September 25, 2018

ER 2.11, Dead of Winter: Jeanie Deserves Better Than…Just…All of This

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

I’ll be your mommy, you cutie pie

Summary: It’s a snowy, windy night in Chicago, and the ER is relatively quiet. Jeanie learns that a baby in respiratory arrest is on the way in, and she goes to wake Susan. Susan promises she’s getting up, but Jeanie has to go back and make sure, like a mom waking her child for school. Elsewhere in the city, Mark is alone in his quiet apartment, living the bachelor life. At least he can drink juice straight out of the bottle without anyone getting on his case.

Shep and Raul respond to what they think is a call to tend to a drunk man who slipped on some stairs and hit his head. The police on the scene actually have something much more important for the paramedics to deal with: a dirty apartment full of kids in tattered clothes. There are no adults at home, and the oldest child isn’t even ten.

Susan fills Mark in at the hospital – in all, 22 kids were found in the apartment. They’re all malnourished, and the parents haven’t been identified or found. The police arrested a man who claimed to be an uncle. Some of the kids are now at County, with lots of medical problems because of their malnutrition and neglect. Doug takes charge while Mark talks to one of the older kids, Ty. Some of the kids are his siblings, and some of the others may be his cousins, but he’s not clear on everything. Shep tells Mark that only about half the kids had clothes.

Ruby listens nervously as Benton, Carter, and Vucelich discuss Helen’s condition nine days after her surgery. Though the surgery went fine, Helen is experiencing some complications, including paraplegia. Benton thinks she should go to a care facility. Vucelich disagrees and asks for Carter’s opinion. Carter thinks a few more days of treatment at County will do the trick. Vucelich allows him to take over the case.

Mark and Lydia examine Ty, who says he’s always made sure the kids have enough to eat. His mom gives him her food stamps when she doesn’t need them. He asks about Trey, who has cerebral palsy. Mark says he’ll check on him, asking Lydia to find a dental school that can send students to examine the kids’ teeth. (Smart thinking.) He learns from Susan and Jeanie that at least one of the kids has lice, so all the kids will need to be treated. He tells Susan she can leave, since her shift is over, but Susan wants to stick around and make sure all the kids are okay.

Doug and Malik are examining Trey, who has cigarette burns and welts. Someone better be going to jail after all this. Benton goes to the front desk to answer a page but instead runs into Al (Jeanie’s husband, not Lydia’s boyfriend). Even though Carter said that Jeanie told him she and Al are through, Al is there to pick Jeanie up for breakfast. In the midst of the crazy morning, Mark gets a summons from a process server. Jen is filing for divorce.

Pete Tuteur from the Department of Children and Family Services arrives as Jeanie, Malik, and Chuny give the kids lice treatments. Jeanie demonstrates that she’s great with kids, and one of the girls must agree with me, because she asks if Jeanie will be her mommy. Benton checks in with Carter, who hasn’t decided yet what to do for Helen. He give a nurse some instructions, ignoring her when she tells him the risks.

Pete tells Mark that a couple of the kids from the apartment are supposed to be living with their grandmother, but he hasn’t located her yet. The kids’ alleged uncle is living large on all the government payments he gets for taking in the kids. His other money comes from selling crack. Mark thinks this is an argument for welfare reform, because this situation must be the norm, and everyone must be taking advantage of the system. Shut up, Mark.

Susan needs a surgical consult for one of the kids, who has a mass. Mark tells her that Jen has served him with divorce papers, so he’ll have to get a lawyer. Susan invites him to hang out with her at home that evening, but he declines. Shep and Raul stop by again, and Randi admires how cute Raul is. Shep and Carol tell her Raul’s gay, so she’s not his type. Benton gets another page, and again doesn’t know who it’s from. Randi is no help.

Shep tells some of the staff about how horrible the conditions were in the apartment. He blames the kids’ mothers – why can’t “these people” just take care of their children? Benton and Malik take offense to the phrase, while Randi defends Shep, saying he didn’t mean anything racist. Shep says if he’d meant something discriminatory, he would have said “black people” instead of “these people.” Malik calls him David Duke anyway.

Carol jumps in as Shep goes off about personal responsibility. He points out that Benton’s a surgeon while Shep, a white guy, is a paramedic. Benton says it’s not that simple, and the system doesn’t work equally for everyone. Shep says it seems to be working pretty well for Benton. Jeanie pulls Benton away, but Malik makes sure Shep knows the argument is his fault.

Loretta comes in with her kids, Annie and Jimmy, and Mark determines that Jimmy has strep throat. The family has moved into a new house, and Loretta is still at her new job. Lydia takes the kids to the family room so Mark can talk to Loretta about some vaginal bleeding she’s been having. Jeanie brings Benton in to examine Susan’s patient, Michael, as Benton realizes that Jeanie’s the one who’s been paging him. He complains that she’s been wasting his time by not waiting around to tell him what she needs. Susan points out that things have been hectic in the ER all day.

Benton isn’t very gentle in his examination of Michael, and after he’s done and leaving in a huff, Jeanie follows. She tells him that if he’s mad, he should take it out on her, not a scared little boy. “Is that it?” Benton asks, saying possibly the worst thing he could say right now. Jeanie keeps standing up to him, finally telling him to either find a way to be compassionate or leave medicine.

Mark tends to a man named Mr. Mills who appears to have had a heart attack. Benton could learn a lot from Mark, who’s able to take charge of the patient and steer his son outside without being rude, short, or heartless. Jeanie goes to meet with her supervisor, Bobbi, who wants to go over Jeanie’s first student assessment. She’s skilled, but not assertive enough, and she may not be cut out for the ER. Jeanie thinks the assessment is from Benton, but it’s from Carol. Bobbi accepts that Carol might be annoyed that Jeanie’s encroaching on her turf, but Jeanie still needs to demonstrate that she can cut it in the ER. Jeanie promises she can.

Doug has learned that Jen has filed for divorce, and he’s surprised that Mark couldn’t make things work. What does that mean for Doug in the future? (Don’t worry, Doug. You’ll be just fine.) Susan’s still at work, and Mark tells her to leave by 5. A woman named Mrs. Proulx arrives, looking for the kids from the apartment. She’s their grandmother, and it seems like she has no idea what kind of conditions they were living in.

Carter butts heads with a nurse again, then shares a cup of coffee with Ruby. Ruby tells him about Helen’s past in musical theater. Carter admits he did Pippin and The Fantasticks in school. I can’t believe no one else is around to hear this and tease him about it later. Ruby emotionally tells Carter that he’s not ready to lose his wife.

Jeanie pulls Carol aside to talk about her assessment. Carol says Jeanie is “competent but timid.” She needs to become more aggressive to survive in the ER. Jeanie asks if she’s done something to offend Carol, but Carol promises that her critiques aren’t personal. Jeanie needs to stop waiting around to be told what to do. But Carol also doesn’t like that nurses with 20 years of experience have to answer to physician’s assistants with only a few months of training. Jeanie says that she took four years to complete two years of school because she had to work full-time. Carol doesn’t care – Jeanie has to stop looking for validation and just do her job.

Benton tells Vucelich that Helen’s paralysis isn’t getting better. Vucelich thinks it’s a small price to pay, considering how badly she needed the surgery they performed on her. Benton’s worried that he’s to blame for the complications, but Vucelich assures him that his technique was perfect. They’ll have to exclude Helen from Vucelich’s big study, though. He formally invites Benton to join the team. Mark tells Mr. Mills’ son, Howard, that his father’s prognosis isn’t good. Howard thinks he’s ready to die, especially in the wake of the death of his wife of 50 years. Benton gets some extra money and perks from joining Vucelich’s team, so his day is looking up.

Susan tells Mrs. Proulx that Trey is well enough to be taken into custody by DCFS, and he’ll be going to an emergency shelter. There will be a court hearing next week, when Mrs. Proulx can attempt to get custody. She tells Susan and Pete that the kids were living with her until a month ago, all with their own beds. Then their mother took them, insisting that she was doing better. Mrs. Proulx says their mom used to be a great parent, but drugs changed all that. She says goodbye to the kids, reminding Ty to take care of Trey. She leaves the hospital sad and alone.

Mark’s next patient is having stomach pains and thinks she just overate. He assigns Jeanie to give the patient a rectal exam and collect a stool sample. Chuny smiles to herself over Jeanie’s bad fortune until Mark tells her to help. Carter tells Vucelich that Helen’s condition still isn’t changing. Vucelich tells him that’s not important – they just need to get her “buffed up” so they can send her to a care facility. She’s not going to get better, so they just need to polish her up and send her off to be someone else’s problem. Carter worries that the things he’s tried have made Helen worse, but Vucelich reminds him that she’s dying no matter what.

In the cafeteria, Shep tries to make peace with Malik, who’s not interested in appeasing a white guy who wants to make sure the black guy likes him. Carol and Raul try to call Shep away, but he persists. Malik finally says he doesn’t think Shep is a bigot, though he clearly does. Shep loudly tells Carol and Shep how he can’t be racist because his EMT partner is Latino and they play basketball with a bunch of other non-white people. Malik manages to not laugh at him from the next table.

Benton examines Mark’s patient, Mrs. Saunders, and realizes that she didn’t overeat – she’s in labor. Her sister’s shocked since she didn’t know she was pregnant, and supposedly went through menopause. Jeanie joins Benton to deliver the baby, despite the fact that neither really knows how. Ruby thinks Helen’s doing better, and that Carter will be able to fix her up. Carter gently tells him that Helen may need long-term care. Ruby insists that Helen is strong and will eventually be able to go home with him. He appreciates that Carter, unlike his colleagues, actually cares about them.

Doug and Chuny tell Mark that Mrs. Saunders wound up having twins. In much more depressing news, Loretta has cancer. Her phone isn’t working, so Mark decides to go to her house and give her the news in person. Jeanie meets Al at Doc Magoo’s, unsure what he wants to talk about. He tells her that they should give their marriage another try. They can even have kids, like she’s wanted. Jeanie’s tired, both from her exhausting job and from how much work this relationship is. Al says he’s done playing around and is ready to get serious, but Jeanie just walks out.

As Mark looks for an address that doesn’t appear to exist, Benton tries to make up for his earlier treatment of Michael. He explains that the boy has a hernia and needs to have an operation to fix it. Michael’s scared, but Benton tells him he’ll be fine and it’s not a big deal. He even agrees to stay with Michael for a while. Mark decides to go to Susan’s after all, and the two settle in for the evening with pizza and beer. Carter is woken up by his pager, having given the number to Ruby. Ruby has some questions for his new favorite doctor, and Carter probably has some regrets about his kindness.

Thoughts: Carter looks like he’s playing dress-up in his white doctor’s coat.

Jeanie calling out Benton for acting like a child is sooooo satisfying.

Shep: “My sister dated a black guy for two years.” Ha! Shep doesn’t even have a black friend he can use for an “I have black friends” argument – he has to go with his sister’s ex!

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September 18, 2018

ER 2.10, A Miracle Happens Here: A Christmas Carol

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

It’s Santa! I know him!

Summary: Shep’s alarm goes off at 5:45, and he has to be rudely awoken by some annoying Santa-themed rap. Carol’s already up and around, trying to get a fire going in her newly discovered fireplace, since the furnace went out during the night. She can’t get the flue open, so Shep suggests that they have Christmas at his place. Carol insists on having it in her new home and tries to think of ways to make it work. Shep will probably win this round, since there’s now a hole in the roof letting snow in.

Some carolers sing “Carol of the Bells” at the hospital, and their lovely voices almost make up for their hideous outfits. (The women are wearing caps with snowmen on them. If they have children, those kids are now dead from the humiliation.) The group is from the recovery wing, and they invite the ER staff to sing for them at 4 p.m. Apparently Carol made the arrangements but didn’t tell anyone. Unfortunately, no one can sing. Susan and Doug try to volunteer Mark, who’s not in yet, as he’s with the hospital’s lawyer. Sean O’Brien is suing him.

The lawyer tells Mark that the case is going to take a long time to move forward, and he plans to settle anyway. It’s better to leave Mark with a black mark on his record than for the hospital to have to pay out a million dollars. Mark heads off to find a bathroom, running into Sean and his son, who’s now about a year old. Sean definitely doesn’t want to make small talk with the man he’s suing for his wife’s death.

Some costumed skaters doing an on-ice nativity play were injured by a Zamboni, so Susan, Doug, and Harper are busy in the ER. Officer Al eases Susan’s fears by reporting that baby Jesus was played by a doll. However, the Zamboni driver appears to be drunk, so I think he’ll be spending Christmas in jail. Meanwhile, Mark will be spending it moping by himself, since his family is in Milwaukee and his wife is sleeping with someone else.

Carter wants to observe an operation Benton’s performing, but he hasn’t finished his work from the night before, since he was busy trying to comfort a patient’s family. No one’s going to be a nice person on Benton’s watch, even on Christmas Eve, so Carter doesn’t get to observe. Carol tries to round up participants for the carol singing that afternoon, but no one wants to sing. Doug mentions that the cops are charging the Zamboni with a DUI, even though he wasn’t technically driving a car. Mark dubs it a ZUI.

Benton scrubs in with a couple other surgeons who a) don’t want to make small talk with him and b) don’t even know his name. Vucelich informs them that their patient has changed his mind about having surgery, but he thinks he and Benton might be able to get him to change it back. Carol tends to a patient named Stan Calaus who cut himself while carving a wooden toy. He and his wife used to sell their goods at craft fairs; now he has a whole crew helping out, and they still have more orders than they can keep up with. Carol tells him he would make a great Santa, but he must hear that a lot.

Vucelich tells Benton that part of being a surgeon who employs cutting-edge techniques is selling his methods to patients. He lets Benton take the lead in convincing the patient, Mr. Chamberlain, to let them operate. Mark has signed up to work both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and Doug nicely offers to take one of those shifts. Mark would rather work than spend the holidays alone; Rachel will be with Jen until Christmas night.

Shep brings in an unconscious woman named Hanna Steiner who was carjacked. Mark notices tattooed numbers on Hanna’s arm, and he and Shep have to tell Malik that that means she’s a Holocaust survivor, because wherever Malik went to school growing up, the school system sucked. Mr. Chamberlain tells Benton and Vucelich that he doesn’t care what techniques they’re using; his wife, Macy, wants him to wait, so he is. Carter arrives with Macy, having convinced her that the procedure is the way to go. This is the family Carter spent the night talking to, and they love him now. Vucelich rewards him with the offer of scrubbing in.

Hanna regains consciousness and asks about Tirzah, her granddaughter. She was in the car when it was stolen. The car has been found by the police, but there was no baby inside. Mark and Haleh’s day just got a whole lot worse. They try to call Hanna’s son, but she doesn’t think that’ll do any good, since he lives far away. Mark tries to encourage her to get a CT scan while they wait for news on the baby. Hanna says something in Yiddish, and when Mark understands her, Hanna decides to defer to his medical recommendation.

Al shows Susan the ruby earrings he wants to give Lydia for Christmas. He’s uncertain about the choice, since they’re nothing that special or expensive, but Susan promises that they’re perfect for Lydia. She finds Mark fighting with Jen on the phone about wanting to keep Rachel with her a couple more days so she can go to a party with her cousins. He complains to Susan about Jen’s horrible timing in having an affair. She invites him to spend the holiday with her, Susie, and her parents, though I’m not sure that’s better than spending it alone.

Vucelich and Benton operate on Mr. Chamberlain as Carter observes closely. Vucelich thinks Benton is lucky to have a student with such a good rapport with patients. He lets Benton finish up, but Benton gets flustered since they’re rushing for a personal-best operating time. They don’t break their record, thanks to Benton, but Carter gets to help out, so at least one person in the operating room is happy. Weaver spots an old friend named Mlungisi who’s in town for a visit. She hugs and kisses him, showing more affection than she will in the entire rest of the series. Carol, Mark, Haleh, and Randi are stunned.

As a man rushes his teen son in with a bullet wound in his shoulder, Mark chats with Hanna, trying to help her stay positive that Tirzah will be found safe. She covers the numbers on her arm and tells him it’s easier to be a victim of discrimination when you’re a child because you don’t know any different. Mark notes that she’s seen the worst in people. Hanna says she’s also seen the best, like Tirzah.

Mark tries to assure her that the carjacker just wanted the vehicle, so he won’t hurt the baby. Hanna knows that the best way to get revenge on those who have hurt you is to keep living your life like they don’t own you. But then something like this happens and you remember that everything can be taken from you. Hanna admits that when she was getting her CT scan, she prayed for the first time in 50 years. She asks if Mark knows Yiddish and if he’s religious. Mark says he’s the child of a lapsed Catholic and an agnostic Jew. She teases that he’s no good to her; she can’t ask him to pray for her family. Mark says he’ll try.

The staff is supposed to go to a restaurant for a party later, but since it’s snowing and traffic isn’t moving much, Carol thinks everyone who’s still there at 4 p.m. might as well go sing with her. Susan says her voice is so bad that when she sings to Susie, the baby goes to sleep immediately as a defense mechanism. Carol says they can both just mouth the words, though that won’t be any good if no one else is singing. Carol tries to enlist Carter, but he pleads “chronic tone-deafness and acute stage fright.”

Mark agrees with Carol that Stan looks familiar – just like Jerry Garcia. Apparently it’s Show Susan the Earrings You Bought for Your Girlfriend Day, because Carter wants Susan’s opinion on the earrings he’s going to give Harper. Unlike Al’s rubies, Carter bought Harper real diamonds. He’s worried that she’ll think they’re too much, since they haven’t been dating that long. Susan says Harper will be happy that he thought to get her something so nice.

Some teens bring in a priest who was shot at his church. Jeanie is horrified that someone would shoot a priest. Weaver has arranged to take some time off so she can be with Mlungisi while he’s in town, and since Mark was already scheduled to work, it’s not a hassle. Harper and Randi try to get Weaver to tell them how she and Mlungisi know each other. Weaver just says that she had a farm in Africa.

Susan and Jeanie work on the priest, who asks to speak to Diablo, one of the boys who came in with him. Susan wants the priest to stay calm, but he insists, so Jeanie goes to get Diablo. A baby is being brought in after being found in an adult theater (oh, classy), and the police think she might be Tirzah. Mark and Doug check her over, but she seems fine, just unhappy. Hanna wanders in and recognizes her as Tirzah.

The priest tells Diablo that his shooter wasn’t from the L.G. (which we can assume is a gang). He gives Jeanie his rosary beads for Diablo. Carol checks on Stan, who’s sending off his wife and kids to finish up their work. Mrs. Calaus promises she has both their maps, the naughty and the nice. Carol tells Stan that she’s enjoyed being his nurse today; everyone else she’s encountered has been scroogey. Stan tells her she has to find the Christmas spirit within her rather than rely on other people to show it.

Carol changes her methods, telling some of the staff that she’s going to sing Christmas carols, and they can join her if they’d like. No one does, but at least she doesn’t feel grumpy anymore. Susan and Jeanie rush the priest to an elevator to take him to surgery, but they have to take him back to the trauma room when he destabilizes. The teens who brought him in are eager for information, which the staff don’t have time to provide. Hanna wisely takes Tirzah out of the room while they’re working.

Mark discovers that the bullet severed the priest’s aorta, so they get some scans. By the time Jeanie returns with the films, the priest is dead. The teens are devastated and ask for a priest to deliver last rites. In a much cheerier part of the hospital, Carol sings a respectable version of “The 12 Days of Christmas” to some patients in the recovery wing. Mark, Susan, Doug, Carter, Harper, Malik, and Lydia join her, making up their own lyrics. No one sounds good, but Carol appreciates their effort, and the patients are happy to see them.

Benton lies down in an on-call room, reciting Scripture about Jesus’ birth to himself. Lily grabs him to come take care of an elderly woman named Helen Rubadoux who may have an aortic dissection. When Carter arrives to help, Benton puts him to work doing what he does best – talking to the patient’s husband, Ruby. Carol goes looking for Stan, but he’s already left. The window in his room is open, and Carol thinks she hears sleigh bells. (Also, Stan Calaus is an anagram for Santa Claus. Sigh.)

Carter tells Ruby that Helen needs surgery, and though her odds of survival are only 50/50 because of her age, it’s necessary to give her any chance at all. He suggests a new procedure that will complete the surgery faster, lowering the odds that Helen will have a heart attack. Even better, Vucelich developed the procedure and would perform the operation himself. Ruby asks Carter if that’s what he would do, and Carter says it is, so Ruby gives his consent.

Diablo calls someone to report that the priest has died, so they need to make the L.G. pay. Jeanie hangs up the phone and reminds Diablo that the priest said it wasn’t the L.G. Diablo thinks he lied to keep a truce between gangs. Jeanie asks if the priest would want them to keep up the gang war in his name. She gives Diablo the rosary beads and tells him to help the man who always tried to help others.

Hanna’s large family has arrived with a menorah, wanting to celebrate Hanukkah with her in the hospital. Mark and Hanna both think they should leave and let Hanna rest, but the family doesn’t want her to be alone. As Vucelich and Benton prepare for Helen’s surgery, the staff learns that the snow has forced them to cancel their Christmas party. Carol says she wishes she could have everyone over to her house, but without heat, it wouldn’t be fun. Shep reveals that he spent the day fixing the fireplace, so everything’s good. Carol suddenly wishes she hadn’t invited everyone over.

Mark joins the Steiners as they light their menorah and play dreidel. One of Hanna’s granddaughters says that the letters on the dreidel mean “a miracle happened there.” Hanna’s happy that the family had their own miracle in Tirzah’s safe return. And there was a second miracle – Hanna and Mark prayed together. Hanna felt for decades that God had forsaken her, but she realized today that He’s always been with her in the form of her family. Mark decides to leave the family by themselves.

Things are very festive at Carol’s, and even Benton comes by after he finishes Helen’s surgery. Harper and Lydia admire each other’s earrings, deciding they each like each other’s pairs better. They consider switching, not thinking Al and Carter would notice, but Susan stops them. Jeanie tells Benton she was thinking about him today, knowing this is his first Christmas without his mother. He tells her she made him memorize the Bible verses he was reciting to himself earlier, and always liked to hear him say them on Christmas Eve. Benton notes that this is also Jeanie’s first Christmas on her own.

Shep finds Carol scrounging for more cups in her kitchen and announces that he loves her. That’s fine on its own, but then he goes further, saying he wants to spend his life with her and have kids with her. Okay, you’ve been dating for, like, three months. Slow down. Carol isn’t ready to make a big commitment, but she does appreciate hearing that he loves her.

Mark calls Rachel, promising that Santa will find her at her grandparents’ house. He asks if she wants to stay for the party with her cousins, knowing that if she does, he won’t get to spend Christmas with her. He promises they’ll have their own “post-Christmas, post-Hanukkah, pre-New Year’s Day celebration” when she gets there. He goes back to work as some staff have a joyful snowball fight outside the ER doors.

Thoughts: Ruby is played by the late Red Buttons. The priest is played by Tony Plana.

Clooney mouthing the final “bohm” in “Carol of the Bells” made me lose it.

Carol: “Last chance to spread some holiday cheer.” Benton: “What?” Exactly. “Holiday cheer” is a foreign language to Benton.

September 11, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thoughts: Joshua is played by Adam Goldberg.

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

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

September 4, 2018

ER 2.8, The Secret Sharer: Look Who’s Talking (Whether or Not They Should Be)

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

You’re welcome

Summary: Mark rushes to a meeting with Morgenstern and Neil, who are waiting to talk to Doug about his heroics with Ben. Neil isn’t impressed, but Morgenstern says the hospital board wants to acknowledge Doug’s actions (and also thank him for all the positive publicity he’s brought to the hospital). The board is also unhappy with Neil for firing Doug, which means he’s about to get his job back. There’s a whole gala planned to praise him, too. The men offer Doug a fellowship extension, reporting to Doug, but he points out that he’s already accepted another job. They insist that they want him to stay at County.

Doug does some schedule negotiating with Mark, leaning toward accepting the offer. Meanwhile, Carter examines a boy named Wilbur who has suddenly come down with some facial paralysis. His mother comments in Spanish that Carter seems too young to be a doctor. Wilbur translates, and Carter takes it as a compliment. He assures the two that Wilbur’s condition, Bell’s Palsy, isn’t serious. He adds that he’ll be a doctor in four months. That’s not good enough for Wilbur’s mom.

Susan’s having trouble with childcare and hasn’t been able to work night shifts for a while. Mark tells her she needs to work something out; he can’t keep covering for her. Jeanie and Benton continue their chilly relationship toward each other, equally unhappy to have to spend the day in the ER together. Shep and his stupid mustache bring in a teenage girl named Julia whose brother Kyle found her after she attempted suicide. Julia refuses to talk about what happened.

An elderly woman named Mrs. Ransom sets up some knickknacks by her bed as she waits for Susan to come check her out. She may have pneumonia, but she’s very pleasant and is even willing to have her regular teatime in the ER. Doug rushes in with a boy named Alan who’s having an asthma attack, because he didn’t get to do enough heroic things in the last episode. Carter continues treating Wilbur, despite his mother’s reservations.

Julia becomes combative when Mark, Carol, and Lydia try to give her charcoal to soak up all the acetaminophen she took. Carol takes over the procedure, saying out loud how much she hates this kind of case. Once Julia’s taken care of, she goes out to chat with Shep and another paramedic, who think girls like Julia just overdose to get attention. If they really meant it, they’d use another method. Carol gives him the perfect “oh, is that so?” look, then tells him, “I really meant it.”

Susan calls her mother to ask her to look after Susie the next night. Carter and Harper’s post-breakup relationship is much better than Jeanie and Benton’s, and she’s even hopeful that he’ll want to hang out again (and possibly get back together). Carter casually declines her invitation to dinner. Doug interrupts to ask Carter about Wilbur; he thinks Carter may have missed something indicative of a more serious condition. Susan has no luck with her parents and still needs childcare for the next night.

Julia may have damaged her liver, which means she took a huge amount of pills. Mark and Carol haven’t been able to contact her parents, and she’s still not talking. Alan is doing much better, but his asthma attack was a reaction to his grandmother’s dog. Since Alan’s staying with her for the week, she’ll have to find other living arrangements for the dog. Grandma realizes that Doug is the doctor from the TV, which means Alan is going to be fine.

Haleh tells Doug that Alan’s HMO wants him transferred to another hospital across town. Doug refuses, since Alan’s condition is still unsteady. He makes a false note on the chart so the HMO will agree that his oxygen levels are falling and he’s not able to be moved. Haleh shows Chuny, who made the original note, and Chuny tells Doug she’s not going to lie for him. He again refuses to send Alan anywhere else right now.

Carol sits down with Kyle to find out why Julia might have tried to kill herself. He tells her that their mother died not long ago and their father isn’t around much. Carter tries to get in touch with Wilbur’s mother, but his lack of knowledge of Spanish makes it difficult to leave a phone message for her. He tells Mark that he’s sure he checked what he was supposed to, but he wasn’t looking for the right thing, so now he wants to follow up.

Mrs. Ransom doesn’t have pneumonia, and she’s made herself useful in the ER, looking after a baby while his mother takes a nap. Susan realizes that Mrs. Ransom could be the answer to her childcare problems. As it happens, Mrs. Ransom is looking for work, and she’s available to work nights. Mark notices the discrepancy on Alan’s chart and asks Chuny about it. She pleads ignorance of Doug’s note, only saying that if a mistake was made, it wasn’t hers.

Shep apologizes to Carol for what he said earlier, but she tells him everything’s okay. Carter is now being overcareful about tests, becoming even worse when Lydia tells him his new patient is one of Vucelich’s. Mark pulls Doug out of Alan’s room to confirm that he falsified the chart to put off the transfer. Mark knows that the HMO won’t pay his bills when they see the discrepancy on the chart. If Doug’s going to stay at County and work under Mark, he’s going to have to stop being a cowboy. Doug objects to having to work for Mark instead of with him (though he wouldn’t want to work for anyone else, either).

Carol sends Kyle out of Julia’s room so she can try talking to the girl again. On top of all her other problems, Julia’s pregnant, and Carol guesses that was the reason for her suicide attempt. She confides in Julia that she also attempted suicide, so she understands where Julia’s coming from. Julia says that everything fell apart after her mother died. Kyle would cry in bed at night, like when he was a kid. She would go in to comfort him…and now she’s pregnant. Carol connects the dots. I throw up.

Susan gets all of Mrs. Ransom’s recommendations from her nanny agency, becoming even more certain that this is going to work out perfectly. Then Jerry and Mark ruin everything by showing Susan the woman’s medical tests. Paramedic Pam Olbes brings in a Civil War reenactor whose foot was run over by a cannon. I bet that’s a new one for Mark. Kyle learns that Julia told Carol everything and panics that their father will be furious. He may even react violently, since Kyle knows he has a gun. He decides not to wait around to find out what happens.

Jeanie’s supposed to practice her sutures, so Benton gives her a patient to work on with Carter. Carter, however, is busy running countless tests on his/Vucelich’s patient, Ms. Briggs. Benton calls him an idiot and has to apologize when Vucelich comes to consult on the patient. But it turns out that she has a blood disease and needs treatment ASAP. Suddenly Carter looks smart. Vucelich even invites him to assist on an operation.

Mrs. Ransom is ready to start working for Susan right away, but Susan has bad news for her: She may have aplastic anemia. It’s terminal, and she needs to be admitted for a bone marrow biopsy. Mrs. Ransom has already had one, and apparently knows her diagnosis but doesn’t want the treatment. She still wants the nanny job, though. Susan tells her that she won’t be able to work anymore, and she needs to be admitted. Mrs. Ransom thinks she’s the one to be the judge of her own condition.

Mark takes care of the reenactor, who’s eager to go back to the battlefield. He tells Connie about his character’s accomplishments. He requests ether for anesthetic, then a bullet to bite on when that’s not available. As a last resort, he suggests that Mark send a private out to get some bourbon. “We’re fresh out of privates,” Mark replies, suggesting lidocaine instead. The reenactor decides he’s fine with the bullet. With Carter busy, Benton helps Jeanie with her sutures. She tries to make small talk, mentioning that she saw Jackie recently, and though the conversation isn’t warm, it’s not as awkward as it’s been.

Julia and Kyle’s father, Mr. Kazlaw, finally arrives as two victims of a motorcycle accident are brought in. Doug takes one patient and Mark takes the other. They disagree over which patient is more critical, and Mark makes the call that his needs a CT scan before the other. Doug examines Mark’s patient himself and says Mark’s wrong. They yell at each other for a while until Mark tells Doug to leave. He’s taking Doug’s patient and writing him up.

Carol talks to Lydia about Julia and Kyle’s…whatever, not realizing that their father can hear her. Big oops! Once Carol realizes the error, Mark tells the teens what happened and assures them that someone will stay with them in case their father becomes violent, as Kyle fears. Carol and Lydia feel horrible for what happened, and Mark tells them they’ll discuss confidentiality at a staff meeting the next day.

As Doug is leaving for his gala, Mark tries to get him to talk, but Doug ignores him. He only stops when Jerry tells him his father is on the phone. This is a surprise since Carol was under the impression that Doug and his father haven’t spoken since Doug was 12. Benton and Jeanie finish up on their patient, finally back on…well, not good terms, but much better terms. Carter joins them, and after Jeanie leaves the room, he hints that Benton should ask her out. Benton says Jeanie’s married, but Carter reports that she told him she’s divorced.

Susan goes to get Susie from the hospital daycare and is surprised to see her father playing with her. Henry disagrees with his wife’s feelings on what they should or shouldn’t be doing as grandparents, and he wants to look after Susie on the nights Susan has to work. He wishes he’d agreed to help out a long time ago.

Carter finally gets in touch with Wilbur’s mother and makes arrangements to go see him at home and make sure his condition isn’t serious. Harper still wants to have dinner, and Carter lets her tag along in exchange for a home-cooked meal. Mr. Kazlaw returns to the hospital after angrily storming out, and Carol apologizes for the way he found out what was going on with his kids. She realizes he’s holding a gun, but he asks her to take it from him.

Doug’s late to the gala, despite leaving way before Mark and Morgenstern. Morgenstern decides that if he doesn’t show up, they’ll tell the crowd that he’s out looking for more people to help. Doug sends a message to Mark letting him know he’s playing pool somewhere. He gives the speech he was going to give at the gala, acknowledging Morgenstern for kissing up to him after approving his termination, and Neil for being unqualified and mediocre at his job.

Doug gets in a dig at Mark for being self-righteous and not standing up for him when Neil fired him. Mark thinks Doug is trying to go out with a bang at County. He asks why Doug’s father called. Doug mentions that his father used to say, “If you’re going to make a mistake, make it a big one.” Yes, it’s a great idea to take advice from the man who abandoned his family, only pops in when he needs money, and will later die in a car crash that was his own fault. (Uh, spoiler.)

Jeanie goes to say good night to Benton before she leaves, but he’s not so warm-ish anymore. He wants to know why she didn’t tell him she and Al had divorced. Jeanie points out that they haven’t been talking much, so it’s not like she had a chance to say anything. She insists that her and Al’s problems had nothing to do with Benton. (I bet they had a little to do with him, though.) Carter and Harper go to Wilbur’s house for what Harper says is Carter’s first house call. He does his exam and clarifies that Wilbur is fine. His mom is still not impressed.

Mark gives a speech at the gala, praising Doug for caring so much for his patience. He’s proud to present Doug with an award for community service. Doug starts his speech, worrying Mark, but instead of railing against everyone, Doug just says that the people in his life already know how he feels about them. He just expresses gratitude for the award and gets off the stage.

Carter admits to Harper that it’s scary to think he’ll be a doctor in a few months, without anyone looking over his shoulder. Harper wants to talk about something other than work. Carter decides he’s done talking, so he kisses her. She teases that he must not be able to think of anything to say to her. They make out on the street.

Doug drops his award off a roof, to Mark’s shock. Doug says that his father called him for the first time in 22 years because he saw his son on TV. Now, Doug worries that he’s acting like his father, what with his inability to make commitments and his tendency to yell at his boss. Mark jokes that maybe the problem is him, since he doesn’t like that kind of treatment. Doug asks if the fellowship is still available, and Mark says it is.

Carol comes home to find Shep on her roof, getting rid of some rotting tiles. Unfortunately, he’s gone too far and made a big hole. Carol apologizes for blindsiding him with her admission, though Shep admits that he’s the idiot here. He promises that he doesn’t think any less of her for her suicide attempt. Mostly, he’s just glad that she didn’t succeed. Carol says she is, too.

Thoughts: Kyle is played by Austin O’Brien, who was in It Guy for a while in the ’90s.

Sheesh, Doug, at least wait longer than a day after all that praise before you pull something stupid.

Daycare lady, if a guy comes in saying he’s a kid’s grandfather, but you’re not sure because his only ID is an expired driver’s license, SEND HIM AWAY. Though on second thought, an abduction from the hospital daycare might be the only crisis this show never had.

August 21, 2018

ER 2.6, Days Like This: Aggravated Mayhem

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

“I know you’re not feeling well, sir, but we’re talking about me now”

Summary: Mark stops at a payphone somewhere downtown to call Doug and leave a message asking him to bring him some paperwork. At County, the staff is trying to handle a mass gang shooting. A man named Abraham Zimble comes looking for Carol; he’s a mobile notary and she’s asked him to sign some paperwork so she can buy a house. She doesn’t have time right now, though, so Abraham will have to wait. Susan notes that with Carter and Benton in surgery, Doug MIA, and Mark on his way in from Milwaukee, the ER staff is currently all female. Malik objects.

Unable to reach Doug, Mark goes to his apartment to get the paperwork himself. He offers to wait and go to work with Doug, but Doug nervously tells him to go on ahead. He’s unable to rush Mark out of the apartment before he can discover that Doug isn’t alone – and he’s not with Hulda or Linda. He’s with Harper. Mark blasts Doug for sleeping with a med student, warning that he could be fired. And unless Mark wants to get in trouble for not saying anything, he’ll have to report this to Doug’s superiors.

Jeanie reports for work in the ER as a physicians’ assistant. Weaver pretends that she’ll have a warm welcome, like Weaver’s own. Thanks to her history as a physical therapist, Jeanie knows how to read an x-ray, which makes Weaver happy. The person who isn’t happy is Benton, who’s shocked to see his ex in the ER. He completely ignores her.

Now at work, Mark helps out with one of the gunshot victims. Doug wants to talk, for some reason thinking this is a good time. When he doesn’t get the hint, Mark snaps at him to go away. While Jerry and Randi try to handle all the chaos, Al (the police officer, not Jeanie’s husband) brings in a gang member who bit him. The gang member, Jorge, tries to argue that he was justified, since Al’s dog bit him first. The gang member calls Randi a nasty name, so she tackles him and screams in his face. And that’s when we all learned not to mess with Randi.

Harper finds Mark after he’s done with his trauma and asks to talk to him. Abraham has become a patient, having collapsed in the cafeteria. Mark’s surprised to hear that Carol bought a house; apparently she got a great deal. Carter chats amiably with Jeanie, which makes Benton even more annoyed than he was before. Jeanie looks like, if she hadn’t already broken up with him, this would make her want to.

Carter goes off to do some dumb assignment for Benton and runs into Harper. He invites her to a Blues Traveler concert (awww, remember Blues Traveler?), but she says they need to talk. He’d rather hear what she has to say right now, though he probably changes his mind when she announces that she slept with Doug.

Al has handcuffed Jorge to a gurney while he has his hand examined. Weaver and Jeanie try to ignore him, then go take care of his wounds. Jorge reacts badly, attacking them both and trying to run away (even while he’s still handcuffed to the gurney). Randi uses Weaver’s crutch to knock him out. Weaver’s impressed, as she should be. “Just don’t tell my parole officer,” Randi replies.

Doug disagrees with Neil, his boss (who hates him), about whether or not a kid named Joseph should be admitted. Neil says no, and since he’s in charge, he gets the last word. Jerry, Lydia, and Wendy wonder what Randi did; Jerry says assault, Lydia says grand theft auto, and Wendy says kidnapping. They start a betting pool. Doug defies Neil’s orders and tells Jerry to admit Joseph.

Benton examines a man named Mr. Lake who had chest pain but isn’t feeling it anymore. Benton wants him to be seen by a cardiac surgeon, Carl Vucelich, in case he has an aortic aneurysm. Mr. Lake is hesitant and asks Susan’s opinion, since Susan was his original doctor. She defers to Benton, then pulls Benton out of the room to ask why he got involved. She suspects that he’s using Mr. Lake to get an in with Vucelich in hopes of being invited to assist on his aortic aneurysm study.

Doug runs into Harper and apologizes for the post-sex awkwardness. Harper has no hard feelings. Carol signs her paperwork as Abraham, who thinks he had a heart attack, wonders if his job is too stressful. It’s hard for him to watch people sign paperwork they haven’t fully read, then pay a bunch of money for houses they might not be able to completely afford. Carol tries to ignore him and finish signing.

Mr. Lake doesn’t need surgery after all, so Benton has to cancel Vucelich’s consult. Susan feels bad that Benton no longer has an in with him (or she at least pretends she feels bad). Mark tracks down Doug on the roof and confronts him for admitting Joseph behind Neil’s back. Doug changes the topic of conversation to Harper, insisting that he didn’t seduce her. Mark says it doesn’t matter; he still broke the rules. He also slept with Carter’s girlfriend. Doug says Carter has nothing to do with this. Mark spits out that, as usual, it’s all about Doug.

Benton’s supposed to give Weaver a few stitches (courtesy of Jorge’s attack), but she got impatient waiting and asked Jeanie to do them. She invites Benton to talk Jeanie through the process. Benton does so as if he’s trying to break a Guinness record for the fastest suture-instruction-giver. “He’s nothing if not thorough,” Weaver quips to Jeanie. Malik makes his guess for the What Did Randi Do? pool, suspecting that she was busted for breaking and entering. Chuny thinks assault with a knife is more likely. Carol tells Jerry to stop mocking Randi for an experience that must have been demoralizing and humiliating.

Vucelich comes to the ER, even though Benton canceled his consult, and tells Benton and Susan that Mr. Lake does need surgery. Benton thought his aortic dissection was within the limits for medical treatment, but Vucelich tells him to expand those limits. He spoke to Mr. Lake himself, and the patient has agreed to surgery, so Vucelich is doing it. He invites Benton to join him, and Benton allows Carter to come along.

Neil yells at Doug for admitting Joseph, and the two have a fight in the hallway, within Carol’s hearing. Neil reminds Doug that his fellowship ends on New Year’s Eve, and it’s not going to be renewed. In the OR, Carter’s pleasant personality and inquisitive nature make Vucelich and Morgenstern appreciate his presence. Benton, with his…lack of both of those things, seems like a fun-killer.

Abraham urges Carol to finish her paperwork, wondering if she’s putting it off because she’s not sure she really wants the house. Carol says she’s just busy. It’s not clear whether she’s relieved when Jeanie gets puked on and Carol has an excuse to delay the signing a little longer, but she might be. She tries to talk to Doug, who pretends nothing’s wrong.

Carter’s a little more willing to talk to Harper, who tells him she made a mistake and it won’t happen again. He notes that they only went out a few times and kissed once, so it’s not really like she cheated. She didn’t even need to tell him. Carter says it’s not that big of a deal, but to Carter, everything’s a big deal. Harper says that yesterday was the worst day of her life, what with having to help with Chia-Chia’s lumbar puncture. She wanted to end the day with someone who’d been through it with her.

Susan and Doug tend to a girl who had a seizure while trying to pretend that Doug didn’t just get yelled at by his boss. Jeanie tells Peter that she tried to avoid having to work with him, but County is the only hospital nearby with an ER rotation. He acts dismissive, and she asks if he’s going to be like that the whole time she’s there. They should try being professional and civil.

Mark meets with Morgenstern and Neil to discuss the Doug situation. Neil refuses to budge on his decision to renew Doug’s fellowship, no matter how good a doctor he is. Mark goes to bat for his friend, but Morgenstern doesn’t think anyone can control Doug, even Mark. It doesn’t matter how much he’s needed in the ER.

Mark then goes to talk to Harper, who’s worried about what the discovery of her fling means. She’s afraid that her career will be defined by one night with Doug. Without coming right out and saying it, she asks Mark not to tell anyone about the fling. Doug goes back to his seizure patient, who’s awake and agitated. Weaver tries to comfort her, demonstrating a bedside manner that’s very different from the way she talks to her colleagues. Doug thinks she could have even had a good career in pediatrics.

Jeanie deals with a patient named Mr. Stubey who really doesn’t want a nurse. Jeanie assures him that she’s not one. Then he pees on the floor. Womp womp. Benton summons Harper to help with a patient, which means she and Carter will have to be in the same room at the same time and pretend everything’s fine. You know, like everyone else working in the hospital today. As soon as Carter gets an excuse to leave, he does.

Carol catches Doug moping about his life, though he admits that it felt good yelling at Neil. He’s been at County longer than he’s ever been anywhere or with anyone, so he’s accepted that it’s time to move on. Carol offers to talk if he wants to call her later. At the admit desk, Weaver hears the pool participants bickering over whether they should ask Randi what she did. Weaver calls them wimps and asks Randi herself. Randi gives them a list: “malicious mischief, assault, battery, carrying a concealed weapon, and aggravated mayhem.” Sounds like she’s a perfect fit for the ER.

Carol’s having a light-hearted phone conversation with Shep when Lydia tells her that Abraham is crashing. Carol realizes she only has two pages left to sign, and she rushes to finish them before Abraham dies. I’m sure Susan and the nurses in the room appreciate her lack of help. Carol finishes buying her house just in time.

Doug tries to talk to Carter, who’s blowing off some steam at the hospital’s basketball hoop. Doug attempts to join the game, apologizing for sleeping with Harper and urging Carter to give her another chance. Carter said he listened to her side of things, and he needs time to make peace with what happened. Weaver realizes that the seizure patient is deaf and speaks sign language. Weaver knows some sign and is able to tell the girl, Janie, that she’s going to be okay.

Carol takes Shep to her new house, though “new” isn’t a word that’s been applied to this place in quite a while. It’s pretty clear why Carol got such a good deal. Also, it’s right under some El tracks, so it can’t be much fun to live there. Still, Carol’s excited, and Shep’s excited for her, celebrating by carrying her over the threshold.

Mark runs into Doug on an El platform and confirms that he didn’t tell Morgenstern that Doug and Harper slept together. He chastises Doug for admitting Joseph when it was clear he didn’t need to be; Doug was just pushing Neil’s buttons, the same way he’s been pushing Mark. Doug can’t – or, more likely, won’t – explain why. He just waits until Mark leaves and mopes by himself some more.

Thoughts: Vucelich is played by Ron Rifkin. Jorge is played by an unrecognizable Guillermo Diaz.

Al’s K-9 partner is named Peggy. I love it when dogs have names like that.

Suggestion for season 7 of Orange is the New Black: a cross-over featuring Randi. (Fun fact: Yvette Freeman, AKA Haleh, played one of Frieda’s Golden Girls in season 2 of OITNB.)

Shep’s mustache: NO.

August 7, 2018

ER 2.4, What Life?: Everything’s Coming Up Carter

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

Hulda seems more fun than Linda anyway

Summary: Mark’s asleep – drink! Hulda wakes him up in Doug’s apartment so he can take a call from Rachel and Jen. Susan’s having a much more hectic morning, trying to get both herself and Susie ready on her own. Benton’s having an angry morning, since his car’s out of commission and Walt is out on a test drive instead of fixing it. Jackie tells her brother not to take his bad mood out on Walt, since it’s his own fault he messed around with a married woman and got hurt.

Susan makes a stop at a store so she can buy diapers, then tries to chase off a guy who wants to clean her windshield. He recognizes her from a trip to the ER and asks for Demerol. She thinks he’s getting too close to the baby, but he just wants to make sure she doesn’t forget her diapers. At County, Carter waits for Benton while Weaver lectures Harper about wearing too many earrings.

Benton finally makes it to work in a loaner car, but someone steals the parking space he was about to pull into. Things turn physical – there are prosthetic limbs involved – and Benton hurts his finger. Susan comes in late, happy to see that things are slow. In reality, everyone’s just outside bringing in patients from a big traffic accident. Well, everyone except Carol and Shep, who have enough time to confirm their date that night.

Randi replaces Susie’s wardrobe while Harper wonders if Weaver’s seen her outfit. Lydia and Connie are proud of Carol for landing a date with Shep, but Doug just makes fun of his name. Susan tells Carol that she can claim that Chloe abandoned Susie after she’s been gone three months. Carol notes that Chloe might come back, but Susan doesn’t think she deserves a second chance.

Susan examines a ma with belly pain, thinking he just has indigestion, though it could be from heart trouble. He’s more interested in what’s for lunch than in his health. Carter and Harper went to a concert the night before and decide to get dinner together. He’s secretly taken an x-ray of Benton’s hand and determined that he dislocated a joint in his finger. Benton’s story is that he slammed it in his car door. He and Carter head in to help with one of the accident victims, and since Benton can’t do a necessary procedure, he announces that Carter will handle it.

Susan takes Susie to daycare, hoping this is just a temporary arrangement. She at least has a babysitter coming by for an interview that afternoon. Mei-Sun brings in Chia-Chia, remembering the order Doug gave her to always bring the child straight to him instead of going to the pediatric clinic. Weaver accidentally annoys Susan by asking Mark if she can deal with someone who’s threatening to sue and wanted to talk to someone in charge.

Carter’s thrilled that Benton’s injury has allowed him more responsibility. He finally fixes the dislocation, but Benton doesn’t even bother to thank him. Shep calls in on the radio for what he claims is a noon calibration check. Lydia thinks he just wanted to hear Carol’s voice. Benton spots Weaver talking to the man who wants to sue – it’s the guy he attacked in the parking lot. Benton quickly steers Hicks away from the conversation before he can be spotted.

As a cab driver brings in an elderly woman who can’t speak, Susan, Harper, and Haleh determine that a 14-year-old girl named Amy is pregnant. Her clueless mother thinks she has appendicitis. Susan kicks her out so they can have a confidential conversation. Later, she complains to Weaver that she’s only getting boring cases. Weaver thought she should have a lighter load since she’s adjusting to taking care of Susie on her own. Susan coolly says that she’ll let Weaver know if she needs special treatment.

Weaver’s annoyed to learn that Doug didn’t put Chia-Chia on the patient board. Mark steps in and tells Doug to play by the rules. Amy guesses that she’s pregnant, and though she’s adamant that Susan not tell her parents, Susan tells her she’ll need some sort of support system. The woman from the cab has her medical history with her, though not her ID. She has end-stage MS and possible dementia. Carol already has some affection for her.

Hicks invites Carter to scrub in on an operation, since Benton can only observe. Benton makes a sad face. Amy’s mother has also guessed that she’s pregnant, and she’s not pleased that Susan won’t let her participate in discussions about her daughter’s condition. Weaver thinks they should call security to keep Mrs. Thompson away from Amy, but Susan says Amy’s ready to tell her. Weaver tells Susan that sometimes seemingly boring cases present challenges. “If you’re considering violence, count me in,” Doug says.

Susan was supposed to go give Susie a bottle at noon, but she’s almost an hour late. She wants the daycare workers to go ahead with the feeding, though Doug tells her she’s allowed to have a life. They vent about Weaver, cracking up Carol and Chuny. Of course, Weaver overhears, and she doesn’t appreciate that Doug used a fake cane to imitate her use of a crutch.

Mark and Harper have no luck finding a bed for their nameless patient or figuring out where she was living before she came in. Shep makes another call, this time one that’s actually work-related, and Carol hears gunshots over the radio. Carter and Hicks get along great and work well together while Benton quietly seethes on the sidelines. Carter even gets to assist with a procedure that Benton hasn’t gotten to do yet.

Susan confides in Doug that she’s thinking about adoption for Susie. He thinks she’s looking for adoptive parents and suggests a doctor in the hospital. She clarifies that she was thinking of being the adoptive parent. Susan’s hungry patient, Tom, won’t stop eating, and she’s at the end of her rope with him. Shep and Raul arrive with their patient, a 12-year-old who was shot, and Carol sees that Shep is uninjured. Instead of being relieved, she’s short with him.

The nameless woman has started moaning, and Mark decides it’s time to find her a bed, even if no doctors have agreed to admit her to their services yet. Shep and Raul try to calm the uncle of their patient, who’s desperate to see her. But it’s not because he’s worried about her – he strapped at kilo of drugs to her leg and he wants it back. Shep chases him, accusing him of shooting his own niece. The uncle gets tackled and the drugs end up everywhere.

Mark and Harper find a room for the nameless woman and tell a nurse they’ll take it, as if they’re apartment hunting. The nurse threatens to call someone with authority who can make them take the woman back to the ER, but Mark threatens to tell her supervisor that she stopped taking admissions before the end of her shift. Susan interviews a babysitter, but the woman is unwilling to work with Susan’s unfixed schedule. She reminds Susan that babies need structure and stability.

Tom has finally eaten his way to major health problems, and with Susan away, Mark and Weaver have to tend to him. They pump his stomach after realizing that he drank an entire bottle of some solution he was only supposed to get an ounce of. Weaver blames Susan for not giving Lily clearer instructions (though her instructions were clear; Tom drank the rest on his own). Mark sends the two outside to finish their fight, then tells them to meet him in the lounge for mediation.

Carter has to cancel his plans with Harper since Hicks has asked him to monitor a patient overnight. Judging by their kiss, Harper’s okay with this. Mark sternly tells Susan and Weaver that they need to learn to work together better. He wants to make it clear that he supports Weaver in her management decisions, so Susan needs to go along with them. But if Susan runs into obstacles that keep her from doing her job, Weaver needs to step up. After Susan leaves, Mark tells Weaver that Susan is a great doctor, so if there’s a problem, Weaver needs to fix it.

Immediately after the conversation ends, Susan and Doug apologize to Weaver for the conversation she overheard earlier. She accepts, but she doesn’t want to chat. Doug tells Mark it was just a misunderstanding and asks if he’s enjoying his role as peacemaker. Doug then heads off with Linda, even though he woke up in bed with Hulda that morning. Hicks suggests that Benton do physical therapy to get his finger back in shape. She even suggests a therapist: Jeanie. AWKWARD.

Weaver and Susan team up to tend to a man who fell onto a piece of equipment in which his arm is now stuck. The nameless woman’s husband has arrived and is apologetic for sending her to the hospital. He’s now unable to take care of her on his own, and he can’t afford a care facility. He came in because he missed her after just a few hours apart. Susan guesses that her and Weaver’s patient has cyanide poisoning from his job, and though Weaver isn’t certain, she lets Susan administer treatment. She turns out to be right, and Weaver’s pleased.

Mark notes to Carol that Susan has been spending a lot of time with Susie lately. It turns out he didn’t know that Chloe left, and that Susan’s taking care of the baby on her own. Raul makes a radio check (Randi wonders if he’s single) and tells Carol to answer the pay phone. It’s Shep, who wants to apologize for anything he did to make Carol mad. He’s guessed that she was worried about him, which means she cares. She has to laugh at herself.

Mark invites Hulda to get a drink with him, since Doug is out. Moments later, Doug comes home with Linda, so Mark pretends that Hulda’s his friend. It turns out the women know about each other and are fine with not being Doug’s only girlfriends. Mark decides to pass on hanging out with them to call Susan and let her know she can turn to him if she needs anything. Susan hears him leave the message, then calls the doctor Doug said might be interested in adopting Susie.

Thoughts: I recap with closed captioning on so I don’t miss anything, and whoever has to caption all the medical terminology deserves an A+ and a gold star.

Harper, stop dating the guy who keeps talking down to you.

I think Doug’s apology to Weaver is the most mature thing he does in the whole series.

July 31, 2018

ER 2.3, Do One, Teach One, Kill One: Mark’s Greene, But Carter’s Greener

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 5:10 pm by Jenn

Okay, I’m not mad at this

Summary: Mark and Jen have spent the past few days together in Milwaukee, and things are going so well that she gets in the shower with him. For some reason, he thinks this is a good time to bring up his idea to spend a few nights back in Chicago when he has to work early the next morning. He’ll stay at Doug’s, though Jen doesn’t like the thought of Mark being around Doug’s parade of girlfriends and one-night stands. At County, Carter presents a patient named Ed to Benton, briefly getting distracted when he sees Harper. But Benton agrees with his assessment and allows him to make Ed his own patient.

Carol does another ride-along with Shep and Raul, going with them to an apartment building to check on a landlady’s tenant. The man is dirty, overweight, has a bunch of rabbits, and is singing to himself. When he says he doesn’t want to go to the hospital, Shep and Raul start to leave, since they can’t force him. Carol doesn’t think he’s mentally competent to make decisions about his own health. Shep resists, since he just cleaned the rig, but Carol wins the argument.

Susan brings Susie in to daycare, annoyed to see that she already has four patients lined up. Weaver tells her that since she’s a resident, she needs a larger load. Wendy tells the doctors that she’s working on an article about Mark for a nursing newsletter and will be interviewing them. Benton leaves Jeanie a message to arrange a meet-up. Chuny’s interested in knowing more about his personal life. Mark examines the singing man, Mitchell, and tells Carol he’s at risk for a cerebral hemorrhage. Mitchell cries and asks what will happen to his rabbits while he’s gone. Carol volunteers Shep to look after them.

Haleh brings Doug a four-year-old HIV-positive boy named Chia-Chia, whose mother, Mei-Sun, couldn’t wake him. Doug quickly determines that Mei-Sun gave the boy too much Dilantin, a seizure medication. Carter shows Harper how to perform a pleural tap on Ed. At first Carter’s successful at draining fluid from the patient’s lungs, but then Ed starts bleeding. Carter hesitates when Harper says they should get Benton, but he soon realizes he’s in over his head.

Doug gets the Dilantin out of Chia-Chia’s system and assures the boy that everything’s okay. Benton rushes Ed to the OR, making Carter think he’ll be out of the running for a surgical residency next year. Yeah, because that’s what’s important right now – not the fact that you botched a procedure and endangered your patient’s life. Wendy interviews Haleh, who says that Mark was really helpful when he first started working at County. “So would you say that, back them, he was sort of…green?” Wendy asks. “No, Wendy. I would never say that,” Haleh replies.

Hicks and Benton work to save Ed as Carter apologizes for his screw-up. Hicks is understanding and reveals that Benton, her best student, once made a similar mistake. Because of Ed’s drinking habit, he screwed up his veins and liver, so his health wasn’t going to hold out much longer anyway. He needs a more extensive procedure to save his life. Benton notes that Carter accidentally did Ed a favor.

Susan comes across a patient named Mr. Holthouse who’s using a Tibetan singing bowl to help him relax. He determines that she’s under a lot of stress and offers to tell her about some relaxation techniques. She tells him she’s more relaxed than she looks. Jerry reveals that he’s been promoted to supervising emergency services coordinator, though the promotion is in title only, and doesn’t come with any extra benefits or responsibilities. It makes Jerry want to wear a tie to be fancy, though. Mitchell starts seizing, and Mark and Carol try to do the math to determine how much Dilantin to give him. (Is this episode sponsored by the makers of Dilantin?)

Mei-Sun tells Doug that she usually takes Chia-Chia to a pediatric clinic upstairs, but they see a different doctor every time and often have to wait a number of hours to be seen. Doug has new medication for Chia-Chia and asks Mei-Sun if she can read English. She gets offended, thinking he’s implying that she gave her son too much Dilantin because she couldn’t read the instructions. Doug realizes that she was given two prescriptions and followed both correctly. The clinic is to blame for the overdose. He tells Mei-Sun to bring Chia-Chia to him the next time he needs a doctor.

Despite having a spinning feeling, Mr. Holthouse is able to stand on his head. Weaver questions Susan’s decision to order a CT scan for a case of vertigo. They bicker a little, and Weaver ends up telling Susan to run all procedures by her. Mitchell didn’t survive the hemorrhage Mark feared he would have, so his rabbits are now owner-less. Shep feels bad for both the animals and their owner.

Doug calls one of the clinic doctors to blast him for giving Chia-Chia a prescription that, combined with one he was already given, put his life in danger. Susan complains to Mark about Weaver and asks him to tell her to back off. Carter observes as Hicks and Benton continue working on Ed, eventually fixing his liver. However, his heart is weak and they wind up having to try to shock him into rhythm.

Weaver brings up her problems with Susan to Mark, thinking Susan resents Weaver’s position. Mark delicately says that Weaver’s assertiveness might be causing a communication problem. Ed doesn’t survive his surgery, which means Carter’s first official patient has died. Benton reminds him that Ed was really unhealthy; he probably would have died of liver failure within a month if his heart hadn’t given out. Carter reluctantly goes to inform Ed’s family of his death. Benton tells him this kind of experience is how he’ll learn and become a better doctor.

Doug jokes around in his interview with Wendy, pausing to check out a woman passing by. She’s Randi Fronczak, the new clerk. She needs a physical before she can start work, and Mark silently signals that Jerry shouldn’t assign Doug the task. Malik tells Carol that a huge guy who’s high on PCP has climbed on top of an ambulance. Susan diagnoses Mr. Holthouse with inner-ear inflammation, which will heal, though he’ll have to stop standing on his head and floating in his sensory-deprivation tank for a little while. He wants to give her his prayer bowl.

Mark joins Carol, Shep, and Raul outside to try to get the high patient off the ambulance. (He doesn’t get a name, but since he’s on angel dust, I’ll call him Mr. Angel.) Mr. Angel hits Raul with something, so Mark takes Raul inside to get fixed up. Carol thinks she can talk Mr. Angel down, but Mr. Angel isn’t in a rational place; he keeps yelling for someone named Mara. He expresses his displeasure at her absence by pulling the lights off the top of the ambulance and tossing them on the ground.

Jerry asks Susan to give Randi a physical, which Susan “completes” by telling Randi to inhale and exhale. Ed’s roommate, Olaf, shows up, and Carter has to tell him about Ed’s death. Olaf doesn’t care – he just wants the remote control Ed hid from him. Carol and Shep come up with a plan where Carol distracts Mr. Angel while Shep climbs up to inject him with Haldol. Mr. Angel starts spitting at Carol, but Shep doesn’t let that stop him. Benton tracks down Jeanie and tells her they really need to meet. Doug runs into Chloe, who’s visiting Susie and thinks she’s sick (she’s not). Chloe acts a little strange when Doug asks if Susan knows she’s there.

Susan and Haleh work on a prisoner named Curtis who swallowed razor blades to earn himself a trip to the hospital. He put tape on the blades first, so he hasn’t caused any internal damage. Weaver thinks they should leave the blades inside him, but Susan wants to remove them. At an impasse, Susan tells Harper to get Mark. Mark sides with Weaver, telling Susan they can remove the blades if he starts bleeding later.

Chuny presents Carter with Ed’s liver, which was removed so it could be taken to pathology. He’s in charge of taking it there. Mark gives Wendy an interview, telling her about an intense case he once handled. The patient died, though, so it’s not really a compelling story. Susan goes to do something on a computer at the front desk and discovers that Weaver loaded an instructional program using her own voice. This is the last straw for Susan, who storms off to complain some more to Mark.

Doug agrees to let Mark crash at his place, though they might not be the only people there. Neil yells at Doug for yelling at one of his residents, then warns that he’s dangerously close to losing his job. Even his buddy Mark won’t be able to help him. Carol hears Susan ringing the prayer bowl in the bathroom but decides not to ask any questions. Harper finds Carter with Ed’s liver and suggests that they “give him a send-off.”

Carol runs into Shep and Raul as they’re fixing up their rig, and Shep asks Carol to go out with him. She tells him this isn’t a good time, but it’s not a no forever. Shep teases that she’s dated too many doctors; she’s “shopping in the wrong part of the store.” Instead of looking for Gucci, she should be in the automotive department. This wins her over, and she agrees to a date. Meanwhile, Benton waits for Jeanie, but she doesn’t show up to meet him.

Doug checks in on Chia-Chia and finds Mei-Sun crying in his room. She feels guilty for giving her son HIV, and thinks she’s being punished since he’s sick and she’s healthy. Doug tries to comfort her. Benton waits for Jeanie at her car and angrily asks how long he has to wait for her to tell Al about their affair. She’s upset that he made an ultimatum. Benton figures this is her answer – she’s not going to leave her husband for him. Doug and Mark go to Doug’s place, where Hulda the flight attendant has let herself in to wait for her boyfriend. She’s not concerned about Mark seeing her naked, something I don’t think he’ll be telling Jen about.

As Susan’s leaving for the night, she runs into Chloe, who’s on something. She has a big plan to sell stuff at a flea market, but apparently not a flea market in Chicago. She’s leaving to make some money, and she’s not taking Susie with her. Susan is now, suddenly, a single mother. In less angsty ends to the day, Carter and Harper take Ed’s liver to a bar and raise a glass to the man.

Thoughts: Mei-Sun is played by Lucy Liu.

Show, if having Shep cuddle a bunny was an attempt to get me to like him, it didn’t work. Nice try, though. (And it’s a good look for Ron Eldard.)

This week in pointless plots: Wendy’s. Poor Wendy.

July 24, 2018

ER 2.2, Summer Run: Welcome to Hell

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 5:11 pm by Jenn

Reason #483 not to tick off Benton

Summary: Carol’s doing her ambulance ride-along with Shep and Raul, and their first patient is a teenager with multiple gunshot wounds. There’s another teen victim, but Raul quickly determines that he’s beyond saving. They head off with the other boy, Payaso, whom the paramedics are familiar with. They leave the dead boy behind with his weeping mother. “Welcome to Hell,” Shep tells Carol.

Weaver has started her new job at County and has already ticked off Doug. She’s also told Bob not to fetch food for him anymore. Carol and the paramedics bring Payaso in for Susan to try to save, though he’s been unresponsive for 35 minutes. He starts bleeding a bunch, so it’s not looking good. Benton goes looking for Carter but instead finds Harper, who tells him they were up really late. She’s getting dressed, so Benton would be justified in thinking that they slept together.

Weaver meets Carol and thinks she’s a paramedic. She tells Susan it’s time to give up on Payaso and turn their attention to a patient who can be saved. Susan refuses, so Weaver calls Payaso’s time of death. As things get hectic in the trauma room, Carol welcomes Shep to her own Hell. Carter swears to Benton that he and Harper didn’t sleep together; they just shared adjoining beds in a quiet corner of the hospital. Benton doesn’t care, and just wants to make sure Carter’s ready for the operation they’ll be performing later. (He’s…probably not.)

Once things have calmed down, Weaver chats with Carol about implementing some new policies in the ER. They’re things that would make the nurses’ jobs easier, and Weaver’s willing to make sure they happen. Still, Carol thinks the change in personnel will be tough. Carter and Morgenstern scrub in together, and Morgenstern finally explains why he’s back: He went to Brigham to head up a new emergency department, but it was never approved, so he came back to County. He’d rather operate than work with all the researchers at the other hospital anyway.

Benton and Jeanie quietly try to make plans to get together while not letting anyone else in on their secret relationship. Chloe brings Susie by for daycare before heading to her business class. Susan forgot about a job fair Chloe’s going to that afternoon, which means that, for probably the first time, Chloe’s more on top of things than her sister is. Carter assists while Benton and Morgenstern operate on a man’s arm, and by “assists,” I mean that he holds the guy’s arm up when a pulley could be doing the job. Benton’s punishing him for oversleeping.

Mark comes in from Milwaukee and tells Susan a horror story about his awful commute. She and Doug tell him in vague terms that Weaver isn’t going to be fun to work with. Jeanie calls Al and lies that she has to attend a study group that night, so she probably won’t be home until midnight. (If you feel bad for him because she’s cheating on him, just know that she’s not the only one who’s broken their marriage vows.)

The paramedics bring in a woman covered in maple syrup, which at least means they don’t have to frantically try to save her. Loretta’s back, and Mark thinks she has pelvic inflammatory disease. Carol says it’s a job hazard, meaning Loretta’s a prostitute. Doug examines a boy named Byron who set a fire in the hotel room where he and his mother, Cindy, live. Well, where they used to live, since she figures they won’t be allowed back.

Mark questions Harper and another med student, Barinski, about Loretta’s possible diagnosis. Like Mark, she thinks she has PID. Harper knows her stuff, but Barinski doesn’t. In fact, Loretta knows more than he does. Susan is summoned to daycare since Susie has a fever, which means she has to be sent home. Susan rushes the baby downstairs for an exam. Doug tells Haleh to call a psychiatrist for Byron, then agrees to examine Susie. Susan’s overly concerned and tells Bob to call Chloe, but Doug doesn’t think the baby’s too sick.

Mark, Harper, and Barinski move on to another patient, and again, Barinski doesn’t know what’s going on. Carter makes a diagnosis, but Benton isn’t impressed. Carol and Shep nab some supplies from the hospital, which is apparently okay. Weaver asks them to tell Payaso’s mother that her son didn’t make it. Despite being familiar with Payaso, Shep doesn’t know his family, and he doesn’t think this should be part of his job. Carol goes with him to tell Payaso’s mother and sister what happened. Since Mrs. Rodriguez doesn’t speak English, Shep has to translate. It’s sad in both English and Spanish.

Carter takes Benton to a patient named Rawlings who has abdominal pain. Benton determines that he needs to go to the OR immediately, and he’s impressed that Carter diagnosed the patient on his own and has already made arrangements for his surgery. Weaver nitpicks Susan’s medication orders, telling her that since the nurses at County are so great, the doctors need to make things easier on them. Doug determines that Susie just has a cold and will be fine in a few days. The bad news is that Chloe isn’t at business school…and hasn’t gone to class in three weeks. She dropped out and didn’t tell Susan.

Mark tries to get Susan to help with a trauma case, since she’s been sitting by the front desk with Susie for about 20 minutes. “It’s all very exciting,” Mark promises. Carter tells Harper about a surgery he helped with, mansplaining something to her. He pretends that he didn’t have to participate much in the arm surgery because it’s so basic. Benton finds Harper practicing inserting IVs on Carter and is at a loss for words.

Doris brings in a man who robbed a bank and wasn’t so successful making his getaway. Susan’s in a bad mood and snaps at Connie, who just exchanges an eyeroll with Lydia. The nurses find money the robber stuffed in his clothes, then soon discover that the dye pack in with the money makes a big mess when deployed. Good thing Susan’s wearing a clear mask over her face. Carol and the paramedics are called to get a patient, but another
rig has already arrived. The paramedics decide to take a break and get some snow cones.

Benton praises Carter for his steady, calm work in the OR. He’s invited to scrub in the next morning, but not to sit with Benton and his buddies. Susan cleans up the dye while Weaver tries to make polite small talk. Susan doesn’t even soften when Weaver tells her how cute Susie is. Mark asks Susan what’s going on, and Susan complains about Weaver’s management style. Mark wonders if Weaver thinks Susan is as abrasive as Susan thinks she is.

Shep and Carol ride a Ferris wheel (even though he’s afraid of heights) and get to know each other. Raul has to stay on the ground, because I guess it’s harder for Shep to flirt when another guy is around. Cindy wants to leave Byron in the hospital so she can go to work. Doug reluctantly promises to keep Byron there until his mom comes back. He’s in with a psychiatrist, but it’s not the one Doug requested. This one is Paul Myers, a resident, and Weaver called him. While Doug and Myers are out of the room, Byron sets another fire. Freaking A, kid.

Benton spots Jeanie and her broken-down car on his way out of the hospital. He asks why she didn’t call him to give her a hand. He doesn’t see that Al (now played by the very handsome Michael Beach) is there. He’s completely oblivious that his wife is having an affair, or that her affair partner is standing right there. Cindy returns to County wanting to take Byron off to her cousin’s house without finishing up his much-needed psychiatric evaluation. She promises to follow up later, hopefully before Byron burns down the cousin’s house.

Doug confronts Weaver for calling Myers, since he’s a resident and doesn’t specialize in children. Weaver doesn’t care that the other doctor owes Doug a favor – Myers was available, and Byron needed immediate help. Plus, Myers has to follow the hospital’s protocols, which means they would know if he was following up appropriately. She blames the second fire on Doug, since he left Byron alone in the room. (I blame whoever left fire-starting materials in the room with a known pyromaniac.) She also blames Doug for Cindy’s decision to leave against medical advice.

Connie finds Susan in the lounge with Susie, who’s been having trouble staying asleep. Connie reveals that she’s pregnant with her third child. Susan apologizes for snapping at her earlier, but Connie considers them even, since Susan got hit with all the dye. Mark, Weaver, and Carter tend to a high school football player named Daniel who took a hit to the chest. Weaver thinks he has a complication that’s pretty rare in this case. She tells Daniel it’s weird, which makes him a weird guy, but they like that about him. Weaver keeps the patient calm while still managing to teach Carter. I think Mark’s impressed.

At home, Susan tells Chloe that she knows she dropped out of school. Chloe’s spent a few days waitressing, so at least she’s made some money. The classes made her feel dumb, and she never fit in with her classmates. She wanted to succeed, to show both her sister and daughter that she could. She kept quiet about dropping out because she didn’t want to disappoint Susan. But once again, she’s screwed up. Susan asks what happened to the waitressing job, and when Chloe doesn’t answer, Susan knows she’s screwed up yet again.

Mark misses his train to Milwaukee, which I’m sure Jen will respond to with understanding and polite good humor. Benton and Jeanie meet up, but he’s decided that they can’t keep sneaking around. He wants her to tell Al about their affair.

Thoughts: Barinski is played by Richard Speight, Jr.

Apparently a lot of people like Shep both before and after he becomes aggressive. I’m not one of them.

I also don’t see Benton’s appeal. Is he secretly a good conversationalist? Does he have a sense of humor we don’t know about? Or is he just really good in bed?

 

July 17, 2018

ER 2.1, Welcome Back Carter!: Kerry Weaver Has Entered the Building

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

Look how normal and non-threatening she looks. Don’t be fooled

Summary: For once, no one’s asleep at the start of the episode, since it’s the middle of the day and everyone’s out and about in Chicago, going about their lives. Then a gang member opens fire. A woman is shot trying to shield her young son. Mark tries to save another shooting victim as a police officer attempts to get information on the shooter. Everyone wants to know where Susan is as they run around, tending to all the victims. Susan’s with a man who needs to have his heart monitored, and she has to leave him to help out with all the traumas.

The woman from the street comes in, worrying about her unborn baby. Her toddler seems fine, but he’s obviously upset about the whole thing. Benton asks where Carter is. Carter happens to be stuck in a big traffic jam, having just returned to Chicago from his summer vacation. He ditches the cab and makes a run for it, carrying all his luggage and souvenirs with him. He knows he’s in for some yelling for being late.

Jerry’s trying to hold down the fort at the front desk, taking calls while trying to ignore a woman with bipolar disorder who won’t stop talking to him. A woman named Harper Tracy introduces herself and her buddies as the new third-year med students, there to meet Mark. When he learns that the students know how to take medical histories, Jerry puts them to work. Meanwhile, Mark and Benton send the pregnant woman off to deliver her baby.

Carter finally makes it to the hospital, and Jerry sends him to the OR. Morgenstern is inexplicably back, telling Mark that, now that he’s an attending, he has more responsibilities. He needs to go to a staff meeting, meet with the med students, and handle more problems on his own. Mark is also in charge of the schedule, which will benefit Doug; Mark quickly offers him a graveyard attending shift and the extra money that comes with it. There currently aren’t any pediatric patients for Doug, but Jerry has reserved a Scandinavian flight attendant for him. Doug appreciates it.

Carter scrubs in to assist with Benton and Coburn’s emergency operation on the pregnant woman. Coburn quizzes Carter on anatomy and isn’t impressed with his lack of knowledge. She notes that that reflects poorly on Benton. Doug meets the flight attendant, Hulda, who hurt her ankle when she slipped on a little bottle of vodka. She also has an earache, possibly from all the “going up and coming down.” Doug thanks whatever forces are at work here that he’s single.

Mark doesn’t have much time to spend with the med students, so he sends them to an exam room to read medical texts. He asks Susan to find Harper and have her rejoin the group. The two discuss the new opening for chief resident; Susan doesn’t have time to step up. She suggests a doctor named Jane Pratt. Mark checks in on Susan’s heart patient, who has to stay in the ER for a little while longer, since there’s no bed open in cardiology. He’s not getting much rest, with all the yelling and chaos.

Benton and Coburn deliver the baby, who had the horrible luck of being shot while still in the womb, but who is otherwise fine. The nurses gather for a quick staff meeting, run by Carol. Though the nurses complain about some of the things they’re chastised for or qualifications they need to meet, they clearly respect Carol and understand that she’s just the messenger. They also can’t complain too much about having to complete hours doing ambulance ride-alongs when Carol has to participate as well.

To add to the chaos of the ER, some maintenance guys are there to fix the AC. Jane Pratt is interested in the chief position and lets Mark know. She’s heard that Kerry Weaver, a doctor at Mt. Sinai, also wants the position, but Jane thinks she’d be better at the job. Carter withstands his inevitable browbeating from Benton, who reminds him that anytime he looks bad, he makes Benton look bad. He beat out 15 others for this surgical sub-internship, so he’d better show that he earned it.

Mark meets Loretta Sweet, a patient with a rash on her thighs. It’s not serious, probably just a minor allergic reaction, and the treatment is pretty basic. (This scene is pointless and just establishes a character we’ll see a few more times.) Carol greets an ambulance and starts tending to a man who was found unconscious.) The paramedics who brought him in, Shep Shepard and Raul Melendez, stick around to help Carol and some other nurses until a doctor can be found. Carol determines that the man’s airway was obstructed and clears it.

Carter tries to study for an upcoming operation, but it’s difficult with nurses coming in and out, and a drunk patient yelling next door. Susan invites him to show Harper how to start an IV, thinking Carter will find her attractive. Harper’s still with the bipolar patient, Mrs. Constantine, finding it hard to take a history from a woman who’s manic and talks about anything and everything. Still, Harper is able to diagnosis her with cellulitis. Carter shows her how to start an IV, already a better teacher than Benton ever was (though Harper’s also a better student than Carter ever was).

Carol’s patient came in with his son, Noah, and Carol assures the boy that his father will be okay. He’ll have to stay in the hospital for a while, so Noah needs someone to look after him. Noah says his father never stays in the hospital, so it’s not a problem. Carol determines that Noah has had to call 911 for his alcoholic father a number of times in the past. She’s impressed that the kid, who’s only about nine, knows how to fix a broken VCR. (If anyone reading this asks me what a VCR is, I quit.)

Harper tracks down Mark and tags along while he and Susan check in on the heart patient. The AC still hasn’t been fixed, and now there’s dust falling from the ceiling over the front desk – hopefully not asbestos, as Susan fears. Carter hands out souvenirs from his trip to…wherever he went. He gives Jerry a voodoo doll, and when Benton comes by, cranky as usual, Jerry says that Carter should have saved a doll for himself. Carter did, and it might even work on Benton.

Jeanie is now working at County, but she and Benton are stiff around each other, barely speaking. Carter gives Doug a figure he calls the god of fertility. Carol teases him, not realizing that in three years, she’ll want it to work. Carter thinks he’s ready for his next surgery, but the procedure has been cancelled. Now he has to assist with something he hasn’t studied for. Carter takes out his frustration on his Benton doll.

Mark goes to a management staff meeting, nominating Jane as the next chief resident. Morgenstern notes that she and Mark are very similar; he should pick someone who would complement his weaknesses. Carol backs up Mark’s pick, but Morgenstern is leaning toward Weaver. Mark agrees to meet her, unaware of how much his life is about to change.

A doctor named Neil complains about Doug’s time in the ER; pediatrics shouldn’t have to pay his salary if he’s always in the ER. Morgenstern points out that the ER can’t afford to pay for Doug’s fellowship. Coburn says she likes Doug, but he’s “a bit of a cowboy.” Neil says he’s arrogant and undermines Neil’s authority. He threatens not to sign off on his fellowship renewal. Morgenstern will have to find the money to keep him on.

A man carries his unbreathing brother, Jimmy, into the ER. The only available treatment room is the one the AC guys are currently working in. Harper hasn’t joined her fellow med students, so Susan allows her to observe. Mark mentions to Carol that he didn’t realize how much management talks about the residents. Carol gleefully asks if he wants to know what they used to say about him. She adds that Morgenstern has a point about Jane.

Doug thanks Mark for his extra shifts, since he needs the money for car payments. Mark remembers that Doug knows Weaver from his residency and asks if she would make a good chief. Doug’s response isn’t promising: “You ever see Cuckoo’s Nest?” Carol’s patient wants to leave, as Noah predicted, and he’s not pleasant about it. She lets him throw a tantrum until he’s coughing so hard he can’t stand. He’s just made her point that he’s unable to leave the hospital. She suggests that he get sober so Noah will have a father he can be proud of.

Jimmy isn’t doing well, and the AC guys are causing more problems than they’re fixing. Lydia tells them to come out of the ceiling already. One of them falls on Jimmy’s gurney, apparently smacking him hard enough in the chest that his heart goes back into a stable rhythm. Carter has now embarrassed Benton in front of another surgeon, and Benton is only going to give him one more chance to show he’s not completely incompetent. Carol tells them that the gang shooter has now been shot and is being brought in.

The infamous Dr. Kerry Weaver comes to the hospital, confident that Mark is going to hire her as chief resident. The shooter arrives, and for the first time all day (well, second, if you count starting an IV with Harper), Carter proves useful. It only lasts for a minute, as he soon starts to feel sick. Once the patient is stable, Malik teases Carter about the smell in the room, causing him to pass out.

Jimmy’s stable and will be okay, though Susan decides not to give his brother details on how he was stabilize. The shooter doesn’t make it, and Benton tells Carter to sew him up. He needs to be there at 5 the next morning for surgery. Carol tells Shep and Raul that the shooter didn’t make it, then asks if she can do her ride-along with them next week. Both guys say yes, and Shep is especially looking forward to it. Doug teases Carol about that.

Susan complains to Mark that her cardiac patient still hasn’t gone to cardiology. She tells him he needs to do something about the length of time it takes to transfer patients. Benton has heard that Mark hired Weaver and thinks it’s a good idea. Susan’s surprised that Mark didn’t pick Jane, and then didn’t tell her he didn’t hire Jane. Mark snaps that it was his decision. He’s trying to leave for the night, but Jerry reminds him that the med students are still waiting for him.

Mrs. Constantine has stabilized, and she’s grateful to Harper for her kind treatment. Her son brought her cello to her, and she wants to thank Harper with a musical performance. Mrs. Constantine plays beautifully, bringing peace to the ER for the first time all day. Along with Chuny, who works in the ER now, Carter helps clean up the shooter’s body. Carol finds him later and acknowledges that he had a tough day. He tells her he did a pediatric rotation at another hospital over the summer, then spent a few weeks in St. Bart’s. MUST BE NICE.

Mark makes his train to Milwaukee with moments to spare, so that’s still going on. Chloe and Susie are still staying with Susan, but they have a good routine going – Susie goes to daycare while Chloe takes classes, and the three spend the evenings together. Chloe has gotten over her earlier hesitance with the baby and is doing well in the parenting department.

Benton and Jeanie’s awkwardness with each other at work is just a smoke screen – they’re sleeping together. She leaves just before midnight, trying to get home before her husband gets off work. Jeanie and Benton have progressed to the “I love you” stage of the relationship, or at least Jeanie has. Peter just goes back to sleep, which means the writers lulled me into a false sense of security – they fooled me by not starting the episode with someone sleeping, then ended it that way.

Thoughts: Harper is played by Christine Elise.

Laura Innes (Weaver) was originally only supposed to be in six episodes. She wound up appearing in almost 250.

Benton gets a turkey sandwich, but isn’t he a vegetarian? Oh, right, early-seasons continuity. Not important.