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.

15 Comments:

At 11:22 AM, January 09, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abby is 37 going to 38 next January 10, as you said.

Paula

 
At 11:56 AM, January 09, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved the recap and commentary -- as usual. I had the same questions about Abby's apartment and I decided that she must have moved downstairs for some reason. I think when Kerry said she's not on today, maybe she meant she's not working in the ER. Maybe she just intended to walk through to check on things on her way to the office. Also, I was wondering if Neela did know about Abby, but realized too late that she should not have said anything and tried to cover it up? Maybe, maybe not. Thanks again for your great work!

 
At 12:14 PM, January 09, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this episode too, so I understand why it was hard for you to bitch. :) I did like the comment about Gallant having the personality of Abby's dead Christmas tree. ha ha!

I look forward to next week's happy Luka and some great snarkiness and bitching from you! Have a great week.

 
At 12:47 PM, January 09, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Abby's apartment has definitely moved down a floor or two without telling us. But let's not forget that Luka's apartment moved upstairs a couple of floors after the episode in which Abby and Carter broke in through the bedroom window. (Maybe that's why Luka negotiated the upgrade.)

Like your "armchair analysis" of the relationship stuff. Entirely agree that it was better for Luka not to declare his longterm commitment to Abby until after he thought there was no more baby. Any chance you'll do a flashback recap of the Sam/Luka couples counseling?

Anyhow . . . drivel on, sister, drivel on. Your recaps are as biting as any on TWoP, but without the bitter aftertaste.

 
At 3:37 PM, January 09, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Classic! Loved it! Always do!

 
At 4:46 PM, January 09, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful recap! Love your character names. Thanks so much for taking the time to write these recaps.

 
At 4:57 PM, January 09, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yay!! Gotta be honest I was checking all day yesterday for the recap and it was well worth the wait! thank you

This was an amazing episode and I can't wait 'til this week's. (Sooooooo happy Kerry is back with major story lines too. Hopefully we'll hear more about her hip soon.)

 
At 7:33 PM, January 09, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'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. '
Having done a bit of research (I'm a high school nerd with access to a medical library...), I'd like to comment that Weaver's situation is quite different from your father's. According to the articles I've read, after the age of about eight, any surgical measures taken to treat congenital hip dysplasia would be just for pain relief, and have minimal or no impact on range of motion or joint function. If CHD is not corrected early, very little, if anything can be done.
Amazonbkwrm@aol.com

 
At 10:17 PM, January 09, 2006, Blogger Eli said...

Love you recap.
Like allways you made a great work.
Thanks.

 
At 1:00 AM, January 11, 2006, Anonymous sally said...

Thank you so much for your recap. I love it very much.

 
At 8:49 AM, January 13, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic Review. Very witty.
I too am a massive fav of Damien Rice and His ALBUM O. Hes just so flipping passionate and i could cry almost every time that i listern to him.
Keep up the great work. Tried to do some work for Uni but ended up reading all the reviws you ahd wrote. Quite handy for me as i am in the U.K and we are only on episode 2. I dont mind spoilers..Ijust want Luke and Abbey Information.
Peace and Love,
Sarah.xx

 
At 1:25 PM, January 13, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lovely recap. I've been reading and enjoying your recaps all season and have to admit, I wondered if this one would be difficult for you considering the seriousness of the episode. You did an excellent job and included just the right amount of snark. Am totally with you on the Damien Rice.

Also, I have that black top that Abby was wearing. Does that mean I get Luka too?

 
At 9:42 PM, January 14, 2006, Blogger kitsunekaze said...

Love the recap, thanks!

 
At 8:14 PM, April 23, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like to justify Luka's extra room by the fact he'd only recently moved in before Abby was beaten up (remember fish tank!) and he hadn't furnished the spare room yet?!

 
At 9:16 AM, April 29, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i finally get why abby said...everyone in the er knows Luka...
anyz...i love all these recaps..thx

 

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