June 5, 2018

ER 1.20, Full Moon, Saturday Night: All Night Long

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

Yes, please take me to County for medical treatment. They really seem to know what they’re doing there

Summary: Mark is lost in thought in a trauma room, remembering how he was unable to save Jodi O’Brien. Susan convinces him to take the night off; she’ll page him if he’s needed. Benton’s mother is still in the hospital, and Jeanie offers to sit with her while Benton finishes up some work. They agree to get dinner afterward, and Carter tries to invite himself along. Susan warns Carter that since there’s a full moon, things are about to get crazy. Right on cue, a patient high on PCP and strapped to a gurney breaks a window and trashes a trauma room.

Carter catches Chen sneaking a peak at his paperwork to see how his procedures measure up against hers. With Mark gone, Susan needs another doctor on shift with her, but no one’s available. Carol suggests Doug, pretending not to be bothered when she learns that he has a date with Diane. Susan and Carter tend to a patient named David who was in a car accident. Susan lets Carter take charge, and he does everything right. Chen volunteers to help out, not wanting to let Carter take on any cases without her.

Mark has dinner across the street at Doc Magoo’s, annoyed when another patron tries to chat with him. Mr. Travis, the driver who hit David, is uninjured and wants to apologize for the accident. Carter and Chen are still working on him, deciding that whoever completes more of his stitches gets to claim him as their patient. In the hallway, Mr. Travis collapses with chest pain. Chen and Carter see the commotion as Susan and Carol tend to him, and Chen ditches Carter to jump on the new, more interesting case.

The man chatting with Mark at Doc Magoo’s arrives and reveals that he’s a doctor, Willy Swift. Carol thinks he’s the moonlighter Susan called in. Susan is pretty casual and condescending with him; she thinks he’ll have trouble keeping up with the chaos of a night in the ER. They disagree about Travis’ diagnosis, but Swift doesn’t make a big deal out of it. And he could, because he’s not a moonlighter – he’s Morgenstern’s replacement, the new ER chief.

Carol, Malik, and Haleh draw straws to determine who has to treat a patient with lice. Carol loses, and Haleh says she’ll soon be able to put away her nursing scrubs. She figures that Carol will quit her job after she and Tag get married. Tag arrives just then, and he and Carol discuss some wedding details they haven’t solidified yet. Benton joins them, complaining that Tag didn’t tell him that Mae is being discharged. Her Medicare won’t pay for any more time in the hospital, so the family needs to discuss options. Benton is determined to take her back home.

As midnight approaches, rooms are filling up, but Susan knows the patients won’t stop coming. Tag brings Carol some music to listen to so they can pick a band. He recognizes Swift, telling Carol they played football together in college. Some frat guys come in with frostbite after being left in Lincoln Park without their clothes; Susan dubs them “popsicle pledges.”

Benton finds Mae restrained in her bed and promises that it won’t happen again. He’s mad that Jeanie let the doctors restrain her for trying to leave her bed. Jeanie admits that she’s the one who requested it. Benton tells her not to come back. Carter’s next patient, Arlena, thinks her abdominal pain is due to the moon, which has putting something inside her. Carter agrees that there might be something inside her, but he suspects it’s a baby. She wants to do his astrological chart. (For the record, Carter’s birthday is June 4th, 1970.)

Susan has a patient named Jimmy who can’t stop hiccuping. His fiancée thinks it’s related to their upcoming wedding. Carol and Tag discuss honeymoon destinations and china patterns, like, have they done ANY planning yet? The patient whose leg they’re casting is amused. Swift asks where Mark is, since he’s scheduled to work, and Susan lies that he went home sick.

Carter confirms Arlena’s pregnancy, but she thinks their “journey” together isn’t over yet. She senses that he’s conflicted and trying to find his way. He should follow his inner voice and fight against people who want to destroy him. Carol welcomes back a patient who went on the run so he could have a drink. Just as Susan’s starting to enjoy most of the male doctors being gone, a cherry bomb goes off in a trash can. She and Carol decide it’s courtesy of the popsicle pledges.

County gets a call to implement disaster protocol – there was a fire at a nightclub, and they’ll need to tend to patients with third-degree burns. Doug gets called in and has to leave Diane behind in bed. She offers him a spare key in case he gets the chance to come back, though he’ll have to leave before Jake gets up. Benton is also paged to the ER (he has a short trip to make, since he’s in his mother’s hospital room), but Mark doesn’t hear his beeper over the noise in the busy arcade where he’s playing a video game.

Things are quiet when Doug arrives in the ER almost 30 minutes after he was paged. Swift reveals that there was no disaster; he just wanted to see how long it would take everyone to respond. Now he has a captive audience to go over some policies. Chen asks Carter to help her with her patient, who’s been groping her. The patient, Mr. Denardo, doesn’t appreciate being tended to by such young doctors, but it’s that or risk infection in his injured finger. Chen almost sets him on fire by combining a cauterizing tool with ethyl chloride.

Swift quizzes his staff on illnesses and procedures, stumping Doug with a question. Bob answers it correctly when she comes in to tell Susan that Mark’s on the phone for her. He’s finally answered his page and makes it to the ER and hour and 47 minutes after being summoned, as Swift is wrapping up. He recognizes Mark from Doc Magoo’s and mentions the lie Susan told about him having the flu.

Benton returns to his mother’s room and finds her on the floor next to her bed. Susan and Carter determine that Arlena is pregnant with twins, which Arlena says makes sense, as Carter’s a Gemini. One embryo is healthy but the other is ectopic and has to be removed before it ruptures. Arlena takes the news well, happy to be able to continue the other pregnancy.

Carol cleans up a patient named Talbot who claims to be a werewolf who needs to be placed in restraints until sunrise. He spooks her by growling at her. Carter hears him howling, and Carol advises him to lock the door when he goes to take a nap. Jimmy’s hiccups are gone, but they were caused by abscesses on his liver, so Susan needs to run some tests. She asks some questions that make Jimmy realize that she suspects that he has HIV. He claims that he hasn’t had unprotected sex with any men or prostitutes who could have given him the virus.

Doug and Mark discuss Swift, wondering if he’ll take Morgenstern’s recommendation to make Mark an attending. Doug can tell that Mark is distracted by the O’Brien case and encourages him to let it go. Mark can’t stop thinking about how Jodi won’t be around to see her son take his first steps in a year. Doug invites Mark to come home with him so they can talk, but Mark wants to be alone.

After taking care of a bunch of drunks and psych patients, the doctors get a trauma. Carter is pulled out of bed to help Susan and Carol give a patient chest compressions. Haleh tells Susan that a baby was found in a trash bag and is being brought in with hypothermia. (Hey, whoever’s responsible for this: Enjoy Hell.) Susan hands the baby off to Swift so she can go back to the other patient. Tag also joins the group, helping to restart the patient’s heart. Susan teaches Carter how to massage it so it fills. Once the patient is stable, Susan returns to Swift and the baby, who’s improving. Swift tells her to take a break now that things are under control.

Chen’s still taking care of minor patients, so Carter brags that he got to do an internal cardiac massage. The sun is already up when Doug makes it back to Diane, so he doesn’t have much time before he has to leave again. Jen finds Mark sitting on an El platform, the same place Doug left him hours earlier. Doug called her and sent her to talk to her soon-to-be-ex-husband. Jen reminds Mark that he’s human, so he can’t save all of his patients. She seems to think that having breakfast will solve everything.

Jimmy’s fiancée asks Susan if there’s a chance she could be sick, too. She confides that she thinks Jimmy’s keeping something from her. Benton goes to Jeanie’s house and meets her husband, Al. Benton admits that he can’t take care of his mother on his own, like he thought he could. He asks her to help him find a facility where she can get the care she needs. Susan and Carol congratulate each other on how well they rocked the full-moon shift. Carol asks Susan to be a bridesmaid, warning that she might not be as excited about the honor when she sees her dress.

Susan then finds Swift trying to fix a sink in a bathroom, since maintenance hasn’t shown up. He suggests that she apply to be chief resident and is surprised to learn that she’s only a second-year resident. He wants to make some changes to the chain of command in the ER. Carter claims he had a great night, and he calls in a radio request for Susan. The two of them and Carol end their shift by dancing to “Twist and Shout.”

Thoughts: David is played by a practically unrecognizable Adam Scott. Al is played by a different actor here than in later episodes, and this guy is handsome, but he’s no Michael Beach.

This episode is a good example of why I could never be a doctor: Any job that requires me to be awake at 2:30 in the morning isn’t a job I want.

Early episodes really had a lot of storylines that never got resolved, and too many patients to keep track of. Think of all the first-season patients whose fates are never known. There’s so much left open.

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May 15, 2018

ER 1.17, The Birthday Party: And Benton’ll Cry If He Wants To

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

Still not in the top 10 of weirdest things to happen in the ER

Summary: It’s the middle of the night, but Doug’s awake, and not in bed with the woman he hooked up with the night before. He doesn’t even know her name (though she doesn’t know his either, so they’re equally pathetic). He leaves, saying he has to go to work, even though it’s 4 a.m. Things are slow and Doug’s not actually on duty for a while, so he goes to the lounge to do paperwork. Carol’s still around, since she didn’t want to leave Tatiana. Doug tells her he’ll keep an eye on her while Carol gets some sleep before her morning shift.

Benton’s asleep on Jackie’s couch but wakes up when his nephew, Jesse, comes into the living room. Jackie reminds him that it’s their mother’s birthday, and there will be a party that night. He tells her he’ll have to rearrange his schedule but promises to be there. This is easier said than done, as he can’t find someone to change shifts with him.

Carter faces off with a patient who has poured gasoline all over himself and is threatening to light a lighter. Carter thinks he’s bluffing and warns that he’ll just set off the sprinklers, soak himself, and be embarrassed. The guy calls Carter’s bluff right back, saying there’s no sprinklers in the hallway. Carter starts to take the situation seriously and attempt to approach the guy and get his lighter. Benton ends the stand-off by spraying a fire extinguisher while Lily grabs the lighter.

Doug’s patient is a little boy who stuck his head in his father’s taxidermied tiger. His father blames his multiple viewings of The Lion King. Doug will have to remove the tiger’s jaw with a bone saw to free the child. His father objects, since the tiger’s been in his family for decades. Susan and Mark’s patient is more critical; she’s a frequent visit named Rene who often comes in looking for Demerol. They have to pump her stomach, and it’s not the first time.

Carol talks to a social worker named Mrs. Brown about Tatiana’s options, which aren’t great. There’s a children’s home/hospice that will take her, but that doesn’t sound appealing. Carol sadly watches her leave. Benton treats a man who lost a finger while boning a fish. His co-workers brought in a big crate of fish, which Chen and Carter will have to look through to find the missing finger. At least it’s on ice, which will give it a better chance of being reattachable.

Mark tells Rene’s father that she’s stable after overdosing on a mixture of drugs. He suggests that the family send her to in-patient treatment, which her father says didn’t work last time. Chen and Carter search the fish while discussing which sub-internships they might pursue for next year. Carter’s contemplating staying in the ER, though Chen warns that there’s only one spot. Benton unofficially gets to make the final decision. Chen has already applied. She also finds the missing finger.

Doug and Benton work on a little boy who might have a spinal injury. Another boy comes into the trauma room, covered in blood, and says, “I killed him. I killed Drew.” Doug determines that he isn’t injured, just in shock, but the boy, Kyle, says he shot his brother. Carol and Lydia tend to a man named Mr. Thornberg who’s in the late stages of lung cancer and is altered mentally. Susan and Mark play rock, paper, scissors to determine who takes the case. (Susan loses.)

On the phone with Walt, Benton promises again that he’ll be at the party. Carter overhears and thinks it’s Benton’s birthday. He asks about his chances for getting the trauma sub-internship; since 12 others have already applied, Benton puts his chances at 1 in 13. Mark’s like, “You’re aware that that was a really dumb question, right?” After Benton leaves, Carter tells Mark that it’s his birthday. Mark mentions that it’s also Rachel’s birthday. Carter thinks they should throw together a party. Mark advises him to work with Lydia on that.

Drew and Kyle’s father, a police officer named Thomas, has arrived, and Doug has to tell him that Drew needs surgery and might not live. Thomas keeps telling a crying Kyle to be quiet, but he eventually sits down and hugs him. He guesses that the gun Kyle shot Drew with was his service weapon. Carol and Lydia chat with Mr. Thornberg’s friend, who met him at church and started taking care of him since he doesn’t have a family. She says it felt like the right thing to do.

Rene’s boyfriend, T.J., is now with his girlfriend, and is trying to argue that she didn’t mean to hurt herself. Rene wants to go home with him instead of checking into a treatment center. Rene’s father knows there’s no use in arguing. Hicks learns that Benton wants to change shifts and calls him on rearranging his schedule a number of times recently. It’s not forbidden, but it upsets a balance Hicks and Morgenstern want their residents to experience. Benton starts to tell her that his mother’s sick, and she suggests that he take a break from the program and rejoin next year if necessary. Benton isn’t about to do that.

Lydia summons Benton to an exam room where two sisters are writhing in their beds. Carter and Malik are there for the big reveal: Carter has hired belly dancers for what he thinks is Benton’s birthday. Other staff members gather for the entertainment while Doug and Carol tend to a little girl who fell off a balcony onto her driveway. Doug remarks that it’s a “tough day to be a kid.”

Later in the day, Carol and Tag look at a church for their wedding; she declares that she hates it. She’s obviously just in a bad mood because she’s worried about Tatiana. She wants to do more to help the girl…like adopt her. Tag asks how much time Tatiana has left; he doesn’t want to adopt a child and then spend years watching her die. Carol is able to look past that, just wanting to help. But she assures Tag that he’s not a bad person for not feeling the same way.

Carter’s convinced that Benton is lying about today not being his birthday. Mark tells Susan that he has a patient who’s celebrating his 60th anniversary. She says her longest relationship was 60 weeks, and she doesn’t think she’ll ever get married. As Diane comes to the ER looking for Doug, Jeanie shows up and asks Benton if he can give her a ride to Mae’s party. Her husband can pick her up afterwards. Benton didn’t realize Jeanie was married, since she takes off her ring when she works with her physical therapy patients. He tells her he may not make it to the party after all.

Doug checks out a boy named Billy who may be anemic. He blames Billy’s diet, which has left him malnourished. Billy’s mother, Mrs. Larson, has four kids and has to rely on food stamps. In the winter, some of her money has to go to heat, so there’s little left for food. Doug has Lydia give her the names of some food banks and shelters, though Mrs. Larson doesn’t want to go to one. He tells her sternly that Billy’s teeth are rotting, so she needs to get him food wherever she can.

Malik tells Doug that the girl who fell off the balcony is stable, but Malik found a footprint on her back. Doug speeds off to the waiting area to confront the girl’s father, Wilson, who Doug thinks is abusive. Malik and Jerry have to restrain him before Wilson becomes the ER’s next patient. Doug has to cool off outside, but Mark doubts that Wilson will press charges; he has bigger things to worry about, now that he’s being investigated for child abuse. Doug refuses to apologize, and Mark says he doesn’t need to, but he’ll probably have to go to therapy. He adds that Diane’s still waiting around for Doug.

Carol stops Mr. Thornberg from smoking, but he figures one more cigarette won’t do any additional harm. I mean, he might ignite his oxygen tank, but okay. Police accompany a white supremacist into a trauma room after he was stabbed. Benton, Malik, and Connie are all there to tend to the man who has a death threat against people of their color tattooed on his arm. Lily wonders how he feels about Asians.

Doug finally makes it over to see Diane, who, let’s be honest, is totally turned on by his attack on Wilson. Carol and Jerry leave for the night, giving instructions to Rolando, the next desk clerk on duty. Jerry remarks that he doesn’t think they lost anyone today, though the verdict is out on the white supremacist. Benton and Hicks are about to operate on him, which means Benton has an excuse to keep avoiding the multiple phone calls Jackie has made.

As Carol goes to see Tatiana in her new group home, Mark goes home for Rachel’s birthday party, which is full of screaming girls. Jen’s ticked, but she got help from a co-worker. Then Mark gets ticked when he learns that Jen bought Rachel a Super Nintendo after he thought they agreed not to get her one. He has another present for Rachel, though it’s one Susan asked him to pass along. Jen announces that she’s accepted the offer to extend her job in Milwaukee. Since Mark made a decision on his own about his job, she feels like she could do the same.

Benton makes it home too late for the party; Mae’s already in bed. Poor Jeanie has to sit there and watch Benton and Jackie be passive-aggressive with each other. Benton laments that he missed the party to save the life of a man who would love to see him dead. Back at the hospital, Malik wakes Susan and tells her that Rene’s back, having overdosed again. Susan wants to keep the zero-deaths streak alive, so she works hard to save Rene while her father waits outside the trauma room, a place he’s become familiar with.

Thoughts: Mrs. Larson is played by Janel Moloney.

Jesse must get aged later on, because he’s only four here, but in season 7, he’s closer to 14 or 15.

Ving Rhames looks so much like Mos Def in this episode that I did a double take.

April 24, 2018

ER 1.14, Long Day’s Journey: Susan vs. Kayson, the Knock-Out Round

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 4:50 pm by Jenn

Soooooo awkward

Summary: Doug and Benton are taking care of a patient named Kathleen who supposedly fell off a ladder. Her children are in the hallway, and Carol takes the daughter, Mandy, off to look at her hand, which she says she hurt when her mother fell. Carter gets to work and learns that Chen has already taken care of a lot of his tasks. She admits that she’s trying to make a good impression.

Carol tells Doug that Kathleen has been treated for a number of injuries at County. Doug realizes they’re dealing with a case of abuse and straight out asks Mandy and her brother David who’s been beating their mother. The kids stay quiet, but Doug doesn’t press them to talk. As he’s leaving, David points the finger at Mandy. Mandy denies the accusation, but her rage tells a different story.

Susan checks with Mark before discharging a patient, since he’s apparently still double-checking all her cases. She’s appearing before Morgenstern’s committee that afternoon. Chen tells Benton that one of his patients wants her surgery explained to her again. He’s already done it twice, so he’s fine letting Chen take a stab at it when she volunteers, as long as it doesn’t interfere with her other tasks.

Doug’s next patient, a preteen named Zack, was accidentally injured by his gym teacher during class. Mark examines Mrs. Chang, a pregnant woman with nausea and an anxious husband. Mr. Chang thinks they should just induce labor, since the baby’s due in two weeks. Haleh tells Benton that there’s a physical therapist named Jeanie Boulet who would be a good fit to help take care of his mother.

Mark jumps on a case with Carol, taking care of a woman named Fran who appears to have overdosed on antidepressants in a suicide attempt. Tag finds out that Doug tried to get a surgical consult from someone under him and invites himself to join Zack’s case. He insists that they keep things professional.

Fran’s friend Sally is more interested in calling Fran’s boyfriend than she is in telling Carol if Fran might have taken any other drugs. Doug holds Fran’s baby so the audience can swoon for a few moments. Carol determines that Fran’s brain stem is no longer functioning, so they stop working on her. Zack may have a tumor, so breaking his leg in gym class could have actually been a blessing in disguise, since it gave Tag a reason to see an x-ray.

Mr. Chang insists that Mark induce labor so their baby will be born in the Year of the Dog instead of the Year of the Pig. He’s worried that their mothers will think their baby will be lazy if it’s born in the Year of the Pig. In fact, Mrs. Chang’s nausea came from herbs she consumed in an attempt to induce labor. Mark tells him this isn’t a garage, and the doctors don’t do procedures just because people want them done. The Changs’ OB, Dr. Noble, arrives and approves of their desire to induce ten days early. They do it all the time, so he doesn’t think it’s a big deal. Mark dryly wishes everyone a happy Year of the Dog.

Benton meets Jeanie, who doesn’t think she’s the right person to take care of Mae. She’s also unsure that Benton, as a resident, can afford to pay her. He promises he’ll make it work, so she agrees to give it a try. Carol and Tag are supposed to go away for a romantic weekend, but he has a staff meeting that might delay their departure. A couple of burn victims come in, and Mark and Doug tend to them.

Jerry tells Carter there’s someone outside who needs help, so he and Chen head off. A family has brought in their Uncle Ed, who they weren’t able to wake from his nap. That’s because he’s not sleeping – he’s dead. In fact, rigor mortis has already set in. The doctors bring him inside, though the family wants to keep going on their road trip and take care of this inconvenience later.

One of the burn victims, Willy, was injured when he tried to save a girl from a fire. His lungs are damaged from chemicals in the building, and he tells Mark and Doug that his cystic fibrosis won’t help matters. Haleh comments to Carol that working on a patient who overdosed must have been difficult for her. Carol replies that she tries not to think about her own suicide attempt too much. Haleh asks if she left a note. Carol says no – she couldn’t figure out what to say.

Susan tries to calm her nerves with a cigarette before her meeting with Morgenstern. Kayson joins her, which probably makes it worse. Carter oversees as Chen takes a patient’s history and quickly comes up with an idea. Susan is questioned by Morgenstern’s committee, and though Kayson tries to make her out to be a bad doctor, the other doctors don’t appear to believe that she did anything negligent. In fact, they think Kayson made more mistakes on the case.

Doug learns that Zack’s mother and uncle didn’t tell him that he might have a tumor. Doug refuses to do his biopsy until they tell Zack exactly what’s going on. His mother tries to do it, then decides to let Doug finish. He answers Zack’s questions and tells him he thinks he’ll be okay. Thanks to Doug’s bedside manner, Zack shows very little fear and says he’s ready to go ahead and do the biopsy.

Carter presents his and Chen’s patient to Benton as a surgical candidate. Benton slams Carter for doing the presentation when Chen made the diagnosis, then basically hands the patient over to her. Doug accompanies Zack to his biopsy and explains everything Tag does so he’s not blindsided by anything.

Benton tells Jackie that he wants Jeanie to take care of Mae, but Jackie still thinks she needs to go to a nursing home. Benton promises to be on Mae duty a couple days a week so Jeanie only has to work three days. Jackie scoffs that Benton’s never taken care of Mae before, so she doesn’t believe he’ll start now. He shoots back that she’s just going to spend their mother’s money on her care, leaving him with less. Jackie tells him he can have the house he keeps complaining about; he’ll just have to do everything for Mae himself. Benton pauses to answer a page, so Jackie ditches him.

Tag promises Carol that they’ll be able to leave by 8. She threatens to interrupt his meeting naked and drag him out if he’s not done in time. Mark tries to ask Susan how her meeting went, but she’s short with him. Doug tends to a guy named Terry who was beaten up but also has a fever. Doug asks Terry’s friend to call his family, but they’re both homeless runaways, and Terry isn’t in touch with his parents. Though he said he was 18, his friend admits that he’s really 15.

Susan tells Doug that the committee went after Kayson, not her, and she’s not proud of it, but she enjoyed herself. Doug advises her to give the news to Mark and cut him a break. A man interrupts to ask if he can see a doctor; he’s been waiting for 40 minutes. They send him back to the waiting room, but when he turns around, they see that he has an arrow sticking out of his head. (His neighbors were playing cowboys and Indians.) They decide to bump him up to a priority. Willy isn’t doing well, but he seems to regain consciousness long enough to hear Nancy, the girl he saved, thank him.

Benton has missed grand rounds and isn’t sure what to tell Morgenstern. He tells Doug that as a pediatrician, he has it made – eventually he’ll just go into private practice. Surgeons all want to be chief, and Benton knows that having to leave work in the middle of his shift is going to hurt his odds. Doug says there are more important things in life. For example, Fran is dead at her daughter’s hand, Zack is probably going to lose his leg, and Willy is in bad shape. Also, he’s still mad that Linda said he’s not the marrying type.

Doug goes outside to play basketball by himself but runs into a kid named Jake who’s waiting for his mom, Diane, to get off work. The two play together and talk about the Bulls. Doug introduces himself to Diane when she comes outside, and she stops him before he can do any flirting, warning that he broke her friend’s heart.

Thanks to the staff meeting, Susan’s the only doctor available when a man is brought in with a heart attack. It’s Kayson. She gives him a say in his treatment, but he thinks he’s going to do. She promises him he won’t, then works hard to keep her word. Doug tells Terry that he may have PCP, a kind of pneumonia that is usually indicative of AIDS. Terry isn’t shocked by the news. He’s been working as a prostitute, and he knows his family won’t take him back now. Doug gives him some condoms, medication, and information for a shelter and AIDS treatment center.

A cardiologist named Steinman thinks Kayson needs angioplasty, but Kayson wants TPA, a clot-busting medication, rather than surgery. Susan advocates for Kayson, threatening to take Steinman before a review committee if he doesn’t follow his patient’s wishes. She’s finally being as assertive as Morgenstern wanted her to be, and Kayson is grateful.

Carol and Tag kick off their romantic weekend with…well, exactly what you would do in a hotel on a romantic weekend. He realizes he left his overnight bag under the front desk at the hospital. He’s worried that someone will find it and he’ll end up embarrassed, so I guess it had sex toys or something in it. Mark finds Doug moping outside, wondering how many more horrible cases he’ll have to see. Mark tells him there’s a baby with croup who needs his attention. Doug says at least that’s one patient he can help.

Thoughts: Continuity error: Jeanie says she’s taking nursing classes, but she later becomes a physician’s assistant.

Apparently you could smoke in a hospital office in 1995, or at least no one stops Susan and Kayson from doing so.

Chen says she has a photographic memory. I’m pretty sure we never hear about it again, so we’ll put it with Mulder’s red-green color-blindness in the Yeah, I Don’t Think So File.

April 3, 2018

ER 1.11, The Gift: Last Christmas, I Gave You My Heart (Literally)

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

I volunteer to cheer him up

Summary: A man dressed in a Santa suit is dozing in the ER waiting room, having come in to get checked over when he woke up dizzy. He sees that it’s 10 o’clock and tells Carter he needs to go to work. Mark tells Susan he needs to get Jen a great Christmas present, especially after he got her a Dustbuster last year. He hasn’t bought this year’s present yet, even though it’s Christmas Eve.

Susan’s just coming on shift, so along with a present, she gets a bunch of patient info. Mark’s supposed to be leaving, but he sticks around when a man brings in his son, Murray, who almost drowned in the lake. Murray’s father prays over him as the doctors get to work. Carol heats up some saline in the microwave so they can try to warm Murray up.

Benton and Carter go to the roof to meet a patient named Teddy Powell who was in a snowmobile crash. Back downstairs, Murray’s heart stops. Benton agrees with Carter’s treatment suggestion of draining burr holes in Teddy’s head, but he doesn’t want to do it unless it’s absolutely necessary. I think Teddy would agree, if he weren’t comatose and possible brain dead.

Mark, Doug, and Carol revive Murray, and after Carol leaves the trauma room, Mark brings up her engagement party. Doug says he’s not going. Mark tries to leave again, but pauses to talk to Murray’s father, Dante. He warns that they can’t know for sure what his condition will be when they warm him up. Then Haleh tells Mark to go check on a patient named Regina. She’s mumbling something about a party, so Haleh, Lydia, and Mark start singing “It’s My Party.”

Hicks looks at Teddy’s brain scans, which show that he’s brain dead. Since his organs are viable, Hicks tells Benton and Carter to find his family and get consent to donate. Carol drags Mark into another case as Susan fixes up a man named Mr. Kaminski who got burned while tapping into a power line to juice up the thousands of Christmas lights on his house. He’s disappointed to be out of the running for a prize he’s won for a number of years.

Murray might still have brain damage, and Doug knows he has a long recovery ahead of him, but he’s awake, so that’s something. Lydia’s transporting a gurney with mistletoe hanging from the IV stand, so when she gets Mark under it, she kisses him on the cheek. He tries once again to leave so he can go shopping, but once again, he has to jump on a trauma – an elderly man was stabbed.

Haleh tells Benton that Teddy’s wife is on her way just as Teddy’s heart starts to falter. Benton revives him, then realizes, “I just resuscitated a dead man.” Mark stitches up a cut on Patrick’s head as Carol tries to find out what happened to the helmet he always wears. He tells them a joke about a cat walking on sand “to get sandy claws,” but they don’t get it. (It’s a play on “Santa Claus,” guys. Keep up.)

Benton and Carter use a very, very ’90s computer to look for possible donor matches who need Teddy’s organs. They find two perfect matches and get started on giving two people a Christmas surprise. Susan examines Mrs. Goldberg, a woman with stomach pains, while Malik finds Patrick a new helmet. Carol can’t get in touch with Patrick’s family, so she invites him to hang out for a while.

Susan does an ultrasound on Mrs. Goldberg, who’s worried that she has gallstones or a tumor. Instead, she’s pregnant. She’s thrilled that she’s finally having a baby after years of trying. Doug enlists Carter to examine a kid named Kirby who ate part of a poinsettia. Doug and Carol warn Carter to wait a minute before looking in Kirby’s mouth, but he ignores them and gets vomited on.

Susan gives Mr. Kaminsky some lights that were decorating the front desk. He says they’re antiques and he’ll be able to use them next year for an old-fashioned display. Jerry complains about the missing lights, and about all the popcorn being eaten off the tree at the front desk. Doug’s next patient, Mrs. Abernathy, is depressed, and her condition isn’t helped by the holidays.

Teddy’s wife arrives, and Benton tells her that he’s brain dead. She thinks her husband is just in a regular coma and might wake up. When Benton tells her he’ll never recover, she asks for a second opinion. Linda comes by looking for Doug and volunteers to finish up Mark’s Christmas shopping. Carter runs into Susan and asks if she’s opened her Secret Santa gift yet. She’s too distracted to realize that it must be from him.

Mary’s back and singing again. She thinks the hospital is a hotel and requests a suite from Carter. Hicks chastises Benton for not moving things along with Teddy; the transplant teams are waiting for him in the OR. She’s even more annoyed when she learns that Benton called the teams before he got Mrs. Powell’s consent. Even though his driver’s license says he’s a donor, she has to sign off on the organ harvest. The surgeons are flying in from all around the country – on Christmas Eve, no less – so Benton will have to figure out what to tell them if they can’t go ahead with the harvest.

Doug recommends antidepressants and therapy for Mrs. Abernathy, who thinks her depression is tied to the marriage proposal she turned down 40 years ago. She regrets the rejection, since she only said no because her would-be fiancé was Jewish, and her parents didn’t approve. Last year, Mrs. Abernathy found letters he sent her that her mother intercepted. She tried to call him, but he died three years ago.

Benton asks Mark to help him talk Mrs. Powell into approving the organ donation. Mark says he’ll see what he can do. The Santa who left that morning is brought in, now unconscious and pulseless. Instead of trying to get Mrs. Powell to do what Benton wants, Mark encourages her to do what Teddy would want, and what’s right for her. Mrs. Powell admits that she doesn’t know what Teddy would want – they haven’t spoken in five months. He called her yesterday, wanting to spend Christmas together, but she said no. She wanted to hurt him like he hurt her, and make him beg for forgiveness.

Santa dies, and Carter blames himself, lamenting, “I killed Santa.” Doug and Mark meet up in Murray’s room, hoping he’s okay. Mary finds Patrick singing “We Three Kings” to Kirby and joins him in his serenade. Carol tells Carter that Patrick’s parents went out of town and left him with a neighbor, but he must have wandered off. Carter tells her that Mary’s family left her with a cousin so they could have a break. Her Alzheimer’s is getting worse.

Susan can’t reach Div, and Malik tells her he heard that Div quit. She asks Carter for a ride somewhere. Doug gets dressed up for some fancy gathering with Linda, and the fact that Carol is able to simply wish him a merry Christmas and then walk out of the lounge is astonishing, because he looks HOT. He confesses to Mark that he still thinks about Carol all the time. He’s afraid to tell her, not because she might reject him but because she might want him back. Mark points out that she’s not married yet.

Benton checks in with Mrs. Powell, telling her they’re running out of time for the organ harvest. She doesn’t appear to care, but then she asks for the consent form. Carter drives Susan to Div’s apartment, and when she lets herself in, she finds it trashed and abandoned. She realizes he moved out without telling her. The phone’s ringing, but the caller hangs up when Carter answers.

Jerry realizes that more lights are missing and asks Bob if she took them down. She tells him whoever said she did is lying. Carter drives Susan home, telling her he’s her Secret Santa. She kisses him on the cheek, and it obviously means more to him than it does to her. He offers to come in and keep her company, leaning in for a kiss. Susan puts the brakes on, then gives him the present she’d gotten for Div. It’s a robe, and Carter puts it on right there in the hallway.

Doug takes a cab to Linda’s party, but when he gets out to go inside, he changes his mind. Linda drops off Mark’s present for Jen, some lingerie. Lydia says he has good taste – all her ex ever got her was a vacuum cleaner. While Benton and Hicks start the organ harvest, Susan opens her present from Carter, a music box shaped like a piano. She loves it. Chloe wakes up and asks about Div; when she hears he split town, she tells Susan she’ll get over it. She gives Susan a tree ornament with her name on it, then says Susan will have to share it with the baby. Chloe’s pregnant and naming the baby after her sister.

Doug crashes Carol’s engagement party and tells her he still loves her. She denies that she returns his feelings. Tag follows them outside and gets between them as Doug tries to insist that Carol come home with him. He challenges Carol to look him in the eyes and tell him she doesn’t think about him while she’s with Tag. Tag slugs him, but Carol breaks things up. She tells Doug to stay out of her life.

Benton and Hicks successfully complete the organ harvest, and Benton asks to close Teddy up. Mary sings “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” as Mark tells Dante and the rest of Murray’s family that his brain function is normal. Doug mopes by himself outside a church. Benton finishes up with Teddy, then grabs the cooler containing his heart. Haleh puts a bow on the cooler, which is awesome, and Benton takes it up to the roof so the heart can go to its new owner.

Thoughts: A kid named Murray is just weird. Who looks at their newborn and says, “I think I’ll call him Murray”? P.S. His father’s name is Dante Valerio, which sounds like a Nic Cage character.

I always assumed they used some special medical equipment to heat saline, but no – just the microwave in the staff lounge.

Formal-wear Clooney is the best Clooney. Don’t argue; you know I’m right.

March 20, 2018

ER 1.9, ER Confidential: Thanksgiving Turkey With a Side of Trauma

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

Yeah, Carter, let’s make sure this is all about you

Summary: Oh, great, we’re back to starting out episodes with people sleeping. Susan wakes up in the middle of the night alone, since Div is in the living room, recording his thoughts on tape. He gets no more pleasure out of life and can’t concentrate or sleep. When Susan makes her presence known, Div says he was just working on a patient history. Susan seems uncertain and may not believe him.

Doug’s relationship is going much better – he and Linda are going on vacation together. He feels weird about letting her pay for everything, but she knows he doesn’t make that much money. It’s Thanksgiving, so Doug takes a pie with him to work. Bob has her American holidays confused and is putting up Halloween decorations. Jerry commandeers the pie while Carter practices stitches on a pig’s foot. Doug and Mark discuss their holiday plans; Jen and Rachel will be coming back to Chicago for Thanksgiving, along with Jen’s parents.

Susan’s first patient of the day, Edgar, doesn’t think he has much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. He’s so grumpy that he’s been banned from his dialysis clinic. He complains about the “information superhighway” while Carol and Susan get him ready for dialysis. “The more I see of people, the more I like pigs,” Edgar says. Let’s hope he doesn’t see what Carter’s been up to.

As Bob puts up a “Happy Easter” banner, Carter asks Benton if he should bring anything to dinner that night. Apparently he wasn’t listening when Benton uninvited him after Mae extended an invitation. Since Carter’s parents are out of the country, he has no other plans. As the two examine a patient named Ms. Carleton who crashed her car into a bridge, Carter makes a discovery that he and Benton don’t know how to process: Though she goes by Ms., her anatomy makes them think she’s a Mr.

Benton hops over to help out with two teenagers who came in after killing a woman in a car crash. One boy, Larry, has a bad head injury, but Langworthy wants to do everything she can to try to save him. The other boy, Andy, is distressed, so Carol explains what the doctors are doing as they try to find out if he has internal injuries. Langworthy realizes that her patient is gone, so she stops working on him. Andy has internal injuries and is sent straight to surgery. He quietly tells Carol that he was the one driving the car, even though it was Larry’s. He blames himself for his friend’s death.

Edgar’s still complaining to Susan while Carol, Doug, Mark, and Jerry talk about the reckless things they did as teenagers. Well, not Mark – he and his friends were dorks. Tag comes down for a consult with Doug but makes him wait while he chats with Carol. Carter has no idea how to deal with a transgender patient, so he just stops talking. Ms. Carleton notices and tells him about how hard it is to see how people view her. She wonders if they’re right to look at her with disgust.

Al brings in a man named Francis who’s bleeding from a fight with a turkey. Francis is an animal-rights activist and tried to steal/rescue a bird he thought was being abused. The turkey wasn’t very appreciative and started pecking him. Francis responded by breaking the bird’s neck. Al would like to donate it to the hospital’s Thanksgiving party. Tag volunteers to pluck and prepare it.

Susan tells Mark that all the things Div was saying into his recorder fit with a diagnosis of depression. She doesn’t know what to do. Mark says that Div obviously needs psychiatric help, but Susan doesn’t want to force him into anything. Mark insists that someone needs to say something to him. If he’s that depressed, he shouldn’t be treating patients. Susan gets annoyed with Mark’s lack of compassion.

Francis tells Doug about the turkey’s poor treatment while Doug takes care of his cuts. Francis thinks that since all humans and animals came from the same origins, we should be kinder to animals. Next door, Tag’s going to town on the turkey’s feathers, and Francis doesn’t want to watch. (Doug probably doesn’t either.) He admits that he secretly enjoyed killing the turkey.

Ms. Carleton tells Carter that her father called her up a few years ago after a long estrangement. When they came face to face again, Mr. Carleton didn’t recognize her because she was now living as a woman. He wanted to reconnect because he was dying, and he later told Ms. Carleton that even though she wears dresses now, she was still his son. Mark comes in to check Carter’s work, calling Ms. Carleton “ma’am.”

Edgar has dozed off, giving Susan some peace for the first time all day. Then he wakes up and the yelling starts again. She’s gotten him an appointment at his usual clinic, but now he doesn’t want to go. Susan tells him that neither of them wants him to come back to County Hospital. Edgar tells her to shove it, and she walks off, trying to calm herself.

Andy and Larry’s mothers arrive, and Carol tells them that Larry died. Susan gets a little revenge on Edgar by telling him she’s taking his temperature rectally, then leaving a fake flower where the thermometer should be. Carol takes Andy’s mother to see him and eavesdrops while Andy tells her what happened. At least, he tells her his version of the story: He claims Larry was driving and ran a red light.

Mark whines that Doug called him boring earlier when he criticized Mark’s idea of fun as a teenager. Then he admits that he’s never done anything irresponsible in his life. He’s never even spent money on something he doesn’t need. Talk turns to Doug and Linda’s relationship, which Doug says makes him feel like a kept man. “I’ve never been a kept man,” Mark laments.

A woman comes in with chest pain, and Mark tends to her. Carol tells Lydia about Andy’s confession to her, wondering what she should do. Is it her place to tell the police something a patient confided? There’s no cardiologist currently at the hospital, so Benton and Langworthy come to look at Mark’s patient. Langworthy decides that she needs a procedure, and since Benton’s never done it, he asks to take the lead.

Susan meets up with Div in his office, where he apologizes for his recent “difficult” behavior. He thinks he might have embarrassed her. He admits to struggling with depression, but he thinks things are starting to work themselves out. Susan hopes they can talk after dinner with Chloe and her new boyfriend.

Carol runs into Larry’s mother, who admits to being angry with her son for driving recklessly and killing someone. Carol tries to keep a poker face. While Carter goes looking for a missing Ms. Carleton, Langworthy guides Benton through the procedure while Mark and Haleh assist. Things go south and the patient’s heart starts to fail, so Benton needs to move faster. He’s hesitant, but Langworthy is confident in his skills. He’s successful and everyone’s relieved.

Carol goes back to Andy’s room and confronts him for lying to his mother. She understands why he did, but she doesn’t think it’s fair to let Larry’s mother believe he caused the accident. Carol knows from experience that keeping a secret makes it hard to live with yourself. Andy asks if she’s ever killed anyone. She says no, but she’s hurt people close to her. She admits that she still has some secrets.

Jerry runs down the hall, telling Carter that there’s a woman on the roof, about to jump. Carter quickly realizes that it must be Ms. Carleton. He runs up to try to convince Ms. Carleton that there are people there who want to help her. But Ms. Carleton feels like she can’t pass for a woman anymore, so there’s no reason to stay alive. Div joins Carter on the roof, and Carter starts to calmly ask Ms. Carleton to talk to him. Instead, Ms. Carleton lets herself fall. Carter cries out in horror.

In the ER, the staff tries to block out the trauma and enjoy dinner together. Carol pulls Tag aside for a talk while Doug and Linda get ready to go to the airport. Linda practically gasps in shock when she realizes she accidentally purchased seats in coach instead of first class. Doug thinks Mark is lucky to get to spend Thanksgiving with his family instead of a sugar mama. Nearby, Francis abandons his morals for one night and eats some turkey.

Carol and Tag go for a walk outside so she can admit that she slept with Doug last winter, while she and Tag were dating. This was before her suicide attempt, and they haven’t slept together since, but they did kiss. Tag is understandably upset, though telling Carol to go to Hell is a little too far. He yells that he’s been faithful and patient, especially after she tried to kill herself. Should he treat her badly, like Doug does? Tag’s mad that Carol felt the need to tell him. What’s he supposed to do with this info?

Benton tells Langworthy that their heart patient is doing fine. Langworthy is leaving the next day for her fellowship, so Benton wants to thank her for her support. She doesn’t feel like she did anything special, since County’s a teaching hospital, but she does acknowledge that he made a great save. She says she’ll see him when she comes back in the spring. (I guess she gets a job somewhere else, since we never see her again.)

Benton finds Carter trying to process what he just witnessed. Benton blames himself for Ms. Carleton’s death – he should have realized that she was trying to kill herself when she crashed her car. Next time, they’ll both be more attentive. Carter’s still down, so Benton tells him he can come have dinner with his family. When Carter tries to decline, Benton guilts him into pleasing Mae.

Susan, Chloe, and Chloe’s boyfriend, Ronnie, have gathered for dinner, but Div is MIA. He’s the lucky one, though, since Chloe didn’t cook the turkey long enough. She and Ronnie start fighting, and Susan tells them both to shut up and stop acting like toddlers. She tries calling Div again, but he doesn’t answer his phone. He’s currently standing in the middle of a busy street, in the rain, clearly not coming out of his depression like he’d claimed.

Thoughts: Ms. Carleton is played by Vondie Curtis-Hall, who later returns as Roger. Edgar is played by Garrett Morris. Larry’s mother is also David Silver’s mother.

Fun fact I just learned: Ellen Crawford (Lydia) and Mike Genovese (Al) are married in real life.

Continuity error: Carter says his parents are in Switzerland to visit his sister, but we know from later episodes that he doesn’t have a sister.

I wonder what the confidentiality rules are for nurses. Carol never says she can’t tell the police the truth about the crash, just that she doesn’t know if she should.

March 6, 2018

ER 1.7, Another Perfect Day: Living Arrangements

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

This wouldn’t be a bad date, if it were…actually a date

Summary: For once, we don’t start the episode with someone being woken up. Instead, we open with Jerry abandoning the front desk because he’s trying to do a bunch of things at once. A patient named Patrick answers a ringing phone, talks for a few moments, then hangs up. Benton tells him to go sit somewhere else, but Patrick, who appears to have developmental delays, doesn’t listen. He spins around in Jerry’s chair, then falls off.

In the lounge, Carter makes a phone call about an apartment. Doug nabs a free bagel, then puts it back in the basket when Carter tells him Tag brought them in. Haleh tells Benton that a stabbing victim is coming in, so Benton gives Carter some instructions to help out. Benton mentions an interview he has that afternoon about the fellowship he and Langworthy both want. He thinks Carter believes Langworthy will get it, but Benton thinks he has a chance.

Benton runs the stabbing victim’s trauma, making the decision to create a surgical airway in the ER (AKA a crike), despite Haleh and Connie’s hesitance. Benton does everything confidently but calmly, and Morgenstern praises him for his success. Since Benton’s fellowship interview is just hours away, this has to be good for his chances.

Carter gets a call back about the apartment, but it’s not available anymore. He tells Jerry that he’s been living at home, but his father things he’s a freeloader. Jerry says he found a place through a patient. When an 85-year-old man died of a heart attack, Jerry grabbed his apartment. Benton learns that his fellowship meeting has been pushed back a couple hours. Haleh tries to assign him a patient, insisting that he take the case when Benton tries to hand it off to Carter. After she leaves, Benton overrules her. Jerry adds his own case – a man in his ’90s who lives in a nice neighborhood.

Mark sleeps in a little, and when he wakes up, Jen isn’t in any rush to see him off to work. Back at the hospital, Susan and Carol tend to Patrick, who has minor injuries from a fall but didn’t hurt his head because he was wearing a helmet. He’s excited that he gets to have an x-ray taken of his arm, and that he’ll get to keep the picture.

As they leave, Carol comments that the patients are sweeter than the guys she dates. Susan confirms that she’s been going out with Div; she thought it was a secret, but everyone’s seen them having lunch together all the time. Carol tells Susan that Div is taking her out for her birthday tonight and wants her to wear a black dress she owns. Susan asks if Div put it in the hospital newsletter. “The bulletin board,” Carol teases. “I will kill him!” Susan exclaims. “…After dinner.”

Doug asks Jerry if Linda’s been around, but she hasn’t. Carter goes to see the patient Benton gave him, a teenager who goes by the street name Slice. The cop who brought him in, Al Grabarsky, is less interested in Slice than he is in Lydia. He goes out to chat with her while Slice uses some sort of tool to try to pick his handcuff lock.

Malik tells Susan that a motorcycle rider hit by a truck is coming in, but when she goes to greet the ambulance, she instead gets ambushed by a bunch of nurses and doctors wanting to wish her a happy birthday. They give her flowers and blown-up gloves with faces drawn on them. While everyone’s distracted, Carol and Tag slip off to the roof to make out. He wants them to move back in together (I think she moved out after her suicide attempt), but Carol’s been hesitant to agree. She wants to move slowly and make absolutely sure that’s the right decision. He tells her that if she has a problem with their relationship, she needs to deal with it.

Doug goes back to Jerry to ask again about Linda, who still hasn’t called. Mark finally makes it in, pretending he had car trouble. Doug knows better, but he thinks it’s nice. Al is still chatting with Lydia, showing her pictures of his dogs. When Haleh learns that Slice (real name: Mookie; I’d use a nickname, too) is still in the ER, being seen by Carter instead of Benton, she gets mad. Slice is equally mad when he learns that, as an intern, Carter isn’t getting paid to stitch him up.

Susan tells Div that he shouldn’t have said anything to Doug about their date; Doug is apparently a big gossip. Malik approaches to talk to Div about a patient, but it’s the third time Malik has brought him up, and Div is fed up. He claims not to have time to see the patient, though he has time to chat with Susan, so… This is early-season Malik, so he says nothing. Later-season Malik wouldn’t put up with this crap, and Div’s just lucky he didn’t snap at Haleh, or he wouldn’t have a head anymore.

Carol summons Doug for an incoming trauma case, a 12-year-old boy pulled from the lake after a boat collision. Like Benton, Doug runs things calmly but decisively, and Carol is right in step with him. Even when the boy’s heart stops, the two keep their cool and send the boy off to surgery in just a couple of minutes. Left alone in the ER, the two compliment each other, moving closer and closer together until they kiss. Doug apologizes, but Carol says he wasn’t alone in the act.

Patrick’s ready to go home, but he wants to come back and visit sometime. Doug sees Carol and Tag talking like nothing just happened. Jerry tells him that Linda hasn’t come by, but Doug has almost forgotten who that is. Mark wishes Benton good luck on his interview, but Benton no longer seems confident about it. Haleh then confronts him in the men’s room for passing off his patient to Carter. Benton asks if he’s supposed to mentor every gangbanger who comes in. Haleh says she’s never asked him to do so before. She’s known Slice since he was a sweet little kid, and she’d like him to go back to being that boy.

Mark has a patient who’s in a coma, but Mark can’t figure out why. Carter does some brainstorming with him and figures out that the man might have had a seizure. That with the man’s fever leads Carter to guess that he has meningitis. Carter’s never done a lumbar puncture before, so Mark gives him the opportunity.

Benton runs into Langworthy before his interview, for which he’s changed into a suit. They laugh over the candidate who’s currently being interviewed, agreeing that he’s incompetent. Since Langworthy has surgery to perform soon, Morgenstern lets her do her interview before Benton. Mark talks Carter through a successful lumbar puncture, calling it a champagne tap. Connie explains that that means Carter’s resident has to buy him a bottle of champagne. Mark says the nurse is supposed to do it.

Mark then goes across the street to Doc Magoo’s to meet Jen. She has a meeting that night, so she’ll need the car to go back to Milwaukee. She’s worried that she’s not up to her job and will blow this great shot. They go through their schedules, trying to figure out when they can see each other again, now that Jen and Rachel are spending most of their time in Milwaukee. Mark tries to assure both of them that they’ll make their new living arrangements work.

It’s finally time for Benton’s interview, but his résumé isn’t as impressive as the fellowship team would hope. The interview is over faster than it took Doug and Carol to stabilize the boy after the boat collision. Jerry leaves for the day, giving Lydia a note to give to Carter about a possible apartment. She tells him there are a couple available in her building, too. Haleh tells Benton that she’s hired Slice for a program that will allow him to do community service and stay out of juvie. Benton will be his supervisor, whether he likes it or not.

Linda finally shows up, so now Doug has someone to flirt with and take his mind off of Carol. He and Susan take a couple digs at each other about their personal lives. Chloe arrives to be annoying again and try to get Susan to come to a club with her and her latest boyfriend. Mark gives Carter a bottle of champagne to celebrate his first great LP, and Lydia gives him Jerry’s note and the info that there are two other possible places for him to live in her building. Carter says it’s the perfect day.

Not for Susan, though, as Chloe and her boyfriend have passed out in the lounge. Susan asks what they’re on, but Chloe says they just drank vodka. Susan confronts her sister for stealing her TV and VCR. Chloe says Susan’s just like their parents, always criticizing her. Susan says she was treated the same as her sister; she had to prove herself just like Chloe did. Chloe starts screaming about how Susan doesn’t have to worry about getting a job and finding place to sleep like she does. She puts her hand through a window and starts screaming more.

Once Chloe’s calm (probably through the magic of drugs) and getting stitched up, Div sits down with her to talk through her problems. Susan decides not to stay for the conversation. Outside, Mark finds Doug playing basketball, and they talk about Linda, who Doug thinks might be too “perky” for him. Lately, he’s been more attracted to withdrawn, confused women. Div tries to cheer Susan up, but she’s not longer in a mood to celebrate her birthday.

Benton praises Carol for how well she and Doug took care of their trauma patient together. She finds Doug and tells him the boy will be fine, then announces that she told Tag she would move back in with him. Doug wants to know when she made this decision. Carol says their kiss was an accident, but Doug says there are no accidents. “Thanks for letting me know,” he says coolly.

Susan’s up on the roof, sneaking a cigarette, when Carter comes up looking for someone to share his champagne. He tells her she’s not the only person with a crazy family. (Oh, Carter. Your family’s not crazy. They’re just super-rich WASPs.) Carter says he comes up to the roof a lot to get a break from Benton. But thanks to Mark, he’s finally had a good day. Susan encourages Carter to call the doctors by their first names, though he notes that she calls him by his last name. Carter asks about Chloe’s boyfriend, joking that he was going to ask her out. Susan tries out calling him John, but it doesn’t sound right to her. They end their very different days with a drink.

Thoughts: Patrick: “Knock knock.” Carol: “Who’s there?” Patrick: “Patrick.” Carol: “Patrick who?” Patrick: “…Me! Patrick!” Can he stay?

Men everywhere, please take note of Al’s flirting methods. You can’t go wrong with dog pictures.

You have to feel a little sorry for Tag. I  mean, imagine having to compete with Doug.

I assume Langworthy was going to be a love interest for Benton, but something fell through, so they brought Jeanie in for him later instead.

February 27, 2018

ER 1.6, Chicago Heat: The Temperature Isn’t the Only Thing That’s High

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

Ughhhhhhh

Summary: Mark is, yes, sleeping, but this time he’s at home. He gets called in to work on his day off, and he has to take Rachel with him. Carol tells him that Mercy has closed to trauma, and another ER has lost power, so County’s the only one open. Also, it’s really hot, even though it’s October, and the air-conditioning isn’t working, so everyone’s a little moody. Until Rachel’s babysitter can come get her, she’ll have to hang out at the hospital, with all the dead bodies and stuff.

Lydia takes Rachel, so Mark goes in to help Doug with a five-year-old named Kanesha who’s experiencing heart problems. He tells Kanesha that he’ll bring Rachel in to meet her when she’s feeling better. Jerry tells Mark that a pizza delivery guy called to say he was stabbed and is driving himself to the ER. Unfortunately, the driver either passes out or forgets to hit the brakes, and his car crashes right into the ER. Tag steps out of an exam room, takes in the scene, and quips, “Somebody order a pizza?” Thanks, Tag.

Kanesha now has a fever on top of her congestive heart failure. The doctors are stumped and decide they need more information from the family. Benton examines the delivery guy, who only needs a Band-Aid. His “stab wound” is only a scratch. The delivery guy insists that it was a really big knife.

Jerry and the nurses make bets about a patient’s blood alcohol level. They range from .200 (Wendy) to .550 (Susan). Susan’s sister Chloe arrives to be annoying for the first of too many episodes. She couldn’t pay her rent, even with a handout from Susan, so she needs a place to stay for a few days. Susan says no, but Chloe wears her down, promising not to screw up again. It’s implied, but not confirmed until later episodes, that her screwups involve drugs. Susan orders her not to have any friends over.

Kanesha’s father, Mr. Freeman, tells Mark that she had some heart problems years ago, but they were supposedly resolved. He’s worried, while his other daughter, a teenager, is just bored. Kanesha’s hypertensive now, making Mark wonder if she ingested poison. Ivan is back yet again, having shot someone who was trying to rob him. Mark, Doug, and a woman from the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) tell Mr. Freeman that Kanesha’s okay, and doesn’t have congestive heart failure – she overdosed on cocaine.

Ivan’s caused a lot of damage to the robber, a teenage boy. Benton takes care of everything himself, telling Carter to stay out of the way. Susan and Malik tend to a patient named Monty who’s HIV-positive and has been drinking. Susan warns him not to mix alcohol with his medication. Langworthy comes to the ER to look at the robber, but Benton won’t give up his position in charge of the trauma.

Mark takes Rachel to meet Kanesha, and they have a really cute five-year-old conversation. Rachel wanders over to the next trauma room and gets an eyeful of Benton and Langworthy pulling open the robber’s chest. Mark finally pulls his daughter away, saying that someone bad must have hurt the robber. Carter stitches up a cut on Ivan’s head as Ivan defends his decision to shoot before he could be shot. He thinks anyone else would do the same in that situation.

Doug apologizes to Carol for ambushing her at home, but she’s not receptive. He winds up in an elevator with Tag, who’s a little more gracious. After all, he gets why Doug would want to still be with Carol. Benton and Langworthy do…something, then rush the robber to the OR. Ivan sees them going, seemingly realizing for the first time how serious things are.

The drunk patient’s blood alcohol level is .473; Lydia was the closest, having used her patent technique that involved smelling him. Mark complains to Jerry about a dead body that hasn’t been moved all morning. A pharmaceutical rep named Linda Farrell brings in a pizza to try to get on Jerry’s good side. She claims she’s supposed to meet Mark (who runs off to hide), and says she’ll wait when Susan tells her Mark is busy.

As Carol helps Tag fix a patient’s dislocated shoulder, he tells her that Doug is still in love with her. Carol says that he always wants what he can’t have. Tag wants them to live together again, but Carol is hesitant. Another patient in the room is enjoying the scene. She wonders if Carol’s unsure about moving in with Tag because of Doug. Carol says she’s standing in her own way. Mr. Freeman tells the woman from DCFS that the cocaine wasn’t his, and he doesn’t know how she got it. The home doesn’t seem dangerous, so Kanesha won’t be removed from it. Doug, however, isn’t going to send her home until he’s confident that she’ll be safe.

Susan finds her locker open a crack and realizes that her wallet is empty. She’s annoyed but not surprised. Div tells her to report her credit card stolen, even if it means Chloe gets arrested. Susan can’t bring herself to go that far, but she’d like Div to talk to Chloe as a psychiatrist. She’ll just introduce Div as her boyfriend to cover up what he does. Div notes that the conversation could reveal some deep, dark secret Susan doesn’t know about. He won’t go along with the scheme.

Benton breaks the news to Ivan that the robber isn’t going to be okay. Ivan says he was scared. He wants to stick around, probably in denial that things won’t turn out all right. After Benton leaves, Ivan starts to cry. Rachel goes back to see Kanesha before she leaves, and Mark asks Doug how long he’s going to keep her there when she doesn’t need to be admitted. Rachel suggests that Kanesha live with Mark. Mark tells her that some families don’t have both a mom and a dad, but things work out anyway.

Doug tells Carol that Tag accepted his apology, so maybe all three of them can be adults around each other. He tells her again that he’s sorry, offering to let her hit him if it’ll make him feel better. Linda interrupts to flirt, and Carol chooses that moment to take him up on his offer and punch him in the arm. She’s totally jealous that Linda might become the new object of his affection.

Monte tell Susan that he’d like to get into a program to deal with his alcoholism. But he needs money – just $100, or even $50. Susan refuses to give him anything. Things get heated, and Jerry has to drag Monte away as he yells that he was only asking Susan for help.

Mr. Freeman confronts Doug for keeping his daughter from him. He thinks it’s a race issue, and says Doug has no right to judge him. “Watch me,” Doug replies as he walks away. (I think Connie’s judging him, too, and that can’t be about race.) The robber doesn’t survive surgery, and when Rachel asks Benton if he made the boy better, Mark says they tried but couldn’t. Rachel confirms that Benton’s sad, and asks why he’s not crying. He says he’s crying in his heart.

Connie tells Doug that Mr. Freeman was right about Doug having a racial bias in this case. Doug thinks he’s making the right decisions to protect a little girl. Connie suggests that they ask Mr. Freeman if he’ll take a drug test. They can also find out who’s been hanging around the house, and drug-test other people. The drunk patient cleans up nicely, and is now standing upright, so I guess he’s sober again. Jerry still hasn’t moved the dead body, so Rachel gets another look at him as she leaves.

A detective questions Benton, who tells him that, according to Ivan, the robber had shot him twice. He thinks Ivan was justified in defending himself and doesn’t belong in jail. The detective reveals that the robber was unarmed this time. Ivan chased him out of the store and shot him on the street. Benton tells Ivan that the boy died, but I guess the police aren’t going to arrest him, because he just leaves.

Doug tells Mr. Freeman that his drug test was negative, but his teenage daughter’s was positive. Mr. Freeman isn’t surprised. He asks if Doug has kids. (He does – a son – but we never meet him, and Doug rarely talks about him.) Mrs. Freeman died not long ago, and she and her older daughter fought a lot in the months before her death. Mr. Freeman thinks his daughter is trying to harm herself because of her grief. He doesn’t know what to do for her. Doug promises that he can help.

As Mark puts Rachel to bed, she asks if he would fix her if she got hurt. He says he would. She wants to confirm that he wouldn’t let her die. Mark says that she’s the most important thing in the world to him; he would do anything to make her better. Susan gets home and finds that Chloe, who’s not there, has left a mess everywhere. To add insult to injury, her TV and VCR are missing. Div’s there, and he decides he’ll talk to Chloe and get her some help.

Thoughts: Andrea Parker (Linda) will always be Miss Parker to me.

It’s so weird watching Rachel as an adorable, sweet little kid when I know what a horror she is as a teenager.

A five-year-old ingested cocaine and the police don’t get involved? Huh?

February 13, 2018

ER 1.4, Hit and Run: Maybe Carter Can Teach Doug How to Show His Emotions

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

Try not to focus on how this kid was also an evil character on “Buffy”

Summary: I guess all season 1 episodes have to feature someone being woken up, because this one starts with Benton waking Carter. Carter asks if he’ll ever get used to having to function on just a few hours of sleep. Benton claims that he gets sluggish if he sleeps more than three hours. Doug asks Mark how his day off was; Mark complains that Jen and Rachel have gone to Detroit for a job interview. Doug thinks that Mark sees Susan as a temptation.

Susan’s patient is ahead of his time, in that he’s too busy talking on his cell phone to speak to her. Doug’s patient is a young boy named Ozzie whose mother thinks he’s having trouble hearing. In reality, Ozzie just can’t hear the voices that his mother hears, like those of her dead mother and Princess Diana. Doug tells Carol to get a psych consult. Ozzie’s worried that they’ll be separated, which they probably should be, at least temporarily, while his mother’s yelling at people who aren’t there.

Carter presents a patient to Benton, and surprisingly, Benton agrees with his ideas for treatment. A woman named Vilma comes in with chest pain and a history of heart problems. Doug mentions to Benton that he and Dr. Langworthy are both vying for the same fellowship; since Langworthy is a year ahead, she may have an edge. She also knows the answer to a medical question Benton has. Both doctors jump on the next trauma case, a 17-year-old victim of a hit-and-run.

Vilma’s in a lot of pain, but after she burps, she starts feeling better. I hope her health insurance covers that. Div talks with Ozzie’s mother, who stopped taking the medication that kept the voices at bay. She’ll need to be admitted, which means someone needs to make arrangements for Ozzie. Carol tells Doug that a social worker’s calling a group home. Benton and Langworthy’s patient has been pulseless for more than half an hour, so they reluctantly call his time of death. Carter, who tried to help out, is saddened, but Haleh reminds him that patients die all the time.

Susan tries again with her patient, Harry, who’s been having abdominal pain on and off for a year. He’s never seen his doctor about it because he’s too busy working. Harry interrupts the examination to take another phone call. Benton sends Carter to get breakfast, but Langworthy hijacks Carter to tell him to track down their hit-and-run patient’s family. Benton complains about Langworthy’s power grab, telling Carter to report back to him, not her.

Ozzie’s mother is taken away, kicking and yelling, as he looks on. She even bits Div as she fights her admission to the psych ward. Ozzie takes off, but only Carol notices. Mark determines that Vilma’s heart is fine, but she has an arm spasm that makes him realize that her internal defibrillator is misfiring. She’ll have to see a cardiologist after all. Susan treats Div’s bite as he complains about the mistreatment he gets from patients. Ozzie’s hiding out in the exam room and listens in.

Carter doesn’t have much to go on for the hit-and-run patient’s identity; he’s going to have to match him with a yearbook photo. He wishes he could do more. As he’s heading off to find Benton, he comes across an electric wheelchair moving around by itself. Tag looks at a patient for Doug, then mentions that Doug’s been “attentive” to Carol since her return. Doug tries to pretend it’s not a big deal.

Susan tells Harry that he may have ulcerative colitis or irritable bowel syndrome. He’ll need to decrease stress in his life, which he knows he can’t do. I mean, he has to sell ten million…somethings so he can go to Palm Springs! What could be more important? Benton’s brother-in-law, Walt, stops by after fixing up Benton’s car. Carter eavesdrops as Walt talks about the date he’s taking Benton’s sister Jackie on that night. Benton will be staying with his mother, who has undisclosed problems.

Carol finds Ozzie in the exam room and tells him that the doctors are going to try to make his mom better. Ozzie’s upset because Doug said they could stay together, but they’ve already been separated. Carol invites him to hang out with her while they find out when he can see his mom. Harry tells Susan he’ll follow up with a specialist, then tries to make a “business machine” sale. (How specific.)

As Vilma’s being taken through the lobby, her arm spasms again and she knocks over a tray Carter’s carrying, spilling urine samples everywhere. Another electric wheelchair starts running by itself. Mark realizes that Harry’s cell phone is to blame for the wheelchairs malfunctioning and for Vilma’s defibrillator misfiring. Oh, technology.

Carter gets a yearbook from the hit-and-run victim’s high school and prepares to figure out who he is. The task makes him emotional. Carter IDs the patient as Steven Tierney and sees that they had a few things in common. Benton tells Carter to call Steven’s parents but let Langworthy tell them their son is dead.

Doug wonders if Mark has ever considered hooking up with Susan, despite being married to Jen. What if Jen took a job and moved away? What if Jen cheated first? (Ooh, foreshadowing!) Doug basically offers to play matchmaker if Mark ever wants his services. Mark’s next patient is a man with chest pains who happens to be handcuffed to a barely dressed woman. Jerry seems amused. Carol leaves Ozzie with him to look at pictures of diseased body parts.

It turns out that Mark’s patient, Neil, isn’t married to the woman he’s handcuffed to. Jerry discovers this when Neil’s wife shows up looking for him. The handcuffed woman panics, revealing that Neil’s wife is her boss. Benton examines one of Susan’s patients, then berates her for calling him in for a case of arthritis. Susan insists that her problem is surgical, but Benton disagrees. Jerry goes looking for Neil’s wife, but she’s missing. He realizes that Ozzie is missing, too.

Carter calls the Tierneys, telling them that Steven was in an accident and is in serious condition. While Neil’s wife wanders around, Doug asks Carol to make a call for him about a patient from a few months ago. She responds coldly, and he calls her on her behavior. She tells him he shouldn’t have lied to Ozzie about being able to stay with his mother, even though it was obvious they would have to be separated. It’s just like Doug to make something up so he could avoid a big, emotional scene.

Susan’s arthritis patient definitely needs surgery, so she tells Haleh to page Morgenstern. Malik uses bolt-cutters to remove Neil and his mistress’ handcuffs just before Neil’s wife comes in. Unfortunately, the cuff itself doesn’t come off of Neil’s wrist, and his wife sees it. Mark, Lydia, Connie, and Malik play dumb when she asks to see her husband’s clothes. She easily figures out what’s going on and busts the mistress, Priscilla. Neil will probably not be going to his own home when he’s released from the hospital.

Morgenstern blasts Susan for not getting a surgical consult for her patient, whose appendix has ruptured. Benton is mature enough to admit that he examined the patient but didn’t think she needed surgery. Since Morgenstern wants Langworthy, not Benton, to assist him in surgery, Benton has to go with Carter to tell the Tierneys that their son is dead. But when they go into the trauma room to see the body, they tell the doctors that the boy isn’t their son. Carter’s life flashes before his eyes.

A guy named Bob comes in with some steaks for Mark, who saved his life a year earlier. He declares August 25th Dr. Greene Day. The steaks come with a side of bear hug. Mark offers to share the food with Susan, but she already has a date. She reveals that she’s been dating Div. A drug addict is going through withdrawal a few feet away, and Susan comments that he sounds like a car alarm that won’t shut off. She and Mark start humming in harmony with the addict.

Carter finally figures out the hit-and-run victim’s real identity and tells his real parents that he’s dead. I mean, I assume they’re the right parents and he got the right kid this time. I don’t think Benton would let him make the same mistake twice. Morgenstern berates him again for missing the appendicitis diagnosis, knowing Benton didn’t listen to the patient like Susan did. But he wants him to assist in another procedure, so he’s not going to hold a grudge.

Tag summons Doug to where he’s chatting with Ozzie so they can tell the child that he has to go to a group home. Doug finally tells Ozzie that his mother’s sick and needs to go to a special hospital to get better. Ozzie says he hates his mother, then breaks my heart by crying. Carol takes in the sight of her ex being a sweet guy to a cute little kid.

Benton tells Langworthy that he got to do surgery with Morgenstern. Unfortunately, that means he didn’t get off work in time to look after his mother, so Walt and Jackie had to miss their anniversary dinner. Walt’s ticked that Benton doesn’t pull his weight with his mom. Benton says he forgot and will come by on his next three nights off. Walt chastises him for “forgetting” about his family.

Jerry runs into Carter outside, and Carter confides that he might quit. He can’t even remember why he wanted to be a doctor. Benton told Carter’s advisor that he was doing an “adequate” job, but Carter figures that assessment will change after his big screw-up today. Suddenly a car screeches up carrying a woman in labor. Carter starts to deliver the baby while Jerry goes inside to get help. Carter completes the delivery himself and, I assume, now has a reason to come back to work tomorrow.

A tipsy Doug takes Carol some flowers after work, but a half-dressed Tag answers the door, and Doug immediately regrets the decision. He pretends that his car broke down and he wanted to come in while he waited for a tow truck. The flowers are for his date. He flees, but Carol chases him to the El and yells at him for thinking that she would accept this gesture as romantic. Did he think she would immediately invite him back into her life and her bed?

Doug apologizes, but Carol’s not done. She thinks he believes he still loves her, but will eventually get distracted by someone younger. She won’t let him put her through the same things he put her through before. Doug apologizes again, but Carol’s done listening.

Thoughts: Walt is played by Ving Rhames.

Early/mid-’90s cell phones will always be funny to me. They’re so big! Why did we think they needed to be so big?

I think I found the humming scene funnier than I should have. I guess doctors have to make their own fun.

February 6, 2018

ER 1.3, Going Home: If You Say You’re Okay Enough Times, Eventually People Will Believe It

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

Probably not the help Carol needs, but still important

Summary: It’s Carol’s first day back at work since her suicide attempt, though her mother isn’t sure she’s ready for it. Carol claims she is and gathers her things. A woman wakes Benton, who’s sleeping at the hospital, and sings to him. The first person Carol sees when she gets to the hospital is Carter, who remembers meeting her on his first day. She jokes that she thought it was her last. So I guess that’s how she’s going to handle this. She quickly realizes that she’s not as ready to go back to work as she thought she was.

Benton asks Lydia if she knows which doctor his singing alarm clock belongs to. “No, but I can name that tune,” Lydia quips. Mark doesn’t know whose she is either. Doug asks him if he’s seen Carol; this is the third time he’s asked. Carol greets Susan and Jerry, saying she’s there to deliver barbiturates. Someone please get her a psych consult. Jerry tells her that Doug warned them all to be sensitive toward her. Benton brings in the singing woman, and Jerry says the cops found her on the El without an ID. Benton tries to pass her off to another babysitter, but everyone’s busy.

Carol peeks in at Doug, who’s examining a crying toddler, then moves on without speaking to him. Lydia gives her a hug and offers to talk if Carol ever wants to. Jerry tries to apologize for joking around with Carol earlier (even though she was the one joking), and she assures him that she’s not as fragile as Doug seems to think. Haleh is thrilled to see her so she can hand back some responsibilities. Mark already has a patient for Carol and tells her that everyone’s rooting for her to succeed. Carol admits that she may have jumped back in too quickly. Mark thinks, since it’s Monday, things will be slow.

Carter ends up with the singing woman, and we find out later that her name is Mary, so I’m just going to start calling her that now, because it’s faster. She’s stopped singing, but now she’s crying. Carter has no idea how to deal with her. Mark pulls Carol into a trauma as Jerry gets a call about a patient coming in with a heart attack. Mark tells him to give that case to Susan. Benton helps him with his trauma patient, who was shot, but Carol jumps over to Susan’s patient. Doug briefly sees her and says a quick hi.

Susan’s patient, Mr. Flannigan, is feeling better and tells her his cardiologist is Jack Kayson. Carol goes back to the trauma room to get something for the patient but is asked to stay with the trauma. Susan’s still waiting for Kayson to get in touch, and she’s uneasy about treating Mr. Flannigan without a complete medical history, but she has no choice. When Kayson arrives, he disagrees with Susan’s treatment and takes over the case. The other patient is sent to surgery, and Mark praises Carol for her good work. She may doubt that she’s ready to be back, but he assures her that no one else does.

Mark’s next patient, Mrs. Cheung, has facial injuries and doesn’t speak English, so Haleh isn’t sure how she was hurt. Mary’s singing again, and Carter’s still keeping an eye on her. Susan and Div chat about baseball on their way to meet them. Mrs. Cheung’s preteen son, Frank, says she fell down the stairs, which Mark finds interesting, since they live on the first floor of an apartment building. Clearly, there’s something Mrs. Cheung doesn’t want Frank to tell Mark. He sends Frank out of the room while he continues his treatment.

Mary talks to Div about her time singing at a club during the war. Carter’s impressed, saying he wouldn’t have thought to talk to her about music since he knows nothing about it. Susan whispers that Div doesn’t either. Div asks Mary questions to determine her mental status, but she thinks she’s in a jail, not a hospital. She also thinks it’s 1948 and Harry Truman is the president.

Morgenstern runs into Carol and welcomes her back. He makes it clear that her return to work is a big deal, and people should be concerned about whether she was ready, but they all agreed she was. Carter has a list of possible diagnoses for Mary, but Div tells him to think of horses, not zebras, when he hears hooves. The most logical explanation is probably right: Alzheimer’s. They need to find Mary’s family. Benton’s annoyed that Carter has spent so much time with Mary, because I guess he’s not supposed to care about people.

Mark tries to get Frank to tell him what really happened to his mother. If they know the truth, it might help them treat her. Frank won’t respond when Mark questions the story that Mrs. Cheung fell down the stairs. Doug asks Carol to have lunch with him, but she already has plans with her fiancé, Dr. John “Tag” Taglieri. Benton again criticizes Carter for spending too much time with a patient. He takes him up to the roof to meet a patient arriving via helicopter.

Morgenstern tells Mark and Susan that he’s changing the time of a morbidity and mortality (M&M) conference that afternoon so Kayson can attend. He wants Susan to present Flannigan’s case. She admits to Mark that she dreads having to revisit the argument she had with Kayson about treatment options. On the roof, Benton and Carter receive their patient, a 16-year-old girl injured in a jetski accident. No one loses any limbs.

Doug thinks his crying toddler might have meningitis, so he needs to perform a spinal tap. The patient’s father passes out at the thought. Carter tries to pass along information about his patient to some nurses, but he has the details wrong. Mark asks Doug if he’s talked to Carol yet. Doug says Tag interrupted, and Mark says he shouldn’t be surprised; they’ve been together for a while. Did Doug expect Carol to fall back in love with him while she was gone?

Susan has a patient who needs stitches on her arm, but didn’t mention that she has cancer. The patient, Mrs. Packer, resists being admitted for a blood transfusion to treat aplastic anemia. She knows she’s dying, and she doesn’t want to spend what little time she has left in the hospital. Doug performs an uneventful spinal tap, and Carter and Carol both take a moment to admire the sight of him holding a child. Carol is still acting like everything’s fine.

Carter stitches up Mrs. Packer while Mary sadly hums to herself nearby. He courts the wrath of Benton by checking on her and trying to comfort her. He tries Div’s method of connecting with her by talking about music; they agree that Ella Fitzgerald’s talent is unmatched today. Mary sings some Ella but it doesn’t cheer her up.

Mark and Carter’s flirtatious patient is back, this time complaining that her breasts hurt. She says her name is Proserpina. Mark wants to leave early to have dinner with Jen, but he promises Susan he’ll wait until after her M&M. Haleh tells Mark that Frank wants to talk to him. He seems scared.

The liquor store owner who was shot in the previous episode is back with another gunshot wound. Benton wants Carter to come help him, but Carter’s busy making out with “Proserpina.” An x-ray tech catches them but just goes about his business. Mrs. Packer starts to leave, pausing in the hallway when she hears Mary singing. Susan asks her again to stay for treatment, but Mrs. Packer resists again. However, she’s pleased that she got to have such a nice afternoon – she got to hear Mary Cavanaugh sing in person. As Mrs. Packer leaves, she collapses.

Frank confesses to Mark and Haleh that his father hit his mother. He’s on his way to pick them up right now. Mark assures him that he did the right thing, and they’re going to find people to help him and his mother. He tells Haleh to call Social Services and try to find a shelter. Haleh remarks that she’s never seen such an old-looking child.

Morgenstern runs the M&M, which Benton attends along with Susan, Kayson, Mark, and another doctor. Morgenstern determines that Susan’s treatment worked, so Kayson’s wasn’t necessary. Benton, Mark, and the other doctor, Langworthy, all admit that they would have treated the patient with angioplasty, as Kayson wanted.

After the meeting, Susan’s mad that Mark showed up late and then sided with Kayson. He tells her it wasn’t personal. Susan’s annoyed that everyone else in the room was a surgeon, so of course they wanted to operate. Her decision was valid, and Mark should have backed her up.

Carol asks Carter if “Proserpina” (real name: Liz) found him. The x-ray tech overhears and remarks that he used to know someone like her. Her middle name was Penicillin. Carter chuckles, then realizes it might not be that funny. Doug asks Carol to get coffee, and this time she accepts. First she checks on Mrs. Packer, who has finally agreed to a transfusion. She’s had a lot of time to think about dying, and it makes her realize that every day is a gift. She doesn’t know how and when she’ll die, but she knows it’s not today. She already has plans.

Mr. Cheung has arrived, and he isn’t interested in talking to Mark. The social worker tells Mark that Mrs. Cheung and Frank don’t want to go to a shelter, and she denies being abused, so there’s nothing they can do. Mark tries to get Frank to ask Mrs. Cheung again what really happened. He won’t talk, and when the social worker asks, Frank says his father hasn’t hit him or his mother. They have to let the family leave.

Carter and Mary chat some more about music as he takes her to meet up with her granddaughter to go home. The granddaughter apologizes for letting her wander off so far, but Carter isn’t too upset about it. Doug and Carol meet up in the ambulance bay, and he asks to go out with her again, even though he knows she’s with Tag. She guesses that he feels guilty for her suicide attempt. She tells him it had nothing to do with him, though she isn’t specific about it. Doug asks if she really wants to be with Tag. Isn’t he worth another chance? Carol points out that things didn’t work out for a reason.

Mrs. Packer has a christening to go to, so she’s leaving for the night and will return the next day to complete her transfusion. She doesn’t want to miss a minute of her time with her family. She’s not going to give up on life while she still has some time left. Susan summons Carol to help her with Mark, saying he’s hurt, but it’s just a ruse to get her to a surprise welcome-back party. The staff gives her a neck brace she can put on the next time she needs to alert them to a problem. Carol thanks them all for saving her – by doing so, they gave her a gift, and she’s going to remember it every day. But they can’t help remembering what they went through.

Thoughts: Kayson is played by Sam Anderson. Mary is played by the late Rosemary Clooney, who was, of course, George’s aunt.

Drink every time Benton tells Carter to stop spending so much time with his patients. You’ll end the series with liver damage.

Who the heck asks an engaged woman on a date? I mean, I know you’re cute, Doug, but really.