January 24, 2023

ER 12.15, Darfur: Stop Enabling Carter’s Hero Complex!

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

Carter’s back on his white savior B.S.

Summary: Carter, who recently sent a postcard to his old co-workers in Chicago, is in Darfur at Debbie’s request. A doctor named Stephen brings him some tea during the night to help with his cough, which is caused by the dryness in the air. Debbie’s been volunteering there for a few weeks, and she and Stephen are dating. He’s grateful to have another doctor there. They hear gunfire outside from the local militia fighters, the Janjaweed, and Stephen tells Carter that he’ll learn to sleep through it.

At County, Morris gets bitten by a kid. Good kid! Bite him again! Frank presents Abby with a gift basket full of baby stuff, which lets her know that her secret is out. Morris admits to spreading the word because people were commenting on Abby’s weight and he wanted to “defend” her. Weaver tells the staff that Clemente is back on the schedule. Everyone thinks it’s too soon after what happened with Jodie. Frank comments that that situation is apparently similar to what happened when Clemente was in Newark. Weaver defends him, saying he’s not the only one at County with tricky personal issues.

Clemente’s at the police station, being questioned for the fifth time about what happened. They still think he shot Jodie. Clemente points the finger at Bobby, but he has a false alibi that says he was in New Jersey at the time. Jodie’s comatose, so there’s no eyewitness available to back up Clemente’s story. The police suggest that he hire a lawyer.

In Darfur, Debbie is in for a long day treating patients on top of dealing with other problems. She tells Stephen that the Janjaweed shot up the reservoir, which will limit their water supply. She thinks Stephen should be as upset as she is. He reminds her that they’ve handled this before and already know what to do. He advises her to do her “downtown dog. Down-and-out dog?” Heh. She bribes Stephen and Carter to listen to her by offering bottles of Coke.

Carter checks on a sick boy and admires the drawings his younger brother has been making. They’re of him and his father fighting the Janjaweed. He offers it to Carter. Clemente arrives for his first shift back after the shooting and asks Abby if people have been talking about him. Uh, of course. She thinks he should have taken a little more time off before coming back. Clemente insists that he didn’t shoot Jodie. Abby just casually says, “Okay.” He goes to Luka to ask where he should start his shift, but Luka doesn’t want him back at work yet. It would be bad for both him and the patients.

Stephen determines that Carter’s stay in Darfur is open-ended. He comments that it’s hard to have a long-distance relationship in their line of work. There’s a woman in London he falls in love with whenever he’s in town; when he leaves again, they fall out of it. Debbie has the same arrangement with a guy in Spain. “What happens in Darfur stays in Darfur,” Carter quips. A couple of kids playing soccer run by them and the doctors kick the ball with them briefly.

Carter asks when the refugees might be able to go home. Stephen isn’t sure. The government is funding Arab militias so they can find and kill rebels, which they do by destroying villages, killing men, and raping women. The survivors end up at the refugee camp. Carter says the Janjaweed have turned the country into the Wild West. Stephen’s not pleased that the U.S. Congress went on vacation after Kofi Annan and Colin Powell dubbed the crisis genocide. “When the faces are black, the world moves slow,” he says.

They spot Debbie leading a yoga class with some kids and joke that they want to join. Just then, a boy runs up carrying a younger boy who’s sick. Their mother went on a trek to get wood and they’re not sure where their father is. Carter promises to fix the boy up before his mother gets back. Meanwhile, some Janjaweed fighters ambush some women in the desert.

Stephen lets the boys who just arrived listen to his iPod. He and Carter are taken to one of the women ambushed in the desert, Gada, who’s covered in blood. The two of them and a nurse named Zahra start tending to her, but when Carter finds signs of rape, Zahra tells him to back off. Gada doesn’t want men examining her. Zahra tells Carter that they can bring in Gada’s husband, Lwendo, but they can’t let him know that Gada has been “shamed.” Stephen explains that some Sudanese men disown their wives after they’ve been raped.

The latest trauma at County is a 14-year-old marching-band member named Jose who was hit by a car. He’s worried about missing practice and getting benched for regionals. Malik calls Pratt out of his trauma room, saying that Darnell is there to talk to him. Darnell has a cut on his head from a fight, and he admits that he had a few drinks at a co-worker’s party. Pratt’s upset that he went back on his promise to get sober. Darnell just wants to get fixed up before K.J. sees him like this. “Stop coming in like this,” Pratt replies.

Clemente visits Jodie as Pratt stitches Darnell up. Darnell has been going to AA meetings but is struggling to maintain his sobriety. He asks about Jose, wondering if he’ll be all right. Carter tells Gada’s husband that she was attacked, and he asks if she was “shamed.” Carter just says she was beaten. Her injuries aren’t too serious, but there are two long cuts on her thigh. When her husband sees them, he walks out of the medical tent. Stephen tells Carter that it’s a mark of rape. Someone probably should have taught him that earlier.

Neela comes to the ER to see if Jose needs surgery, and Abby and Pratt bicker over whether she should have made him a higher priority. Pratt’s sure that Jose is bleeding internally and wants Dubenko or Albright to come see him. Neela calls for a scan, which Pratt thinks is unnecessary. Neela just doesn’t want Jose to have surgery if he doesn’t absolutely need it. And if he does, they need to know what they’re dealing with – surgeons don’t like surprises. Pratt reminds her that she’s not a surgeon. She tells him she is today.

Pratt continues trying to advocate for Jose, worried that he’ll decline before his scans are done and they won’t have time to get him to the OR. Neela says it’s her call. Jose’s father arrives with a cop who wants to ask him about the driver who hit him. Jose says he was Black and was driving a blue pickup with Bears bumper stickers. Pratt makes a realization. He heads straight to Darnell and tells him that Jose ID’d someone matching his and his car’s descriptions. Darnell tries to plead innocence, but Pratt is on to him.

Carter and Stephen go looking for Lwendo and learn that he went after the Janjaweed. Carter wants to try to find him and stop him. Stephen and Debbie warn him against it, since he could get himself killed, but it’s Carter, and we all know he’s going to go no matter what they say. Stephen volunteers to go with him (probably a good idea at the very least because he speaks the language and Carter doesn’t).

Pratt brings Albright to Jose during his scans, wanting to make sure that Neela doesn’t miss anything. Neela’s annoyed, but Jose starts declining just then. Pratt manages to not say, “I told you so.” Clemente goes back to Jodie’s room, blasting an ICU doctor for skipping her during rounds. The doctor says they just checked on her ten minutes ago. Clemente asks if they’re just going to sit back and do nothing. Well, there’s nothing they can do until they know her neurological status, so they’re going to wait. And maybe give Clemente a tranquilizer.

Bobby calls Clemente to basically rub it in that he shot his own wife and framed Clemente. Clemente warns that when Jodie wakes up, Bobby will face the music. Bobby says that Clemente might have gotten out of New Jersey clean but he won’t this time. “She was mine, and you never should have touched her,” he says. Ew.

While Jose’s in surgery, Pratt chastises Darnell for screwing up after Pratt risked his job to cover for him. Darnell insists that he’s trying to get sober. Pratt urges him to turn himself in for hitting Jose. It’s the best way he can teach K.J. about integrity. I’m surprised Darnell doesn’t mention that K.J. would likely wind up in foster care if Darnell went to jail.

Carter wonders what Lwendo hopes to accomplish by going after the Janjaweed. Stephen tells him that men like Lwendo lose more and more pride every day. They can’t provide for their families without getting killed, so they have to let their wives do it. Then the wives get attacked. Lwendo just wants to be a man again. They arrive at a checkpoint but there’s no one around. Carter wants to keep going, but Stephen isn’t willing to put them at more risk. As they’re turning the truck around to leave, some military officials drive up.

Gada’s worried about her husband, and even more worried when Zahra tells her where he went. Debbie asks her to tell Gada that doctors went to find him. The military officials search Stephen and Carter’s truck for weapons, which Carter thinks is ridiculous; they’re doctors. He starts to explain that they’re looking for the husband of a woman who was raped. Stephen and a military official both tell him to shut up.

The official pulls out a gun but puts it away when Stephen says something to him in Arabic. They’re allowed to leave. Carter complains that the military could have helped them find Lwendo. Stephen says there’s a lot of corruption there. The U.S. would rather deal with Salah Gosh (a national security advisor in Sudan) to get information on the war on terrorism. They can’t do that if they cross Al Bashir (Sudan’s president). Carter notes that they wouldn’t be able to get oil from the area, either.

He tries but fails to convince Stephen to keep going. Stephen has to pull over to take some medication. He confides that he has cirrhosis from a childhood illness. They spot some smoke nearby and Carter is able to guilt Stephen into going to check it out. Stephen, stop enabling him! He’ll never learn his lesson!

Darnell wound up doing the right thing and turned himself in to the police. K.J. understandably bummed about it. Carter and Stephen come across some blood near where they saw the smoke, and they see some Janjaweed fighters beating and scalding Lwendo with boiling water. Stephen doesn’t want to try to help him, since they’ll just get killed, too. The fighters point guns toward them, having heard noises from that direction, but the men are hidden by a sand dune and are protected from the bullets.

The fighters turn back to Lwendo and seemingly let him go. As he’s walking away, one of them shoots him in the back. As soon as the fighters drive off, Carter races over to Lwendo to put his trauma training to use. Stephen doesn’t think they can keep him alive long enough to get him to their camp or a hospital. Carter ignores him and starts CPR.

Jodie wakes up, to Clemente’s surprise, and remembers what happened. For someone who was just in a coma for who knows how long, she seems totally fine. She even still wants to be with Clemente. K.J. tells Pratt he’s going to stay with his aunt while Darnell’s in jail. Pratt feels bad for what happened, but K.J. assures him that it’s not his fault. He’s fully aware of his father’s alcoholism. He’s grateful that, unlike Darnell’s other friends, Pratt tried to get him to step up.

Neela lets Pratt know that Jose’s surgery went well and he’s doing okay. She apologizes for not listening to Pratt’s concerns. Again, instead of saying he told her so, Pratt is mature and lets it go. Really, he’s just worried about Jose and blames himself for what happened, since he covered for Darnell the last time he faced legal trouble. Neela’s upset that Pratt didn’t do anything to stop a drunk driver from hurting someone. Since Darnell took responsibility for his actions, she thinks Pratt should do the same with Luka.

Luka and Abby are discussing baby names, and it appears Luka’s getting inspiration from famous ’90s singers, since he suggests Celine and Jewel. Abby teases that they could go with Charo or Liberace. He says they should name the baby after the next person to walk through the ER doors. It’s Clemente, so never mind.

Word has spread that Jodie’s awake, and Clemente hopes that now that his name has been cleared, he can go back to work. Luka wants him to be evaluated by the Impaired Physician Committee first. He’ll need medical and drug tests and a psych evaluation. Clemente reluctantly agrees. As he’s leaving, Bobby calls again, and Clemente tells him that Jodie’s currently telling the police what he did. Bobby happens to be in his car at the corner, and he honks to get Clemente’s attention, then mimes shooting a gun at him. Clemente chases after him but loses him in traffic.

Carter and Stephen take Lwendo’s body to the refugee camp so Gada and their kids can see him. Aww, sorry you had a bad day and couldn’t save someone, Carter. This is definitely all about you! Some men prepare Lwendo’s body and people at the camp hold a funeral for him. “From the earth God created you, to the earth God will return you, and from the earth God will bring you out again,” Stephen translates for Carter.

Thoughts: If I say my prayers and eat my vegetables and help little old ladies cross the street, can I be spared ever having to watch another Africa episode? Please? (Apparently there are still at least two more, so the answer is no. Boo.)

Aw, K.J. turned out to be a good kid. I like that he was grateful to Pratt instead of hating him, because he would have been justified if he’d been mad.

Wow, Bobby’s an idiot. Why would you purposely hang out right outside the building where, at any minute, your shooting victim could wake up and send the police after you?

January 17, 2023

ER 12.14, Quintessence of Dust: The Smoking Gun

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

Have I mentioned how much I like John Leguizamo? ‘Cause I really like John Leguizamo

Summary: The day shift is on its way out, and Pratt is passing some patients on to Abby before going to a charity bachelor auction. Morris says that only the 50 hottest bachelors in Chicago are participating, and as the 51st, he just missed the cut-off. Haleh questions Pratt’s claims that his Black girlfriend is okay with him, also Black, being auctioned off to rich white women. “Take it easy, Angela Davis,” Pratt says, pointing out that they might not all be white.

With Clemente still MIA, County has been working with some moonlighting and temporary attendings. Abby doesn’t like them since they never know what’s going on, but Morris appreciates that, since he was able to get one to buy dinner for a whole shift. Clemente has missed four shifts now, and Morris and Jerry assume he’s been hanging out with Jodie.

They’re right, as they’re currently in bed, her doing a crossword puzzle, him offering up answers while tied to a bedpost. He gives her the word “quintessence,” which is from Hamlet and means “no higher form.” They’re both naked and neither is sober, thanks to what I assume is coke. He has no interest in leaving, and they haven’t gone anywhere in a week.

Pratt is “sold” for $600 to someone who is decidedly not a rich white woman, unless it’s a woman with a very deep voice. The next morning, Jerry shares a postcard from Carter, who hasn’t been very good at keeping in touch. Morris fights with Albright, then asks Luka to weigh in on “Dr. Stalin” and her tendency to take over their turf. Albright mocks him for the new nickname, and Morris says that in college, he spent a semester in Germany. Luka gives him a look. “Where we studied…Russia,” Morris says, taking a stab in the dark.

Albright tells Luka that her residents need trauma training so they can clean up the ER staff’s messes. Morris doesn’t think they’ll get much out of that training. The ER residents, however, need to be able to handle anything and everything. Albright taunts that they definitely need more training, which Morris and Weaver agree is cold. Albright calls Morris a sissy, then tries to whine to Luka again. He tells them to work things out themselves.

Weaver’s covering for Clemente but has to stay off her feet as much as she can, thanks to her hip injury, so I’m not sure how much she’ll be able to do. Frank suggests having her talk to Albright about her attitude, since they’re both a demeaning, gendered insult I refuse to repeat. Shut up, Frank. Abby is on my side, but Albright doesn’t mind guys seeing her that way, since it means they respect her. Uh, I don’t think they do. Morris doesn’t, at least.

When Pratt arrives, everyone wants to know how much money he went for at the auction. The other employees had a pool, but it doesn’t sound like anyone guessed that someone would pay $600 for dinner with him. He admits that a guy won, and all the male staff members at the admit desk stare at him. “Is he cute?” Ray asks. Everyone cracks up. Pratt says he didn’t meet the guy.

The others tease that maybe the guy will pay for dinner, but that he shouldn’t assume that means anything. Abby’s annoyed that they’re being homophobic, though I don’t think they are. It’s not like they’re saying it’s gross that Greg’s having dinner with another man. Morris tells Luka that his woman is getting weird. Abby threatens to hit him with a hole puncher if he ever refers to her as someone’s woman again. Luka pulls her away before she follows through on that. She confides that she’s on edge because she’s waiting for some test results about the baby.

Paramedics bring in a 60-something homeless man named Dexter who was beaten by some teenagers. They were trying to steal his can opener, of all things. He thinks they were taking part in a dare. Also, he wants his can opener back. Jodie and Clemente go shopping at the mini-mart, still stoned. They’re loud and giggly and generally the exact kind of people you don’t want to encounter when you’re shopping.

Abby and Luka call Coburn to get the test results, which Abby is anxious about and Luka is characteristically optimistic about. He holds her hand as she gets the news that everything looks good. Jodie and Clemente go to his apartment, barely through the door before they start undressing. They don’t realize that Jodie’s husband, Bobby, is lurking in the shadows. He tells Jodie to get her things, but she refuses to leave with him. Bobby hurls racist slurs at Clemente, who orders him out. Jodie blurts out that she filed for divorce.

Bobby turns apologetic, just like a typical abusive spouse when they realize they’ve crossed a line. He doesn’t want to leave Jodie there with Clemente. Clemente defuses things before they can get bad by advising Bobby to leave and call Jodie later. Bobby goes, and Clemente comments that that went pretty well, considering. But Bobby returns moments later and fires a gun at them.

Frank and Morris tease Pratt some more about his “man date.” Morris reveals that he had four dates with a trans woman. I’m sure he handled it very maturely and calmly when he found out. Sam asks for morphine for a patient who was supposed to be in the OR by now. Morris, of course, complains to Albright, then announces that he’s forbidding his residents from writing orders for patients she’s keeping in the ER until they’re ready for surgery. Albright writes the orders herself, gives them to Abby, and tells her that Morris is “a little penis.” Abby’s like, “I just walked in; why are people putting me in the middle of their fights?”

She and Luka go out to the roach coach, discussing whether they want to find out the baby’s sex. He does, but she’s not quite ready for the pregnancy to feel so real. Luka reminds her that the baby’s 16 weeks along, so it’s already pretty real. She wonders if there’s anyone they need to tell. Um, do you mean other than your mother?

Clemente speeds down the street and crashes his car in the ambulance bay. Jodie’s in the backseat, covered in blood. Luka, Abby, and Sam start taking care of her, and she asks for Clemente, then says, “He shot me.” Ray is still with Dexter, who practices piano chords as a nervous habit. Ray recognizes them and they start talking about music. When Ray was younger, his father listened to jazz records by a musician with the same last name as Dexter. Turns out that was Dexter himself.

Clemente assures Jodie that her injuries aren’t anything to worry about. When Luka asks, Clemente tells him that Bobby shot Jodie. The staff is skeptical, since it sure sounded like Jodie was saying that Clemente shot her. He jumps in to help take care of her, but Luka shuts him down. Pratt comes in and happens to be close enough to catch Clemente when he starts to collapse. Pratt drags him to the next trauma room for treatment for a shoulder wound. Clemente tries to use that to convince Sam that he wasn’t the shooter.

He calls instructions into the next room, where Weaver joins the team to try to stabilize Jodie. She determines that Jodie needs surgery immediately, and since Albright hasn’t responded to Sam’s previous pages, they should contact Dubenko instead. He’s just finished a procedure with Neela where she screwed something up. He chastises her for it and tells her not to get defensive or make excuses. However, he’s sympathetic since he knows Gallant went back to Iraq.

Jodie’s losing a lot of blood, so Luka isn’t happy that Albright is missing and Dubenko took so long to come to her trauma room. Neela goes to help Pratt and Weaver with Clemente, and they’re a little amused by how she acts like a surgeon. He’s anxious about Jodie’s condition and yells more instructions to her trauma team. Weaver tells him that Luka knows what he’s doing. Clemente thrashes around, trying to get up, and he knocks Weaver to the floor. She responds by putting him in restraints.

Albright joins Dubenko and Neela as they’re operating on Jodie. Neela has to admit that she doesn’t know what she’s doing. Morris comes in to fight with Albright more, and when Neela tells him this is a bad time, he says he can’t hear her because she’s dead to him. Wait, Neela found a way to get Morris to stop talking to her? Teach it to everyone else, Neela! Albright asks Dubenko to make Morris go away. Morris taunts her for tattling to her attending, and Dubenko tells Albright to get rid of the annoyance. Morris is gleeful that she’s been kicked out of surgery.

Back in the ER, Haleh, Chuny, Ray, and Frank gossip about what happened to Clemente and Jodie. Frank is sure that Clemente shot himself to make it look like he was an innocent victim. Pratt tells them to knock it off. Chuny gives Ray a wallet she found, which happens to belong to Dexter. Inside, Ray finds a newspaper wedding notice for a woman named Sarah, who has Dexter’s last name.

Clemente lets himself into Jodie’s OR, where Neela still doesn’t know what she’s doing. Dubenko says they’ll probably have to remove one of Jodie’s kidneys. Clemente objects, so Dubenko sends him to observe outside the OR. Neela wants to try to save Jodie’s kidney, and Dubenko is open to suggestions. She’s not sure what to do, and he tells her to think like he’s not there and she’s in charge. He ignores Clemente as he continues protesting, then gives Neela the go-ahead to try her idea.

Morris: (yelling at Albright). Albright: (declaring war). Me: (screaming into a pillow). Abby and Haleh don’t like how Albright treats them; they think she’s only interested in the male residents. Abby’s eating her third ice cream sandwich of the day, and Morris casually asks if she’s pregnant. She pauses before making a “that’s completely absurd!” face. He says it must be true, so she tries to deflect by accusing him of being in love with Albright. They both clam up when Pratt asks what they’re talking about.

Ray has contacted Sarah, wanting her to know that her father’s at the hospital. He didn’t attend her wedding since he didn’t want to be seen in his current state. She tells him that she would have paid for a suit for him, but he firmly says he doesn’t want her money. She asks him to stay with her and her husband, at least for a little while. He says that’s not right for him.

Neela, Dubenko, and their team work calmly and steadily on Jodie. Pratt brings Clemente a copy of Jodie’s tox screen, upset that Clemente didn’t mention in the ER that she’d used drugs. He figures that Clemente didn’t want to be treated himself because he would have been tested, too. Pratt hopes Clemente has a good story to tell the police, because right now it looks like he’s the shooter. Jodie’s the only one who can clear him.

Luka runs into Alex and gives him a hockey puck he got at a recent game. They chat a little about how Sam wants Alex to go to college but he wants to be a NASCAR driver. Dexter left without Ray signing off on his discharge, and he most likely went back to the streets. Pratt’s “date” has arrived, and everyone’s surprised to see that it’s a woman. Pratt pretends he was just joking about a man winning him at the auction.

Jodie’s surgery is over and Albright isn’t happy that Neela scrubbed in or has a good rapport with Dubenko. Albright is Neela’s supervisor during this elective, so Neela should be trying to impress her. Neela says she’s not trying to impress anyone. Albright threatens payback if Neela ever tries to prevent her from joining an operation again. Excuse me? Neela didn’t do that at all. Shut up, Albright.

Clemente wants to see Jodie in the ICU, and apparently no one’s called the police or anything, because no one stops him. He thanks Neela, who says they did their best. Luka kindly tells Sam about his and Abby’s baby so she doesn’t have to hear it from someone else or with a bunch of other people. Sam can’t cover her surprise and what’s most likely some grief over what she won’t ever get to have with him again.

Clemente talks more Shakespeare to an unconscious Jodie, as if people actually do stuff like this in real life. Weaver comes by and says she heard that the surgeons were able to save Jodie’s kidney. Unfortunately, the blood loss and other complications mean Jodie could have neurological damage. Weaver tells Clemente that the police went to his place and found drugs. They think he shot Jodie. He asks about the gun, which the police didn’t find. Then he asks if he’s fired. “Not yet,” Weaver says.

Pratt heads out with his date, whose friend “bought” Pratt for her. He has the biggest grin on his face when he says good night to Ray. Dexter is right out on the corner, collecting change. Ray tries to talk him into working on his relationship with Sarah, but Dexter’s still resistant. Ray takes him to Ike Ryan’s, where Dexter starts playing the piano and singing “Many Rivers to Cross.” Everyone at the bar is captivated.

Abby finally calls Maggie to tell her about the baby. We don’t hear her response, but she must be ecstatic. Clemente reluctantly leaves Jodie’s side so he can talk to the police. Sam leaves the ER with Alex, saying goodbye to Luka. Luka finally gets a chance to read Carter’s postcard, which sends us into a glimpse of Carter and Debbie in Africa. But we’ll have to wait until the next episode to find out more about what they’ve been up to.

Thoughts: Albright and Morris, either make out already or shut up. No, wait – make out already AND shut up.

Dubenko was annoying when he first came on the show, but he’s growing on me a little. He shows Neela a good balance of toughness and kindness, and he never loses patience with her during surgery. I also like how he handles Morris, Albright, and Clemente. No matter what’s going on, he always puts the patient first.

I think it’s sweet that Luka still makes an effort to be friendly to Alex. Even better, Alex is comfortable talking to him.

December 27, 2022

ER 12.11, If Not Now: Everything Happens for a Reason

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

Time to start looking excited, guys

Summary: It’s two weeks after Christmas, which means Luka has known for two weeks that Abby is pregnant. He’s started taking down his Christmas tree, but Abby thinks he should leave it up. She has some admiration for the people who don’t throw theirs out until April: “They don’t give up easy.” He takes down an ornament with a picture of her on it, which she made for her mother when she was a kid. She used a coaster from the motel they were living in.

Luka has a meeting but is willing to skip it so they can talk. Clearly they haven’t decided what to do yet. She’s leaning toward not having the baby, since she and Luka aren’t sure what the future holds for their relationship. He notes that they’ve been friends for a long time and have been through a lot together. Abby doesn’t think that makes them ready to co-parent. Luka assures her that he knows it’s her choice.

At County, Neela wheels in a patient who fell in the ambulance bay and is having pain in her hip. It’s Weaver, and she’s not pleased with Neela’s attempts to be professional by treating her like any other patient. She says she’s just bruised and doesn’t need treatment. She gets swarmed by people who have questions or need her approval for things. Ray calls them all off, though Weaver guesses it’s because he wants something. He asks for a few weeks off to go to L.A. with his band – they got a recording deal. She tells him to back off or she’ll impale him with her crutch.

Jodie’s still in Chicago, and Clemente is half annoyed, half happy. Ugh, they’re one of those couples who fight all the time and infuriate everyone around them. She swears she’s severed all her ties with her husband, Bobby, and he doesn’t know where the two of them are. Clemente thinks she’s an idiot to believe that he can’t find out, since he’s a cop. Jodie demands money for a cab and winter boots, and advises him to find a way to fix his ugly attitude.

As Weaver finally allows Neela to treat her like a regular patient, paramedics bring in a man who needs more medical attention than the nursing facility where he lives can give him. He’s 23 but has been comatose after being hit by a car on his 21st birthday. His mother laments that she spent his life raising him right, and it just took one night for him to end up the way he is. We’ll put that in the con column of the pro-con list Abby is no doubt making about having a baby.

In a flashback to Christmas, Abby has taken yet another pregnancy test, all of which have been positive. Luka says they could make it work if she wants to have the baby. She’s not sure what she wants, but she also knows this could be her last chance to have a baby – she’s 37. Luka feels like everything happens for a reason, so he’s all for it. Abby admits that she’s scared, both of having a baby and not having a baby. When Pratt brings Abby out of her flashback, she notices that Coburn is in the ER.

Weaver chats with Neela, who’s enjoying being married. The Army wants Gallant to finish his residency at a military hospital, which means the newlyweds might have to move to Texas, or they’ll have to live apart for a while. Weaver’s injury seems to be worse than she’s let on, but she declines pain medication since she has work to do. She tells Neela how to treat her, and Neela reflexively says she’ll have to run the plan by her attending before she remembers who she’s talking to.

Ray asks Neela to soften Weaver up so she’ll approve his request for time off. Apparently Neela doesn’t know about his recording deal, which isn’t actually a recording deal yet. The band got some interest from a producer who will go see them at a gig and then decide if they get to record a demo. Ray wants to take a month off for the trip. Yeah, I’m sure Weaver would love to approve that.

Sam asks Neela to see a 15-year-old girl named Amanda. She’s desperate not to treat the girl herself, and she trades Weaver for her. Sam’s resistance to deal with Amanda probably comes from how relatable her case is: Amanda’s pregnant. She already knew before getting tested at the hospital, and she confirms that Neela hasn’t said anything to her parents. She won’t consider having an abortion, since that would “be against God.”

As Morris and Clemente treat a stabbing victim named Pete, Abby approaches Coburn, who started her own practice. Abby says she needs an OB and might come to see her. Coburn congratulates her happily, then says she’ll shut up when she realizes that Abby isn’t excited. Abby’s not sure she’s at the right place in her life to have a baby. She gets teary and Coburn gives her some tissues. She invites Abby to come for an appointment, whether it’s for prenatal care or a termination. Whatever decision she makes, Coburn is sure it’ll be the right one.

Pete tells Clemente and Morris that someone stabbed him while he and his friends were drinking in an alley. He doesn’t want them to call the police – he has problems that cops will just make worse. Clemente gets it. Coburn and Neela give Amanda an ultrasound, which confirms that she’s pregnant. She says her parents won’t understand; they’ll say she’s sinned. Luka pulls Neela aside to lightly chastise her for not telling him before she called an OB. He tells her to let him know when Amanda’s parents get there.

Abby treats a teenager who got hurt while trying to score a free bus ride by holding on to the fender, I think. He left home months ago and is annoyed that his parents are always worried about him. He’s an “independent spirit” and wants to be on his own. Abby has another flashback, this one about discussing with Luka her fear that she’s not sure she’s strong enough to be a parent. Maybe she won’t know how to love the baby right. He tells her that being a parent makes you stronger. She knows it also breaks your heart.

She remembers that he lost his children, but he tells her not to use that to make her decision either way. Abby thinks she could go shopping and accidentally leave the baby behind. Luka grins and tells her he’ll do all the shopping. She’s really afraid that she would mess up a child. “We won’t,” he assures her.

Amanda’s parents arrive, and she asks Neela to stick around while she tells him that she’s pregnant. The Ramseys don’t look surprised, and they ask Neela to give them some privacy. Albright comes to the ER to consult on Pete and bug me some more. The police are there, but Clemente promises Pete that he’ll take care of things. He tells Morris that if he can get Albright to smile, he’ll pay for them to go on a date. Albright accuses him of verging on sexual harassment. Oh, that’s nothing. Spend more time in the ER and you’ll experience some outright sexual harassment (though no one will ever report it).

Clemente goes to talk to the police about Pete, lying that he’s too out of it to give them a statement. The police are actually there for Clemente. Well, that can’t be good! Malik tells Neela that “the chief resident from the Death Star” (AKA Albright) is back in the ER. She’s currently fighting with Morris, who summoned her there because of protocol, not because Pete actually needs surgery. He calls her “missy,” and suddenly I find myself on Team Albright, because come on, Morris. Neela saves him by impressing Albright with her surgical knowledge. She wants to do a surgical elective, and Albright seems to approve.

The police ask Clemente about some supposed parking violations, as well as the allegations that led him to leave his hospital in Newark. Clemente firmly denies ever comprising a patient’s care. They say Jodie had “issues” with him, which Clemente also denies. He tells them that Bobby hits Jodie, and he knows Bobby sent them after him.

The police say that Jodie has been declared a missing person and could be in trouble. Clemente tells them that some people go missing because it’s safer that way. They should stop looking for her. The cops think Clemente might disappear next, but he says he’s not like their scumbag colleagues. Plus, he’s saved lots of cops’ lives. He’d like them to leave so he can stay on top of his game in case he needs to save some more.

Pratt’s been watching and listening in, but he just gives Clemente a look that says, “You’re in some trouble, eh?” Clemente shakily goes to the drug lock-up and takes a couple of pills. Pratt follows him but still doesn’t address what he overheard. Clemente tries to gather himself, showing that he’s much more afraid of Bobby than he’s let on.

Ray tries to butter Weaver up with cafeteria food, but she’s already made up her mind not to let him take time off. He tries to reframe the trip as an opportunity he needs to grab because it might not come around again. She reminds him that he was already warned about his lack of commitment to his job. He’s turned things around and shown that he wants to be there, and he’s a good doctor, so Weaver won’t consider letting him.

Ray keeps pushing, making a serious misstep when he calls her Kerry. He asks if she’s ever dreamed of something that she never believed would really happen. That’s what this is for him. If she doesn’t approve the time off, he’d seriously consider quitting his job. “Far be it from me to stand in the way of the next Springsteen or KC and the Sunshine Band,” she replies. She accepts his resignation. Oops!

Morris doesn’t get why Neela would want to do a surgical elective. They run into Ray, who’s unhappy about the possible career move he’s just made. Morris tells Neela to withdraw from the elective; he needs her in the ER, especially if Ray’s leaving. Abby makes an appointment with Coburn as Morris tells Sam that Ray apparently quit without meaning to.

Clemente gathers everyone who’s at the admit desk for a conversation about Jodie (whom they’ve hung out with and love). If anyone comes in and asks for her or Clemente, the staff is to say that they’ve never seen either of them. They’re all confused, and Morris says that Clemente gets weirder every day. Then he tells Neela again to withdraw from the elective. He’s the boss in the ER and she works for him.

Amanda’s father, Mr. Ramsey, tells Neela that they’re going to arrange Amanda’s prenatal care on their own. She’s surprised that Amanda has decided to keep the baby. Mr. Ramsey says he doesn’t believe in accidents – it’s God’s will for her to have the child. Neela wants to make sure that Amanda understands all of her options. Mr. Ramsey says that she created a human life, and anything that interferes is “morally indefensible.”

Pratt and Abby tend to a man named Donald who’s having some complications after finishing chemo. Pratt needs Clemente for something, and Chuny tells him Clemente is on the roof, since he gets better cell reception there. Donald laments to Abby that he used to be healthy enough to run triathlons. She tells him she used to do them, too, though instead of biking, running, and swimming, hers consisted of smoking, drinking, and watching TV. She’s stopped two of those things, though. Donald inherited a chromosome that led to cancer. He was “screwed by genetics.”

This sends Abby into another flashback. She tells Luka that when she got pregnant years ago, she was worried that the baby would inherit bipolar disorder. He assures her that the chances are small, and there are plenty of other risks to worry about. If everyone took them all into consideration, no one would have children. Abby notes that not everyone should have kids. Luka thinks she’s looking for reasons not to have the baby. She asks what he’s looking for – someone to have children with? He wonders what they’re doing here if that’s what she thinks.

Abby tells Donald that the chromosome he inherited wasn’t the only thing that led to him developing cancer. He gets that, but it’s a “big strike” to be born with. Okay, this isn’t helping Abby make up her mind. Pratt finds Clemente on the roof, leaving Jodie a message to call him ASAP. Pratt invites him to talk, but Clemente says he just has “chick trouble.” He’s not the type to share his problems. Pratt notes that since Clemente moves around so much, people don’t get to know him well enough to have his back when he needs support.

Clemente spills that things with Jodie ended badly, and he came to Chicago to get focused and stay out of trouble. Jodie and Bobby are making that very difficult for him. Pratt obviously doesn’t get how serious the situation is for Clemente; he’s amused that Clemente got in the middle of a couple’s marriage. He asks if Clemente feels better after opening up. No, not really.

Abby tells Luka that she made an appointment with Coburn. He offers to go with her, but she thinks it would be easier if he didn’t. He knows she isn’t sold on keeping the baby and parenting with him, but he can’t pretend it’s not what he wants. He doesn’t ask what she’s going to do, or if she’s decided what to do, and she doesn’t tell him.

Neela discharges Amanda, who confides to her and Luka that she wishes she could make this all go away. Luka tells her that everything happens for a reason. Amanda reveals that she went to a party and drank some beer, and she must have passed out. When she woke up, her jeans were off and she was bleeding. She laments that her first sexual experience wasn’t with someone she loved. Luka asks why she didn’t say anything before. “I don’t want this. Please,” Amanda says. Neela urges her to tell her parents, but Amanda already did.

Neela approaches Amanda’s mother, who says they can’t punish the baby because of how it was conceived: “It’s not up to us to determine who gets to be born.” Neela reminds her that her 15-year-old daughter was raped, and now will have the entire course of her life changed. Mrs. Ramsey says that Amanda believes the same things that her parents do. Luka tries to pull Neela aside, but she ignores him. She urges Mrs. Ramsey to do what’s in Amanda’s best interest. Mrs. Ramsey doesn’t think that killing the baby classifies.

Luka tells Neela to leave the family alone – they’ve made their decision. Neela notes that being pregnant emancipates Amanda, so her parents don’t get to choose for her. He tells her there’s nothing more she can do. Neela doesn’t think that Amanda gets that she has a choice. She may not want an abortion, but she also doesn’t want the baby.

Neela decides that Luka isn’t the right person to talk to about this, since he’s Catholic. She asks to bring in another attending. Luka quietly but sternly tells her that he’s a doctor before anything else. He doesn’t let personal beliefs get ahead of what’s in his patients’ best interests. Neela looks appropriately chastised, but she still thinks there’s more that they can do. He dismisses her from the case.

While Abby waits to see Coburn, sitting in a room full of happy expectant parents and lively kids, Luka asks Amanda if she really wants to have the baby. She doesn’t. He tells her about a procedure that could potentially, hypothetically cause a miscarriage. She asks if it’s a sin. He says it’s just a medical way of “giving God a chance to reconsider.”

Clemente meets up with Jodie and tells her she has to leave Chicago before the cops find her and trace her to him. She replies that she loves him, but sometimes he can be a [gay slur I refuse to repeat]. He says he’ll get himself a big boyfriend to beat up Bobby. He takes her to his car, which has been booted for unpaid parking tickets. Ray comes by and meets Jodie, though Clemente tries to pretend she’s someone else.

Ray meets up with Bret, who tells him the trip is still on, but the band isn’t sure he’s fully committed, because of “this whole doctor thing.” Like it’s a phase or something. The band decided to make some changes. Uh-oh. Luka finishes the procedure on Amanda, who quotes Jeremiah 1:5, which Luka is familiar with. He notes that Adam was formed from dust and only became human when God breathed life into him. He advises her to let her parents think she’s had a miscarriage.

After her appointment, Abby goes downtown to think. Neela asks Luka what he was doing with Amanda. He says he was just taking care of his patient. He tries to call Abby, who’s out by the water, still thinking. He tells Weaver that her injury could heal with rest and physical therapy, but she’s ready to face something she’s been putting off for years: total hip replacement. It’s going to make parenting difficult while she’s recovering. Luka asks how Henry is, and Weaver says he looks just like Sandy.

Luka meets up with Abby by the water. He doesn’t want everything between them to be based around this decision. They can get past it; she did what she had to do. He still wants to be with her. She tells him that she didn’t have an abortion. She wants to have the baby and parent with Luka. He sits down with her on a bench, not showing how he feels about that decision.

Thoughts: Coburn is warm and funny now! She’s become really likable.

Ray tells Chuny about his possible big break, and her response is to congratulate him, then give him a patient with foot fungus. Oh, the glamorous life of a rock star.

I don’t know why Neela thinks that the Ramseys will be okay with Amanda having an abortion because she was raped. The way her father talks, that’s obviously not a dealbreaker for him.

I’m surprised they had Luka involved in Amanda’s storyline but not Abby. Way to subvert expectations, show!

For those familiar with the Misha Collins “oh, hon” meme, it comes from this episode.

As nice as it is for Luka to say, “Here’s what I want; now I’ll shut up and let you do what you want,” I’d like more from his perspective. How does he feel about having another child after losing his first two?

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.

December 13, 2022

ER 12.9, I Do: Something Old, Something New

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

Aww, these cuties

Summary: Gallant and Neela are in bed together, and he’s just presented her with an idea that she thinks is ridiculous. He thinks it’s the best idea he’s ever had. They discuss it more while she’s getting ready for work (they shower together) and ride the El train. She notes that their families will be surprised. Gallant tells her that they’ll get over it, and they’ll have a great story to tell their grandchildren. He asks if Neela loves him and she says she does. That settles it for him: They’re getting married today. Neela tells him to slow down, but it’s just so she can ask if she’ll get a bouquet.

At County, Morris passes a drunk school crossing guard named Glenda on to Abby. He’s disturbed by the thought of her putting kids at risk. He spots Weaver talking to Luka and Clemente in a trauma room and asks Frank if he knows what that’s about. Pratt teases that they’re talking about Morris. Frank and Sam guess that Weaver’s telling the guys to stop fighting. Ray knows Luka and Clemente are both up for the job of chief of the ER.

K.J. is still volunteering in the ER. I am still bored by him. Weaver ends her meeting and tells the staff that she’s working today, but they should run cases by Luka or Clemente before coming to her. They’ll run the board together. The guys are overly polite to each other, which is almost as annoying as when they fight all the time over stupid things.

I guess Eve hired Haleh back, because she’s helping Abby tend to Glenda before Chuny sends her to tend to someone else. Luka comes in to chat with Abby, telling her that Weaver just wanted to meet with him and Clemente to tell them how charming they are. Abby laughs at that, so Luka asks if she doesn’t think he’s charming. When you’re happy and flirty like this, how could anyone not? He tells her Weaver wants him and Clemente to be more agreeable. Abby’s skeptical that they can pull that off.

Gallant and Neela have spread the news about their impromptu marriage to their co-workers. Though Frank is, of course, one of those guys who thinks marriage is a prison, Morris is jealous that Gallant has already found the person he’s going to share his life with. Clemente teases him for his romanticism. Jerry offers to officiate, since he’s an ordained Universal Life minister.

Neela asks Abby to be her maid of honor. Abby would normally say no because she doesn’t want to wear an ugly dress, but in this case she’s going to say no because Neela’s lost her mind. Neela says she and Gallant want to be together. His tour’s over, and he hopes to be able to finish his medical training in the States. Abby isn’t sure Neela knows Gallant well enough to make this kind of commitment. Neela insists she does, but Abby notes that they haven’t lived together and learned little details that married couples know about each other. She backs off when Neela asks her to just be happy and supportive.

Dubenko tells Pratt that according to a security guard, K.J. stole a digital camera. Pratt promises to talk to him. Gallant and Neela talk wedding venues while she starts to tend to a new patient. He tells her Jerry’s going to officiate. Luka and Clemente both weigh in on Abby’s decision to give Glenda platelets, since she’s having some bleeding issues. Surprisingly, the guys are on the same page about it. Ray tells Abby that they’ve been doing that all morning, as if they’re in “some sort of competitive agreeing contest.”

Pratt confronts K.J. about the camera, but he denies that he took it. Pratt tells him that surveillance footage proves he did. Plus, he disappeared while running an errand. K.J. can explain that – he was flirting with another volunteer – but insists he didn’t take the camera. Pratt’s upset that after he went out on a limb for K.J., K.J. would do something like this. His father, Darnell, is on the way to get him.

Chuny, Malik, and Dubenko discuss Neela and Gallant’s wedding venue options while they work on a patient with Neela. They bug her to register somewhere for gifts. Gallant winds up booking the hospital chapel without conferring with Neela, who would like to make some choices about her own wedding. Dubenko interrupts to remind Gallant that he shouldn’t see his bride on their wedding day. Also, he wants Neela to scrub in for an operation. Gallant thinks Neela’s pushing back because she has cold feet.

Abby examines a sick five-year-old boy named Stewy. He hasn’t been immunized because his mother and pediatrician don’t believe in vaccines. Mrs. Kenig also doesn’t want him to have a chest x-ray, even though Abby thinks he has pneumonia. She wants Abby to skip the radiation and just prescribe antibiotics. Abby decides not to fight with her and hold off on the x-ray unless Stewy gets worse.

Darnell believes K.J.’s claims that he didn’t steal the camera, and he wants to talk to Dubenko and the security guard who told him K.J. was the thief. Pratt notes that no one’s going to press charges, but Darnell insists. Glenda’s a little more coherent but is having trouble with her muscles. She also doesn’t know who Abby is. Jerry tells Weaver that a search committee meeting has been moved up. Clemente and Luka exchange a glance.

Abby tells Luka that something’s wrong with Glenda and she should have another CT scan. Clemente steps in, saying that she’s a drunk, so of course her mental state isn’t stable. Luka starts to tell him off, then remembers that Weaver is nearby. Luka has to go tend to someone else, so Clemente makes the final decision: Abby should just keep observing Glenda and wait to do anything else. Abby ignores him and tells Haleh to arrange another scan for Glenda.

Pratt runs into Gallant at the mini-mart, moping because he doesn’t think the wedding’s going to happen. Maybe they moved too fast. He was going to propose to Neela a while ago, so it’s not like this is out of the blue for him. He knew guys in Iraq who got married right before they went overseas. They ended up going home with major injuries and in pain, but they were most worried about the burden they would be placing on their wives. Gallant decided that if he made it through his tour, he’d marry Neela.

Abby sees on Glenda’s second scan that something’s wrong. She tells the tech to call a code team. Luka and Clemente respond, and Abby tells them that Glenda has a brain bleed. Her decision to scan Glenda again instead of wait and observe saved her. Dubenko walks Neela through surgery, staying calm and teaching even as the patient declines. Gallant uses the intercom outside the room to tell her that when he was away, thinking about her let him escape to a calmer place. Maybe they’re moving too fast and maybe he didn’t propose the right way, but he wants to be with her. He asks her again to marry him.

Weaver joins Ray and Sam to treat a patient named Harry who fell through some ice. Gallant’s looking for Jerry, and Frank hopes it’s not because he’s calling things off. He already got a temp to cover the desk. Awww, Frank wants to go to the wedding! Neela arrives and promises that it’s happening. They just need to go get stuff like their marriage license and rings.

Weaver brushes Morris aside in the trauma room and lets Ray take over running things. Morris questions one of her treatment decisions, but Weaver hears him out and lets him try something different. Pratt, Darnell, and Dubenko question the security guard who accused K.J., and it turns out he didn’t actually witness anything. He also hasn’t looked at any surveillance footage. The guard makes excuses for how long it’ll take to get the footage, but Darnell will wait however long he has to, especially if he can prove his son is innocent.

Morris’ treatment will take a while to work, but Harry’s friend wants to stick around. He tells the staff that they played hockey together as kids, and Harry once pulled him out when he fell through the ice. Today, the friend couldn’t repay the favor. (To be fair, they’re 70 now.) He feels horrible about it. Harry’s heart stops just then.

Stewy has to stay in the hospital overnight, and his sister, Patricia, is annoyed to be called away from basketball practice. Sorry your brother’s serious illness is keeping you from bouncing and throwing around a ball, kid. Morris questions one of Weaver’s treatments again, knowing from some 1980s study that another medication is better here. Morris has been studying?? Again, Weaver defers to him.

Abby interrupts Luka and Clemente while they’re bickering over…eh, whatever, and presents Stewy’s case to them. She tells them her plan and asks if they concur. No, she is not asking for input, No, she is not asking for other ideas. This is a yes-or-no question. They say yes, so she heads off to do stuff she was most likely going to do no matter what they said.

Dubenko tells Pratt and Darnell that the chief of security met with the guard who accused K.J. and got him to admit that there’s no surveillance footage of K.J. stealing the camera, and no one has been named a suspect. Darnell guesses that the guard just pointed the finger at K.J. because he’s Black. Dubenko says it was “unconscionable” and the guard will be fired. He tells Darnell that K.J.’s been doing great in his role and apologizes on behalf of the hospital. Darnell wants him to say that to K.J., too.

Once everything’s sorted out, Pratt laments to Darnell and K.J. that it always seems to come down to race. No matter how good a job or how much money they have, white people don’t care. K.J. doesn’t want to keep volunteering there, but Darnell and Pratt won’t let him go. Pratt’s going to make sure that K.J. works harder than all the other volunteers. K.J. doesn’t see the point, since, as they just said, people will always be looking over his shoulder no matter what he does. Darnell tells him to get used to it. All he can do is live his life and try his best. Pratt adds that he has to stay in the game; otherwise, the other side wins.

Frank and Jerry’s substitute, Maureen, is a young, talkative woman Frank would definitely hate. Clemente, however, is interested in her. Abby passes patients on to Luka so she can go get ready for the wedding. He praises her for her plan for Stewy’s treatment and jokes that, as she thought before, he’s not great at being agreeable. Abby’s like, “You and Clemente sucked at getting along today, so was I wrong?”

Morris’ treatment for Harry worked and he’s stable now. Weaver leaves the trauma room without giving Morris any feedback. Ray tells him he did a great job. Weaver takes a moment in the hallway to think about how out of practice she is. Stewy’s heart rate is dropping, and Luka and Clemente work together to stabilize him. He’s finally had his chest x-ray, which indicates that he has PCP pneumonia. Luka delicately asks Mrs. Kenig if they can test him for HIV.

Since Mrs. Kenig is anti-vaccine, it’s not that surprising that she has wild theories about HIV and AIDS. She thinks they were invented by biotech so they can charge a bunch of money for tests while patients are actually dying from the effects of things like pollution and toxins. Vaccines are a conveniently easy fix. Mrs. Kenig has talked to 50 doctors since being diagnosed with HIV, and they all say that it causes AIDS. Might as well keep spending money in case that 51st has a different answer, huh?

Clemente slams on the brakes since she buried the lead: She has HIV. He calls her nuts for not believing that it leads to AIDS. She was diagnosed 14 years ago and has never been sick. That means she didn’t take AZT while she was pregnant, so Stewy probably contracted HIV from her. Mrs. Kenig notes that since AZT suppresses the immune system, it could also cause AIDS.

Clemente says he loves conspiracies, too, but drug companies know what they’re talking about, as do doctors. Mrs. Kenig has jeopardized her son’s life to prove a crazy theory. Luka sends Clemente away as he rants that Mrs. Kenig is selfish and put her son at risk. Stewy’s never been tested for HIV, and Sam asks about Patricia. The poor girl has been in the room the whole time, and now she’s crying. Aww, I’m sorry about what I said before about basketball. You should have stayed at practice.

Abby rushes back to the hospital after going home to get dressed up, but she realizes as she arrives at the chapel that there’s a funeral going on. Haleh runs out with an armful of flowers and tells her there was a change in venue. Did Haleh just steal flowers from a funeral?? To be fair, the flowers are pretty cheery, so maybe she’s doing the mourners a favor by taking them away.

Luka and Sam discuss Stewy, whose mother won’t let them test him for HIV or give him medication for it. They wonder how people can get like she is. Sam goes back into Stewy’s room and tells Mrs. Kenig that when Alex was five, they thought he had meningitis. She didn’t want the doctors to give him a spinal tap; she didn’t want anything to hurt her child. But in this case, Stewy is already hurting. Mrs. Kenig is entitled to her beliefs, but if she doesn’t do something, no one will be able to help him. He only has her.

Abby and Haleh go through the kitchen of the new wedding venue, where Abby smirks at a sheet cake wishing the bride and groom good luck. Hey, at least their names are spelled correctly. They’re at a place called Baby Joon’s, which happens to have been Malik’s recommendation. Gallant and Neela come in together, he wearing his dress blues and she in a white sari. There’s no music, so the guests hum the wedding march.

Sam was able to get Mrs. Kenig to let them help Stewy, but she wouldn’t budge on having Patricia tested. Luka chastises Clemente for how he acted, then reveals that he’s been picked as the new ER chief. Clemente says he withdrew his name and hoped Luka would get the job. Luka’s on his way to the wedding reception but Clemente decides to skip it and try to hook up with Maureen.

The reception is lively, with limbo and Barry Manilow songs. Abby wonders if she’ll have to start calling Luka “chief.” She thinks it’s a cute title for a guy. They toast to discretion and maturity, since they’re old enough now not to have to show off their love the way youngins like Neela and Gallant do.

Morris and Weaver drink together, and she says she should have told him earlier that she really respects how he handled Harry’s treatment. She’s out of practice and is going to spend more time in the ER. Morris passes out in the middle of the conversation and she yells him awake. The bride and groom say goodbye to their guests and head off for their wedding night, which will only last until Neela’s 7 a.m. shift the next morning. She tosses the bouquet and Chuny catches it.

Luka drives Abby home, trying to remember the words to “Copacabana.” She advises him to keep his day job. The sexual tension in the car with them is thick, and before she can even finish inviting him inside, he makes out with her. Neela and Gallant run to catch a train, exactly the way every newlywed couple wants to end their wedding day. They’re not the only ones who will be having sex tonight – Abby and Luka are about to, too. “Do you really think we should be doing his?” she asks. “I do,” he replies.

Thoughts: I looked up the Universal Life denomination – anyone can become ordained but not every state considers marriages those ministers perform valid. Jerry would be better off getting ordained on the Internet.

Parents, please don’t name your children Stewy.

Darnell might be a less-than-ideal father, what with getting so drunk that he can’t show up for K.J., but I love how hard he fights for his son.

I have no words for how adorable Luka is singing “Copacabana.”

December 6, 2022

ER 12.8, Two Ships: Neela to the Rescue

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

She looks so nice here!

Summary: It’s a cold, windy day, and Pratt thinks Inez should be handling it better, since she’s from the Bronx. Gates brings them a patient named Martin who’s suffering from shortness of breath. Neela’s doing a paramedic ride-along with Gates today, which makes me feel so, so sorry for her. Martin had a heart transplant a few years ago, and he wonders if the Mayo Clinic gives refunds for bad hearts. Neela rattles off all the medications he’s on and Martin calls her Rain Man. Gates jokes that he’s going to take her to Vegas.

Neela’s having a rough day, but Pratt notes that it could be worse: She could be stuck in the ER. Ray checks on her and she checks on him in turn, since he’s all bruised and cut up from being beaten up by Zoe’s father the day before. She thinks that’s better than serving jail time for statutory rape. He asks about Gallant, who’s still stuck in Iraq and hasn’t been able to take his leave yet. Ray nicely cleared out of the apartment to give Gallant and Neela privacy, but now he’d like to come home. She tells him he can if he stops being such a slob. He recalls that he let her move in with him, not the other way around.

He spots Zoe at the admit desk and asks Neela to get rid of her for him. Neela tells Zoe that he has the day off, but Zoe knows his schedule. Neela says he had an appointment. Zoe gives her a mix CD she made to try to make up with Ray. Sweetie, you’re not dating anymore. It’s time to move on. Neela throws the CD out but Jerry grabs it. Someone calls looking for Abby, who’s just now waking up…and not in her own bed. She spent the night with Luka! I repeat: SHE SPENT THE NIGHT WITH LUKA!

Pratt asks Martin if there’s anything he’d like to reveal to his medical team before Pratt busts him. Martin stays quiet, so Pratt says himself that he hasn’t been taking his transplant medications. Martin can’t afford them and can’t give up all the things he’d have to lose to qualify for Medicare. He needs to take care of his wife, considering how much she does for him. Pratt warns that Martin will go into heart failure and die without his medication. Martin gets that and doesn’t seem to care.

The nurses are shorthanded and Sam is scrambling to find people who can come in. Eve’s supposed to leave town but she offers to stay. Behind her, Jerry shakes his head at Sam and mouths, “No.” Heh. He gives Clemente a bunch of messages from someone who keeps calling as Ray tends to a guy who claims to be named Kobayashi, despite being 100% white. We can add Japanese to the list of languages Clemente speaks. Kobayashi tells Sam she’s beautiful, then collapses. All right then.

Luka wakes up as Abby’s trying to gather all her clothes. He invites her to stay for a while, since they’re both off work until that night, but she doesn’t feel comfortable. He tosses her some of her clothes and offers to make her breakfast, even though it’s already the afternoon. Abby, please don’t leave. Not while Luka is so happy. Consider it a favor to the audience.

Martin’s wife, Leeza, is distressed that he’s letting himself die. She asks Pratt to help him, but there’s no point if he’s just going to refuse to take his medication once he’s released. Leeza tells Pratt that she’s not ready to let Martin go. Gates asks Neela out for lunch, and Zadro advises her to start wearing a wedding ring, since Gates is “scared of husbands.” Neela tells Gates – not for the first time – that she has a boyfriend. Gates was a medic in Desert Storm, so it sounds like he’s not going to try to make a move on someone who’s dating a soldier.

He offers to buy her coffee, but Zadro says paramedics get it for free. Poor fifth-wheel Zadro has to listen to this flirting/bickering all day. As Neela’s about to get in the ambulance, Gates does that annoying thing where he starts to pull off just to bug her. Please keep in mind that this man is responsible for saving lives. Then pray that if you ever need emergency medical care, he doesn’t show up at your door.

Pratt gives Martin some medication to stop his transplant rejection. He arranged for Martin to be taken back to the Mayo Clinic, and he basically demands that Martin get himself healthy for Leeza’s sake. Pratt doesn’t like Martin and makes no secret of it, but he wants Leeza to be happy. Martin must give in because the next we see him, he’s in a helicopter, on his way to Mayo. Pratt watches from the roof as the helicopter takes off, which gives him the perfect view of an airplane exploding in mid-air.

Abby and Luka feel the shaking from the explosion at his place, and Neela and Gates see the blast from their ambulance. A news report in the ER lets us know that there was a mid-air collision. (It’s not really clear, but promotional stuff for the episode said it was between two small planes; Martin’s helicopter wasn’t involved.) Some guy whines to Clemente that he’s been waiting six hours for treatment for his dislocated finger. Sorry, sir, we’ll tell the people who just fell out of the sky that they’ll have to wait so you can get a splint. I hope they also give you a lollipop, because you are a child. Clemente grabs his finger and fixes it for him.

Jerry wonders if the plane was brought down by terrorists. Sam wonders if it was the one Eve was on. Clemente turns off the news (good move) and starts giving instructions so the ER is ready for incoming traumas. Doris the paramedic comes in asking for a doctor who can go out to the scene of the crash and possibly perform an amputation. Ray offers to go but Pratt says this isn’t a case for him to learn on. He wants to go, and he and Ray bicker over whether the scene or the ER is more in need of someone with experience. Clemente tells Pratt he can go, but just for an hour.

Gates, Neela, and Zadro arrive at the crash scene, the middle of a street. There’s flaming wreckage and bodies and debris – everything you’d expect from a plane crash. The paramedics get to work triaging people, but the first few victims they come across are already dead. Ray wants to help with traumas back at County, but Clemente tells him to clear exam rooms. Abby and Luka come in ahead of schedule, and Luka suggests that they use the waiting room for triage. Clemente doesn’t want it flooded with people, so he tells them to keep triage outside.

Sam tries to find out if Eve’s okay (yeah, we did this with Chuck already) as Ray runs into Zoe. She seems to think that they can keep dating, despite her father going ballistic on Ray, and despite the fact that SHE’S ONLY 14. Girl, get it together. He tells her to go do homework or something. She yells down the hallway to him that she loves him, and Ray tells Abby that she’s just a patient. I don’t think Abby cares. Then Ray gets clothes-lined by Kobayashi. Is that supposed to be comic relief?

Pratt arrives at the crash scene as Neela tends to an elderly man named Woody. The poor guy was in the wrong place at the wrong time and got hit by wreckage while walking his dog. He doesn’t care about himself, just his pet. Doris and a firefighter take Pratt to a man named Baxter, who’s doing pretty well, considering he just survived a plane crash. Pratt tells him he was lucky. Next he goes to Adrian, the patient who might need an amputation.

Woody thanks Neela in Hindi, explaining that he learned a little of the language when he was in the Air Force during World War II. A woman named Alice brings over her daughter, Olive, who was hurt when their apartment window blew in. Alice’s son is still inside, unable to walk because of his injuries. Alice wants to go back in to get him, since the building isn’t on fire, but the police and firefighters won’t let her. Gates says he’ll go in her place.

Baxter arrives at County and Luka quickly triages him. He’s annoyed that Clemente let Pratt, their senior resident, go into the field. The doctors should be at the hospital, not the crash site. I don’t know, I think Pratt’s doing a lot of good there. He and Doris work on Adrian, who was in the area to cook for his girlfriend. He learned to cook as a kid, since his mom didn’t let him watch TV, and it was that or read. Adrian declines but Pratt is able to stabilize him.

Alice is distressed that Gates hasn’t brought her son out yet. Another woman complains that the police won’t let her into her apartment to get her checkbook or jewelry. Ma’am, I know a man with a dislocated finger you should meet. I think you would get along well. With the police preoccupied calming the woman, and Neela and Zadro busy tending to Woody, Alice takes off for her apartment building. Neela runs after her, summoning some firefighters to come with her. Just then, the building explodes.

A firefighter named Bukata is able to contact Neela on her radio. She’s fine but Alice has been impaled and Gates has broken his leg. He tells Neela to get out, but Alice begs her to get her son from the second floor. Torn between saving herself and saving a child, Neela heads upstairs, telling Bukata that Gates and Alice are trapped in the basement. Pratt hears through the radio that Neela’s going upstairs and orders her to get out. She ignores him and goes to Alice’s apartment. Her son doesn’t seem to have been hurt in the explosion, and she carries him out, but they get stopped by some falling debris and Neela drops her radio.

Doris assures Pratt that there are plenty of firefighters around and someone will help Neela. Adrian promises to bake them a cake when this is over. Firefighters have to lift the debris his arm is trapped under, and once he’s freed, his heart stops. While Pratt’s working on saving him, he hears through the radio that firefighters found a woman with no vital signs on the second floor. Whoever she is, she’s not Neela – she’s still on the move with Alice’s son. She trips and they fall, and he begs her to keep moving.

With no other options and no Eve looking over her shoulder, Sam asked Haleh to come in to help with the traumas. She’s planning to be straightforward about it when Eve inevitably finds out later. Luka and Abby tend to Baxter, who’s thinking more about wedding plans with his fiancée than whatever injuries he has. Haleh joins them and explains that Sam called her. She was happy to come in, since two weeks home with her husband have driven her crazy. Baxter suddenly stops breathing, having choked on one of his broken teeth.

Pratt worries about Neela as she continues carrying Alice’s son out of the building. Doris and Pratt are stunned to see that Adrian’s eyes are open even though he doesn’t have a pulse. At least that means the chest compressions are getting oxygen to his brain. Neela looks for a way out of the building that isn’t flaming. A couple of firefighters find her, and though Bukata chastises her for being reckless, I’m going to guess that she doesn’t care.

She goes back to Woody, who’s been reunited with his dog. Yay! Unfortunately, Woody’s dead. Boo! Want a dog, Neela? Alice thanks Neela for saving her son before Neela goes to take care of Gates. Abby and Luka work together to revive Baxter, then compliment each other’s work. I kind of wish Haleh would ask if they’d like to be alone. Pratt comes in with Adrian, and Luka and Clemente each offer to treat him. Boys, stop competing.

Neela determines that Gates has an injury to his liver and needs to be taken to a hospital ASAP. Zadro says they don’t have a free ambulance right now. Gates is completely unconcerned, at least until Neela decides she needs to operate on him right there at the crash site. He asks if she’ll go out with him if he consents. Neela, say no and see what happens. He amends his question to ask if she would date him if she didn’t have a boyfriend. She says yes, but I think it’s mostly so he’ll shut up, and because she doesn’t think she’ll ever have to prove it.

Pratt and Ray talk about Neela as they work with Sam to treat Adrian. Ray says that if he’d been at the scene, he wouldn’t have let Neela go into a burning building and he wouldn’t have left her behind. It’s hilarious that Ray thinks anyone can “let” Neela do anything. Adrian opens his eyes again and Pratt tells him they’re doing what they can. Sam uses one of the ER’s new patient boards to let Adrian communicate. He indicates that he doesn’t know what’s happening, then asks them to call his family.

Neela and Zadro finally bring in Gates, who survived whatever surgery Neela did, though he’ll need an actual surgeon in an actual OR now. Clemente praises Neela for making such a bold move. She tells Abby that she didn’t know what else to do. She’s wheezing and Abby thinks she has smoke inhalation, but Neela doesn’t want to be a patient. Abby makes her get examined anyway. Neela says the day was both terrifying and amazing. It was just her, practicing medicine without tests or labs or all the ER’s equipment. She feels high and wants to go back into the field. Abby teases that she should have a psych consult.

Inez gives Abby and Neela news from Dubenko in the OR: Alice died in surgery. Noooo! Neela ditches her own treatment to go see Alice’s kids. Baxter’s doing better, and he tells Abby and Luka that he cheated death twice today. He thinks he should feel guilty or bad in some way, but he’s happy. He has a second chance…and it’s made him want to call off his wedding. He never does what he wants or says how he feels. He’s not in love with his fiancée. Abby and Luka think he should wait and not make a big decision so soon, but Baxter wants to seize the day. “Besides, I’m pretty sure, um, I’m gay,” he says.

Pratt and Ray are still keeping Adrian alive with chest compressions when his family arrives. They see through the window to the next trauma room that Neela’s alive and well. Eve returns, having never made it to her own flight. The staff did so well with all the traumas that things are already quiet again and they’re open for more traumas. Kobayashi is still there, but he’s now totally calm. He claims not to know why he was restrained.

Eve spots Haleh as she’s passing by, and Sam tries to run off to help with a trauma before she has to answer any questions. She’s too slow, and she has to explain that she chose to bring in one of the best nurses in town because they needed help. Instead of being upset, Eve praises her for making a good decision.

Abby thinks Neela should get a chest x-ray, but Neela has been working for 16 hours and wants to go get some rest before coming back to check on Alice’s kids. “If I start to die, you’ll be the first one I’ll call,” she tells Abby. Abby tries to invite herself to spend the night at Neela’s, but Neela turns her down. Abby asks if there’s anything she can say to get Neela to stay at the hospital. “I slept with Luka,” she announces. “Yeah, nice try,” Neela replies, heading for the El.

Pratt explains to Adrian’s family that if they stop giving him chest compressions, he’ll pass out from a lack of oxygen to his brain and die peacefully. Once they’ve clarified that the doctors have done all they can, Adrian puts his hand on Pratt’s, indicating that he’s ready to die. Pratt slowly stops the compressions and Adrian flatlines. Sam tries to look on the bright side – Adrian had a lot of loved ones, and all the work Pratt and Ray did on him gave them a chance to say goodbye.

Clemente calls back his persistent caller, Jodie, the same woman who tried to find out where he’d moved to in the last episode. He tells her to stop calling. He doesn’t love her and she needs to go back to her husband. After he hangs up, he asks Luka to discuss how best to lead their team. Luka clearly has no interest in that and tells him they’ll talk tomorrow.

He runs into Abby, and though their conversation is awkward at first, they admit that they both enjoyed spending the night together. They’re just not sure what to do now. Can I make a suggestion? Do it again! He tells her that for a long time, even when they weren’t connecting much, she’s been the one person he can count on. She feels the same. He says he appreciates their friendship, and though she agrees, it looks like she’s disappointed that he’s seemingly only interested in friendship. Then he apparently feels like he can’t ask for more. Oh, you crazy kids.

Neela goes home, and as she’s opening the door to her building, she pauses. It’s almost like she senses who’s getting out of a cab across the street. It’s Gallant! He’s finally back in Chicago! He has a mustache and it doesn’t look great but that’s okay! She runs to the street and jumps into his arms. They hold each other tightly, ignoring the fact that they’re blocking traffic. Chill out, drivers of Chicago! They’re having a romantic reunion!

Thoughts: Alice is played by Serena Williams. Yes, that Serena Williams.

Am I supposed to find Gates charming? I do not. (He gets better later in the series, though.)

Aw, Pratt likes Neela! At least enough to worry about her when she’s in danger.

I know I’ve seen this episode at least once, but I forgot that Alice died. Now I’m sad.

Why is this episode called “Two Ships”? It would fit if we’d seen Neela and Gallant trying to get in touch with each other all day, but he only shows up at the end.

November 29, 2022

ER 12.7, The Human Shield: Better Off Dead

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 5:00 pm by Jenn

Sir, I’m going to need you to start taking hints. Like, immediately

Summary: A man named Vincent Jansen and a ten-year-old girl named Sydney are eating breakfast in a coffee shop. Sydney isn’t hungry, so she’s coloring on her place mat. Jansen spots someone across the room on the phone, watching him, and asks the waitress for the bill. The waitress says there’s a delay because a machine is out. Jansen gets antsy and pays in cash, telling Sydney they’re going. She decides not to take her picture with them.

They leave through the kitchen, and Jansen scans the parking lot, then takes Sydney’s hand. He tells her he liked her picture and they should keep it. Sydney notices before he does that a police car is speeding toward them. Jansen picks her up, then points a gun at the cops who emerge from the car. He holds Sydney in front of him as the titular human shield and heads toward their car. Paramedics arrive next, including Zadro and a guy named Tony Gates. They hide while a cop shoots Jansen, then approaches to check on Sydney. She’s been hit as well.

At County, Sam yells for security since a big guy named Darrel is holding Clemente up against a wall. He doesn’t appreciate Clemente’s method of checking him for internal bleeding. Clemente wipes Darrel’s own crap on his nose, which gets Darrel to drop him. On the plus side, he’s not bleeding internally! On the down side, now he wants a tetanus shot.

K.J. is MIA, and Eve wants to punt him from the ER. He’s a volunteer, so she should probably calm down. Clemente gathers the residents to tell them they’ll be introducing new equipment and procedures to bring the ER into the 21st century. For starters, they’ll have patient communication boards so patients who are intubated can point to or mark questions or requests. Abby uses her board to write, “This is a%$,” which she flashes at Ray behind Clemente’s back.

Next, the ER will be using something called freedom splints instead of wrist restraints. The splints look like oversized versions of those floaties you put on kids’ arms before they learn how to swim. Clemente and Eve request a volunteer to demonstrate, so Pratt kicks Jerry’s wheelie chair toward them. Neela arrives during the demonstration, and since she’s dressed up, Frank and Clemente make comments (Clemente’s are in Spanish) that should definitely get them disciplined for sexual harassment. She’s dressed up because Gallant is coming to visit. Yay!

Sam pops out of an exam room to tell Clemente that Darrel put his head through a supply cabinet. Clemente tells Ray to distract Darrel (like a rodeo clown) so he can give him a tranquilizer. Why not put the freedom splints on him? Luka comes by, announcing that there are gunshot victims coming in and getting everyone mobilized. Well, except Jerry, who’s still stuck in the freedom splints.

While waiting for the ambulances, Luka tells Abby that a father used his daughter as a human shield. She lets him know that Clemente is making some changes in the ER. She wonders if he’s going to be the new head, which is the rumor. Luka clarifies that she’s talking about the guy who got her and Neela suspended for working on a chimp. If Clemente wants the job, Luka says he can have it: “Maybe he can open a petting zoo in the doctors’ lounge.” Heh.

Sydney arrives first, and when Abby asks her name, she says Jansen calls her Mezoti. (Apparently this is a Star Trek reference.) A cop explains that Jansen isn’t Sydney’s father – he kidnapped her. This cop, Yau, is the one who took down Jansen, but he insists that he had a clear shot and didn’t hit Sydney. He thinks Jansen’s gun accidentally fired when he went down. Sydney asks if Jansen’s dead. She’s also concerned because she dropped her stuffed dog.

Sam tends to a college freshman whose dormmates drew on his face while he was passed out. Frank bugs her about firing Haleh, and of course, when Sam says she was just following orders, he makes a Nazi comparison. Hey, Frank? Don’t compare the firing of one person to mass genocide. Also, shut up. He gives her a letter that Steve sent from prison.

Pratt joins Luka as an ambulance brings in a cop named Howe who was shot in the arm during the gunfight. Luka was told that Jansen had critical injuries, but he’s not there yet. K.J. finally turns up and Pratt sends him to the blood bank. Howe’s really anxious about his injuries, which Pratt and Ray assure him are fixable. Eve distracts Howe by talking about which station he’s from. Her father and brother are cops, and it turns out she and Howe both know a guy named Joe. Howe asks if he’s Eve’s brother. Nope – he gave her her first orgasm. Pratt, Ray, and a paramedic all stare at her for that.

Dubenko’s still using his robot, which saves him a trip to the ER if a patient doesn’t need his immediate attention. He does a consult on Sydney, then goes to check on other patients. Yau tells Luka and Abby that Sydney has been IDed as a girl who was kidnapped in upstate New York in August. She confirms to Abby who she is. Yau quietly says that they need to give her a rape exam. Sydney still just wants to know if Jansen is dead. Chuny checks Sydney and finds signs that Jansen raped her multiple times. Sydney explains that they played a “married game” and Jansen loves her.

Jerry ducks in to tell Luka that Jansen has been brought in. Luka leaves Abby and Chuny to take care of Sydney, and joins Neela to tend to a guy who…let’s be honest, they maybe shouldn’t expend too much energy saving him. Luka’s annoyed that the paramedics didn’t insert a chest tube, but Zadro says they didn’t have time. Jansen shot through their windshield and almost hit Gates. Gates flirts with Neela, who snaps at him to stop it. Yes! Yes, Neela! That’s the way to handle that! Clemente wants to lend a hand but Luka freezes him out.

Howe’s still freaking out about his injuries, so Eve distracts him again. Sam comes to get something and offers to take over for her. Sydney asks if anyone found her stuffed puppy. No, but Yau got her mom on the phone. Abby tells her that Sydney is doing well and is a brave kid. She holds the phone so Sydney can talk to her.

Dubenko comes to the ER in person as Abby assures Sydney that they’re going to take care of her and she’s safe there. Sydney asks about Jansen, and Abby says she doesn’t need to worry about him anymore. Clemente comes in next and talks down to Sydney like she’s five instead of ten. He and Abby disagree about whether Sydney’s low blood pressure is bad or good, based on the treatment Clemente wants to start. Abby would like to confer with Luka, but Clemente shuts her down, since Dubenko backed up his treatment choice.

Luka, Neela, and Malik stabilize Jansen, and Luka praises Neela for her work. He’s heard that Gallant is visiting and hopes to see him this time, since he didn’t the last time Gallant was in town. Neela’s looking forward to a longer visit with him. Jansen wakes up, then thrashes against the team. He grabs Neela’s arm, even though he’s cuffed to the bed, and Luka has to help free her. A cop comes over with his gun drawn, but Luka tells him not to shoot.

He blames Jansen’s impulse-control problems on his head injury, which otherwise shouldn’t cause any lasting damage. Jansen asks where Sydney is and Neela replies, “Safe from you.” He insists that he took care of her and didn’t hurt her. Luka doesn’t buy that, since he raped her. Jansen says she loves him and needed and wanted him. The team ignores him as Dubenko comes to see if he needs surgery. Jansen says he’s sure that Neela wants him to die. She replies that she wants him to shut up. He needs surgery, but he says maybe the team should let him die.

K.J. brings blood to Howe’s trauma room, and while Pratt’s working, he tells K.J. that Eve isn’t happy with him. K.J. says she doesn’t like him. Pratt tells him to respect her because he’s on her turf and is lucky to be working there. He could be doing his community service in a soup kitchen instead. Howe’s arm starts spraying blood and K.J. passes out. Yep, I was waiting for that.

Luka goes to check on Sydney and is annoyed that Clemente is going with a different treatment plan than Luka would have. Neela calls him back to Jansen as Jerry comes in to tell Clemente that Darrel stopped breathing while he was getting a CT scan. For the record, this Darrel stuff doesn’t go anywhere, so I don’t know why they keep bringing him up. Clemente gives Abby instructions for Sydney’s treatment, leaving her to once again have to decide whether to listen to him or Luka.

Jansen’s declining but there won’t be an OR open for him for another ten minutes. Luka doesn’t particularly want to save him, but he thinks Jansen deserves to rot in prison instead of take the easy way out by dying, so he’ll do what’s necessary. Dubenko calls for emergency surgery right there in the ER. Meanwhile, Sydney also declines, and when Abby summons Luka to help her, he overrules Clemente’s instructions.

Howe’s good now, so Pratt goes to make sure K.J.’s okay. He thinks passing out will actually work in K.J.’s favor – now Eve will feel sorry for him and hold off on booting him. Eve tells the cops waiting for news on Howe’s condition that he’s okay. Sam learns that she comes from a family of cops and was engaged to one before he was killed on the job. Sam asks why a prisoner might be transferred from one state to another. Steve is being moved from Colorado to Chicago. Eve says she’ll see what she can find out.

Zoe is back in the ER, this time with her father. He found the prescription Neela gave her and wants to talk to her. Neela’s busy and Sam won’t give Zoe’s father any information that Zoe won’t provide herself, so he threatens a malpractice suit. He has lawyers! Sam, unphased, replies that she has Jerry, who will gladly remove him from the hospital if he doesn’t sit down and wait quietly for Neela. Once he’s subdued, Jerry tells Sam that he hates violence. Sam knows, but Zoe’s father doesn’t. Jerry gives him an intimidating look to continue the act.

Dubenko uses Neela’s hands as clamps as he operates on Jansen. Jerry comes in to tell Neela that a lieutenant in Iraq is on the phone for her with an urgent message. Neela doesn’t have time to realize what that could mean before Jansen starts bleeding out. Luka and Abby also have to cut Sydney open in the ER, and things don’t look good.

Neela and Dubenko stabilize Jansen, who’s then taken up to the OR. Clemente joins Abby and Luka, shocked that Sydney’s condition was as bad as it turned out to be. He thought his treatment plan was reasonable. Luka snaps that Clemente killed her. Abby tells them that they need to keep Sydney alive until her parents arrive, since they think they’re on their way to reunite with her. Luka doesn’t think they can save her, but Clemente wants to keep working.

Gates tries to chat with Neela, who couldn’t be less into him or more obvious about it. Still, he tries to invite her to a hockey game. When she turns him down, he asks if she’s into opera or the theater instead. Buddy, learn to take a hint. Nope, instead he invites her to hang out at home and help him study (he’s a fourth-year med student). Instead of telling him that she’s not interested and/or is seeing someone else, she just says she might hang out another time. Neela, what happened to that backbone you’ve been showing all episode?

She finally has time to call back the lieutenant. She asks Frank if he has anything sarcastic to say. Knowing she’s probably about to get bad news, he quietly says no. As Neela dials the lieutenant, Zoe’s father approaches her and demands to know what Zoe’s prescription is for. Neela refuses to tell him anything. Ray overhears from down the hall and steps in to take the heat for Neela. She pulls him away and reminds him that he committed statutory rape. He should let this go and let Neela take care of this.

Clemente and Abby are still working on Sydney, while Luka has moved to the corner to show that he’s not taking part in this anymore. Abby finally tells Clemente that he needs to stop. Poor Sydney dies without getting to see her parents again and without her stuffed dog.

Neela reaches the lieutenant, who tells her over a staticky connection that there was an incident in Mosul that resulted in a lot of casualties. When the connection clears, he says that Gallant…has a heavy patient load and won’t be able to visit as scheduled. He asked the lieutenant to let her know. Gallant himself is totally fine, to Neela’s relief.

Clemente still thinks his treatment plan for Sydney was the right choice, since it works 95 percent of the time. Luka coolly says that he should tell her family that. He doesn’t care that Clemente did what he thought was best – not everyone agreed. Though Luka knows enough about Clemente from their brief time working together to know that he would have done what he wanted even if Dubenko hadn’t supported it.

Luka says the staff has been there a long time, and Clemente needs to fit in with them, not the other way around. They fight over taking risks and trying to be more cutting-edge, and Clemente angrily says that when he sees a problem, he wants to fix it. His nose suddenly starts bleeding, and Eve rushes over with some tissues. She thinks they should hold a debriefing and help everyone calm down, since people seem tense today. Ray’s like, “Can’t we just drink instead?” He asks Sam who she thinks would win in a fight between Luka and Clemente. You know, that’s a great question.

Abby finds Clemente bleeding, and when he blames it on Luka, she reasonably thinks Luka hit him. Clemente insists that he’s fine but Abby takes care of him anyway. He tells her he’s sorry about Sydney. Whatever Luka thinks, Clemente was trying to save her. He seems to be grasping now that he screwed up, and Sydney’s death is hitting him harder.

Luka asks Weaver if she’s found someone to run the ER. Since Clemente is a front-runner, Luka offers himself up to be considered for the role. She doesn’t think it’s his “style,” but he’s ready to change that. Eve tried to make the debriefing mandatory but Luka doesn’t care. He gives his own version of a debriefing at the admit desk: “Today sucked. Good night.”

Pratt gleefully accepts a patient so he has an excuse not to go to the debriefing. Neela doesn’t have anyone to go to the dinner she planned for Gallant, so she invites Ray to take his place. Eve, Abby, and Clemente were the only ones who showed up for the debriefing, so Eve calls time of death on it and lets Abby go. At least Clemente thought it was a good idea. They agree that the department needs work and a kick in the butt.

Yau thinks Sydney might be better off dead after everything she’s gone through. Abby doesn’t feel like anyone deserves that. He gives her Sydney’s stuffed dog, which was finally recovered from the parking lot where the shootout took place. She sadly tucks the dog in next to Sydney’s body. On their way out of the hospital, Neela and Ray run into Zoe’s father. More specifically, Ray’s face runs right into his fist. Neela yells for security as Zoe’s father beats up Ray, then threatens to kill him if he ever goes near Zoe again.

Abby goes to Luka’s apartment to confront him for putting her in the middle of his issues with Clemente. Luka won’t drop it, since he thinks Clemente’s treatment plan was wrong. Abby tells him it doesn’t matter who was wrong or right – Sydney died. She was ten years old and had already suffered for months. Abby can’t stop thinking about what she must have gone through and how scared she was. She hates that they couldn’t save her. As she fights back tears, Luka slowly approaches her. He takes her face in his hands and kisses her. Then he pulls back and they just look at each other.

Thoughts: Gates is played by John Stamos. Jansen is played by C. Thomas Howell.

Laura Innes (Weaver) directed this episode.

The way Pratt forces Jerry to “volunteer” for Clemente and Eve’s demonstration cracks me up. I love when the characters goof off together.

It really did feel up until now like they were going to put Abby and Clemente together. That makes Abby and Luka’s kiss even more surprising. And I really like them together, so I think it’s a great development.

November 22, 2022

ER 12.6, Dream House: Monkey Business

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

Whoever’s responsible for this storyline, show yourself

Summary: Gallant is coming to visit in a few days, and Neela would really like her and Ray’s apartment to be clean when he gets there. Not that Ray has time to clean, between shifts at the hospital, gigs with his band, and bringing home a new bed buddy every couple of nights. The most recent, Zoe, is still there, using Neela’s toothbrush. Ray trusts her not to take anything when they leave her behind to go to work.

Abby and Frank try to eavesdrop on Clemente as he talks quietly on the phone at the admit desk. He’s doing a favor for someone involving an infant warmer, and he recruits Abby to assist him. He tells her to keep things quiet. She asks if they’re going to be treating his illegitimate love child. Nope, it’s a baby chimp. Yeah, you read that right. They’re treating a chimp named Darwin. Kill me now.

Eve tells the nurses that some changes they were hoping for have been approved, but in exchange, they have to give up working overtime. Dubenko arrives in the form of a robot, more or less – he’s working remotely but still maintaining a presence via a screen on top of a mobile metal body. The future is here! Abby does a double take when she sees him.

Haleh sends Pratt to the waiting room, where Chaz has asked to see him. Eve reminds Haleh that no overtime means no overtime, including working shifts in other departments. Haleh isn’t happy to be busted, but she apologizes and says it won’t happen again. We all know that means she just won’t get caught again.

Clemente and Abby examine Darwin as Clemente tries to ease Abby’s discomfort with treating a chimp. It should be fine, since chimps and humans share 96 percent of their DNA. Abby asks if Clemente knows Darwin’s handler because they went to clown school together. Joke’s on her, since the handler actually worked at Ringling Brothers and Clemente had “kind of a circus thing.” He asks if there’s anyone else they can get to help, since he can’t spend all day with a chimp. Abby leaves to get some equipment and Morris offers to help, since he loves babies. She blows him off and enlists Neela instead.

Chaz is at County because he hurt his hand while fighting with Charlie (not a physical fight, though; Chaz got mad and punched something). He tells Pratt that he always felt like there was something going on that he didn’t know about. When he met Pratt, things clicked. Everything was great when he first showed up, but when he cut off Charlie, things went downhill. Chaz feels like Pratt cut him off, too, and he wants a relationship with his brother.

As someone bangs on the door of the suture room where they’re treating Darwin, Clemente tells Abby that baby chimps are susceptible to sepsis. Eve calls the room phone to tell Clemente that it would be really nice if he would do his job and treat some patients. Clemente leaves, telling Abby and Neela to keep the chimp healthy. And then for some reason, “Coconut” by Harry Nilsson comes on the soundtrack (you know, “put the lime in the coconut”), because this plot is wacky! Morris comes in, still wanting to help, and thinks they’re just treating a really ugly baby. Maura Tierney and Parminder Nagra deserve better.

Inez tells Pratt that Chaz is talking to a social worker. He yells at her for filling out a chart for Chaz. Since she has Eve looking over her shoulder and is a mandatory reporter when abuse is suspected, I’m on Inez’s side here. And not just because Pratt’s annoying. Pratt tells the social worker, Liz, that he’s familiar with Chaz’s family and knows they’re stable. Chaz confirms that there was no physical fight; he hit a chair. Liz doesn’t believe him so Pratt announces that Chaz is his brother. That’s enough for her to defer to him.

Sam gets sprayed with some sort of IV fluid by an agitated patient, and Eve finds her while she’s changing into a dry scrub top. She’s pleased with how Sam encouraged Inez recently and praises Sam’s interpersonal skills. She has the respect of younger nurses and the trust of older ones. Eve wants her to move into nursing administration so she can help with staff education and implementing policies. Sam isn’t interested until she learns that the promotion comes with a raise. Unfortunately, her first task is to fire Haleh.

Sam balks at having to do that, but Eve notes that Haleh has been warned three times about breaking the overtime rules. Sam suggests counseling her, but Eve isn’t interested in that. She asks Clemente about the patient being seen in the suture room. He says the patient is a VIP for privacy issues. Eve needs a name for the board, so Clemente says he’s Darwin Magilla. He’ll be transferred back to his referring facility, which is close to where he lives. His mom couldn’t come because she doesn’t drive.

As Clemente runs away before he can be asked anything more, Sam tells Eve that she’s not going to fire Haleh. Eve says she’ll be gone no matter who fires her. She realizes that Sam has never fired anyone before, so she just needs to learn how. Eve will teach her later. So now Sam has to work a shift with Haleh, knowing the whole time that Haleh’s going to be fired.

Clemente returns to the suture room, where Abby and Neela tell him that Darwin’s doing better. They think he should stay for observation, but Clemente wants him gone ASAP so they don’t get caught. He realizes the two residents have grown attached to the chimp and don’t want to see him go. He tells them to discharge Darwin so they can get back to work: “There’s a giraffe out there clogging up triage.” Heh.

Paramedics bring in a 12-year-old named Barry who was crushed by some scaffolding at a construction site. His father, Paul, had a heart attack while trying to dig him out. Pratt, Morris, and Inez tend to Barry until Pratt goes next door to help Ray and Haleh with Paul. Clemente wanders in to observe and Pratt goes back to Barry, figuring out that he has a problem Morris hasn’t discovered yet.

They talk to Barry about the construction site – his father is building his mother’s dream house. Robo-Dubenko checks in, and Barry’s like, “Is that a…?” Morris tells Barry that County is really advanced. Paul is still unconscious after being stabilized, and Clemente and Robo-Dubenko disagree over his best course of treatment. Clemente wants to try induced hypothermia.

Sam tries to make small talk with Haleh without letting on that anything’s wrong. Haleh thinks that even as tough as Eve is, the energy she’s bringing to the ER is going to be good for everyone in the long run. Neela overhears and asks Sam if Eve is really working out well. Sam says she’s a terrorist. Zoe shows up just then and asks Neela for help.

Clemente uses some equipment he apparently stole from his last hospital to induce Paul’s hypothermia. Robo-Dubenko is skeptical that it’s the right treatment. Clemente shoves the “little mechanical b%$@#” out of the trauma room and into the drug lockup. The thing Zoe needs Neela’s help with is pain when she pees. Neela thinks she just has a bladder infection brought on by too much sex. As she’s taking down Zoe’s information, she learns that Zoe is only 14.

Barry looks in on Paul from his trauma room, asking Pratt when he’ll wake up. He spills that Paul cheated on Barry’s mother and she kicked him out. He’s building the house to try to make it up to her. Barry’s mother arrives and Ray tells her that they’re working on waking Paul up. Neela comes to get Ray, informing him that Zoe’s there and, by the way, only 14. “In prison math, I believe 14 equals five to ten,” she says. P.S. Zoe has chlamydia. Ray defends himself, saying he didn’t know how old she was. Neela makes the outrageous suggestion that he talk to the people he sleeps with before they jump in bed.

Ray confronts Zoe, who says she never told him her age because he never asked. Turns out she’s still in the eighth grade – she’s not even in high school yet! She figured Ray wouldn’t like her if she knew she was only 14. He tells her he also doesn’t like courtrooms and prisons and guys named Hank who want to do…you know, the stuff prisoners named Hank might do to you. Neela gives Zoe a prescription and tells her she’ll need to undergo more tests. Zoe wonders who she caught chlamydia from. Ray asks how many possibilities there could be. “Wait, were we being monogamous?” she exclaims.

Eve comes to get Sam so she they can fire Haleh together. Sam begs Eve not to go through with this, but Eve wants to send a message to the other nurses that there are consequences to breaking the rules. They meet with Haleh and break the news that she’s being let go. Eve leaves Sam behind when they’re done, acting like this was just something to cross off her to-do list. And now poor Sam looks like the bad guy.

Chaz goes to say goodbye to Pratt before he leaves, and Pratt puts the blame for the family dynamics on Charlie. Chaz thinks he went through some things that he never talked about – maybe some things that Pratt’s mother never told him the truth about. Luka arrives just as Abby’s getting the results of her recent mammogram. They’re normal. Haleh asks Frank to forward anything for her to her house. Abby lets her know on behalf of everyone that they’re sorry to see her go. Haleh says she’ll come visit sometime. Now everyone’s unhappy with Sam for being the messenger.

Clemente gets a page and tells Abby they’re in a “code banana” situation – Darwin is being brought back. Sam follows Haleh out and tells her how horrible she feels about her firing. Halah covered for Sam tons of times, and she’s mad that Sam was willing to pull the trigger here in exchange for some extra money. But she didn’t know she would have to fire you! Haleh, don’t be mad at Sam! You both just need hugs!

Pratt finds Charlie on a basketball court and accuses him of calling Pratt’s mother a liar. He snaps at Charlie not to ever call him “son.” He’s not one of the Ceasefire kids who think Charlie’s a good mentor. He’s not a role model. Charlie tells him that he doesn’t know everything that happened when Pratt was a kid. Pratt doesn’t want to hear it. He warns that if Charlie isn’t careful, he’ll lose Chaz the way he lost Pratt. He shouldn’t talk to Chaz about Pratt.

Charlie thinks that since Chaz asked what happened, he deserves to know. Pratt’s mad that Charlie only told Chaz his side of the story. Pratt’s mother raised him without any help from Charlie, and he feels like she wasted her life. Charlie says that he tried to come back but she wouldn’t let him. He doesn’t want to have this discussion when they’ve both clearly had rough days, so he tells Pratt to come by his house sometime. He wants Pratt to have something that used to belong to him and Pratt’s mother anyway. Pratt demands that he hand it over right now.

Darwin’s having trouble breathing, so his handler, Alonzo, brought him back. (He also takes care of Darwin’s mother, Cookie, and their owner’s llama.) Apparently Darwin did develop sepsis after all, and Clemente doesn’t think they can save him, but Abby wants to keep working. Well, yeah – no one wants to be the one to tell someone that their baby monkey died.

Charlie takes Pratt to his place but Pratt won’t go inside. Charlie rings the bell instead of unlocking the door, then tells Chaz he has to get something for Pratt. (I thought this was building up to the news that Charlie’s wife kicked him out, but that doesn’t happen.) Chaz thinks Pratt went to talk to Charlie because of him. Chaz invites Pratt in for dinner, and Pratt finally gives in. Back at County, Neela feels bad that the girl Ray liked turned out to be jail bait. On the plus side, she didn’t give him chlamydia. He’ll have to get tested for other stuff, though.

Neela goes to the suture room, where Clemente and Abby are still trying to save Darwin. It’s been more than half an hour, and Clemente thinks they’ve put him through enough and need to let him go. Alonzo wants to get Cookie so she can be with him when he dies. She should know why her baby was taken away from her. Clemente doesn’t see the point but Abby and Neela think it’s a good idea. He tells them they’re taking this too far. “Oh, come on, you’re the one that started this whole monkey business,” Abby reminds him. She realizes what she said and whispers, “I didn’t mean to say that.”

Charlie’s family sits down for dinner without him. Pratt learns that his stepmother had surgery for a broken hip at County, and he had no idea. Charlie hasn’t found what he was trying to get for Pratt, so Pratt follows him to the basement while he keeps looking. He asks why Charlie didn’t tell him that Evelyn had surgery at County – Pratt could have helped. Charlie says he didn’t seem to be in the mood.

He gives Pratt a stack of letters his mother wrote Charlie while he was in prison. He also has a picture of Pratt with his mother when he was a kid. Charlie says he made mistakes and never denied them. He went to prison for “stupid, petty stuff” and has regretted his decisions, but life is more complicated than Pratt things.

Cookie is at the hospital, and she gives Abby a little kiss for helping to make Darwin comfortable. I again request that someone kill me now. Darwin dies. Cookie pets him and grooms Abby. Maura Tierney calls her agent. Clemente checks in with Morris, who tells him that Paul’s treatment worked. So that’s one patient Clemente saved today and one he didn’t.

Abby tells Clemente that they see a lot of patients and some days they don’t even register for her, so she’s not sure why it was so sad to see Darwin die. Clemente reveals he’s facing suspension – apparently Eve wasn’t pleased when she found out about his super-top-secret patient. He wanted a robot and a monkey as a kid, and now he’s over it. Throughout the episode, Clemente has been calling Abby “Lockhart,” and she’s corrected him with her first name every time. This time when she does it, he says he knows her name.

Something else that’s been happening all episode: Clemente’s phone keeps ringing. It happens again as he’s heading out, and he tells the woman on the other end, Jodie, to stop calling him. She yells something unintelligible. He won’t tell her where he is, only saying he’s not in New York. She yells so much that he can’t get a word out, so he throws the phone in a bin of infectious waste.

On his way home, Pratt starts reading his mother’s letters to his father. He ends up at an abandoned house and sits on a bench outside to keep reading. Charlie finds him there and Pratt tells him this is where he and his mother lived. He’s upset that his mother pushed Charlie away when he tried to come back into their lives. He asks what Charlie did to make her hate him.

Charlie says he got into trouble, so maybe Pratt’s mother was trying to protect him. When Charlie got out of prison, he wanted them to be a family. Pratt notes that he was still a kid when his mother died, but Charlie didn’t show up. Charlie says he tried, but Pratt had moved to Detroit by then. Charlie regrets giving up instead of looking for him. He had his second family by then and was trying to hold them together.

Charlie’s done his penance and continues to do it every day. He still needs forgiveness from Pratt, though. Pratt acknowledges that he’s heard everything Charlie’s said, and he gives him a hug, but the past is past. Even if the truth is more complicated than what Pratt knows about the past 20 years, Charlie wasn’t there. It doesn’t matter why – he was gone, and they can’t change that. Charlie insists that they can fix their relationship, but Pratt disagrees. Instead of pressing, Charlie just sighs and walks away. Pratt looks at the picture of himself and his mother as he goes.

Thoughts: Imagine being in the writers’ room of this show when someone pitched a plot about a chimp. How would that person not get laughed out of the room?

Neela’s “oh crap oh crap oh crap” fake smile when she realizes Zoe’s a teenager is Emmy-worthy.

I don’t think I could ever go back and visit a workplace I was fired from, especially not while the people who fired me were there. In fact, I’d probably refuse to go, and I’d tell my co-workers that if they ever wanted to see me again, they’d have to come to me.

Were they trying to make us think that Abby and Clemente were going to get together? Otherwise I don’t get the stuff with her name.

November 15, 2022

ER 12.5, Wake Up: Learn Your Lessons Well

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

Hi, I work here now

Summary: Weaver has hired a new attending named Victor Clemente, but he hasn’t shown up for his first shift yet. Morris notes that he’s not making a great first impression, and if someone like Morris knows that, it’s really bad. Luka’s on his way out but offers to come back if Clemente never comes in. Weaver tells Morris to find a moonlighter instead. Luka runs into Abby as he’s on his way upstairs. She asks why, then decides she doesn’t want to know: “Last time I reached out to someone, Dubenko tried to make me his concubine.”

Pratt shows up just as Sam brings a man with chest pain in from the waiting room. Morris asks if Susan is on, and Weaver makes the official announcement that she’s no longer working at County. Weaver brought in Clemente to replace her, and they’re forming a search committee for the new department head. Ray pops in from his toxicology elective to remind everyone that he has a gig that night. Apparently it’s at a strip club. Well, a gig is a gig, right?

Morris hands out assignments to a couple of pre-med students, one of whom comments that they’re not really doctors. “That never stopped Morris,” Pratt quips. High five, Pratt. That might be the funniest thing you’ve ever said. They’re research assistants who are supposed to collect data for Weaver. She tells Pratt to step up his responsibilities as a senior resident, and also don’t bug her while she’s working in the lounge.

Sam comes to get Pratt to take care of her patient, who stops Pratt before he can administer some nitro for his chest pain. The patient did coke, drank tequila, and took three Viagra the night before. Sounds like a party! Pratt asks why he didn’t say something, and the patient notes that doctors are supposed to take a history. It turns out the patient is Clemente, and he’s just learned that at least one of the doctors at County isn’t as competent as he’d hoped.

Weaver tries to convince Clemente that Pratt is normally very thorough, as if it’s okay that he slipped up one time when he could have killed someone. She considers sticking around the ER, but Clemente says that he and “Dr. Kevorkian” will keep things moving smoothly. He excuses his stunt by saying he just wanted to get the lay of the land. At another hospital, he took things even farther and had to submit to a rectal exam. Here, it sounds like he just had to have his chest shaved. That said, it took 24 minutes for him to have his vitals taken, which is ridiculous.

Morris agrees and eagerly introduces himself to Clemente, who’s like, “Got it, you’re the kiss-up.” He acknowledges that his EKG was administered quickly, but Pratt was sloppy. Pratt defends himself, saying the ER is busy. Clemente replies that they’re always busy, and even though they don’t have a lot of time to spend with each patient, they need to be efficient, like marksmen. They need to hone in on the important symptoms, hit the target with a single shot, and move on. Abby whispers to Neela that he needs a psych consult.

Clemente asks who Abby is, and when she tells him, he says Weaver talked to him about her. It wasn’t all good. He shifts focus to clearing the board, though he doesn’t want to use the actual board. He’d rather do walking rounds. Neela tells Abby that she thinks Clemente is kind of hot. Abby reminds her that she’s dating Gallant. “He’s at war and so are my hormones,” Neela replies.

Luka’s upstairs to visit Blaire, whom he’s become friendly with since she came out of her coma. She’s having trouble with her muscles, but she’s improving. She’s also in a pretty good mood, considering her situation, though she’d be happier if someone would let her smoke pot. She asks Luka if her doctor has said anything about the accident that put her in a coma. All she remembers is going with her mom for her final fitting for her wedding dress. Now her mother is dead and her fiancé has ditched her. She hasn’t spoken to him yet.

Morris compliments Clemente’s shoes, to which Clemente replies, “Get laid, Morris.” He speaks English, Spanish, and Russian, which is three more languages than Morris can speak coherently. (I’m really enjoying having someone around who dislikes Morris as much as I do but isn’t too scared to say so out loud.) Pratt ducks out of rounds when he recognizes a former colleague named Dorsey, who’s there to visit a patient.

Luka cheers Blaire on as she calls her ex-fiancé, Jason. Her neurologist tells Luka that she’s making great progress. He’s been treating her for a few years, so he knows the details of her car accident, but he doesn’t think she should know yet. It turns out the car accident wasn’t actually a car accident: Blaire and her mother were carjacked, and Blaire’s mother was raped and shot. Blaire tried to fight off the carjackers and got pistol-whipped. She probably only survived because someone interrupted.

Luka thinks she should know everything, but her neurologist wants to hold off until she’s stronger. She should also hear the news from someone she’s close to. Luka notes that she doesn’t have any family. The neurologist tells Luka that Blaire will be filled in when the time is right. This guy obviously doesn’t know Luka or he’d have guessed that Luka’s probably going to tell Blaire himself.

The residents discuss a patient who has migraines that she used to have treated by the removal of spinal fluid. Clemente knows of a better treatment and even knows which issue of the Annals of Medicine it appeared in. “If you ever say he’s hot again, I’ll kneecap you,” Abby tells Neela. Haleh pulls Abby away to go see Stephanie, who’s up in oncology and is really upset.

A nurse up there tells Abby that Stephanie’s upset because she can’t have reconstructive surgery after having a breast removed, due to an enlarged lymph node. She threw a tantrum and broke a mirror. Stephanie doesn’t want to see Abby, whom she blames for her situation – Abby talked her into getting traditional medical treatment, and now she could have cancer.

Abby tries to reassure her that her feelings are normal and she needs to be patient. Stephanie’s still focused on finding a husband, and she doesn’t think anyone will want to marry a woman who could need chemo for the next ten years. Ma’am, I think your priorities are out of whack. Abby tells Stephanie that since her doctors are having trouble making a diagnosis, she might not have cancer. If she does, at least they caught it early. She did what she needed to do and it was brave. Stephanie doesn’t agree, but Abby acknowledges that she’s in a scary situation. Stephanie blows her off and starts to leave the hospital, but she ends up staying.

Abby takes care of some cuts Stephanie got from breaking the mirror while Stephanie talks about going on dating sites. She hasn’t heard from Lou since she had surgery. Abby’s glad that she found out early that he’s not a good catch. Stephanie doesn’t want to freeze her eggs or lose the chance to nurse any babies she might have. She asks if Abby’s scared that she’ll end up just being an aunt, or “forced to adopt some kid from Cambodia.” Because adoption is just a last resort when you can’t have biological children, and Cambodia is a cesspool where the only kids available for adoption are from the bottom of the barrel? Shut up, Stephanie.

She’s obviously jumping to her worst-case scenario, and Abby tells her that there’s a chance that she’ll have her reconstructive surgery and get to fulfill her dreams. Stephanie doesn’t think Abby understands where she’s coming from. But Abby’s grandmother and aunt both died of breast cancer, so she knows the possible outcomes. However, she herself has never even had a mammogram.

Paramedics bring in a stabbing victim named Tony, and the pre-med students hurry to take notes and ask him questions. Despite taking a knife to the neck, Tony is very calm, though he’s not happy with his attacker, who happens to be his wife. Clemente chases the pre-med students off, saying the patients aren’t here for their amusement.

In the cafeteria, which we haven’t seen in ages, Blaire tells Luka that Jason is married now. She’s struggling to grasp that things that feel recent to her happened years ago, and everyone around her has moved on. Also, Jason only came to see her twice when she was in the hospital. Ugh, you’re better off, Blaire. Luka asks if Blaire would have wanted Jason to wait around for her to wake up, which no one thought would happen. That’s fair, but…twice! He only saw her twice! He was going to marry her, and that’s all she meant to him! Blaire jokes that she could become his mistress. I kind of love Blaire.

Clemente quizzes the residents while they take care of Tony. Tony asks if they can hurry up treating him so he can go stop his wife before she sets fire to his truck. Apparently he cheated on her…with her mother. Your truck is the least of your worries, man. Clemente wants Tony to get a thorough exam, even though there are no indications that he needs one. Pratt gets fed up and leaves, since he doesn’t like being overruled by (checks notes) his boss.

Sam’s on the phone with Eve, who’s given her a bunch of tasks to do. One is emphasizing the importance of using hand sanitizer before touching patients. Sam gives Chuny a pin to remind everyone to “scrub or rub.” Chuny thinks that sounds kinky. Pratt calls Olivia to set up a date as he returns from a trip to the mini-mart. Charlie’s waiting outside the hospital when he gets back. He claims he’s there to see a sick friend. Pratt snarks that he might have another illegitimate kid inside. Charlie wants to hang out with his son, but Pratt has no interest in developing a relationship with him.

Charlie reminds Pratt that he has a younger brother. Chaz wants to get to know him. (I guess his sister doesn’t.) Pratt’s mad that Charlie would use Chaz like that. Plus, they only met once. Charlie doesn’t know what Pratt’s mother told him about his father, but he guesses it wasn’t the whole story. He wants to explain himself. Pratt snaps that he doesn’t have the time for that, and Charlie needs to drop it. Charlie says he will, but Pratt will have to live with that decision.

Blaire talks to Luka about her mother. They never really discussed marriage, but when she learned that Blaire and Jason were engaged, she jumped right in to help plan the wedding. Blaire asks Luka to stop at a window so she can look outside. She begs him to take her to the other side of the hospital so she can see Lake Michigan. Luka’s hesitant, since she shouldn’t even be out of her room, but she’s really charming and it’s Luka, so of course he’s going to take her.

Neela and Morris discuss Clemente, whom she doesn’t like. He needs to give it a rest with the non-stop teaching. Morris agrees, and Neela reminds him that he complimented Clemente’s shoes. Morris doesn’t think finding someone annoying means you can’t say nice things to them. Upstairs, Ray is super-bored in the poison-control center, and he calls Jerry to complain. Jerry tells him to picture all the women there naked. Ew, Jerry.

Paramedics bring in a girl named Lola who was crushed by a teen or 20-something named Tommy who fell off a ride at a fair. Hoping drugs are involved, Ray volunteers himself to help out. Dorsey ducks into Lola’s trauma room to say goodbye to Pratt, who’s working with Neela and Chuny. Dorsey notices a roach on the floor and stomps on it. Pratt jokes that he just killed their mascot. Dorsey invites him to hang out with some of their old colleagues that night.

Neela goes to Tommy’s trauma room to try to help Morris and Haleh, since Tommy’s really combative. Ray joins them, but Haleh thinks Pratt should be in there. He tells her to get Clemente instead. Neela votes no on that, saying they can handle Tommy themselves. Clemente comes in anyway, passive-aggressively wondering why no one summoned him. He sends Haleh to get his briefcase at the admit desk, then determines what Tommy took.

Haleh brings his briefcase and Clemente uses a piece of demo equipment inside to do some sort of scan. Neela’s impressed and not so annoyed by him anymore. Clemente’s not happy with Ray now, though, since he jumped to give Tommy a medication because he assumed Tommy was on drugs. Clemente tells the team that even if they don’t like him, the shouldn’t let their personal feelings affect patient care.

Dubenko comes to the ER to visit Abby before being released from the hospital after his cancer surgery. In case anyone was curious, everything is…functioning properly. Also, he had a “date” with Shauna and knows that Abby’s to thank. Lou finally turns up to see Stephanie, and it turns out that a) he didn’t know Stephanie was having a breast removed and b) the last time he tried to visit her, she didn’t want to see him. He’s called her a few times and she never told him why she was there. She just said she wasn’t in a good place to date. Lou’s still interested, though.

Neela interrupts Clemente while he’s playing with a GameBoy; he thinks she should get one for herself. She apologizes for not calling him in to help with Tommy’s trauma. He tells her that the treatment she wanted to give him – a surgical procedure – should only be a last resort. Neela thought he fit the criteria. Clemente gets what it’s like to be a resident who thinks they know everything, but there are always new things to learn. He’s there to teach her.

Neela notes that there are some things residents want to do on their own. Clemente knows, but it’s more important to give patients the proper care. He sees the residents as an investment in the future. When they save a life, he gets a return on his investment. P.S. He thinks Neela should consider a surgical elective, since she was so quick to want to do something surgical to Tommy.

Abby takes Lou to see Stephanie, who’s surprisingly pleased to see him and invites him to stay a while. As she’s leaving the floor, Abby convinces herself to schedule a mammogram. Back in the ER, Ray’s supervisor chastises him for missing morning rounds and ditching the poison-control center. Ray argues that he’s trying to identify a plant that a Buddhist monk ingested. The supervisor can’t ID it, either, but just a glance at it from outside the room gave Clemente the answer. He writes, “Tobaco gigante!” on a tablet and holds it up to the window. Ray runs with it and takes credit for the win. (Clemente’s okay with it.)

Weaver’s unhappy that Clemente sent her pre-med students away instead of letting them collect data like they’re supposed to. He tells her they were getting in the way and he didn’t want to overstep by telling them to back off. Instead, he told them the study was useless. Weaver quietly says that she knows what happened at Newark, where Clemente used to work, and no one wants a repeat. Nearby, Abby eavesdrops.

Clemente reminds Weaver that she hired him to make the ER more efficient. If they start to employ bedside registration, her study really will be irrelevant. Weaver tells him she has a $100,000 grant that says otherwise. He asks why they don’t go digital with that kind of money. She shuts him down, saying she runs the hospital, so every decision made there goes through her.

To no one’s surprise, Luka has taken Blaire to the roof so she can look out at the lake. She teases him for worrying so much, but to be fair, as he says, he’s always had things to worry about. After a pause, she asks if he thinks God or science is the reason she woke up. He tells her that he’s seen very religious people unhelped by prayer, and he’s seen skeptics have miraculous recoveries. Blaire wonders if it was fate instead. Luke just says he’s glad they’re both there and able to wonder about it. Good answer!

Pratt goes to the Ceasefire offices to meet Olivia and comes across a session Charlie’s leading with some teen boys. He tells them that if they get a girl pregnant, they’ll face “18 years of lockdown.” Half of their paycheck will go to the government and the other half to the baby’s mother. If they miss a child-support payment, the mother will come after them. Now Pratt knows – or thinks he knows – why Charlie didn’t want to be his father.

Blaire and Luka chat about Croatia and Chicago. She has a brief flash of a woman next to a car and tells him that she’s starting to recover her memories of her mother’s death. She’s started piecing together that there was no car accident, and she’s desperate to know what really happened. But as she gets more and more agitated, her speech slows and she can’t get out a full sentence.

He rushes her to the ER, where he tells Abby and Clemente that she’s stopped talking. Clemente tries to kick him out, thinking he’s just a friend, but Abby tells him who Luka is, and Clemente backs off. He tries to run their standard protocol for a patient in Blaire’s condition, since no one bothers to tell him what her situation is. Luka ignores him and sends Abby to the pharmacy to get what he knows Blaire needs.

Weaver joins the doctors as Luka tells Clemente that the medications Blaire’s neurologist was giving her woke her from her coma, so she just needs more of them. Clemente’s hesitant to go with that theory, but Weaver’s willing to let Luka do this. She does warn him that if he’s wrong, there could be an inquiry. Luka figures it’s worth a try. Weaver agrees to give him five minutes to try to help Blaire.

Clemente happily steps aside, making Luka the doctor on record in case Blaire’s family sues. Luka’s like, “Good thing she doesn’t have any family – gimme those drugs!” They wake Blaire up, but then she starts seizing. It’s not clear if it’s the result of withdrawal from the drugs she was given before or a reaction to the ones Luka just gave her.

Ray leaves his gig with a girl named Zoe who’s not coy at all about wanting to spend the night with him. Neela, Morris, and Jerry arrive late, since Clemente made them find journal articles to justify all their treatments today. Ray would much rather leave with Zoe than spend time with his co-workers, and though Morris is considered for a double date with one of Zoe’s friends, he’s definitely not cool enough to make the cut.

Blaire is unconscious again, which means Luka’s brooding again. Abby tries to reassure him that he might not be responsible for her decline. Weaver tells him that a state conservator agreed to let Blaire be admitted for two days. If she doesn’t start improving in that time, she’ll be sent back to her nursing facility.

Pratt and Olivia go to an open-mic night with Dorsey. Pratt’s giving Olivia the cold shoulder since she didn’t tell him that Charlie would be at Ceasefire when Pratt came by. Oh, boo-hoo. Be a grown-up. She notes that Charlie’s helping teens. Pratt tells her that he ends up sewing up those teens after they leave Ceasefire. Olivia argues that his father tries to help them before they get to Pratt. Pratt tells her that Charlie isn’t his father beyond getting his mother pregnant. He made the same mistake he’s telling the kids not to make.

Pratt leaves, and Olivia follows him out to tell him that as much as he might hate Charlie, Charlie’s a good guy. He spends 20 hours a week at Ceasefire, runs a basketball league, and rehabs houses for poor people. That’s what’s bugging Pratt – he’s waited his whole life to spit in Charlie’s face, and now he’s learned that Charlie isn’t a villain. Olivia refuses to let Pratt walk away angry, but instead of talking through his issues, they just go home and have sex.

Also having sex: Ray and Zoe. Not having sex, but getting naked: Abby, who has her mammogram after work. Neither having sex nor getting naked: Luka and Blaire, who are still in the ER. Even though she’s unconscious, he tells her the truth about what happened to her and her mother.

Thoughts: Clemente is played by John Leguizamo. Zoe is played by Kat Dennings.

Mekhi Pfifer (Pratt) and Jeffrey D. Sams (Dorsey) were also in Soul Food together, and Linda Cardellini (Sam) and John Leguizamo were in Bloodline together after this. (That reminds me: I never finished Bloodline.) Also, he’s not in this episode but I just found out and might as well put it here: Garret Dillahunt (Steve) is in season 3 of Dead to Me, which reunites him with Linda Cardellini.

Maura Tierney (Abby) actually did develop breast cancer in 2009, but her treatment was successful an as far as I know, she’s been in remission since then.

Blaire and Luka would have made a cute couple.

Imagine if Danny Glover invited you to have gumbo with him AND YOU SAID NO. Crazy.

’00s music alert: “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt