Saturday, October 01, 2005

ER 12.2 Nobody's Baby

Previously on ER: Abby tells Jake not to go away mad, and Jake responds “but do go away”; Sam tells Luka she doesn’t want to have any more kids; Ray complains to Neela about how the residents are responsible for everything the interns do; Abby bitches to Pratt that he told her to “step it up”, and he reminds her that her job isn’t “just to move the meat”, which again makes me snicker about Carter and Luka; Pratt shows up on Danny Glover’s doorstep.

Feet coming down stairs, step on something and we hear “Ow!” Camera pans back and we see Sam in the foreground, and Luka on the steps picking up whatever it is he just stepped on. Sam glances over her shoulder and then looks quickly away, chewing on her lips. Luka asks if Alex is still there and Sam not looking at him says that he just left. Okay, Luka’s hair is long again. Last week he was sporting a shorter do. I know the episodes were filmed at different times, but it is still annoying. It’s like when Dorothy’s pigtails grew longer and shorter throughout The Wizard of Oz. They do. Check it out sometime. Luka stands behind her and holds up Alex’s toy that he just crushed and sharply drops it on the table. He then puts his hand down next to hers, though only touches her with his thumb and says “you’re up early”. Sam replies “yup”, guzzles down the coffee she’s drinking, yanks her hand away and steps aside. Luka, fingering his ear for some strange reason, asks her if everything is okay. She says she just couldn’t sleep and walks further away from him. Looking down, Luka starts to tell her something when the phone rings. Sam answers, and it’s for her. She picks up a pad of paper and asks if she comes by in 20 minutes, will someone still be there? She drops the phone, quickly glances at Luka and says “Sorry, what did you want to talk about?” Luka tells her that his father has been bugging him to come for a visit because he hasn’t been home in a while. Since he has some vacation coming up, he thinks he might go back to Croatia for a couple of weeks. Sam’s getting her stuff together and seemingly not paying attention to him. Luka says it might be good for them to spend some time apart. Sam looks up, opens her mouth to say something, then turns away. Luka continues that she and Alex can hang out and Sam interrupts to tell him that she’s already started looking for a new place. Luka’s surprised and asks if she’s moving out. She bitchily says that he just said he thought it’d be good for them to spend some time apart. He blusters that isn’t what he meant. She can’t even look at him when she says that she was going to tell him, and she needs to think things out by herself. She starts walking out and he asks where she’s going. She says she’s going to look for an apartment before work. Still dumbfounded, Luka is like “that’s it? We don’t talk about this?” Sam shrugs it off as she leaves, “never seemed to do us any good before”. Wasn’t the whole point of her dragging him to couples counseling last year about HIS lack of communication yet she’s allowed to do the same thing? God, this relationship sucks.

El platform. A woman who reminds me of Winona Ryder is talking on her cell. She and her friend are waiting for the train. They are like Barbie dolls and both are wearing Melrose Place type women’s business suits and high heels. The train comes and they go to get on it and we hear “Wait!” and see Abby running with her coffee to catch the train. She’s yelling and asking the women to hold the doors, but they’re ignoring her. The door starts to close, and Abby sticks her hand in to stop it. Not a smart move, Abby. I know of someone who did that to an elevator, and the doors didn’t reopen. What a mess. The doors do open and Abby tries to get on the train, but the two women haven’t moved in, so the doors keep closing on her. Hee. Her expression and her coffee spilling are cracking me up. She finally gets in and sarcastically says “thank you” and pushes past them. She walks over to Neela, who is sitting a few seats back and says “hey”. They are in the background and the Barbie girls are in the foreground stealing glances at them, whispering and laughing. Neela says “good morning” and Abby bitches that it might be for Neela, but she was up most of the night doing a paper on paint ball injuries for Morris. God, he isn’t even on screen and Morris is already annoying me. Neela catches on that Winona is making comments about them and points it out to Abby. Abby turns to the Barbies and says pointedly “Can we help you?” Winona says they were just wondering “where you got your shoes” and her friend pipes in “they look very comfortable”. Since the camera doesn’t pan back far enough for us to see Abby’s feet, I guess Winona is talking about Neela’s shoes, which look like the Clarks’ clogs that I wear, and she’s right, they are comfortable. The Barbies tell them “they match your backpack”. Abby and Neela just stare at them. Abby sits down and tells Neela to ignore them because they are obviously on a “bulimia high”. Hee.

I just have to ask here, what’s with the hair, Abby? It’s like pulled back with a band, and put up in the back. Not flattering, though she really has not had a flattering do since the first year she was on this show. And that was six years ago. What’s with ER’s stylists? I loved Maura Tierney’s hair when she was on NewsRadio, but they’ve not been able to do anything with it here. And can I say again that I am really going to miss Sherry Stringfield. And her hair.

Cut to the Barbies walking on the platform. Winona’s foot twists and she falls down, landing on her ankle. Her friend asks if she can stand on it and she cries “no” as Abby and Neela step around her. Winona tells her friend to call 911. Neela asks Abby if they should check her out and Abby’s says no and keeps walking. Neela stops, goes back, grabs Winona’s ankle and starts checking it. Winona’s all “don’t touch me”. Neela tells her she’s a doctor and that she may have broken her ankle. Winona says if Neela’s a doctor, she wants a second opinion. Neela goes over to Abby and says “Dr. Lockhart, would you care to give another opinion?” Abby replies, “Sure. Your ankle may be broken AND you’re a bitch”. Hee. Great delivery on that line. Abby and Neela keep on walking. This whole scene was really funny. They need more comedy on this show. Enough with the angst.

Credits tell us Laura Innes is directing. Good. I always like her episodes, they are well paced and have energy. But obviously this means we won’t be seeing Kerry.

Abby, Ray and Neela are at the admit desk as we hear Morris comment to Pratt that “all three of them are a liability”. He goes on to talk about how they are all huddled together like a “bunch of prairie dogs”. Huh? I’ve seen prairie dogs at the zoo, and I don’t remember any huddling. But then we weren’t there at feeding time, so maybe I just missed it. Morris is on a roll and sarcastically asks Pratt if they are “the best we have to work with”. For what I’m sure will not be the last time this episode, shut up, Morris! Morris tells Pratt that they should have made him Chief Resident a long time ago and Pratt asks why. Morris exposits that he would have been pickier about choosing the residents, which makes me wish for the thousandth time that Weaver had been that picky three years ago before hiring Morris. Pratt doesn’t get it, so Morris points out Abby, Ray and Neela and says “no brain, no courage, no heart”, and says they need a trip to see the wizard. Pratt wants to know if Morris is the wizard, and Morris says that is why he is paid the big bucks. I’ve seen the Wizard of Oz a gazillion times and I don’t remember the wizard being an asshole. Morris walks over to Admit, claps his hands and says “Officer on deck!” Ray and Neela ignore him, and Abby laughs at him. And he has to remind her that he’s talking about himself and how he’s Chief. And she says “yeah, Chief Pain in the Ass” and goes back to looking at a chart. He smirks at her saying if only she were as talented as she is funny. She walks away saying “At least I’m funny”, and she’s right, in this episode she is. Nice change from bitchy. Morris non sequiturs that if making jokes about people with Native American heritage is humorous to her, to which Abby looks at him like “huh”? Morris explains that he is 1/16th Choktaw Indian. I’m with Abby on this one – huh??? Chuny interrupts this brilliant exchange to say that the ER received a postcard from Jake in San Francisco. Ray actually says “right on!” Is that expression still around? I swear I was 5 the last time I heard it used and I think that was on an episode of Good Times. Ray asks Abby how Jake is doing. Neela smirks. Abby obviously doesn’t know, but covers saying that he’s great and she thinks he likes it there. Ray puts the postcard on the board and says “not according to this” before walking away. Abby ducklips as Luka walks up with the new interns. Babinski, who I was sure was a red-shirted-expendable-crew-member type last week is there, along with Lana Clemons and a really pale-looking Igor type guy Luka introduces as Munson. Considering his coloring, I think Luka got it wrong and it was supposed to be Munster. Morris butts in, introduces himself and says everyone calls him Chief, because he’s the Chief Resident and explains to the interns that they present to the Residents who present to Pratt and him. Luka chimes in that they present to the Attending. Clemons thinks that’s a lot of presenting, and I agree with her. Chuny’s on the phone and asks Luka if he has a patient in the cath lab, which he does. She says they think he might have died. Luka almost but not quite rolls his eyes and goes over to answer the phone. Morris takes the interns to the board to show them how he likes things done. He tells Abby, Ray and Neela that he’s implementing changes that apply to them as well. Isn’t there a helicopter that can be dropped on him or something? After he walks away, Neela says she’d like to stick an implement in his eye. Ray asks them to pick a number between one and ten. Abby asks why, but Ray just says “Neela?” Neela says 7. Abby says 4. Ray tells her she was close, but the number was 6 and tells Neela she gets to pick between Munster and Red Shirt, he takes Clemons. Neela takes Red Shirt, and Abby balks. Ray and Clemons go meet the paramedics bringing in a pregnant car accident victim, while Munster stares at Abby. She tries to grin at him.

Sam is reading off the sats on the pregnant woman and the fetus to Ray. Ray pushes on her belly and asks if there is any pain. There isn’t. He doesn’t think there is any internal bleeding. Preggers tells him she thinks her water broke. She asks Ray if it’s bad, and he says no, but there’s a good chance she’ll have the baby today. She says she wanted to have another home birth and Sam asks if this is her second pregnancy, which it is. She says her daughter is 2, but this one’s a boy. Sam asks if she wants them to call her husband, but Preggers says there isn’t one, but wants Sam to call her friend Toni Stillman, because “she needs to be here”. Preggers is getting all moony and smiling a lot. It’s a bit freaky. Luka walks in and Ray starts giving him the bullet. Luka’s not really listening because he is looking at Sam, who is purposely not looking at him. Luka tells Ray to get an ultrasound and send Preggers up to OB. Luka asks Sam if she has a minute. Sam says no, and unnecessarily explains all the stuff she has to do. Luka asks the nurse next to Sam, who I didn’t even notice at first because she is actually shorter than Sam is, which I didn’t really think was possible, whether she can do some of this stuff. She’s all “what, me?” Sam gives Luka this WTF look and snipes that she can’t. Ray looks back and forth between Sam and Luka. Sam apologizes to the little nurse, and introduces her to Luka as Inez. Inez is new and Sam is helping her get acclimated. Luka asks if he can see her when she is finished. In a voice that says she has no intention of doing it, Sam tells him “sure, but it might be a while”. Yeah, the breakdown of this relationship was so HIS communication skills. Luka walks out. Ray smilingly says “welcome to County, Inez”. Ray tells Preggers she’s doing great and they’ll take her upstairs and get her comfortable, but Preggers thinks it will be several hours before she actually is comfortable.

Ray and Clemons walk out and he asks her what’s next. She spouts off a test, but he corrects her and says not before the ultrasound. Then incredibly he tells her “the most important thing to remember in the ER is that if you don’t get it, just fake it”, which is obviously how he managed to make it out of med school. Clemons hesitatingly nods as Ray continues that there is not enough time to ask all the questions and the patients “really don’t want to see you scratching your head”. I think I’d rather see some head scratching than have a doctor fake knowing how to perform a procedure on me, but that’s me and I’m cautious like that. Ray shoos her away to get him Nitrazine paper. Once again, he is not wearing proper work attire. Pratt, Luka and even Morris have on shirts and ties, Ray is wearing a t-shirt and well worn jeans. I’m surprised with all his changes, Morris hasn’t instituted a dress code.

Clemons spots Abby walking by and calls out to her. She says that Ray wants Nitrazine paper, but she doesn’t know what it is. Abby goes into the drug lockup and says to Clemons “you didn’t ask?” Clemons starts to explain what Ray told her about what to do when you don’t know something, but Abby interrupts to exposit that the number one rule in the ER is if you don’t know, ask. Abby tells her she won’t learn it by herself as the drum laden music of conflicting advice plays in the background. Clemons goes to ask Abby something else, but of course Abby has stopped being helpful and has walked away. Clemons sees Neela in the hall and asks her how to use the Nitrazine paper, but Neela is too busy. She starts to tell Clemons, “if you don’t know something”, but Clemons says “I know, fake it”. Neela’s as flabbergasted as I was and is all “of course not”! Clemons stutters that she already asked, but Neela replies “look things up yourself”. She explains that if someone gives you the answer, you forget five minutes later “read it and it sticks”. Neela preaches that it is the intern’s responsibility to educate herself, because no one else will do it for you. I happen to think that Neela is right in most instances of learning, but I think Abby’s take is actually more practical to use in the ER, although given that she walked away, I’m sure Clemons will think twice before asking her something again. Neela trots off down the hall and in the background Red Shirt turns ahead, thinking he is anticipating where she is going, but she shoots off down another corridor and he has to do a double-take before following her. Hee. Clemons blows out her breath in frustration.

Munster is looking at an x-ray. Abby walks up and asks him how it’s going. He just stares at her and says “fine” before turning back to the x-ray. Abby’s like “great” and starts to walk away before coming back and wringing her hands and asking him if he has any questions. Not looking at her, he says no as the cymbal-heavy music of creepy interns plays. She asks him if he has anything to present. And still not looking at her, he tells her he’ll let her know. Abby’s done trying to get him to respond and asks if she can make a suggestion. He doesn’t answer and she goes over to the x-ray and as she flips it over says “unless your patient has situs inversus, her heart should be on the left”. Hee. Pratt walks up and asks if these are the films on the girl in four. Abby walks away with him and tells him it looks like the patient needs “Amphotericin B”, which Google tells me is an antibiotic that halts the growth of several disease-causing fungi. Pratt asks if the intern picked up histoplasmosis, which is a fungal infection of the lungs. Yuck. Abby replies “yeah, he just doesn’t know it yet”. Pratt asks how he is doing. Abby whines that he doesn’t like her. Pratt assures her that everyone likes her. Obviously Pratt does not read any of the ER boards or he would know that this is not true. Abby thinks Munster acts like she “killed his dog or something”. Pratt tells her he’s probably just nervous, but Abby doesn’t think she’s going to be any good at teaching interns. Pratt thinks she will, which is a complete switch from last week when he laid the smackdown on her for doing everything herself and not teaching. He tells her she did a great job with Jake. The quick look she gives him makes me think she’s thinking the same thing I first thought when Pratt said this – that the only way she’ll be good at teaching is if she sleeps with all her students. Pratt tells her it’s too bad Jake didn’t match at County, and she quietly replies “yeah, too bad” before walking away. Chuny needs Pratt, as Abby sneaks a look at her intern. Malik calls her over, and she yells to Munster.

Paramedics give Abby the bullet on a 10 year old boy found at the food court at the mall. Our food court’s pretty skanky, so I’m guessing this isn’t a good thing. Abby yells again for Munster. Abby tries to find out the kid’s name, but he’s really out of it. And he too has bad hair. Abby asks the paramedics if the kid was by himself. They say he was with his buddies who took off when they arrived. Munster reads off the sats and Abby asks him what his plan is. He says CBC, chem 7, tox screen, which seems to be the standard answer for everything on this show. She asks him what else. He guesses a head CT. Abby’s like “and?” Munster shakes his head, winces and blurts out “find next of kin?” She spouts off a list of tests that ends with activated charcoal and reassures Munster that he’ll get the hang of it, to which he curtly says “I know” as he pushes the gurney past her. Abby just kind of blinks and looks away.

Pratt’s jargoning on the phone. When he finishes, Chuny tells him he has a visitor in chairs. It’s Danny Glover, who I can’t think of as anyone except Mister from The Color Purple, so that’s going to be his name. Pratt spots him and tells Chuny to let him wait.

Pratt checks in on Ray and Sam and tells them that one of the trauma rooms is going to be needed in a few minutes. He asks how they are doing. Preggers says she’s having contractions. Clemons says the Nitrazine is positive and Sam tells Preggers it means that her water did break. Pratt’s a bit distracted. Ray is doing the ultrasound. He and Pratt stare at the screen and Preggers asks if everything is okay. Pratt says the presentation looks breech. That happened both times to me and I had to have c-sections. Clemons, trying to be nonchalant, asks Ray if she can get his advice on something. I expected Ray to give her a look like didn’t I just tell you to fake it, but he instead actually goes over to help her. Preggers says this pregnancy didn’t feel any different from her last one. Sam assures her she’s doing a good job. Ray and Clemons are down between Preggers legs and Ray says “uh, Dr. Pratt?” and asks him to come take a look. Pratt’s not paying attention so Ray has to ask again. Both Pratt and Luka better start focusing or something bad is going to happen. Pratt comes over and he, Ray and Clemons just sort of stare. Preggers asks what’s happening and Pratt tells her it looks like she’s delivered the feet. Preggers is getting agitated and wants them to reassure her that it’s okay. She has a friend who delivered breech and everything was fine. Pratt sends Ray to page OB. Sam tells Preggers they’re going to take good care of them.

Chuny introduces Luka to Toni Stillman. She’s Preggers’ friend and tells him that someone called her. Luka explains that Preggers was uninjured in the car accident, much to Toni’s relief. She asks him about the baby, and he tries to clarify if she’s a family friend. Toni explains that Preggers is a surrogate carrying her child and has been living with her. She asks Luka if the baby will be alright, and he apologizes that he can’t tell her that without Preggers consent. Toni whines that it’s her baby. Luka understands, but still needs the patient’s consent. Toni forcefully says that they are best friends and that Preggers will want to see her. Luka looks up as Sam comes out of the trauma room. He calls to her and introduces Toni. Sam is the one that phoned her and says that Preggers has been asking for her. They start to go into the trauma room. Luka stops Sam under the pretense of asking about the patient, but when he starts to change the subject, she dismisses him and goes back into the trauma room.

Toni is fussing over Preggers. Malik comes in looking for activated charcoal and reminds Pratt that there is a guy looking for him. Pratt says he knows as Preggers groans from a particularly strong contraction. Toni’s freaking because she’s in labor. She wants them to stop it because Preggers isn’t due for another week, Ray guarantees that 39 weeks is full-term. Sam declares that the feet are already popping out, which alarms Toni. She wants to know if they have to do a c-section. Ray claims they are waiting on OB. Why is it that OB is ALWAYS so slow to respond on this show? It can’t be this common for babies to be born in the ER. Chuny bursts in to tell Pratt that the GSW is two minutes out. Pratt takes Inez with him. He asks her if she’s ever been in a GSW trauma before, she lifts her sleeve off her bicep to show him a bullet scar and says she grew up in the Bronx. I like Inez already. Neela wants to present to Pratt, but he waves her off.

Red Shirt tells Neela their next patient is in Exam 3 and she’s loudly complaining about having been stuck there for so long. So of course when Neela enters, it’s Winona, who bitches “Oh God. Could this day get any worse”. Red Shirt introduces her as Drew Filmore, but Neela cringes and says they’ve already met. Hee.

Pratt and Inez head to the ambulance bay. Mister stops him and says “Greg”. Pratt realizes Mister knows who he is. Mister says he knew as soon as he saw him the night Pratt showed up on his doorstep. Pratt wants to know what he wants. Mister doesn’t know, but asks Pratt why he came looking for him. Pratt just wanted to see for himself. And now he has, so he walks away. Mister follows him outside and wants to know how to proceed, but Pratt doesn’t want to and apologizes for bothering him. Mister explains that he thought Pratt was still in Detroit. Mister wants to explain things to Pratt, but Pratt doesn’t want to hear it and wants him to leave. Mister tells him he has a half brother and sister and they’re Pratt’s family too, but Pratt thinks it’s funny that now family is important to Mister. Paramedics tell Pratt they have a GSW to the chest during a carjacking. Mister is trying to tell him about his siblings – his sister’s at the University of Illinois and his brother is a high school senior. Pratt’s all like “not now”, which is totally understandable because can’t Mister see that the woman bleeding to death might need Pratt’s attention more? Pratt’s family is just as annoying and self-centered as Abby’s. Mister drones on that Pratt’s brother Chaz will get a scholarship to Loyola if he wins the regional swim meet that night. Mister apologizes for walking away and implores Pratt not to make the same mistake, but Pratt is already back inside the hospital with the gurney.

Luka’s looking at mall kid’s CT and says it’s good. Abby is listening to the kid’s chest, as Malik injects something into a tube. Malik exclaims “Barbecue’s ready”. Abby responds “what?” and Malik explains that the charcoal is in. Abby and Malik jargon while Luka grabs the chart. He doesn’t really look at it because he is too busy staring at Sam in the next room. Munster is on the phone asking someone to repeat what they said. Mall kid tries to pull out the tube in his nose, but Abby grabs his hand away and tells him if he does that, they’ll have to restrain him. Luka distractedly orders Malik to give the kid two of Ativan. Abby’s surprised and tells Malik to wait. She asks Luka if he’s sure, because she thought benzos could cloud the neurological picture. Luka looks at her for a second and agrees and says “soft restraints then”. Abby presses Munster for the sats. Pratt barges in grumping that they are still in there and they need to move because he’s got a GSW that can’t wait. Luka’s says that the mall kid is ready to go up to the PICU. Abby is again surprised and disagrees that the kid is getting worse and they don’t know why. Luka’s really not paying attention and says that the head CT is fine and the labs are normal so from the ER standpoint the workup is done and signs off on it. Abby can’t believe it and posits that he could still have infectious encephalitis and they should tap him, but Luka thinks they can do that upstairs. He walks out as Abby looks at him incredulously. I didn’t take this as Abby being Super Doc and thinking she knew better than her superior, but rather that she recognized that something’s going on but she doesn’t know what. She tells Malik to put mall kid in sutures until PICU picks him up. She follows Luka out.

Abby catches up with Luka in the hallway and questions whether she did something wrong in the exam, but he says she didn’t. He’s leaning on the desk not facing her. She’s concerned that she’s not handling the patient correctly, but Luka tells her no. She asks him if he’s okay. He looks at her and hesitatingly says that Sam is moving out. Now Abby gets it and says “oh”. She steps closer to him and asks why. He has a feeling it’s a communication problem, and can I just say how cutely Goran says “communication”. Abby thinks that if he’s not sure, then it probably is. He purses his lips and nods. She tells him she’s sorry and asks him if he wants to talk about it. He says no, that if he wanted to talk about it Sam probably wouldn’t be moving out. She sort of smiles, looks down, then with a kind of amused look says “Thanks, Luka”. He gazes at her questioningly. She looks at him for a second before looking away and mock wistfully says “I always thought it was my fault that things didn’t work out between us, but …” He starts to grin and she finishes “now I know it was you” as the smile spreads across his face. Awww. They really should allow him to smile more. And not just for my and all the female (and probably some male) viewing audience’s pleasure, but because this character needs some happiness in his life desperately. He laughs, shakes his head and responds “no problem”. They grin at each other for a bit, and then Abby walks away. IIRC, this is the first time either of them has actually referenced the failure of their relationship, which ended, jeez, was it 4 years ago? I liked the way Abby said it because IMO it seems like she was sort of acknowledging her part in the breakup, which was something she hasn’t done before. Gee, I wonder where this is going. But this was a nice scene. It’s been so long since these two have had a scene together that I’d forgotten how well Goran Visnjic and Maura Tierney play off each other. Hopefully they’ll have more scenes like this. My mantra for this season is definitely going to be more laughs, less angst.

Janet Coburn! I love Amy Aquino and always look forward to her scenes on this show, which are way too few and far between. But I’m not loving her hair. She’s got a sort of That Girl flip do which is not becoming at all. I’m all about the hair this week. The only one who has good hair in this episode is Neela, but then, hers always looks good. Since Coburn is there does this mean there is actually going to be a baby born in OB? Wonders never cease. Coburn is doing an ultrasound on Preggers and tells her she needs a c-section. Preggers says she doesn’t want surgery. Coburn looks at her. Preggers talks about her friend who had the breech again, and Ray tells her it was probably a frank breech, which is butt first. Coburn explains that she has a footling breech, and if the cervix doesn’t dilate enough the baby’s head could get stuck and the umbilical cord will be compressed with the contractions and jeopardize the oxygen supply. Does this mean the feet have just been hanging out down there all this time? Because if so, ewww. Sam tells Preggers she needs to do what’s best for the baby. Preggers wants to know what happens if she doesn’t have surgery. Ray and Sam exchange looks. Coburn tells her they deliver up to the umbilicus to give the cervix time to dilate, then maneuver the head and shoulders. Preggers thinks that sounds good. Ray doesn’t think it’s a good idea. Coburn tells her there is a 25% chance of major complications and less than 2% with the c-section. Preggers thinks the 1 in 4 chance is good odds. She’s an idiot. She really is freaky. There’s something weird about someone who smiles that much. I know I just said that Luka needs to smile more, but well, he’s Luka, and I don’t think there will ever be a danger of him over-smiling. Coburn says okay, they can wait as the labor proceeds, but if the baby’s heart rate gets too low, they may still have to do a c-section. Ray clearly disagrees, but keeps his mouth shut. Preggers insists that she doesn’t want surgery. She wants Sam to find Toni, but Ray says he’ll do it and follows Coburn out. Ray catches up with her and can’t believe that she’s not going to consent to the surgery. Coburn says they can’t do it against Preggers will. Ray wants to know what happens if the baby gets in trouble during delivery and needs to be rescued, but Coburn exclaims that she still can’t do it. Ray wants to know why Toni doesn’t get a say, and Coburn says that even though genetically she’s the mother, it’s still Preggers’ body and she has the right to refuse surgery.

Abby’s at the board and sees Jake’s postcard. She tries to sneak a peek at it when Malik yells for her. She jumps and shouts “what?” like she’s got her hand caught in the cookie jar. Her expression is priceless. She’s got a call from the PICU. Chuny comes up and tells her that mall kid’s buddies are here asking about him. Abby tells her to make sure they don’t leave, and takes the phone call. Into the phone she says “yeah, this is Abby”, then corrects herself and says “Dr. Lockhart”. You would think since she’s been a doctor for a year now she would have gotten used to saying that. She tells them that they will “send him right up” and goes over to see mall kid’s friends. They ask if he’s okay, and she says no. She tries to get them to tell her if he took anything, but they just look at each other and try to take off. Chuny stops them at the door and brings them back to chairs. She and Abby sit down with them. Abby tries to reason with the kids on how important this is. She finds out his name is Liam and they were skipping school, which is why they ran away when the paramedics came. They tell her he didn’t take anything. She asks if Liam has been sick, and they tell her he hasn’t been in school much because his parents are getting divorced and he has to go back and forth. Abby asks if he has any medical conditions and they tell her his family are vegetarians, and she and Chuny exchange looks like this is getting us nowhere. Abby wants to know if Liam was acting differently and his friends say he was a little bummed and he ate two jumbo cheeseburgers. Munster interrupts that the kid is getting worse.

Abby throws Liam’s backpack at Munster and tells him to look through it for anything that might help. She catches up to Malik pushing the gurney and asks what’s going on. Malik tells her the kid’s unresponsive and she orders Munster to check his gag reflex. She tries to get Liam to open his eyes. Munster says he barely has a gag. She asks Munster if he knows the “VITAMIN mneumonic”. Isn’t that the movie with Keanu Reeves? Munster replies “vitamins?” Abby answers “yes, for altered mental status”. “V” is for vascular, but they’ve ruled out strokes or clots. She asks “I” is for?” and Malik responds “infection” and when they look at him he says “what? This game is only for interns?” Love Malik. Munster stares at him. Abby says there’s no pneumonia and his labs were clear. She’s listening to mall kid’s chest. Munster adds that “T” is for trauma, and Abby corrects him “Or toxins”. The tox screen was clear, but Abby is running through possibilities of something they didn’t test for. She’s scratching her head and seemingly getting more and more panicked. Munster asks her what he’s looking for in the backpack and she doesn’t know, drugs or meds. Then she has a realization and stops them before they get on the elevator. Almost as if she’s just talking out loud, she goes on about how the “M” in VITAMIN stands for “metabolic” and it could be a metabolic disorder that keeps him on a restricted diet. She runs over to a cart as she explains to Munster that the kid’s buddy told her that he was a vegetarian and that he had two cheeseburgers. Munster’s lost. Malik tells Abby they need to get the kid upstairs but she disagrees. She’s putting on gloves and says they need an ammonia level. She sends Munster to quickly find some ice, because ammonia has to go to the lab cold. Munster turns around and sees Morris at Admit. He runs over and grabs Morris’ drink, causing Morris to yell “That’s my frappuccino!” Munster hands Abby the cup as Malik complains that they can “do this upstairs”. Abby agrees, but only after they do the assessment, review labs and repeat x-rays, while the kid’s brain is being “pickled”. Again, yuck. Abby draws Liam’s blood, drops the vial in the frappuccino, and orders Munster to run it to the lab. She leans over and tells Liam to hang in there.

Sam reads off the baby’s sats. Preggers smilingly asks her if that’s still good. Ray shakes his head and informs her that it is “for the time being”. As he weirdly enunciates every syllable, he advises her that if the baby gets in trouble, every second will count. The clipped speech thing must be Shane West’s attempt at stepping up his acting. It’s not working. Though he did get rid of the black eyeliner, which caused me to realize that he looks a lot like one of my cousins. This is not a good thing, because I like my cousin so it makes me less inclined to trash Ray. And I liked trashing Ray. Oh well. There’s always Morris. Sam comforts Preggers that the baby is okay right now. Preggers wants to know if Ray is trying to scare her. He pledges that he’s not, but of course he so is. He’s trying to prepare her for what might happen. He declares that there are thousands of safe c-sections performed every day. She explains that she wants to have more kids of her own, naturally. Ray swears that lots of women go on to have vaginal births after c-sections. Preggers wants to know if she can consent only as a last resort, if the baby is in serious danger. He has a consent form and wants her to sign it. She reiterates that it is only as a last resort. Sam looks at Ray questioningly, and informs Preggers that she needs to be made aware of the risks. Preggers wants to know what they are, and Ray wants to stop Sam from continuing. She stares at Ray as she rattles off “bleeding, infection, paralysis, stroke”. Ray interrupts her, and says the risks are minimal. He asks Sam if he can speak with her outside. Preggers proclaims she doesn’t want the c-section, but Ray wants her to think about it.

Sam angrily walks out into the hall, with Ray following. He wants to know what the hell she was doing. Sam warns him that to have informed consent, Preggers has to know the risks. Ray complains that Sam made it sound like Dr. Frankenstein’s brain transplant and Sam retorts that he made it sound like a pedicure. Ray reminds her that it’s not her job to explain procedures to the patient, and she agrees that it’s his job but he wasn’t doing it. Maybe it’s because Sam was right, though she should have gone about it differently, and her anger was actually justified for once, but I liked this scene and thought both Linda Cardellini and Shane West did a good job.

Neela bursts out of the other trauma room and pushes past them to get something from the drug lockup. Ray walks away from Sam and follows Neela back into the trauma, where Pratt is doing CPR on the carjacking victim. Ray wants to know what he can do, and Pratt says nothing. Ray asks how long she’s been down. Pratt ignores him and shocks the heart. Neela tries to tell him she’s been down too long and shouldn’t they save the blood for someone who has a chance. She and Ray try to get him to stop, but Pratt’s dismisses them by saying he knows better than they do. Neela forcefully tells him that it’s time to call it, and Pratt stops and tells Red Shirt to give the time of death. He rips off his gloves and challenges Neela and Ray to answer what is the survival rate of patients who make it to the hospital with penetrating chest trauma. They don’t know. He says that until they do, they have no right to second guess him. He leaves telling Ray to notify the next of kin.

Mall kid, aka Liam, is crashing. Abby says he needs a tube and tells Malik what to get. Malik goes “uh oh”. Abby’s like “what?” as Luka walks up. He asks what’s going on, and Abby stutters that the kid is “hyperventilating at a rate of six” and continues to try to intubate him. Luka asks if it’s the mall kid and angrily states that he told her to send him up to the PICU hours ago. Abby ignores him and asks for suction. Luka yells “Abby!” and she responds that she wanted to check one more thing. Luka gets pissy that she kept “him down here just long enough for him to crash”. Abby keeps trying to tube Liam and explains to Luka that she found out more history that suggested further workup. He counters that she should have given that info to the PICU. She gets the tube in, and shoots Luka a look. Luka looks like he wants to say something, but glances at Malik first and stops himself. Malik starts bagging Liam and says “good chest rise” while Abby listens to his chest. Munster’s back from the lab and he’s almost glowing at Abby when he tells her she was right about the ammonia level. It’s really weird. And creepy. I hope he’s not going to turn out to be a stalker. Because really, I don’t think I can take any more Abby in peril storylines. Abby snatches the lab results from him and shows Luka that Liam has a metabolic disorder, some kind of protein intolerance. Abby sends Munster the lap dog to the pharmacy to get some kind of “nitrogen scavenger” to help bring down the ammonia. She hands Luka the labs and explains about the family being vegetarians and how he had the two cheeseburgers because he was depressed. She’s starting to babble on because Luka is not reacting, and tells him about the parents divorcing and that it was some sort of “fast food rebellion”. I think we studied that in history class. Luka irritably asks if there are any family members to confirm this and Abby assures him that Chuny is trying to track them down. She’s totally looking for his approval here. Abby gives Malik an order as Chuny tells Luka there is an MI coming in. He slaps down the chart, glares at Abby and starts to walk away as she gives him her treatment plan. Just when she is seemingly questioning whether her course of action is going to work, he snaps off his gloves and throws them to her, raising his eyebrows and saying “nice pickup”. She catches them, realizing he faked her out, and sort of grins. She turns back to Liam and Malik says “Lockhart comes up big” and they bump knuckles across Liam’s prostrate form. ‘Cause Abby’s obviously from the ‘hood.

Luka goes out into the ambulance bay and sees Newlex shooting hoops. He grabs the ball and says “you call that a jumpshot?” and does a layup that clearly misses. Luka gets the rebound and passes the ball to Newlex saying that he hears Sam is looking at apartments. Newlex mumbles “yeah” and shoots. Luka’s trying to be positive claiming that the new place might be close enough to his that Newlex can walk there. Newlex informs Luka that it’s not, it’s right near the hospital. Luka looks both surprised and disappointed and let’s Newlex know it wasn’t his idea. The ambulance pulls in, so Luka tosses Newlex the ball and says “back to work”. Before he turns away, he reminds Newlex that they can still go camping again on his birthday. Newlex looks doubtful, but Luka smiles and gives him the thumbs up saying “absolutely”. Luka looks real cute here, but it seems apparent to both of them that this isn’t going to happen.

Red Shirt calls Neela “Dr. Rasgota” and she corrects him that it’s Rasgotra, but tells him to just call her Neela. He explains that Winona is freaking out again about how long she’s been waiting, and Neela turns to Abby and deadpans “maybe you could help with this one”. They walk into Winona’s room and Abby is amused when she recognizes who it is. Winona immediately starts griping about how long she’s been there. She asks if there is “anyone here who knows what the hell they are doing”, to which Abby and Neela simultaneously respond “yeah”. Winona bitches about the sales conference she is missing. Abby condescendingly apologizes for the wait saying “sometimes we lose track of time when we are trying to save people’s lives”. Winona huffs “is that sarcasm?” and starts waving her finger around about how she’s a customer there and how if she’s dissatisfied with the service, she’ll go to their supervisors. Abby and Neela sort of cock their heads and look at each other, and then back at Winona. You can tell they are collectively thinking “whatever, bitch”. It’s very funny. I like the interaction between Abby and Neela and hope the show does more with this friendship. They are the Lucy and Ethel of the ER.

Mr. Toni Stillman is angrily informing Preggers that they “have a contract”. Preggers didn’t agree to surgery though, but Mr. Toni heatedly reminds her that she agreed to consent to any procedure that is medically necessary. Ray comes in and wants to know what is going on. Toni introduces Mr. Toni, or Rod as she calls him, who asks Ray if he’s the OB. Ray says “no, ER”. Mr. Toni exclaims that Preggers needs a c-section and he has a legal document giving permission to do so. Ray asks them to step outside of the room. Mr. Toni shouts at Preggers that if she doesn’t do this, it is a breach of contract and she won’t get paid. Sam stares at him. Preggers yells that she just wants to have the baby naturally. Outside the room Mr. Toni informs Ray that he’ll get a court order to force her to have the c-section. Ray says he doesn’t think you can do that, but Mr. Toni’s like “oh yeah? Watch me”. He thinks Preggers is endangering his unborn child. Ray explains that he is doing everything he can to convince her to have the surgery, but he can’t force her against her will. Mr. Toni rationalizes that Preggers is carrying their baby and they’ve been trying to have kids for five years. Mrs. Toni chimes in that they’ve spent a fortune trying in vitro fertilization, none of which took and Preggers is carrying their last embryo. Ray apologizes but says they can’t do it like this. Ray says he’ll go talk to Preggers again, but Mr. Toni replies that he is still getting a court order. Sam comes out and calls Ray. Something is happening with Preggers. They all rush back towards trauma, but Ray tells Mr. and Mrs. Toni that they have to wait outside. Sam informs them that they are taking Preggers up to Labor and Delivery. Finally.

Ray tells Preggers that the baby’s heart rate dropped during the last contraction and that it might mean cord compression and the baby could be in trouble. Preggers asks for the heart rate now, and Clemons replies “112”. Preggers thinks that’s still okay as they push her past Mr. and Mrs. Toni. She reassures them that they are “doing okay” and another contraction hits. Mr. Toni hollers that she needs to have a c-section, but Preggers screeches that they have to trust her because she knows her own body. Yeah, Preggers, I thought before you found out about the breech thing you said this didn’t feel any different from your last pregnancy. God, she’s aggravating. Mr. and Mrs. Toni want to go with her, but Preggers yells “no”. They are shocked that she won’t let them be there when the baby is born, but Preggers is adamant.

Chuny introduces Pratt to Karen Simms who is the daughter of the GSW carjacking victim. Karen thinks GSW means gastrointestinal something, but Pratt corrects her that it means gunshot wound, and goes on to do the typical ER schtick to next of kin about doing everything within our power, injuries were too severe yada, yada, yada. Karen is stunned and asks how they found her. Pratt’s confused and says her name was in her mother’s address book. Karen wants to know if her mother said anything. Pratt replies that she lost consciousness when they were trying to save her. He asks if Karen wants to see her, but she purses her lips, shakes her head and says “it’s too late”. Pratt doesn’t understand. Karen explains that she and her mother had a falling out and haven’t spoken in a long time. She continues that they were both waiting for the other one to give in and admit they were wrong, and this of course has absolutely no relevance whatsoever to what is going on between Pratt and Mister. Then Karen says somewhat sadly “I guess I win”. She walks away as Pratt considers all of it.

Preggers needs to push, and Coburn tells her not yet. Ray is pacing and shouting out the sats. Preggers complains that it wasn’t this hard the first time. Again, way to be in tune with your body, Preggers. Coburn gives her good news that the baby’s hips are out and she gets to push on the next one. That makes Preggers do the smiling thing again, beaming “I told you I could do this”. Shouldn’t have been so smug Preggers, because now the baby’s heart rate is dropping. Of course NOW Preggers becomes worried and Ray informs her that the cord is being compressed and the baby is not getting enough oxygen. He still trying to convince her to do the c-section, and she’s still saying no and that the baby is almost out. Ray retorts that his head could be entrapped as Preggers screams from a hard contraction. Coburn tells her to make a big push as Ray is spouting off how the difference between two minutes and five minutes of oxygen deprivation could mean the difference between a normal and brain-damaged baby. Coburn warningly says “Dr. Barnett!” He ignores her imploring Preggers to consent to the c-section. Preggers looks torn and doesn’t know what to do.

After commercial, Preggers is yelling about how she is really trying. Ray enlightens her that the head is stuck and they need to use forceps. Coburn shouts to sling a towel under the baby’s body and shows Ray how to hold him up. A disembodied voice says to open an intubation tray. Coburn’s got the forceps in and tells Preggers to push. She gives the stereotypical mother-in-labor yell and they pull the baby out. From the angle of this closeup, you can tell that Shane West’s bottom row of teeth are really crooked. The baby is cyanotic. Ray begs the baby to give them “just one little cry”. Coburn says he needs a little stimulation and hands the baby to the pediatrician. They have to intubate the baby and Ray stares disgustedly at Preggers as he starts compressions. Preggers ask Coburn to tell Mr. and Mrs. Toni that the baby is out. Coburn gives a slight nod and looks away. Preggers asks Ray how the baby is and Ray snidely replies that he doesn’t have pulse and isn’t breathing “so what does that tell you?” Coburn says “that’s it” and kicks him out. Ray shoots her a look before snapping off his gloves and striding out. Preggers is trying to justify to Coburn that she thought she could do it. Sorry honey, but you should have listened to everyone. Coburn looks uncomfortable and can’t reassure her.

Pratt is in a high school hallway looking at a picture of four teenagers in a trophy case. I’m guessing one of them is Chaz. He walks into the gymnasium where the swim meet is happening. He gets there just in time for the starting gun and watches as his brother takes off in the water.

Ray asks Mr. and Mrs. Toni if they’ve been in to see their baby, but they haven’t because they are still doing tests on him. Mr. Toni bitches that it’s been over an hour, and Ray admits it was a hard delivery. Mrs. Toni wants to know what they aren’t being told. Ray has such a bad poker face. He better not ever play Abby because didn’t she win the Celebrity Poker Showdown? Ray levels with them that the baby was deprived of oxygen during delivery. Mr. and Mrs. Toni are taken aback and want Ray to assure them that the baby will be alright. Ray cautiously replies that they’ll know more in a few days, but admits there’s a good chance that he suffered neurological damage. Mr. Toni wants to know “did he or didn’t he?” Ray thinks he probably did. Mr. and Mrs. Toni start crying. Then Mr. Toni wants to leave, but Mrs. Toni doesn’t want to leave without their son. Ray tells him that the pediatrician will come talk to them and give them more answers, but Mr. Toni thinks that Ray has given them the answers already. I had some sympathy for Mr. Toni until he said this “We didn’t pay to have a brain dead baby”. Ray stresses that the baby is not brain dead. But Mr. Toni shouts “He’s not normal. Which he would have been if you had done the c-section!” Ray has no answer to this because Mr. Toni is basically right, although there is no guarantee that the baby would have been perfectly fine either way. Mr. Toni walks away. Mrs. Toni looks at Ray and says that they were going to call the baby David, after Mr. Toni’s father. Ray tells her they still can. She seems so sad, but leaves when Mr. Toni calls for her. Ray can’t believe they are actually leaving. Neither can I. They totally suck.

Liam is finally being transferred to PICU. As Inez pushes his gurney past Admit, Abby asks him how he’s feeling. One of his friends is with him. Liam says “cruddy”. Abby tells him his parents are on their way and that they were very worried about him. She says she’ll send them up to see him when they get there. She tells him he’ll like it up there because they have video games. Do they have Ms. PacMan? That’s the only one I ever liked. Liam looks around a bit, then tells Abby that his friend thinks she’s a MILF, as the friend hits him and tells him to shut up. Abby’s all “excuse me?” Liam responds that it’s a “mother I’d like to ….” Abby cuts him off with “ah, well, I’m not a mother. I’m a doctor.” Liam says he guesses that makes her a DILF. Hee. Abby’s like “okay then, see you later, Liam”. She tells him to stay on his diet and wear his Medic Alert bracelet.

Abby walks over to the board, looks around, tears down Jake’s postcard and rips it up. Neela catches her and smirks “am I supposed to pretend I didn’t see that?” Abby plays all innocent “see what?” so Neela plays along with “okay”. Abby gripes that she doesn’t hear from him but he sends the ER a postcard? Neela straight-faced reminds her that “she practically chased him out of town with a torch”. Interesting image that conjures up because Jake WAS kind of hairy and all.

Morris comes up looking for Pratt, but Abby tells him he left. Morris thinks it must be nice to work banker’s hours. My bank is open until 8 pm and on Sundays, so I don’t think there is any such thing anymore. Morris goes through Neela’s charts and finds some things wrong. As he spouts them off and hands them back to her, Neela shoots a look at Abby, and then unblinkingly glares at Morris. On her last chart, Morris tells her it looks good, she just needs to write down the CBC and Chem 20 results, and she retorts that the lab slips are on the back of the chart. Morris tells her it’s not good enough and she needs to transcribe them on the H&P. Neela wants to know since when. Morris replies “there’s a new sheriff in town, ladies”. Ugh. Abby just stares at him. He wants to see her charts to see if she can do better than “one for four”. She says she doesn’t need him to sign off on them. He counters that she told him she had stuff for him to sign and she answers “that was Neela”. He points to the desk and asks “aren’t those your charts?” as Abby steps in front of them blocking his view. Clemons comes up and asks if someone can show her something. Neela wants to know where Ray is, and Clemons says he never came back down from Labor and Delivery. Neela sarcastically replies that he probably stayed upstairs to hit on one of the OB nurses, as Abby hides her charts behind her back and tells Clemons she’ll help her. She switches them in front of her as she walks by Morris who is just as clueless as ever. Can I just tell you how much Maura Tierney cracked me up this episode. She has great comedic timing and they really should use that more.

Ray is in the NICU sitting with the baby. Coburn comes in and asks how his muscle tone is. Ray sadly replies that it’s not too good. Shane West actually delivered that line as if he had a lump in his throat. Coburn wants to know if he’s overbreathing the vent, but Ray shakes his head no. Coburn pronounces “hypoxic brain injury. The chance for complete neurological recovery is slim.” That’s so sad. She asks if the mother has been in to see him. Ray quietly says no, that Preggers doesn’t consider him her child and Mr. and Mrs. Toni don’t want a “ventilator baby”. Coburn sympathetically tells Ray there is nothing else he can do for the baby. Ray replies “Little guy has had a rough day. And I don’t think he should spend his first night all alone”. Coburn gives him a knowing look and leaves as the camera pulls back. Well done.

Pratt is waiting near the empty bleachers as Chaz comes out of the locker room. He calls him over. Pratt congratulates him on a good race. Chaz thanks him. Pratt tells him his name is Greg. Chaz says he remembers him from when he showed up at the house. Pratt wants to know if Mister said anything about him, but Chaz says no. Pratt scoffs, “he didn’t?” Chaz wants to know if Pratt wants to meet up with him, because Mister is still there, but Pratt tells him that he wanted to talk to him and explains that he is his half-brother. Chaz is like “yeah, right” but Pratt insists it’s true and is surprised Mister didn’t tell him. Chaz said he had heard family rumors, then runs his hand through his hair and says “wow, this is trippy”. Another expression I thought had died with the ‘70’s. Chaz shakes Pratt’s hand and tells him it’s good to meet him. Mister walks up then and is surprised to see Pratt. Mister states the obvious “I see you two have met”, but is glad. He invites Pratt to dinner with them, but Pratt begs off. Mrs. Mister and Sister Mister come over and Mister introduces them to Pratt as Evelyn and Jocelyn. The way Mrs. Mister is looking at Pratt, she’s figured out who he is. Mister then tells them “this is Greg, my son”. Sister Mister is stunned, but Mrs. Mister says it’s nice to meet him, to which Pratt responds “likewise”. Mister asks him again to join them, but Pratt says he has to get back to the hospital. As he leaves, Mister catches up with him and says how hard it is on all of them but tells Pratt they are his family and wants him to give it a chance. Pratt shakes his head and in a broken voice says “no, this is your family” and walks away.

Luka comes home to the batcave, I mean his apartment, and calls for Sam. There is no answer. Luka must have bat vision because he doesn’t’ turn on any lights and is still able to maneuver around the moving boxes that are all over the place. He goes to the fridge and grabs a beer. Walking over to the sofa, he picks up the toy he stepped on earlier. He sits down and contemplates the toy for a minute before putting in the box next to him marked “Alex’s toys”.

I hope Laura Innes directs more this season. As much as I miss seeing Kerry Weaver on screen, she really is a great director. I thought this whole episode was very well done.


At 3:01 PM, October 05, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great recap. My fave part was: "Abby whines that he doesn’t like her. Pratt assures her that everyone likes her. Obviously Pratt does not read any of the ER boards or he would know that this is not true."

At 8:09 AM, October 07, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Thanks!! )))

At 8:09 PM, October 09, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice! Are you going to recap A Man with No Name?

At 10:39 PM, October 15, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really like your recaps. They're much funnier and less bitchy than the ones at twop.

At 10:45 AM, November 23, 2005, Anonymous Faith said...

"Abby whines that he doesn’t like her. Pratt assures her that everyone likes her. Obviously Pratt does not read any of the ER boards or he would know that this is not true." can I say that I just cracked up at that? lol, Ilove Abby but I am perfectly aware of th whole Abby-hate movement goping on on th boards-

this recaps are awesome, they have this sort of TWoP vibe, only, idk, less stressed out I guess...

At 9:17 AM, January 17, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was great, as was the last one.

Though the banker comment remains true for me, my bank is closed all Sunday and by 11a.m. every other day.

At 1:36 PM, January 20, 2006, Anonymous Ollie said...

I miss Susan's hair too. Great cap.

At 1:55 AM, January 29, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Maura Tierney does have great comedic timing! And we know that the great scene between Abby and Luka was some great foreshadowing! "Your ankle may be broken, and you're a bitch"! LMAO!

At 3:50 PM, November 10, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that Shane West did really good in this episode, they are making him more grown up...good! I liked him anyway


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