Wednesday, January 18, 2006

ER 12.12 Split Decisions

Previously on ER: The Teller-look-alike father of Ray’s Lolita ex-girlfriend warns him that if Ray ever goes near his daughter again, he’ll kill him; Ray tells Lolita, aka Zoe, aka girl who looks like a young Liv Tyler that he really meant it when he said they couldn’t see each other anymore, she protests that just because her dad’s a jerk doesn’t mean they can’t keep it going and he points to the bruises on his face and tells her that he got his ass kicked once; Neela married Gallant, aka Plank and tells Abby that she and “Michael” love each other and want to be together and that his tour of duty is over and Abby asks what if he gets stationed in Romania, to which Neela replies that he’s hoping to finish his training in a stateside army hospital; Ray asked Weaver for a few weeks off because his band got a recording deal; Weaver accepted Ray’s resignation, even though he didn’t mean to give it; Ray’s bandmates decided that they needed to make “a few changes”; Abby told Luka that she wants them to have this baby, and he held her hand as they sat on a park bench in the freezing cold.

Abby is handing off charts to Luka and updating him on the status of patients, telling him that their ice fishermen are on nebs and waiting for a respiratory therapist, the morgue picked up the nun, and their puking party boy went home with a liter of saline, a Compazine suppository and two very angry parents. Yeah, I’d be angry too if I had to administer a suppository to my stupid, drunk kid. Constipated, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son. She wipes names off the Board as Luka asks her about the post-op cellulitis. She tells him “surgical floor” and that “Lucien was feeling generous”, as Dubenko chimes in that Abby threatened to hurt him. Hee. Abby walks away as Weaver comes up and Luka asks her if she sees that the overnight shift has no pass-ons. Weaver awards gold stars all around as Luka informs her that they also have no Attending for the day shift because Clemente, aka John Leguizamo, aka Chi-Chi Rodriguez from To Wong Foo hasn’t shown up yet and can’t be reached. Weaver doesn’t really care and tells him that it’s a problem for the Chief of the ER and that’s him. Duh, Luka. Luka hems and haws, asking if she can cover until Chi-Chi shows up. Way to take charge of your department and show your boss how on top of everything you are. When are you going to display your clever Croatian competence? I’ve cut you some slack for the past couple of weeks, but you really do need to step up now. Weaver says she can’t because she has physical therapy upstairs and she’s supposed to stay off her feet until then, and then afterwards she is out of there. She is moving a bit more slowly than usual. Dubenko, working on the computer, says that he can stay for a few minutes if Luka has to leave. Luka thanks him and quickly drops his charts next to Dubenko and hightails it out of there. Luka is a little too anxious to leave, and since Abby is off also and his hair looks even shorter than last episode, I’m guessing they’ve been playing Hair Salon again and were interrupted before, because Abby’s hair is once again a mess, and he’s eager to get back to his role as Shampoo Boy. Weaver says “there you go” and starts walking down the hall, passing Ray, who is hunching his shoulders while drinking coffee and holding a chart up close to his face, obviously hoping she won’t spot him. Weaver stops him and asks what the hell he is doing there. With his back to her he says “Uh, working”. Weaver thinks he quit. Ray turns around and looks at her puzzled and says that he didn’t. Weaver says he did and doesn’t he remember giving her the ultimatum that he needed time off to cut his album or he’d quit. Ray laughs and glances over at Dubenko, who’s watching with mild interest, and tells Weaver that he has no idea what she is talking about. Weaver scowls out him and says in a doesn’t-this-ring-a-bell tone, “Your band? Skunk Hollow?”, which always cracks me up because that’s the name of a park not too far from where I live. Ray acts innocent and says he’s sorry but corrects her that he is not in a band. Weaver gives him a “what the hell are you talking about” look as he continues that she was pretty doped up the last time they talked and that maybe she was just “tripping a little bit”, because Weaver’s been known to turn on tune in drop out, wear tie-dye and bell-bottoms, drop acid and listen to Jefferson Airplane. Weaver shakes her head, frowns and says “I don’t trip”. Well, then how did you come to fall in the ambulance bay last week then, Kerry? Ray gives her a patronizing “Well, if you say so” and turns towards Dubenko. Weaver doesn’t move from where she’s standing and just stares at him. Without looking and feigning nonchalance, Ray asks Dubenko if she’s coming. Dubenko says no. Ray asks if she is watching him and Dubenko says “oh yeah”. Hee. Ray waits a few seconds and asks again, but Dubenko lets him know that Weaver is still there. She finally turns to go down the hall, and Dubenko informs Ray that she’s leaving. Ray turns to look as Weaver looks back, and Ray turns quickly away. Weaver continues walking. Amusing scene.

Neela walks up to Admit. Dubenko congratulates her and says that she must have impressed his Chief Resident, Albright, aka Snotty Surgeon. Neela doesn’t know what he’s talking about and he informs her that she’s been accepted into the surgical elective. Neela is all excited and profusely thanks him. It’s cute. He smiles and tells her that he hopes she feels the same in three weeks. She says that she’ll certainly try and that she is going to go find Plank. She walks away and Ray goes with her asking if she and “Mikey” are going to get their own place now. Neela corrects him “Michael”, and you’d better not let Plank hear you calling him “Mikey”, Ray, or he’ll lay the smack down on you like he did to Pratt for calling him that in “Walk Like A Man”. She assures Ray that they will be out of his hair soon enough and that they are looking for a place this afternoon. Inez comes up and asks Ray if he knows a girl named Zoe Butler. Ray says “no”, Neela elbows him, and he corrects without looking at her “maybe”. Hee. Inez tells him that she is there looking for him and she’s in Exam Two. Neela smirks at Ray and walks off as he exhales disgustedly and goes over to the exam room. He opens the doors bitching and asking what she’s doing there, he told her not to come there and she knows he can’t see her as a doctor or anything else. Liv is lying on the bed with her back to him so that he can’t see what we do, that her face is cut and bruised – she has obviously been beaten up. She’s got a broken face, uh huh, uh huh. Though the make-up job is terrible and it looks more like kid’s cheap rub-on tattoos then actual contusions. She turns over to face him and he looks at her shocked.

After Opening Credits, Ray is examining Liv’s face and says he’s sorry when he hits a particularly sensitive spot. Inez comes in carrying x-rays. Ray tells Liv that she has some bruising, but at least her eye socket isn’t fractured. Thank God, because after Abby’s and Jake’s patient last year, I don’t need to see another protruding eyeball on this show again … ever. And it’s a good thing it’s not, too, because Luka and Abby aren’t there to MacGuyver the popping eyeball back in with a paper clip. Inez tells him that the arm films are back, and he thanks her. Ray tells Liv that he’ll clean up the cuts on her face and then he’ll stitch her up. She wants to know if she’ll have scars, but he thinks there will be a little discoloration that will fade with time. He shows Liv the x-ray telling her that it looks like she broke her ulna and that they call it a “nightstick fracture”, which is usually caused when someone is trying to protect themselves. He asks her what really happened. She says that she told him, she fell. She was running to catch the bus and she tripped on the curb. Yeah, I buy that, Liv. Fall on your face in those bad shoes. Not only did you manage to trip and fall simultaneously on both your arm and your face, but you also succeeded in making the bruises look suspiciously like the side of beef that Sylvester Stallone pounded in Rocky. He looks at her skeptically and she assures him that it’s true. He says that he’ll call Teller to let him know that she’s there. He goes to walk out and she stops him, saying not to call him. Ray wants to know why not. Liv gets filled up and can’t answer. Ray tells her that she has to talk to him. She finally tells him that Teller is the one who did this to her.

KJ the Volunteen walks into an exam room and calling Morris “Dr. M”, tells him that he has his breakfast and picked up his “threads”. Morris says “thanks, dude” and asks if they got the chocolate sauce off the tux shirt, because apparently Dairy Queen has gone upscale. Volunteen doesn’t know, but hands him a bag with the magazines he asked for as Pratt walks in and asks “what the hell do you think you’re doing?” Volunteen wants to know if Pratt is talking to him and Pratt says he talking to both of them. He reminds Volunteen that he is working as a volunteer in the hospital and not as Morris’ personal assistant. Volunteen protests that he was just about to … as Pratt cuts him off that he was “just about to give me some lame ass excuse and I don’t want to hear it”. He tells Volunteen to get his butt over to Admit and check-in with Jerry. Volunteen leaves and Morris tells Pratt that he’s a good kid and asks Pratt if he wants a bagel. Pratt warns Morris to stop using Volunteen as his personal valet, buying his lunch and his dirty magazines. Pratt pulls on Morris’ paper bag and it rips. The magazines spill to the floor and they don’t look like porn mags, but women’s magazines like Glamour. Hee. Guess Morris wants to know what lipstick and nail colors are right for a formal evening at DQ. And it’s January, so Cosmo’s 2006 Bedside Astrologer is out this month and he wants to see what his best “Love Days” are. Pratt looks at Morris, scoffs, and walks out. Morris lays his dry cleaning on the bed and asks an orderly if he can pick everything up and put it in the doctor’s lounge for him, as he chases after Pratt.

Morris catches up with Pratt in the hallway and tells him that he needs some advice. Pratt tells him to stop smoking dope and slow down on the porn. Morris says “serious” and Pratt assures him that he is serious. Morris tells him that he has a date with a girl named Tamara and they met online. Tamara? Are you sure it’s not Lafawnduh? And where online? eHarmony? Yahoo Personals? N’Sync Forever message board? Pratt shoots him a look and Morris tells him “No, it’s not like that.” He tells Pratt that this girl is smart, beautiful, funny … black … Pratt rolls his eyes, so Morris backtracks “sorry, African-American”. He goes on to tell Pratt that he’s never dated “a sister before”. I should hope not Morris, since inbreeding is not only disgusting, but the first rule of genetics: spread the genes apart. It doesn’t seem to have worked out too well for the Royal Family, because it’s a bad idea when cousins marry. And for the love of God, could he be any more offensive? Pratt tells him “please don’t say that” and Morris, not getting it, says “what, sister?” Penny the med student comes running up to Pratt and asks if he was looking for her. He tells her he was and to relax, and he just heard that a good teaching case came in, that’s all. She’s a little too over-eager. Like a Jack Russell terrier. Annoying. They start to walk away and Morris yells to him asking if Pratt’s going to help him out or not. Pratt tells him that he needs professional help, and I’ve never agreed with you more, Greg. Penny is still a little flustered and Pratt asks her “you sure you’re going to be alright?”

Liv tells Ray that she and Teller got into a fight a few days ago and that he sailed away on a wave of mutilation and hit her, so she took off. Ray shakes his head and is silently bitching, either that or he is reading her chart and hasn’t learned to do so without moving his lips. She tells him that she was staying at her friend Laura’s house and Teller was waiting for her outside her school and he made her go back home, then he did this to her. She says that it’s not the first time. Ray’s expression says that he is either a little shocked by this or the burrito he had for lunch is repeating. That’s the beauty of Shane West’s “acting”, it can so easily be mistaken for reactions to bodily emissions. He wants to know if there is anyone else he can call, like an aunt or an uncle or something. Liv says no so he asks about her sister, but Liv says that she lives in San Francisco, though Teller doesn’t know. Liv swore she would never tell him where her sister is. As Ray starts to irrigate the wounds, Liv tells him that Teller beat her sister so badly one time, she missed her midterms, which I would think would be a good thing. Except for the beating part. Liv thinks there is something really wrong with him. No, really, Liv? What was your first clue? The bloody pulp he made of your face? Your broken arm? The dweebie pseudo John Lennon eyeglasses he wears? Personally, I’ll love him forever for putting the smack down on Ray, but that’s just me and I guess I’m just that easy to please. Ray gives her the “duh” look that I’m sure I’m sporting l also, though his could just be gas, as she continues that she doesn’t think Teller can help himself. Ray doesn’t think he’ll be beating anyone else up once the cops get through with him. Liv’s upset and tells Ray that he can’t call the police and that she came there because she knew that he wouldn’t. Ray tells her condescendingly “he assaulted you, Zoe”. Even though one-celled organisms could probably outscore her on an IQ test, I’m pretty sure even she can remember his fists making contact with her face, Ray. Your head will collapse if there’s nothing in it, Liv. He tells her that he has to call the police. She protests that he doesn’t and it just makes it worse. Liv says that she called the police once and they didn’t arrest Teller and that it just made him madder. Ray tells her to trust him, they’ll arrest Teller this time. Liv wants to know what happens when Teller gets out and that he’ll come looking for her. She then asks if she can move in with him … and Neela … and Plank. He just stares at her as she tells him that she has nowhere else to go. Isn’t she a minor? Isn’t this a Social Services issue? Is Wendall still around? Or did the hospital dump her when Carter did? Does anyone even care about this storyline?

Morris walks in to Trauma Yellow as Sam and Dubenko are treating an elderly lady. Morris tells Dubenko that they have an open fracture in Four, some sort of parasitic infection in One, and a foreign body inhalation that looks like a roach clip. Don’t you know that you’re not supposed to really inhale, Moron Patient, just in case you ever want to run for President? Neither confirm nor deny. Dubenko tells him that he’s a little busy here, although he’s really not as he’s just listening to Elderly Lady’s chest. Morris says that they are a lot backed up out there, because they all forgot to eat their oat bran this morning. Morris thinks it’s only going to get worse unless Dubenko starts signing off on his and half a dozen other discharges that are waiting for his “John Hancock”, which would really sound kinky if I weren’t up on my Declaration of Independence signers. Dubenko gives him a “chill, baby baby, chill baby baby, chill” look and says he’ll be there in a minute. As Morris walks out Pratt walks in, looks at him and just says “no”. Hee. Penny is with him. Sam holds up a specimen container and tells Dubenko that the “urine looks like pea soup”. Thanks, Sam. I so needed to know that. Though I think you must be color blind because pea soup is green and that color is definitely more of a goldenrod. Dubenko says “bingo”, because he likes to make ‘em laugh, make ‘em cry, make ‘em dance in the aisles, make ‘em pay, make ‘em stay, make ‘em feel okay, and tells her to send up a culture. Pratt tells Dubenko that he thought he had a good one for Penny. Dubenko says “urosepsis” and Penny asks what the antibiotic of choice is. Dubenko says “levaquin” as Pratt says “ceftriaxone”. Sam looks over as Dubenko concedes, “okay, fine. In vitro ceftriaxone might give you a slightly better gram-negative coverage” as Pratt gives him an “uh huh. That’s what I’m talkin’ ‘bout” look. Sam says that she’ll mix up a gram, and I hope she’s talking about the antibiotic because “mixing up a gram” on the job is hardly appropriate, Sam. Like your hair. Which is in a ‘40’s Hollywood starlet straight ‘do, that is kind of flattering, but inappropriate for trauma, as it should be pulled back and not threatening to get in the way of procedures. Pratt asks Elderly Lady how she’s doing, but there’s no response. Sam chimes in that she had a subarachnoid three years ago, and I was about to ask what her pet spider had to do with this until Google told me it means “brain hemorrhage”. Oh, sorry, Elderly Lady, cause that kind of sucks. Penny unnecessary asks “so this is her baseline?” and Sam says that it is. Dubenko asks Penny what she knows about early goal-directed therapy of sepsis. Pratt shoots him a look as Penny explains that it attempts to balance oxygen delivery with oxygen demand. Dubenko continues that it decrease mortality through a multi-pronged approach as Penny nods and takes notes. Pratt doesn’t think that Elderly Lady seems like a candidate for aggressive therapy. Dubenko thinks they need to review her chart and talk to her primary physician. Pratt does his patented eye-roll without really eye-rolling, as Dubenko asks Penny that if they were to pursue goal-directed therapy, where would they start? Penny chirpily replies “get her BP up”, and Dubenko tells her she’s right, but that’s the tip of the iceberg and that they want her MAP over 65, the CVP over 10, urine output over 5cc’s an hour, O2 sat about 93, the crit above 30, and most importantly, the SVC 02 above 70. I have absolutely no idea what he’s talking about, but apparently Pratt and Sam do because they shoot him “you have got to be kidding me” looks. Sam tells him that he’ll need a central line for that as she and Pratt exchange another look. Dubenko says yes and with a special oxygen-sensing tip. Pratt tells him to hold up because she could be a DNR for all they know and tells Dubenko to look at her. Dubenko wants to know what Pratt is suggesting. Pratt is suggesting that they treat Elderly Lady conservatively, give her a couple of liters of saline, antibiotics, and oxygen and see how she does. Dubenko replies “well, okay, fine”, then adds dopamine for pressure support. Pratt scoffs “c’mon, dopamine?” Dubenko reasserts “dopamine, low dose”. Pratt says that he is going to see if he can pull an old chart as Sam shoots Dubenko another look. Pratt tells Penny that she doesn’t have to stay there for this. Sam pipes up, “Does that go for me, too?” Hee.

Abby and Luka are sleeping in bed in his apartment, facing in opposite directions. Both are clothed, so it must be Monday, because a lot of hair salons are closed then. Abby’s slippers, which look like the Land’s End fleece clog ones that I have, are lying on the floor on her side. And what looks like a baby magazine, with her glasses resting on it, is on the nightstand next to her. She’s restless and turns over towards him, jostling the bed. He opens his eyes slightly, irritated at the disruption of his sleep. Abby keeps tossing and turning and finally asks if he’s awake. Not opening his eyes, he says quietly and a bit annoyed, “barely”. She complains that she can’t sleep. In the same can’t-you-see-I-don’t-want-to-be-awake-bitch voice he replies “difficult to sleep when you talk”. Hee. She says that she keeps thinking about stuff. He tells her so stop thinking about stuff. She turns over again towards him and starts poking at and tapping him on the shoulder. Hee. I so do that to my husband, too. He ignores her so she asks “Don’t you want to know what I’m thinking about?” Realizing that it’s a losing battle and she is not going to shut up, he sighs, and when she prods “hmm?” says “uh huh, yeah” and turns over onto his back, without opening his eyes. Trying to get comfortable on the pillow, she looks over at him, then looking at the ceiling she tells him that she is thinking about what everybody’s going to say when they find out. Again, not opening his eyes, he says that he thinks they’ll be happy for her. Still looking up she gestures her hand towards him and corrects “us”, and he agrees “mm hmm”. Interesting that Abby is the one this time who corrects his saying “you” with “us”, when he did that constantly to her in the last episode. Abby says that she doesn’t think they should tell anybody for a couple of weeks. Luka opens his eyes and looks around a little, and says a bit sheepishly “uh, I might have mentioned something to my father”. Abby lifts her head and looks at him saying “you might have mentioned something to your father???” Luka, with his eyes closed again, sleepily affirms “he’s in Croatia. Who’s he going to tell?” Then he pointedly asks her “Did you mention something to your mother?”, in a tone that I recognize as one my husband uses. Hee. Abby looks quickly over at him and exclaims “Oh, God, no. I need to build up to that one. I’d like to wait until at least he’s in high school”. Hee. Luka asks “he?” and she replies “or she. Except I gotta think I’d be better with a boy because the mother-daughter dynamic really just scares the hell out of me”. Considering your mother, I’m with you on that, Abby. And Luka is just staring at the ceiling with the total I’m-not-really-listening-to-you-because-you-are-rambling-and-can’t-you-just- shut-it-because-I-really-just-want-to-go-back-to-sleep look. I am totally cracking up at this scene, because I identify with a lot of this. They remind me of a married couple. And instant karma’s gonna get you because you so just jinxed yourself with that comment, Abby. First rule of Fetus Club, never talk about gender preference. Now you are definitely going to have a girl. Luka looks like he has a realization and with a dreamy look on his face says out loud “we’re going to have a baby”. Abby turns towards him and says “I know” and then adds in a can-you-believe-it tone “it’s so crazy”. Luka lifts his eyebrows at her and gives her a huge smile. Awww. Bitch. Then Luka starts laughing like Beavis and Butthead. Huh huh, huh huh huh. Hee. Abby sits up and he asks her where she’s going. She tells him that she can’t sleep. He says that she should sleep because she needs her rest. She says that she’s too wired. Then she whines a little that she wants something to eat. Luka wrongly replies “Again???” Uh oh, Luka. Never a good thing to say to a pregnant woman. Instead of taking the opportunity to give him a much-needed spanking, like I so would have, Abby shows restraint and protests, “Just something little. Like a Pop Tart”, and I’m so with you on the Pop-Tart love, Abby, especially the S’mores flavor. Luka tells her “No. No more Pop-Tarts”. Never thought the word “Pop-Tart” could sound so sexy. And even though I know he’s objecting because they are not exactly the healthiest snack, I would have to keep eating them constantly just to hear him say that word. He stretches, trying to wake up and stammers that he’ll get her something, he’ll make her some breakfast or something. Awww. He really is perfect. And, bitch. She sits up straighter, bouncing the bed and pouting a little, looking just like my six year olds when I won’t get up when they want me to, staring at him impatiently and expectantly. He rolls his eyes and, stretching some more, reluctantly complies, “okay, I’m coming … I’m coming”. Very funny scene, and nice to see a bit of light-heartedness with these two after last week’s uber-angst.

Sam says “Sat’s 91 on five liters” as Dubenko listens to Elderly Lady’s chest and says to change to 100% non re-breather. Penny wants to know at what point they would intubate as Ray walks in and asks where Chi-Chi is. Dubenko thinks that’s a good question. Sam says that Chi-Chi hasn’t shown up. Ray wants to know who the Attending is. Sam points at Dubenko and says “you’re looking at him”. Dubenko asks what Ray wants as Ray raises his eyebrows. Ray tells him that he has a battered teen who doesn’t want him to call the cops on her abusive father. Dubenko tells him to call Social Work, but Ray doesn’t think that’s a good idea either. Dubenko tells him that reporting is mandatory. Ray purses his lips as Inez comes in telling Dubenko that “migraine mom is banging her head against the wall” and though I so feel your pain, Migraine Mom, I really have to think that would just make your head hurt worse. Inez continues “the Alzheimer Lady is missing”, and why am I not surprised that this hospital “lost” another patient? Idiots. Inez continues that there is a homeless guy in triage who puked up something that looks like a human finger. Yuck. And thanks, Inez, I was wondering what had happened to it. Behind Inez in the doorway is an old guy who I recognize as William H. Macy’s father-in-law, Wade, in Fargo. Inez tells Dubenko that Elderly Lady’s husband is there. Dubenko snaps off his gloves and says that he’ll be there in a minute. He asks if somebody could locate Chi-Chi. Sam says she’ll page him as Dubenko goes out into the hall.

Dubenko goes up to Wade and introduces himself. Wade asks how she’s doing. Dubenko tells him “not so good”, and asks how long she’s been like that. Wade tells him that it’s been almost three years now. Wasn’t Dubenko paying attention when Sam told them this earlier? Considering his fascination with the minutiae and mundane, I would think he would have absorbed this. Annoying. Wade explains that they were on the Amalfi Coast in Italy and she got a bad headache. Wade thought it was too much wine, which is perfectly is understandable because there are some kick-ass wines from that region, but by the time they found a hospital … Oh, I’m sorry, Wade. That really sucks. I hope you got to visit Ravello, or at the very least Positano, before she became a veg. Wade says that Elderly Lady couldn’t talk or move and that she bled into her brain from an aneurysm. Dubenko nods and says “subarachnoid hemorrhage”. Wade thought that when they got her to the hospital she’d be all right, but she never woke up. Dubenko wants to know if she ever opens her eyes and looks at Wade. Wade says she doesn’t, but that she knows he’s there. Wade is really bumming me out because he’s a very good actor and you can feel his sorrow. Wade thinks it’s a shame because Elderly Lady has beautiful blue eyes. He tells Dubenko that it’s what got him the first time and that she had caught him staring at her in math class, and he and Dubenko share a smile. Dubenko tells Wade that he and his wife have known each other a long time. Wade smiles and says that they started dating in ’49 and their 52nd wedding anniversary is coming up in March. 52nd? Wow. I know the traditional gift for the First Year is paper, 10th is tin, 25th is silver, 50th is gold, but what’s 52nd? Wheelchair? Walker? Orthopedic shoes? Dubenko congratulates him. Wade, trying not to cry, tells Dubenko that he knows Elderly Lady is sick, but he’s not ready to lose her. Dubenko, looking uncomfortable, tells him that he understands and that they’ll do everything they can. Dubenko is very compassionate here, which is a nice change from the stereotypical arrogance that this show usually attributes to surgeons. Wade, teary-eyed, thanks him.

Dubenko goes back into Trauma Yellow and asks if there is any word on Chi-Chi. Sam tells him that the “dude’s a no-show”. What is it with all the dude-ing in this episode? We’re not in Southern California people so let’s keep the surfer-speak to a minimum, okay? Dubenko orders a cordis introducer, an art line, and to type and cross for four units. Sam stares at him incredulously and says “Excuse me?” Dubenko starts to repeat the orders, but Sam tells him that she heard them, she just wants to know if he’s sure he wants to do that. Dubenko replies that they are pursuing early goal-directed therapy for sepsis. He asks Penny if she’s ever put in a subclavian line as Penny irritatingly gets all excited and says that she’d like to learn. She really needs to be smacked. Dubenko tells her to “prep the collar bone” and they’ll “do it together”, which sounds a little lewd, especially considering Dubenko’s idea of a good pick-up line is talking about penile dysfunction. He asks Sam for “number 8 gloves” as she tells him that he might want to run this by Pratt. Dubenko dismisses this by saying that Attendings don’t generally run things by Residents, as we see Pratt watching through the door from Trauma Green. Sam thinks that Dubenko isn’t generally an ER Attending. Sam is not being snotty or disrespectful here. She seems genuinely concerned that Dubenko may be making a mistake in his treatment because he’s not used to the way they do things in the ER. Dubenko ignores her as he tells Penny that she needs to identify the junction of the median and the middle third of the clavicle. Pratt walks in and asks how Elderly Lady’s pressure is. He asks Dubenko “what the hell are you doing?” Dubenko informs him that they are putting in a subclavian line. He orders to call the ICU for an SCV 02 catheter. Pratt thought they agreed not to do any invasive procedures. Dubenko inclines his head towards the hallway and tells Pratt that’s her husband out there, as Wade watches all of this, worried. Pratt tells Dubenko that he knows he’s a surgeon and they like to cut and paste everything back together again. So do my six year olds, so what’s your point, Pratt? He thinks that sometimes the best thing for a patient is not what they do, but what they don’t do. Dubenko informs him that Elderly Lady is not a DNR and Wade wants everything. Pratt asks if he explained to Wade that she is never going to get better, that she has no quality of life, and that this bacterial infection may be Mother Nature’s way of saying that it is time to let go. Dubenko, who has been ignoring him, looks up but doesn’t say anything. Pratt scoffs and shakes his head.

After commercial, Ray is stitching up a cut over Liv’s eye. A female cop is there asking Liv questions. Female Cop wants to know if Teller used anything to hit her with, but Liv says that he just uses his fists. Female Cop asks if Teller at any point threatened to kill her. Liv looks around a little and then says maybe … she doesn’t really remember. Liv is acting a little strange here. Is she lying about all this? I would think you’d kind of remember if someone told you they were going to kill you, but maybe that’s just me since I have a real aversion to you know, dying. Female Cop says that she is going to take a couple of Polaroids of Liv’s injuries, and aren’t you supposed to do that before she’s been cleaned and stitched up, Female Cop? Annoying. The door opens and Liz Dade, Social Worker, who was previously in the “Dream House” episode talking to Chaz, Pratt’s half brother, comes in. And what ever happened to him anyway? I guess since that storyline ended, we’re just supposed to forget about him … and Mister … and Mrs. Mister … and Sister Mister. Again, annoying. And I just realize that Liz looks a lot like the Snapple Lady. She introduces herself to Liv, who gets a little freaked out. Ray tells Snapple Lady that he didn’t call her. Snapple Lady tells him that Dubenko said he needed a hand. Ray gets pissy and says that Dr. Dubenko is a surgical attending who belongs in the OR. I’m probably wrong, but I thought Dubenko wasn’t just an Attending, but was Chief of Surgery. And wouldn’t he be needed up there? Does he really have that kind of time that he can hang out in the ER? And where is Chi-Chi? Are they going to explain? If Chi-Chi really didn’t show up, wouldn’t they call Luka back, seeing as he is in charge of the department and all? Dubenko’s not a “per diem” doctor like Benton was back in the “Flight of Fancy” episode where he had this exact same fish-out-of-water storyline, only it was Luka who hadn’t shown up for his scheduled shift that time, so why would Dubenko have to stay there? Wonder if we’ll ever get answers to these and other burning questions, or whether we will as usual just be expected to forget it by next episode. Ray tells Liv that he’ll be right back as he leads Snapple Lady out of the room.

Snapple Lady wants to know if Liv’s boyfriend did that, but Ray corrects that it was her father. Snapple Lady asks “sexual?”, but Ray says no. How do you know, Ray? Did you even ask Liv? Though don’t, okay, ‘cause like Morris dating a sister, I really don’t need to know about the incest. Ray tells Snapple Lady that he has this covered for now. Snapple Lady asks if Liv has any other family, and Ray responds that he is working on it. Snapple Lady thinks that if he can’t find anyone, she’ll have to place Liv in a group home. Ray gets all indignant and says “What? They’re nightmares.” She says that it is just until foster custody can be secured. Ray wants to know what’s to stop Teller from finding Liv there. Snapple Lady condescendingly tells him that Liv is a minor and she has to go somewhere. Ray reminds her that he is working on it. She tells him to work fast, she is not leaving today until Liv is placed somewhere. Snapple Lady walks away as Female Cop comes up and tells Ray that she sent a squad car to Teller’s office and she’ll let him know once they get him. Ray thanks her.

Neela bitches “where have you been?” as Plank walks up to her in the ambulance bay. He explains that he watched The Weather Channel, sorted through the mail, cleaned some dishes, refilled the ice cube trays, which sounds like just the sort of thrilling day Plank would have … every day. And he’s shaved off the caterpillar that’s been residing above his lip for the past two seasons, which just makes him prettier. Thanks, Plank. Neela says that he’s lucky she’s in such a good mood. He kisses her and asks why that is and she happily tells him that she got the surgical elective. He asks if she’s kidding as she beams, all proud of herself. He says “wow, congratulations” and puts his arm around her, saying “my wife, the surgeon”. Neela smilingly informs him that he starts back next week as the new R2. Isn’t Gallant further along in his residency? And what happened to having to complete his training in an army hospital? Annoying. Plank looks at her, surprised. She tells him that Weaver told her this morning. Neela thinks they should go to the Ritz and celebrate with mimosas and lobster eggs benedict. With you on the mimosas, Neela, but not so sure about the lobster and eggs combo. Plank tells her that he will do her one better. He says how about they go out to dinner to celebrate tonight, and she goes home and gets some sleep, since they are supposed to go look at that apartment that afternoon. Neela says that she’s not tired. Is she pregnant, too? Don’t think they serve Pop-Tarts at the Ritz, Neela. Plank says that he promised his buddy Rogan that he would stop by and visit him at the hospital and he’ll be disappointed if Plank blows him off. I doubt that, Plank, because I’m sure you could just send a house plant in your place and Rogan wouldn’t know the difference. Neela thinks they can run up and see him before they leave. Plank corrects her that Rogan is at the VA Hospital and that he just got transferred from Walter Read and he hasn’t seen him since he left Iraq. Neela says that’s fine and she’ll go with him, she wants to meet his friend, and then they are going to go and celebrate.

A bald moon-faced bespectacled doctor is bitching at Pratt that he can’t believe they put in a central line and an art line to Elderly Lady. Pratt tells him not to look at him and Sam chimes in “or me”. Tired of having to keep explaining himself, Dubenko says shortly that he is just trying to give her the best chance of recovery. Moony wants to know if he read her chart and asks Pratt what her condition is. Pratt says “chronic vegetative state with no chance of meaningful recovery”. Dubenko says that she can’t go to the medicine floor with an art line. Moony bitchily tells him “so, pull it” and starts to head out. He turns around as he gets to the door and tells Pratt to do it. Pratt calls for iris scissors, but Dubenko tells him to wait. Moony says “I said pull it” and Dubenko argues “I said wait”. Moony forcefully tells Dubenko that Elderly Lady is not going upstairs, that they have limited resources in the ICU and they treat the sickest patients who have a chance for recovery. He continues that they don’t flog people who are going to die. Glad to hear it since I really don’t see what thrashing the terminal would accomplish, Moony. Moony says that they never have enough beds as it is. Dubenko says he’ll do it as Jerry comes in and says that the cops brought in some guy who’s asking for him.

In the hallway we see Volunteen’s dad, Darnell in handcuffs. Darnell spots Pratt and says “yo, Greg!” Pratt wants to know what he’s doing there and Darnell tells him that they said he ran a red, but it was yellow, which never works for me either, Darnell. A cop with a buzz-cut tells him that Darnell almost ran over a traffic cop and he smells like a brewery. Darnell protests that he told him, a bag of groceries fell off the front seat and some beer bottles broke and that he can’t get the smell out his floor mats. Yeah, that one didn’t work with my dad either, Darnell, as Buzz purses his lips disapprovingly and nods. Buzz wants Pratt to draw a blood alcohol for a suspected DUI. Darnell wants Pratt to talk to Buzz. Pratt tells Buzz that he can vouch for Darnell. Buzz thinks that great, but he doesn’t need Pratt to vouch for him, he needs him to draw a BA. Buzz’ police radio goes off then and he walks away to take the call, conveniently leaving Pratt and Darnell alone. Darnell asks Pratt if Volunteen is around because Darnell can’t let him see him like this. Pratt bitches that he should have thought about that before he started drinking and driving and asks him “what’s the matter with you?”, and if only we had the time to go into that, Pratt. Darnell swears that he only had two beers. He tells Pratt that if he doesn’t pass this, they’ll bust him, he’ll lose his license and his job. Darnell tells Pratt that he has to help him and that he’s been trying damn hard, for himself and for Volunteen. Pratt does the non-eyeroll and calls Inez over. He asks her to take Darnell and Buzz to the suture room for a blood draw. Inez leads them away as Pratt sighs. He walks over to Admit, where Morris is standing. He asks if he’s seen Volunteen. Morris wants to know if that’s a trick question to see if he has Volunteen washing his car, because he only did it once and it wasn’t like he detailed it or anything. Hee. It was just a little hand wash, hand wax. Wax on, wax off, Archie-san. Pratt walks away and Morris calls after him “what, like you’re going to take a Porsche through a machine service?” He yells that he still has to talk to Pratt about his date.

Luka is drinking a cup of coffee. Wonder if it’s that “Turkish mud” that Abby told him in “Secrets and Lies” would eat a hole in his stomach lining? Though his stomach, and everything else for that matter, look just fine to me. And he really should wear form-fitting t-shirts more often. Yum. He walks over to the table where Abby is sitting, eating and writing on a yellow legal pad and stands beside her, looking over her shoulder. He asks her “what’s that?” and she tells him that it’s a list of things she has to do before the baby comes. And like Chi-Chi last week, she’s talking with her mouth full. Nice, Abby. Good example to set for the Lukaby. Luka thinks it’s a big list. She replies that there’s a lot of stuff to do and a ton of things to get. Luka reads off the list “baby monitor?” Abby is drinking milk, which does a body good, so I’m not surprised to know that Luka has some in his fridge because his body, and of course everything else for that matter, is very good. Abby explains that it’s so you can hear the baby when you’re not in the same room. Luka knows what it is, he thinks the apartment isn’t that big and “if that baby is awake, you’ll know it”. Abby replies “maybe it’s not for this apartment” and he reminds her that hers is even smaller. She doesn’t look at him and he apologizes “sorry, but it is” as she kind of shrugs. I think they are both subtly suggesting here the idea of living together, but coming at it from different angles and once again misreading what the other is saying. I think Luka made the comment about his apartment figuring that they’d be there, while Abby’s response about the monitor not being for “this apartment” was not to say it was for hers, but that maybe they would get another place, together. They seem to be spending all of their time together anyway, so they pretty much already are cohabitating, just not officially and not exclusively in one place. He asks her how her breakfast is. He’s just drinking the coffee, so he really did get up just to make breakfast for her. Awww. That’s sweet. Bitch. He starts to ask her “would you like some …” as she interrupts looking away and speaking kind of fast and acting a little spacey saying “you know, thank God the human species has a nine month gestation period. Can you imagine if we were rats and I was going to pump this thing out in, like, six weeks?” Although the way she said this was kind of funny and she’s obviously at that saying-whatever-pops-into-my-head-uncontrollable-babbling stage of pregnancy, please don’t start with the rodents, Abby, I’ve got a real problem with them. Luka just stares at her with an I-got-out-of-bed-for-this look. She asks him “isn’t that scary?” He deadpans, “no. But you’re scaring me”. Hee. She says “really?” then takes her fork and holds it back like she’s going to fling her waffle at him. Luka’s not amused and is all no, c’mon, don’t you dare, which Abby takes as a challenge and smiling asks “Don’t I dare? Are you daring me?” as she cocks the fork back even further. Luka has his hands up to defend against flying pastry and asks “whoa, what is it with you?” which is a totally legitimate question because she is acting like a freak. And kind of manic. Actually, she is channeling me from my first pregnancy, which is more than a bit freaky. She complains “I don’t know! I don’t know”, fidgets, and again with the fast-talking says, “It’s like a … hormonal surge. I can’t sleep. I can’t stop eating. I …” She’s wearing a long-sleeved blue t-shirt and the shoulder seams come halfway down her arms, so evidently, it’s Luka’s. Again, sweet. And again, bitch. Unable to sit still, she leans back in the chair crossing her arms and looking for reassurance, asks him plaintively pouting, “Maybe I’m nesting?” Luka stares at her like he’s thinking that maybe she really did inherit the crazy. And like she may be thinking the same thing, she starts “Do you think I’m …” but shakes it off and says that she just thinks she needs to get ready. He tells her that they still have plenty of time. She thinks he says that but it’s going to go fast, as he sighs and covers his eyes. She says that she doesn’t want to jinx anything, which reminds me of the conversation they had in “Shifts Happen” where she told him she had made decisions but ended up not elaborating that she was going to try to go back to med school because she didn’t want to “jinx it”. She thinks that maybe they should just look at some things, not to buy but to do some comparison shopping for later. He asks her “you want to go shopping?”, but she clarifies that she wants to “go looking”. He asks “for baby monitors?” She says “yes, monitors, cribs, car seats …” then leaning a little forward says jokingly “maybe a little mobile of famous Croatian diplomats”. Hee. He stares at her for a second, then gestures his hand like “WTF?”, and she explains “it’s a joke”. He puts his hand to his mouth, smiling at her like he’s trying to figure out who the alien Abby replicant is. She shakes her head and goes back to her list. Funny scene.

Dubenko pulls the art line out of Elderly Lady. He goes out into the hall, as Wade asks if it’s a good sign since he took out the tubes. Dubenko says that they pulled out the invasive monitoring lines because she’s not going to the Intensive Care Unit. Wade thinks she’s getting better. Dubenko corrects him that she’s not. Wade doesn’t understand why they unhooked her. Dubenko, looking like he’d rather be anywhere but there, tells him that the hospital has limited resources for their sickest patients. Yikes, Lucien. He’s a surgeon for God’s sake. I’m sure he’s had to explain to patients’ families that their loved ones aren’t going to get better, so it’s not very realistic that he’d be so bumbling here. Wade disgustedly says “resources” as Dubenko explains “beds, doctors, nurses” and Wade interrupts that he’s talking about money. Dubenko tells him that it can cost up to $20,000 a day to keep a patient in the ICU and that the most difficult decision they make as doctors is deciding who will benefit from critical care and who will not. Wade, understandably pissy, says “oh, and you decided my wife won’t”. Dubenko corrects that they will continue to care for Elderly Lady, but Wade cuts him off “but she’s not worth $20,000 a day”. Dubenko tells him that she will be admitted and given antibiotics, but Wade thinks she needs a lot more than that. Dubenko swallows and says that they will provide Elderly Lady with the care that is best for her, as Wade says “but not the best care”.

Buzz comes out of the suture room looking for Pratt. He asks Pratt if he’s playing him, stalling so that Darnell’s blood alcohol level drops low enough to squeeze by. Buzz says he can demand another doctor or he could get a nurse to do it. Pratt says it’s nothing like that and he knows this guy, but Buzz thinks they’ve established that. Pratt explains that Volunteen works there as a volunteer and that he’s a good kid, trying to make something of himself. He asks Buzz how many teenage boys he knows who would volunteer at the hospital. Um, Pratt, Volunteen didn’t exactly choose to volunteer – wasn’t it part of a community service deal? But I do get that you are trying to play up that they are model citizens. Pratt doesn’t want Volunteen to see his father like this and asks Buzz to give him a few minutes to get rid of him, and then he’ll do the blood draw himself. Buzz tells him that he has five minutes before he grabs a nurse. Thanks for warning us about the upcoming groping, Buzz, but I really don’t think your nurse fondling plans are relevant to the conversation. Buzz goes back to sutures as Pratt walks over to a cart and grabs a blood draw kit. He goes into a bathroom. Isn’t anyone going to notice that there’s a missing kit? Again, don’t they inventory their supplies? I remember in Season 10, Abby’s count was off and Weaver wouldn’t let her and the other nurses going off shift leave until they found a missing needle and dose of haldol. Luka really does need to get a handle on the department. Maybe he needs a Standard Operating Procedures Manual. And I’d be more than willing to help him operate some “manual procedures”, though they’d be anything but standard. Just saying. Pratt rolls up his sleeve and we fade to black.

After break, Pratt enters the suture room, pulling on gloves. He thanks Buzz for waiting. He grabs the blood draw kit that was set up on the bedside tray. As he puts the rubber strap around Darnell’s arm, Darnell asks if Pratt’s seen Volunteen. Pratt says that he sent him on an errand. He draws some blood. Buzz tells him that he needs to initial it, and Pratt asks if he can grab the pen off the table behind him. When Buzz turns around, Pratt takes the vial of his own blood out of his pocket and switches it with the one he just drew. Buzz hands him the pen, Pratt writes on the label and drops the vial into a plastic bag that Buzz holds open for him. Since Abby’s probably the only one who could get away with doing something like this, I’m guessing this blood switching thing is going to come back to bite Pratt in the ass.

Outside the VA Hospital, Plank tells Neela that he thinks she’ll like Rogan, that he’s a crazy dude from Chicago who talks a mile a minute and knows more dirty jokes than anybody that Plank’s ever met, which considering Plank is blank, really doesn’t sound like much of an accomplishment. Neela wants to know what happened to him. Plank says that it was a roadside bomb and Rogan took some shrapnel. Yikes. Sorry, Rogan. Rogan was one of their supply truck drivers, although he’d tell the female nurses that he was a terrain transport pilot. Neela wants to know what Plank told the nurses and he says that he told them he had a girl, and a personality, back home. Neela thinks that’s a good answer, secretly wishing the part about the personality were true.

Neela and Plank walk into what looks like a common room, where patients are meeting with visitors, playing pool, reading magazines. They walk over to a guy in a wheel chair, staring out the window. Plank says “so, where’s the party, man?” as the guy turns around slowly. He’s got a shaved head and scars on his face, and he talks and moves slowly. He says “Mike”. Plank jokes that he figured Rogan would have a nurse on each knee by now and asks if he’s losing his touch. Rogan stares at him, uncomprehendingly. Plank introduces him to his wife. Neela says hello and holds out her hand for him to shake. Plank tells him that he got married. Hence the whole “wife” business, Plank. Duh. He asks Rogan if he can believe it and that they did it in a day. Rogan has a huge scar across the top of his head. He haltingly tells Plank that they won’t let him go back. He says that Plank’s a doctor and asks if he can talk to them and tell them that Rogan needs to go back. Plank looks at him sadly, realizing that he’s not the same guy and patting his leg tells him “whatever you need”.

Ray brings a tray in for Liv, who is now wearing a hot pink cast on her right arm. He tells her that there’s Jello, yogurt, soup, French fries, and ice cream. Liv says “wow” because she’s looking for the toy, since all Happy Meals come with one. She thinks it comes from the bottom of the healthy food pyramid. Shut up, Liv! At least he’s bringing you something to eat. Ingrate. He could have just tossed you a Pop-Tart. He jokes “more like the basement” and smiles at her. Liv thinks she’ll stick with the ice cream. And though I’m with you on the ice cream choice, Liv, you really shouldn’t bitch about the healthiness of the food if you are just going to pick the worst. Ray says okay and sits down on the edge of the bed, telling her that he got her vanilla because the chocolate dispenser is broken. He hands the dish to her as she tells him “That’s okay. Chocolate gives me zits”. Nice. Thanks for the info, Liv. She can’t eat with the cast so Ray takes it from her. He says that it used to be French fries for him. Thanks, Ray. I’m even less interested in your acne. And if that’s actually true, why the hell would you bring Liv pustule producing provisions? Annoying. He feeds her some ice cream. He tells her that Teller is not at work and the police are out looking for him. He wants to know if she’s in touch with her sister. Liv says that they send emails and that she calls her from her friend Donna’s house sometimes. Ray asks if Liv can stay with her. She doesn’t know how she would get out there. Ray says that he’ll deal with that. He moves to the phone and says that they’ll call her sister and see if Liv can live with her. Liv complains that Ray probably wishes that he never met her. Ray shakes his head and says “no, although it would have been easier if I’d met you four or five years from now”, and smiles at her. And I actually kind of liked Ray in this scene, and who the hell needs that?

Abby and Luka are walking down a Chicago street and she’s reading off the list “so … crib, cradle, changing table”. Luka can’t believe that you really need a special table for changing a baby and wants to know why they can’t change him in the crib. Abby gives him a “you’re joking, right?” look and he says “what?” She goes back to the list and continues “stroller … we need two car seats”. Luka says disbelievingly “Two???” and Abby fills him in that they need one for both of their cars. Does Abby really have a car? I know she joked with Susan that Carter could buy her a new transmission when Susan suggested he give her jewelry, but I don’t remember seeing her drive a car since she took Maggie to the bus station in the red SUV back in Season 7, and I had just figured that was Luka’s. Luka says “oh, right”. Since Abby’s started on the two of something kick, she continues like she’s just realized it “oh right, we need two of everything. We need a crib for your place and a crib for my place, and a changing table for your place …” but shaking his head, Luka interrupts that he can still change him in the crib. Abby pointedly asks “what if she pees while you’re changing her and soaks the mattress” as the El passes overhead. Luka smiles and says “okay, so if we have twins, we’re going to need to have four of everything?” Abby smiles and says decisively “I’m not having twins”. Luka replies “uh, identical twins run in my family”. That’s not true, is it? I have twins and I was always told that it was fraternal twins that run in families, which it does in mine, and that identical twins happen randomly. Abby stops and stares at him, playing with her hair. Trying to gauge if he’s serious, she asks “Are you kidding me?” He looks back and says “What? I mean, chances are really small.” Uh, Abby, you’re a doctor, and wouldn’t a doctor know that identical twins aren’t hereditary? I think he just said it to throw her off guard, and it worked, and as a subtle way of saying how ridiculous it is that they should need more than one of anything, except the car seat, because they do definitely need two of those. The dance they do around each other is getting a little tiresome. Like the Alley Cat. Or the Macarena. Been there, done that, Abby and Luka. Let’s move on. Or move in, in this case. Getting that he’s kidding, she smiles and teases him “If your mutant Croatian seed causes me to have twins …” Very cute and obviously teasing. Though with your mother and brother, I don’t know that I’d be calling anyone else’s genetics “mutant” if I were you, Abby. Then Luka says smiling “Look at it from the sunny side. If we have a custody fight, each one of us is gonna take a kid”. Ooh, talking about custody fights before the baby is even born, Luka? Probably not smart as Abby furrows her brow and looks at him questioningly, trying to figure out what he means by that. She starts to walk away as he clarifies “identical twins” and calls after her “hey … exactly the same”. She looks over her shoulder, smiling at him because she realizes it was just a joke that fell flat and she remembers that Luka watched “The Parent Trap” on the Disney Channel last night, because he has a crush on Lindsay Lohan and thinks fake British accents are cute. She says “got it … yeah” and beckons him with her head to follow. He smiles after her, like okay, good, she gets my really offbeat sense of humor. Thank God someone does.

Sam and Dubenko are walking down the hall and she is updating him on patients. She says that Morris needs help with an LP, disimpaction’s still waiting in Curtain Three, and she swears that the kid in Curtain Two looks like measles. Inez joins them and says “my dislocated shoulder is still in the hallway, looking for love”. That’s nice, Inez. My trick knee is looking for Mr. Goodbar, but I don’t go around bragging about it. Dubenko stops them and says that at the very least they have to prioritize these for him when it’s this insane in here. Inez and Sam share a look and Inez says “you’re kidding me, right? It’s dead in here today” and that they haven’t even had a single trauma. And Sam and Inez are wearing matching magenta under their scrubs. And with the amount of lines they’ve had between them this episode, the show really could have gotten away with only having one of them. Is Linda Cardellini leaving? Because she really hasn’t had anything more to do this season than Chuny or Malik, so why is she still main cast? Weird. Wade walks up to Dubenko and hands him an envelope. Dubenko asks what it is and Wade says that it’s for his wife. Sam says that they’ll see if Morris can take some of the charts and she and Inez walk away as Dubenko calls after her that Morris isn’t an Attending. He opens the envelope and sees that it is a check. He stutters that it isn’t exactly what he meant. Wade explains that he told him $20,000 a day for the ICU, right? He tells Dubenko that it’s a check for $87,000, it’s all he has and it will buy his wife four more days. Dubenko says that he can’t take it, and Wade wants to know why not, because it’s a cashier’s check. Dubenko tells him that it’s not just about the money and that they can’t put his wife in the ICU, because there are patients who need it more than she does. Wade’s despondent and wants to know if Dubenko is saying that there is not enough money to save his wife. Dubenko says that he’s very sorry, and he looks it, but he can’t take Wade’s money and there’s nothing more he can do. Wade snatches the check away and stomps off. This would be kind of sweet and touching and all, Wade, if you hadn’t had three years of her being a veg for you to prepare yourself for this. Pratt comes up to Dubenko and tells him that he needs him to sign off on a diverticular abscess. As Dubenko is signing it, Pratt asks what that was all about. Dubenko shakes his head and says quietly “nothing” as he walks away.

Pratt sees Buzz and Darnell walking down the hall. Buzz says that the blood alcohol came back negative. Darnell’s all smug and says “that’s what I’ve been telling you”. Shut up, Darnell! Pratt may have saved your ass here but I have the sinking feeling that we’re going to be subjected to seeing you in trouble again, and next time, it’s going to be really bad. Buzz says that he’s been doing this a long time and he’s not usually wrong about these things. Shut up, Buzz! This scene is like the attack of the annoyingly arrogant assholes. Buzz tells Darnell to make sure he pays that ticket and walks away. Darnell thanks Pratt and tells him that he owes him. Yeah, you so do, Darnell. Pratt tells him that he needs some help. Not getting it, Darnell tells him that he did help him and that he appreciates it and promises that it won’t happen again. Pratt knows that it won’t happen again because Darnell is going to stop drinking and get himself into a program today. Darnell scoffs “a program?” Pratt tells him, “you need some help, D”. Darnell shakes his head as Pratt tells him that he almost hit a cop. Volunteen walks up to them carrying what looks like a Godiva chocolates bag and tells Pratt that he’s got his truffles. Nice, Pratt. And you bitched at Morris for sending him on personal errands. And truffles, Pratt? Well, I guess that explains the love handles you’ve been sporting lately. Volunteen asks Darnell what he’s doing there and Darnell says he was in the neighborhood. Volunteen doubtfully asks “doing what?” Pratt covers that he asked him to stop by. Pratt asks Volunteen if he got something while he was out and he says that he stopped by the food court at the Water Tower. Pratt tells him to go check in at Admit and see if they need him to make any lab runs, as he takes the change out of Volunteen’s hand. Darnell tells Volunteen that he’ll pick him up after work. Pratt tells Darnell that there is an AA meeting every night at the community center where Olivia works, and wants Darnell to go down there. He asks him to promise, and Darnell says he will. Why am I not really believing you, Darnell?

Darnell walks away as Pratt continues down the hall. Morris runs up to him and says “please, man, I need this, okay?” and adds that he hasn’t been with a woman in months. Thanks, Morris, I so needed to know that. Though I’m really not surprised. Pratt bitches that he’s not giving Morris any tips on dating black chicks. Morris says that he’s not just asking because Pratt is black, he’s asking because “you’re the coolest guy I know”, and why am I getting a strong Richie Cunningham and The Fonz vibe here? Must be the red hair. Morris adds that Pratt’s his friend, and Pratt shoots him a “say what?” look. Morris continues that it’s not easy for him when it comes to women, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard him utter a truer statement. He says especially once it gets going because of his “condition”. I really don’t think “chronic douchebag” is a condition, Morris. Pratt asks “what condition? Stupidity?”, and you couldn’t come up with anything better than that, Pratt? Morris quietly says that he is supernumary thelium. Pratt’s all “what?” Morris looks around, then pulls him into a curtained area. He starts to unbutton his shirt, while Pratt wants to know what he’s doing. Morris opens the shirt to reveal … four nipples! Why do I have to see that? That’s just wrong, on so many levels. And I am simultaneously repulsed, intrigued and amused. Pratt tells him like we didn’t already see it “you got extra nipples”. Morris nods and shushes him. And Morris looks like he works out a bit because he actually doesn’t have a bad chest, aside from the nipplage, that is. Morris bitches “red hair, porcelain skin, and four nipples. Do you know what gym class was like for me growing up?” Hee. Pratt can’t stop staring at them as Morris goes on “Hey, Nipple Boy … here, here, little piggy … look, it’s the ugly suckling”. Ha!!! Ray pulls back the curtain and walks in. Morris says “what, we don’t knock?” and Ray responds “On a curtain?” Hee. He wants to know what they are doing with his patient, referring to the unconscious guy on the bed behind them. Pratt says nothing, and that Morris was just showing him his extra nipples. Hee. Morris can’t believe Pratt would violate his doctor-patient privilege as Ray takes a look. Pratt tells Morris that he’s not his doctor and he sure as hell isn’t Pratt’s patient. Ray’s impressed and says, “whoa, look at those. Freaky” as Morris buttons up his shirt. Ray tells him he should get them all pierced and “wear them like chain mail”. Hee. Ray tells them that he needs some money. Pratt wants to know how much and Ray tells him whatever he’s got and that he’ll cover it.

Neela opens a door carrying a coffee cup and looks to see Gallant, with his jacket off and wearing a grey sweater prettily, sitting on a sofa, telling a story to some vets, including Rogan. Plank is talking about walking into a supply tent and seeing Rogan filling up an inflatable sex doll with helium. He says that he looked up and there are a bunch of them already floating on the ceiling. Plank doesn’t know how or where he got them into the country. Rogan is just staring ahead, not listening. Plank continues that Rogan recruited him, and laughing at the delusion that he has incredibly witty story-telling abilities, says that they let them launch at first light and there were a dozen naked sex dolls floating over the desert at dawn, as the soldiers all laugh. These guys must be really hard up for entertainment if they are laughing at Plank’s jokes. Though it’s understandable since recently they’ve only seen USO tours with “stars” like Hootie and The Blowfish, Kathy Griffin and Alyssa Milano. Neela doesn’t look amused and she reminds Plank that they are supposed to be at the apartment at three. Plank comes down off his laughter high and tells Rogan that he has to leave and that he’ll swing by in a couple of days, as Rogan has no reaction, and Neela looks on.

Luka is squeezing a squeaky toy elephant as Abby is fitting him with a baby carrier on his back. They are apparently in a baby store. And Luka is wearing a grey sweater that looks suspiciously like the one that Plank was just wearing. Maybe Abby and Neela went shopping together and got a “2 for 1” deal or something, though Neela really should have used the money to buy Plank a personality. Luka bitches “Why do I have to do this? Why can’t you try it yourself?” Abby ignores him and says “ah” as she finally figures out how it’s supposed to go. She tells him to turn around and adjusts the carrier around him. He sticks the elephant in her face and squeaks it. She laughs, bats it away and tells him to “just play with your toy” as a saleslady comes over to them. Saleslady asks if she can help them. Abby tells her they are just looking as Luka squeaks the toy again. Saleslady doesn’t take the hint and comments “that’s really cute isn’t it?” Shut up, Saleslady! I realize you work on commission, but that toy probably costs less than ten bucks, so don’t try so hard, okay? Luka squeaks it again and says “yeah”. Saleslady asks Abby if she’s looking for a gift or if it’s for her. Abby already told you that they are “just looking”, so shove off, sister. Luka takes off the carrier and hands it to Abby as she says “It’s for me” then glancing at him corrects “us” and then says awkwardly “we’re having a baby … together”, as Luka looks down. Fake smiling, Saleslady annoyingly asks “Is this going to be your first?” Abby doesn't answer right away, lifting up her shoulder like she’s not sure what to say as Luka looks from Saleslady to her. Looking at Abby, he grins and fills in “yeah”. He looks down, playing with the tag on the elephant as Abby looks up at him. He glances at her and when their eyes meet, she grins at him, then at the Saleslady, looking a little pleased that he said that.

Neela and Plank are in the car and she is reading from the listing that the apartment has two bedrooms, two underground parking spaces, washer-dryer, storage facilities, and there’s a workout room in the building. Plank’s not really listening to her. Neela questions, “You don’t like it?” Plank distractedly asks how can he not like it if he hasn’t even seen it yet? He gets out of the car and Neela follows, knowing that something is wrong. She asks him if he’s all right. He says yeah. She tells him that if he doesn’t think that Rogan is getting the best care possible, maybe Plank could arrange for one of the neurologists at County to see him. And I have to laugh at the words “best care possible” and “County” in the same sentence, seeing as they can’t keep track of their patients and their doctors don’t believe working scheduled shirts is mandatory to employment. Plank nods and says that it’s not Rogan, but it’s him. Neela does the Botox-inducing scowl at him and he tells her that he wants to go back. She doesn’t get it and asks “to the hospital?” and he answers “to Iraq” and starts to walk away. Neela can’t believe what she’s hearing and asks him if he’s joking, but he doesn’t answer. She tells him that she knows that it’s difficult to see your friends and all those soldiers like that, but that going back is not going to change what happened to them. Plank rings the bell and tells her that he can help prevent other guys from ending up like that, or worse. Neela says that they’ll talk about it later after he’s had time to think about it. He tells her that he has already been thinking about it for weeks. She’s pissed that he didn’t bother to tell her about it. He tries to explain that he left people over there, people who need him. Neela thinks she needs him, though you really don’t, Neela. Plank doesn’t think she needs him like they do. Incredulous, Neela says, “Oh my God, Michael, I can’t believe we are having this conversation”, as the door opens and Real Estate Lady says “Mr. and Mrs. Gallant, right?” and tells them to come in and that they’ll love the place, though they are so not loving each other right now. Real Estate Lady thinks that it’s perfect for newlyweds.

Real Estate Lady leads them into the apartment and tells Plank that she understands that his wife is a doctor, which is weird considering Neela is standing right there and why didn’t Real Estate Lady just address her? She asks him what he does, and Plank says that he is a doctor, too, in the army. Real Estate Lady tells them that the place won’t last long and asks what they think. Sensing the tension, she tells them to take their time and to call her after they’ve talked it over. She asks them to close the door behind them when they leave, and she heads out. Neela goes over to the window and stares out.

Luka is standing holding a couple of handled shopping bags, one containing the squeaky elephant, as Abby browses through maternity clothes. So much for the “l want to go looking” and “comparison shopping”, Abby. Luka is acting just like my husband when I dragged him baby shopping, or any kind of shopping for that matter, and is huffing impatiently with the can-we-please-just-go-now posture and looking at the ceiling. What happened to the “I’ll go shopping” that you told Abby last week, Luka, or does that only apply to groceries? Abby is holding up a pair of gigantic maternity pants that even if she gets mega-huge would probably still hold two of her and shows them to Luka saying “Wow, look at these. If I get this big, I think I’m gonna want to kill myself”. If you ever can actually fit into those, Abby, it means you’ve probably grown about four inches, too. And I hate to burst your bubble, but that doesn’t happen in pregnancy. Though your feet do grow, so I doubt you’ll be swapping stilettos with Cha-Cha anytime soon. Luka soothingly tells her that women look the most beautiful when they are pregnant. She looks at him doubtfully and smiling says “You’re such a liar”. And Abby’s chewing gum here, though thankfully not cow-cud gum chewing like Chi-Chi does. I was a little afraid she might end up channeling him after the talking-with-the-mouth-full scene. Smiling beguilingly at her, he earnestly says that he’s serious. And the way he’s looking at her, he obviously thinks it’s true of her. Awww. Bitch. Abby is holding up the pants and we can see that the tag says “L”. In what universe could Maura Tierney possibly ever wear a “Large”, ER prop people? Annoying. Smiling at him coyly, she puts the pants back on the rack and we hear a bell ring. As an angel gets its wings someone apparently enters the store because Abby looks then says “crap!” and ducks behind the clothes rack. Luka looks at her and asks “what?” as she reaches out, grabs him, and drags him down behind the rack with her. Hee. There’s a rack of baby clothes behind them. I wonder if they’re Carter’s? She whispers “It’s Debbie Dockens from the Pharmacy” and stands up to take a peek, seeing “Debbie” with Saleslady. Luka, starting to stand up, asks “who?”, as she yanks him down again and whispers “Don’t look! If she spots the two of us in a baby store together holding bags of stuff, she’s gonna tell everybody”. Luka protests that he doesn’t even know who she is. Abby tells him that she knows who he is, but he doesn’t think so. Because he really can be clueless sometimes, Abby has to explain to him “Oh, Luka, every woman that works in the hospital knows who you are, trust me”. Ha!!! And of course the women in the hospital know who he is – he probably slept with most of them in his man-ho days of Season 9. Luka rolls his eyes at her. Abby grabs some clothing off the rack and makes a break for it, telling him “let’s go”. He grins, wondering what she’s up to. Crouching down, she makes her way across the aisle, past a saleswoman, and without standing up, holds up the clothes and says “I’m trying these on” and keeps slinking past. Luka follows in the same crouched position and explains to the saleswoman “uh … her back’s bothering her” as saleswoman just nods “okay” at him. Hee.

Abby goes through a curtain into a dressing room that is painted in pastel peach and has a nursery rhyme wall hanging. Some really cloying elevator type music is playing. She puts down the clothes as Luka pokes his head through the curtain and looks at her. She laughs and pulls him inside saying “get in!” He asks her how long they are going to stay in there. Abby replies laughing “just until she leaves” as she peeks out of the curtains. He wants to know how long that will be. She whispers “I don’t know … shhh”. Luka tells her “don’t shhh me!”, so she turns around and teasingly says “shhhhh”. He grabs the lapels of her jacket and pulls her closer as she flirtingly says “shhhhhhhh” again, and he says “don’t shhh, you made me hide in here” trailing off as he kisses her. Bitch. Because Luka’s a humble guy with a healthy desire, I think he’s having a “hormonal surge” of his own as he keeps kissing her, taking off her jacket, then hurriedly shedding his own and yanking off his scarf. Guess it’s getting warm in there. And Luka looks totally hot in that sweater. Maybe he should take that off, too. She laughs against his lips whispering, “I think … we should stop”, though clearly not wanting to because she throws her arms around his neck. Luka pulls her even closer, she falls into him and he tells her “you started this one” as they make out some more. Lucky. And, bitch. They disappear down out of frame then we hear the elephant squeak like it’s being deflated as they’ve apparently landed on it and Abby giggles. The security people watching them through the two-way mirror must be enjoying the show. Wonder if they are hiring? And what happened to Abby’s gum??? Classic screwball romantic comedy humor and the whole scene is very funny. Already knew that Maura Tierney has great comedic timing, but Goran Visnjic appears to also, and they play well off each other.

Dubenko is pushing Elderly Lady on a gurney down the hall as Wade runs after telling him to wait. He wants to know what Dubenko is doing. Dubenko tells him that it’s okay. Wade says that he told him not to do this. Dubenko tells him it’s okay and they are moving her to St. Rafe’s, a private hospital that has agreed to treat her sepsis. Wade asks if it’s in the ICU. Dubenko says yes and that they have an excellent reputation and he’s already spoken with the attending there. Wade wants to know who he gives the check to, and Dubenko says they’ll bill him. Wade asks how he can thank him and Dubenko tells him to enjoy the time he has left with his wife. Wade hugs him and tells him he’s a good doctor and a good man, and I’m so with you on that, Wade. Despite the creepiness of his indecent proposal to Abby, I like Dubenko and hope they keep giving him more to do. And he seems to have shorn the weirdness along with Lucien’s Luscious Locks of Love, and has lately been almost normal. Dubenko’s a little unsettled by Wade’s outpouring and stammers that Wade should go because they’ll have a lot of forms for him to fill out. And it’s good to see a surgeon who’s not an asshole or a shrew.

Pratt comes up to Volunteen who’s working on a computer and tells him that he hopes that’s homework and Volunteen honestly tells him that it’s not. Pratt asks if he needs a ride home. Volunteen says that his dad’s coming to pick him up. And, duh, Pratt. You were there for that conversation. Idiot. Volunteen says that Darnell may be running a little late because he had a meeting to go to, which makes Pratt all happy and he thinks it’s good that Darnell called Volunteen to tell him that. Volunteen thanks Pratt for helping out Darnell and that he saw him with the cops. Pratt tries to play it off as a misunderstanding and Volunteen says that it always is and walks away.

Pratt sees a beautiful woman walking down the hall and he goes over to her. Guess he’s having a “hormonal surge” too because he says “You look like you need some help from me”, which is a horrible pick-up line. And, shut up, Pratt! What happened to Olivia? You know … your girlfriend … the one that you just mentioned about ten minutes ago? Jackass. Beautiful Woman says that she is looking for Archie. Pratt asks what he was brought in for and she explains that he works here and she thinks he’s in charge of everything, as Morris turns around and asks “Tamara?” She tells him that she’s sorry and she knows that she’s way early but he says it’s okay and that it’s nice to finally meet her in person, as Pratt keeps checking her out. Morris says “wow. You, you’re tall”. Tamara looks offended as Pratt chuckles and Morris stutters that it’s cool and that he likes tall. He introduces Pratt as his “dawg”. I’ll say it for you, Pratt – Shut up, Morris! Pratt says “what?” and holds out his hand to Tamara, telling her his name is Greg, and she thinks it’s nice to meet him. Morris asks her if she wants to hang out in the doctors’ lounge while he finishes up or he could take her on a tour of the place. She thinks a tour would be nice. Pratt cuts in and asks him “what about your supernumerary thelium”. Damn, Pratt. That was cold. Even I feel sorry for Morris now. But don’t despair … it will pass, and no doubt more quickly than it should. Pratt pats him on the shoulder as he walks away, leaving Morris dumbfounded. Tamara thinks it sounds serious and she can come back later if he’s got surgery or something. Morris explains that it’s not a patient … it’s him. He tells her he’s sorry and he doesn’t want to waste her time, as Pratt watches all this, laughing. Shut up, Pratt! And since no one has said it yet this episode … jerk-off. Morris says that he should have said something earlier but he didn’t want to scare her off and it’s always awkward. Then he blurts out that he has extra nipples. She says “excuse me?” and he points to his chest counting off 1, 2, 3, 4. She smiles and asks “really?” and he says “yeah”. She tells him that she has six toes on her left foot. He’s all excited and asks if he can see. Shut up, Morris! I was just considering actually liking you and now you have to go and be an asshole again. Actually, I should probably thank you, because I don’t have enough wine to deal with liking both you and Ray in the same episode. Tamara asks if he’s going to show her his nipples. He likes the way she thinks.

Ray and Liv are walking in the ambulance bay, where it’s snowing. He’s giving her instructions and telling her that she’ll have to have the cast removed and that any ER can do that. He tells her that there is an electronic ticket waiting for her at the airport and that it’s an Alaskan Airways flight that leaves at 7:30. She asks about her clothes and her school. Ray asks if she has the key to her house, she does. He tells her to give them to him and he’ll pack up her stuff and send it to her sister. He’s going to do what??? I’m not a cop but even I know that’s the “entering” part of “breaking and entering” and it’s illegal. He says that once she gets to San Francisco she needs to contact her school so they can transfer her grades. She thinks that if they do that, Teller will be able to find her. Ray tells her to send everything to him and he’ll forward it. Ray is way too involved in this. Isn’t he the least bit worried that he could still be brought up on a statutory rape charge? He gives her some money for the cab and some to get her started. She says that she can’t take his money. He says she can and not all of it is his because he got some of the richer doctors to kick in. Liv starts crying. He tells her that it’s going to be okay and that she’s going to live with her sister and San Francisco is a great city, and I’m with you on that, Ray. Cable cars, Rice-a-roni, Jelly Belly’s, Ghiardelli chocolate, and most importantly, wine country - what’s not to love? Liv asks him to come with her. He says that she knows that he can’t. She tells him that she’ll be 18 in three years, and he thinks she’ll have forgotten all about him by then, but she says that she won’t. We hear a man’s voice calling for Liv. It’s Teller. Ray rushes Liv into the taxi as Teller hurries over. She gets in and locks the door. Teller tries to open it and is yelling at her. Ray grabs him off and throws him to the ground, into a pile of trashbags as the cab takes off. Teller yells for her to wait and Ray tells him that she’s gone. Teller starts to get up, telling Ray that he’s going to kill him. Ray pushes him back down with his foot, and holds it on Teller’s chest, saying that he doesn’t think so. He tells Teller that the “first one was free, pal” and that his daughter is gone and that she’s never coming back. He threatens that if Teller bothers him or her again, Ray is going to have to use his extensive medical knowledge to mess him up real bad. Ray is more vapid vigilante than sexy avenging angel, like Luka was when he pummeled Brian for beating up Abby back in Season 8. Teller just looks at him as Ray pushes hard with his foot and then walks away.

Neela and Plank are still at the apartment. It’s dark so they’ve apparently been there a long time. Neela is still at the window and Plank is sitting on the drop-cloth covered sofa. Without looking at him, Neela says that she thought he joined the army so that it would pay for med school. He says he did. She thinks he’s put his time in, and he agrees, but says there is more to it. He tells her that he doesn’t expect her to understand. Really, Plank? She’s you’re wife, highly educated, and this ain’t the ‘50’s, so I doubt she’s just going to accept whatever you say and do without question. She wants him to explain it to her, because she really does want to understand this. He tells her that something happens over there, and he had a purpose. And being a doctor here has no purpose? Yeah, no wonder Neela’s not convinced, ‘cause that’s a little insulting. He says that his life had some clarity and he just can’t abandon those guys. Neela asks “but you can abandon me?” Good point, Neela. Plank doesn’t answer because he knows she’s right. She sits down next to him and says that she understands that there is camaraderie with those he serves with and she respects that. She thinks if he still feels the need to experience that he can volunteer at the VA hospital. He says that it’s not the same thing and there is a war going on. He thinks that people might like to forget that but he can’t and he can’t live with himself if he doesn’t go back. Plank is getting a little teary-eyed here, and it’s good to know that even blocks of wood can sometimes express emotion. Neela thinks they can both go. Huh? Nice sentiment, but I think you are taking your wifely duty just a little too far, Neela. But again, maybe that’s just me and my aforementioned aversion to, you know, dying and all. She says that she’ll volunteer with an NGO, which stands for National Global Network, or something. He tells her it is too dangerous and that’s the first sensible thing you’ve said all episode, Plank. Angrily, she responds that it’s too dangerous for her but it’s okay for him? She thinks that’s a load of crap. He points out that he’s a soldier. Well, he’s got you there, Neela. You know, guns … tanks … blow-up sex dolls. Neela reminds him that he is also a husband. Conveniently forgetting that one, aren’t you, Plank? Exasperated, she cries, “you asked me to marry you!” And I think he did more than that, Neela. Pestered you is more like it. She continues that he looked into her eyes and asked her to be his wife and to share a life together, and that they took vows, as tears roll down his cheeks. Uh oh, better be careful, Plank. Wood warps when wet. She wants to know what the hell was all of that, a whim? Um, well yeah, Neela, didn’t you get that? He says it wasn’t but she looks away towards the window, disbelieving. He says that he thought he could do this. I’m totally with Neela on her frustration because this is so not what she signed up for. He tells her that he thought of nothing else but coming home and making a life with her. If it is really what you wanted, you gave up a bit easily, didn’t you, Plank? He says that he tried to make it work. Well, it’s kind of only been like a month, Plank, and you haven’t been working as a doctor during that time, so can you honestly say that you’ve actually tried? Irritating. He says that he just can’t stay here knowing what is going on over there. He tells her he’s sorry and that she knows how much he loves her. Really, Plank? ‘Cause I still don’t get this incredible love that you two claim to have, and think it came out of the blue. Neela thinks that if he did, he wouldn’t do this. I usually hate ultimatums like that, but I understand where she’s coming from on this one. He tells her that if she loved him, she would understand that he has to. Neela says that maybe that’s the problem, “I love you, but I still don’t know you”. Exactly! Finally. Just realizing that, huh, Neela? I would feel sorry for you, if both Abby and I hadn’t tried to warn you about this, Neela. Inanimate objects may be pretty, but that doesn’t mean you should marry them.

Next on ER: repeat of the Season Opener – “Canon City”, aka “Sam and Luka’s Not So Excellent Adventure”, “Rocky Mountain Road Trip”, “Antelope Antics”, or “Croatian Beach Memoirs”.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Note about Recap for 12.12 Split Decisions

Just wanted to let anyone who may actually be looking for this drivel know that the recap for Split Decisions is in the process, but probably won't be posted until sometime (hopefully) on Monday, January 16th. Long story short, kids, holiday weekend, mother-guilt - not necessarily in that order.

Monday, January 09, 2006

ER 12.11 If Not Now

Previously on ER: Frank told Victor Clemente, aka John Leguizamo, aka Chi-Chi Rodriguez from Too Wong Foo, that his “East Coast squeeze” is there and that she’s “kind of a looker, in an interstate highway off-ramp sort of way”; the East Coast squeeze, aka Jodie, who reminds me Cha-Cha DiGregorio from Grease told Chi-Chi that “I’m here now, baby” and they started making out; Cha-Cha told Chi-Chi that her husband hit her and broke a rib, and he asked why she didn’t go to the police, and she said “He IS the police”; Luka gave Abby a Christmas present and she asked him “A compass?” to which he replied “It seems we always find each other”; Abby, apprehensively asked him “Can we talk?”; Luka gently asked Abby “what?”, and she blindsided him with “I’m pregnant”.

A dad is walking down steps outside a building, holding his son’s hand and carrying a Christmas tree in the other. He tosses the tree in the trash and keeps walking, as the son looks back at it. Camera pulls back as they walk past another set of steps. It’s Abby’s apartment building. Camera zooms in on a Christmas tree in a first floor window, as the string of lights on it go out. Cut to inside, where Luka, with his new haircut since “All About Christmas Eve”, stands up from unplugging the lights and is un-decorating a tree. Since when does Abby live on the first floor? In Season 8 when her neighbor Joyce was hiding in Abby’s apartment from her abusive husband Brian, I distinctly remember Abby sneaking past Brian’s door and down the steps to the front door, when he followed and stopped her to ask if she’d seen his wife. Must be the same writers who conveniently gave Luka an extra bedroom when Sam and Alex moved in, even though Abby had to sleep on the sofa when she stayed there after Brian beat her up. Annoying. Abby comes out of the bedroom, putting on a long sweater coat. She asks him what he’s doing, which is a dumb question because it’s pretty obvious what he’s doing. He tells her that Christmas was two weeks ago and he figured that it’s time to put it away. She tells him to leave it because she likes it. Luka asks if she wants to be one of “those people” who are dragging some dead brown tree out into the street in the middle of April. Abby likes those people. Well, of course she does. We know that she likes dried flowers because there’s something “sad and dark” about them, and last year she pathetically tried to water a plant that had obviously been dead for quite some time before ultimately deciding to throw it out, so why wouldn’t she like shriveled seasonal shrubbery? She looks away continuing “they don’t give up easy”, which reminds me of when she was a med student on her psych rotation in “Abby Normal” and she was having a therapy session with Jordan, the patient with the psychosomatic seizures. Abby talked about how she can’t ever follow through on anything and when things get in her way, she shuts down and gives up, and how it’s easier to do that than to risk being disappointed again. Luka reads the back of the ornament in his hand. He turns it over to look at the picture on the front and Abby holds out her hand for him to give it to her. He hands it over as the camera close-up shows that it’s a picture of Santa with a young girl, apparently Abby. She looks at it and tells him that she made it for Maggie when she was six. She turns it over, and it looks like it is a coaster from the “Travelers Inn Motel”. It has a Christmas tree drawn on it and hugs and kisses symbols and the name “Abigail”. She goes on that they were living in a motel, in Minnetonka. She pronounces it “mini Tonka”, which I don’t think is correct and it reminds me of the little toy dump truck that my two year old just got for Christmas. If she’s supposed to be from Minnesota, she should really learn how to pronounce the town names. Used to crack me up when I’d watch thirtysomething, which was set in Philadelphia, and they’d mispronounce names like the Schuylkill Expressway (it’s pronounced “skoo kill”, and they’d also mistakenly call it a “freeway”) or Swarthmore College (the “r” is silent). Bottom line, if the actor can’t pronounce it, change it to something easier … like Saint Paul. She chews on her lips and looks over at Luka, who grins back at her as a kettle whistle is heard. Who put the water on to boil? Abby just came out of the bedroom, so it must have been Luka, though he has most of the ornaments off the tree, so it looks like he’s been at it for a while. Again, annoying. As she walks towards the kitchen, Abby asks him if he has a “search committee” meeting this morning. Ooh, wonder who they are searching for. More Attendings? Seeing as it’s only Luka, Chi-Chi and occasionally, Weaver, they need some. And again, I miss Susan … and Sherry Stringfield … and her hair. Or maybe some Interns, as they don’t seem to have any of those either. I think it’s probably for a new Nurse Manager, since Sally got laid down last episode. Three guesses who they choose. It’s too much to hope for a new Chief Resident to replace Morris. Luka thinks he could skip the meeting and they could talk some more. Abby thinks he should go, she has to be in soon. She goes in the kitchen, as Luka looks away and pulls at the mock-turtle sweater that he’s wearing and scratches his neck, because wool is itchy.

Abby takes what looks like a box of Celestial Seasonings Fruit Sampler Herb Tea out of a cupboard as Luka comes in, crosses his arms and leans against the doorjamb and sighs. This doesn’t look like Abby’s kitchen. Did she move? There’s a picket fence-y old-lady-craft-fair sign over Abby’s stove that says “Country Kitchen”. Hee. She’s so not country. She’s a little bit rock ‘n roll. Though given her music tastes, she is more of a punk rocker, all hopped up and ready to go. Abby still has her back to him as he says “I guess we haven’t figured anything out yet”. She closes her eyes, plays with her hair and shaking her head tiredly and dejectedly says that she really doesn’t want to get into it again. Luka asks if she’s made a decision. She turns around and puts her hand on her hip, frustrated, and exclaims “Well, we don’t even know what we are to each other”. Luka raises his eyebrows and not looking at her flippantly replies that no one ever knows that, which is so not the answer she was fishing for. She impatiently responds “Oh, come on”. He tells her that they’ve been friends for a long time, good friends. She replies “yeah”, but really means “duh, and your point is?” He says that they’ve been through a lot together. With her arms folded across her chest, she exasperatedly counters “That doesn’t mean we could take care of a child”. Luka very seriously tells her that it has to be her choice, and insists that he knows that, as she looks at him, not knowing what to say.

Neela comes rushing into the ER pushing a gurney and announcing “Ground-level fall in the ambulance bay. No head trauma, no LOC”, as Chuny, Ray and Sam stare at the patient. Camera reveals an irritated Weaver who is insisting that she is fine. Neela says that she’s complaining of right hip pain and can’t bear weight. Weaver tells her to stop it and Neela replies that she’s just trying to be professional. Weaver thinks it’s annoying. Hee. Weaver bitches “Whose job is it to de-ice the entrance?” She tells everyone to get back to work because it’s only a bruise and she’s fine. Neela tells her that she’s going to find her a bed and walks away. Weaver calls after her that she doesn’t need all that. Morris comes over and tells Weaver that he has an acetimenophen OD and wants to know if he should give Mucomyst before the levels come back, as Chuny walks up and hands her some labs to look at and Malik says something about CT, but I can’t catch it because everyone is talking over one another. Weaver complains that she’s not even on today. Um, then why exactly are you there, Kerry? I won’t even go within ten miles of my job when I’m not working. Ray comes over and takes charge, telling everyone that Weaver had a nasty little slip on the ice, so “let’s give her some space”. Okay, Ray’s up to something. Weaver’s not buying the Good Samaritan thing either and pointedly asks “All right, what?” Ray pretends he doesn’t know what she means and she asks what he wants. He tells her that he needs a few weeks off. Why is Ray asking Weaver? Isn’t Luka the ER Chief? Wouldn’t he be in charge of the schedule? Why does this show have to make my brain hurt before Opening Credits? Weaver wants to know why. Practically giggling, Ray tells her that his band got a recording deal and they are going to Los Angeles. Yeah, I buy that. It really is that easy to go from being the Opening Act … at the Aqua Lounge … behind the Lava Lounge … in Chicago … to getting a recording contract in LA. See, Kelly, Ruben, Clay, Fantasia, Carrie … don’t you wish you knew this before so you wouldn’t have had to put up with Simon’s obnoxiousness, Paula’s cluelessness or Randy calling you “dawg”? Weaver stares at him, lifts up her crutch, points it at him and threateningly says “Back away from the gurney or I will impale you with my crutch”, which literally made me burst out laughing and spit the merlot I was drinking all over my leather chair. Thanks, Weaver. Guess I have to add that to the running tally of things this show owes me that seeing Bare Naked Luka made me start two episodes ago. Ray implores what sounds like “Aunt Kerry”, but after repeated listening, I realize it’s more of an exclamation thing “Eh, Kerry”. She thrusts the crutch at him saying “Back off, Elvis”. Hee. I love Weaver.

After Opening Credits, Cha-Cha is bitching that the “damn salt” ruined her shoes. Chi-Chi replies that Newark hasn’t had any snow and why doesn’t she go back there? Cha-Cha ignores that and indignantly responds that “these are Jimmy Choo’s”. Because Chi-Chi has never watched Sex and the City, he doesn’t know what she’s talking about and wants to know why she’s wearing some guy Jimmy’s shoes. She holds up her five-inch heeled stilettos and carps “Choo’s. And they cost me about 400 bucks”. Chi-Chi doesn’t think that she should be wearing shoes that cost more than other people’s rent. I agree with you there, Chi-Chi, seeing as the most I’ve ever paid was about $100, and that was for some kick-ass Doc Martens that I just had to have when I was in college. And what kind of idiot wears Jimmy Choo’s in the snow? Chi-Chi agrees with me and tells her that it’s January in Chicago and she should get some “damn boots”. Calling him “Vic”, Cha-Cha tells him that he’s not a “morning person”, which probably explains why he seemed to have a thing for Abby. Didn’t Luka tell her the same thing back when they were dating before and he tried to wake her up one morning to have bagels and coffee? Chi-Chi says he’s not and then snaps his fingers to get the waitress’ attention, and I worked in a restaurant so I know just how much that is appreciated, and asks for more coffee and a “fistful” of Splenda. Yuck. If you’re going to use that much of it, Chi-Chi, I think it negates its low calorie status. He looks over to see Cha-Cha staring at him and says “what?” and she says “shut up”. Shut up with the “shut up”, Cha-Cha! All Chi-Chi is saying is that Cha-Cha is not really prepared for winter in Chicago. She says “so?”, then he says “so?” then she puts her chin on her hand and bats her eyelashes at him and he again says “so?” So, this scene is so-so and all this so-ing is getting annoying. She smiles at him flirtingly and he looks at her hornily and says “So, so, so, why don’t you stay at my place today?” She giggles and says that she wants to see Michigan Avenue. He says that’s fine, just don’t buy anything. She bitches that she can shop if she wants to and he asks with whose credit card. She closes her eyes and groans and asks if he’s still worried about “Bobby” and that she told him that’s she’s severed all ties with her husband. Chi-Chi tells her that just because she’s severed all ties doesn’t mean her husband has severed all ties with her. And Chi-Chi is eating eggs and talking with his mouth full. Nice. And, gross. My six year olds don’t even do that, Chi-Chi. She thinks Bobby has no idea where she is and Chi-Chi sarcastically tells her of course not, Bobby would never think that she was with him. Cha-Cha says that Bobby doesn’t even know where Chi-Chi is. Chi-Chi complains that Bobby’s a cop and asks how hard she thinks it is for him to track them down. He asks if she’s stupid and “how stupid do you have to be?” Uh oh, Chi-Chi. Not smart. Cha-Cha looks rightfully outraged. Yeah, so I’m guessing Chi-Chi’s not going to be getting any for a while. She throws her napkin down on the table and flounces over to him and sticks her hand out, palm up. He asks “what?” and she tells him to give her some money. He wants to know what for and she says through gritted teeth “for a cab”. He says “oh, come on. Don’t do this”. Then he tells her not to be ridiculous, which pisses her off even more and she demands that he give her money. He gives her some and she tells him she needs another $20. He stares at her and hands it to her and again tells her not to do this. He tries to grab her arm and she slaps it away, telling him not to touch her, as he smiles and wolfishly says “come on”. She sneeringly tells him that he should think about getting into some meditation classes or some Pilates or something because he is getting very ugly. Don’t think Pilates will help with the homeliness, Cha-Cha. She moves her hand in a circle near his face, saying that she means that “in the most metaphorical sense, okay?” Wow, big word, Cha-Cha. She hits him when he tries to touch her again and she walks away. He asks her not to go away mad. I half expect her to say “but do go away” like Jake did when Abby said this to him last year, but instead Cha-Cha yells over her shoulder that she has to go get herself some boots, and adds ER’s favorite new catchphrase, “jerk-off”. He calls after her to come back. These two sort of have some chemistry together, in a big-haired, white trash, truck stop sexcapade kind of way. I guess their ‘shipper name would be “Chachi”.

Neela hangs up the phone at Admit and apologizes to Weaver, saying that she is having trouble clearing a bed. Weaver is still on the gurney. She’s doing paperwork and tells Neela that “this really isn’t necessary” and she’s sure she can get to her office. She tries to get up and winces in pain. Neela, concerned, says that Weaver should let her do an examination. Weaver says all right, and tells Neela to treat her like any other patient. Neela asks if she’s sure, and Weaver says “yeah. Get me out of the hall”. Well, Kerry, if they are supposed to treat you like any other patient, you’ll most likely have a hell of a long wait before they actually move you. Luka calls for Neela to come run the Board. Neela yells back that she has to take her “broken hip lady” … Weaver interrupts “Hey!” and then quietly adds “It’s not broken”.

Abby and some Random Paramedic are bringing in Ted Cunningham, 23, who “lost his Shiley at the nursing home”. Damn, I hate when I lose my shiley. Oh, apparently they mean a tracheostomy tube. Abby is bagging Ted through a tube in his neck. As they pass by Admit, she looks over at Luka and tells him that they found Ted cyanotic and put a 7-0 in the neck. Luka watches her and tells Pratt to go with them. A tired-looking woman who I recognize as the original youngest sister Charlie on Sisters (Shut up! Clooney was on there before ER!) is walking beside the gurney and telling Abby that Ted had a lot of mucus and they tried to suction him but his trach tube came out and he turned blue. Pratt asks if she’s from the home, but Charlie replies that she’s his mother. Abby looks at her, then asks Ted if he can open his eyes, but Charlie tells her that he can’t follow commands. They enter Trauma Yellow.

Pratt calls for an NG tube and a number six Shiley. Abby calls out 94 on 15 liters and asks if Ted needs an NG. Pratt starts to nod as Charlie chimes in that “you use it as a guide to change the airway”. Thanks, Charlie, but did you notice Abby’s white coat? I think she knows what an NG is for. Abby asks her how long Ted has been like this. Charlie replies despondently “two years, ever since the night he turned 21”. That sucks. After waiting all that time to turn legal, too. Charlie explains that his friends took him to a bar and made him drink 21 shots. Sorry, Charlie, but having once turned twenty-one myself, I really don’t think they had to “make” him do anything involving alcohol. She continues that on the way home, Ted stepped into traffic and got clipped by a pickup truck. Yikes. Sorry, Ted. Charlie goes on that you spend your whole life raising a kid right, and then “one stupid night turns him into this”. Charlie holds Ted’s hand as Abby looks over at her, and then at their clasped hands. In the background we hear my boy Elvis … the real Elvis, not Ray Elvis … singing “Blue Christmas” as the scene changes to:

Blue tinged urine strips in a sink. “Blue Christmas”. Hee. And, yuck. Couldn’t throw them in the trash can? Camera pulls up to a hand holding another one. We hear Luka calling out “Where are you? It’s time to open the presents”. Didn’t they already exchange presents on Christmas Eve? You know, compass … plastic snow globe …? So did Abby really get him something else? Besides the news about the Lukaby, that is. Maybe Jumbo Mart was running a special on cheap Chicago souvenirs and she picked up a giant pencil and a commemorative spoon as well. The camera pans up further to show Abby’s reflection in the mirror looking pensively at the blue strip. The door opens and Luka peeks his head in. Abby looks up at him through the mirror, shrugs, and says that she was “just making sure”. Luka has the haircut in this scene, so he either found a barber shop open on Christmas or else Abby cut it for him. Wish she had done something with her hair. Since she’s had the bangs cut, maybe she and Luka played “Hairdresser and Shampoo Boy” last night. Her hair has actually been looking pretty good in the other scenes, as evidenced by the fact that I haven’t been bitching about it as usual, but it’s in a really messy up-do right now. She puts her cheek in her hand and watches him through the mirror as he comes in and walks closer to her. He looks in the sink, raises his eyebrows, and lightly says that he thinks that she can stop now. They look at each other’s reflections. He tells her that they can find a way to make it work, if that’s what she wants. She doesn’t know what she wants. She turns to him and says “I mean. I’m 37 years old.” Really? Don’t remember ever being told her age, though I did speculate in the “Wake Up” recap that I thought she was around 35 or so. Since we know from “Beyond Repair” that her birthday is January 10, which would be only a couple of weeks after this scene, is she 36 turning 37, or is she 37 turning 38? I think it may be the former, and she’s referring to being 37 when the baby is born. Though personally, I will always say the younger age until the last possible second on my birthday, even verifying every year with my mother that I was indeed born at noon, so that I don’t officially age another year until lunch time. Looking away, she continues “If not now, when?”, hence the title of this episode. And Abby certainly has a lot of tchotchkes in her bathroom, including what looks like it may be the snow globe that Luka gave her in the Secret Santa gift exchange in “Hindsight”. She so does not seem like the flea market collector type. Though it would explain why she thought Luka would give her a glass frog. I highly doubt with all the moving around that they did with Manic Maggie when she was a kid that they’re heirlooms. Maybe she’s an eBay junkie. ‘Cause you know, you can always get it on eBay. Luka tells her that she knows how he feels about it. She looks up at him. He thinks everything happens for a reason. Really, Luka? What possible reason could there have been for your wife and kids to be killed by an artillery shell hitting your apartment building? Can he really believe that? Shrugging slightly, she honestly tells him, “It scares me, Luka”. He reaches over and caresses her shoulder. She leans her head over towards his hand as he asks her “Having it? Or choosing not to?” She thinks about it, then answers “Yeah”, as we cut back to:

Pratt saying “Pull the NG and bag him”. He looks up when there’s no response and says sharply “Abby”. She looks up and Pratt tells her to bag Ted. Charlie wants to know if he’s all right. Abby assures her that he should be much better now that he has a new tube. Charlie smiles and thanks her. Abby looks up and notices Coburn (Yay! I love Amy Aquino!) entering Trauma Green. She asks Pratt what Coburn is doing there. Pratt tells her that Luka called her down for a lady with an ovarian torsion, which sounds really painful. Abby glances over and then away.

Weaver is sitting on a bed in the Curtain Area. Holding up a needle, she calls to Neela, “Dr. Rasgotra, someone seems to have left this” and hands it to her. So, Neela didn’t take Gallant’s name when they got married, huh? Interesting. Guess she didn’t want to be Mrs. Plank. And leaving needles lying around? I think Luka needs to put the smack down on people for not following procedures. Weaver does a funny sort of wiping off her hands move like she’s getting rid of cobwebs, then asks Neela how married life is. Neela says that “it’s very nice” and thanks her. Nice? That’s the best you can say, Neela? Not “great” or “wonderful” or “don’t know why we didn’t do it sooner” or “I’m so tired from all the sex we’ve been having”,… anything, but … nice? No wonder Luka had a problem in “Two Ships” with Abby using that word to describe their night together. It sounds so … ordinary and, boring. Two words not to be used in reference to Luka, but, well, we are talking about Gallant here, so I guess it’s an apt term. Neela says that they are looking for a place of their own. They are NOT still living with Ray??? That is just wrong, on so many levels. Weaver thinks that sounds exciting, because apparently it’s been a while since Weaver’s worked with Plank, so she’s forgotten that he has the personality of Abby’s dead Christmas tree. As she examines Weaver’s hips, Neela tells her that the Army wants Plank to finish his residency at a military hospital. Weaver asks where the closest program is and Neela replies “Fort Hood, Texas” as she hits a particularly sensitive spot and Weaver gasps in pain. Neela looks up at her worriedly, and continues that she hopes Plank can end up somewhere not too far away. Neela asks her if she has tenderness over the greater trochanter, which is a bony prominence near the end of the thigh bone. Thanks, Google. Neela’s hair is pulled back into a really severe bun. Not flattering and makes her look like my 8th grade English teacher who was constantly berating us about using dangling participles. Obviously, if you’re reading this, you know that I paid absolutely no attention to her. Weaver thinks that it’s probably just a contusion from where she hit the ground. Neela lifts Weaver’s leg to check her range of motion. She bends the knee, like Beckham, and Weaver cries out in pain. Neela looks concerned as she says “pain with internal rotation”. Weaver tries to tell her that it’s happened before and that she just needs an ice pack for ten minutes and it’ll stop. Okay, Cleopatra, Queen of Denial. Neela asks if she wants something for the pain like percocet or vicodin, but Weaver says no, because she has too much work to do. She’ll take 800mg of ibuprofen and wants Neela to call for a hip series. Neela starts to say that she’ll have to run it past her attending, but then stops, realizing who she is talking to, and apologizes. As she starts to walk away, Weaver calls after her to pull the curtain for her. Neela comes back and pulls the curtain around the bed.

Ray comes over and asks Neela how Weaver is doing. Neela responds that she’s “a bit cranky at the moment”, and I so feel that, Weaver. And thanks for the shout-out, Neela. Ray thinks Neela will “soften her up” for him. Neela’s all “what?” as Ray fills her in that it’s for his “TO request” which I guess means “time off” and not “totally obnoxious”, which is what he is. Neela wants to know what he needs time off for. Ray asks if she knows who Barry Ginsberg is. Neela asks if he’s a gynecologist on the fourth floor. Hee. Ray explains that he’s a record producer, a mogul, an idol-maker. I don’t think so, Ray, because I’m pretty sure that’s Simon Cowell and I would so love to hear what he would think of you. Ray continues that this guy listened to some of their tracks and bang! They are going to LA, where they have a “gig at the Key Club”. It’s is an actual club on Sunset Boulevard where everyone from Van Halen to Salt ‘n Pepa has played, so yeah, I believe Ray’s band would actually perform there. And Abby and Chuny will be his back-up singers, too. He says that if all goes well, they’ll get to record a demo at the studio in Venice. Chuny asks “Italy?” Duh, Chuny. Even I know that he meant Venice Beach, California. Chuny thinks it’s awesome and congratulates him, then gives him a chart for an infected foot fungus in Four. Hee. Neela is walking away and Ray calls after her that he needs a little time off. Sam walks by and asks “how much is a little?” Ray replies “just a month”. Neela and Sam stop and stare at him. Neela doesn’t think that’s “a little”, and turns towards the computer. Sam asks her if she can check Amanda Ramsey, a 15 year old patient presenting with vague pain. Neela apologizes and says she has to get some ibuprofen and a hip series for Weaver. So why is she on the computer? I guess Google searches are more important than teenage patients, huh, Neela? Sam pleads with her to trade, because she’s been tracking an item on eBay and really needs to use the computer because the auction’s almost up. Sam shows Neela the chart and then says “I didn’t tell her yet” and Neela, a little perturbed, says “thanks a lot”. Why did Sam hand off this patient? And why do I have the feeling that she’s not going to have much to do again tonight? Since Weaver has actually been given some lines this season, I guess they had to cut someone’s part, so they decided on Sam. Linda Cardellini must have pissed somebody off because this episode marks the mid-point of the season and Sam hasn’t had a storyline since she broke things off with Luka. Guess it’s not a good idea to dump the person with top-billing, Linda. Must be thanking God that you have Scooby Doo 3 in the works, huh?

Neela comes over to a young girl patient who looks a lot like a young Tatum O’Neal in the original Bad News Bears that was on cable recently and introduces herself. Tatum asks how long Neela thinks it will be because she didn’t mean to make a big deal and that she probably just needs some Motrin or something. Never be pleasant and say something like that on this show, Tatum, because it just ensures that something horrible is going to be wrong with you. Neela tells her that they ran a test on her urine. Tatum wants to know if she has a bladder infection. Neela tells her that she’s pregnant. Ah, so that’s why Sam dumped her – hits a little too close to home. Tatum looks a little surprised and then pensive and Neela asked if she knew. Tatum looks away and asks whether Neela told her parents. Neela says that they’ve been told that Tatum was there, but that’s all. Neela asks who the father is. Is she supposed to ask that? Tatum, still looking away, hesitates and says “some guy from school”. Neela asks if he’s her boyfriend. Tatum says no. Neela says she can get their adolescent clinic to come down and talk to Tatum. I’m just now noticing that Neela is wearing a “Luka Blue” colored sweater. Since it’s you, Neela, and I like you, except for the resembling my teacher thing, I’ll not hurt you. But don’t wear the color again. And get your hair out of that stupid bun. Luka is wearing a blue shirt today too, but it’s the lighter shade of blue that he sometimes wears, “Luka Blue 2”. Tatum doesn’t think her parents will like that. Neela tells her that there are a number of options. Tatum agrees, she can keep it or put it up for adoption. Neela says that she can choose not to have it. Tatum sighs and sadly says that she could never do that because it would be against God. Neela stares at her.

A screaming patient is brought in on a gurney, yelling that he was stabbed in the heart. Morris is with him, listening to his chest and tells Chi-Chi that he’s PP Perkins, mugging victim, with stab wounds to the chest, arms and abdomen. PP is screaming that there is blood coming out of everywhere as Morris says that the sats only 82. They walk past Abby in the hall on the way to Trauma and she asks if they need a hand, but Chi-Chi says that they’re on it and calls for a chest tube.

Abby’s still watching after them as Coburn and her patient walk behind her and go towards the elevators. Coburn is soothingly telling her that they have to remove an ovary, but that’s why God gave her a spare and that it’s going to be fine. Abby looks over and spots Coburn. Coburn tells a generic nurse to prep the patient in two and that she’ll be up in 15 minutes as Abby walks over towards her. They load the patient on the elevator. Coburn turns around, checking her beeper that is going off. Abby asks her “how’s it going?” Coburn tells her that the patient is young and the other ovary looks good, so … Abby corrects “Uh, no, I – I meant …” Coburn looks at her and get’s that Abby’s asking her how it’s going. Coburn smiles and says “fine” and then asks Abby “and you?”, though she’s not really interested because she’s looking at her pager. Abby says “good”. Coburn tells her that she’s just been paged for an ultrasound and asks if Abby knows what it’s about. She doesn’t. Abby tells her that she remembers hearing that Coburn started her own practice. Coburn happily says that she did and that it’s going very well and that the only problem is the boss and says “Ooh, what a bitch”. Abby sort of grins at her, not getting it. I told you she could be dense. Coburn explains, “I’m the boss, Abby”. Hee. I love Coburn. Why can’t she be main cast? Oh, yeah, because the role of the older, bitchy female is already being played by Weaver. Abby gets it and nods “right” and chuckles. Coburn grins at her and laughing, snarks, “Now you’re patronizing me”. Hee. Abby backtracks “no. I … um … I just …” Funny. Abby was an OB nurse for a long time, so she and Coburn must know each other pretty well. Abby motions Coburn further down the hall, supposedly out of earshot. Abby, not looking at her, tells her that she might want to come and see her, and that she needs an OB. Coburn gasps, pleasantly surprised, and happily says “Congratulations!” as the camera shifts to Abby who is fidgeting uncomfortably, and her eyes are shiny. Coburn continues “Wow, I had no idea” and trails off as she sees how upset Abby is, and then says “I’ll shut up”, and looks at her, sympathetically. Abby tells her that it wasn’t something she expected, and tries to smile. Coburn asks if it’s something she wants. Abby, not really looking at Coburn and trying to keep her composure, says that she’s not sure, and she doesn’t know if she’s in the right place in her life for this, so … as her eyes are really getting filled up, and she looks down. Coburn asks “So, you don’t want to keep it?” Abby, looks away, and smiling, embarrassedly, wipes at her eyes and says she’s sorry. Coburn tells her it’s okay and that she’s always prepared, as she pulls a pack of tissues out of her pocket and gives it to Abby. Coburn hands Abby a card and says that she has office hours every afternoon and that Abby should just come by any time. She continues that she can help Abby whether it’s prenatal care or termination, whatever she decides. Abby looks really young and like such a scared little kid here. She nods at Coburn and thanks her. Coburn reassures her that whatever she does, it’s going to be the right thing. Abby looks like she really appreciates Coburn saying that and thanks her again. Coburn walks away. Abby looks down and wiping her eyes with the tissue whispers, almost imperceptibly, “Oh, God”. Very well done scene.

Malik says that PP’s systolic’s only 86. Morris calls for the thoroseal and tells PP that he’ll feel a little pressure. Chi-Chi asks PP who really “jacked him”. Again with the slang, Chi-Chi. The Urban Dictionary tells me that he’s asking PP who “fucked him up” and I actually already knew that but I think it’s funny that you can look this stuff up on the Internet. PP tells him that it was some guys he knows. Chi-Chi looks at the monitor and says that the sat’s coming up. PP says that they were drinking by a fire in an alley and Chi-Chi interrupts that they must have been some real good friends “they avoided stabbing you in the heart”. Even in pain, PP shoots him a look. Morris asks Malik if anyone’s called the cops, and Malik says that they are on their way. PP protests “Don’t call no cops”. Um, little too late to demand that, PP, because if “they are on their way”, somebody obviously already did. Morris asks him why, because the guys could have killed him. PP says “I got problems, yo. Cops are only going to make it worse”. Chi-Chi looks at him and tells him “I feel you, bro. Trust me, I feel you”. PP wants Chi-Chi to do him “a solid”, which is “a favor”. Thanks, Urban Dictionary. Chi-Chi tells him “Anything for you, PP, anything”, because they are new best friends and Chi-Chi thinks it would be cool to drink by a fire … in an alley … in Chicago … in January.

Coburn is doing an ultrasound on Tatum. She asks Neela for more lube, which sounds kind of kinky and I didn’t know Coburn swung that way. Coburn and Weaver – now there’s a couple I’d like to see. Except that I still think Snotty Surgeon from last episode is going to be Weaver’s new gal pal. Neela puts the gel on Tatum’s belly, who complains that it’s cold. Coburn tells her “sorry about that” as Luka walks in. Looking at Neela, he sighs and says “Dr. Coburn”, who glances over her shoulder at him. Neela apologetically explains that she called OB, and I know Luka can be a bit clueless sometimes, Neela, but I’m pretty sure he can see that. He glares at her as Tatum asks Coburn if there could have been a mistake with the other test. Coburn tells her she doesn’t think so as she points out the baby’s heart beating on the monitor. Tatum looks over and then quickly away, distressed. Coburn tells her the baby’s about seven weeks old. Hmmm … they haven’t told us, but I wonder how far along Abby is? Tatum worriedly says “they won’t understand”. Coburn replies “your parents?” Tatum thinks they’ll say that she has sinned. Luka, who was looking at her chart, glances up at Tatum. Neela says that she can help her talk to them, if she wants. Luka asks Neela if he can have a minute and they walk to the other side of the exam room. Neela starts to explain that Luka was in with a patient and she thought it was best to … Luka interrupts that it would have been better if she had presented to him first. Neela thinks that either way she’d have to call an OB. She tells him that Tatum is 15 and scared. Luka asks if the family is on their way in, and Neela nods slightly and sighs that they are very religious people, which really didn’t have anything to do with his question, Neela. Luka wants her to call him when they get there.

Abby is stitching up a teenage boy’s upper arm. She asks him how he did it. He says that he was trying to hop a bus. She wants to know if he slipped on the ice, and he explains that he was “skitching”. Again, the has-to-be-consulted-way-too-often-in-ten-minutes Urban Dictionary tells me this is the “act of being dragged from the rear bumper of a vehicle during winter months when there is a lot of snow present. Kids do this by waiting at stop signs to grab onto unsuspecting cars while they stop and being dragged while sliding their feet on the snow”. Morons. Abby apparently speaks “teenager” because she surprisingly already seems to know what it means, although I imagine as an ER doc she’s seen a lot of injuries caused by this stupidity. Stupid Kid says that he fell off the bumper. Idiot. Abby thinks it might be easier to just pay the fare. Stupid Kid asks if he looks like he’s got surplus income to blow. Oh, stupid and a smart-ass, huh? Have you met Ray? Abby asks for another 3-0 ethilon then wants to know if Stupid Kid was on his way home. He scoffs that he hasn’t been home in a while, since May. Abby looks at him and then says that his folks must be worried about him. Stupid Kid says they worry a lot and are always wanting to know what he’s doing and what he’s up to. He says it gets to be a real drag. Abby doesn’t think it sounds so bad. Stupid Kid bitches that he’s an “independent spirit, you know?” Stupid, smart-ass, and superior – three strikes. He tells her that he wants to be on his own. Abby asks if his parents even know where he is. He says no and that he just left one day. Abby looks at him as the scene cuts to:

Abby, lying in bed, saying “What if I don’t know how to love it right?” Luka sighs, “Abby”. She says “Maybe I’m not strong enough”. Abby is looking at and playing with the watch that we saw Luka wearing when he was caressing her shoulder in the earlier Christmas bathroom scene. And we can hear it ticking in the background, like Abby’s biological clock. Luka is lying on his side, facing her, with his arms under his head, and he’s watching her. Oh, there’s naked Luka chest. Now where did I put those Marlboros? You’d think I would learn by now to have them readily available because you just never know when Luka will be naked. How the hell can she just lie there … in the same bed … next to him … when he’s looking so completely yummy … and not be all over him? If you’re not going to make good use of him, Abby, step aside and let someone with more imagination have a chance. Crazy bitch. If I were Maura Tierney, it would be explicitly stated in my contract that Goran Visnjic must be perpetually naked. But then again, I would have had that ironclad in the contract since Season 7, so maybe I scored higher on my SAT’s than she did. He tells her that being a parent makes you stronger. She replies “And it breaks your heart. You told me that”. He tells her that’s not what he meant. She looks over at him, and then says that she’s sorry, she didn’t mean … and he quietly replies “No. Don’t – don’t use that as a reason” and grins a little at her. So evidently they’ve talked about his feelings about losing his kids. We’ve only ever seen them talk about it once before when she asked him if he was missing them in “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” in Season 8 when he wanted to bail out the dad who had stolen stuff from a store so that his kids would have Christmas presents. Gazing at him, she again whispers that she’s sorry, and reaches over and strokes his arm. That was very sweet. And, hands off, bitch. He raises his eyebrows and shakes his head slightly. Still stroking his arm, she asks him “what if I go shopping, and leave it in the supermarket?” He chuckles and smiling at her, says “Don’t worry. I’ll go shopping”. I know that he’s just trying to allay her fears, but I’m surprised he can joke about that, seeing as it was when he left to go shopping that his family was killed. She grins, looks away, sighs, and solemnly says “I’m afraid I’d mess it up, Luka”. He reaches over to her and she looks at him as he assures her “We won’t”. We cut back to:

Abby, realizing she’d zoned out, shakes her head to clear it, removes her gloves and heads towards the door, telling Stupid Kid to keep the wound clean and dry and come back in a week to have the stitches removed. He asks if that’s it. She distractedly says “yeah”, then looking at him, asks “unless you want to talk to somebody from social work”.

Neela opens the Exam Room door, leading in Tatum’s parents. Mrs. Tatum, who reminds me of Kelly Taylor’s mom Jackie on Beverly Hills: 90210, goes over to Tatum and asks if she’s okay. Tatum says she’s fine. Neela tells them that she’ll leave them to talk. Tatum asks her to stay. Tatum worriedly addresses her parents, then hesitatingly tells them that something happened and says she’s sorry. Jackie asks what happened. Tatum starts to cry and looks pleadingly at Neela. Neela tells them that they ran some tests and did an ultrasound. She continues that Tatum is pregnant and they are waiting for some blood results. Mr. Tatum, who has the hugest cleft chin I’ve ever seen, stops her and tells her “that’s fine”, while Jackie looks shocked. Neela says that there are a number of places that she can refer them to for counseling. Mr. Tatum steps closer to Tatum’s bed and between her and Neela, and closing ranks, nicely but firmly dismisses Neela saying that they’d like to be alone with their daughter. Neela smiles reassuringly at Tatum, says “okay” and steps out.

Morris is doing an ultrasound on PP. He tells Chi-Chi that there is no free fluid and that they are waiting for surgery to evaluate as Snotty Surgeon enters. Great. I’m guessing it will be less than ten seconds before she’s annoying the crap out of me. She snots “Not anymore, Red. What’ve you got?” Wow, that was less than two seconds. Thanks, Snotty. Except, not. Chi-Chi snarks “Morning, Sunshine”. Hee. She haughtily asks “Who are you?”, and Chi-Chi responds “Who are you?” Snotty retorts “I’m surgery. “ Jeez, I know surgeons are arrogant, but saying that you “are” surgery goes way beyond ego, Snotty. She then sneers “See the badge?” Chi-Chi thinks she must be the bedside manner coach that he’s heard so much about. Snotty smirks and ignores him. Morris tells her that PP has multiple stab wounds and is stable after the chest tube. She asks if there is anything under the peritoneum, but Morris isn’t sure and the ultrasound is negative. Snotty bitches that didn’t answer her question. Morris looks up at her with the same “who is this bitch?” look that Pratt and Weaver shared about her last episode. Malik comes in saying that the cops are here. PP starts to get up, but Chi-Chi pats him on the shoulder and tells him to relax, “I got your back”, and starts to head out. As he passes, he tells Morris that if he can get a smile out of “surgery”, Chi-Chi will pay for the date. Morris chuckles. Snotty thinks Chi-Chi is right “on the cusp of sexual harassment”. Obviously you weren’t around for the wolf calls and “que sexy” remarks to Neela a few episodes ago, or the cow-like gum-chewing suggestive flirting with Maureen the Temp on Christmas Eve, Snotty, or you’d know Chi-Chi broke that barrier a long time ago. Chi-Chi replies “The cusp? That would be a new position for me.” Nice, Chi-Chi. Are they ever going to send him to the seminar that Weaver sent The Breakfast Club to in “Secrets and Lies”? Or maybe not. Because unless he can quote Hamlet in Croatian, I really don’t need to know when Chi-Chi lost his virginity.

Chi-Chi goes out in the hall to make nice to the cops. He says “hey” to them and starts to tell them that he is the Attending on this case when one cop interrupts him saying “Clemente?” Chi-Chi says “yeah” then jumps in that “the thing is that this dude is very sick” and that he’s completely out of it and he won’t be able to give them a statement today. He tells them he’s sorry and starts to go back into the trauma room when the other cop stops him and asks if he’s Victor Clemente. Chi-Chi says he is and asks if they were listening to him. Other Cop tells him that they aren’t there about the patient, they are there for him as the camera zooms in on Chi-Chi’s “oh shit” look.

At Admit, Malik is telling Neela that “Dubenko’s feisty gopher” is at it again. The gopher from Caddyshack? Because he’s all right, Malik, don’t nobody worry ‘bout him. Neela’s all “what?”, and Malik continues “The Chief Resident from the Death Star” is down on a consult. That would be funny, Malik, if Snotty were dressed all in black, breathed heavily, and sounded like James Earl Jones. Neela questions “Albright?” Duh, Neela. Do you know any other Chief Residents who work for Dubenko? I think your hair may be pulled back a bit too tight and it’s compressing your brain.

Morris is emphatically stating that PP is hemodynamically stable with no peritoneal signs. Snotty wants to know why he called her then as she starts to walk out. Morris bitches “Look, missy, it’s protocol, all right?” Hee, and uh oh, Morris. I wouldn’t mess with Snotty because I’m pretty sure she could easily kick your ass. Snotty turns slowly, glares and walks towards him menacingly, saying icily, “You didn’t just call me, missy, did you?” Don’t say I didn’t warn you, Morris. Morris retreats a little, stuttering, “Okay, look, the – the case meets trauma criteria”. Snotty warns him that next time call her when he knows what he has on his hands, as Neela walks in and asks if she’s Dr. Albright. Morris yells that PP was stabbed in the belly and they need to know if he needs surgical repair. Neela introduces herself and says that she’s interested in doing a surgical elective. Snotty says “right”, then turns back to Morris, condescending that he should work up his patient, image the belly, explore the wounds and figure out how deep they are, and if they enter the peritoneal cavity, then call her. Neela puts on some gloves and walks towards PP as Snotty snots that then she’d be “more than happy to get involved”. Morris nods at her curtly and Snotty turns to storm out as Neela says that one-third of all stab wounds enter the peritoneal cavity and damage the viscera. Snotty stops and turns as Neela continues that one-third go in and don’t hit anything. She pulls out a giant q-tip as she finishes that one-third are shallow and tangential, as she puts it into one of PP’s stab wounds and pushes it through another. Yuck. Neela says that the trajectory was suggested by the hilt mark of the knife as PP looks down concerned about the stick that is shish kebab-ing his chest. Neela tells them that he won’t need surgery. Snotty looks impressed then snarks to Morris that he should pay more attention to his interns, adding “Red”. Neela corrects that she’s actually an R2. Snotty says, “Okay, R2”, because apparently Snotty really is Darth Vader, and tells Neela to call her about the elective, because they might be able to work something out. She shoots a look at Morris before leaving, as Neela smirks. Morris, with his mouth hanging open, watches her leave, then glances over to see Neela looking at him so he puts his hands up and wags his head, mockingly going “Ooooh”, towards Snotty.

Chi-Chi pleads with the cops that they’ve got to be kidding him about the parking violations. Other Cop says okay and then wants to confirm that Chi-Chi had some other problems “back East”. Chi-Chi wants to know what kind of problems they are talking about. Other Cop thinks Chi-Chi left Newark General under some very serious allegations. Chi-Chi’s pissed and forcefully insists that he never compromised a patient’s care, emphasizing “never” about a gazillion times. First Cop laughingly says okay, backing off. Other Cop wants to get back to “Mrs. Kenyon”, who I think must be Cha-Cha, and starts to say that “she had some issues …” as Chi-Chi interrupts “What do you want me to say?” and wants to know what issues. He says that Cha-Cha was a nurse and he’d ask her for 6-0 Vicryl and she’d bring it to him. Yeah, that’s not all she brought you though, is it, Chi-Chi? Chi-Chi says he had no issues with her, other than being stupid enough to wear $400 shoes in the snow, and asks if he can go. He starts to walk away, but the cops stop him. Chi-Chi’s panicking a bit and asks if they do realize that “son of a bitch hits her”. Other Cop thinks Chi-Chi has seen her. Chi-Chi lies and says he hasn’t seen her, but he can see what’s going on here and he thinks it’s pretty low. He think’s Mr. Cha-Cha sent them after Chi-Chi because “he can’t keep his own wife happy”, unlike Chi-Chi whose “big soldier” and the romp in the chapel on Christmas Eve seemed to have made Cha-Cha very happy. Chi-Chi thinks that’s pretty pathetic. First Cop sarcastically says that all they know is that Cha-Cha is a missing person who might be in trouble. Chi-Chi thinks Cha-Cha will be in more trouble if they find her. Other Cop wants to know what that means and Chi-Chi explains that sometimes people go missing because they feel safer that way, and he advises them to stop looking for her. He starts to leave again when they stop him and tell him not to go missing. Chi-Chi wants to know why they’d think he’d go missing. He asks if they are confusing him with one of the low-life, fascist scumbags they spend their days with, because it’s always a good idea to antagonize the police. Pratt observes this conversation. Other Cop thinks Chi-Chi should calm down before it gets embarrassing, and I’m pretty sure you’re way past that point, Other Cop. Chi-Chi digs himself in even deeper as he warns them that they better not have thrown him “off his game” today, especially considering all the cops lives he’s saved, and he’d hate to be less than 100% when one of their “brothers” comes in with a bullet in the belly. Damn, Chi-Chi, you really do need to mellow out a bit. Maybe you should take up Pilates … Or yoga. … Or marijuana. The cops walk away saying that they think they’re done for now. Chi-Chi walks down the hall and sees Pratt standing at Admit, silently judging him. Chi-Chi adjusts the waistband on his scrubs, put his hand to his forehead and walks away.

Chi-Chi enters the drug lock-up, panting, and grabs a big bottle of pills. He pours some into his hand and swallows them. Without water, Chi-Chi? That always makes me gag. And what were those pills? I’m sure they don’t have to inventory the drugs or anything, so nobody will ever notice that they are missing. He puts the bottle back as Pratt walks up asking if they have any loperamide in stock. Chi-Chi says he’s sure they do and slides back one of the glass doors, pulls a bottle off one of the shelves, and tosses it to Pratt. Don’t they have to write down when they take something from lock-up? Luka really does need to be more on top of the procedural stuff. But since he’s only been in the job a couple of weeks and he’s so pretty, I’ll cut him some slack. And there are better things I can think of for him to be on top of right now anyway. Chi-Chi turns his back to Pratt and walks over to the door, leaning his head against his hand, disturbed. Pratt watches in the background, then walks away, leaving Chi-Chi to breathe heavily.

Ray comes over to Weaver’s bed in the Curtain Area carrying a tray of food that has a red bow on top of the entrée lid because hospital food is always the perfect gift, and tells her that he got her the “good stuff”. I’m sure Weaver’s tasted the hospital food before, Ray, so she knows this can’t possibly be true. He goes to put the tray down on her side table, but she stops him because he almost sets it on her jacket. Weaver is now outfitted in one of those hideous patient gowns. Ray chirps that it’s turkey day in the cafeteria. Weaver isn’t really paying attention to him and is working on her laptop. She just abruptly says “no”. Ray feigns innocence and says “no what?” and Weaver tells him it’s the answer to his question. He wants to know if he can at least state his case first. Weaver tilts her head a little in acquiescence. Ray pulls up a chair as Weaver’s beeper goes off. She takes off her glasses and looks at it as he tells her that this is a big opportunity for his band and for him, and you never know when you are going to get another shot like this (again “If Not Now”). Weaver admonishes him that her recollection is that he was warned last year about his commitment to his job. Yay, an indirect Susan reference! I miss Sherry Stringfield … and her hair. And again, Susan was the ER Chief when they had that discussion, so why isn’t Ray talking to Luka about all of this? Ray admits that he was. Weaver tells him that to his credit he has done an excellent job showing them that he wants to be there. He has? When? When he stopped wearing the eyeliner? Because the wardrobe certainly hasn’t improved any. And how would Weaver know? She barely works with him. He still doesn’t seem to take it that seriously to me, even telling Clemons the intern that if you don’t know something, just fake it. Weaver tells him that he’s a good doctor, and again, really haven’t seen much evidence of that. Although in his defense, except for the baby in the second episode, most of the major patients so far this year have been either Abby’s or Neela’s. Ray thanks her. Weaver doesn’t think they need to discuss this any further, he’s valuable and valued. Uh, not by the audience he isn’t, Weaver. She dismisses him with “Conversation over”. She puts her glasses on and turns her attention back to her laptop. Ray keeps trying and asks her if she’s tried the stuffing and that it’s great and he got her an extra piece. She sharply says “Dr. Barnett”. He replies “Look, Kerry”, she shoots him a withering look and he corrects “Dr. Weaver”. Hee. I love when she does that. He asks her if she’s ever dreamed about something without ever believing it would actually happen, because that’s what this is. She stares at him as Ray continues that this is so huge to him and that if he couldn’t do this, he would seriously consider quitting. Weaver patronizes “Far be it from me to stand in the way of the next Springsteen or KC and the Sunshine Band”. Hee. How did I know Weaver would be all into shake, shake, shaking her Booty? Put on your boogie shoes and get down tonight, Weaver. Ray smiles as she tells him that his resignation is accepted. Ha!!! Does this mean he’s leaving? Then there is a God and he does indeed love me because my prayers will have been answered. Ray’s all “what???”

Morris and Neela are walking down the hall. He asks why she wants to do surgery. She says she’s curious about it, but I’m sure it’s because she’s all into the hand-squishing stuff Dubenko lets her do. Morris thinks the hours suck, the Attendings are slave drivers, and the residents stab each other in the back. Neela snarks “oh, not like down here where we are all one big happy family”. Hee. I don’t know, Neela, why did you have them all plus some no name extras at your wedding then? They walk past Ray who slams down Weaver’s food tray bribe on the counter. Morris asks him what’s wrong, “Ashlee Simpson get caught lip-syncing again?” That would be funny Morris if it weren’t a daily occurrence. Ray dejectedly says that he thinks he just quit. They stare at him as he says “to go to California with my band”. Morris sarcastically tells him that he thinks that’s great and pats him on the shoulder saying “bold move” and how he’s keeping his music dream alive and he’ll love California. Then walking away loudly says pointing at Ray, “Hey, everybody, Ray Barnett, rock god!” Shut up, Morris! Neela follows him saying that she’s already sent her paperwork up to surgery. As they get to Admit, Morris wants her to get it back and that they can’t spare her, especially now with Ray on his way out, and if they are not fully staffed, she’s not going anywhere, and he doesn’t care what “Dr. Cruella” says. He’s talking loudly and Abby, on the phone, holds up her hand, hoping he’ll shut up, and I’m with you on that, Abby. She says into the phone that 3:45 will work, says thank you, and hangs up. Sam asks Neela, “Ray’s on his way out?” and Morris bitches that he just up and quit and that he’s not going to “let the Man keep him down”. Chi-Chi walks up to them and wants them to gather around. He asks if they know the girl he’s been hanging out with. Sam asks if he means Cha-Cha and that they love her. Neela chimes in that Cha-Cha taught her to tie a knot in a cherry stem using only her tongue. Of course she did. Why am I not surprised that this is among Cha-Cha’s “talents”? Morris is all excited, “she did?” Gallant may be blah but he’s prettier than you, Morris, so I’m pretty sure Neela won’t be giving you a demonstration. Chi-Chi asks if anyone was looking for her. Sam says no, and Chi-Chi tells them that if anyone does, they’ve never seen her, and that the same thing goes for him, too. Yeah, that’ll work, Chi-Chi, considering that you are employed there, you are only telling four people, and all anyone has to do is look up and see your name on the Board. Jackass. Neela again is all cluelessly “what?” which is like the third time she’s done that this episode, so she really does need to loosen the bun up a bit. Abby’s too distracted to be paying any attention to this. Chi-Chi tells her that Pratt is bringing in a patient and wants her to go with him. Abby says okay and Chi-Chi walks away. Sam and Neela are looking at Abby strangely. I don’t get that. They don’t know what’s going on with her, do they? Can’t imagine either she or Luka would tell anyone at this point, especially Sam. And I would so love to be a fly on the wall when she does find out, though with her anger management issues, I’d probably be in serious danger of being schplatted by thrown objects. Maybe Neela and Sam are just trying to gauge why Abby’s not reacting to Chi-Chi’s bizarre request. Abby walks away, too, and Neela watches her for a second as Morris turns and says “He gets weirder every day”, and never thought I’d say this, but I’m with you on that, Morris. Neela tries to reason with him that he heard what Snotty said, but he yells “so what?” He goes on that Snotty is the Chief Resident upstairs and he’s the Chief down here and that Neela works for him. Neela doesn’t think that’s fair and Morris just shrugs.

Mr. Tatum calls to Neela. He wants to sign the paperwork so Tatum can go home. Neela asks if he’d like her to call anyone for further treatment. He thanks her but says that they’ll arrange their own prenatal care. Neela’s surprised that Tatum has decided to keep “it”. Mr. Tatum looks at her questioningly and she corrects “baby”. Neela says that Tatum is young and it was an accident. Mr. Tatum doesn’t believe in accidents. He knows that Neela may not understand, but it’s God’s will that Tatum have this child. Neela only means that they may want to consider the long-term effects. Mr. Tatum thinks Neela may want to consider the spiritual effects of what she’s suggesting. Neela tells him that it’s her job to make sure the patient understands all the options available. Mr. Tatum says that a human life has just been created and he’s sorry, but anything that interferes with that is morally indefensible. I like that Mr. Tatum is sincere and doesn’t come off as a zealot like Psycho Mom and her “HIV doesn’t cause AIDS” schtick a couple of episodes ago.

A patient who looks like Lt. Barkley from Star Trek: The Next Generation tells Abby and Pratt that he finished a cycle of chemo two days ago. Same Random Paramedic who brought in Abby’s first patient says that they couldn’t get an IV because he’s too dry. Chuny tells Pratt that the OR needs an Attending to sign off on his pancreatic pseudo cyst. Pratt asks where Chi-Chi is and Chuny tells him “on the roof”. Pratt wants to know if they are getting a chopper patient, and please don’t tell me we are going to have more fricasseed limbs, because I really don’t think I can take it. Chuny says that Chi-Chi thinks his cell phone gets better reception up there. Pratt tells Abby to place a subclavian and bolus Barkley and that he’ll be back. Abby calls for a triple lumen tray and 1% lido. Malik says that Barkley is tachy at 132. Abby pours some betadine on Barkley and tells him it will be a little cold. Barkley tells her that he was never the sickly type and was always very healthy. He asks her if she believes that he used to do triathlons. She says that she did too. He replies “Really?” and she says “smoking, drinking, and watching TV”. Barkley laughs and says that she should stop that and she says that she has. So she really did give up smoking? I’ve been wondering about that because we haven’t seen her with a cigarette since the middle of last season, and I remember asking why Luka didn’t offer her one when he was smoking after she took him home from Ike’s in “Man With No Name”. And giving up TV, Abby? Guess you’ve cooled on the reality shows you used to watch, huh? Me too, ever since they took off My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé. And I suppose you and Luka won’t be catching the All Clint Eastwood channel that he seems to be able to get in his apartment either. Though if I were with Luka, I could think of better things to do than vegging in front of the boob tube, too. Bitch. Barkley tells her that six years ago he found out that he inherited the Philadelphia Chromosome. What does that do? Give you the overpowering urge to eat cheesesteaks, be like Rocky and run up the steps of the Art Museum, root for endlessly losing sports franchises, and make “Yo, how yous doin’?” a part of your every day vocabulary? Because then I’ve obviously inherited it, too. Actually, according to Google, this chromosome is linked with Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). Oh, that sucks. Sorry, Barkley. And nice diamond stud earring. As Abby fills a syringe, Barkley says that it ran on his mother’s side of the family and that he never knew. Abby digests this as Barkley says “screwed by genetics” and we cut to:

“Auld Lang Syne” is softly playing in the background, so most likely this is a flashback to New Year’s Eve. The camera shows us what looks like some decorations on a table and we hear Abby saying “The first time I was panicked the baby would be bipolar”. The camera pans up a champagne flute as Abby ruefully continues “and I’m not so sure I’ve changed that much”. Abby is saying this a little too matter-of-factly, so apparently she has already told Luka about the abortion she had when she was married to Richard. I like the way the interactions between these two have been written. The first time they were together, we weren’t shown a lot of communication. This time we are learning how much they know about each other, without having scenes that would be redundant. We already saw Abby agonize about the abortion when she told Maggie about it in “Where The Heart Is”. And we saw what happened to Luka’s family in “The Crossing”. We don’t need to have them go through it with each other. The writing and acting in all of their scenes together has been nuanced and very well done. The camera continues to move up as we hear Luka tell her “Well, the chances are slim, you know that”. Abby and Luka come into focus. They are leaning into each other, swaying to the music. I thought “Luka don’t dance”? Although this is really just moving in place, so I guess it doesn’t count. She has her eyes closed and her head and her right hand are on his chest (bitch), his arms are around her and he is leaning his cheek against the top of her head. They are speaking quietly to each other, murmuring, and while we see them clearly, everything around them and in the background is dark and out of focus, including what looks like colored Christmas tree lights. The whole tone is very intimate. He tells her that crossing the street is a risk and “if you let it get to you, you’d never have children. Nobody would”. She replies with almost exactly what she said to Maggie, “Well, maybe some people aren’t supposed to”. He tells her that he doesn’t think she’s one of them, as he moves his left hand to cover the one she has on his chest. Bitch. And her hair is in that messy up-do again. Maybe that’s her special “partridge in a pear tree” bird’s nest hairstyle for the holidays. Can’t wait to see what she does for Valentine’s. She tells him that he doesn’t know what it was like with Maggie … and Eric. He thinks she is looking for reasons again. She responds almost flirtatiously, “And what are you looking for? Someone to have a baby with?” He pulls back a little from her, offended. She looks down, realizing that she probably shouldn’t have said that and moves her arm down from around his neck to his shoulder as he moves his from her back to her arm. They look at each other and he gently but sincerely asks her “Is that what you think? Because if it is, then what the hell are we doing here?” She looks down, exhales and duck-lips as he looks away, perturbed. She moves a little closer, looks up at him and he looks back, and they gaze at each other for a long moment, then she says earnestly, “Happy New Year”. He smiles slightly, she grins, and they both close their eyes as he leans his forehead against hers. They kiss and he puts his arms around her, rocking slowly back and forth. Gee, I really wish they would give us some kind of sign so that we could tell whether these two cared about each other at all. With the music still playing softly, the scene changes back to:

Abby filling the syringe and telling Barkley that a whole cascade of things have to happen to cause CML and that the Philadelphia Chromosome doesn’t mean instant cancer. Barkley agrees but says that it’s “just that you are born with a big strike against you” as Abby looks at him.

Chi-Chi is on his cell phone on the roof. Finally, someone who isn’t using one in the hallways or exam rooms. It’s about time. He is leaving an angry message, presumably for Cha-Cha, and saying to call him right away and to not even try him right now. Pratt walks up, carrying a chart and jokingly asks him if he’s going to jump. It’s snowing, but neither of them is wearing a coat. Chi-Chi doesn’t answer so Pratt tells him that it’s not a trick question. Chi-Chi stormily says “yeah, sure it’s not”. Pratt scoffs and hands Chi-Chi the chart and says that he needs him to sign off on it. As Chi-Chi signs it, Pratt asks him what he’s doing up there because it’s freezing. You knew you would be outside, so if you’re cold it’s your own fault for not grabbing a jacket, Pratt. Dumb-ass. Chi-Chi replies that he has a very high core temp and that it’s a Latin thing. Okay, Rico Suave. Pratt asks him if he wants to talk “or something”. Please go for the talking, Chi-Chi. I don’t want to see any “or something” between you and Pratt. Chi-Chi wants to know why he would. Pratt thinks he seems a little ragged. Chi-Chi says that he’s got some “chick trouble”. Pratt says “then I’m your man”. Really, Pratt? Because your girlfriend is so non-descript that I’m not even going to bother to go back to a prior recap to get what her name is, so I highly doubt that you are the stud that you think you are. Chi-Chi says that he doesn’t like to share. Yeah, my two year-old doesn’t either, Chi-Chi, but I’m hoping he grows out of it. Pratt nods and says that he heard that Chi-Chi never sticks anyplace. Well, he’s not wearing a Velcro Suit, Pratt, so what’s your point? Pratt thinks that people don’t go to the mat for Chi-Chi because they have no idea who he is. They look at each other and Chi-Chi relents and tells Pratt that there was this crazy nurse at his last hospital and she was a piece of work, and it ended badly. Pratt thinks that it usually does. Chi-Chi says that he came here to just focus and “stay on the straight and narrow”. Pratt thinks that sounds like a good idea. Chi-Chi says that it’s easier said than done because the girl has “his number”, and a “very pissed-off husband”. Pratt laughs and tells Chi-Chi that he’s starting to like him more already. Chi-Chi’s beeper goes off and they start to head back. Pratt asks him “don’t you feel better now?” and Chi-Chi replies, “No, not really. Can’t say that I do”. Hee. I like these two together. They have good potential as friends.

Neela hands Luka a lab report at Admit saying that type and RH are back on Tatum. Luka takes a look and says that they’re done. Neela walks away as Abby comes up, putting on her coat. Luka asks if she’s off already. She tells him that she has a doctor’s appointment. Since he’s department chief, doesn’t she have to clear that stuff with him first? I guess since she’s boffing the boss and carrying his spawn, she thinks she can just come and go as she pleases. And I’m sure that he’ll let her get away with it, too. Luka really does need to get a handle on this department. He says “oh” and she elaborates that she is going to see Coburn. Luka gets it and moves closer to her asking “Coburn?” Abby explains that it’s at her practice and they walk towards the doors. Luka runs his hand over the back of his head and neck as they walk outside and says that he’ll get Chi-Chi to cover. Abby tells him that it’s okay, and he’s working. Luka say he should go with her, but Abby thinks it would probably be easier if he didn’t. She keeps walking and he grabs her arm to stop her saying “hey”. She stops and they stand close together as she looks down. He glances around, then looks at her and says quietly “When I say that I want us to keep it, you don’t like the way it sounds.” She looks up at him as he continues, “But anything else is a lie”. Chuny comes out and tells Luka that Neela needs him to sign off on Tatum. Abby looks down again as he tells Chuny to get Chi-Chi to do it, but apparently he’s MIA. Luka turns to Abby as Chuny goes back inside. He tells her that he doesn’t know what else to say. She looks up at him and says “Don’t say anything”, though it’s clear from her expression as she looks at him that she really does want him to say something. She turns and walks away, sighing, as he watches her, drumming his fingers against his leg.

Neela gives Tatum some pills which are probably pre-natal vitamins and tells her to take one every day to keep herself and the baby healthy. Neela asks where Mr. Tatum and Jackie are. Tatum says that her mom is making some calls and her dad had to go to a meeting. Neela tells her that if the pills make her nauseous, she should try taking them at night before she goes to bed. Luka enters and hands Tatum some papers, saying that it’s some more information that might be useful. Then he hands her some ultrasound pictures. Tatum sighs and reluctantly takes them, saying that she wishes that didn’t happen, and that she wishes she could make it go away. Luka tells her the same thing he said to Abby – that everything happens for a reason. Tatum hesitates, then turns towards Neela and says that there was this party at her friend’s house and she drank some beer and did some other stuff with a couple of guys and … crying she continues, that she must have passed out in a bedroom because when she woke up her jeans were on the floor and there was blood all over the sheets. Luka closes his eyes and then looks away as Tatum says that she tried to change the covers. And what would be the reason for this happening to Tatum, huh, Luka? Neela asks her if she was raped. Tatum nods slightly and says that she always thought the first time would be with someone she loved. Luka asks her why she didn’t say something. Tatum looks at Neela and tells her that she doesn’t want this. Neela tells her that she needs to explain to her parents what happened. She thinks they’ll understand and that Tatum has to tell them. Tatum says that she did tell them. Oh, that sucks.

Neela walks determinedly out of the room and up to Jackie, who is on the phone at Admit. She spots Neela and tells the caller that she’ll call back. Neela asks her if Tatum told her what had happened to her. Luka comes out of Tatum’s room and walks over to them as Jackie says yes. Neela can’t believe Jackie still wants Tatum to go through with this. Jackie doesn’t think that the baby can be punished for how it was conceived and that it’s not up to us to determine who gets to be born. Neela thinks they are talking about a 15 year old girl who was raped. Luka warns her saying quietly “Neela”, as she goes on that Jackie would force Tatum to carry the baby to term and change the course of her life. Jackie says that she wouldn’t force her to do anything, but that Tatum believes the same things her parents do. She appeals to Luka that this isn’t an appropriate conversation. Neela says “Inappropriate? She’s terrified. She doesn’t want to keep it.” Luka tells her “let’s take a walk”. Neela wants Jackie to think for a minute about what’s in her daughter’s best interests. Luka says more forcefully “Neela!” Jackie wants to know if Neela thinks it’s in Tatum’s best interest to kill her baby, because she can assure Neela that in the eyes of God, it most certainly is not. Crying, she excuses herself and walks away.

Luka tells Neela to leave the Tatums alone and that they’ve made a decision. Neela says that the parents have no legal rights because the pregnancy emancipates her. Luka angrily tells her that there is nothing else she can do and starts to walk away. Neela tells him that Tatum’s head is so far twisted that she doesn’t understand that she has a choice. Luka thinks that she doesn’t want an abortion, but Neela counters that she doesn’t want to have the baby either, and that anyone can see that. Neela asks about misoprostol, which is used as an aborfacient all over the world. Luka looks at her like she can’t possibly be serious. He shakes his head and says that Tatum won’t consent to that and tells Neela to let it go and starts to walk away again. Neela tells him that he is the wrong person to talk to about this. Luka stops dead in his tracks and turns to stare at her saying “excuse me”? He looks shocked, like he’s thinking the same thing that I am – Neela knows about Abby being pregnant. Neela looks at him, a little scared that she started down this path, then shakes her head slightly and asks him for his permission to consult another Attending. Luka continues to stare at her and she adds “Someone who’s not Catholic”. So Neela doesn’t know about Abby. Luka can’t believe what he’s hearing and moves closer to her. For a second I think I get a wiff of something coming from the stable, but apparently Luka’s High Horse of Moral Superiority is out grazing somewhere because he speaks in a very low and deliberate voice, getting angrier as he goes on, “Listen to me very seriously. I’m a doctor first, above and beyond anything else. And I don’t let my personal beliefs get in the way of a patient’s best interests. Ever!” Well, that’s not exactly true, Luka. I seem to remember a few seasons back you forcefully sticking a tube up a guy’s nose and down his throat without benefit of sedation because he had been driving drunk and had hit a family. Abby was one of the nurses in the room and I wouldn’t be surprised if her witnessing that had something do to with the fact that she never told you about her drinking problem. I do think that Neela is out of line here and Luka has a right to his indignation about her assuming that his faith would cloud his judgment. Though I think Neela sensed some kind of inner turmoil going on with him, but not knowing about the situation with Abby, she mistakenly interpreted it as his beliefs affecting his job. Luka is also taking care not to make a scene as he is reprimanding her. He just might make a good department head after all. If he can enforce protocol with the equipment and medications, and keep Abby from making her own schedule. Though if you are going to continue to get some from her, good luck with the latter, Luka. Luka tells Neela to give him the chart and move on to the next one. Neela apologizes and says that it’s just that there has to be something they can do. Luka dismisses her with “you’re done here”. Neela hands him the chart and walks away with her tail between her legs. Luka glares after her, but his expression shows that he may be pondering whether there is any truth in her accusation.

The Sad String and Piano Music of Difficult Decisions plays as Abby sits in a doctor’s waiting room. She looks over and sees another woman, by herself, looking troubled. A couple walks in, obviously having their first baby and looking very happy. Abby looks around, uncertain, as we hear Luka in voiceover (VO) ask “Do you want to have this baby?” Scene shifts to:

Tatum, in her coat, sitting on the edge of the exam room bed saying that she has to. Luka asks her again if it’s what she wants. Tatum looks at him sadly, shakes her head and says no. Luka pulls a chair up and sits across from her. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a small package. He shows it to her and tells her that it’s called a laminaria. He hands it to her and says that it goes into the cervix, and in voiceover continues as we go to:

Abby again in the doctor’s office as Luka continues “where it absorbs water and swells”. Abby looks so sad and conflicted, and very alone. She watches a mother trying to calm a crying baby as we hear Luka saying “creating a larger opening”. Abby watches some little kids playing and follows one girl who I realize looks a lot like the picture of Abby on the ornament in the opening teaser, possibly reminding Abby of herself as a little kid. Or else, maybe she’s imagining what her daughter might look like. And why are there all of these kids in the OB’s office? This isn’t Gymboree, people. Luka’s VO goes on “After that happens” and camera cuts to:

Luka telling Tatum “it’s possible that the fetus will fall out”. Tatum asks “possible?” Luka tells her that she might have a miscarriage. Tatum wants to know if it hurts. Luka says a little and that there might be some cramping. Tatum asks if it is a sin. Luka thinks that it’s just a medical way they have of giving God a chance to reconsider. What about “everything happens for a reason”, Luka? Conveniently tossed that out the window, huh? Annoying.

Abby’s still in the waiting room. A nurse calls out “Abigail Lockhart?”, and Abby turns to look at her.

Chi-Chi is on his cell phone outside the hospital when he spots Cha-Cha getting out of a cab, carrying shopping bags. He hangs up and goes over to her. She runs up squealing “Oh my God! Nobody was out today. I had the pick of the litter”. She’s apparently referring to the furry boots that she’s wearing, because they really do look like something that the cat dragged in and are not any more appropriate for the snow then the Choo’s shoes. Chi-Chi grabs her arm and walks her back towards the cab, telling her that she has to leave. The cab pulls away before he gets to it. She wants to know what the hell is wrong with him, and we don’t have that kind of time to get into that right now, Cha-Cha. He tells her that the cops are on him, they’re on his ass. That sounds painful, and make sure you have your “Exit Only” sign on, Chi-Chi. He tells her it’s because her “dick of a husband” put out a missing person’s report. Cha-Cha’s surprised. And her hair is in That ‘70’s Show’s Farrah Fawcett-type feathered wing flip-do, though her skanky outfit is right out of a current Frederick’s of Hollywood catalog. Chi-Chi wants to know how long she thinks they have before her husband traces her to him. How long before Chi-Chi is walking around with his “testicles in a jar”. Yuck. I so did not need that image. Thanks, Chi-Chi. And if that happens, you can always sell them to the Mutter Museum, where they already have “pickled punks” and giant colons in jars, so why not your balls? Cha-Cha tries to calm him down calling him “Vicky” and telling him that she loves him. She’s got huge hoop earrings on that come down to her shoulders. Then she tells him that he can sometimes be “such a little faggot”. These two are so respectful of each other. “Stupid and the Faggot”, sounds like a good sitcom title. He says “Oh, yeah?” and tells her he’s going to get a big boyfriend who’s going to kick her maniac of a husband’s ass. Too bad you pissed off Marsellus with the finger probing a few eps ago because I’m sure he would have been happy to make you his bitch, Chi-Chi. He gets in her face yelling “How do you like that, huh?” God, this scene is annoying. I basically like Chi-Chi, but the slang-ing, name calling, inappropriate comments, and general attitude are starting to get on my nerves. And what’s with the language? This ain’t NYPD Blue. Although maybe it should be, because then I would have a chance to see more of naked Luka. Chi-Chi angrily drags Cha-Cha away, and she protests, saying that he’s ripping the leather. They keep walking and she spots something and starts laughing. Camera shows us the front tire booted on an old green car with one grey side panel, then pans up and we see tickets and orange violation signs all over the windshield. Guess you shouldn’t have been such an asshole to those cops, huh, Chi-Chi? Cha-Cha is still cackling as Chi-Chi is pissed and starts kicking the tire yelling “This is just great”. Isn’t Chi-Chi an attending? How can Luka afford the nice SUV while Chi-Chi drives this piece of crap? Ray walks up and asks what’s going on. Chi-Chi, pretending nothing is wrong, says “Hey, X-Ray, how’s it going?” Ray looks at Cha-Cha and says “this must be Jodie, huh?” as she smiles and flirts with him. Chi-Chi tries to say that’s not who she is as Cha-Cha says “hi” and holds out her hand for Ray to shake. Ray thinks it’s weird because he’s parked in that space a lot of times and never had a problem. Chi-Chi agrees that it’s weird and says that they are going to take the El and leads Cha-Cha away towards the stairs. Cha-Cha yells over her shoulder that it was nice meeting Ray, and you really don’t know what you are saying, Cha-Cha. He says likewise as a voice calls “Yo, Ray!”

Ray turns around and sees Brett, one of his bandmates. He rushes over to him and asks how practice was. Brett thanks Ray for meeting him and asks if Ray wants to grab some coffee. As they walk towards Jumbo Mart, Ray tells him that he’s taken care of everything and has cleared up his schedule. Hee. That’s one way of putting it, Ray. Brett’s a little upset and says that he thought they were going to talk before Ray did anything. Ray wants to know if something happened, and if Ginsberg is still interested. Brett tells him that it’s still on but the thing is that Ray has been kind of busy with the whole “doctor thing”. Yeah, I would think so. He is in his second year of his medical residency, after all. Imbecile. Ray says that’s true, but he’s 100% on board now. Brett tells him that the band got together and talked about it this morning and decided that they had to make some changes. Ray’s face drops as he realizes what this means. Hee. I know I should feel badly, but, you know, it’s Ray, so I don’t.

Tatum is back in a hospital gown and is on a bed with her knees up, looking away, disturbed. Luka is doing something between her legs. I must point out that they are in an exam room, this kid is 15, and there’s an Unknown Nurse standing in the background, so you really do need to get your mind out of the gutter. As he’s finishing the procedure, he tells Tatum that she needs to come back to have the laminaria removed and that she will probably feel a little pain and it’s nothing to worry about. He covers her and takes her legs out of the stirrups as Unknown Nurse leaves the room. He tells her she can take some ibuprofen and it should help, as she sits up. Looking off, Tatum starts sadly quoting Scripture, “Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee. And before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee and ordained thee a prophet unto the nations”. Luka says “Jeremiah 1:5”. Tatum looks at him as he says “Man was born of dust. It was only when God breathed life into Adam that he became a living soul. Genesis.” Tatum says “You’re a Christian”. Can’t get anything by you, huh, Tatum? Luka nods. I know that he has been in this country for a while and I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that most children in Croatia are taught it as a second language in school, but I’m a little surprised that Luka can so easily quote Scripture in English like that. Tatum wants to know what they are going to tell her mother, as we hear the opening bars of a song that I absolutely love playing in the background. Luka says that she’ll think Tatum is having a miscarriage, and tells her she will be.

As Abby walks outside the song “Cold Water” is playing, from my all-time favorite CD, Damien Rice’s O. This is such a haunting song and perfect for the mood of this scene. If you don’t have this CD already, buy. And if he ever plays a concert in your town, go. You will not be disappointed. I’ve seen him twice and it’s an amazing show. And my husband actually met him when he played with Rachael Yamagata at the TLA in Philly a few years ago. To make a long story even longer, I now have an original drawing by Damian Rice that he did for me on the CD single cover for “Volcano”. Yay, me. And we now return you to your regularly scheduled angst, already in progress. Abby is looking around, uneasy. She’s got some seriously bright lipstick on right now. That shade of red is really not your color, Abby.

Damian is still singing as Luka comes out of the exam room, telling Jackie “All done”, and that she can take Tatum home now. Tatum was all dressed to go before so I wonder what he told Jackie that he had to do before Tatum could be discharged? Since there’s only a few minutes left in this episode, and Jackie walks away to get Tatum, I’m sure I’ll never find out. Thanks, ER. Neela comes over to Luka and hands him Weaver’s MRI results. He takes them and starts to walk away as Neela asks him what happened. Annoyed, he asks “sorry?” Neela wants to know what he was doing in there and he curtly tells her that he was taking care of the patient and keeps walking.

Luka is dialing a phone in the hallway. Looking disappointed to get a machine he says “Hey, Abby. It’s me” as he goes into VO and the scene changes to:

Abby, walking by the water. Luka’s VO says “Um … I guess I missed you” as Lisa Hannigan’s voice joins Damian’s. Luka’s VO continues “Um … nothing … I’ll see you soon” as we switch back to:

Luka, looking sad, says “Okay” and hangs up the phone.

Weaver is reading the MRI results “Advanced degeneration with a cartilaginous flap”. She says that at least that explains the pain. Luka tells her that he’s seen this kind of thing heal with enough bed rest and physical therapy. Weaver shakes her head and says that she’s been putting this off for years and maybe it’s time to face the music (hmmm … “If Not Now” maybe?). She says she’ll need a total hip replacement. She says this like it’s a dire prognosis. I don’t get it, because my dad has had both hips replaced, one of them twice, and he’s better than before. I understand that they only last a decade or so and she’ll have to have it done again, but I really don’t understand all the doom and gloom. Luka shakes his head and says “not necessarily”. Weaver shakes her head and ruefully says “Just when Henry’s starting to run around like a crazy man”. Luka smiles and asks how he is. Kerry looks like such the proud mother when she says that he’s great and that Luka should see him, he looks just like Sandy. She’s smiling broadly when she says this and it’s really sweet. Luka looks at her, then looks down because this really affected him.

Abby is sitting on a bench looking out at the water. Lisa sings “or am I lost” as Luka walks into frame behind her and the music goes into instrumental. He stops a little away, like he doesn’t want to intrude, and watches her for a second, before walking closer to the bench. Music ends as Luka says “I went by your place”, startling her out of her reverie and she turns to look at him as he continues “but I figured you might come home this way”. So Luka knew where to find Abby, huh? Maybe he borrowed the compass he gave her for Christmas. Though since they “always seem to find each other”, I guess he didn’t really need it. She looks at him for a moment, apprehensively, then looks away, back towards the water. He tells her that he doesn’t want everything that they have to come down to this one decision. She won’t look at him, so he continues “we can get past it”. Luka’s eyes look very red. Either it’s a reaction to the cold, which it could be because Abby’s ears are bright red, too, or else he’s been crying, which is entirely possible given the emotional rollercoaster they’ve been on. Camera closes in on Abby, looking anxious as we hear Luka say “You did what you had to do”. She sighs and looks away. Close-up on him looking a bit fearful as he tells her “Doesn’t mean we can’t be together”. Abby looks down, chews on her lips, then turns to him and tentatively tells him “I didn’t do it”. His mouth tightens as he looks at her a little puzzled. She tells him “I couldn’t” and turns away a little before turning back and declaring “I want to keep it”. Damian starts singing again as Luka takes this in. Abby looks out towards the water and nodding says with more certainty, “I want us to have this baby”. Abby’s finally stopped saying “it” and “I” and started saying “baby” and “us”. She takes a deep breath, looking a little relieved to have said it out loud. She looks back at him as he walks around to the front of the bench and sits next to her. He takes her left hand in both of his and holds it in his lap, as Damian sings the line “And all I’ve got, is your hand”. Awww. And, bitch. Luka is looking forward as Abby glances at him, then at their clasped hands, then out at the water. She takes another deep breath and sits back against the bench, leaning a little closer to him. They both stare ahead, not looking at each other. Luka seems completely lost in thought as if he is trying to absorb all of this. He looks physically, mentally and emotionally drained, and a bit overwhelmed by what’s going on. Abby looks more reflective, and even though she’s not smiling, she looks maybe just a little bit hopeful. I think both are absolutely realistic and honest reactions. Abby’s made this momentous decision, and although all of her doubts and insecurities cannot have just magically vanished, she knows she’s not facing it alone. And Luka had to prepare for and reconcile himself with the fact that she terminated the pregnancy, and now has to abruptly shift gears back to having what he had hoped for. Camera switches to a long shot behind them, sitting on the bench as we fade to black.

Once again, my “armchair quarterback” take on this episode: Okay … I admit it … I really liked this episode. Kind of made it hard to bitch, which makes it difficult to recap, which in turn makes me even crankier. Thanks, ER. So I both thank and apologize to those of you who have actually plodded through this gibberish to get to this paragraph. I need a Ray-centric episode to get in touch with my inner snarkiness. And just writing that made me shudder. Anyway, that last scene … Wow. Thinking that Abby’s had the abortion, Luka declared that he wants to be with her, even knowing that there may never be children in their future. That’s a huge statement. I’m so glad he didn’t say this earlier, even though it seemed like she was hinting around for him to say something like this in all of their earlier conversations. He sort of did on New Year’s, just not as definitively as he did now. And obviously not clearly enough for her to not still question what they are to each other in the opening scene. But I’m not so sure that if he had said it knowing she was pregnant, she would have truly believed it, thinking instead that he may have said it just to get what he wanted. The choice to continue this pregnancy had to be Abby’s alone, and he told her that and gave her the space to make it. She had to want this for herself, and not for him, or else she might come to regret it later. Luka let her know what his feelings about keeping the baby were, and countered all of her objections, but didn’t force his wishes on her. She constantly used the word “I” whereas he said “we”, implying that he was in it for the long haul. Of course she always knew that he would be supportive and be there for the baby, so that wasn’t an issue, she just wasn’t sure that either of them could make the same lifetime commitment to both the child and essentially to each other, since they will now always be linked, whether they stay romantically involved or not. They have both been burned too many times in the past, by each other too, and while they’ve been completely honest in communicating their feelings about the pregnancy, they’ve danced around the issue of their feelings for each other. Both have expressed in one of the last few episodes about not wanting to “ruin it”, and have seemingly been afraid the other doesn’t feel the same way. Because she could have just had the abortion like she had done before when she was in a serious committed relationship, a marriage, I think she had really made her decision the moment that she told Luka about the pregnancy. The people she watched in Coburn’s waiting room were significant to helping her come to terms with it – she saw an excited couple who were in it together, she saw families, happy children – and she realized that she really does want that. And the “if not now” is not just about fertility issues, but will there be another chance for her to have a family and does she take the risk now and be with Luka, and the possibility of him being the “one”? Her decision was not just about continuing the pregnancy, it was about committing to her relationship with Luka as well, saying “I want us to have this baby”. Again, just my two cents.

Next week: The Return of Shiny Happy Luka. Abby looks pretty happy, too, as it appears they are making out in what looks like a dressing room at a baby store. Announcer says “A doctor prepares for motherhood” as Abby and Luka are sitting at the table in his apartment and she’s bitching “I can’t sleep and I can’t stop eating”. I’m with you on that, Abby. Luka tells her “you are scaring me”. Hee. This episode was all about Abby Angst, next one looks like its Neela Nightmare time as we are told “the most devastating revelation of the year” with Neela screaming at Plank “you asked me to marry you!” And there’s some Ray. Oh, goody. I can feel the snark flowing already.