Tuesday, March 28, 2006

ER 12.17 Lost In America

* To the readers who’ve been asking why I call Neela’s husband, Michael Gallant, “Plank”, it started in The Human Shield recap, because though I’ve always found him to be a really nice guy, he’s a bit wooden, reminding me of a video from Cartoon Network’s Ed, Edd & Eddy, about a piece of wood with a smiley face drawn on it called “My Best Friend Plank”.

Previously on ER: Neela and Ray are sitting on the couch watching TV and he says “Anything for my roomie”; Weaver congratulates Abby, who thanks her and, looking at Morris, says that it was supposed to be a secret to which he protests that everyone said she was getting puffy and he had to defend her; Richard Elliott, aka Armand Assante, aka Mambo Mumbler tells Sam that he is offering her a part-time job with flexible hours and great pay, and that she and New Alex would be more than welcome to come live with him as she ups the need for Botox by scowling at him; Luka tells Victor Clemente, aka John Leguizamo, aka Chi-Chi Rodriguez from To Wong Foo that he needs Chi-Chi to undergo an evaluation by the Impaired Physician Committee, Chi-Chi can’t believe he’s serious, but Luka is … as well as dead sexy.

As we hear ambulances and stomping around noises in the background, we see Ray wake up. Oh, great … he’s shirtless. Guess that means I won’t be seeing naked Luka yet again this episode, and I’m already annoyed in the first twenty seconds. Thanks, Ray. And why must we have a shot of Ray’s white socked feet and have to learn that he wears boxers? More info than I needed about Ray. Sleepily scratching his head, he walks out into the living room as a red laser dot lights on his chest, and in my mind I hear Arnold Schwarzenegger say “Sarah Conner?” Ray’s all “whoa, don’t shoot”, covering up his chest mockingly modest, as if any of us were actually gaping at him. Neela’s head pops up from behind a table, which she was crouching behind, obviously looking for something. Is it your thong, Neela? Because the way you did that just totally reminded me of Abby searching for her missing underwear in Luka’s bedroom in Two Ships. Of course, she was rewarded with naked Luka, whereas you, and unfortunately us, are stuck with Ray in his skivvies. Where’s the justice? Abby’s not even in this scene and I just have to say it … bitch. Neela apologizes and asks if she woke him. She said she couldn’t find her laser pointer. Ray holds up a box of Lucky Charms and waves it around, and Neela admits that she ate all of his cereal at 4:00 am, and that there isn’t any milk left, either. She says “I’m a terrible roommate”, which may explain why Abby finally kicked you out of her apartment after you sponged off her for six months, Neela. That’s pretty tolerant of you, Abby, considering if Neela’s in the habit of always being after me Lucky Charms, I’d not be too thrilled with her either, because they are magically delicious. Neela looks really nice in her black pantsuit, and her hair is once again looking fab. Ray tells her “it’ll be fine” as she continues rooting around the apartment and complaining that she’s known about this Trauma Conference for two months, so the fact that she is this unprepared two hours before is “quite unsettling”. Looking at a magazine, Ray tells her that she doesn’t want to over-rehearse her talk. He tells her to “just wing it … keep it fresh”. Neela bitches “Wing it?! This isn’t ‘open mike’ night you know”, as she bumps into a table, knocking over a cup of coffee onto her papers and laptop. She yells “Crap!” and tells him that she blames this all on him. He’s like “Me???” She complains that if he hadn’t made her watch every horror film from the 1970’s, she might actually have gotten some work done this week, as he helps her sop up the coffee. He corrects her that it wasn’t every horror film, just the devil ones. Of which, there were plenty, Ray, what with all the possessed kids, cars, houses, and sorority girls multi-sequel ones. Neela tells him that he’s a bad influence, as I notice Ray is sporting a few tats. He’s got a Celtic Gemini symbol between his shoulder blades, and some other ink on his upper left arm that I can’t make out what it is, though it looks like some kind of bird thing in the middle of a circle. He tells Neela that she has something on her collar, then makes her stand still while he cleans it off. Neela grumbles that she’s never pulled an all-nighter, ever. Really??? Didn’t you go to university, Neela? And med school? And you’re in your residency, and you’ve NEVER had to pull an all-nighter? One of those goody-two-shoes who do all their work right away and don’t live in Procrastination Nation with the rest of us plebes, huh, Neela? Bet you were one of those kids in grammar school who would remind the teachers when they forgot to give out homework, too. Bitch. Ray thinks it’s good for a person now and then, and I’d have to agree since I wrote the most brilliant yet underappreciated twenty-page position paper in college on how alcohol consumption is inversely proportional to grade point average while pulling an all-nighter hopped up on Jolt cola and Cool Ranch Doritos. Neela doesn’t think it is for her because she’s used to being in control of these situations. Ray asks “What situations?”, and Neela distractedly says how she’s usually so organized. They are standing very close together, which becomes really apparent to both of them as Neela looks up at Ray, and they gaze at each other for a moment. Uh oh, Plank … I can smell the fire wood burning in Iraq from here … Neela shakes it off and says that Dubenko is going to kill her if she’s late, and hurries away from him. Ray has a “what just happened?” look on his face. Neela rushes out as Ray calls after her not to worry about the cereal, as the door slams. Considering the way she hightailed it out of there, I’m really not thinking she cares much about your hearts, moons, stars, clovers, horseshoes, pots of gold, rainbows and red balloons, Ray.

Abby and Luka walk off the El steps as he is telling her “It’s not about God. It’s about tradition.” Pardon me, I couldn’t help but see … what’s with walkin’ down the street with the Roy Orbison magenta lens sunglasses, Abby? Mercy. Only the lonely know this feelin’ ain’t right. Though I do really like your light blue scarf and I can never get mine to lay that nicely. Bitch. And it looks like Goran Visnjic is wearing sneakers. Hee. Abby looks up at him, and I’m surprised Maura Tierney doesn’t have a permanent crick in her neck from having to do that every week, though that’s a small price to pay when the view is that lovely, isn’t Maura? Sigh ... And, bitch. Abby corrects “Religious tradition”. Luka wants to know what’s wrong with that. Abby thinks nothing is, if you’re religious, but she’s not religious. Though we do know that you went through a religious phase, Abby, since that’s what you replied to Carter when, repulsive romantic that he is, he was sickeningly slurping your spine and noticed your tattoo asking “Is that what I think it is?” after the loud gurney sex that we so did not need to ever have been informed of, and thankfully weren’t subjected to seeing, in Chaos Theory. Luka rubs his left hand over his eye, sighs, and tries a different tact, asking “Okay, have you ever been to a baptism?” Abby says she has, and we know of at least two that she’s been to – the one on the rooftop that she helped arrange for the extreme preemie with no chance of survival that she and Luka worked on in Sand and Water, and the one last season with Jake when he stood godfather for his niece in You Are Here. She says that she thought it was weird. Luka questions “Weird?” Abby responds “The ritualized spiritual purification of a baby kind of freaks me out”. Hee. Roach Coach guy, with a wool cap sitting on his head like a cone, which has me wondering if his head is really shaped that way, chimes in “If you thought that was bad, you should see a bris”. Hee. And, no thanks. Abby says “Hey, Rodney” and Rodney replies “Hey, you” and to Abby’s stomach “and you”. He tells them that he heard and congratulates them as Abby thanks him and orders two coffees. As she hands him the money, he asks her “You want decaf, right?” and Abby pointedly corrects him with a that’s-so-not-what-I-said grin, “No, regular … black”, and he gives her a quick “well, okay then” look before turning to get her order. Luka quietly tells her that he was baptized, as were his brothers, cousins, and his parents. Brothers? There are more like him at home??? I am so moving to Croatia … What he leaves unspoken is that his other kids were most assuredly baptized, too. He tells her “Baptism is what we do in Croatia”, and I’m thinking there are other things that I would certainly “do in Croatia” when I move there, Luka. Just saying. And Luka’s hair is looking very good, and Abby’s up ‘do isn’t too messy, so I’m guessing they spent some time in the Hair Salon before coming to work. Though I’m not at all liking the muddy brown shirt, which is a color we haven’t seen on you yet this year, Luka. Let’s go back to the beauteous Luka blues, both I and II, shall we? Abby protests that it’s an initiation into a club that she doesn’t want to belong to. Well, considering that we know from your brother that you went to Catholic school, Abby, I would think that you were most likely baptized and went through some of the other Sacraments, too. I hate to tell you this, once you’re baptized, the Catholic Church pretty much claims you, so you’ve sort of already been initiated. And it’s not like being inducted into a sorority or anything where you have to chant the Greek alphabet backwards, wear the Vestal Virgin-y robes of purity, then tie the bonds of sisterhood and other such nonsense. How many sorority girls does it take to change a light bulb? All of them – one to do it and the rest to light candles and sing about it. Freaks. Luka tells her that it would mean a lot to his father, as Rodney hands them their coffees. They thank him, and start to walk towards the hospital. In a dry tone, Abby tells Luka “Do you know there’s absolutely no evidence that a moderate amount of caffeine is harmful to the baby? The American Academy of Obstetrics …” Luka tries to cut her off, chuckling and calling her on what she’s doing by meaningfully pleading “Please, stop changing the subject”, as she keeps going … “thinks I can have two cups a day. But, people feel the need to curtail my caffeine intake”, then turning to him “Why is that?” He beseeches her that “It’s a little water, a little prayer, and the chance to make a lot of other people happy”. Abby says “I don’t know. There’s something so … “, and Luka asks “What?” and she continues “… Rosemary’s Baby about it”. Hee. There really kind of is. Especially considering how Jake’s relatives descended on her after the last baptism she went to and how they all but his Aunt Cecelia thought she was a “keeper”, she may have felt like she was being unwittingly indoctrinated into the Scanlon Coven. And Abby’s comment should please some of the more than a few viewers out there I know who already think that this baby is Satan’s spawn anyway. Abby keeps walking towards the hospital as Luka scoffs, shrugs his shoulders at her, stops and watches her with a “I have no idea who Rosemary or her baby are” adorable look on his face. I totally can see where both Abby and Luka are coming from on this. Even though Luka’s been shown to have some really strong beliefs, he’s not been portrayed as particularly religious, regularly going to church and all. He sees the baptism as more of a cultural thing, and I actually agree with him. Even though I’m not a practicing Catholic myself, I still had all three of my kids baptized in the Church for much the same reasons that Luka argues. But I understand Abby’s point of view too, where it does seem a bit hypocritical to do something which appears to have a lot of religious significance if you don’t believe in that yourself. And this conversation is so not over.

Chi-Chi is sitting in a ‘70’s era paneled office waiting room, complete with the phlegm-green and orange colored vinyl seats. He’s flipping through a magazine and glances around at the other people waiting; a teenage boy slouched in a chair sitting next to an uptight guy in a suit working on his PDA and a suburban housewife-looking woman. Door opens and a bored looking middle-aged blonde woman in a dark blue scrub jacket carrying a clipboard calls Chi-Chi’s name. Cut to Chi-Chi and Bored Lady walking down a green linoleum-floored paneled hallway. Chi-Chi asks if all the other people are there for drug testing, too. Bored shoots him a look, then looks away, rolling her eyes, as he says “Oh, yeah, you can’t tell me that”. She opens the door to number “7” bathroom and reaching into a box with her gloved hands tells him “Mid-stream, into the cup” and hands him a specimen container. He takes it, thanks her and starts to shut the door, but she pushes on it telling him that the sample collection has to be witnessed. She is going to witness it??? Wouldn’t they have a male doing that? There are all sorts of laws that another female has to be present whenever a male is examining a woman, but not the other way around? When Carter had to give samples after coming back from rehab, it was Greene who would witness it. They didn’t have Weaver follow him to the urinal. Ludicrous. And why is it that if we’re going to start off before Credits with the numerous and incontrovertible Carter signals, do they have to involve the beastly backbone bussing, cacophonous cot coitus, and unbearably unpleasant urination? Chi-Chi protests that he’s not trying to pull anything fancy and tries to shut the door again. Bored pushes back on it and repeats more forcefully “Sample collection has to be witnessed”. Chi-Chi wants to know if we’re in fascist Germany. Bored just stares at him with a “I’ve seen it all before” look. Chi-Chi says fine and pulls down his zipper. He says pissily, “Witness this” and starts pissing, which of course we have to listen to. He and Bored stare each other down. He grins at her and cockily says “It’s okay, honey. You know you want to look”. Bored stares at him some more, then glances down, looks back up at him, cocks an eyebrow and smirks. HA!!! That gave me the biggest laugh out loud moment this season as we go into Opening Credits. Why can’t she work in the ER?

After Credits, Luka and Frank walk through doors as Luka is explaining that he has a Budget Committee meeting until 9:30 am and wants to be paged if they get a trauma. Looking at his messages, Luka asks “Carter called?” and Frank tells him “Yeah, you were in with an epistaxis, whatever the hell that is. I didn’t want to bother you”. Luka replies a little condescendingly, “It’s a nosebleed, Frank. You could have pulled me out”. Hee. Oh, I’d have pulled you out all right, Luka. Again, just saying. Frank says that Carter said he’d call back and it didn’t seem that important. Yeah, not too important - Carter was just calling to tell him that he was coming home to claim his one true love. Considering how Luka seems upset to have missed the call, I’m guessing that means it’s him. Always thought that kiss Luka gave Carter in The Lost meant something. Oh, now I get it … all those signs of Carter all season aren’t about Abby at all, but Luka … explains so much. Except, not. Luka tells Frank that if he’s not sure, to transfer calls back to the room. What? Since when is that allowed in traumas, Luka? Oh, yeah, you’re dating Abby, so I guess that’s where you got that rule, as she was the Princess of Presumptuous Personal Phone-calls during the Wacko Wyzenski Wearisome Workouts in Season 9. Luka tells him “I’ll decide what’s important” as they walk past Abby, writing something. Hmmm … a direct Carter mention that leads to us then seeing Abby … wonder what that means? Signs, signs, everywhere signs, blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind. Can’t you read the signs? She turns and calls for Luka, who, still looking at Frank, stops and as on the ball as ever says “Huh?”. Abby wants him to sign a card for Weaver. Luka asks how she’s doing, and Abby says that Weaver is doing well, but she’s a little stir crazy, starting rehab soon and Abby’s sending her flowers from the department. Luka signs the card and hands it to her and says “Nice” as Morris comes over saying that he needs someone who can speak Spanish and Inez is off and Chuny’s not in yet. He says that “goiter girl” has been waiting an hour for a Spanish translator. Luka tells him to get Chi-Chi. Morris didn’t know he was back. Luka says that Chi-Chi should be, but if he’s not there in ten minutes to call him and walks away.

Morris walks up to Ray and Frank at Admit and says that he heard they sent Chi-Chi to Atlanta for diversion, which you of course remember is where Carter was sent after Abby busted him for drugs to Greene and Weaver in Season 6. Ray says “let’s hope” as Frank chimes in “he’s on house arrest”. Sam questions that they’re letting him come to work. Frank says it’s some kind of “special arrangement”. Isn’t Frank an ex-cop? Wouldn’t he be able to get the skinny? The scoop? The score? The straight dope? Morris bitches that it’s Chi-Chi’s first day and he’s already late, and why is that anything new, Morris? Chi-Chi was late his very first day of work at County in Wake Up. Ray bets $10 that he doesn’t show, as Abby walks up behind Morris. Abby is wearing what looks like the low cut v-neck green top that she wore in both The Human Shield and Two Ships, which is so not a maternity shirt and she’s looking less pregnant than last week. Now I feel like I’m doing the Katie Holmes Baby Bump watch. Annoying. And what’s with both Luka and Abby in the earthtones? Did they color coordinate this morning? Maybe since they’ve gotten the hair under control, they’re getting a little bored playing Hairdresser and Shampoo Boy in the Salon and decided to indulge in some overheated retail therapy by playing Personal Shopper and Male Mannequin. Morris gives “testicular pain” to Ray. Ouch, sorry Ray. Then he gives “fever, rash” to Abby, and says he’ll take dog bite to earlobe. Then he stops and says to switch and “You take the dog bite and I’ll take the rash”. That sounds like a Country song. He tells her that it could be rubella (German measles) and “we wouldn’t want to risk ‘our baby’ getting a torch infection”. Abby’s like “what?” and Morris explains that torch infection, Herpes, tox … but Abby holds up her hand and says she knows what a torch infection is. Morris then says that she knows that it wouldn’t be good for ‘our baby’. Abby scrunches up her face and asks “Why do you keeping calling ‘our baby’?” Morris explains that he doesn’t mean ‘our baby’ in terms of her and him, and thank God, because I’d really be disappointed in you, Abby, going from lovely luscious lusty Luka to moldy monstrous musty Morris. He says that he means ‘our baby’, like an ER mascot, and Abby’s so not floatin’ like the heavens above and embracing the mascot love. She tells Morris “This baby isn’t anyone’s mascot” handing back the chart and taking the rash one from him, and walking away. So, taking the “probably” safe antibiotic that Luka wasn’t concerned about last week made you go bitchcakes, but being exposed to an unknown rash is okay, Abby? Annoying. Let’s be consistent with the bitchability factor, shall we? Morris tells her not to go away mad as Chi-Chi walks up to Admit.

Chi-Chi says “Good morning” to everyone, and they all just kind of stare at him. He’s got bagels for everyone. Hey, I don’t care if you are a skank-loving, ass-crack snorting, slang-talking psycho - I’ll take the free bagels, Chi-Chi. No one really reacts to him, until Morris says “Hey Dr. Clemente”, but that’s about it. We hear a man saying “Excuse me” behind them, but no one pays any attention to him. Chi-Chi tells Morris that they need to clear the Board as the man then says “Anybody?” Finally, the guy says really loud “Hello?!” and they all turn to look at him. He tells them “Um … I think I’ve just committed suicide”.

Suicide Guy is in the Curtain Area and Sam is drawing blood. He tells her that a gun is certainly the most reliable method, but it’s against his politics. Well, happiness is a warm gun, Suicide Guy. Though I’d think that by killing yourself, you pretty much give up voting rights, so I don’t think the political thing is a legitimate argument. He explains to Ray that an overdose just seemed like the way to go, and that it’s slow, tidy and not a lot of fuss. Well, except for the person who’d have to clean up your cold carcass. Jackass. He supposes that he’ll have to be placed on a three-day hold now. Ray and Sam exchange a look and she tells Suicide Guy that she doesn’t get it that if he’s trying to die, why come in at all. Um, do you really think it’s a good idea to dole out the derision to a dude with a death wish, Sam? He responds “Who wants to die alone?” Ray tells him that they are going to get him an acetaminophen antidote and then they are going to call a psychiatrist to come and talk to him. Great. With the track record of County’s Psych Department, I’m expecting Suicide Guy to attempt again within the hour. Suicide Guy thinks that sounds great. Ray motions to Sam and they walk away. Sam says “yikes” and Ray says “No kidding … that’s some real pathology there”. Sam says that Suicide is so calm, it’s scary. Ray thinks more like sociopathic and Sam chuckles, though, like this recap, that’s really not the least bit funny. As they come up to Admit, Chi-Chi asks if they have one to present. Ray tells him that they’re good and they’re waiting on a tox. Sam says that she’ll page Psych as she keeps looking over at Chi-Chi.

Paramedics are rushing in a girl on a gurney, saying that she’s a 21 year old, discovered down in the dorm near UIC, and she has multiple stab wounds to the neck and shoulder. A young Opie-looking guy is walking alongside. Luka asks for the vitals and the paramedics tell him the pulse is 97, resps 32, as he pulls the dressing away from her neck and the blood starts gurgling out of a huge hole. Yuck. Opie tells him that he came to pick her up for class and he found her bleeding on the floor. Luka calls over and asks Sam what’s open, and she tells him Trauma One. Uh oh … I’m sorry, Neck Girl. It’s never good news when they take you into Trauma Yellow. As they walk Neck Girl’s gurney down the hall past Chi-Chi and Abby viewing an x-ray, he says “Well, well, well … if it isn’t the elusive Dr. K”, as Luka tells him that he’ll have to catch up with him later and calls Abby to come with them. Chi-Chi says after him sarcastically, “Hey, you’re busy. I get it” and Luka tells him to stay and run the Board. Chi-Chi says “Okay, got it, boss” as Abby, pulling on gloves, asks Luka what happened. He tells her that it’s a knife wound, lacerated trachea, as we hear Neck Girl wheezing. Abby introduces herself to Neck Girl and asks if she can tell them her name. Still wheezing, Neck Girl says “Nimet”, and that she can’t breathe. We get the “Nimet Cam” view of Luka, which is always nice, then … Yikes! Abby’s face just pops up there, scaring the bejesus out of me. Not a flattering angle or lighting at all, looking up Maura Tierney’s nose, so I’m hoping they retire the Nimet Cam soon. Abby tells her to hang in there and that they are going to take care of her, as Nimet looks really scared and hopes that Abby gets out of her field of vision soon to allow Luka to take over, and I’m so with you on that, Nimet. Nimet starts yelling “Frick!” and at first I’m thinking she has Tourette’s and is cursing the best she can on network TV, but then Opie answers and tells her that he’s there and everything is going to be okay. Luka tells Abby to take the airway and for Sam to get another line as they move Nimet onto the table. She wheezes that she’s scared. Calm down, there Nimet. Abby’s nowhere near where you can see her. Opie tells her not to try to talk and to let the doctors take care of her. Sam calls out that the sat’s only 84 as Abby says that Nimet has zone three stab wounds with clear tracheal penetration and an adjacent pulsatile mass, as Nimet’s neck wound oozes more. Really, yuck. Haleh, sporting the Foxy Brown afro, comes in to tell them that the police are there, as a patrol woman comes in behind her. Patrol Woman asks how she’s doing and Luka responds “Not right now”. Um, Luka, honey … that was me that just asked you for the lapdance … the police asked you how the patient was doing, which I think is okay for you to answer right now. Abby tells him “stridor with what appears to be an expanding hematoma”. Luka asks Haleh if she can stay. Patrol Woman asks Opie if he knows her and he says that Nimet is his girlfriend. Patrol Woman says that she needs to take a statement and Opie wants to know if it can wait. Luka tells Opie to tell Patrol Woman what he can, and it won’t take long. Opie and Patrol Woman walk out as Sam says that Nimet is hyperventilating and Haleh pipes in that the pulse is taking a dive. Neck wound is grossing me out as Abby starts saying Nimet’s name. Sam calls that the sat’s only 78. Abby says that Nimet was just talking. Uh oh. Another bad sign. Whenever Abby says this, the patient starts to really deteriorate. You kind of need to keep that observation to yourself in the future, Abby and maybe you wouldn’t lose that many patients. Looking between Abby and Luka, Sam asks “What do you guys want?” Abby asks for a 7-5 ET, mac 2, etomidate and SUX, and gets ready to intubate. Luka says no paralytics because it could be a tough intubation. Abby says to him “Well, what, are you trying to make it tougher?” Again, uh oh. Whenever Abby starts bitching in a trauma, the patient always takes a turn for the worse. Luka sighs and explains to her, “No. If you can’t get the tube, it’s going to be very hard for you to bag through a lacerated trachea”. Abby retorts “I’ll get the tube” as she pops open the scope with a little bit of a know-it-all flourish. Luka watches her and bites his tongue, though I could do that for you if you’d rather, Luka. Just saying.

Neela is walking through a convention showroom floor as a robotic machine with the TV screen like the one Dubenko used when he was BubbleBenko, recovering from the prostate cancer surgery, comes up to her and a female computerized voice asks “Hey, baby. Does this look infected?”, as Neela just glares at it and keeps walking. A rep guy is swinging a bag at her saying “Tote bag” to which Neela replies “No”. He stops her and says that it’s the wrong answer and that she wants this. She smiles and patronizingly says, “Okay” and takes the tote bag and walks away. We hear an overly excited woman counting “19 … 20 … 21 … 22” and cheerleading a guy who is blowing into some kind of tube. As Neela walks by she tells her to come demo the LifeWind and win a free trip to Miami. Neela just smiles, shakes her head and says “no, thank you” and keeps walking. Why not, Neela? Don’t you want to party in the city where the heat is on, all night on the beach till the break of dawn? I guess Neela wants to be her own Windkeeper. Don’t let anyone steal your wind, Neela. “How do you expect me to grow if you won't let me blow?” She walks over to a coffee cart and asks the Perky Perker for a nonfat latte. Perky says “coming up” and presses a button. Then she asks Neela if she’s familiar with the Violet 4000. Neela’s confused and asks “Excuse me?” as Perky starts explaining that it’s a new cataract emulsifier for use in the operating room. She then asks Neela “Foam”? Neela checks out the product demo going on behind Perky, smirks and says “Never mind”, walking away.

Abby’s got the light scope down Nimet’s throat and is asking for more crichoid. Haleh tells her that she’s pressing as hard as she can. Holding out her hand, Abby asks for a towel roll and says that the cords are turning anterior. She starts to put the towel roll under Nimet’s neck, but can’t do it one handed. Luka watches, then jumps in saying “Okay, let me get that”, and lifts Nimet up a bit to put the towel under, as it’s Abby’s turn to just look at him, piqued, and bite her tongue. She goes back to looking through the scope and calls for suction. Haleh asks her if she wants suction or crichoid, because Haleh can’t do both. Luka tells Abby to let him take a shot at it, but she waves him off saying that it’s all right, she’s in. Sam looks worriedly at Nimet’s neck and tells her “I don’t think you are” as we get a lovely shot of the lighted tip of the tube sticking out through the neck wound. Nice. Abby bitches “Oh, come on”. Haleh says that the sat’s only 72 as Abby tries to readjust the tube and Luka says pointedly “Abby?” Abby tells Sam to call for surgery and that Nimet needs a trach. Sam says that she paged them three times already and Abby snots to page them again. Luka says “I’ll try it”, and steps behind Abby as Haleh says that the heart rate is dropping. Abby says “I almost got it” as Luka goes to take the scope from her. She’s about to protest, then just says “damn it”, as she knows he’s right, she’s not going to get it, and she lets him take over. She moves over to the crash cart and starts dragging it to the side of the gurney, asking where the defibrillator is. On the phone, Sam tells her it’s on the counter, and Abby moves to get it, as Haleh intercepts her, and says she’s got it and Abby says that she’s got it and she’s right there. Haleh grabs it away saying that it’s heavy. Abby gives her a look, but doesn’t say anything and comes back over to Nimet as Sam calls that the pulse is 23 and Luka asks for a mig of Atropine. Abby starts compressions. Sam asks Abby that if she wants her to jump in and do that, she can. Abby says that she’s fine. Sam tells her that she doesn’t have to do that. Abby’s finally had it, and says pissily, “All right, enough. I’m having a baby. Get over it and let me do my job”. Sam glances from Abby to Luka to Haleh and then back to Abby again, as Luka looks up from the scope at Abby, but doesn’t say anything. Looking annoyed at everyone and everything, and possibly even herself, Abby calls for an amp of epi, right away.

Morris comes up to Ray and Chi-Chi at Admit and asks if anyone’s seen the Woods’ lamp. He’s carrying a jar and tells them “these morgellons are supposed to be auto-florescent”. Ray asks him if he’s speaking English. Morris says that his patient thinks that some sort of fiber-producing bug is crawling on her and she brought some in a jar. Chi-Chi grabs the jar, looks at it and says “It’s lint”. Morris says facetiously, “No. It’s fibers produced by morgellons”. You really shouldn’t make fun, Morris, because there supposedly is such a thing as Morgellon’s disease. Chi-Chi exposits “delusional parasitism” and tells them to DC home with a referral for counseling. Morris thought there might be some therapeutic benefit to looking at it under a scope and making the patient feel like he’s taking her complaint seriously. Chi-Chi tells him that it’s schmootz and for him to spend his time with patients that he can actually help, and since it’s Morris, I’m thinking that’s a pretty tall order, Chi-Chi. Morris and Ray exchange a look as Chi-Chi calls them over and says “Okay, look. I know my time off left you shorthanded”, as Ray breaks in “hey, no worries”. Chi-Chi says that he’s sensing something and tells them that if there is anything they want to ask or get off their chests. Well, I’m sure Morris would like to get those extra nipples off his chest, Chi-Chi. Morris tells him it’s all good. Chuny comes in with a patient with crushing chest pain and says she needs a doc. Ray rushes over saying that Exam Three is open. Old Guy sitting in the wheelchair is holding his left arm and complaining that it feels like he’s in a vise. Morris asks for vitals and Chuny says that the pulse is 92, BP 110/65. Ray calls for five oMS and to get him on O2. Watching, Chi-Chi tells him that he forgot the 12 lead, and Ray says that he was getting to that as he and Morris start to wheel Old Guy away. Morris tells Chi-Chi “aspirin, oxygen, beta-blockers, morphine. It’s cookbook”, as Old Guy asks excitedly “Did somebody say morphine?” Hee. Chi-Chi calls after them to call the Cath Lab, and Ray calls back that this isn’t their first MI. Chi-Chi watches after them.

Abby is still doing compressions as Luka asks Sam if there’s been any word from Surgery. She says that Trauma’s still in with the liver lac. Abby asks if she’s tried Cardiothoracic. Sam says that they are doing a triple-A that choppered in from Mercy. Considering this show and its history with the “choppers”, does “triple A” stand for Asshole’s Amputated Arm? Sounding a little out of breath, Abby asks if that’s all they have in house. Sam tells her that there’s a big surgical conference this week and there are skeleton crews at all the hospitals. Carter indicator alert – he dressed as a skeleton for Halloween in A Hopeless Wound, prompting Abby to call him “Boney Boy”, and that was a conversation I really didn’t need to remember. Sam hands Luka an intubation tube. Opie is back and standing at the foot of the table. Luka says “Come on, Nimet”, as we get a shot of Nimet, not looking too good and not intubated, so apparently Luka had trouble doing that, too. Luka puts the tube in her neck. Chuny bursts in and tells Abby that her GI bleeder is altered and the crit fell to 9. Again looking annoyed, Abby tells her two units of O-neg, then bitches to tell GI to scope him before he codes. Abby tells Luka that the guy needs central access. He tells her to go ahead, and she shoots him a look. He corrects “I mean, if you want”. Jeez, Luka. You really need to stop living The Man Song and either take your balls back from Abby or grow some new ones. Not only are you her boss, but you’ve also got a good foot on her. I mean, I can kind of sympathize with how annoying and smothering it is when you’re pregnant and everyone is overly concerned with everything you do, but Abby really is overreacting a bit here. Abby rolls her eyes. Luka tells her they’re okay here and she stops compressions, rips off her gloves, then glares back at him as she walks out. Haleh says that the sats are coming up and Sam says back in sinus, 72. Opie asks if Nimet is going to be all right. Luka explains that the tube is helping her breathe right now, but she’s going to need surgery on her airway. He asks Haleh if she’s tried head and neck service. Haleh tells him that she’ll give them a call. Frank comes in and tells Luka that Nimet’s mother and brother are there. As they walk in, we see that her mom is played by Shohreh Aghdashloo who was fabulous as Ben Kingsley’s wife, Nadi, in House of Sand and Fog, and who was also really funny guesting on Will & Grace earlier tonight, out Karen-ing Karen. Hee. Nadi rushes to Nimet’s bedside, visibly upset, with her hand to her face and speaking to her in Turkish. Luka introduces himself. Nimet’s brother, Mahir, who really looks like a Turkish version of Carter, and I could call “Turkter”, but realize it sounds a lot like “Smirkter”, which since we’re talking about Carter is much more apt, as once again the reminders are everywhere, looks pissed and asks “What’s he doing here?”, meaning Opie. Opie tells him “Hey, let’s just be cool, all right?” and Smirkter rushes at him, shoving him and yelling for him to get out. Opie pushes him into a wall, telling him to get the hell off of him, as Luka comes over to break it up, telling them to settle down. Luka is between them now, and I could so go for a Luka sandwich. Smirkter, with his head bleeding, asks Opie how he dares to come there, that he’s not family and to stay away his sister. Nadi asks him to please, for his sister’s sake, show some respect, as Luka looks at Smirkter concernedly and attractively.

Abby and Chi-Chi are walking out into the Ambulance Bay. She asks him how his first day back is going, and for those keeping track on the Baby Bump Timeline, it’s more visible in this shot. He tells her “great”, then corrects “good. Really, really good”. Abby bitches that her day pretty much sucks. She starts to tell him that she pretty much lost it in a code this morning. He’s not really listening and asks her “Isn’t it a funny thing that one minute, your whole life, everything is in order, and then wham, this split-second event, and the whole thing just starts to spin around you, you know?” Abby totally agrees “Yeah, I know”. She tries to say that she knows exactly what he’s talking about because … as he breaks in that people at work see this tiny sliver of what you’re about, and then they just make it all about that one thing. Again Abby agrees and starts “I know. They jump to all sorts of conclusions …” as he again cuts her off “Right, right, ‘cause they don’t know what I’m going through. And they’re making all these assumptions, but they’re only seeing what they want to see” as Abby eyes him. Hee. Liked how she couldn’t make this conversation “all about her” because Chi-Chi kept making it “all about him”. And even though their circumstances may be different, they are both basically complaining about the same thing.

Nadi is sitting with Nimet, holding her hand. She asks why men must always resort to violence to settle their differences as we see Smirkter pacing in the hallway, holding his head. She explains to Luka that her son idolizes his sister, but he’s never liked her boyfriend. Luka explains that the surgical team is working on another critical patient right now, but Nimet is next, as the Trauma Room phone rings. Sam answers, and surprised, realizes the call is for her. Luka looks over at her as she seems to get agitated by the call. She angrily asks the caller where the hell they get off calling her there and that she’s working, and slams the phone down. She asks Luka since when do they get personal calls transferred back to the trauma rooms. Luka apologizes that it might be his fault. Just couldn’t chance missing that call from Carter, could you, Luka. Though, I guess with the way Abby’s been acting, you may be welcoming the opportunity to unload her on Carter at this point. Luka asks her if everything is okay. She explains that it’s nothing that winning the lottery couldn’t help. She apologizes to Nadi and tells her that she’s going to clean Smirkter’s cuts now. Luka watches Sam leave. Nadi leans over and tells Nimet that she won’t leave until they can walk out together. Looking up at Luka, she tells him that the name Nimet means “blessing”. Luka smiles and tells her “that’s lovely”, and yes, his smile definitely is. She goes on that Nimet’s father called her “Madame Curie” because when she was born she was looking at them so intensely, like she was studying her parents. Nadi says they thought she might grow up to be a scientist. Luka asks if Nimet’s father is coming in. Nadi explains that he died when Nimet was five and that he was a reporter for the newspaper and he was kidnapped and shot by the Turkish Hezbollah while she was pregnant with Smirkter. So if Nimet is 21, that would make Smirkter 16, and he’s either been chain-smoking for a decade or else he’s got that rapid aging disease, because he so looks older than that. Luka looks sympathetic as she says that she had to leave, and she had to raise her children in a country where they wouldn’t be killed for speaking the truth. Luka tells her he understands, and he really looks like he does. She says that she only spoke a few words of English when they arrived and she had to work two jobs. Luka assures her that he knows how that is, and earnestly says “Trying to adjust, to fit in”. Nadi, looking proudly at her daughter, says it was worth it. And with a huge smile tells him “she thrived” and that she earned a full scholarship to UIC and she’s studying journalism, like her father. Luka tells her that she’s done well by her children. She says that she’s tried.

Carrying the tote bag, Neela is still walking through the showroom. Dubenko calls over to her. He points up to a large sign that has her name presenting “The Utility of the Seat Belt Sign in Predicting Mediastinal Injury” at 3:00 pm in the Sunflower Room. Neela thinks the Sunflower Room sounds happy. Hee. Dubenko tells her that it holds 200 people and there’s a lot of interest in her talk. A tall grey-haired guy calls over to Dubenko. They shake hands and Grey Hair tells Dubenko that he’d love to catch up but he’s got to go mediate the Trauma Panel. Dubenko tells him it looks like an interesting group this year, and Grey Hair says very. Then he patronizingly asks “Wait. Now, why aren’t you on it? That’s weird.”, as Dubenko tries to keep a smile on his face. Grey Hair says “too bad” and walks away. Asshole. Chuckling, Dubenko fills Neela in that Grey Hair is Timothy Weisner and asks if she remembers how he told her that there was always one ass in the audience who’s determined to look smarter than you, and that he’s that guy. Hee. He asks Neela if she has Grey Hair’s paper, because he will ask her about it. Neela says haltingly “Okay”. Dubenko quips “Not enough love in the sandbox”. Hee. He says that Grey Hair needs to hear his own works cited in other people’s talks, as Neela looks nervous. Dubenko tells her to relax and that she’ll be fine. She tells him that she played a tangerine in a play in primary school and how she lost her footing and rolled off the stage, and now she’s having flashbacks. Oh, I am so with you on that, Neela, because I once played Goldilocks when I was like 6 and really fell asleep in Baby Bear’s bed, complete with snoring and everything. Traumatic. I still can’t even look at porridge. He laughs and again tells her to relax, and to read her slides and not to go too fast, and to memorize Table 3 of the Weisner paper, and she’ll do just fine. He reaches in his pocket and tells her he bought her this, and hands her a tablet, telling her to take it, it’s a beta-blocker. She looks at him skeptically and he tells her it’s okay and he always takes one before he talks, and it takes the edge off the catecholamines, which are are chemical compounds derived from the amino acid tyrosine, such as adrenaline and dopamine. Catecholamines cause general physiological changes that prepare the body for physical activity (fight-or-flight response). Some typical effects are increases in heart rate, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels. Thanks. Wikipedia. And popping pills pacifies pressure, Lucian? Neela takes it and I’m so not having a good feeling about that.

Hey, Mr. T is back! Ray admonishes him that he told him that over-golding is hazardous to his health and that his skin is never going to heal if he doesn’t give it a chance to air out. Mr. T tells him that he did what Ray said and he kept it off for a week. Ray tells him to make it month this time. Chuny comes in and tells Ray that Neela called and said it was urgent. As Ray walks out, he tells Mr. T that he’ll be on Keflax for another week and to give the bling a break. Mr. T protests “I got to be me, man”. Hey, it don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that bling, Mr. T. Ray and Chuny walk down the hall and Chuny tells him that Neela wants him to go to her locker, find the Weisner paper in the February 2005 issue of Trauma Annals and fax it to her. She hands him a WYWO with the fax number. Chuny tells him that Neela said he’d know her combination and he’d know what it’s about. He replies “I do, and I do”. Chuny tells him that Neela said that if he does this, she’ll watch any ‘70’s movie he wants tonight, even the extended version of Dawn of the Dead. Well, Neela, when there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth. Chuny hands him a report and says it came back on his overdose. Ray looks at it and asks if she’s sure it’s right. She says she even had them repeat it.

Ray walks over to Suicide Guy in the Curtain Area and asks how he’s feeling. There’s a heavyset guy who looks like ReRun from What’s Happening, sans the funky beret, sitting in the chair next to him, reading a magazine. Suicide says he feels the same, but he supposes he won’t feel much unless the liver dies. Ray gives him a “yeah, okay” look and tells him it’s not going to happen and that his acetaminophen level is almost undetectable, which makes ReRun look up from his mag. Suicide Guy thinks that’s strange because he knows that’s what he took. Ray asks if there could have been anything else in the bottle, but Suicide says no, and asks “that doesn’t change the course of action, right?” and that they still have to keep him on a three day hold. Ray says at least until Psych sees him, and Suicide Guy thinks that makes sense.

Sam asks Smirkter what happened in there. He says nothing and but she thinks that wasn’t nothing. He comments that Nimet shouldn’t be with someone like that. Sam thinks he seems like an okay guy, but Smirkter says he’s a jerk, and that “he lives in Dorch”. He explains that it’s the “jock dorm” and that something bad happened there last term. Sam asks what he means and he tells her that a girl was gang-raped and it was in the news, but they never figured out who did it. She asks if he thinks Opie was involved, and Smirkter says that “they all knew what was going on”. Sam tells him she’ll be right back and goes into Trauma Yellow.

Luka is sewing in the vent when Sam comes in. She asks where Opie is and Luka says that he’s staying away out of respect for the family, as we see Nadi outside the door, pacing in the hallway. Sam tells him that Smirkter doesn’t think that Opie is such a good guy. Luka’s sure that the police are investigating all possibilities. Luka asks her about the phone call, but she says that it’s nothing. She changes the subject and asks if Surgery is still tied up. Luka looks at her for a second, then says “Yeah”. He asks if there is anything he can do. Sam tries to brush it off saying that she enrolled New Alex in a tutoring program where they help him with his homework in the afternoon to keep him out of trouble. Luka thinks that sounds good. Sam agrees, except that you have to pay for the whole term up front, so she maxed out her Visa and now she’s a little late on the rent. Like I told you last week, Sam – it’s your own fault for cutting loose luscious Luka and leaving his love loft. Luka starts to ask her “Do you need …”, but she says no and assures him that it’s okay, and that they’re fine … they’re going to be okay. Then she adds sincerely, “But thanks”, and gives him a grin before she walks out. Luka watches her leave.

Ray is at the fax machine and bitching that it’s been transmitting for 20 minutes and wants to know if it’s normal. Frank says that the machine is archaic and prints on rolls instead of sheets and to forget about confirming if it’s been received, which I am so sure would not be important in a hospital where they have to send and receive test results. Frank says “This is just press and pray”. Ray takes out his fax and asks Frank if he can send it from the department office. There’s a department office? Why haven’t we ever seen it? Does Luka have a desk? Or just an adjustable barber chair and shampoo sink, which would explain where the in-hospital version of the Hair Salon is. Need someone to make appointments or sweep up, Luka? ‘Cause I’m really good with the blow out and the barber pole. Just saying. Ray tells Frank that it’s important and Frank asks if there is something wrong with Ray’s feet, and that Frank is not his personal secretary. Ray begs him, saying that he has six patients ready to dispo and he hasn’t presented any of them yet. Frank grabs the fax and says fine and that he’ll have a turkey club for lunch. Ray thanks him, as Chi-Chi at the Board, eavesdrops. He asks Ray if he needs to present. Ray tells him it’s okay, that’s cool. Chi-Chi asks him what he means and that he just heard him say that he needs to present. Ray says that he already started with Luka and he’ll just wait for him. Chi-Chi doesn’t like that and tells him “X-Ray, I’m not feeling the love, man”, and asks him what the problem is. Ray says there’s no problem. Chi-Chi asks him “Seriously, what’s the deal?” Ray doesn’t know what he means. Chi-Chi tells him that he does and that he’s been giving him attitude all day and it’s getting a little old. He says that he had a messy situation with a girl, and that’s all it was and asks if they can leave it in the past. Ray tells him that his personal life is his business, which is so not true at this hospital. Chi-Chi asks him if he wants to know the whole story. Ray shakes his head no. Chi-Chi starts to explain that he had the weekend off, he went a little crazy, there was some weed, there was some blow. Not exactly true that you did all that on your time off, Chi-Chi, considering that we know that you didn’t show up for four shifts while you and Cha-Cha played “crack” house. Chi-Chi, all buddy-buddy, slaps him and the shoulder and conspiratorially tells him “Come on, man, you’re a musician. You know what it’s like”. Ray responds that actually, he doesn’t. Chi-Chi asks “So what are you in a Christian band?” Yeah, ‘cause Ray so seems the Jazzing for Jesus type. Ray gives him a look, tells him to forget it and starts to walk away. Chi-Chi doesn’t want to forget it and tells him that he never showed up to work high once. Ray sarcastically asks him if he wants a medal for it. Chi-Chi wants to know where he gets off being so self-righteous, and obviously Chi-Chi has never watched this show, because that was “the tone” that Mark “I Heard a Rumor About Your Tumor” Greene passed down to John ”Give Me a Head With Hair, Long Beautiful Hair” Carter to set in the ER at the end of Season 8. Chi-Chi tells Ray that he’s seen him stumble out of Ike’s plenty of times and asks that it’s okay to be obliterated on EtOH, but change the chemical “all of a sudden, I’m a scumbag?”, and I’m pretty sure you were a scumbag before the coke ever came into play, Chi-Chi. Ray patronizingly chuckles and tells him that he’s right, and it’s not fair, and tries to walk away again, but Chi-Chi stops him. Chi-Chi wants them to get one thing straight, and informs Ray that he’s been evaluated by the Impaired Physicians’ Committee and he’s in the clear. He tells Ray that whether he likes it or not, he’s back at County, he’s Ray’s Attending and he’d better start showing him some respect. He angrily hands Ray a chart, tells him to take a history, examine the patient and present to him in ten minutes, then storms away. Ray watches him and blows out his breath, sighing.

Ray and Dr. Nelson, who was Abby’s Attending on her med school Psych rotation in Abby Normal, pull back the curtains around Suicide Guy’s bed. He tells Ray that Suicide Guy definitely has some “axis two stuff going on”, but he’s not actively suicidal, and that he’s sending him home. Ray asks if he’s kidding. Nelson says Suicide’s got a negative tox screen, and he doesn’t seem to have any plan to try it again. Ray can’t believe Nelson is comfortable discharging Suicide Guy. Nelson says that he’s not, exactly, but the Psych Ward is full and he can’t hold him, as a red-headed teenage girl walks up to them. Nelson tells Ray that he’ll put a formal consult in the chart. Red Head says “Excuse me” as they ignore her and Ray asks Nelson if he’ll refer Suicide for outpatient counseling. Nelson says sure, but that the next available appointment is in 14 weeks, and both he and Ray walk away. Red Head walks up to Admit and tells Frank “We’re looking for a doctor named Archibald Morris”. Frank asks who “we” is, and Red Head points to a passel of red-heads, including a little African-American boy.

Luka is giving orders to Chuny as they walk past Chi-Chi. Luka spots him and stops as Chuny walks away. Tapping his pen against his thumb, Luka considers something for a second, then approaches Chi-Chi, and asks how it’s going. Chi-Chi sarcastically tells him that it’s going great and that he wants to thank him for making the effort and easing his re-entry. Luka ignores the attitude and tells him that it’s good to have him back. Chi-Chi says that’s he’s glad to hear it because if he didn’t know better, he’d have thought Luka was trying to avoid him. Luka tells him he’s not, and he’s been “bouncing” all day between patients and administrative crap, Budget Committee, Admissions … my lapdances ... Like Jimmy Two-Times in Goodfellas Chi-Chi cuts him off repeating “Yeah, yeah, you’re important. I get it, I get it”. Luka patronizingly says “Look, sorry we didn’t roll out the red carpet for you today” as Sam interrupts that Nimet is tanking again. Luka shakes his head at Chi-Chi and rushes off. Chi-Chi follows.

Luka bursts into Trauma Yellow and Haleh tells him that they can’t get the sat above 80 and she’s getting really hard to bag. Luka calls for suction and explains to Chi-Chi that it’s a zone three stab wound to the neck. Sam says that systolic’s only 72. Nadi asks if someone can please explain, as Chi-Chi listens to Nimet’s chest. Luka says he can’t ventilate at all. Chi-Chi says that the hematoma is expanding and it’s dislodged the tube. He says “let’s crike her”, but Luka says it’s too dangerous and that the lesion is low and if they cut into it, she can bleed out. Chi-Chi says that’s a good point. He says “let’s go to Plan B” and orders Sam to call the perfusion team, and Sam’s all “what?” Haleh says that the heart rate’s dropping into the 50’s. Nadi asks what that means, as Smirkter just stares at Nimet. Chi-Chi says that they are going to put her on a cardiopulmonary bypass. Sam tells him that they need an OR and a surgeon for that, and they don’t have either. Chi-Chi explains that they are going to cannulate down there and they’ll bypass themselves. Haleh gives him a “boy, you are crazy” look and tells him he can’t do that, but Luka agrees with Chi-Chi that if they work quickly they can get her on the machine before she suffers permanent hypoxic damage. He tells Sam to go get “the resident”, and rushing out Sam says “I’ll find Abby”. Nadi wants Luka to tell her what’s happening. Luka says that the bleeding is blocking Nimet’s airway and they can’t get enough oxygen into her blood. Nadi puts her hand to her heart and starts praying in Turkish. Luka’s hair is again looking shorter and flopping onto his forehead, so obviously he asked Sam to find Abby so that they can have a quick round in the Hair Salon before his hair situation gets way out of control. Must have been from all the “bouncing” around, Luka. Luka tells Nadi that they’ll get Nimet on the heart-lung machine so they can buy more time before they can get her into the OR. How ridiculous is it that a major trauma center would allow that many surgeons to be unreachable in case of emergencies. Annoying. Luka asks Nadi, “okay?” and showing faith in him says, “Whatever you think is right”. Haleh calls out “Brady to 45, lost the pulse!” Luka starts compressions as Nadi tells Smirkter to wait outside. He tries to protest and she tells him to go. Nadi moves up to Nimet’s head and starts giving her encouragement, telling her she’s a strong girl, a brave girl. She pleads “don’t leave me, don’t give up”.

Morris comes up to the Redhead Roundup and asks them what this is about, and says that he’s a doctor and he’s very busy. Shut up, Morris! Since when do you actually do anything but jump up and down on my last nerve? Red-head 1 asks “You’re Archibald Morris?” He says he is and asks what she needs. She smiles at the rest of the Russet Rangers, then tells him that he’d better have a seat. He sits down and she starts to tell him the deal. She explains that the four of them live with different parents, but they all share the same dad. Red-head 3 says that they aren’t supposed to be able to find out the identity of their father. Red-head 1 chimes in that the Donor Sibling Registry allowed them to find out the identity of each other, so she got in contact with them via email and it actually turned out that the youngest, little Max, is a computer genius. Little Max, the red-headed African American kid, smiles “what’s up?” to Morris, who says it back, though because he himself is a few Bradys short of a bunch, is not getting what any of this is has to do with him. Red-head 2 pipes up that Max hacked into the system at the sperm bank and found their father’s name … and … wait for it … I’m sure this will come as a really huge surprise by now … the name … Archibald Morris. I know … shocking, isn’t it? Red-head 1 asks if he’s Donor #140 from the Chicago Cryo Bank. Morris is all “huh?” because apparently besides his precious bodily fluids, Morris also donated his brain to science before he was done with it. Red-head 1 asks if he donated any sperm between 1991 and 1996, to which Morris scoffs, “Did I ever!” As utterly repulsive as that idea is, it was really funny the way he said that. They all smile at him as it finally dawns on Morris and he says kind of pleased “Oh my God … I’m … I’m your daddy!” Hee.

Ray pulls back Suicide Guy’s curtain and approaches his bed. Suicide looks at ReRun and says that being a sitter for crazy people seems like a really boring job. Oh, I don’t know, Suicide, there’s definitely a certain appeal to being able to sit on your ass all day, reading magazines. As opposed to my job, where I sit on my ass all day, playing on the Internet. Ray tells him that he and ReRun can both go home. Suicide’s surprised “What?” Ray tells him that he convinced the Psychiatrist that it’s safe to discharge him. Suicide Guy grabs a bottle of pills from the side table and asks “Well, well … what about these?” Ray asks him if he took three, maybe four pills, and Suicide admits it was two. He protests that it was a gesture and he was suicidal when he did it. Yeah, Ray, didn’t your mom ever tell you that it’s the thought that counts? Ray tells him that Nelson is convinced that he won’t try it again. Suicide Guy asks “What if I’m homicidal?” and says that they have to keep him there if he’s homicidal and wants to kill people. Ray wants to know what’s going on. Suicide sheepishly says that the thing is, he needs to stay there, and that he can’t go home this weekend. Ray wants to know why, but Suicide, or Non-Suicide, as I guess I should now call him, says that he just can’t. Ray thinks he’s going to have to do better than that. Non-Suicide hesitates and then tells him that he’s in love with his best friend’s girl. Looking away, Ray says knowingly that it happens and he’ll get over it. Non-Suicide says that they are getting married tomorrow and he doesn’t trust himself not to object … or worse. He begs Ray to lock him up until the wedding is over. Ray looks at him, totally understanding, and says that he’ll talk to Psych again and see what he can do. Before he leaves, Ray asks Non-Suicide “does she know?” and did he tell her how he feels. Non-Suicide says “God, no. That would be crazy”, as ReRun gives him a “mmm hmm” look.

Sam is doing compressions on Nimet and says that she’s still in PEA as we hear all kinds of monitors beeping. Nadi is telling Nimet that it’s going to be all right. Luka glances up at Abby and says “got a flash” and she says “introducer”, reaching for an instrument. She asks Luka “Have you ever done this before?” and he says “Nope”, as Chi-Chi bursts back into the room leading in the guys pushing the bypass machine. Chi-Chi says they need some room and Nadi backs away to the corner, telling Nimet that she’ll be right there, and to listen to her voice. Abby bitches that this seems a little unconventional. Chi-Chi wants to know what the alternative is. Abby wants someone to call Surgery again, as the camera closes in on Nadi, watching her daughter. Luka says that Surgery was still working on an open chest five minutes ago. Nadi starts talking conversationally to Nimet, asking if she told her that Mrs. Kalter’s daughter has 14 bridesmaids in her wedding. Chi-Chi explains to Abby that they’ll oxygenate Nimet’s blood until she’s ready for surgery, and that it’s going to be awesome, and Abby pissily replies, “Yeah, if she doesn’t bleed out from all the heparin”, and since Abby doubles as the Voice of Doom when in Trauma Yellow, I’m betting this is exactly what’s going to happen. Abby calls out “threading easily” as Nadi continues “nine yards of silk organza for each dress”, and starts to cry. Abby asks Luka if Surgery even knows that they are doing this. Luka sighs and says that they are not available and they can’t wait. Nadi, still standing in the corner, keeps talking to Nimet “Silk flowers all around her neck. You must get better so you can help me with the embroidery”. Haleh says the pH is only 7.02, as Sam is continuing compressions. Chi-Chi says they’ve got nothing to lose. Luka says “Okay … good flush” as Nadi tells Nimet that she’s such a good girl and such a help to her. Sam says the sat’s are hanging in the 60’s, as Luka watches Nadi. Chi-Chi says this is taking too long. Abby asks for o-silk and Chi-Chi says he’s unclamping venous. Everyone watches as he unclamps and Abby ties a suture off. Chi-Chi then says that he’s unclamping arterial, then points to the bypass machine tech that they’re ready. Luka calls for them to mark the time as Abby finishes up the sutures, and we see blood flowing through a tube next to her. Chi-Chi says that the pump is on, four liters per minute, then tells Sam she can stop as the Mournful Melody of Melancholy Melodramas plays and everyone watches to see if this is going to work. Luka tells Nadi that Nimet’s color is better already. Chi-Chi’s excited, saying “Full flow, baby” and punches the air saying “Sweet!” Luka looks more cautiously optimistic as Sam says that the sat’s coming up, 92. Nadi asks if it’s working. Abby turns and tells her that Nimet’s oxygen level is improving. Nadi thanks her, thanks all of them for saving her daughter. She puts her head against the wall, and sobs, as first Abby and then Luka watch her.

Neela is standing at a podium. On her laptop screen is a picture of a smashed up car. She is speaking extremely slowly and precisely, explaining that up to 50% of all deaths following motor vehicle collisions are caused by injury to the thoracic aorta, as we see the same image up on a big screen behind her. She pushes a button to advance to the next slide, and the laptop beeps and an “error” window comes up on the screen. Neela keeps pushing buttons and tries to go on, but the laptop keeps beeping at her. Hee. Guess it wanted a latte rather than the regular that you spilled on it this morning, Neela. The audience, including Dubenko, is getting a little restless, as Neela, trying not to get flustered, attempts to continue with her presentation, saying “we set out to document the incidence and …” as Dubenko bites his lip, looking at the screen. Neela glances back, then goes on saying “… the utility of the seatbelt sign in predicting …”. Neela clears her throat and tries not to panic. Realizing that this she’s not going to get her presentation going again at this rate, Neela asks loudly if there is anyone from audio/visual support there. Hee. Everyone, including Dubenko, starts looking around. A balloon full of red paint smashes against the podium, startling Neela, and me. A bunch of protesters stand up and start chanting “Unseen they suffer! Unheard they cry! In agony they linger! Alone they die! Rats have rights! Rats have rights!”, which is the battle cry of the Rat Liberation Front. And yes, they are a real organization. The protesters are wearing shirts with cartoon rats holding signs saying “Don’t Test On Me”. And of course the cartoon rats are all cute and cuddly, not at all like the ones I saw crawling down the wall in the funnel cake place I worked in on the boardwalk, They keep chanting as Neela cuts in that she’d just like to point out that their study didn’t involve any rats!” as Dubenko puts his head in his hand. Hee. Through the “Neela Cam” we see Dubenko shaking his head, as everything starts to become a bit distorted. Camera switches back and forth between close-ups of Neela and views through the Neela Cam, until we see Neela topple over off the podium, fainting to the floor.

Ray is walking down the hall and spots Morris and his brood. Morris calls him over to meet his kids. Ray says “your what???” and Morris explains that he needed some extra cash in college and donated to a sperm bank. He tells him “Best job I ever had, by the way”. Ewww. Red-head 1 introduces herself to Ray as “Hana”. Morris explains that she’s his “eldest” and proudly says how she stole her mom’s car and drove 60 miles without a license to get them all there. He introduces Red-head 3, Michael, who is the Regional Dance Dance Revolution Champion, which is that video game with the dance pad that you see all the geeks jumping up and down on at the arcade. Morris then introduces Red-head 2, Melia, who is a professional jump roper, and finally, Max, the computer whiz. Smirking, Ray tells them that it’s nice to meet them all. Morris says that he’s giving them the tour, because he’s not a busy doctor or anything. Moron. Ray walks away as Morris continues with them down the hall, showing them the trauma rooms and telling them “this is where Daddy saves lives”. He spots Abby heading for Trauma Yellow and calls out to her to come meet his kids. Distracted, she tells him “Not now, Morris” and heads into the room. He explains “Okay, she hates kids”. Hee. Another shout-out to the Abby haters who say this all the time about her.

Abby asks Sam how Nimet is doing and Sam says that she’s stable for now. Sam hands her the chart, and Abby asks where the family went. Sam says that she made them go get something to eat, because it’s going to be a long night. Abby reads the chart and looks like she wants to say something, but isn’t sure how to start. She bites her lip, then not looking at Sam, says “Uh, okay, I kind of snapped this morning” and looks away. Sam smiles at her understandingly and says “It’s okay, it’s hormones”. Still not looking at her, Abby waves this off saying that she hates that excuse. Playing with her hair, Abby continues “I just … I just want to say that I know you’re trying to help, and I apologize”, handing the chart back to Sam, and still kind of shying away from looking at her. Sam smiles and says “Apology accepted” as Abby walks around to the other side of Nimet. Pulling gloves out of her pocket, she explains to Sam “It’s just …” then sighing, uncomfortably goes on “… strange being pregnant. It’s so weird having such a personal thing be so public”, as over her left shoulder we see Luka in Trauma Green examining a patient. Abby must be quite embarrassed about the way she behaved because she’s really avoiding eye contact with Sam. Sam glances at her, then away, saying “Well, for me, being pregnant was something everyone was ashamed of”, Abby finally looks at her, processing this and looking like she might feel a little ashamed herself, as Sam continues “My parents didn’t want me to leave the house”. Sam looks at Abby and tells her very genuinely that she thinks it’s “nice that everybody wants to share this with you”. Sam walks out and Abby watches her leave, contemplating what she just said. Nice scene. I’m enjoying Sam a lot more this season. The character finally seems to be maturing a bit, and not bitching and throwing things all the time. I also really like the way Linda Cardellini has been playing Sam’s handling of the aftermath of her break-up with Luka. No animosity, no jealous fits about Abby like she had last year when Neela had a crush on Luka, and no looking back. She seems to have moved on and has accepted that he has, too. Pretty evident that they’re not headed towards a love triangle, and thank God, because the last one Luka and Abby were involved in just worked out so well and was such a joy to watch … for three seasons. And Sam's hair is looking much better now that the Crotchety Curls of Cantankerous Cussing Crabs has gone the way of her lifeless relationship with Luka. Abby looks at Nimet and notices that both her neck and her nose are oozing. She turns towards Trauma Green and yells for Luka.

Chi-Chi runs down the hall, pushes past Nadi and Smirkter and bursts into Trauma Yellow, as Nadi asks him to please tell them what’s happening. They follow him into the room as we hear alarms going off. Sam says seventh unit, platelets and FFP going up. Abby says “Wide open at the femoral” as Nadi beseeches someone to explain what has gone wrong. Chi-Chi asks Luka, “Heparin’s off, right?”, but Luka doesn’t answer so Chi-Chi repeats it and Luka shouts “It’s off!” Chi-Chi calls for one gram of protamine. Nadi pleads with them that they have to help Nimet. Sam says that they can’t get her mean above 30. Chi-Chi says quietly that she’s losing blood faster than they can put it in. Abby explains to Nadi and Smirkter that in order to put Nimet on this machine they had to give her a medicine that thins the blood, and a possible side effect of that is internal bleeding and they think that might be what is happening right now. Nadi asks if they stop the medicine, will Nimet be okay. Abby tells her that’s what they are hoping. Sam says “Whoa, acidotic 6.8” and hands Chi-Chi a printout as Abby and Sam share an “oh, shit” look. Luka shines a light in Nimet’s eyes as Chi-Chi calls for one amp of bicarb and one gram calcium. Luka shakes his head and tells him that the pupils are fixed and dilated and there’s no corneal and no gag. Chi-Chi asks why because there’s no head trauma and no reason for spontaneous bleed. Luka says that heparin-induced thrombocytopenia can cause acute intercranial hemorrhage, as Nadi looks back and forth between them, trying to understand what’s going on, and Smirkter just stares at Nimet. Chi-Chi protests to Luka that Nimet’s been on heparin for less than an hour, and that it doesn’t make sense and asks Luka if it makes sense to him, as Smirkter starts praying in Arabic. Chi-Chi orders to check the oxygenator and get another ACT. Sam says that the volume’s too low and there’s no flow. Abby explains to Nadi that Nimet has lost some very basic neurologic reflexes. Nadi asks Abby what that means. Sounding sorry, Abby tells her that they think that she’s bled into her brain, as Luka gravely tears off his gloves. Nadi tells Smirkter to stop because she can’t hear the doctors. Nadi asks Abby if they can fix it. Abby looks at her sadly, then over at Chi-Chi, who is looking intensely at Nimet. Nadi looks at him, hopefully. He finally looks up, but not at Nadi, and tells her “No, we can’t”, as Smirkter resumes chanting and Nadi looks stunned. Chi-Chi explains, still not looking at her, that Nimet’s brain is gone and as soon as they turn the machine off, her body is going to die too. Chi-Chi starts to walk away and Nimet appeals to him to come back, saying that Nimet is strong and she can fight. Chi-Chi still doesn’t look at her and keeps walking out. Nadi yells at Smirkter to stop. He yells back at her that this never would have happened if Nimet had stayed home, and Nadi should have made her stay home. Nadi grabs him and shakes him telling him “Enough!” Still yelling, and crying, she begs them to please try another machine or something. Looking deeply affected, Abby tells her “I’m sorry”. Nadi cries that she’ll give her own blood, as Luka looks over at her, saddened. Realizing that there’s nothing else for them to do, Nadi quietly falls apart. Shohreh Aghdashloo is absolutely heartbreaking in this scene.

Chi-Chi is standing in Trauma Green with his back to the door, shaking his head as Luka walks in. Luka tells him it was a good idea. Chi-Chi turns around and agrees, “If it had worked, right?” With his hands on his hips, bringing his knees in tight and doing the pelvic thrusts that really drive you insane, Luka does the Time Warp again and tells Chi-Chi that he gave her the only chance she ever had. Chi-Chi scoffs “Yeah” and angrily pushes the doors and leaves the room and Luka watches him, all hot and bothered … oh, okay, really just the bothered part … the hot is a natural occurrence …

Dubenko and Neela are sitting at a bar and he apologizes about the beta-blocker, and that ten milligrams was probably a bit much. No, ya think? Idiot. She’s holding an ice pack to her head and tells him that the fainting part just makes for a better story. Dubenko says that he once ate a hash brownie before giving a big talk in Amsterdam, and I am suddenly again all over the Dubenko love. He’s been getting steadily less creepy ever since Abby turned down his indecent proposal in Blame It on the Rain and he later lopped off Lucian’s lovely locks of loony losers to sport the close crew cut of charming cuddly cuties. He says that he mistakenly thought that it would take an hour to kick in and suddenly he was up on a stage, completely out of his head, lecturing to a roomful of biochemists in a faux French accent. Hee. I can so relate seeing as I once defended a paper I hadn’t even written to a Research Committee in Grad School wacked out on a combination of bad weed and Sudafed. Neela chuckles and says “Okay. I feel better”. Neela tells him that today was a complete disaster but at least she didn’t bring it on herself. He tells her no, she was the victim of a truly astounding confluence of technical problems, miscalculated pharmaceuticals and rat activists. Hee. Yeah, despite all the rage, you’re still just a rat in a cage, Neela. Why can’t Dubenko be main cast? I’d be willing to part with Morris … and Ray … and Sam … Neela says that as crazy as that sounds, she says that is totally in sync with her life at the moment. Dubenko thinks her life sounds pretty interesting. Neela says that she may appear to be “this kind of wild, spontaneous girl who plans a wedding in a day and sits here getting drunk with her Attending in a hotel bar, but I’m not”. She says that she’s boring and all she wants to do is hang out at home with her roommate. Dubenko asks “Your roommate? Dr. Barnett?” and Neela says yeah. Dubenko thinks that’s nice, but I’m so guessing that Plank wouldn’t, Neela. Dubenko thinks it’s good that Neela and Ray get along so well. Neela smiles to herself and admits “Yeah, we do”. Uh oh, better watch your flank, Plank. Dubenko thinks maybe that’s what he needs and that he was thinking about getting a dog, but a roommate is probably easier to house-train. Hee. Though I’m betting that’s not the case with Ray. Neela doesn’t answer this, and Dubenko asks if she’s ready for another round. She tells him no and says that she should get going.

Nadi is sitting next to Nimet, holding her hand and staring into space, sadly. Abby and Luka are watching through the door. Abby tells him that it was worth a try. He agrees, though he’s a bit distracted. Seeming a bit numb, he tells her that he needs to go over organ donation with Nadi and explain about the coroner. Abby nods as he adds that he doesn’t want to rush her. Abby says understandingly, “No, of course not”, and they both look back in at Nadi. Luka tells her that it might take a while and maybe she should go “home” and not to wait for him. So are they living together now? I mean they basically are, have they admitted yet? Knowing these two, I guess not. They’ll just sort of fall into it, like once the baby comes, it’ll probably be “well, my stuff’s already here, so” … then they’ll decide to get married, saying “well, we are already living together like a family anyway, so” … then they’ll decide on more kids by being like “well, the Lukaby really should have siblings, so” … They both just need to be smacked in the head – get on with it already, Luka and Abby. Jeez. Looking down, Abby says tentatively, “Um … I’ve been thinking …” then goes on “… and if it’s that important to your family, I’m fine with the baptism”, and looks over at him. Luka watches her intently as she continues, grinning faintly and tilting her head at him, “A little holy water never hurt anybody, right?” He reaches over and caresses her shoulder, obviously affected by what she just said, and realizing that she is doing this for him. Looking at Nadi, but smiling slightly, Abby reaches up her right hand to cover his on her shoulder, stroking his hand with her thumb, as he continues to look at her. Camera cuts back to Nadi, kissing Nimet’s hand, then laying her cheek against it. Still holding Luka’s hand, but not looking at him, Abby turns to walk away. Luka watches her leave. I think Abby’s interactions with Chi-Chi and with Sam, but maybe mostly from seeing Nadi, who left her support system in her home country to make a better life for her children, made her realize that she’s not in this alone. It’s not just the baby and her, nor Luka and the baby and her, but that they are part of a larger “family” – his, hers, and the one they share, the people at County, and how great it is that they have that support and aren’t isolated like Chi-Chi, or looked at like they did something wrong like Sam. And that maybe Luka’s right and that baptism is more about tradition, a welcoming into the greater community, then about the religious significance. Anyway, very nice scene.

Morris is writing on the Board as his Pubescent Posse comes up and Hana says “Well, Archie, this was fun” and that they were glad they came. Morris doesn’t want them to leave. He was going to take them all out for burgers and shakes. Hana tells him that they can’t and she has to get everyone home before 8:00 pm or their parents will start to worry. And your parents don’t care that you’re not home at dinner time? Must be nice. Wish my parents had been like that. Then maybe I wouldn’t have had to tolerate Mom’s infamous Tarragon Tuna Taco Tuesdays growing up. Morris asks them what’s next. He tells them he wants to take them to ball games, movies their parents won’t let them see, and adds “There’s just so much”. It’s actually kind of cute how excited Morris is. Hana tries to let him down easy by saying “Perhaps”. Never good when a teenager actually uses the word “perhaps”. She tells him that they are all pretty busy and she doesn’t know when she’ll be able to steal her mother’s car again. Hee. Frank comes up, conveniently carrying a camera, and tells Morris that somebody hid the digital on the Code Cart. Morris rounds the kids up and asks Frank to take their picture. They try to get away but Morris won’t let them. Frank holds the camera up, looks at the screen and says “Okay, everybody say ‘freak’” and snaps the picture. Hee.

It’s nighttime and a taxi pulls up a driveway in front of a really big house. Sam gets out, walks up and rings the bell. Mambo Mumbler answers the door and says “Samantha”. Oh, come on! He’s got a big house like that, a driver, a live-in housekeeper and HE answers the door? I call shenanigans. And what’s up with Sam, a young single female, showing up at night, alone, at a creepy older guy’s house? Not smart. Maybe she should be going to Newlex’ tutor, ‘cause she obviously needs to learn how to stay out of trouble, too. Sam smiles nervously and says “hey”. He tells her that he’s glad she called. She nods and he asks her where all of her stuff is. She’s confused and says that she thought they were going to conduct an interview first. Say what??? Uh, I think since he not only already offered you the job, but invited you and Newlex to move in, the job’s already yours, Sam. Dunce. Mumbler tells her he thought they already did. Sam finally gets it, and nods.

Stir fried vegetables cooking. Yum. Camera pans back and we see Ray at the stove, and I’ve just lost my appetite. He hears the door opening and turns and asks Neela how it was. She says “Endless”. He tells her he’s making them stir fry and asks if she wants beer or wine. She says neither and that she’s exhausted and already drunk. Hee. She walks over to him in the kitchen. He turns around and wants her to taste what he’s cooking, and tells her it’s a freshwater chestnut. He says “Crazy, huh?” as she nods and he continues “Thought they grew in cans”, and turns back to his stir fry, as Neela watches him, looking a little anxious. He tells her that he rented The Omen but he was too scared to watch it alone, and I am so with you on that, Ray, because that Damian kid freaks me out. Neela says “Ray …” and he keeps talking saying that he promises that it’s better than The Exorcist, and I don’t know that I agree, Ray, because the pea-soup vomiting, head spinning and levitating above the bed were pretty cool. Ray adds that “it’s a classic”, and Neela protests that’s what he said about The Exorcist. Ray admits that’s true, and Neela again says ‘Ray …”, and he cuts in “I know … you’re tired”. She again says “Ray …” and we see that the back of his shirt says “Shut Up Dance”. He turns around and tells her that he knows she doesn’t like devil movies, but he promises this is the last one. Neela looks at him and starts to say “I think …”, hesitates, then continues “… I should move out”. He asks why. Looking at him, she says “I think we both know why” as they stare at each other. Why do I get the feeling that the next film these two watch together won’t be March of the Wooden Soldiers?

Nadi is still sitting at Nimet’s bedside, praying, as Luka walks in. He asks where Smirkter is. Nadi says she doesn’t know and that she’s afraid for him. Luka tells her that Smirkter just needs some time. With tears streaming down her face, Nadi nods. Wishing he didn’t have to do it, Luka tells her that he’s sorry to have to bother her with this, but he needs her to sign for Nimet’s things. Nadi looks up at him, and then down again, obviously unable to do it. Luka pulls a stool over and sits down next to her. Looking at her sympathetically, he tells her quietly that this is the hardest thing for any parent to experience. She looks at him and asks “How do you protect them from all the evil in the world?” Looking down, he tells her knowingly, “You can’t”. Then he whispers, “No matter what you do, you can’t”. Nadi tells him that Smirkter was beaten up at school after 9/11 for being Muslim, that they called him a terrorist, and ever since then he’s been very strict about his prayers, as Luka looks lost in thought, remembering. Crying, Nadi says that Smirkter cut himself off from everything except his fundamentalist friends. Getting more upset, she says that Smirkter wanted the same for his sister. Luka watches her. Wiping away tears, Nadi tells him that there’s a park down the street where they live, she closes her eyes and they’re just little children on the swings. She covers her eyes, sobbing. She pulls herself together and apologizes to Luka, who touches her arm and comfortingly tells her it’s all right, but doesn’t look up at her. Nadi tells him that she brought them to this country to find justice and freedom, but she loses two children today. She cries again and Luka quietly assures her that Smirkter will be all right. Shaking it off, Nadi says “I can’t pretend that I don’t know what I know in my heart”. She says that Smirkter loved his sister, but he thought she was disgracing the family, disgracing herself, as the camera focuses on Luka, watching her intently and trying to understand. Nadi breaks down again and starts saying “Doctor, Doctor, Doctor … Doctor, tell the police to search my house first. They should look in Mahir’s room for the knife”. Luka’s looks shocked as he it dawns on him what she’s telling him. Nadi covers her eyes, crying and speaking in Turkish. Luka closes his eyes, and looks down as he realizes the impact of all of this. He asks her “This was an honor killing?” Nadi nods and says yes, “that’s what they call it, but there is no honor here” and looks back at her daughter. She sobs and speaks softly to Nimet, as Luka watches, grieved. Powerful scene and wonderfully played by both Shohreh Aghdashloo and Goran Visnjic, who was able to portray through just his expressions and his quiet manner Luka’s connection with Nadi’s grief and his remembrances of his own children’s deaths. Well done.

Morris is on a laptop in the Lounge when Chi-Chi walks in, carrying his ever present coffee cup. Chi-Chi asks him what he’s still doing there. Morris replies that he’s downloading a picture of his kids from the ER camera. He turns the computer so Chi-Chi can see and remarks “Really photogenic, aren’t they, huh?” Chi-Chi just smirks and Morris excitedly tells him that he’s going to use that one for his Christmas card. Hee. Shaking his head, Chi-Chi says “I hate Christmas cards, man”. He asks Morris if he wants to go grab some dinner. Morris says no and that his oldest boy, Michael, DJ’s an online radio show and he wants to check it out tonight. Chi-Chi moves towards that laptop and says why don’t they just listen to it right there. Morris is putting on his jacket and says he can’t because he has to brush up on his trig so he can help Melia with her homework. He proudly tells Chi-Chi that Melia is 10 years old and she’s already better in math than he is. Why am I not the least bit surprised, Morris? Chi-Chi comments “Family really keeps you busy, huh?” Morris says yeah, but that it’s worth it … and he’s such a believable authority on this, since he, you know, has about three hours worth of pseudo-parenting under his belt. He asks Chi-Chi if he’s heading home and that he heard Chi-Chi’s apartment got pretty messed up. Chi-Chi tells him that it’s fixed and that’s finally what it took for the landlord to paint it. Morris nods at him, staring a little, then says “Okay, then. Cool.” He welcomes Chi-Chi back, claps him on the shoulder, tells him to have a good night, and heads out, carrying the laptop. Chi-Chi tells him “you too, man”. Chi-Chi goes to his locker, opens it, takes out a book, a blanket and a pillow, turns out the light and heads over to the couch, as the Lamenting Lilting Lyricality of Lonely Latinos plays. Chi-Chi settles himself on the sofa, attempting to read, then giving up, turns off the lamp behind him, as the camera zooms in on his face, looking sad.

Next Thursday, on an all new ER: Abby’s in the foreground in Trauma Yellow with a none too happy expression on her face, though her hair looks pretty good so I guess the Hair Salon is back in business and she’s wearing a black turtleneck as we see Luka over her shoulder in the background writing on a chart; Amplified Artificial Angsty Announcer: “One suspect …” as we see a young kid with his head strapped to a gurney and his eyes rolling back; “One victim …” young girl also strapped down, with an oxygen mask on; Abby saying “I don’t think she’s breathing” … “They both hold the key …”, as Abby admonishes Neela “Do not cut!” … “For saving each other’s lives …” as someone yells “he’s dangerous” and the screen goes white … “And for one couple …” as we see Luka and Abby in the Ambulance Bay, Abby in the foreground, looking upset , Luka behind her with his hands on his hips … “The decision of a lifetime” … Abby looking up at Luka as he tells her “Carter asked me if I would join him” and grins slightly as she says disbelievingly “In Africa?” … “For another … a decision they don’t want to face” as Ray and Neela stand very close to each other, him looking at her, her looking down.

Ooh, really, Luka? Actually considering going to Africa even though you almost died there and you’d be leaving your BabyMama alone? I’m guessing that’s why Abby’s none too happy. Probably not a good idea to get on the bad side of a pregnant woman with raging hormones. I mean, we’ve already seen what Abby can be like when pissed off, I’m thinking this will send her quite a ways beyond that. And, see, told you all those Carter signs were really about Luka. What would their ‘shipper name be? Luter? Carka? And Carter could undoubtedly use the Hair Salon in Darfur and do something about his Crummy Crew Cut of Cavalier Comeuppance. And is it wrong that I’m kind of looking forward to a Splendiferous Sudan Smackdown Showdown between Carter’s Sanctimonious Smirk of Condescending Righteousness and Luka’s High Horse of Moral Superiority?