the procedure he was supposed to do in the OR. Mark and Weaver try to get everyone to evacuate calmly. Benton and Carter keep working on Rudy, more concerned with saving him than possibly getting burned up in a fire. It’s a good decision, since there’s no fire – Wade pulled the alarm to get some attention. I’m sure the sound really helps his migraine. Randi decks him.

As Chuny goes around telling everyone they don’t have to evacuate, Luka carries Michelle out of the ambulance. Carter and Benton start moving Rudy out of the ER to take him up to surgery. The gurney hits a cart, dislodging an oxygen tank, which starts spinning around. The oxygen acts like rocket fuel, sending the tank flying through the ER until it lodges in a door. Luka carries Michelle into the ER and asks if she’s ever been to the circus. When she says no, he replies, “You have now.”

Sometime later, the alarm has stopped blaring and Wade is finally being treated. Mark wants him charged with inciting a riot. Luka, who’s the new doctor Randi was asking about earlier, offers to tend to Michelle’s minor injuries. Weaver says the new pediatric resident, Cleo, will take care of her, but Cleo isn’t on yet. Luka reports that Michelle wants to see her mother. Mark says it’s not a good idea.

Weaver takes Lucy to tend to one last patient found in the rubble of the coffee shop. Cleo arrives, having jogged to work (it’s only four miles). Luka takes Michelle to see her mother, explaining how all the machines and tubes are helping her. His calm manner makes her calm as well. Carol assures her that Mrs. Kinney will be awake soon.

Benton and Romano operate on Rudy together, Romano commenting that Benton hasn’t yet said he was right about him needing surgery. Romano tries to find out if Cameron is there to interview Elizabeth for a job. “Do all our conversations have to revolve around Elizabeth?” Benton asks. Romano says that maybe they don’t need to have any further conversations at all.

The last trauma victim is too injured to save, so Mark pulls Weaver away to report what he’s heard about the rumors: Anspaugh is leaving as chief, and Romano may take over for him. Weaver knows he’s not right for the job. Luka stitches up Pip, who doesn’t get the concept of a moonlighting doctor. Luka manages to stay patient as Pip asks a bunch of questions. Finally, Pip gets that Luka is like a substitute teacher. He asks what kind of accent Luka has. “Thick,” Luka replies. (For the record, he’s Croatian.)

Paramedics bring in a baby named Carlos, whose mother was found unconscious. Jeanie takes care of the mother, who has AIDS, while Cleo tends to Carlos. He may have pneumonia. Jeanie asks if Cleo wants to test him for AIDS, but she can’t without the mother’s permission or a court order. Cleo can’t believe that a woman with AIDS would have a baby without any kind of support. Jeanie keeps quiet, then asks Haleh to add an HIV test to Carlos’ lab orders.

Carol checks in on Luka, recognizing Pip. Carol needs some stitches for a cut on her arm, so Luka does the honors. She comments that he took Michelle in to see her mother even though Mark and Weaver said he shouldn’t. Luka thinks they’re still trying to determine if he’s a good doctor. He’s worked at County a couple of times, but only enough for the others to start calling him by his first name. He hopes his suturing on Carol’s arm will make her happy enough to call him Luka.

He continues that he took Michelle to see her mother because he doesn’t believe children should be kept in the dark – it makes them more scared. Carol says he sounds like he has a lot of experience with that kind of thing. When her stitches are done, Weaver asks her to talk to the children of the last victim and let them see their mother’s body. Carol’s not familiar with the patient, and she realizes when they walk into the trauma room that it’s Dorothy.

Lydia and Connie ask Mark if he’s going to fight Romano’s possible promotion to chief of staff. He assures them that he and Weaver are meeting with Anspaugh to tell him what they think. Elizabeth is back from her interview with Cameron but doesn’t know how it went. Carol asks Mark how their relationship is going. He makes it sound like it’s casual, so Carol asks if she’ll have to beg for information. Mark says they’ve both backed off a little.

A woman named Elaine comes in with some pain after a fender-bender. Carter recognizes her as his cousin’s ex-wife. Chuny looks on as Carter examines her hand and they supposedly display sexual tension. Carter and Elaine reminisce about her wedding to his cousin, not mentioning that Carter was probably a preteen at the time. Also, she was married to his cousin. He’s hot for his cousin’s ex.

A social worker named Robert comes to see Carlos, who will need to go into foster care, since his mother may not make it. It’ll be hard to find him a foster family; he’s Latino and may have HIV, two strikes against him for couples who want healthy white babies. Those couples are really missing out because this baby is super-cute.

Benton rushes to a court-ordered mediation session with Carla, the result of a restraining order Benton got preventing Carla and Roger from taking Reese to Germany. His argument is that Reese’s language skills will fall behind if he’s not in the U.S. Carla says she’ll get him a tutor. She notes that Benton doesn’t have room for Reese, so Reese can’t stay with him. Benton says he’s moved in with Jackie to give Reese more of a family. Carla says he would have that with her and Roger, “his black mother and his black stepfather.” Benton thinks she’s mad because he dated Elizabeth.

Carter shows Elaine an x-ray of her hand, and she recites the following ridiculous dialogue: “Not much of a measure of a hand, is it? I mean, of what a hand can do?” Nothing’s broken, so she can leave. She complains that that means she can go to a Carter Family Foundation fundraiser (say that five times fast), since she has no excuse to skip it. Carter tells her he’ll be thinking of her…just in general. At the fundraiser. Not while he’s falling asleep or anything.

Weaver and Mark head to their meeting with Anspaugh, hoping that if enough people object to Romano being made chief, it won’t happen. A bunch of doctors are at the meeting, including Kayson and Deraad. Romano’s also present, which is ridiculous. No one has a good reason not to agree to make Romano chief, especially since no one else wants the job.

Mark is the first to cast a nay vote – Romano’s management style rubs people the wrong way, and his time as acting chief hasn’t gone well. Anspaugh turns to Weaver next, and she shocks Mark by saying that Romano has turned things around and has become a good leader. If he becomes chief, she’ll support him.

After the meeting, Mark confronts Weaver at the Roach Coach, but she defends her decision to back Romano for the job. Anspaugh was clearly going to give it to him, and it was politically smart for her to side with him. Romano will be their boss; he can’t see them both as enemies. Romano has apparently been nearby the whole time, unseen, and he’s happy to get to surprise them. He pulls Weaver away to discuss something.

Jeanie meets Reggie at Doc Magoo’s, and it’s clear from their conversation that they’ve stepped things up and are spending time at each other’s homes. Jeanie talks about Carlos and how sad it is that he’ll have to go into foster care. His HIV test came back positive, but Jeanie can’t disclose that since she wasn’t supposed to order the test. She’d love to take him in, but she doesn’t have a support system, so DCFS will never let her become a foster mother. Reggie says they can solve that problem by getting married. Jeanie thinks he’s joking around, but he’s completely serious.

The nurses applaud Mark in the ER, happy that he at least tried to oppose Romano’s promotion. Weaver asks to talk. Paramedics bring in a pregnant woman after a car accident, and Luka quickly determines that she’s dead, so they need to deliver the baby immediately. He has Carol reach right inside her and hold her stomach open while he extracts the baby. Carter tries to save the mother, but Luka was right, and they declare her dead. The baby, however, is fine.

Jeanie goes back to check on Carlos, who’s doing fine and is still very cute. Kit tells her that his mother has end-stage AIDS. Jeanie tells her to start Carlos on the regular HIV treatment, even though he hasn’t been tested (at least as far as Kit knows). Weaver tells Carter that not only has Romano been made chief of staff, but he’s appointed her chief of the ER. Carter’s happy to hear it. Then he’s not, because Weaver doesn’t think it would look right if he kept living in her house.

Luka returns an unused suture kit to a supply cabinet, not wanting to waste the supplies that would normally be thrown out. He checks to make sure Carol’s okay after what she had to see with the baby and dead mother. She says she feels lucky. She calls him Luka and says that, no matter what Mark and Weaver think, he’s a good doctor.

Carter meets Elaine outside the fundraiser she attended and asks her to get a drink. She’d rather do something else. No details; use your imagination. Lucy asks Weaver if there’s any extra reading she can recommend to her new mentee. Weaver doesn’t want it to look like she favors Lucy over other students, so that arrangement will have to be called off. She suggests that Lucy ask Mark to mentor her instead. Really, that’s a better idea anyway, since Mark is a good teacher.

Chuny tells Weaver that there’s a call for Mark, who’s already left for the night. It’s from David – Mark’s mother has died. Mark is taking his anger at Romano and Weaver out on some baseballs at a batting cage. Elizabeth tracks him down and praises him for trying to stall Romano’s promotion, even though it may hurt Mark’s career. Elizabeth gets in the cage and Mark cheers her on as she hits some balls. If they’d backed off each other before, they’re back on track now.

Thoughts: Elaine is played by Rebecca De Mornay.

Luka is the show’s way of apologizing for not being able to hold on to George Clooney. Show, you are forgiven.

“And then Carter hooks up with his cousin’s ex, who’s 12 years older!” is something that was actually spoken in the writers’ room.

I can’t believe Anspaugh let Romano sit in while everyone was discussing him. Of course they all supported him! They didn’t want to get on his bad side!

March 31, 2020

ER 5.22, Getting to Know You: Children, Lost and Found

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

This picture doesn’t show it really well, but the kid is super-cute

Summary: Jeanie’s walking to work when Reggie pulls up beside her in his patrol car. She’s been brushing him off for work (and because she’s been pretending she’s seeing someone else), but when he offers her a ride, she accepts. Benton and Reese have a session with the hospital audiologist, who says Reese is doing great. She wishes they had more time together. Benton tells her that his new trauma fellowship will give him more free time, so they can add more sessions. The audiologist mentions that Carla is also doing a weekly session, as is Roger, whom she calls Carla’s fiancé.

On her way to work, Weaver spots a toddler alone on the sidewalk. She asks a few people if he’s their son, but no one knows him. Back at County, Benton learns that Romano has set up the phones with codes people have to dial to get an outside line. He calls Carla to ask to talk about what he learned from the audiologist. Weaver brings in the toddler (we’ll call him Johnny Doe), who’s dehydrated and may have ingested opiates. Carol and Haleh can’t get a good vein to insert an IV, so they have to call Elizabeth for surgical access.

Lucy is late to meet Carter, Romano, and Mark in the ER for the presentation of a patient. Remember how Lucy’s on Ritalin? She clearly hasn’t taken it today. Romano is unimpressed with her patient history, which doesn’t reflect well on Carter. While Reggie talks with Weaver and Jeanie about Johnny, Elizabeth inserts an IV and discusses him with Carol. They wonder if he was abandoned or if he wandered off from drug-addicted parents who don’t even know he’s missing. Mark pops in and tells Elizabeth he brought his tux but left their tickets at home. She tells Carol they’re going to a fundraiser.

Carter chastises Lucy for being unprepared and tells her to pull herself together. She tells him she stopped taking her Ritalin. Antoine comes in after a fight, and his mother tries to assure Carter that he’s not associated with whichever gang beat him up. She’s grateful for the mentoring Carter has given her son. Antoine says he was mugged, and he thinks his facial injuries are a good excuse to skip an interview Carter set up for him for a summer science lab. His mother and Carter think he should go anyway.

Lydia chats with a patient named Celinda who makes a prediction that a man she saw in the hallway will be losing his gall bladder soon. Lydia says she’s right. Celinda’s exam bed is next to Johnny’s, and when Carol and Lydia promise that he won’t bother her, Celinda says she knows. Lydia explains to Carol that Celinda is “medically empathetic.” She’s able to determine what’s wrong with other people, though she can’t do so for herself (which is why she has to get a doctor to tell her if she has appendicitis).

Just by looking at Carol, Celinda can tell that she’s pregnant. Carol pretends she’s crazy and tells Lydia to get a psych consult. Weaver takes a picture of Johnny so they can get his image out to anyone who might recognize him. She says he was wandering around, lost, but Celinda says he looks found instead. Mark and Elizabeth are on their way to Doc Magoo’s when a car speeds toward them out of control. It’s being driven by a girl who’s sitting on her sick father’s lap.

Once he’s stabilized, Mark talks to the daughter, Sarah, since Lucy hasn’t gotten very far in getting information from her. Sarah explains that her father has epilepsy but hasn’t had a seizure in a couple of years. When he had one while driving, she took over so he wouldn’t crash. Mark pulls Lucy out of the room and asks her if she’s okay. She just says she didn’t sleep well. He notes that she’ll continue to lose sleep when she becomes a resident, so she needs to find a way to deal.

Reggie hasn’t had any luck finding Johnny’s family, and he has to leave to deal with a guy who’s standing on a van downtown, waving a gun around and threatening to kill himself. Chuny takes a message for Carol canceling an appointment with her doctor. Lydia recognizes the doctor’s name; she was Connie’s obstetrician. Chuny and Lydia realize that Carol must be pregnant. Jerry notes that the doctor is also a gynecologist, but the nurses ignore him and spread the gossip to Haleh and Yosh. They guess that if anyone would know for sure, it would be Mark.

Carol wonders how Johnny’s family could go so long not knowing where he is. Weaver reports that he tested positive for opiates. Celinda tells Carol that he’s okay, but there’s something inside him she can’t quite see. She’s still sure that Carol’s pregnant, which Carol finally confirms when they’re alone. Celinda can usually determine a baby’s sex before birth, but in Carol’s case, she can’t figure it out. After a long look, she seems to come up with some new information.

Benton meets with Carla, assuring her that he’s not upset that Roger has been taking Reese to audiology sessions. The more he works with people, the better. Carla reveals that she and Roger got married, and he’s being transferred to Germany. Benton objects to them taking Reese to another country. Carla tells him she’s Reese’s mother, and what she wants will happen.

Elizabeth wants to talk to Mark about their developing relationship. They duck into an exam room for privacy and catch Carol giving herself an ultrasound. The doctors take over for her and help her try to determine the baby’s sex. Both Mark and Elizabeth see what Celinda seemed to figure out earlier: Carol is having twins.

The nurses have spread the gossip about Carol’s pregnancy all over the ER, so everyone keeps smiling at her. Lily pulls Mark away from Jeanie and a still-struggling Lucy to tell him two people are coming in with gunshot wounds, a man who was waving around a gun and a police officer he shot. Jeanie worries that the officer is Reggie.

Weaver notices a scar on Johnny’s back, possibly from a surgical procedure. She examines him further and realizes he has a shunt, a tube draining excess fluid from his head. Celinda thinks that was the thing she kept feeling inside him. She appreciates having that mystery solved. Weaver thinks the shunt may be infected, though, so Johnny will need a spinal tap.

The shooter is brought in, but not the cop, so Jeanie continues worrying about Reggie. Jerry tells Lucy that she’s late for a session with Seth. Mark, Carter, Jeanie, and Lily work on the shooter, but his heart is too damaged for him to survive. Just as they’re calling his time of death, Reggie arrives, perfectly fine. He reports that the cop who was shot only got grazed and will be fine. Reggie’s still distraught, though – he’s the one who killed the shooter.

Seth’s mad at Lucy for forgetting about him and being late. Any progress she’s made with him has just met a setback. Carol sends Johnny’s information to all board-certified neurosurgeons in the area to see if they recognize him. She tells Elizabeth she’s in denial about her big news. Lily gives her a big smile, and Carol asks Mark about that movie where everyone turned into pod people.

Jeanie and Reggie go for a walk so he can talk about his feelings about the shooting. She admits that she’s not really seeing someone else. She tells him she has hepatitis C, but her medication is working. Reggie assures her that he could have handled that if they were dating. Jeanie says it took her a while, but she realized she’s not sick – she’s healed. What God throws at us doesn’t matter; it’s about how we handle it. Maybe the shooting today didn’t happen to Reggie, but for him.

Benton, Elizabeth, and Romano operate together, and Romano takes advantage of his captive audience to complain about Benton taking the trauma fellowship. Elizabeth says she’s accepted it and is moving on. Romano urges her to take the cardiothoracic fellowship Benton originally wanted. Antoine comes back to the hospital, this time with worse injuries. He went after the kid who mugged him earlier, and he’ll need surgery. He’ll also have to miss out on the lab he was going to interview for; his hands are both broken and he won’t be able to do the work. Carter’s mad that all his hard work has been for nothing.

Weaver asks Carol if she thinks Johnny’s parents abandoned him because he wasn’t born “normal” and needed a shunt. Obviously, having a disability and having been adopted, she’s thought a lot about that. Lucy laments blowing it with Seth, and Dr. Deraad tells her she can’t be late for their sessions again. Seth is already feeling abandoned as it is.

Elizabeth blasts Romano for mentioning the cardiothoracic fellowship in front of Benton. Romano, of course, doesn’t care about Benton’s feelings. Anspaugh is next to confront Romano, complaining about the new code system on the ER phones. Romano explains that he doesn’t want patients’ families using the phones to call other people. Plus, now they can track all calls and make sure employees can’t make personal calls. Anspaugh reminds him that a lot of the staff works long hours for little money. He can shove his phone system.

Yosh tells Lucy about Carol’s pregnancy and swears her to secrecy, as if anyone in the hospital doesn’t already know. Lucy promises to keep quiet, then takes some Ritalin. She runs into Carter (literally), who tells her he’s happy she stopped taking the pills. He wants her to succeed. Lucy thinks he just wants to be seen as a good teacher. Carter wants her to be a perfect reflection of him, and she can’t do that.

Elizabeth tells Benton that Romano was a jerk in the OR, but Benton doesn’t care. He’s more concerned with the possibility of Carla taking Reese out of the country. He vows to keep her from leaving. Jerry gives Carol a fax, and she tells him she knows he knows. She takes the fax to Weaver, along with Johnny’s real name, Jack. His neurosurgeon recognized him and called his parents, who are on their way in. They’re frantic – Jack was kidnapped by his nanny a few weeks ago. Weaver’s happy that Jack gets to go home, but maybe a little disappointed to lose her little buddy.

Benton goes to Carla’s and tells the babysitter that Carla will be home late, so he’s taking Reese to his place. Carter smooths things over with Antoine, saying he just wants the best for him. He thinks Antoine’s mom is better at appreciating who he is. Antoine complains that his mom wants him to grow up to be just like her. Carter says his parents are the same – they want him to be a rich white guy. Antoine’s like, “Oh, poor you.” Carter tells him he’ll get another chance to do something like the summer lab.

Mark and Elizabeth are on their way out for the fundraiser, but when they run into Carol leaving as well, they come up with excuses to keep them in the hospital a little longer. Then they run outside to join the rest of the staff, who’ve gathered to surprise Carol with an impromptu baby shower. She announces that she’s having twins, and was already feeling overwhelmed before that and wasn’t sure how to tell people she was pregnant. She’s happy to be able to share the news with her friends.

Carla leaves a message on Benton’s answering machine, looking for Reese, but Benton ignores her. Mark and Elizabeth missed the boat the fundraiser was taking place on, so they head to an amusement park instead. Elizabeth wants to make sure they’re not jumping into a relationship like she did with Benton. She’s not used to being caught off-balance like she has been by this. Mark tells her he doesn’t know where things are going, but he feels like he’s found something amazing. He wants to get to know her better and not be scared of what might happen. He doesn’t want to miss another boat.

Thoughts: Celinda is played by Teri Garr.

Weaver may be brusque with adults but she’s really good with kids.

Instead of a lost and found, the ER has a lost-and-now-it’s-ours box. Heh.

I’m a third of the way through the series! Up next: Luka, Abby, Carol’s departure, and the most shocking episode of the series that doesn’t involve a helicopter.

March 24, 2020

ER 5.21, Responsible Parties: We’re Supposed to Believe That Romano Was Looking Out for Benton Before This?

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

Thanks, Jerry

Summary: Mark and Elizabeth are starting out their day with some racquetball in the park. (I think it’s racquetball.) Mark gets to be one of the people who decides who gets the trauma fellowship today. He assures Elizabeth that she’s more than qualified. Carol’s pregnancy is progressing well, and she’s up to point where an ultrasound will tell her the sex of the baby, if she wants to know ahead of time. She’ll also need some tests to detect conditions like Down syndrome and spina bifida. Her doctor suggests that she ask Doug about any conditions that run in his family.

Carol finally sends Doug her fax announcing her pregnancy. She leaves him a message to keep an eye out for it and take some time to think things over before he responds. Romano had to cancel the meeting about the trauma fellowship, so Anspaugh has rescheduled it for 10:00 that night. Romano doesn’t want to wait around that late. Weaver tells him to give her his top three candidates and she’ll pass them along. He decides to attend the meeting after all. He also warns her not to “raid” his surgical staff.

Chuny wants to fix Carter up with a nurse friend of hers, but Carter isn’t interested. He says he doesn’t date nurses; he prefers to keep his love life out of the workplace. Yeah, he’s going to break that rule over the next couple of seasons. Lucy comes in looking tired, which she blames on recent night shifts. A sound-activated monkey on the admit desk starts dancing to the “Macarena.” Thanks for that purchase, Jerry.

Mark and Elizabeth wait for an ambulance together, talking about how they ran into Benton while they were in the park. (A deleted scene, maybe?) A black car with dark windows screeches up to deliver a woman who was shot. She’s accompanied by men who look like Secret Service agents. The woman, Amber, isn’t allowed to give Mark much information; the agents keep saying things are confidential. They even want to run a background check on Mark.

Carter tries to keep his patient calm as he examines the LIVE COCKROACH IN HER EAR. AHHHHHHH. She tells him she complained to her landlord about roaches three times. Carter suggests that she use earplugs until the landlord addresses the problem. I suggest she call the local news and publicly shame the guy until he does something. Carter pulls out the roach and squashes it on the floor, then leaves its gooey corpse for someone else to clean up. Typical rich dude.

Mark, Elizabeth, and the agents bring Amber into the ER, and Carter and Lucy discuss how her metal bra slowed down the bullet and probably saved her life. The agents pull their guns on a drunk who’s causing a commotion. Romano tells Benton that he’s going to fight for him to get the cardiothoracic fellowship. As he’s said before, he thinks Benton’s talents would be wasted in the ER. Benton won’t commit, only saying he’s interested in the cardiothoracic fellowship.

Mark, Elizabeth, and Haleh work on Amber, discovering that one of her breast implants was punctured. However, the implant may have also stopped the bullet from causing too much damage. Carol comes in to get something, and as she returns to the trauma room next door, a tech takes an x-ray of the patient, exposing Carol to radiation. Weaver says it’s not a big deal, and all of them have been exposed. Of course, she doesn’t know that Carol, being pregnant, has to take more precautions.

Mark wants to admit Amber, but the agents demand to move her to another, more secure facility. They also don’t want him to keep any documentation of her treatment. They tell him the “bureau” will be in touch about payment. Mark starts to move Amber out of the trauma room so they can accept another patient. He ignores the agents when they argue that this is a matter of national security.

The rest of the staff gears up for multiple traumas while discussing who Amber might be. Jerry guesses that she’s in witness protection. The others think she could be an undercover agent. Jerry’s next guess is that Amber’s a mobster’s girlfriend. Carter notes that Lucy looks like she’s feeling better. She says she got her second wind.

The patients coming in are teens who were in a car accident on their way to prom. One, Shannon, may have a spinal-cord injury. Another, Justin, was burned while trying to pull his friend, Travis, out of the burning car. Travis has massive burns but is more concerned about his girlfriend, Melissa, than about himself. A paramedic tells the medical team that they only found three people at the accident site.

A woman named Andrea is brought in via helicopter after a boating accident. She warns the medical staff that she has AIDS. She was also impaled by a fishing pole, which might be worse. Worse than a cockroach in the ear, though? Hard to say. Andrea’s young son, Bruce, is with her, so Carol takes him. Elizabeth tends to Shannon, who’s Travis’ sister. Things are very solemn in Travis’ trauma room, which means his chances aren’t good. Lucy has trouble staying in the room with him, and Mark tells her it’s okay if she needs to take a break.

An agent bugs Mark again about moving Amber somewhere else. Mark again refuses, not sure if Amber is stable. The agent says he’ll take responsibility for that. Reggie approaches Mark to ask for blood-alcohol levels on all the teens from the car accident. Justin was driving, but Mark thinks he must have been sober since he was able to pull Travis out of the car. Reggie notes that he also drove into a telephone pole. The kids attended a pre-prom party where parents served beer.

The drunk is still mumbling as Benton examines Andrea, who’s remarkably calm for someone with a fishing pole sticking out of her. She says she’s had lots of nausea from her medication, and her condition has been complicated by a virus called CMV. Carol gets spooked by the idea of contracting it and bolts from the room. Romano and Elizabeth take Shannon to surgery, telling Mark that they may be able to get her back to full function. Lucy tracks down one of the kids’ parents; the others are out of town.

Travis is declining, so Carter needs to make some incisions that will help his circulation. He asks Lucy to talk Travis through what’s happening. Melissa still hasn’t been found, and the doctors can’t give him any updates. Lucy distracts him by encouraging him to talk about the prom. An FBI agent named Hoffman comes in to ask Mark about Amber. Mark tells him that, as he told the other guys, she’s not ready to leave. “What other guys?” Hoffman asks. Amber and the agents have all disappeared from the hospital.

Hoffman can’t believe that Mark fell for the “agents'” stories. There’s no documentation or any clues for Hoffman to figure out where they were heading. He also won’t tell Mark any details about what’s going on. The Macarena monkey goes off again and Weaver tells Jerry to get rid of it. Melissa’s mother arrives and Weaver has to tell her that Melissa hasn’t been found yet. She calls over Reggie to give them information.

Weaver follows Carol to the lounge and tries to get her to open up about why her day is going so badly. She guesses that Carol is pregnant. Carol says she doesn’t normally mind taking on the risks of working in a hospital, but while pregnant, she needs to be more careful. Weaver tells her she can opt out of treating any patients who could pass along infections, or any cases that don’t make her feel comfortable. Carol seems surprised at her compassion.

Elizabeth and Romano operate on Shannon and discuss the trauma fellowship. Elizabeth notes that she doesn’t have a lot of other options. Romano offers to sneak in an application for the cardiothoracic fellowship. Elizabeth notes that Benton wants it, but Romano points out that he horned in on the trauma fellowship Elizabeth wanted, so she shouldn’t feel bad about taking another fellowship from him.

Mark examines Justin’s minor injuries and praises him for going back into the car to save Travis. Justin isn’t sure it’ll make a difference. His blood-alcohol level is .09, so he’s definitely in trouble. When his parents arrive, he tells them he lost control of the car while changing CDs. Travis needs to be intubated, which means he won’t be able to talk. His parents haven’t arrived yet and Shannon’s still in surgery, so Carter wants to wait as long as possible to do the intubation. Travis isn’t going to make it, and this will be the last time he can talk.

Andrea’s already out of surgery and should be fine. Carol tells her that they’ve made arrangements for someone to look after Bruce until she’s out of the hospital. Carol apologizes for leaving the room during the trauma, but Andrea figures she was worried about contracting AIDS and says she doesn’t need to explain. It’s time for her medication, so Carol offers to get it for her, but Andrea has decided to stop taking it. She can’t function on it. She knows the chances she’s taking and would rather be able to function and take care of Bruce while she can, instead of extending her life and being sick while he grows up.

Romano thinks Shannon only has a 50/50 chance at a full recovery. Anspaugh pulls Romano, Weaver, and Mark into a hallway to talk about the trauma fellowship. Weaver picks Benton for the job, while Mark picks Elizabeth. Romano doesn’t want either to have the job. Thanks to his abstention, Anspaugh gets the final decision. He picks Benton.

Lucy tells Travis that he needs to be intubated. She was able to get his parents on the phone on their way to the hospital, so he’ll be able to talk to them now. She doesn’t tell him that after that, he’ll go to the ICU and eventually die. Lucy holds the phone for Travis as he talks to his parents for the last time. She has trouble keeping her emotions under control.

Mark lets Elizabeth know that she didn’t get the trauma fellowship. She guesses it went to Benton instead. Mark says he was looking forward to working with her. Now she’ll have to hunt around for any surgeries she can get. She has three weeks left in her internship; then she’s free to practice medicine with more freedom. Mark tells her that he picked her for the job, despite his lack of objectivity. He decides they need to get milkshakes after work so she’ll feel better.

Chuny introduces Carter to her nurse friend, Gina, and after seeing her, Carter’s suddenly interested in being set up. Doug calls to talk to Carol, who goes to the lounge for privacy. Chuny tells Carter that he lost his chance for a date with Gina; Chuny set her up with an intern instead. If Carter behaves, Chuny will talk him up to her friend.

Randi tells Lucy that her prescription is ready in the pharmacy. Carter gets nosy about what it’s for and who prescribed it. He thinks pills had something to do with her change in energy levels this morning, so he deserves to know what’s going on. Lucy admits that she takes Ritalin. She’s been on it since high school and has never found a good time to stop. Carter thinks now is the perfect time. He argues that Ritalin is for hyperactive children, not 24-year-old med students. Oh, shut up, Carter. Lucy tells him to mind his own business.

Elizabeth runs into Benton in the surgeons’ lounge, where he’s practicing his sign language on a computer. She coolly but politely congratulates him for getting the trauma fellowship. Romano comes in and kicks her out so he can confront Benton for not taking the cardiothoracic fellowship. Benton is unapologetic, so Romano says he’s done looking out for Benton. As soon as Romano leaves the lounge, Elizabeth asks if he was serious when he offered her the cardiothoracic fellowship.

Mark gets a thank-you note and $2,000 for taking care of Amber. He asks Randi to call the FBI and have them come get the money. Travis and Shannon’s parents finally arrive, and Mark fills them in on their children’s conditions. When he says that Travis’ chances of survival are only 20%, the mother breaks down, banging on the admit desk. The Macarena monkey goes off, so Carter grabs it and dismantles it. Elizabeth checks on Shannon, who doesn’t appear to be recovering any function below her waist.

Mark heads into the lounge, but Lily tells him to keep his distance, since Carol’s in there crying after talking to Doug. Mark goes in anyway, and Carol tells him that Doug isn’t coming back to Chicago. (To be fair, she told him not to.) She insists that she doesn’t want him to come. She’s given a lot of thought to what she would say if he did show up, and she knows she wouldn’t let him charm his way back into her life. She wouldn’t want to know that he only came back because of the baby. Mark says he might feel the same way. Carol says she still expected him to come.

Mark really seems to think milkshakes fix everything, so he invites her to join him and Elizabeth. Carol worries that she’ll be crashing a date, but Mark promises it’s okay. Plus, he was the fifth wheel to her and Doug a bunch, so she owes him. Carol confirms that Mark will be paying, since she’s eating for two. (Spoiler: She’s wrong.)

Thoughts: Shannon is played by Maggie Lawson. Travis is played by Eric Christian Olsen.

Y’all want to pretend with me that that roach thing never happened? Cool, good plan.

An eight-year-old named Bruce. Doesn’t sound right, does it?

I’m not saying anyone should try it, but if you burst into an ER pretending you were with the FBI and your buddy needed treatment with no questions asked, do you think they would believe that the FBI would contact them later about payment?

Really looking forward to the day I can stop typing “cardiothoracic.”

I wonder what happened to Melissa.

February 25, 2020

ER 5.17, Sticks and Stones: Sweet-Faced, Do-Gooder Baby Doc Is Carter’s Wrestling Name

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

I think Weaver might have developed a little crush on Kornberg

Summary: Now that George Clooney has left the show to be a movie star Doug has run away to the West Coast, Carol is living alone. Sad music tells us how to feel when she wakes up alone in the middle of the night. Carter is having a much better night, loving his shift on a paramedic ride-along. He tells Doyle and Jerry that they’ve brought in a crazy woman. If a woman in a large birdcage, dressed as a bird and making bird noises is crazy, then he’s right. She pecks at Jerry’s hand and stares at him. Yosh, who appears to know a lot about birds, tells Jerry that his gaze is threatening her.

Carol mopes on her coach, watching a home-shopping channel. At County, Malik brings Weaver to a patient he thinks Jerry will want to meet. His name is Kornberg, and he injured his knee wrestling. Malik questions the reality of pro wrestling and calls Kornberg a fake. Kornberg picks him up and swings him around a few times before slamming him on a gurney. Weaver yells for security, concerned until Malik and Kornberg reveal that they were just playing around to mess with her. She’s not amused (I know, shocking).

Lucy’s patient of the week is Mrs. Fong, an elderly woman who had a seizure. She’s agitated, and her son explains to Lucy that she doesn’t remember him telling her he and his wife were leaving. Lucy asks the younger Fongs to stick around since Mrs. Fong only speaks Mandarin, and there’s no translator. The younger Mrs. Fong wants to give her mother-in-law some herbs for her upset stomach, but Lucy thinks they should wait until her tests come back.

Carter goes back out for his ride-along, taking some ER supplies with him while telling Weaver to her face that he’s not stealing. Weaver chastises Malik for making Kornberg do something physical while he has a knee injury. Malik says Kornberg is used to it. Jerry’s taking pictures with him now, so Weaver tells everyone to leave the patient alone.

She apologizes to Kornberg for all the attention and starts to treat his injury. Kornberg has had multiple injuries and says putting on a show every night is harder than dealing with the pain. Weaver notes that pro wrestling is a job for show-offs, but Kornberg doesn’t seem to like the fame. He says he just gives the fans what they want. She asks what he would rather be doing. Kornberg admits that he’d like to grow sugar beets on a farm in Montana. He knows it sounds crazy, but Weaver promises she’s not laughing at him.

Lucy shows Mrs. Fong’s scans to Doyle, who offers to give the family the diagnosis Lucy has made. The Fongs’ daughter, Emily, has joined them and is there to hear that her grandmother has cancer. Mr. Fong reveals that they’ve known about his mother’s cancer for a year. Emily didn’t know, since she was away at school. She’s upset about the secret, and even more upset when her parents say they won’t be telling Mrs. Fong about her illness. They think it’ll depress her and she’ll die faster. They forbid Lucy from saying anything.

Lucy goes outside for some fresh air and runs into Emily. She says her parents can get traditional, and there’s no reasoning with them. Lucy tells her that her grandmother probably only has a few months to live. Emily wishes she’d known earlier so she could spend more time with her. There are available treatments, but Lucy doesn’t see how they could treat Mrs. Fong without telling her what they’re treating her for. Emily disagrees with her parents’ decision and thinks her grandmother would want to fight the cancer if she knew about it.

A patient comes in with food poisoning and recognizes Kornberg. Jerry has offered to take Kornberg to radiology instead of calling for transport, so they can chat more. Weaver gets annoyed on Kornberg’s behalf about all the attention he’s getting, while Kornberg just takes it in stride. Lucy asks Mrs. Fong, with Emily translating, who she wants to make decisions about her health. Mrs. Fong wants her son to make decisions, and for communication to go through him. A year ago, he told her she had TB. Lucy murmurs that he must have thought that was a better diagnosis than cancer. Guess what English word Mrs. Fong happens to know? That’s right – cancer!

Carter and the EMTs he’s riding with come to the scene of a brawl between a landlord and some angry tenants. The landlord, Leonelli, has shut off the heat for people who haven’t paid their rent. The tenants have considered calling the police but don’t think that will lead to anything good. The brawl starts up again and people start throwing beer bottles. Poor Zadro takes some glass to the face. The EMTs load Leonelli into the ambulance, but one paramedic, Lars, stays outside to try to get the crowd to back off.

Mrs. Fong has another seizure, and Mr. Fong blames Lucy since she told her about her diagnosis. On the street, Zadro calls for police backup as the crowd starts rocking the ambulance. Zadro has some blood in his eye from his injury, and Lars is still stuck outside, so Carter’s left to drive. The crowd is heavy and right up next to the ambulance, making it hard to move anywhere. Carter starts it up anyway and heads down the street, accidentally driving over someone lying on the ground. Carter wants to stop and pick him up, but Zadro tells him to keep going, knowing the crowd will try to attack Leonelli again if they don’t get away.

It’s morning now, and Carol and Mark run into each other at the Roach Coach. She’s had a headache for a few days, and Mark wants her to have a neurological exam and head CT. Carol says they both know the headaches are from stress. She and Doug haven’t spoken in a while, which probably isn’t helping. Mark says it’s okay to miss him; he misses Doug, too. Carol claims she likes living alone.

Carter hands Leonelli off to Weaver in the ER, then calls to check on the ETA of the ambulance that picked up the guy he ran over. He lectures Leonelli a little about how he handles his tenants. Leonelli complains that they make a mess and don’t pay their rent. Carter says turning off their heat isn’t the solution. Weaver kicks Carter out of the trauma room and tells him to stay away from Leonelli.

Mrs. Fong may not wake up from her seizure, which could have been accompanied by a stroke. Mr. Fong asks Doyle for a more senior doctor; he’s not happy with his mother’s care. Doyle tells him that Lucy did everything right. Kornberg’s still in the ER, politely listening as the food-poisoned fan goes on about one of his old matches. Jerry brings in some boxes addressed to Doug, and Carol offers to put them away.

Weaver fills Mark in on Carter’s mishap as Carter gets ready to take care of the guy he ran over: “Ambulance vs. pedestrian, and we were the ambulance.” Maybe he should go to a different hospital? Though I guess if the same person who hurt the guy also saves him, that might stave off a lawsuit. Carol takes the boxes to the now-empty pediatric ER, a new location for her to mope in.

Carter’s victim is 17-year-old Avery, and his pelvis is crushed. Doris chastises Carter for driving the ambulance when he wasn’t supposed to. Lars explains that he was trapped outside, and Carter says Zadro couldn’t drive, so he had no other choice. Lydia asks why they didn’t wait for police backup. Carter could really do without the comments from the peanut gallery, thank you.

Jeanie’s back at work and reacting well to the medication she’s taking for the hepatitis. She’s going to take it easy and just do triage paperwork. Weaver tells her that Al called looking for her after Jeanie left him a message about her diagnosis. Jeanie doesn’t see any reason to talk to him, since they’ve already discussed everything in their lives to death. Getting hepatitis C from him is the last straw for her. Weaver invites her to get lunch together, but Jeanie says she has plans with a friend.

Carter helps stabilize Avery, who needs surgery. His father wants to talk to a doctor, and Carter volunteers, wanting to take full responsibility for what he did. Mark tells him to stick to a discussion of Avery’s medical condition. (In other words, “don’t say anything that could get us sued.”) Mark wants a report of everything that happened so he can defend Carter’s actions. Carter tells Avery’s father about his injuries and treatment, skipping over the details about how he wound up in this condition. Avery’s father is ready to find out more and make someone pay.

Jeanie works with Baker, who’s misplaced his prescription pad. Isn’t that like a cop misplacing his gun? Mark checks on Carol, who tells him to stop treating her like she has a brain tumor. (Viewers who know what’s in Mark’s future: *cringe*.) He recognizes Kornberg but can’t place him. Jerry tells him who he is, but Mark thinks he’s a former football player. Baker wants to go out with Jeanie, but she awkwardly tells him she’s seeing someone else. Be happy for her, Baker! He’s a great guy!

Weaver, Jerry, and Lydia get an alarm from a bathroom and realize the patient Weaver sent in there must be having a medical emergency. The door’s locked, but that’s no problem for Kornberg. He uses his head to make a hole in the door, then blacks out. As Jerry gets ready to end his shift, he brags to Randi about the cool stuff he experienced and shows off a picture he took with Kornberg.

Mobalage is brought in from the county jail, dehydrated from a hunger strike. Carol tells Randi to get Mark. Carter apologizes to Leonelli for taking out his anger on him. Leonelli says he’s been through worse and will never let “some sweet-faced, do-gooder baby doc” get under his skin. Now he has a scar to show off to the judge when he takes his tenants to court. So I guess someone didn’t learn his lesson. In better news, Avery’s going to be okay.

Weaver chats with Kornberg as she treats his new injuries. He tells her that feats of strength like his recent stunt are expected when you’re as big as he is. He likes to keep people happy, even when it means meeting everyone’s expectations and giving up what he wants to do. He’s always helping people move and agreeing to play Santa. Carol takes Mark to Mobalage, who hasn’t spoken since he was arrested for stabbing Kobe. When Mark talks to him, he comes across as catatonic. Mark tells him that Kobe’s in a coma, but there’s a good chance that she’ll wake up. He thinks Mobalage’s response to her news about being raped was out of his control.

Emily tells Lucy that Mrs. Fong is awake but confused. Mr. Fong wants another doctor, but Lucy stands up for herself. It helps that Lucy is now willing to go along with the family’s plan not to tell Mrs. Fong that she has cancer. This means lying that she has epilepsy, which I can’t imagine is ethical. Reggie comes by and says hi to Jeanie as she takes a phone call from a pharmacy. A prescription she wrote (since Baker couldn’t find his pad) was supposed to be for four tablets of Vicodin, but the pharmacy’s version says it’s for 40.

Elizabeth tells Mark that Kobe is close to coming out of her coma. The two of them talk to Carol about her headaches, brainstorming what could be causing them – maybe carbon-monoxide poisoning? Carol rolls her eyes and walks away. Weaver catches an older man talking to Kornberg and asks him to leave the wrestler alone. The older man is also Kornberg – he’s the wrestler’s father. He’s grateful for Weaver’s treatment and proud of his son’s heroics. But he also wants to turn them into a publicity opportunity and have Kornberg visit the children’s ward. Weaver tries to put a stop to that.

Mark, Elizabeth, and Carol tend to a 12-year-old girl who fell off a balcony. Mark has trouble intubating her because there’s too much blood to see what he’s doing. Carol remembers all the pediatric supplies that just arrived and gets a kit that will do the trick. She notes that Doug saved another kid. Mark thinks Carol should take the credit.

Jeanie asks Reggie to arrest her patient, Debbie, for forging a prescription by changing 4 to 40. Reggie tells her she’ll have to spend a lot of time on the case, which will just get thrown out because it’s probably Debbie’s first offense. Jeanie still wants the arrest. Reggie suggests that she write a new prescription for five pills; Debbie won’t be able to change it to 50. Then Jeanie can go to dinner with him. She says she can’t – she’s seeing someone else. JEANIE, NO!

Zadro calls in to say that he’s bringing in a gunshot victim: Lars. Kobe is now awake and wants to know where Mobalage is. Mark says that he doesn’t think Mobalage meant to hurt her; he had a PTSD episode. Kobe reveals that Mobalage didn’t stab her – she stabbed herself. Lars is rushed into the ER, and Benton and Mark take over his treatment. Zadro tells them that the shooters were waiting for them when they got to the neighborhood. Carter guesses that, since Lars was driving the ambulance, the shooters thought he was Carter. They were gunning for him.

Kornberg thanks Weaver for her kindness, even though she wasn’t able to get him out of the visit to the children’s ward. It wasn’t all bad, though – he got to make some kids happy, he made his father proud, and a boy gave him a balloon. Lars is taken to surgery, and Carter promises Zadro that he’ll be in the OR the whole time. Benton thinks that’s a bad idea, so Anspaugh tells Carter to observe from the gallery.

Mark tells Mobalage that Kobe woke up and explained what really happened. Mobalage had a PTSD episode when the paramedics and police showed up the night of the stabbing, so he ran away. He didn’t tell them what really happened because he blamed himself for Kobe’s rape. He left her alone, and the men came after her because of him. Because Mobalage didn’t know how to respond when Kobe told him about her rape, she must have felt alone again, which made her want to die. Mark tells him that Kobe needs him now.

Benton and Anspaugh operate on Lars while Carter watches impatiently and tries to offer help. Benton’s like, “I just spent two weeks in a hot, racist, backwoods town, and you are being more annoying than anything I experienced there.” Kobe gives her statement to the police, so the DA drops the charges against Mobalage. Unfortunately, he came into the U.S. on a forged visa, so he’s going to be deported to Nigeria.

Carter reads Lars’ scans and relays the information to Anspaugh and Benton. Neurology arrives, having been summoned by Carter, but they’re not needed yet. Carter watches helplessly as Lars’ heart starts to give out. Jeanie tells Weaver that Al doesn’t have hepatitis C, so she must have contracted it from a patient. While she was worrying about giving HIV to a patient, she didn’t think about a patient making her sick instead. Weaver invites her to get coffee and chat, but Jeanie still wants to be alone. Maybe Carol and Jeanie should form a support group.

Speaking of Carol, Elizabeth finds her still putting away boxes in the pediatric ER. Mark finally convinced her to have some bloodwork done, and her carbon-monoxide levels are fine. But Carol has put her headaches together with a late period and come up with a diagnosis herself: She’s pregnant. Benton and Anspaugh are unable to save Lars, and Carter spends a few moments with the body of the man who was most likely killed in his place. Zadro is waiting in the hallway, and Carter goes to give him the news about his partner.

Thoughts: It’s clearer than ever in this episode that Weaver is a very good person to have in your corner.

Kornberg, I would absolutely move to Montana and grow sugar beets with you. You seem awesome. I wouldn’t have to actually eat the beets, though, right?

40 Vicodin? Nice try, Debbie. Should have gone with 14. Uh, not that I’m advocating this.

January 21, 2020

ER 5.12, Double Blind: Why Do People Keep Expecting Doug to Follow the Rules?

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 5:05 pm by Jenn

I guess we should be glad Carol didn’t keep the pot for herself

Summary: Lucy’s done with her ER rotation, so Carter and Weaver are hosting a dinner at their place to celebrate. Carter’s used to just going out for pizza with his resident, but in Weaver’s day, residents cooked for their students. She’s invited Benton over as well, since he was Carter’s resident and will now be Lucy’s. Carter says he’ll miss having her around. Whatever they’re cooking, it requires a lot of prep and Weaver is very particular about all of it.

Doug has been conducting a study on a new pain medication for kids, and things are going well. The father of one of the patients is sure that his son is one of the kids in the test group, not the group getting the placebo. Doug says it’s a double-blind study, so he doesn’t know which group is getting what.

Jerry is entertaining the ER with music, and I’m sure people who’ve come there for medical treatment just love hearing Metallica blasting through the speakers. Lynette recognizes it as Metallica because she’s banned it in her house. She’s come in on her day off to run a seminar on STDs and cervical cancer. She managed to get some grant money to fund it.

Mark and Anspaugh meet up on their way to work and talk about the NASA stuff. This is a waste of everyone’s time; Mark’s not going to space. Anspaugh offers him something nice to make him stay, such as advancement in the process to get tenure. He’d be eligible as early as 2002, in three years.

Lucy starts off her surgical rotation working with Elizabeth, who quickly takes a liking to her. Romano says he arranged for them to work together because he wanted Elizabeth to have a competent student. Lucy notices him glancing down her shirt. He invites Elizabeth to do a big operation with him and tells her he’s getting the ball rolling on having her fellowship reinstated so she doesn’t have to be an intern anymore. After Romano leaves, Lucy asks Elizabeth if he checks out everyone’s chests. “Only the females, as far as I know,” Elizabeth replies.

Carol complains to Doug about Lynette’s seminar and grant money; he agrees that she has the right to know what her clinic employee is doing. Everyone complains about Jerry’s music choices, but since Amanda signed off on him being the hospital’s DJ, he thinks he’s allowed to keep it up. Doug asks if a siren he hears is in the music or from an ambulance outside. Jerry says it’s in the music. He’s wrong.

Paramedics bring in a woman who was found unconscious after a kitchen fire. Doris the paramedic wants a firefighter named Fred to be examined after his exposure to smoke from the fire. She complains to Mark that the new policy of having paramedics ride with firefighters is awful – the firefighters resent it and won’t listen to the EMTs. Mark says she did the right thing by making Fred come in.

Carol tends to a man named Mr. Ackerman whose home health aide found him unconscious. He has end-stage cancer and has been using pot for the nausea. He notes that ten years ago, he kicked his son out for smoking pot at home. Now, his son gets pot for him. Carol pretends she didn’t see it so she won’t have to decide whether to throw it out.

Mark treats the woman from the fire, making everyone shut up about her weight. He tells Carter that he’s going to be teaching a class to med students to help them practice taking histories and making diagnoses. Carter hated the class when he took it, since everyone knew the whole process was fake, but Mark doesn’t care. Carter asks if Lucy gave him a good evaluation after her rotation. Mark says it was fair.

Lucy, Benton, and Elizabeth discuss a patient who may need surgery but might not be a good candidate for it. Elizabeth notes that he claims he’s 140 years old. The patient, Charley, is well enough to walk around a little, and he doesn’t want to be stuck in the hospital since he spends most of his time helping other people in his neighborhood. He says Benton has the same responsibility to pass on his knowledge to Lucy.

Benton tells him there’s a surgical option to help him, but it’s not recommended for someone his age. Charley says he can’t be killed; he has a conjure on him. He’s not surprised that Benton doesn’t know what that means, since Benton is a man of science. Lucy tries to be quiet as she tells Benton that she’ll call for a psych consult. Charley hears her anyway.

Weaver asks Elizabeth if she can confirm any instances where Romano sexually harassed a co-worker. Oh, I can! It’s called every episode he’s been in. Elizabeth says it’s very American-like to take a personal issue and blow it up into something worth suing over. People have to have a thick skin to work around Romano, so whoever’s accusing him of harassment (Weaver can’t divulge her name) may be too sensitive for her job. As they talk, Elizabeth realizes that her experiences with Romano – rejecting his advances, then having her fellowship revoked – fall under the category of harassment. She doesn’t mention this to Weaver.

Joi brings in Ricky, who’s having bowel issues, possibly as a side effect of the morphine he’s on. His ALD is progressing to the point where he’s no longer talking. Joi breaks down but isn’t sure why this, of all the things Ricky’s been through, is what’s setting her off. Outside, a woman brings in her unconscious husband, having sent the paramedics away when they came to check him out earlier. He hit his head and was okay afterward, so the EMTs left him to go take care of the kitchen fire. Mark’s not happy about that.

Carol chats with Joi, who’s appreciative of the respite care Carol arranged for her. She shares that her daughter had bloodwork done that shows she’s not a carrier for ALD, so she won’t have to worry about passing it on to her kids. Doug wants to keep Ricky in the hospital until his fever comes down. Joi guesses that they’ll have to reduce his morphine so he doesn’t get sick again. Doug tells her they may have another option for pain relief.

Mark treats the unconscious man, Mr. Haggerty, whose condition may be serious. Elizabeth goes to scrub in on Romano’s procedure, listening in as he complains to Anspaugh about a screw-up Doyle made letting a patient eat before surgery. Anspaugh says Doyle is well-regarded, and Elizabeth says she’s always found Doyle capable. Romano remarks that he’s heard she makes women uncomfortable. Well, you would know about making women uncomfortable.

Mark drags someone to the ER from neurosurgery, trying to convince him that Mr. Haggerty needs immediate help. No one’s available, so Mark decides to drill burr holes in Mr. Haggerty’s skull in the ER. It might just be a bluff to get someone from surgery down there faster, but Mark follows through and successfully clears a clot from Mr. Haggerty’s brain. Malik leads a slow clap when he’s done. Eyeroll.

Doug asks Mark how he should account for a broken vial of the pain medication from his study. Mark says he should just make a note; there are more samples than patients in the study, so they don’t need to worry about running out. He tells Mrs. Haggerty that her husband’s okay, then starts to look into which EMTs ditched the Haggertys for the fire. Jerry tells him it was Doris and her group. Mark threatens to fire him if he puts the music back on.

Jeanie tends to a girl named Donna who lost the tip of her finger and is waiting for a plastic surgeon to reattach it. Doug comes in to get a vial of medicine from the study, saying it broke. Carol checks on Mr. Ackerman, who isn’t getting any relief from the medication he was given for nausea. He’d much rather go outside and smoke pot. Carol can’t take him, but when his son arrives, she’ll let him take Mr. A outside.

Blah blah, NASA, blah. Mark goes to some seminar about it, but Doris pulls him out to apologize for not doing a better job with Mr. Haggertys. The incident is going to be the subject of a formal investigation. Mark says that since it was a medical issue, it should be under his jurisdiction, not the fire captain’s. Doris admits that the firefighters may have influenced her decision to leave, since they were eager to get to the fire. Mark promises to do his best to keep an investigation from hurting her career.

Charley wants to challenge Benton to an arm-wrestling match to show he’s strong enough for surgery. Psych has determined that he’s competent to make medical decisions, so he wants the surgery. Benton notes that Charley didn’t tell the psychiatrist that he fought at Appomattox. He was cleared for surgery both physically and psychologically, but Benton still doesn’t think it’s a good idea. Charley thinks arm-wrestling will settle that. He wants Benton to show him the respect he deserves. Laughing, Benton gives in, and though he wins the match, he approves Charley’s surgery.

Mark advocates for Doris, arguing that she should be counseled instead of punished. A lab tech named Heather comes to the ER to deliver some test results to Doug. He had the pain medication from his study tested to see if it contains codeine. Heather is two seconds from flirting with him, but Carol pulls him away to talk about Ricky. He assures her that he wasn’t flirting with Heather. I don’t think she’d even suspected he was.

Weaver tells Carol that Lynette ran the idea of her seminar by Weaver last week. Carol drops in on the seminar, which is more just a bunch of women sitting around and talking about their sexual partners and risk factors. The plastic surgeon, Dr. Baker, comes to see Donna and determines that her fingertip can’t be reattached. His bedside manner is…let’s say Benton-esque.

Jerry puts the music back on, thinking Mark just wanted him to end the loud stuff. Mark asks why he chose to play “A Space Oddity.” Jerry says he listened to the album a lot as a kid and thought that going to space would be the ultimate freedom. Someone from the waiting area comes to the desk to ask if they can put David Bowie back on. Mark decides to give up on the fight.

Doug gives the pain medication to Joi, saying it’s from a study Ricky isn’t a candidate for, so she doesn’t need to fill out the paperwork. Jeanie chastises Baker for not being kinder to Donna; he acted like she was an inconvenience to his day. Baker tells her he’ll explain the procedure he’ll be performing on her finger to her and her father.

Lucy scrubs in with Benton, who would prefer for her to be ready for surgery instead of talking about Charley’s stories. Just moments after they get into the OR, Charley has a heart attack. The doctors get him stabilized, but he won’t be having surgery today. Mark tells Doug that he’s not going to pursue the NASA stuff. He’s decided that he doesn’t want to leave County. Cool, so we can drop this now.

Carol is annoyed that Lynette excluded her from her seminar. All the women who attended were black, so really, Carol thinks Lynette excluded a lot of people. Lynette notes that black women are at high risk for cervical cancer. Plus, she wanted the attendees to feel comfortable opening up, and she thought they would be more at ease with other black women. Carol says they’ll have to hold more seminars for other populations, as if that’s a bad thing. Lynette notes that she did this on her own time. Carol tells her to be more inclusive if she wants to keep her job at the clinic.

Baker is much more friendly to Donna as he stitches up her wound. She plays guitar, and he assures her that after she gets fitted for a prosthetic and gets used to it, she’ll be able to play again. Jeanie says she won’t be able to play computer games, though. Then she says that Donna’s father paid her to say that. Baker accidentally calls Jeanie “Jenny” and apologizes.

Mark was able to get Doris out of any investigation as long as she goes to counseling. She’s grateful enough to offer up her firstborn. Doyle tells Carol that Mr. A has to stay the night, since his son can’t pick him up until tomorrow. Joi has a question for Doug, who’s in a meeting, so Mark offers to try to help. And that’s how he learns that Doug stole medication from the study to give to Ricky. Carol goes to Mr. A’s room, closes the blinds, opens the window, and lights up his pot. He’s unable to inhale it himself, so she does it for him, exhaling the smoke into his mouth. You know, like any nurse would.

Later, Carol finds Mark checking out the cabinet that holds the medication for Doug’s study. He tells her that he thinks Doug gave Ricky medication from the study. Carol tells Mark to talk to him before he jumps to any conclusions. Baker thanks Jeanie for her assistance and for reminding him to show a little more compassion with younger patients. He’d like to repay her with a date to an art exhibit. It turns out that Jenny was his wife and medical partner, who died a few years ago.

As Elizabeth examines one of Doyle’s patients, Doyle says that she’s had some issues with Romano. She apologizes for not talking to Elizabeth before getting her involved in the investigation. Elizabeth says she can’t offer any help. Doyle says he threatened to torch her in an evaluation. She thinks he thought he could get away with harassing Doyle because she’s a lesbian. Elizabeth doesn’t want her to take the investigation too far, since Romano’s a “star.” Doyle says she just has self-respect. Elizabeth changes her mind about everything and tells Weaver she wants to talk about Romano.

Reggie comes to the ER in hopes of taking her out for the second night in a row. Jeanie says she already has plans to go to an art exhibit. Look at Jeanie, playing the field after thinking no one would want to date her! Mark takes his theory to Weaver, and the two furiously discuss how Doug may have put them at risk for losing research money and Medicare payments. Mark’s especially mad because he’s the one who got Doug attached to the study. Weaver thinks they need to handle things themselves – in other words, cover this up.

Charley may not recover from his heart attack, and in fact might not ever wake up. Lucy’s shaken up. The old Benton would have told her to suck it up because they can’t save everyone. The new Benton has compassion and treats her gently. At home, Doug tells Carol what he did and how Mark and Weaver are going to handle it. Carol sees their view of things and can’t bring herself to tell Doug he did the right thing. Poor baby Doug goes upstairs to mope alone.

Thoughts: Baker is played by Carl Lumbly.

If this show took place today, Romano would have been fired after, like, three episodes. Unfortunately, we still have many more seasons ahead with his obnoxiousness.

Why the ridiculous NASA stuff? There were other ways to make Mark realize he likes his job. It was so random.

Benton’s in a good mood in this episode and it scares me.

January 14, 2020

ER 5.11, Nobody Doesn’t Like Amanda Lee: Forget NASA and Medicine – Mark Should Be a Detective

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

How can you not love this?

Summary: In case anyone was wondering, Carter and Roxanne are still together. She wants him to meet her friends, but he doesn’t want to feel like he’s on display. Plus, he wanted to help Lucy prepare to present grand rounds for the first time the next morning. Roxanne notices something on his arm and asks what it is.

Chicago has just had a big snowstorm, so Mark is digging out the ambulance bay. Amanda starts a snowball fight with him, and they end up on the ground together. In a romantic movie, this would be when they kiss. Instead, Amanda has to go in because her pager is buzzing. In the cafeteria, Carol and Doug discuss their potential plans with Mark and Amanda that night (Mark might cancel to be with Amanda alone). Carol hopes they’re moving toward a relationship. A woman named Joi Abbott passes out and Doug and Carol rush to help her.

In the ER, Doug meets Tony, a transport dispatcher who’s been assigned to work at the front desk while Jerry and Randi are both out sick. He gives Mark a message from someone at NASA. Just ignore the NASA stuff in this episode; it never goes anywhere. Lydia thinks the person who called was just Jerry playing a prank. Jeanie meets her future husband when Reggie brings in a kid who got hurt while bumper-skiing on Reggie’s patrol car. He asks Jeanie to look at a splinter he got in his hand. Jeanie says she’s working in pediatrics today, so Reggie says he’s a kid at heart.

Amanda and Carol tend to Joi, determining that she’s malnourished. Her son is having an MRI upstairs, and all she’s focused on is getting back to him. Her son, Ricky, has ALD, the degenerative condition featured in Lorenzo’s Oil. Unfortunately, Ricky’s ALD has progressed too far for the oil to be helpful. Joi leaves without being treated, saying she might come back to the ER after Ricky’s MRI is done.

Amanda tells Carol that she’s looking forward to their double date that night, then asks if Mark and Carol have ever hooked up. She’s just curious as to whether Mark pursues a lot of co-workers; he’s been aggressive with her. That sounds odd to Carol. Amanda continues that he’s pretty “inventive,” which makes her think he’s been with a lot of women. Carol clarifies that they’re talking about the same Mark. Amanda alludes to a romantic encounter on a fire escape.

Carter shows Lucy what Roxanne noticed on his arm, the aftermath of a test for TB, which came up positive. He thinks it’s from his encounter with Mrs. Price. A positive test just means he was exposed, not that he necessarily has it, but he’ll still have to take medication for a few months. Carter’s unconcerned and says he knew what he was getting into when he became a doctor. He tells Lucy he has to cancel their plans to prepare for her grand rounds together.

Elizabeth wrote a research paper and isn’t sure it’s good enough to get published. Benton has read it and warns that it’s controversial, which isn’t something she needs right now. Chuny sends Benton in to treat a patient whose grandmother requested him personally. The grandmother is Lisa Parks, and she thinks her granddaughter, Gwen, has appendicitis. Gwen, who’s hearing but speaks sign language, translates Benton’s diagnosis of the flu. Lisa is sure it’s more serious than that and insists on an ultrasound.

Jeanie takes care of Reggie’s hand as he flirts with her, then asks her out. She turns him down, noting that she doesn’t know him. He replies that she’ll get to know him if they go out. Reggie knows she’s HIV-positive and is “cool” with it. “Lucky me,” Jeanie quips. He promises that he’s not just talking about sex. Jeanie still doesn’t want to go out with him.

Carter tells Weaver that her mother called their shared home. Weaver is surprised by this and asks if she was requested by name. The ER gets a dispatch warning of a plane crash, and the whole staff quickly but calmly gets ready for a mass casualty. Anspaugh confirms Elizabeth’s fears by telling her that her paper isn’t ready for publication. He promises it’s not because it mentions her big mistake and makes the hospital look bad – it’s because it makes her personally look bad. He thinks she needs to figure out why she wants to make her errors public.

Dale comes to the ER to help get ready for the mass casualty and introduces himself to Lucy. She learns from him that Carter was once a surgical intern. Dale invites Lucy to go to a riverboat casino with him that night. Carter reminds her that she has to prepare for grand rounds, effectively shutting down a potential Dale/Lucy love match before it can get anywhere. Lucy, you’ll thank him for that later. Dale offers to help Lucy prep for rounds, but Carter pulls her away.

Amanda tells Doug that someone named Richmond in Portland called looking for someone to help set up pediatric ERs on the West Coast. She gave Doug a good recommendation, though he doesn’t plan to go anywhere. Carol and Mark talk about the NASA thing; he applied years ago, then tried to defer. No one cares. He tells Carol that, despite what Amanda told her earlier, she’s playing hard to get with him.

Amanda hands out assignments as everyone continues getting ready for the mass casualty. It all ends up being moot, since another dispatch comes in telling them to stop prepping. The crash had no survivors. Things get quiet, so Weaver has time to check with Tony about any messages she’s gotten (just one from her dentist), and Mark has time to receive an overnight delivery from NASA.

Paramedics bring in a woman named Edie who might have a head injury after being hit by a collapsing chimney. Yes, you read that right. A psychologist named Blum is right behind her, hurt in the same freak accident. Edie is hugely panicked, and Blum tells Mark and Weaver that she has agoraphobia. He had just gotten her to leave her house for the first time in five years. Then, bam – chimney. It’s like a verse out of an Alanis Morissette song. Mark tries to calm Edie, sending Haleh to find a Yanni tape so she can listen to relaxing music.

Gwen’s mother arrives and signs with Lisa while Benton tries to figure out what they’re talking about. Gwen explains that Lisa has told her daughter about Benton and Reese. Benton confirms that Gwen does have appendicitis, then lets her grandmother give her the news that she needs surgery. Gwen’s mother asks for an interpreter; Lisa isn’t a surgeon, and Gwen’s mother has questions that Lisa can’t answer. Benton agrees that the hospital should provide someone to communicate with them.

The CT scanner is down, so Edie will have to wait for a scan. Mark doesn’t want to have to sedate her, so Amanda steps in, makes the room a little more pleasant, and gets Edie to imagine herself somewhere more comfortable. Edie easily calms down, and Mark is now even more smitten with Amanda.

Reggie apologizes to Jeanie, telling her he’s trying to come up with something he can tell her that will make things less awkward. He knows there’s nothing going on in his life that compares to her having HIV. Jeanie tells him she’s doing great. Mark compliments Amanda’s calming technique, and she tells him she studied phobias and even published an article about them in Cornell’s medical journal. He asks to read it, but Amanda says it’s boring and poorly written.

Carol tells Doug that Joi has anemia. Carol looked into the Abbott family – Ricky’s older brother died of ALD, and Ricky, who’s eight, probably won’t live to be much older than ten. (Medical info from Doug: ALD is inherited from one’s mother and only affects boys.) Benton goes to the hospital daycare to deal with some behaviors Reese has been showing. He bit a kid today, and yesterday he threw a fit during music time. The teacher’s trying to spend extra time with him, but there are too many kids to look after. She suggests that Benton find a more specialized caregiver.

Elizabeth comes to the ER to help Weaver with a pregnant patient named Robin, who was in a car accident. Weaver sends Elizabeth to the next trauma room to tend to another accident victim, Aaron. Mark asks Tony to help him “navigate the Internet” (aww, 1999) so he can find Amanda’s journal article. Tony teaches him about backslashes, then looks up the article, which is attributed to an A.W. Lee. Mark asks Tony to get the medical library to send him other articles by the same author.

While Elizabeth and Lucy struggle to save Aaron, Weaver tends to Robin, whose water broke but who isn’t injured from the car crash. Carol finds Joi reading a book to Ricky in a waiting area and lets her know she’s anemic. She gives Joi some iron pills and asks her to come back in a few weeks for a blood test. Joi doesn’t have help with Ricky, so that might be difficult. Carol offers to arrange for respite care, but Joi says her son is her responsibility. Carol tells her she needs to take care of herself, too.

Mark tells Amanda he found her journal article, but the author photo published with it is of someone else. She says they went to Cornell together and people mixed them up all the time. The journal printed a correction in the next issue. Mark thinks they should call up the journal’s editor and make sure Amanda gets credit for her work.

Reggie tells Weaver that witnesses said Mike was driving erratically, so he’s wondering if anyone tested him for alcohol. They didn’t, and Weaver doesn’t think it’s necessary. Reggie says it’s standard procedure, so Weaver promises to do it. Carter and Lucy treat a man named Wong who moves while Lucy’s trying to take his blood, causing her to accidentally inject herself.

Doug, Mark, Carol, blah, blah, NASA. No one is going to space. Tony tells Mark that all the articles by A.W. Lee were checked out of the library. Hmm, suspicious. Mark then asks Anspaugh if he knows anyone at Cornell, or if he talked to anyone there about Amanda. Anspaugh says it wasn’t necessary, since her letters of recommendation were all so complimentary. Yeah, it’s not like those could be faked for anything. Although I guess reference-check phone calls could be, too. Anyway, Anspaugh has a friend who worked with Amanda and said she was an excellent resident.

Carter apologizes to Lucy for not warning Wong about a needle stick. Lucy reminds him that risk comes with the job, like his exposure to TB. They’ll test Wong for HIV, and if he’s positive, Lucy will have to take preventive medication. Carter is reassuring with her, trying to downplay the possible seriousness of the situation.

The interpreter doesn’t arrive before Gwen has to go to surgery, but Lisa is okay with Benton proceeding. She also asks to watch the operation. Mark and Tony clear an unstressful, non-emergency-passing path to the elevator so they can transport Edie for her CT. A trauma comes in and ruins this, so they take her back to her room.

Aaron’s parents arrive, and Jeanie’s present when Reggie gently tells them that their son died. Carol finds Amanda cutting some articles out of a bunch of medical journals she claims were extras. She says she has a migraine and will have to skip the double date that night. Mike’s blood-alcohol level is .086, just over the legal limit for driving. Mark and Tony’s second try getting Edie to the elevator is also a failure, as when the doors open, the elevator is stuck between floors. Edie has her eyes closed and doesn’t see, but it still makes her panic again.

Benton operates on Gwen as Anspaugh expresses amazement over Lisa’s ability to get through medical school and residency without being able to hear. For example, they’re all wearing masks; how can she read lips? Benton gives Anspaugh a look that says he’s being impolite, and Anspaugh notes that she can’t hear them or read their lips. Benton says it’s rude to talk about her while she’s in the room. To his credit, Anspaugh agrees and sincerely apologizes.

With Edie safely in the CT scanner, Tony returns to the desk and gets a message for Mark from Cornell. Amanda says she’s heading in his direction and will deliver it. Instead, she throws it away. Weaver tries to appeal to Reggie on Mike’s behalf, saying he only had a couple of beers and rushed home because his wife was in labor. Reggie notes that he killed someone, which is involuntary manslaughter. Weaver says Mike will take full responsibility for his actions, but he should be there for his baby’s birth. Reggie agrees to wait until the baby’s born to arrest Mike.

Wong is negative for HIV, so Lucy’s free and clear. She’s grateful to Carter for helping her through the trauma. Edie’s time in the CT scanner is uneventful, and she has no serious injuries. Wen Mark goes in to get her out, Amanda locks them in and talks to him on the intercom. She’s upset that he doubted her when she loved him “more than any man deserves to be loved.” Mark is very confused. Amanda says it’s too painful to be near him, so she won’t unlock the door. Mark tries to calm Edie while Amanda says they’re done, but she’ll never forget him. She leaves while Edie has a panic attack.

Thanks to a lazy tech who took a long lunch, Mark and Edie are stuck in the scanner room for an hour, allowing Amanda to take off. Mark has now looked into her past and found two of her previous aliases. Also, Amanda never got her M.D. or even went to med school. She stole A.W. Lee’s transcripts and used them to jump into a residency program. “Why didn’t I think of that?” Doug quips. Amanda has also posed as a lawyer and an architect. Carol wonders how many patients she treated. Doug wonders if she made up the job offer from Portland.

Edie, now totally calm, thanks Mark for his help. She’s decided that if she can survive “this hellhole,” she can survive anything. She even plans to walk home. Aaron’s father bursts into Robin’s room and accuses Mike of killing Aaron. Reggie promises to stay with him while he waits for the baby to be born. Aaron’s father wishes he’d had a few more hours with his child. Weaver suggests that Mike go with Reggie and post bail; he should be back at the hospital before the baby is born.

Gwen’s surgery is successful, and her mother and Lisa tell Benton he did a great job. Benton praises Lisa for diagnosing Gwen’s appendicitis in the first place. Jeanie and Carter discuss Amanda, wondering how she’s gotten away with her fraud for so long. He spots Lucy talking to Dale and calls Dale over to tell him to be on his best behavior with her. Dale confirms that Lucy didn’t get exposed to HIV, so there’s nothing stopping him from trying to score with her tonight. Lucy, run away! Run now!

Elizabeth tells Anspaugh that Amanda was one of the people tending to Aaron when he died, which opens up the hospital to all sorts of liability. However, Elizabeth doesn’t think they made any errors. (I also don’t think Amanda did anything hands-on, so they can just say she was observing.) Elizabeth has decided to have her paper published, even though it means admitting a huge mistake. Clearly, they’ve all made missteps. You know, like hiring someone who wasn’t really a doctor. Anspaugh offers to help her find the right journal to publish her paper.

Weaver helps Robin through labor (Mike isn’t back yet) as Doug and Carol tease Mark about his budding relationship with Amanda. He finds a letter in his locker and reads its contents, a love poem, out loud. Yosh recognizes it as a poem by Octavio Paz. So we can add plagiarism to Amanda’s list of evil deeds. As Carol and Doug are about to leave, Joi catches up to them and says she’d like to look into respite care after all.

Reggie comes back to the hospital to check on Robin and runs into Jeanie. He feels bad for having to arrest Mike, who’s a good guy who just made one dumb mistake. Jeanie tells him she has plans tonight, but she’d like to go out with him tomorrow. Reggie’s obviously on board with that.

At home, Carter tells Weaver that her mother didn’t call back. She tells him that her mother’s dead, but she was adopted, so the call could have been from her birth mother. She put her name and info on the Internet a few weeks ago, saying she was open to contact. Benton goes to get Reese from daycare and teaches him the sign for “father,” having learned it from Gwen and Lisa. He’s thrilled when Reese signs it back.

Thoughts: Jerry gets vindication for not trusting Amanda and he’s not even there to find out!

A chimney can just…fall off? And hit someone who’s not standing right underneath it? What are the odds?

I bet Blum calls Edie a success story in exposure therapy. Just one day outside her house and she’s cured!

I’m a little surprised Anspaugh didn’t get fired for hiring a non-doctor to run the ER. That seems like a fireable offense.

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