December 20, 2022

ER 12.10, All About Christmas Eve: Jingle Bell Shock

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

This doesn’t capture even a tenth of how cute Luka is in this episode

Summary: Luka’s on his way to work, and he’s in a great mood. He’s even wearing a Santa hat, since it’s Christmas Eve. He gives a Furby to a hospital employee who needed to buy one, then asks how Pam the paramedic’s mom is doing and gives her a book. He hands out candy canes to kids in the waiting area and “ho ho ho”s his way into the ER. He gives a scarf to Frank (who says the last time he got a present was when a helicopter fell on Romano) and a neon stethoscope to Neela. Morris gets NSYNC’s greatest hits and Pratt and Ray get Bears tickets.

As an additional present, they don’t need a full staff in the ER this evening, so Luka’s going to let some of them leave early with pay. Pratt predicts that this will jinx them into being swamped. The residents play rock paper scissors to determine who gets to leave. Neela is apparently the queen of the game, and she knocks out Morris, Pratt, and Ray. She and Gallant are heading to Jamaica for their honeymoon, so now she has extra time to pack.

Morris calls Clemente an “evil elf” when he comments that Morris must be gay since he likes NSYNC. How professional, Clemente. Frank advises him to call Jodie, since she’s been calling incessantly yet again. Clemente asks if they can change the main number. Of…the hospital? Frank suggests that Clemente work somewhere with a different extension – maybe Cambodia.

Luka tries to surprise Abby with a kiss but instead scares her into almost dropping the cake she brought in for the hospital’s Christmas party. He offers her a present he got her but she says she can’t open it now. He’s fine with her opening it the next morning, which makes her wonder if they made plans to spend Christmas together. Apparently she agreed to it last night. She doesn’t remember, and he teases that that’s probably not the only thing she forgot saying. Y’all, he is SO HAPPY. It’s unbelievable.

As Sam was informed previously, Steve has been moved to a Chicago prison from Colorado. She visits him and tries to find out why he was moved, but he won’t tell her. He asks if she still has a bunch of stuff he gave her and Alex, then warns that some authorities might come looking for them. Sam tells him not to try to contact Alex. Steve claims he’s found God and is changing, but she doesn’t want to hear it.

Paramedics bring a woman named Tamara to the ER after a car accident. She starts seizing as Luka and Ray tend to her. Haleh’s looking for people to sing with her at the staff party that night, and when Eve volunteers, Haleh says she needs people who will have her back, not stab her in it. OOH. Haleh, watch out or you’ll end up on Santa’s naughty list. Actually, now that I think about it, Santa wouldn’t dare put Haleh on the naughty list. Morris volunteers next, insisting that he can sing. Haleh tells him he can audition. She extends that invitation to Weaver, too, but Weaver decides to keep up her ten-year streak of abstaining.

Abby discusses a patient with Clemente, an elderly man named Mickey who started out with a cough and is now experiencing pain. Tamara’s awake and alert, and she knows it’s Christmas Eve and she’s in Chicago, but she thinks it’s 1986. Ooh, so close. Just 20 years off. She needs a medication that’s only in the drug lockup, and Haleh tells Luka and Ray she can’t go get it because she’s the only nurse in the trauma room. Eve comes in and clarifies that they’re short some of the nursing staff because Santa Luka sent them home.

Neela’s on her way out for her honeymoon, and she confides to Abby that she’s nervous because she and Gallant are having Christmas dinner with his parents before they go to Jamaica. Gallant told them about the marriage over the phone, and apparently their response was to hang up. Luka pulls Abby away for some “department chief business,” like, keep it in your pants for 20 minutes, Luka. A kid uses a crutch to hold mistletoe over Abby and Neela’s heads and urges them to kiss: “Britney and Madonna did it.” Sorry, kid. You’ll need to ask Santa for something else.

Ray tells Tamara and her husband, C.J., that she has a condition caused by low sodium. She’ll need to stay overnight, even though she feels better, but Tamara doesn’t want to be away from her kids on Christmas. Abby and Luka discuss their plans for the next day, and he tries to get her to guess what her present is. Ray interrupts to get Luka to convince Tamara to stay. Abby tells Luka that he’s going to love what she got him. He doesn’t think she actually got him a present. She makes some guesses about her gift, and he tells her to page him when she figures it out.

Eve makes plans with her boyfriend on the phone, then chastises Sam when she shows up late for her shift. She’s not too upset, though, and she tells Sam that her football-playing boyfriend (a linebacker for the Bengals) might flake out on her. Weaver and Pratt go to meet an ambulance bringing in a six-year-old named Danielle who was shot. Her mother, Nadine, explains that she was an innocent bystander caught in some crossfire. She talks to the police while Weaver, Pratt, and Abby work on Danielle. Chuny finds Danielle’s Christmas list as Pratt tells her to contact Olivia.

Some sunglasses-wearing blind kids sing carols in the ER as victims of some sort of holiday disaster argue with each other. There’s a Santa, a guy credited as Hanukkah Harry, and a guy credited as Kwanzaa Kenny. I don’t think I want any more details. Luka and Ray talk to Tamara, who doesn’t get or care about the risk she’s taking by leaving the hospital now. She reveals to Luka that she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer a few months ago and has a very poor prognosis. She doesn’t want to pursue treatment, and she intends to spend Christmas with her family, who don’t know she’s sick yet.

Abby lets Nadine know that they’re still working on stabilizing Danielle so she can have surgery. Nadine laments that their neighborhood has always been dangerous. Her husband is out of town and will be back tonight, but she hasn’t been able to reach him yet to tell him what happened. Haleh continues to try to recruit singers, giving Clemente a pass when he proves he’s not very talented. Clemente tells Mickey that his blood tests are normal, so he can go home. His cough is probably from a virus. But Mickey’s having chest pain all of a sudden, so he should probably stick around.

Sam asks Santa, Harry, and Kenny questions I said I didn’t want the answer to, like what happened. Harry explains that someone complained that their company only celebrates Christmas, so their boss made things more diverse. And then I guess they started fighting? We never find out. Santa makes an inappropriate comment about an overweight patient, so Eve threatens to hurt him. Okay, I know he’s a jerk but you can’t threaten physical violence against Santa! You’ll get coal in your stocking for the rest of your life!

A surgeon named Jessica Albright, who’s covering for Dubenko, comes to Danielle’s trauma room to complain that she hasn’t been sent to surgery yet. Oh, so sorry the unstable six-year-old gunshot victim wasn’t able to align with your schedule, ma’am. Weaver tries to pull rank to make Albright back off, but she’s not impressed. She’s annoyed that they’re holding an OR for a patient who hasn’t been sent up yet. Again, she’s six, and she’s not stable. Shut up, Albright.

The sunglasses-wearing singers are still at it, and unlike carolers we’ve seen here before, they’re on the quieter side, so I don’t think they’re disturbing anyone. Tamara and C.J. leave with Luka’s blessing, since she promised to come back after her kids open their presents in the morning. Eve complains to Sam that her boyfriend is going to spend Christmas at his mother’s, without Eve. Sam suggests that they spend New Year’s together instead.

Santa is rude to the blind carolers, which means this guy should never, ever be allowed to play Santa again. Eve tells him to sit down and shut up. Santa continues mocking them, so Eve punches him, then pours his urine sample on him. Okay, she’s definitely getting coal this year. Weaver thinks it’s time to bring Nadine into Danielle’s trauma room to say goodbye; they’re not going to be able to save her. Olivia’s been waiting with Nadine, but she leaves when Pratt comes to get her. Pratt reluctantly tells Nadine that they haven’t been able to save her daughter. Nadine should go be with her now.

Weaver gently explains to Nadine that they’ve done everything they can for Danielle, but she’s lost too much blood. Nadine reminds her unconscious daughter that God does things for a reason, and maybe this is because God wants Danielle to be with Him. Weaver puts a hand on Pratt’s arm so signal to him to stop giving Danielle chest compressions. Nadine tells Danielle that she can let go if it’s time. God and her parents don’t want her to be in pain. Nadine promises that she and her husband will always love Danielle, and she doesn’t need to be afraid. Suddenly Danielle’s heart starts beating again on its own.

Santa demands that Eve be fired, but it doesn’t look like Sam is going to corroborate his story about what happened. The carolers can’t/won’t, and they think he deserved it anyway. Santa complains to Clemente, who spots a woman at the admit desk and flees. It seems Jodie has gotten tired of calling and has come to see Clemente in person. He tells Frank to get rid of her, then hides behind a bunch of IV stands so he can get down the hall without being seen.

Olivia tells Nadine that the owner of the store where she and Danielle were shopping IDed the shooters, and the police are on the way to arrest them. Pratt tries to get Danielle’s OR back, but now she has to wait. He promises Nadine that if no one comes down in the next two minutes, he’ll take Danielle upstairs himself. I’d love to see Albright try to argue with him. His stubbornness would come in handy here.

Abby auditions for Haleh with “Silent Night.” Let’s just say that no one will be able to sleep in heavenly peace while she’s singing. Chuny is even worse (though I suspect that Laura Cerón is singing badly on purpose, because her voice is actually nice; she just can’t stay on key). Ray proves why he plays guitar in his band instead of singing. After his audition, he tells Morris that Haleh makes Debbie Allen’s character in Fame look like Mother Teresa.

Luka blasts Eve for attacking Santa, but she has no regrets. He tells her to apologize or she’ll lose her job. Eve gloats that only the nursing supervisor can fire her. Mickey has undergone a bunch of tests but none of them has turned up anything. Now he has a headache. Clemente accuses him of making it all up and tells him he needs to leave so an actual sick person can have his bed. It sounds like Mickey’s just lonely and doesn’t want to spend the holidays alone.

Jodie approaches Clemente, so he makes up a disease Mickey has that will keep Clemente busy treating him. Jodie, an ICU nurse, calls bull. Clemente tells Haleh to admit Mickey, then tries to get rid of Jodie. She’s married to a cop, and Clemente is justifiably worried that the guy will track him down.

Luka and the nursing supervisor question Sam about Eve’s behavior. Sam doesn’t want to talk behind her boss’ back, especially when there isn’t a lot of positive stuff to say about her, but she doesn’t have much of a choice. She objects to the nursing supervisor’s decision to fire Eve the day before Christmas. Clemente tries again to send Jodie away. He didn’t know she was married when they got together, and he broke up with her when he found out. He wants her gone before her husband finds him. Jodie thinks he still has feelings for her, so they should act on them while she’s in town.

Danielle finally gets taken up to surgery, though Albright doesn’t think they can save her. Can we have Dubenko back, please? I don’t even like him that much, but he’s definitely better than this twit. Weaver praises Pratt’s work on their patient. He tells Olivia that the police should make the shooters come to the hospital to see what they did. She takes him to the ambulance bay, where a bunch of people are holding a candlelight vigil for Danielle. Unfortunately, Chuny comes out to tell Pratt that they lost Danielle’s pulse, and she’s on her way back to the trauma room.

Sam runs into Eve, who’s crying in the lounge – not because she got fired but because her boyfriend broke up with her. Sam realizes too late that Eve doesn’t know about her termination yet. Clemente has to get right back to work after a quick hook-up with Jodie; he tells her he’s setting up a new life for himself and needs to avoid drama. She says that her husband, Bobby, hit her, and obviously she couldn’t go to the police. She left him and would clearly like to be with Clemente now. He’s free to contact her at her hotel while she’s in town.

At the admit desk, Frank and Abby tease Clemente a little about Jodie (Abby’s talked to her multiple times when she’s called). Abby tells him his fly is down. Luka takes Abby with him to meet an ambulance, asking her what she’ll be cooking for Christmas. She asks if he has amnesia about their previous relationship, since she definitely doesn’t cook.

The police did, indeed, bring Danielle’s shooters to the hospital so they can see the consequences of their actions. Weaver rejoins Pratt to try to stabilize her. Olivia asks if she can bring in the shooters, and Pratt sends Nadine out since she doesn’t want to see them. The shooters deny that they shot a little girl; they didn’t realize the bullet went through someone else and hit her. Pratt tells them that Danielle’s probably not going to survive. When they’re in jail, they should remember what they did to her. He hopes it was worth it.

Eve confronts Luka for getting her fired on Christmas Eve. He tells her she’ll be missed. “Bite me,” she snarls. All you’re doing is getting yourself more coal, Eve. She says she tried to do something good and elevate the ER. “Screw yourselves. You all suck,” she tells the staff around the admit desk, fulfilling everyone’s fantasy of what they’d say if they were fired or quit their job dramatically. When Sam tries to calm her, Eve accuses Sam of trying to steal her job and calls her Judas. Nope, that’s Easter.

Pratt checks on Nadine while Danielle’s in surgery and tells her that things are looking much better for her. He promises that the shooters will pay for what they did. Nadine would prefer if they would stop instead. The community turns their backs on the kids and doesn’t educate them, then wonders why things like this happen. Pratt notes that people have choices. “Some people don’t know they do,” Nadine says.

Luka’s first shift as the chief of the ER is done, and Weaver thinks he did pretty well. The mother of the kid Alex spent the day with brings him to Sam, letting her know that he told his friend that his father is dead and that his friend’s father is going to die, too. The mom thinks Alex needs help, and until he gets it, he’s not going to be hanging out with her son. Luka offers to help Sam out, but she brushes him off.

She asks Alex why he lied about Steve, and Alex says that he doesn’t need his father, which is basically the same. Sam insists that Steve loves Alex, but Alex thinks a father who really loved him would call. He doesn’t think Steve misses him. When Sam says he does, she’s lying for him.

The staff holds their party at Ike Ryan’s, and it looks like the only singer who made the cut to sing with Haleh is Morris. She sings “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” while Abby buys a snow globe at the mini-mart, because Luka was right and she didn’t get him anything. Clemente plays chess with Mickey (aww!) and Sam takes Alex to visit Steve. Pratt sits with Nadine until her husband finally arrives.

Abby leaves the hospital, walking through the growing vigil for Danielle. Morris finally gets to sing something, and he sounds terrific. Abby joins Luka at the party and gives him the snow globe, which is only part of his present. She opens hers, a compass. “It seems we always find each other,” he explains. She takes him outside so they can talk in private. She’s really enjoyed the past few weeks that they’ve been back together, and she doesn’t want to ruin their rekindled relationship. But she has big news: She’s pregnant. With that, Luka’s awesome Christmas ends with him in shock.

Thoughts: Has anyone on this show ever had a planned pregnancy? It might just be Weaver and Sandy, and that was only out of necessity.

Honestly, Luka being as happy as he is makes anything I might want for Christmas feel insignificant. I feel like I’ve gotten presents for the next five years.

When Morris loses rock paper scissors to Neela, he tries to argue that his paper is actually sheet metal. Ha!

I admit I’m a sucker for montages of bad auditioners. They should have given us more.

September 6, 2022

ER 11.17, Back in the World: Keep Moving Forward

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

I’m Steve now. You’re welcome

Summary: Kirk has returned to the ER and is asking for Neela. She’s supposed to be done with her shift, but Abby tells her to tend to him first. Pratt asks if Neela’s talked to Gallant since she helped arrange for Jamila to be treated at County. Pratt insists on talking to Gallant the next time he’s in touch, since Neela didn’t give him the chance during their previous phone call.

He takes an interest in a woman named Olivia who’s talking to a patient who came in with a minor stab wound. Even though someone has already taken care of the patient, Pratt gets involved in the case so he has an excuse to talk to Olivia. She’s with a group called Ceasefire that tries to prevent violence. She’s surprised Pratt hasn’t heard of it, since County sees so many shooting victims. Pratt just gets to take advantage of another excuse to try to talk to her more. She’s not interested.

Sam gets stuck in traffic while driving Alex to school. He tells her that Steve (who never returned after “Drive”) wrote him a letter and claims he’s coming to visit soon. Sam tries to gently remind Alex that Steve often makes promises that he doesn’t keep. Neela agrees to examine Kirk again even though she’s never found a major problem with him. Dubenko tells her that Jamila has arrived, and he’d like to talk to Gallant. Neela’s shocked to learn that Gallant came to Chicago with Jamila.

Carter’s finally using his family’s fortune for health care: He’s making plans to build a clinic. He’s working with County, and Anspaugh and Weaver are directly involved. Everything seems like it’s going great, but Carter’s disappointed that an HIV/AIDS care plan has been scrapped. He doesn’t care if it’s too hard to staff that part of the clinic – he won’t sign off on pretty grounds and a restaurant if it means patients with HIV and AIDS can’t get the treatment they need.

Paramedics bring in a 12-year-old named Victor who has a gunshot wound. He explains that he had a gun in his pocket for protection and it accidentally went off. Neela leaves Gallant a message, wanting to know if he’s really in Chicago. Abby busts her for ditching Kirk, but Neela thinks this is more important. She lies that she knew Gallant was coming. She admits that she has feelings for him, though she’s not sure how they developed when they’ve only spoken once in the past year. Their letters were all “speculative,” so nothing could have formed there.

Neela confides that she’s furious that Gallant came back to Chicago and didn’t reach out to her. But she also feels like she’s fooled herself into thinking he would want to get in touch. Abby’s like, “I don’t think you need my input on this conversation you’re having with yourself.” Neela wonders if she’s pathetic for making up a love life she doesn’t really have. Abby thinks it makes sense that her friendship with Gallant led to romantic feelings.

Gallant goes to see Jackson’s family and give his daughter the llama he bought her. Back at County, Pratt notices a scar on Victor’s stomach. Apparently he’s been shot before. His mother, Mrs. Hopkins, arrives and isn’t surprised to hear that Victor had a gun on him. She reminds him that she told him to keep the safety on.

Sam explains to Susan that Victor is an “aspiring vigilante.” His mother gave him the gun. Time for a social worker to get involved! Susan tells Sam that someone called for her, sounding agitated. She got a similar call the day before. Sam thinks it was a patient she took care of last week and there’s nothing to worry about. Luka overhears and suspects she’s keeping something from him.

Neela tries to keep her cool while talking to Kirk, who doesn’t seem to want to accept that he has a muscle spasm and won’t heal overnight. He keeps coming back because he believes in Neela and thinks she can fix him. She agrees to do a full exam, during which she discovers that he’s wearing a unitard under his clothes. She tells him to change into a gown, but he says he can’t. His wife used to call him Clark, like Clark Kent. She said she saw through his facade to his “secret strength.” She died a few months ago. Now he wears a superhero unitard on bad days to make him feel better.

Sam tells Luka that she thinks Steve is the one who’s been calling her. She doesn’t want to run away again, and she also doesn’t want Luka to take this on, since it’s her problem. He corrects that it’s their problem. Pratt presents Victor’s case to Carter, and the two learn more about his problems. He insulted a classmate who shot him on his way home from school last year. The shooter only spent a few months in juvie and is now back at school. Mrs. Hopkins didn’t know what to do to protect her son, so she gave him a gun.

As Neela hands off all her cases to Luka so she can leave, Carter starts talking to Haleh and Lily about Gallant’s rumored return to the States. The nurses think he went to Texas to visit his parents. Once she’s done with her shift, Neela goes out to the roach coach to get her usual daily order. She spots Gallant coming over from the El and runs into his arms. Just friends, eh?

They go to popular County hangout Ike’s to talk about why Gallant didn’t tell Neela he was in Chicago. He says he was only at County briefly because he had to go do something. He came back to see her. He thought it would be easier to leave without seeing her, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it. She tells him everyone wanted him to visit, but he feels strange “being back in the world.” He doesn’t want to answer a bunch of questions about what it’s like in Iraq.

Neela asks how long he can stay. Gallant has to fly back in the morning, since he was only given enough time to get Jamila settled. Frank calls to bug Neela about a chart, but she brushes him off. She asks Gallant about a scar on his forehead, which he says wasn’t from anything major. She ignores a page as he tells her about going to see Jackson’s family. It hurt him to have to show up in uniform because he knows Jackson’s wife had to get the news about his death from men in uniform.

Kirk won’t leave County and won’t listen when Abby tells him that Neela’s gone for the day. She decides to track Neela down and make her deal with him. Steve shows up and Luka intercepts him before he can see Sam. Pratt asks Olivia to talk to Victor, hoping she can work her anti-violence magic on him and get him off that path before he goes too far down it.

Neela and Gallant play pool and flirt until Abby shows up. She changes her mind about getting Neela to deal with Kirk, since Neela’s having a good time. Olivia talks to Victor and Mrs. Hopkins, trying to convince the boy that he can be tough by staying away from trouble instead of getting in the middle of it. Maybe one day he can be the president and fix schools so kids don’t have to live in fear. Victor wants to be a pilot instead, but either way, he’ll need to stay out of trouble.

He doesn’t know how to avoid bad kids since they follow him around. Olivia volunteers Pratt to walk him to school for a week. Pratt objects, but you know he’ll go along with this if it means Olivia might go out with him. She tells Victor that if he gives up his gun, she’ll have someone walk him both to and from school every day after that. Each week, that someone will be bigger and scarier.

Steve insists on seeing Sam, and Luka struggles to keep him calm until she’s available. As Victor’s being taken up for surgery, Sam examines him and finds that he has some tingling in one of his legs. She looks at his x-rays and sees that the bullet is missing a chip. Ray wants to keep things moving, but Sam’s worried that they’ll be operating in the wrong place. Ray protests, so Sam sends him to talk to Carter. She spots Luka with Steve and almost walks away, then goes to talk to her ex on her own.

She tells Steve that her relationship with Luka is serious, and he claims to be glad that it’s working out for her. He asks if anyone’s called or come looking for him. It’s nothing big; he just owes someone money. He asks to borrow some from Sam so he can take Alex on a short trip. After that, he may not see Alex for a while. Sam reminds him that Alex has school. Steve doubts he’ll miss much, since he’s in the third grade. She tells him that Alex is in the fifth grade. She won’t agree to the trip, and surprisingly, Steve backs down. She offers to let him see Alex (with her present), but Steve says he needs to get going. She also agrees to give him money.

Gallant and Neela discuss her struggles to adjust to her role as an intern. She’s trying to figure out who she is after being seen a certain way for so long. He tells her she can be someone different if she wants. At County, Frank tells Luka that he got bad vibes from Steve and had a detective friend look him up. There’s a warrant out for his arrest in Colorado.

Luka approaches Sam to discuss that with her, but she rushes off to make sure Ray did what she told him to. He did, and Sam was right about a bullet fragment being in an artery. He and Pratt both praise her for making a good catch. She returns to Luka, who tells her that Steve committed a robbery and someone got hurt, so he’s in a lot of trouble. Luka wants to call the police, but Sam won’t send her son’s father to prison.

Susan bugs Sam to work a few hours of overtime, refusing to take no for an answer. People have lives, Susan. It’s not her fault you’re short-handed. Luka tells Sam he’ll go home and relieve Alex’s sitter. Susan wants to emerge from her baby cocoon and have more of a social life, so she invites Carter to bring Wendall over for dinner with her and Chuck. Carter accepts the invitation but declines for Wendall, who stopped talking to him after Kem’s phone call. He admits that he feels like he’s “fallen off the tracks” and hasn’t been able to get back on.

Olivia asks Pratt to call her office after Victor’s surgery and let her know how he’s doing. She also fully intends to make him walk Victor to school for a week. Pratt complains that he’s busy, but she won’t accept that as an excuse. Stopping violence is like containing an epidemic with vaccines and medication. Ceasefire reacts to every shooting, even ones where there are no injuries, and arranges a neighborhood response any time a gun is fired. If they stigmatize violence, death rates will drop. It’s working, and she invites Pratt to come by the organization and see for himself.

Neela takes Gallant to her and Ray’s apartment so they can change clothes and then go to dinner. Meanwhile, Luka goes home and catches Steve about to leave with a bunch of his and Sam’s stuff. Alex let him in, and Steve sent the sitter home, then robbed the place. Luka tells him to put everything back. Steve argues that he gets to take back things he gave Sam. Luka decides not to fight him and just go inside.

Steve stops him, and though Luka warns him not to start anything, Steve hits him. Alex comes out just in time to see Steve and Luka fighting. He has a bag with him and says Steve is taking him on a beach trip. He thinks Sam told Steve it was okay. Luka tries to send Alex back inside, but Steve reminds him that Alex isn’t his kid. Luka quietly tells Steve he’s not going anywhere with Alex, and he shouldn’t want to, considering the trouble Steve is in. Steve tells Alex to go back in; they’ll take their trip another time. Aww, now Luka looks like the bad guy.

Neela and Gallant both get changed, and though he’s just wearing a T-shirt and jeans, she’s put on a nice dress. As she turns off the lights to leave, he catches her arm to make her stop. They start kissing and their new outfits quickly come off. Pratt will be soooooo happy that Neela finally got some, since that’s what he’s been wanting for her for a while.

Later that night, while Neela’s asleep, Gallant writes a letter. She wakes up as he gets back in bed and asks about the wound on his arm that was still bandaged when we first joined him in Iraq. He tells her that he had to run into a firefight to get to a patient. He never expected to be in the middle of combat. That firefight is also how he got the scar on his forehead. He wound up having to shoot an Iraqi soldier to protect himself and his patient. Neela’s desire to be someone different resonates with him because he just wants to go back to who he was. “All we can do is keep moving forward,” she says.

The next morning, they go to County to see Jamila before Gallant has to fly back to Iraq. Neela gets paged to the ER, but Gallant doesn’t want to go with her; he says it’s because he doesn’t have time to talk to everyone, but he obviously doesn’t feel comfortable doing it. She’s been paged to help take care of Kirk, whose back pain was actually a rare symptom of a heart problem. She feels horrible for missing it, but it sounds like it’s a hard symptom to catch.

Sam tries to talk to Alex, who’s angry that she wouldn’t let him go off with Steve. She tells him that she, Alex, and Luka are a team now, and Luka had to make a decision last night. He made the one that was best for Alex. Sam assures Alex that it’s okay for him to feel sad. He starts to let out his sadness, and instead of pushing her away, he hugs her.

Neela asks Chuny to call the burn unit so she can let Gallant know she’s been pulled into a trauma. She doesn’t have time, though, and she declines when Abby offers to take over for her. Gallant comes by the trauma room, so Pratt ducks out to talk to him. Gallant has to leave to catch his plane, but he gives Pratt a letter to give to Neela. She’s not supposed to open it unless something happens to him. Pratt says nothing will, but Gallant wants her to have it just in case.

Neela moves with the trauma team as they rush Kirk out of the ER and into an elevator. She and Gallant don’t have time to say goodbye to each other, but they’re able to exchange looks that say how much they’ll miss each other. Luka drives Alex to school, though Alex won’t talk to him. That night, Neela puts Gallant’s letter in a box where she’ll hopefully never have to get it back out. Gallant returns to his camp in Iraq with his own envelope from Neela. She gave him a piece of her jewelry to remind him of her. They both meet medevac helicopters, doing similar jobs in very different places, still thinking of each other.

Thoughts: Steve is now being played by Garret Dillahunt (who I like a lot better in the role). Mrs. Hopkins is played by Adina Porter.

If Neela thinks she only made up a possible relationship with Gallant, County staff is feeding that delusion. Throughout the whole first half of the episode, everyone asks her if she’s seen him.

I want to hug Kirk. What a sweet guy.

May 10, 2022

ER 10.22, Drive: Role Models

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

Chen is having a bad day and it’s only going to get worse

Summary: Abby is trying to draw blood from a very sensitive patient while Sam asks to switch shifts with her. Weaver tells her to find someone else, since Abby is now an intern. Abby’s still waiting to get her board results, though, so she’s still taking nursing shifts. Weaver doesn’t get what’s taking so long with her test results. Abby finishes with her patient, who’s repeated, “Ow” over and over for a whole minute, but who immediately tells Abby she’s “God’s gift to nursing.”

Neela comes to finish wrapping up everything she needs to at County before starting her internship elsewhere. Abby thinks she should spend her last day of freedom doing something fun instead. A man comes to the admit desk looking for a doctor and asks Neela if she’s one. She says no, and Elizabeth tells her to start referring to herself as one or her patients won’t have any confidence in her. Neela admits that she doesn’t feel like she’s earned the title yet. Elizabeth advises her to fake it until she does.

Neela is going to the University of Michigan, so this will be her last day in Chicago. Pratt teases that Abby’s decided to stay at County and do “God’s work.” He boasts that he just leased a new Chrysler. He takes Abby and Neela to the ambulance bay to see it, though they’re not impressed. (Malik is.) Chen passes by on her way in but doesn’t stop to ooh and ahh over the car. Pratt needs to move it anyway, since, you know, ambulances are supposed to go there.

There’s one arriving now carrying a man named Mr. Gould who has end-stage cancer. He stopped receiving chemo a few weeks ago, since it wasn’t working, and doesn’t have a doctor anymore. He wanted to die at home, so Morales the paramedic wonders why he called 911. Probably because he has some liver problem that made him turn yellow, and he freaked out!

Luka’s driving somewhere when he comes across a woman named Linda whose car broke down. He pulls over to help her. They’re right by a construction zone, which means one lane on the three-lane road is already blocked, and Linda’s car is holding up a second. Needless to say, people are mad. Linda’s son, Michael, is in the backseat and complains that he needs to go to the bathroom.

Linda thinks her battery’s dead, so Luka goes back to his car to get jumper cables. As he does, a car swerves out of Linda’s lane and into the one blocked by construction. It plows through some cones, then comes back into Linda’s lane, hitting the pickup truck behind her. That sends the pickup truck into Linda’s car, which she’s standing behind. She ends up pinned between the two vehicles, her legs dangling off the ground.

Carter is back at work for his first shift after the baby’s death. Chuny and Frank both express their condolences, but Carter clearly just wants to focus on his job. Weaver asks how he’s doing and he asks her how Henry is. She hasn’t see him all week, but she’s going to court today. She notes that it helps to keep busy, acknowledging that they’re both handling their grief the same way.

Luka calls 911 for Linda, who can’t feel her legs. Another driver checks on Michael and finds that his door is jammed. Luka puts people to work and gets Michael’s door open, but the boy is unconscious. The driver who caused the crash takes off running. A bold choice, since there are a ton of witnesses.

Chen, sporting a black eye, joins Abby to take care of Mr. Gould. Abby and Chuny choose not to comment on it. Mr. Gould has a DNR but says he’s not ready to die. Abby lists the tests Chen will want to run, and Chen comments that she thought Abby was a nurse today. “Abby’s a nurse every day,” Chuny says. “That’s why she’s gonna kick a%$ as a doctor.”

Chen asks how Abby did on her boards. She knows it’s getting close to the time when she would need to start an internship. Abby asks Chen if she’s okay but Chen ignores her question. Ahh, so the theme of this episode is doctors avoiding having to deal with their feelings. Pratt notices Chen’s eye and tries to get answers out of her, not buying her story that she ran into a door because she didn’t turn on the light.

Neela asks Pratt if he’s going to visit Elgin, who’s being released from the hospital today. She thinks Pratt could be a good role model for him. Paramedics have arrived to tend to Linda, and Luka insists on helping them. Once she’s no longer pinned between the vehicles, he rushes to stop her bleeding. The paramedics don’t want to let Luka ride in the ambulance, but when Linda begs him not to leave her, he declares that he’s going.

Pratt goes to see Elgin so he can pretend to be a good role model or whatever. Elgin wants Pratt to be his family’s regular doctor from now on. Pratt says he works in the ER and usually just sees patients once or twice. The family should go to a clinic instead. Down in the ER, Carter and Sam treat a teen who got hurt in a horseback-riding accident. She wants to keep riding, and Carter isn’t sure if she’s fearless or reckless.

Frank tells Sam that Alex’s school called and reported him absent. Sam calls her apartment to try to get in touch with Steve, guessing that he let Alex play hooky. Abby asks Carter how he and Kem are doing. He doesn’t respond, probably because he’s trying not to cry. She assures him that he’ll get through this. Frank tells them there are a bunch of accident victims coming in, including Linda.

Chen joins Luka to work on Linda while Abby and Carter start examining Michael. The next patient is Antwan, the driver who caused the crash. Pratt tells a paramedic to give him Narcan because he’s showing signs of drug use. Antwan asks Pratt to have his back, since they’re both Black, but Pratt won’t go to bat for a guy who’s under suspicion of DUI.

Linda’s distressed because she still can’t feel her legs. Luka tries to assure her that it might be for a reason other than paralysis. Elizabeth comes to get her for surgery, and Luka tells Linda that Michael is in good hands. He’s also giving Abby and Carter quite a challenge, since he’s not happy to be in the hospital and keeps fighting them. Carter has to pause for a moment when Michael calls out for his father.

Antwan is stable but may have hit his head on something when he tried to run. He tested positive for opiates, so he’s in a lot of trouble. Michael is still in bad shape and Carter is starting to get impatient, so Weaver steps in to help. Frank warns that she’ll be late for court, so Weaver asks Chen to help Carter instead. She admits that he might be too “emotionally vulnerable” to take care of a child right now. Elizabeth is eager to get Linda to the OR, since she has internal bleeding along with damage to her legs. Luka tries to keep her calm.

Neela drives to Michigan as Chen, Carter, and Abby try to stabilize Michael. Carter can’t figure out why his condition hasn’t improved. Chuny comes to get Abby, since Mr. Gould was asking for her, and Carter snaps at them to decide who’s working on Michael. Abby goes to Mr. Gould, who just has complaints about being in the hospital and doesn’t actually need a nurse.

Weaver calls from her car to ask if Abby has gotten her test results yet. She wants Abby to call and bug someone about them. This is definitely a good use of Abby’s time. While she’s looking up the number, Linda’s husband Martin arrives. She takes him to Michael’s trauma room, where he’s still not stable. I’m sure Carter appreciates the pressure of his patient’s father looking over his shoulder.

Sam goes home to confront Steve for letting Alex skip school. Steve also has a friend over, but he leaves as soon as Sam arrives. Sam guesses that that guy brought Steve some drugs, because she’s pretty sure he’s high now. Alex announces that Steve is about to get a job at an apartment building, which will provide him with an apartment with plenty of room for Alex. He’s excited to get to split his time between his parents.

Weaver talks with Brooks before going into a hearing about who can provide Henry with better care. Even though Weaver works during the day, she argues that Sandy’s parents are older, so they can’t rely on them to live long enough to see Henry through his childhood. Brooks tells her that they have a larger support system. The judge is conservative, so Weaver’s at a huge disadvantage here as a single parent (and probably also as a lesbian). Weaver rants that there’s no perfect family arrangement for everyone. The Lopezes arrive with Henry, but Brooks won’t let Weaver go to him.

Sam asks Steve who the guy he had over was. Steve says he was someone with a “business proposition.” I’m going to guess that proposition was dealing drugs. Steve says things seem to be coming together to keep him in Chicago. Alex said he loved him, which makes Steve even more interested in sticking around. He has to go to Dallas to get some of his stuff, but when he comes back in a few days, he’d like to spend time together as a family. Sam pretends to approve of that plan while not actually saying it’ll happen.

Mr. Gould refuses to let Abby bring him a bedpan, since it’s undignified. He thinks he has a week left, at most. She chats with him about his career as an algebra teacher. He wonders what all that teaching was for, since he’s just ended up alone. Luka stops by Linda’s OR, where Elizabeth tells him there’s not much she can do. The orthopedic surgeon wants to try to save Linda’s legs, but Elizabeth notes that they won’t do her much good if her organs are too damaged for her to survive.

Carter, Chen, and Chuny are still working on Michael, and Chen thinks his injuries are too severe for him to recover. Carter finally figures out what the problem is and comes up with a solution. Chen notes that Michael may have been deprived of oxygen for too long to recover, but Carter convinces her to give him a shot. His solution works, and he tells Martin that while Michael has a serious injury, they hope to be able to fix it.

Pratt asks Carter if Chen seems okay. They debate whether she’s dating someone who hit her, or whether her father is responsible for her black eye. Pratt doesn’t want to be the one to ask her what really happened, since their relationship is complicated, so Carter says he’ll do it. Pratt then goes back to Antwan, who’s drunk as well as high. Also, this is his third strike, so he’s going to prison for at least 25 years and possibly the rest of his life. He’s only 20.

Pratt has no sympathy for him since he injured a mother and child. Antwan says he doesn’t have anything anyway, so what does it matter? It’s not like he could get a meaningful job after getting out of prison. He thinks Pratt’s judging him because he grew up somewhere posh, but Pratt is from a rough area and had to build a life for himself from nothing. Antwan says he must be lucky, but Pratt says it’s not about luck. “I guess it’s about not looking back once you’re gone,” Antwan says angrily.

Neela stops to smoke on her way to Michigan. Someone picked up a bad habit from Abby! Sam rushes to pack her and Alex’s things, telling him they’re moving. He refuses to go, as if he has a choice. He calls her a word that should get his mouth washed out with soap and says he’s sick of Sam moving all the time because she’s screwed up. Sam replies that she’s sick of pretending that Steve is a good person. Every time he loses his job, he tracks them down and buys Alex’s affection. He’s a loser, and Sam isn’t going to let him turn Alex into one.

Linda’s surgery is over, so Luka offers to talk to Martin. Though the surgeons were able to stabilize Linda’s internal injuries and are sure she’ll recover, they had to amputate both of her legs. Abby finally gets someone on the phone to ask about her board results, and she’s told that they were sent to County instead of her home. Frank filed the letter and never mentioned it to her.

A man named Ed shows up looking for Mr. Gould – he’s a former student. Mr. Gould remembers flunking him for not following directions on the final. Ed retook the course and now teaches math. He says someone called their old school and told them about Mr. Gould’s situation. Mr. Gould guesses it was Abby, who casually looks away, trying to play innocent.

The judge in Weaver’s case is about to dismiss everyone for the day when Weaver starts advocating for herself. She announces that she loves Henry and loved Sandy. They decided to have a baby together, and she’s grateful they did. Weaver has been there at every moment of his life. The three of them were a family, even if the city or state or country won’t acknowledge that. They still are a family. The judge doesn’t show any sign that she’s moved by this.

Sam and Alex are starting to pack up their car, but Alex sneaks a phone call to County so he can ask Luka to come over. Sam catches him and hangs up. Neela arrives at the University of Michigan as Carter goes to the ICU, where Martin is waiting for Linda and Michael to wake up. He asks if Carter has kids, and Carter says no. Linda wakes up and Martin gently tells her that her legs were amputated, but she’ll be okay.

Abby finds her letter but doesn’t open it right away. Neela goes to an orientation session, then asks to speak to the doctor running it. Trivia: Neela eventually wants to be a dermatologist. Exciting. Abby opens her letter outside the hospital and is thrilled to see that she passed. She tells Carter, though she seems a little uncomfortable having such good news when he’s struggling. He tells her he never doubted that she would pass.

Neela tells her new boss that she never actually chose to become a doctor. She announced that that’s what she wanted when she was a kid, and ever since then, that’s what her family assumed she would be. Now that she’s finished med school, she doesn’t think she can do it. Instead of trying to change her mind or ask why she’s making this decision, the doctor just confirms that she wants to leave the residency program she hasn’t even started yet. Then he complains that she’s leaving them with an empty spot. Oh, boo-hoo. Neela gets that she can’t become a licensed doctor without an internship. Clearly she doesn’t want that anyway.

Ed has been joined by another former student, and they’re having a nice conversation with Mr. Gould. Abby passes him off to Dori, since her shift is over, and Mr. Gould asks if Abby will be his nurse tomorrow. She says no, but she’ll be at County. He can just ask for Dr. Lockhart.

Luka arrives at Sam’s apartment as she and Alex are getting in the car to leave. She tells him they have to go and it’s complicated. She can’t let Steve keep messing with their lives. Luka tries to keep her there to talk, but she drives off. Alex helplessly looks back at Luka as his mom drives him away from the life he’s grown to like.

Pratt finally gets another chance to chat with Chen, who admits without being pressed that her father lashed out and hit her. He doesn’t know what he’s doing anymore. Pratt urges her to talk to someone about her situation, but Chen says she’ll be okay. He tries to convince her to get her father’s nurse to stay with him for a few extra hours so Pratt can take her to dinner. He promises that he’s still her friend.

Antwan is discharged and taken away by the police. Elgin has also been discharged, but he doesn’t have a ride home, so Pratt offers to take him. (Mostly he wants to show off his new car.) The two of them head out with Chen, enjoying the sound system. Well, the guys enjoy it. Chen, not so much. The driver behind them gets mad because Pratt doesn’t take off from a stop fast enough, so he drives up next to them and yells. Elgin flips him off and laughs.

Pratt speeds off, which makes Chen nervous. The other driver catches up to them and Chen is horrified to see that he has a gun. He fires it into their car but doesn’t hit anyone. The two cars start a high-speed chase, but they’re on a bridge, so Pratt can’t get away from the other driver. He takes aim and fires again, and Chen screams.

Thoughts: I like that not only does Luka stop to help Linda but after the crash, other people come over to help, too. They could have said, “Not my problem,” but they tried to be good Samaritans. Humanity isn’t completely horrible after all!

I also like how Abby and Carter have finally gotten past their drama and are able to offer support to each other in difficult times and genuine happiness in good ones.

Pratt doesn’t seem like a Chrysler guy. I would expect him to get something flashy that he could use to impress women. Maybe he just wants to look more professional.

Done with season 10, which means we’re 2/3rds of the way through the series. Next: Lots of guest stars, and then Carter leaves.

May 3, 2022

ER 10.21, Midnight: Just Bad Luck

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

You will want tissues for this

Summary: Carter and Kem are at their brownstone, opening baby gifts. Elizabeth sent a book called The American Way of Birth. Heh. Carter tells Kem not to let her OB, Dr. Ford, see it; the author thinks American OBs are greedy. Kem has her own criticisms about America’s technology-reliant obstetric practices, which don’t seem to help anything, considering the country’s horrible infant mortality rate. Carter thinks it’s at least better than the Congo.

They’re trying to pick out a paint color for the nursery, as well as brainstorm baby names. Carter likes the name George. Pros: the first president and the quiet Beatle. Cons: the current (at the time) president. Carter asks the baby if he would rather be born on the floor of a mud hut in Africa (shut up, Carter) or in a modern hospital in America. The baby doesn’t express a preference.

Steve returns to Sam’s apartment after taking Alex to school, and she confronts him for giving Alex a condom. Steve doesn’t see the big deal. Also, I think he wants it back so he can sleep with Sam. He tries to butter her up but she’s not in the mood. She asks him to stay with Alex that night because she has something to do. He guesses she has a date.

It’s the day before Abby, Neela, and Lester graduate med school. Pratt isn’t especially congratulatory, since all that means is they’ll be more responsible for their patients. Morris is…also there. Neela’s going to the airport at midnight to pick up family members from London. She has around 18 coming. Lester’s family’s coming, too, but no one cares about Lester. Abby’s mother and brother aren’t coming. She says they’re not that close: “We’re more like survivors of a particularly brutal carjacking than family.” The med students seem like more of a family, considering the way they trade off coming up with insults for Pratt.

Sam does, indeed, have plans with Luka that night, and she’s so eager to spend time with him that she doesn’t care if they actually do anything. They greet an ambulance bringing in an elderly man named Mr. Ferguson who’s altered and thinks the paramedics stole his watch. Frank is back at work and people are surprisingly happy to see him. He claims that he and his wife were getting on each other’s nerves anyway, but from what we saw of her and their relationship after his heart attack, I feel like they never annoy each other.

Carter’s hovering over Kem a little, wondering if she’s been counting the baby’s kicks. She hasn’t, since he’s very active, but she tells him she will so he’ll leave her alone. Neela’s concerned about Elgin, since a test shows he has a heart issue but he hasn’t made an appointment to discuss it or get treatment. She’s worried that his condition is worse than it seems. Pratt brushes her off since Elgin is too young to have the problems she thinks he might have.

Abby presents Mr. Ferguson to Luka while Mr. Ferguson presents his bare butt to us. Thanks, show! Luka confirms that Abby’s graduating the next day and asks if she’s gotten the results of her retaken boards yet. She hasn’t, which means she can walk in the graduation ceremony but won’t get her diploma until she passes the boards. In case you were wondering, Morris: No, we don’t care what you think about that.

Rachel shows up at the admit desk, looking for Elizabeth. Jerry recognizes her but Frank doesn’t. Carter rushes Kem to County, parking his Jeep in the ambulance bay and giving the keys to a security guard to move it. Neela tries to call Elgin but can’t reach him. Abby, like Luka, doesn’t think he’s as sick as Neela believes. Mr. Ferguson wanders by, fully naked, and Abby calls him “Larry Godiva” and asks Malik to take him back to his room. Steve sends Sam a bunch of ice cream sundaes, which she hands out to her co-workers.

Once she’s seen Rachel (and her boyfriend, B.J.), Elizabeth calls Jen to let her know she’s in Chicago. Jen had no idea since Rachel doesn’t live with her anymore. She and a friend got a place together. Who’s renting an apartment to two teenagers?? Lawson interrupts to talk to Elizabeth about a patient, then a date. Elizabeth keeps the conversation professional, but Rachel guesses they’re seeing each other. She and B.J. want to stay with Elizabeth for a couple of days while Rachel looks at Chicago colleges. Elizabeth is fine with that as long as they sleep in separate bedrooms.

Sam explains the sundaes to Abby and Neela: She was working in an ice cream shop at the mall when she and Steve met. Abby chastises Frank for eating ice cream so soon after bypass surgery. Sam talks about how hot Steve was when they were younger. He’d come pick her up at school in his Mustang and they’d go to an arcade or park somewhere. Her parents protested but Sam ignored them. Then, of course, she got pregnant.

Dr. Ford examines Kem, but sadly, as the two of them and Carter all figure out on their own, the baby has no heartbeat. Dr. Ford can’t pinpoint the reason and says they might never know what happened. Kem will have to be induced and deliver the baby. Carter can’t wrap his head around how Kem could be completely healthy and still have a stillbirth.

Neela bugs Pratt about Elgin again; he called in sick to work and she’s really worried about him. She wants to go by his place and examine him there. Morris: Stupid comment. Pratt doesn’t want Neela going alone, since Elgin lives in a rough neighborhood, so he agrees to go with her after his shift. (She has to buy him dinner in exchange.)

Weaver tells Abby to get control of Mr. Ferguson so he doesn’t keep walking around the ER naked. This is a stupid plot. Frank gets a call from security and tells Luka that his car alarm is going off in the parking garage. Morris invites Neela to go to dinner with him to celebrate wherever her match letter says she’ll be working next year. He’s sure she’ll get a good placement. Abby, however, is going to disappoint wherever she matched because she hasn’t passed her boards yet.

Kem is taken to a private room, and though the nurses tending to her are kind, that doesn’t help her feel better. It also doesn’t help that they’re on the OB floor and can hear other people’s babies crying. Luka goes to the garage, where Steve is waiting for him at his car. He tries to make small talk, but Luka wants to cut to the chase. Steve says he’s screwed things up with his family, but this time he’s going to fix everything. He doesn’t see a place for Luka in Sam and Alex’s life.

Pratt and Neela go to Elgin’s apartment and leave him a note since no one’s home. As they’re leaving, they run into Elgin, who’s coming home and doesn’t feel well. He hasn’t taken any of the medical advice Neela gave him previously, and she wants to run some tests. Elgin has to take care of his younger siblings, though, so Pratt tells him to come in another time. Neela doesn’t feel right about letting his long-term needs slide while he takes care of his short-term needs.

Luka wants to go to Abby’s graduation, which she’s so uninterested in that she might not even go herself. She’s not sure she’ll even get to practice medicine, so why go to the ceremony, and why have anyone she cares about there? Weaver pulls her aside to ask if she’s gotten her match list. Off the record, County put Abby in their top 20, so if she put them on her list, she’ll probably get to work there.

Abby guesses that Weaver knows she failed her boards the first time. Weaver says that if she hypothetically fails again, the intern program expecting her might hypothetically delete her from their list. That would hypothetically give her the chance to match with her second choice. Abby says then she would hypothetically lodge a complaint with the national board about that program’s chief of staff discussing something she shouldn’t.

Sam meets up with Luka for their date, but he says he’s too tired for it. She easily guesses that Steve is somehow involved. Luka tries to use Alex as an excuse, thinking he’s confused about Sam dating Luka while Steve is around. Carter offers to call Kem’s family in the Congo, but she doesn’t want anyone to know yet that the baby died. At Elizabeth’s, Rachel tells her that Dave called. She’s figured out that Elizabeth is dating two guys at once. Elizabeth finally asks why she’s really in Chicago. Rachel admits that she needs plan B, the morning-after pill.

Kem’s labor is progressing but she still has hours to go. She tries to remain stoic when Carter leaves for a short break; she obviously doesn’t want him to go, but she also doesn’t want to ask him to stay. He chats with an expectant father whose wife is having their fourth girl. Carter acts like he’s any other father in the maternity ward, just waiting for his baby to arrive.

Steve tries to seduce Sam again at her place, and she’s still not interested. She asks if he said something to Luka at County. Steve says he wants another chance with her, but she just tells him not to approach Luka again. Steve continues his attempted seduction, progressing to kissing Sam and telling her he loves her. She manages to keep fighting temptation to do something she know she’ll regret.

Kem is finally in active labor, and she and Carter tearfully welcome their son. Dr. Ford determines that the baby was so active that he accidentally tied a knot in the umbilical cord, which led to his death. There’s nothing Kem could have done to prevent it: “It was just bad luck.” Kem refuses to look at the baby. As Carter takes a break, Jack finds him in the hallway. Carter goes to him like a child and cries as his father holds him.

A few hours later, Chen, Elizabeth, and Weaver discuss the news about the baby. Morris tries to be sympathetic but doesn’t sound like he actually cares. Neela takes her family on a tour of the hospital, keeping her cool when they come across a still-naked Mr. Ferguson. Abby! Do your job! I guarantee that the kids in the family will only remember this from their entire time in Chicago.

In Kem’s room, a nurse does the things normally done with a newborn – clipping a lock of hair, taking a footprint, etc. Kem still won’t look at the baby. Elizabeth asks Lawson to write Rachel a prescription for plan B and some other medications. Dr. Ford tells Carter that she wants Kem to stay in the hospital for the rest of the day as a precaution, but not in the maternity ward. She also wants Kem to hold the baby. If she doesn’t say goodbye, she’ll regret it for the rest of her life.

Elizabeth gives Rachel her prescriptions, as well as some birth-control pills. She explains that she got Lawson to write the prescriptions because Jen will inevitably find them, and Elizabeth doesn’t want to be connected to them. Smart! Rachel asks about Elizabeth’s two boyfriends, assuring her that Mark would be okay with her dating. He would want her to be happy. They both say they miss him.

Abby and Luka visit Carter, who appreciates their support but doesn’t want them to hang around too long. He also dismisses Jack, who won’t leave because he’s finally decided to be a good parent. Neela looks for Abby as their class gets ready to graduate, but she’s not there. Carter gently tells Kem that when they move her to another room, they’re going to take the baby away. He wants her to hold him. Kem doesn’t respond.

Luka is late to the graduation ceremony, which means he missed a speech from Molly Ivins, but he doesn’t know who that is, so whatever. Susan’s there, even though she’s a week overdue and is supposed to be on bed rest. Lester shows Neela the top of his cap, which has a greeting for his mom. Aw. Neela’s still looking for Abby.

Paramedics bring in Elgin, who has fluid in his lungs from congestive heart failure, one of the things Neela was worried about. Hmmm, maybe people should have listened to her. Abby arrives at graduation just seconds before her name is called. Trivia: Her middle name is Marjorie. Luka, Susan, and Sam give her a standing ovation. Neela gets her own from her family.

Jack finds Carter studying the lock of the baby’s hair. He says that when Carter’s brother Bobby died, he hated everyone’s platitudes (“there are no words,” etc.). He tries to remind Carter that the baby’s death was an accident. “The whole thing was an accident,” Carter replies. Jack reminds him that he and Kem love each other. Carter isn’t sure she’ll want to try for another child.

Luka and Susan congratulate Abby and invite her to get something to eat with them, but she turns them down. Luka spots Sam, who’s brought Steve and Alex with her, but keeps his distance. Abby calls Maggie and lets her know that she just graduated. If I were Maggie, I’d be mad that my daughter didn’t invite me to her big day, but whatever.

Carter goes back to Kem, telling her again that the baby is going to be taken away. They’ll never see him again. He admits that he doesn’t know what to say or do. The death was an accident; they didn’t do anything wrong. He loves her and wants to spend the rest of his life with her. Right now, though, they need to say goodbye to their son. Carter needs to figure out how to help Kem do that. He asks her to help him. Kem, who’s been silent every time Carter has tried to talk to her, finally sits up in bed and agrees to hold the baby. She cries over him as Carter just repeats that he loves them.

Thoughts: Dr. Ford is played by Blair Brown.

Thandie Newton and Noah Wyle are both excellent in this episode, dealing with really difficult material. It’s some of Wyle’s best acting on the show.

B.J. looks exactly like the kind of guy you’d expect Rachel to date, by which I mean the last guy you would want your daughter to be with.

When Sam and Steve met, she was 15 and he was 23. GROSS.

April 19, 2022

ER 10.19, Just a Touch: Abby and Psych Go Together Like Pratt and Flirting

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

Would you trust this woman to help you through your mental-heath crises?

Summary: Sam comes home from a trip to the grocery store to find Steve teaching Alex to play the guitar. Steve gives her some money to help pay her bills, as well as to ease his guilt over never supporting his child. She’s clearly not happy to have him around but also doesn’t want to send him away, since Alex loves him so much. Also, I think when he plays the guitar, she remembers what made her fall for him back when they were teens.

At County, Morris and Malik are struggling to subdue a very agitated patient, Mrs. Garrison. Luka steps in, since he’s familiar with her, and tells Morris not to restrain her; she’ll be fine once they give her Haldol. Mrs. Garrison makes him regret that decision by biting him, then grabbing Morris’ junk. Scott Grimes, why haven’t you called your agent yet? I know you’re on a hit show, but at what cost?

Weaver talks to a lawyer named Brooks who fills her in on the Lopezes’ case for wanting to take Henry away from her. Since Sandy was his birth mother and Weaver never legally adopted him, she doesn’t have rights. Weaver says they were in the middle of the adoption process. Brooks says the baby’s biological father could help by giving Weaver his parental rights, but he was an anonymous donor, so that won’t get them anywhere.

Brooks promises to try to come up with temporary arrangements that will let Weaver see her son. The good news is that Illinois doesn’t discriminate against same-sex couples when it comes to custody. But Weaver’s single now, and she has a demanding job that eats into her time with Henry. The Lopezes have a blood connection to Henry and are able to take care of him 24/7. Weaver offers to change her schedule and even quit if she has to.

Luka’s surprised to see Weaver at work. It’s like he’s never met her before. She’s not going to sit at home crying. She tells Brooks that she has the money to fight the Lopezes in court. She wants them to know that, too. After Brooks leaves, Weaver notices Morris icing his junk and is truly speechless. Writers, this is not compelling TV. Fix it.

Luka chats with Sam, saying that Alex must be excited for spring break. He suggests that they take him bowling. Sam says that Steve is in town; he shows up unannounced every once in a while. She wishes he would go away for good. He only stays long enough to raid her fridge and wrack up a big phone bill. And, I assume, to make Alex think he’s sticking around for good this time, then break his heart.

Abby is doing a psych rotation, and she jokes to Sam and Luka that she’s keeping an extra ID on her so no one mistakes her for a patient. Pratt finds Lester and Morris fighting over a patient Lester says Morris is trying to steal. The patient is an attractive woman, so Pratt takes her for himself. Neela tells the guys they’re ridiculous, then gets assigned to care for a woman who’s throwing up. The woman happens to have blue skin. I guess Morris and Lester don’t consider her attractive enough to treat. That’s discriminatory against blue people!

Mrs. Garrison is now stable, just as Luka predicted. Abby admits to him that she’s a little scared about her psych rotation – not because of the patients but because she’s enjoying it. She asks how he’s doing and he tells her about Steve. Uh-oh, someone feels threatened! As if anyone would choose another guy over Luka. Uh, unless that someone was George Clooney.

Carter asks Abby to get Chen’s father admitted; he fell and hurt his arm, which means he’ll be even less able to care for himself than usual. Chen complains that he keeps driving away home-care nurses, so Abby offers to help out, since she needs extra money. She asks about Kem, whom Carter just got back from visiting. She’s probably not as desperate to be done with her pregnancy as Susan is. Abby says she threatened to deliver the baby herself if it doesn’t hurry up and get born already.

Pratt examines his stolen patient, Ms. Campbell, who has back pain but doesn’t know why. She has a swollen lymph node and hasn’t had a mammogram or done any breast self-exams, so Pratt decides to do one himself. He brings Sam over, since hospital protocol is to have a woman present when a male doctor does a breast exam.

Pratt tries to lighten the mood before he puts his hands all over a stranger’s chest. Sam takes a phone call, so she’s still in the vicinity but not paying attention. Pratt examines Ms. Cambell, telling her how to do a self-exam each month. Ms. Campbell looks really uncomfortable, but Pratt doesn’t feel anything concerning.

Paramedics bring in a man named James who was in a car accident and is agitated and demanding pain medication. Luka gives him to Pratt and tends to the driver of James’ car, Rena. James tells Pratt that he met Rena last night, and she was driving him home after they spent the night at her place. Neela helps Luka with Rena, who asks for Pratt to be her doctor. Pratt finishes up with James, then goes next door to help with Rena, whom he doesn’t recognize. She reminds him that they met on the El last year and hooked up. Pratt pretends he remembers her.

Abby goes to the psych floor and meets up with her supervisor, Dr. Nelson. He tells her she can lead his group therapy session today. Way to spring it on the patients that their usual doctor won’t be there. James is ready to be discharged, and he doesn’t see a point in waiting to see how Rena is. Pratt and Sam are unimpressed. Rena needs surgery, and she asks Pratt to come visit her later. He says he will, which makes Luka think they’re friends.

Pratt asks Neela to do something for a patient, but she’s helping out with research on stroke treatments in the neuro lab, which Pratt calls the “mouse house.” She feels like she’s not effective in the ER and is looking for other areas to be useful. She goes back to the blue puker, Denise, whose vomiting has been accompanied by weakness in her hands and feet. Her blue skin is apparently normal – it’s a side effect of medication she takes for a heart arrhythmia. Guys at her school call her Smurf, because of course they do.

Pratt determines that Ms. Campbell must have strained a muscle without realizing it. She’s not satisfied with the diagnosis, but he tells her how to treat it and to come back if she gets worse. He gets called away to tend to a woman named Jordan who passed out. Ms. Campbell asks Sam if she can talk to Pratt’s supervisor. Ruh-roh! And in more ruh-roh! news, Steve is there. He wants to take Sam to lunch (with Alex). Alex is currently showing Luka the guitar Steve bought him. Sam silently begs Steve to leave. Neela helps Pratt with Jordan, and they disagree about her diagnosis and treatment options.

Chen finds Carter in the lounge, making arrangements for someone to bring him paperwork he was supposed to go sign somewhere. (I think Carter was visiting Chen at home when her father fell, and he came with her to make sure everything’s okay.) He asks her opinion on nursery themes, then realizes she never got to pick out a theme for her own baby. She assures him that she’s not offended. She’s been thinking about her son a lot. After her father dies, she won’t have any more family. Carter asks if she’s ever gotten to visit her son. She says no, and he suggests that she go. “Maybe I should have kept him,” Chen replies.

Abby runs the group-therapy session, which mainly involves trying to keep the patients from yelling at each other. When they won’t stop fighting, Abby lights a cigarette. Suddenly the patients all agree on something – Abby’s breaking the rules. Watching from outside the room, Nelson is pleased. Abby puts out the cigarette and starts a discussion about personal goals.

Ms. Campbell tells Weaver that Pratt made her feel uncomfortable because he seemed to enjoy giving her a breast exam. Weaver assures her that he’s professional, but she’s free to file a formal complaint. Ms. Campbell doesn’t want to go that far; she just wanted to make her feelings known and ask for someone to talk to Pratt.

As Weaver goes looking for him, she asks Sam if there was anything unusual about the exam. For example, why did Pratt give a breast exam to someone who complained of back pain? Sam says she didn’t know the woman’s medical complaints and was on the phone the whole time. Morris says it sounds like Pratt TUBEd Ms. Campbell. Weaver overhears and asks where that term came from. Morris looks around for someone to blame.

Jordan regains consciousness and Pratt tells her that she seems healthy, so they haven’t determined what made her pass out. She says she had seizures as a kid but grew out of them and hasn’t had one for about 20 years. Weaver pulls Pratt away to ask him about Ms. Campbell. She accuses him of giving Ms. Campbell an unnecessary exam so he had the excuse to feel her up. This could lead to a sexual harassment lawsuit.

Pratt notes that he could have saved Ms. Campbell’s life if he’d found anything during the exam. He doesn’t think he did anything wrong. Her symptoms fit with those of breast cancer. Weaver asks if the exam had anything to do with Pratt being attracted to Ms. Campbell. He thinks Weaver would have done everything he did if she were in his position. Then he asks if she’s ever gotten turned on while performing a breast exam. Pratt, stop talking.

Weaver thinks Pratt’s use of the term “TUBE” is a smoking gun. Pratt insists that he didn’t come up with it; he heard it in med school. Plus, if Ms. Campbell had been that uncomfortable, she should have said something. Weaver suggests that she was intimidated, which makes Pratt think she’s maligning him for being Black. She says it’s not about race, but to Pratt, more things are about race than white people think.

The argument ends when Weaver takes a call from Brooks and Pratt gets summoned to tend to Denise, who’s collapsed. Neela tells him about her heart arrhythmia as she joins him. Pratt blasts Morris for opening his big mouth and getting him in trouble with Weaver. Morris lies that he didn’t say anything: “That hot patient was complaining about you.” Ugh.

Neela notes that when male doctors refer to female patients as “hot,” they’re not getting things off on the right foot. She asks Pratt if he can understand how Ms. Campbell must have felt coming to the ER and having a stranger grope her. Malik reports that Denise, who’s now stable, doesn’t have any of her heart medication in her system. She had to have stopped taking it weeks ago for her level to be zero. Pratt asks Neela if Denise said anything about why she might stop taking her medication. “Maybe because men are idiots,” Neela replies. Is that your professional diagnosis?

Sam has been roped into lunch with Steve and Alex after all, and she’s definitely not enjoying herself. After Alex leaves the table to play pinball, Steve compliments her on her parenting and says Alex is a “cool kid.” Uh, no, he’s not. She tells him about all the trouble Alex causes, which Steve thinks is amusing. After a minute of him making small talk, Sam asks straight out how long Steve will be in Chicago, since he’s never around for long. He says he might stick around this time.

Luka wants to send Jordan out of the ER for more tests and treatment, but Pratt says he hasn’t figured out what happened yet. Luka doesn’t think she had a seizure. Pratt notes that Jordan has a baby, so it wouldn’t be wise to send her home without knowing she won’t pass out again. He wants her to have an EEG.

Neela gives Pratt some info on Denise (we don’t get the end of that storyline), and Luka wishes her good luck on her work in the neuro lab. After she leaves, Pratt asks Luka if he feels awkward giving breast exams to attractive women. He agrees with Pratt that it’s strange for both parties. Pratt allows that he might come across as unprofessional and asks how Luka keeps that from happening. Luka just thinks of breast exams as no different from any other medical procedure. Morris shares a tip he picked up from an attending on his OB rotation: He pretends he’s examining his mom. Morris, shut up some more.

Neela goes to the neuro lab and gets a tour from a guy named Colin. He’s in a Ph.D. program and has been there for eight years. DUDE. He has to discover something new in neuroscience to get his degree. Neela will be working with Colin, a guy named Yuri, and some mice. Neela doesn’t seem too happy about that last part.

Jordan’s husband, Nick, arrives with their daughter as Jordan is undergoing an EEG. It’ll take a few hours to determine if she’s having unusual brain activity. Pratt blasts Sam for not being more helpful during Ms. Campbell’s exam. He insists that he tried to put her at ease without being creepy. Sam says he’s a flirt.

She compliments his package, trying to give him a taste of his own medicine. Pratt insists again that he was completely professional; he wasn’t even thinking anything inappropriate. Even if he was, she couldn’t read his mind. Sam says everyone can read his mind. He’s a guy, and guys only think about food, sports, and sex. Women don’t appreciate always being ogled.

Malik comes to get Pratt, telling him that Jordan’s having a seizure. Luka joins him to help but Pratt has already stabilized Jordan. He thinks that once she goes on the proper medication, she’ll be fine. But Luka examines the EEG results and tells Pratt that Jordan didn’t have a seizure – she faked it. She doesn’t need a neurologist, she needs a psychiatrist.

Abby says goodbye to one of her patients (in Klingon, since that’s all he’ll speak), then chats with Nelson, thinking he doesn’t approve of her behavior during the group session. Instead, he says he’s never seen the patients respond to anyone like they did to her. It might be because they were scared of her, though. He offers to help her quit smoking, but Abby’s not interested.

Jerry has either volunteered or been volunteered to stand in for Ms. Campbell so Pratt can demonstrate for Weaver how her exam went. Malik walks in to get Weaver and will mostly likely be teasing Jerry about this for the next ten years or so. Weaver tells Pratt he’ll have to present a lecture to the med students about “gender sensitivity.” Jerry, you can put your shirt back on.

Neela’s finding her new assistant role interesting. She accidentally spills some coffee on a sample Yuri’s using, which will set him back six weeks. Maybe you shouldn’t keep your cup right next to your sample, then. Abby tells Pratt that Jordan may not have faked her seizure. She could be experiencing some disorder that manifests itself like this. But Jordan doesn’t want to stick around to talk to her, and they can’t make her stay. “That was my easiest consult all day,” Abby quips.

Luka gives Sam some pictures from the camping trip they took with Alex. She tries to smooth things over about Steve’s visit, as if it’s her fault that he’s there, or she should feel bad about it, or she’s given any indication that she wants to ditch Luka for him. Pratt goes to the surgical floor and asks Elizabeth how Rena is. She had a lot of injuries but Elizabeth thinks she’ll be okay. Lawson comes by next and asks Elizabeth to dinner, but she has plans. Dave arrives to pick her up, and Elizabeth tries not to freak out about her two boyfriends meeting each other. Lawson seems to get that she’s seeing Dave, but not vice versa.

Abby asks Weaver for more nursing shifts so she can pay her med-school tuition. Weaver’s trying not to cry, so Abby tells her to take time off to grieve. Weaver says she doesn’t have that luxury. She lost her partner and is trying not to lose her son, too. She had to fight just get him for the weekend. Abby offers to help however she can. Weaver thanks her, then reveals that Abby’s tuition has been paid through graduation.

The Lopezes have brought Henry to the hospital so Weaver can take him for the weekend, but first she has to sign a form promising to give him back. Absolutely ridiculous. Florina’s there, but the person who hands Henry over is Sandy’s brother Carlos, and he tells Weaver he doesn’t agree with his parents’ desire to take her child from her. He knows Sandy would be upset if she knew what was happening – she would want Weaver and Henry to be together.

Abby tracks down Carter, having guessed that he’s the one who paid her tuition. She won’t take the money – she’s not a charity. Carter wants her to think of it as an investment. He already has more money than she’ll ever make. Abby jokes that in that case, she’ll take a new car, too. A guy rides up on a motorcycle and Abby heads off with him, telling Carter she’ll pay him back. He chastises the guy for not wearing a helmet, and Abby flips him off.

Pratt’s by Rena’s side when she wakes up post-surgery. She didn’t think he would come, even though he said he would. After all, he said he would call and never did. She’s realized that he doesn’t remember her. Pratt confirms that, but she says it’s okay. I think she’s just happy to have a friendly face with her now.

Thoughts: Brace yourselves because I’m going to defend Pratt: He didn’t do anything wrong. He was completely professional. If I were his patient, I would have felt at ease. The only criticism I have is that he should have asked Ms. Campbell if she was comfortable with him doing the exam or if she wanted a female doctor instead.

That said, Ms. Campbell was completely justified in speaking up. If your doctor or nurse or whoever does something that makes you uncomfortable, you have the right to say something.

Imagine how horrible a person you’d have to be to respond to your daughter’s death with, “Let’s take her kid away from her grieving partner, who love him and hasn’t harmed him in any way.”

How effective can your group therapy be if the patients all hate each other?

April 12, 2022

ER 10.18, Where There’s Smoke: I Wish I Hadn’t Already Used “Sandy, Can’t You See I’m in Misery?” as a Title

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


Summary: Sandy and Weaver have gotten into the swing of this parenting thing and are preparing for their day. Both of them have to work, so Florina will be looking after Henry. Florina clearly loves her daughter and grandson but isn’t quite so affectionate with Weaver (I don’t think she’s a fan of Henry having two mommies). Weaver and Sandy are obviously very happy together. This means something bad is going to happen.

Luka shows up at Sam and Alex’s on his way home from a late shift. Alex jokes that he must have missed them. Sam sends him off to school, then suggests that she and Luka find a way to fill the couple of minutes before she has to leave for work. Luka’s tired but not too tired for sex. So to sum up, the two of them are together and Alex doesn’t seem to care.

At County, Abby and Neela are thinking about the results of their recent board exams, which they haven’t opened yet. Neela doesn’t think she has a future as a doctor, between her clashes with staff members and the fact that she accidentally killed someone. Chen tells her she’s not a good doctor until she’s killed someone. Neela thinks Chen isn’t in that club. If only she knew about Chen’s major screw-up when she was a med student.

Susan arrives in the ER in a wheelchair, accompanied by a guy named Levine (who made her use the wheelchair because she wasn’t walking fast enough for his liking). He’s from risk management and will be interviewing everyone involved in Luis’ case. Carter is the one being named in the family’s lawsuit because he was the attending in charge, but he’s conveniently in the Congo, visiting Kem. Neela gets to go first. Susan doesn’t think she has anything to worry about. Luis’ medical records slipped through the cracks; no one did anything wrong.

Pratt wants to fix Gallant up with a woman he knows, but Gallant isn’t interested. Elizabeth compliments Gallant on some procedure he did and suggests that he switch to surgery if he gets tired of emergency medicine. Chen tells Pratt to present a patient to her since Susan’s with risk management. She seems tired, but she says her father is doing better.

Pratt’s patient is a John Doe with hypothermia and high blood sugar. Pratt thinks he’s homeless, but Chen notes that his fingernails look well taken care of, so he might have wandered off from his home. Then he pees on her. Womp womp. Elizabeth complains to Weaver that the surgical department is in shambles and they need someone to represent them in bargaining for their salaries. Weaver informs Elizabeth that she was chosen as the new department head a couple months ago and no one bothered to tell her. So I guess Elizabeth gets to be that bargaining representative.

Abby examines a patient named Halpern who’s complaining of back pain and wants Vicodin. She and Gallant immediately clock him as a drug-seeker. Susan and Neela meet with Levine, and Neela sticks with Gallant’s story that he gave the order for Demerol. (She kind of has to, since telling the truth would put him on the hook for a crime.) Susan studies Neela really closely but doesn’t suspect that she’s lying. She tells Neela that a friend of hers is doing a study on stroke treatments and needs med students to help with research, if Neela’s interested.

Chen complains that Susan will be with Levine all day, leaving Chen as the only attending on the floor. Jerry tells Sam that Luka called and said something about coffee. Chen approves of the Sam/Luka pairing and confirms that she never hooked up with Luka. “I went in a completely different direction,” she says, waving to Pratt.

The John Doe is awake and identifies himself as Bob Jones. He says he’s homeless, but Chen is still skeptical. His diabetes was under control until recently. Bob won’t say what caused it to get out of control. Chen says she’ll called Social Services, an idea Bob approves of since he needs a place to live. She realizes that Pratt should be handling this and goes to question him. He’s been on the phone with her father’s nurse, who reported that her father set off a smoke alarm while trying to cook a steak. Pratt thinks he should be restrained when he’s in bed.

Sam announces that they’re about to receive a bunch of patients from a fire and building collapse. Chen will need Susan’s help now more than ever. She’s currently with Levine and Abby, the latter of whom thinks Neela made the right call with Luis. She doesn’t know if what Neela and Gallant say happened is really what happened, and she wonders if there’s a cover-up. Jerry comes to get the women to help with the new patients.

The rest of the staff jumps to action, helping two firefighters, Tommy and Andy. Susan tells Abby to take the lead tending to Andy. Susan immediately recognizes the next patient as Sandy. She’s awake and talking, and even remembers Neela from the NICU. But she breathed in some stuff she shouldn’t have, so Susan warns that they may need to intubate her. Sandy asks to talk to Weaver first, and though Susan doesn’t think they should wait, she agrees to hold off for a little bit.

Gallant joins Chen and Pratt to take care of Tommy, who looks really bad. Gallant catches a problem the other doctors didn’t. Chen sends Pratt to help Abby while letting Gallant stay with her, because why not bug your ex with a show of power in the middle of a mass trauma? Pratt fixes Andy’s dislocated knee, and it’s SUPER-GROSS. Thanks a lot, show.

Weaver finally gets to Sandy’s trauma room and learns that she needs surgery. She’s right on time because Sandy starts declining. Weaver takes over her partner’s care, and Susan, Neela, and Sam don’t have the heart to make her stop. Andy’s disappointed to learn that his knee injury might sideline him from the career he’s always wanted. Sorry, buddy, we don’t have time to care about you. Tommy’s doing poorly, so Pratt goes over to help. Chen still wants to let Gallant take the lead, and she’s in danger of driving a wedge between the guys.

As Weaver intubates Sandy, Andy suddenly has trouble breathing. Pratt’s still busy with Tommy, so Abby can’t get him to come back and help her and Malik. She keeps the door open between Andy’s exam room and Tommy’s trauma room, and Pratt and Chen yell instructions to her. Abby can’t intubate Andy because of swelling in his airway, so she decides to cut a hole in his throat. She also decides not to mention what she’s doing to Pratt and Chen. Oh, and she’s never done this before. When she’s done, she tells Pratt and Chen what she did. Chen’s pleased with her initiative.

Tommy’s dead, and Gallant feels especially bad about not being able to save him. Sandy’s about to go up to surgery, and Elizabeth doesn’t realize who she is until Susan tells her. She offers to let Weaver observe. Neela kindly tells Weaver she’ll say a prayer. Some of Sandy’s fellow firefighters walk alongside her gurney as she’s moved, soon joined by Sandy’s mother and brother, Eduardo. (The baby is with Eduardo’s wife.) Florina tells Weaver to take care of Sandy. Weaver spots a firefighter breaking down over the news of Tommy’s death.

Gallant has his turn with risk management. Levine asks why Carter didn’t write notes on the chart before he left the country. Did he need time to get his facts straight? Gallant just says they were busy that night. Levine asks if Gallant feels like Carter is a good attending. Gallant says yes, so Levine asks why he didn’t present to Carter. Susan has the same question, since Carter couldn’t have been far away.

Levine questions whether Carter knew the decisions Gallant was making. Gallant says no, and that he wanted to handle the case himself. Maybe he’s not as competent as he thought he was. Gallant agrees to include all this in his testimony if the case proceeds and he’s deposed, but he might not be able to be present. He’s being deployed to Iraq. STUPID SHOW!

Abby and Gallant return their attention to Halpern, whose records show that he’s asked for Vicodin at multiple hospitals but doesn’t currently have any in his system. Another of Sandy’s brothers, Carlos (a fellow firefighter), arrives and asks for an update on Sandy. She’s still in surgery, and Elizabeth chats with Weaver about her while she operates. Weaver notes that they met at County. Elizabeth says it’s the last place she expected to find a partner. Weaver replies that she misses Mark, too.

Abby asks Neela a question about medication and Neela answers like it’s something she’s known for decades. She finally opened her test results and found out she passed her boards, but she’s not as happy as she should be. She isn’t sure it means anything. She suggests that they go out and celebrate anyway, but Abby isn’t in the mood. She finds Susan giving herself some sort of exam because she’s having contractions.

Anspaugh joins Elizabeth in the OR as Sandy starts declining. He questions Weaver’s presence but Elizabeth says it’s fine. Sandy’s heart isn’t pumping blood, so Elizabeth tells Weaver they need to open her chest. Gallant asks Halpern about all the caffeine in his system. Halpern blames over-the-counter migraine medication, which doesn’t help his back pain. It turns out he’s a veteran and doesn’t have good enough insurance to cover what he needs. The VA won’t admit that his migraines are related to his service. Gallant guesses that he sells Vicodin to pay for his migraine medication.

Neela runs into Gallant and asks how his meeting with risk management went. He just says things will be fine. She apologizes for being distant, but she’s struggling to deal with all the lying and cover-ups. Gallant tells her about his deployment – he’s going to Texas tomorrow and will finish his residency there, then go to Iraq. Neela guesses that he’s lying about being deployed. He offered to go because he’s a coward. Now he’s going to leave Neela to deal with the fallout of their cover-up. “Go to bloody Iraq,” she says, “and tell yourself you’ve done something noble.”

Susan’s contractions have stopped, but she needs to go on bed rest for five weeks. She and Abby lament what a bad day they’ve had. On top of the risk management meetings and their patients, Abby failed her boards. Susan thinks it’s just because she has to work so much that she didn’t have time to study. Abby puts it in perspective, saying at least she didn’t have a burning building collapse on her. She can take them again.

Anspaugh and Elizabeth continue working on Sandy but don’t make any progress. Weaver realizes – has probably realized for a while – that they’re not going to save her. She sadly tells them they can stop trying. Sandy’s gone.

Weaver sits with Sandy’s body for a long time, then asks Elizabeth to remove her intubation, even though there’s a law that it has to stay in. She tells Elizabeth that even though she had to talk Sandy into getting pregnant, once Henry was born, Sandy wanted to have a bunch of kids. “What am I supposed to do now?” Weaver whispers. Elizabeth offers to tell Sandy’s family, but Weaver wants to do it.

Susan asks Gallant if people know he’s leaving. He says no, apparently not wanting anyone to make a big deal about it. She tells him that while he made a stupid mistake, there were a lot of factors that led to Luis’ death. Gallant says that if the case goes to court, the Army will let him come back and testify. Susan doesn’t think it’ll get that far. People don’t sue doctors they like, and Luis’ wife liked Gallant, so the case will probably go away. They wish each other well with his deployment and her baby.

Weaver goes to the waiting area to tell Sandy’s family and friends that she’s dead. Sam is leaving as Luka’s arriving early to spend time with her before his shift. She tells him that Sandy died, but he doesn’t recognize her name. Ouch. Gallant plays basketball with Pratt for the last time before leaving for his deployment, which will last at least a year. Pratt thinks he’s a little too casual about going into a war zone. He says he’ll miss Gallant, who’s honorable, a quality Pratt isn’t sure he’s ever encountered in someone before. He tells Gallant not to get himself killed.

Sam goes home, where Alex is listening to loud music and is in a good mood. It’s because his father, Steve, has come by. Sam’s bad day just got worse. Abby checks in on Weaver, who’s alone with just Sandy’s firefighter gear. She breaks down and Abby comforts her. I engrave Laura Innes’ name on an honorary Emmy.

The next day, Gallant is about to leave for the airport when Neela comes to see him. She gives him a rabbit’s foot for good luck and thanks him for putting himself on the line for her career. She kisses him and tells him he has to come back. He says he will, and she’d better be a great doctor when he returns. She sheds a couple of tears as he rides off on a cab.

Weaver goes to Eduardo’s house to pick up Henry, who spent the night. Eduardo tells her that Henry isn’t there. It’s nothing personal; he’s always liked Weaver. But the Lopezes are Henry’s blood relatives, and they’re keeping Sandy’s son. Weaver hears him crying and starts to fight her way past Eduardo into the house, but he pushes her away and slams the door on her. She bangs on the door, demanding her son back.

Thoughts: Levine is played by Armin Shimerman, AKA Snyder. Andy is played by Rob McElhenney.

All these years later, I’m still mad they killed off Sandy. I also resent having to watch this right after “Becoming, Part 2.”

I don’t get why the show suddenly backed off of Gallant and all but wrote him out after this, but made us put up with Morris for the rest of the series.

I’m not saying what Halpern’s been doing is right, but…I’m also not saying it’s a bad idea.