Monday, March 06, 2006

ER 12.15 Darfur

Previously on ER: Jodie, the interstate off-ramp lover of Dr. Victor Clemente, aka John Leguizamo, aka Chi-Chi Rodriguez from To Wong Foo, who herself reminds me of Cha-Cha DeGregorio from Grease, the best dancer at St. Bernadette’s with the worst reputation, is shot; lying all bloody in the trauma room, she says “he shot me” as Chi-Chi strokes her hair; Chi-Chi, bleeding and being examined by Pratt complains that “they think I did it”; Pratt asks him if there is anyone who can back him up, and he responds, “Yeah, she’s down there” as the shot switches to Cha-Cha being worked on and looking mighty bad; Dubenko tells Neela that she’s been accepted into the surgical rotation and she excitedly thanks him; Surgical Chief Resident Jessica Albright, aka Snotty Surgeon, snottily tells Neela that she’s the one who writes Neela’s evaluation and she’s the one Neela has to impress; a cop tells Pratt he needs him to draw a blood alcohol level for a suspected DUI on his friend Darnell; Darnell pleads with Pratt to help him and Pratt goes into the bathroom and draws his own blood; cop tells Pratt and Darnell that the blood alcohol level came back negative; Darnell promises Pratt that it won’t happen again and Pratt tells him that he knows it won’t because Darnell is going to stop drinking and get himself into a program; Carter, with an extremely unflattering super short haircut is riding in a helicopter, and in a previously unheard voiceover tells us “Debbie’s enlisted me to give a hand to a Sudanese doctor who’s a bit short-staffed right now”, as the camera focuses on Mary McCormack, aka Kate Harper from The West Wing, aka Debbie “Everyone Loves the Dixie Chicks” Aid Worker from Carter’s first go round in the Congo, and Carter’s v.o. continues “He works out of a camp called Dumtalah in Darfur”.

I have to apologize to anyone who is coming to this site expecting a full recap of the latest installment of ER. Okay, I have to make a disclaimer here. I disliked this episode. I felt it trivialized the situation in Darfur to such an extent by making it once again All About Carter that I can’t bring myself to recap such a poorly done dramatization. For Carter to once more be portrayed as the naïve yet self-righteous do-gooder after all this time and with all of his experiences in the Congo, and that we are supposed to sympathize with him when he puts his own feelings and preoccupation with having to be right ahead of common sense and the advice of those more experienced than he, as well as recklessly endangering other lives, was frankly a bit insulting to both the character and the audience. In my opinion, this coupled with the fact that this episode was so disjointed and badly paced with the inconsistent and disconnected bouncing back and forth to County, squandered the opportunity to really portray an effective and affecting story. Last weekend, I visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, where the final exhibit was on the genocide in Darfur. Absolutely horrifying and the information given at the Committee on Conscience website is so much more compelling than the contrived plot and soapbox that was in this episode. While I honestly do applaud the show for attempting to bring the atrocities in the Sudan to a mass audience that may not have seen the appallingly little coverage that’s been in the news, I was disappointed that there was not a Public Service Announcement at the end for how people can become more informed, get involved or help. For more information, please visit SaveDarfur.org. And Carter’s Current Crew Cut of Crusading Conscience is just too irresistible for the snarking that it would take away from the utter seriousness of the unfortunately true and terrible real-life barbarity.

So to summarize the Carter stuff. Armed only with his Super Stethoscope of Pompous Privileged Prats and his Sanctimonious Smirk of Condescending Righteousness, Dr. John Carter left the ER to “save the world”. Don’t blame me – that’s what the NBC announcer has been spouting for weeks, since the last new episode. He arrives in Darfur at a clinic run by Dr. Stephen Dakari aka Eamonn Walker, aka Minister Said from HBO’s Oz. Seems Said’s been getting it on with Debbie – excellent choice, Deb. Yum. And bad use of a great song alert – playing a reggae version of Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” that I know I’ve heard before and can’t for the life of me remember who the artist is as Debbie drives through camp. Cheesy. Carter treats patients, once again doesn’t listen to good counsel of those who live and breathe this situation day after day and does what he wants anyway, screws up, tries to fix it and makes it way worse. Carter has apparently learned nothing from prior experiences and mistakes in his tenure on ER. No character development. Annoying. Carter, who's supposed to be so dedicated and engaged, is at heart just a rich kid playing superhero - a dilettante crusader; someone who says he rejects all his privileges, but never really completely turns his back on it and immerses himself in what he says is important to him. He can always just walk away (not that I think he will), with his iPod and his two-hundred dollar sunglasses, so whatever he is doing rings false. In a conversation with Said, we learn that Carter and Kem are married, and they show us many shots of his wedding ring, in case we didn’t get it. Evidently Kem is in Paris, and even though he is still wearing Kem's dad's bracelet, from Carter’s reactions and general demeanor, something is definitely wrong. Those of you who have been closely scrutinizing this show will recognize that this is a clear sign that the marriage is doomed and Carter will soon return to Chicago to claim his one true love, who is currently impregnated and stuck in an obviously loveless and passionless void of a relationship with a completely unattractive and repulsive Euro doctor.

Meanwhile, back at County …

A grinning kid who’s about six and who looks an awful lot like the creature Gollum from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, except with a Danny Partridge hairdo, bites Morris on the forearm, causing him to scream “Aaaaaaaaaah!” Gollum’s mom reprimands him “Bernie, no biting!” … Bernie … Hee. Morris starts worrying whether the skin is broken and is he bleeding, as Gollum’s mom looks at his arm anxiously and apologizes that Gollum is not normally like this, as Gollum continues the maniacal grinning. Morris walks away towards Admit, telling her that he’ll get a nurse to give Gollum his shot. He walks past Weaver asking if someone could please take a look at this wound. Weaver tells him that they are a little short and to do it himself. Hee.

Abby and Luka walk up to Admit. Luka’s wearing a Luka Blue II shirt. Yum. And his hair is looking a bit longer than last week. Either his hair grows extremely fast or there’s some funky filming timeline fudging going on. Anyway, who cares? He looks delicious. Abby’s wearing a black turtleneck, which looks nice. She notices a big basket with a huge yellow bow sitting on the desk and asks “Hey, what’s this?” Frank walks by and tells her “Ah, that’s for you and the little bastard”. I know that I should snark on that remark but the way he said it was funny, totally in character as you would expect him to say something like this, and though it may not be a nice word choice, it’s technically not untrue, so I really can’t complain about it. Abby raises her eyebrows and in an ironic tone says “thanks, Frank”. Hee. Guess she recognizes that she can’t argue with the truth, either. And I’m thinking Luka didn’t hear what he said or else Frank would probably not still be standing. And since Frank always makes comments like this, (didn’t he call Cosmo that, too?), maybe it was his not too subtle way of suggesting that maybe they should change that situation. And thinking about Cosmo makes me once again miss Susan … and Sherry Stringfield … and her hair. The basket is full of all kinds of baby stuff. Weaver turns to Abby and honestly and cheerfully congratulates her. Abby, who can’t seem to help smiling, happily thanks her, but pointedly says in the direction of Morris that it was “supposed to be a secret”. Morris stutters that everyone was saying that she was getting puffy and he had to defend her. Abby turns to Luka and whiningly asks, “Am I getting puffy?” and Luka responds in the same exasperated tone my husband does when he’s had to repeatedly appease me that the outfit I’m wearing does indeed not make me look fat, so they’ve obviously been through this many, many times before, “You are NOT getting puffy”. Hee. They probably should just start planning the wedding, seeing as all of their interactions lately have been those of a married couple anyway. Abby walks towards the Board and Luka asks Weaver if she’s on today but she says no and that Chi-Chi will be there at 8:00. Morris cuts in “Damn it, I’m bleeding”. Weaver tells him that he should get a hep panel and HIV on that kid, as Morris looks at her worriedly, then hurries off. Hee. Looking at some pink WYWO slips, Abby asks Luka if Chi-Chi is back on the schedule. Luka says to Weaver “Isn’t that a little bit too soon, after everything that’s happened?” Frank chimes in that he hears it’s very similar to what happened in Newark. Abby walks towards Weaver asking “What happened in Newark?” Thanks, Abby. I was wondering the same thing. Weaver dismisses it saying “Nothing happened in Newark”. Frank thinks Chi-Chi is a loose cannon and a suspected murderer. Weaver, who was walking away from the desk, turns and states in a voice that says she will tolerate no argument, “Look, Dr. Clemente is an excellent physician with some personal issues”, and looking at both Abby and Luka adds “That’s nothing new around here” before walking off. Ouch. Abby gives her a “well, okay then” look and turns back towards the computer she’s working on as we hear Chi-Chi in voiceover say “It’s the fifth time you brought me in this week, man …” as the scene switches to:

Chi-Chi, apparently at the police station, being questioned by two cops. He angrily says “Five times!” Cop One wants him to put it all down on paper and sign, handing him a sheet. Chi-Chi wants to know that if he shot her, meaning Cha-Cha, how did he get shot? Cop Two explains that Cha-Cha went for the gun, it went off, and it clipped Chi-Chi in the shoulder. Chi-Chi again tries to explain that it was Cha-Cha’s husband, aka Bobby, who looks like a sleazier, more dirt-baggy version of Michael Douglas, who I can only ever see as Gordon Gecko from Wall Street. Cop Two dismisses this by saying that Gecko was working in Jersey. Getting more pissed, Chi-Chi says that Gecko must have a twin then because he saw a guy who looked just like him in his apartment. Cop Two wants to know that if that’s true, why can’t he find a neighbor who could back up Chi-Chi’s story. Um, here’s a shot in the dark, no pun intended, but if Chi-Chi himself was blowing off work that day, could it be that his neighbors, just maybe, might have been working themselves or something? Just a thought. I mean, I was home sick from work myself two days last week, and there might as well have been tumbleweeds rolling down my street for the ghost town it was during the day, because, you know, everyone was like … at work. Duh. Chi-Chi explains that maybe people hate him because he plays his music too loud. Well, it depends on the music, Chi-Chi. If it’s Manilow, like I’m sure is playing constantly over at The Planks, aka Neela and Gallant, her tree stump equivalent of a husband, then I’d be hating you and reporting your crimes against humanity, too. But if it’s The Pixies, like you’d most likely find on Abby’s stereo, then I’d be telling you to crank it up. Cop One tells Chi-Chi that “it’s bull” and he knows it. He says they talked to the doctor and Cha-Cha ain’t waking up, so maybe Chi-Chi might want to get a lawyer. Chi-Chi looks a little worried as we go into Opening Credits.

After Credits and some Carter Capers, Chi-Chi walks up to Admit and Morris asks him how jail was. Hee. Chi-Chi, his hand in his jacket under his right armpit, so apparently he is still hurting from his gunshot wound, tells Morris that he didn’t go to jail. Morris wants to know if Chi-Chi called the lawyer whose name he left on Chi-Chi’s machine. Chi-Chi thanks him but tells him that he doesn’t need a lawyer and turns away as Abby walks up behind him and welcomes him back. He asks her “so, how’d you survive without me?” Not looking at him and writing on a chart, she says sarcastically “Oh, we did our best”. Hee. Looking over at him, she asks if he’s okay. He says he is, but she looks at him doubtfully as they start to walk off. He asks “What? Are people talking about me?” She tells him they’re concerned, and they just want to make sure he’s all right, is all. Chi-Chi, obviously not touched, wants her to tell them not to be so concerned about him. And it looks like Maura Tierney forgot to take her wedding ring off before doing this scene, unless Abby and Luka got married on the sly, which I highly doubt, though it would explain why there wasn’t more of a reaction to Frank’s “little bastard” comment. Abby tells him that he didn’t have to come back so soon, and a little paranoid he responds “What’s that supposed to mean?”, but she just shrugs because she really didn’t mean anything by it. With her back to him while she’s doing paperwork, he tells her that before Morris or somebody starts a blog, he wants to set the record straight. Abby turns around towards him and he tells her that he didn’t shoot Cha-Cha. Abby says “okay”, though I can’t tell if she really believes him or not. Looking at him she asks “But how did you know about the blog?” Hee. Chi-Chi’s pissed. He looks over towards Admit saying “That little rat bitch”, and if you’re talking about Morris, Chi-Chi, you’re preaching to the choir. Chi-Chi spots Luka walking down the hall and yells to him to wait up, as Abby watches him walk away.

Luka is giving orders to a random nurse in a yellow trauma gown as Chi-Chi comes up to him. Smiling, Chi-Chi asks Luka what he has for him as they walk into Trauma Green. Luka tells him that it’s good to see him, though not very sincerely, but that he’s not on the schedule for today. And Luka’s hair is doing the mysterious Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz thing again – it’s noticeably shorter in this scene. Maybe he and Abby played “Hairdresser and Shampoo Boy” again on a break or lunch hour, though I guess they didn’t have enough time in the hair salon to fix Abby’s messy bangs. Chi-Chi tells him to come on, and that Weaver said he could come back today. Luka reminds Chi-Chi that he is the head of the ER, not Weaver, and looking him up and down, tells Chi-Chi that he doesn’t think he’s ready. Chi-Chi follows Luka through Trauma Yellow and into an Exam Room and asks what he’s doing, “giving me the slow walk to the door?” Luka tells him that he’s looking out for him. Chi-Chi thanks him but says he can take care of himself. Luka says that more importantly, he’s looking out for the patients. Chi-Chi doesn’t think that patients need to be protected from him. Chuny bursts in and tells Luka that they have a 14 year-old auto vs. peds coming in. Chuny gives Chi-Chi a “how you doing?” look before walking out, and Luka tells him to go home. Chi-Chi replies “I am home”. Luka forcefully tells him that he’s not working today. Chi-Chi pleads with Luka, even calling him “Chief”, to put him back on the schedule. Luka just shoots him a look as he walks out. Chi-Chi yells after him “Kovac, come on!”

Pratt and Chuny, dressed in yellow trauma gowns, are wheeling in a gurney as an arbitrary paramedic gives the bullet, “14 year old hit by a car going about 30 or 40”. Hurt kid whines “oh, my leg”. Luka and his once again Lengthening Locks of Lusciousness joins them and Pratt fills him in saying “distal deformity of the left lower extremity”. Luka introduces himself to Hurt Kid and asks what his name is. He says “Jose Rodriguez”. Luka asks him if he remembers what happened. Jose unhelpfully says “I got hit”. No way, Jose. I think they’ve figured that out already. Pratt asks “let me guess … flute” and Jose replies “tuba”, which I really don’t get until I realize that Jose is wearing a dorky band uniform. Pratt says “sorry about that” as Abby, putting on a yellow gown, appears out of nowhere and joins the entourage, asking “Any LOC?". Chuny responds “Nope. A and O times four” as they move into Trauma Green. Abby asks for vitals and Arbitrary Paramedic says “tachy in the 120’s, resps 20’s, BP 110/78”. Luka tells Abby to take the airway and for Pratt to run it as we cut back to Carter’s Sudanese Snoozefest.

Jose, face bloodied and with head still strapped to the backboard is protesting to Abby "We're going to Regionals. If I miss practice, the drum major will bench me”, and I’m hoping to God that is some kind of band geek speak and not anything kinky, as Abby lifts his eyelid and shines a light in his eyes. Malik bursts in to tell Pratt that Endocrine saw his IDDM kid, which Google tells me means Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus and not Incredibly Dumb Device of Melodrama, like I first thought. Malik then says that Darnell, the dad of KJ, aka Volunteen, is outside asking for him. Pratt tells Luka that Jose’s got a little guarding there, as he heads out. Luka calls for an ultrasound and to call surgery to come take a look.

Pratt walks out into the hall, giving Malik instructions, then asks where Darnell is. Malik points him out as Pratt tells him to take his time with the discharge instructions, to which Malik responds “I always do”. Hee. I love Malik. And his ‘fro. And the fact that they have given him more to do this season then the last two combined. Pratt walks over to Darnell, who is sitting down in the hallway with a gauze pressed to his head. Pratt exasperatedly asks “what happened this time?” He starts to look at Darnell’s head, as Darnell tells him that he got into a fight and that it’s no big deal, with some guy at this restaurant. Disgusted, Pratt asks, “you been drinking again, D? Damn, man!” Darnell admits that he blew it and that they were having a Going Away party for a buddy from work and that he had a few and the next thing he knew, he and some kid got into it. Pratt reminds him that he’s supposed to stay clean. Darnell scoffs “You my sponsor now?” Pratt tells him no, but he’s his “boy” who he promised he was going to come clean to. Darnell says that he’s not going to kick this overnight and that what he needs from Pratt right now is to fix him up before Volunteen gets down there, because he doesn’t want his son to see him like that. Pratt thinks he should stop coming in like that, and I am so with you on that, Pratt.

Chi-Chi walks into Cha-Cha’s room. She’s unconscious and hooked up to a ventilator, but apparently Luka and Abby and their mobile Hair Salon have been there because she’s looking perfectly coiffured. Chi-Chi walks over to her, puts his hand on her leg and starts talking to her. He overly cheerfully and rhetorically asks “how you doing?” Getting serious, he apologizes that he hasn’t been around much and that he’s got a lot of problems, which is probably the biggest understatement he’s uttered since he joined the ER. He tells her that things are really messed up. He takes her right hand in his and kisses it, then lays his forehead against it. Although these two may be the trashiest couple that’s ever been on this show, there really does seem to be a lot of caring there and I am feeling bad for Chi-Chi’s grief right now.

Pratt is stitching up Darnell’s head in Sutures. Darnell knows that Pratt is mad at him. Pratt wants to know if Darnell’s been going to meetings. Darnell says he is but that it’s hard. Darnell looks through the window to Trauma Green, where they are still working on Jose. He asks Pratt what’s happened in there. Pratt tells him that the kid got hit by a truck. Darnell looks away as Pratt tells him to hold still. He asks Pratt if the kid will be all right. Pratt doesn’t know as we switch to John’s Juvenile Jaunt of Jackass Justice.

Abby asks Chuny what Jose’s vitals are, as we see him lying on the gurney, his head no longer restrained. Chuny tells her “pulse 97, resps 20, BP 102/58. 100% on room air”. Pratt tells Abby that the heart rate’s a little high and that it could be occult blood loss as Neela, wearing blue OR scrubs (Oh, are they?) walks in. And Neela’s hair is once again looking fab. Thank God for Neela and her more-often-than-not handsome hairstyles or this season would be complete hair hell for me … not that it hasn’t been already. Have I told you how much I miss Susan … and Sherry Stringfield … and her hair? Speaking of hair, where’s Sam? Haven’t been blessed with her presence yet this episode. Or Ray. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. Guess they had to bump somebody from the schedule to make room for Noah Wyle and his Boring Buzz Cut of Bombastic Benevolence. And those two would have been my first choices, too. Pratt bitches at Neela “what took you so long?” as Abby comments “Our favorite surgeon has arrived”. Neela says that she was in Exam Three with the Crohn’s girl. Abby asks why Snotty isn’t down there helping her out. Neela replies “Please. I was given strict instructions to handle the ER so she can scrub in on an ileoanal anastomosis”, which the ever helpful Google says is a surgery done to treat ulcerative colitis where the doctor removes some or all of the large intestine. Ewww. And Snotty actually wanted to do this? Yuck. Psycho. She asks them what they’ve got. Pratt tells her that this is a tier one trauma and he should have been seen before she dealt with any other consults. Neela says that she heard that he was stable and she thought she’d get the acute obstruction upstairs first. Abby tells her “that’s fine”, but Pratt bitches “no, it’s not” and that Jose is going to need an ex-lap and that takes time. Abby’s surprised and says “Ex-lap? The ultrasound was negative”. Jose’s looking worried looks back and forth between them, asking “what’s an ex-lap?” Hee. Pratt says to Abby “abdominal pain, tachycardia and a good mechanism”. He looks expectantly between Abby and Neela, then says “That’s a bleed until proven otherwise”. He rolls his eyes at them and says “Guys, that’s basic Trauma 101”. Pratt tells Chuny to get Snotty or Dubenko down there to evaluate and he’s sure that they will agree with him. Neela ignores him and asks Chuny for the serial hemoglobin. Chuny says “13 to 11 point six”. Neela says “probably dilutional” as she moves around Pratt. Jose asks Abby if he is going to have surgery. She tells him they aren’t sure yet. Neela is on the phone ordering a CT of the chest and abdomen. She hangs up, telling Chuny to get a portable as Pratt looks at her and scoffs to forget the scan because it’s a waste of time. Neela dismissively thanks him, but she doesn’t agree. Pratt tells her that if a CT shows a bleed, Jose is going to the OR. Neela asks “And if it doesn’t?” Pratt counters “He’s still going to the OR”. Neela says not necessarily, and they can OBS him in the unit. Jose doesn’t like the sound of OBS and is getting a bit panicky. Pratt and Neela are ignoring him because they are too engaged in their pissing contest. Pratt wants to know what Neela expects to gain from the scan other than giving Jose a whopping dose of radiation. Abby tries to kind of warn him that Jose is listening to all this by pointedly saying “Pratt!”, but Neela condescendingly cuts in “A chance to spare him from an operation he doesn’t need, a better sense of what we’re dealing with. Surgeons don’t like surprises”. Pratt shakes his head and protests “you’re not a surgeon!”, and Neela counters “Today, I am”. Yeah, if I were Jose, I’d be feeling so confident that these two were taking care of me. Neela pushes past Pratt and starts wheeling Jose’s gurney out. Pratt again shakes his head. As he follows Neela out, Abby says, frustrated, “Give her a break, Pratt”.

Pratt follows Neela and the gurney out into the hallway. He tries to get her to listen, telling her that he has a lot more experience with pediatric traumas than she does and that kids are tricky, they have a huge reserve, and they maintain normal vitals for a long time, but when they crash, they crash hard. Neela dismisses this saying that the CT scan is simply a part of the complete workup of the patient. Remember last year when Neela was all with the constant waffling over whether she was cut out to be a doctor or not? Now all of a sudden she’s developed a surgeon’s arrogance, almost overnight? Not buying it. Unless hers is the parallel to Carter’s Darfur story that I have been trying to figure out the point of throughout this episode. She’s also not listening to the voice of experience because she haughtily believes she knows better. Makes a little sense to me, since I’ve always seen Neela as “the New Carter” since she first came on the show as a naïve med student in Season 10. She tells Pratt that it will take 15 minutes and that they have time, which because she’s so overconfident, means that they so do not have time and just like with Carter, this is going to bite her in the ass. Pratt doesn’t think they do have time. Neela brushes him off saying “It’s my call, Pratt”. As they are about to get on the elevator, Jose yells “Dad” and a man who looks like the “time to make the donuts” guy from the Dunkin’ Donuts commercials rushes over to him. Jose tells him that he has to tell “Monty” that he won’t be able to play tonight. I’m guessing “Monty” is the drum major and I’m still hoping the “bench me” remark does not involve the “full Monty”. Dunkin’ tells Jose not to worry about that. Next to him is a plain-clothes cop and Dunkin’ tells Jose that the officer wants to ask him some questions. Plain-clothes asks Jose if he got a description. Jose says “He was a black dude, blue pickup”. Plain-clothes wants to know if Jose saw the license plate. He didn’t, but all he remembers is that the side door was smashed and the grill was crushed. Camera cuts to Pratt who is watching this with interest. Jose adds that there were lots of Bears bumper stickers, as Pratt’s face says that he recognizes the truck they are talking about.

Pratt bursts into Sutures and tells Malik, who is putting a dressing on Darnell’s head, to take a break. Malik asks “what’s up?” and Pratt, a little more forcefully, tells him “I need you to take a break”. Uh oh, Darnell. Pratt’s tone suggests that someone’s going to get an ass-whipping. Malik leaves. Man, Pratt looks pissed. Darnell asks him what’s wrong. Pratt wants to know if Darnell still drives that old truck. Darnell replies, “yeah, why?” Pratt tells him that the kid he was so curious about, the one who got hit, says that the guy who hit him was a black dude who drove a blue pickup. Darnell stands up and shaking his head, tells Pratt that “there’s a million brothers drive blue pickups”. Pratt grabs him by the lapels of his jacket and throws him up against the wall saying “I’m not talking about a million brothers!” and getting in his face says “I’m talking about you!” Pratt asks him if he hit that kid. Darnell starts to protest “yo, Greg …” and Pratt throws him against a supply rack, yelling “Answer me! Did your drunk ass hit that kid?” Um, I don’t think it was his ass that actually did the hitting, Pratt. Darnell starts to pitifully explain that he didn’t mean to hit him and that he swears it was an accident and that he didn’t mean to hurt that kid, as Pratt looks like he’s been sucker-punched. Mekhi Pfifer is really good in this scene at showing Pratt’s realization that his “helping” Darnell get out of trouble before wasn’t really helping at all, but enabling, and that this shouldn’t have happened.

More of Carter’s Ridiculously Rash Rescue Response, then back to Jose, in CT, asking Neela if his dad is still out there. Neela, sitting next to him, says that Dunkin’ is outside, and no talking, because he has to hold still. CT Tech says over the loudspeaker that the liver and spleen look good as Pratt, wearing a lead apron, enters the room. Pratt asks how Jose is doing. Neela wants to know why he’s there. Pratt ignores this and asks if Jose’s vitals are good. Neela protests that she has this as Snotty walks in and snots “apparently you don’t”. Neela asks her why she’s there. Snotty bitches that Pratt was concerned that Neela was not receptive to his input, so concerned that he paged her out of the OR to come see Jose. Pratt looks at Neela with a “uh huh, that’s right” expression. Neela complains “you went over my head?” Pratt tells her that he wanted to make sure that she didn’t miss anything. Neela tells Snotty that she’s doing exactly what Snotty said, she’s getting the ER to work up their patients completely. Snotty condescends that she’s not really doing that since she’s the one there doing the CT. Camera switches to the CT Tech, and we see that in a nice bit of continuity it’s the same tech guy who listens to Supa Crew and did the seemingly altered “drunk” Glenda’s CT for Abby in “I Do”. Over the loud speaker he says that Jose’s heart rate is up to 125 and he’s got some fluid in the retroperitoneal fossa. Pratt tells Neela that it could be blood and that the scan is over. They pull a now unconscious Jose out of the scanner. That happened quickly – he was just talking to Neela. Gee, I wonder if this means Pratt was right after all? Pratt tells her that retroperitoneal injury wouldn’t show up on ultrasound. Neela tries to get Jose to respond as Snotty starts bagging him. Pratt says that he’s hypotensive and nonresponsive. Neela shakes her head pleading that Jose was just talking and his heart rate was in the 90’s before they walked in. You should know better, Neela. Every kid who’s brought in on this show is always seemingly all right and talking and two seconds later is at death’s door. Pratt orders her to get two units of type specific.

A female doctor is leading rounds through ICU. She gives orders for someone to send off another set of blood cultures, change to Zosyn and up the dopamine to ten mikes as they walk past Cha-Cha’s room. Chi-Chi sees them and rushes to catch up with her, saying “whoa” repeatedly. He bitches that they skipped right over Cha-Cha and asks what they are doing. Female Doc says that they just rounded on her 10 minutes ago. Chi-Chi doesn’t think so because he checked the chart and he didn’t see any new orders. He wants to know what she’s doing, he needs to know what’s going on. Female Doc tells the others to go on and she’ll catch up with them. She explains to Chi-Chi that Cha-Cha is off pressors, stable from a cardiopulmonary standpoint and they’re just waiting for her neuro status to declare itself. Yeah, good luck with that. Cha-Cha wasn’t too with it to begin with, so who knows what her mental capacity is like now? Chi-Chi wants to know what she’s going to do now, sit back and twiddle her thumbs? Nice, Chi-Chi. It’s always a good idea to antagonize your girlfriend’s caregiver. Unlike Chi-Chi, Female Doc has some class, probably realizing that he’s just upset about Cha-Cha, calmly tells him that they are going to wait, and that is all they can do, before she walks away. Chi-Chi looks unconvinced as he grabs his right bicep in pain. Funky ringtone plays and Chi-Chi pulls out his mobile phone. He answers “What’s up?” and the voice on the other end asks him how it feels. Chi-Chi wants to know who it is. Voice asks “How does she look now?”, as both Chi-Chi and I realize that it’s Gecko. Gecko says “You still want to touch her?” What a dick. Chi-Chi says “You sick twisted piece of …”, but Gecko cuts him off “Yeah, I might not have finished the job …” as the camera cuts to him standing on a snowy sidewalk in front of a furniture store, smoking. He continues “… but it’s still a beautiful thing. The cops were all over you”. Back to Chi-Chi, who, really pissed off, tells him “You wait, man. You wait till she wakes up and starts talking ‘cause you’re gonna be in a world of hurt”. Gecko tells him to quit dreaming and that he got out of Jersey okay, but he’s not going to pull that off this time. Chi-Chi retorts “Oh, you don’t think?” Gecko tells him that Cha-Cha was his, and crying like a little girl says that Chi-Chi never should have touched her, and hangs up.

Pratt and Darnell are walking in the Ambulance Bay. Darnell asks if that kid is going to be all right. Pratt doesn’t know, but he’s up in the OR and they’re trying to stop the bleeding. Darnell tells him that he messed up and he’s sorry. Pratt reminds him that he went out on a limb for Darnell, and he risked his job to cover for him because Darnell promised that he would get help. Darnell says he’s trying but all he does is think about drinking. He’s even jealous of the winos on the corner, because it must be so nice and comfortable to sit on a street corner in Chicago in the middle of winter. Idiot. Darnell thinks to himself if he could just get through raising Volunteen, get him in through college, then he can be out there “with them dudes”. Way to set the bar so high for yourself, Darnell. Pratt responds “come on, man”. Darnell wants to know if Pratt’s listening to him because he’s serious. He says he’s not proud of it, but he’s serious. Pratt tells him that what’s serious is that Jose could die. Darnell says he knows that and he’s sorry for it, but he wants to know what else Pratt wants him to do. Pratt doesn’t believe the regret any more than I do and tells Darnell he should turn himself in. Darnell’s all “what did you say???”, but Pratt tells him he heard. Pratt says that Darnell talks about raising Volunteen to be honest and he’s got him working there at the hospital to teach him integrity and respect. Well, let’s be honest, Pratt, Volunteen’s only there because it was part of a Community Service deal – it wasn’t like he went looking for the job. Pratt wants to know how Volunteen is supposed to learn that if Darnell just gets away with this. Darnell tells Pratt that he’s not going to jail. Pratt says again that he has to turn himself in.

Additional Desert Derring-do, then back to Darnell being put into a police car as Pratt and Volunteen, sporting a huge ‘fro, look on. Volunteen asks what happens now. Pratt says that Darnell will get booked, probably post bail. Volunteen asks “my dad’s going away, isn’t he?”, then shaking his head, starts to walk back into the hospital. Back to John’s Jeep of Justification.

Chi-Chi is asleep in a chair next to Cha-Cha’s bed. Camera pans over to Cha-Cha, who now just has oxygen tubes in her nose. When did they extubate her? Maybe Chi-Chi did it himself, seeing as the ICU staff doesn’t seem to ever even come in her room. Annoying. As if she’s waking up from a nap, Cha-Cha opens her eyes. So realistic. She grabs at her throat like it’s sore, probably from having the tube shoved down there for so long. She looks over at Chi-Chi, and in an unusually strong voice for someone whose throat seems to be bothering them, says “Vic”, then louder “Vicky!” He wakes up, sees that Cha-Cha is conscious and rushes over to her side and is excited that she’s awake. He kisses her forehead and tells her that he was so worried about her. She wants to know what happened. Chi-Chi seems concerned that she doesn’t remember. She looks around and says “gunshots”. He says “yes, yes” and she says “… and Bobby …”, then questioningly “Bobby shot me?” Chi-Chi tells her that’s right and asks if she can tell the police that. Cut her a bit of a break, Chi-Chi, the woman just woke up from a trauma-induced coma for God’s sake. She wants to know if Gecko is in jail. Chi-Chi tells her not yet, but that they are going to be okay. She asks how long she’s going to be like this. Chi-Chi tells her that it’s just going to be a little while longer, about a week or two, and that her mom is coming up to take her home. Cha-Cha makes a sour pickle face and whines “Oh, not my mom, Vic, please”. Hee. He tells her that it’s just going to be for a little while. She looks over at him, and suddenly very clear-headed says “We’re still going to be together though, right?”, he looks unsure, and she says “Don’t you leave me now, jerk”. He smiles at her and says “we’re gonna be okay” and tells her to take it easy and that he’s going to go get her doctor. She smiles back at him and says “okay”.

Pratt is filling out paperwork at Admit as Volunteen walks up, telling him that he’s leaving. Pratt asks if someone is coming to pick him up. Volunteen says that he’s going to stay with his aunt for a while. Pratt tells him that he feels bad about all this. Volunteen tells him that it’s not his fault and every time Darnell picked him up from school he could smell the alcohol on him. Pratt assures him that Darnell is going to get the help he needs. Volunteen says gratefully “thanks to you” and that all his dad’s other friends just help him get out of trouble, but that Pratt’s the only one that makes him step up and take responsibility. Volunteen tells Pratt that means a lot, and they shake hands, then hug. Volunteen leaves as Neela comes up to Pratt and asks what all that was about. Pratt ignores this and asks how Jose is. Neela tells him there was a tear in the mesentery, which opened up a small artery, and it was easily controlled once they got in there. Pratt asks “so he’s okay” and Neela says “yeah”. Pratt keeps asking “he didn’t drop his pressure, he didn’t code on the table?” Neela shakes her head and tells him that the case went well. Pratt thanks her and starts to walk away down the hallway. Neela follows him and apologizes, admitting he was right and she should have listened to him. Good for you, owning up like that, Neela. You paying attention, Carter? Pratt tells her to forget about it. Pratt asks if Jose tolerated the anesthesia okay. Neela, getting that there is more to all these questions, looks at him and again says “yeah”. She asks “what’s going on?” Pratt says nothing and Neela tells him that he’s lying and asks what’s up. Pratt stops walking and admits to her that he knows who hit the kid and that it was all his fault. Neela asks him what he means. They start walking again and he explains that the cops brought in a friend of his a while ago for a blood alcohol level and he drew his own blood and switched the tubes. Neela’s a little shocked. Pratt says that his friend swore to him that he was going to get help. Neela angrily says “that kid almost died!” Pratt protests that she just said he was fine. Neela says that Jose’s got a pulverized leg, he need blood transfusions, he’s going to be on a ventilator, he’s going to be in the hospital for weeks and asks him “You call that fine?” Pratt says that he made a mistake and that Darnell is not a bad guy and that at the time it seemed like him going to jail for a DUI wasn’t going to help anybody. Neela states the obvious, that it would have helped Jose, and he wouldn’t be in the hospital now. Pratt asserts that he made Darnell turn himself in. Neela asks if he thinks that’s enough. Pratt asks her “So, now what?” and asks her if she’s going to tell Luka. Neela tells him that he got his friend to own up to what he did and then “Take your own advice”. I love Neela. Unlike Carter, her character has developed a lot over the past few seasons, especially this one, she learns from her mistakes and is often the voice of reason. You go, Neela.

Luka and Abby are standing in the Ambulance bay, apparently waiting on an incoming. Both have coats on, though Luka’s is only thrown over his shoulders, and Abby is bouncing up and down like she’s really cold. Luka asks her “How about Celine?”, and Abby looks like she’s considering it as he continues “Or Jewel?” Abby looks up at him, grins, looks down and asks if he’s been going through his CD collection again. Oh, Luka. I could forgive that you apparently own a Manilow CD when you basically serenaded Abby with “Copacabana” in the car after Neela’s and Plank’s wedding in “I Do”, considering the fact that you were absolutely adorable doing it and Abby must have thought so too seeing as she ended up climbing into your lap, but Celine Dion??? I could possibly overlook the Jewel obsession, since she is cute and I guess you are all into the yodeling, but the Tiresome Treble of the Tedious Titanic Trollop? Ugh. He protests “I love Jewel”. Abby responds “Well, yeah, me, too, I guess, but not for a name”. Little disappointed in you too, Abby, admitting you like Jewel. I’m sure that staying at Luka’s bat cave has improved your night vision, but not sure that’s a fair trade off for a drastic degeneration in musical tastes. Though you do qualify it with an “I guess”, so maybe I won’t have to have your Punk Rock Princess privileges revoked after all. Now I’m thinking that considering Luka’s Craptastic CD Collection, these two probably should not get married, because I shudder to think what their Wedding Song would be. Maybe they’d have a huge fight because Abby wants Cake's "Love You Madly" or “I Need Your Love” by The Ramones and Luka wants some Cheesy Listening like Amy Grant's "Heart in Motion" or Bolton’s version of “When a Man Loves a Woman”. Then they’ll end up compromising with something like Creed’s “Arms Wide Open”, though I guess it really should be “She’s Havin’ My Baby” by Paul Anka. I wonder what Carter’s and Kem’s Wedding Song was? Congo” by Genesis? Or maybe “Love Myself Better Than You” by Sloppy Meateaters. Probably it was “It’s All About Me” by Mya. And even though we heard a lot of Manilow at the reception, I’m pretty sure Plank’s and Neela’s was Eric Clapton’s version of “Knock On Wood”. If Carter ever does succeed in ripping Abby from the clutches of the evil and ugly Croatian physician, I’m sure their song would be something from the musical “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change”. And what is up with Luka wanting a pop singer name for his child? At least Abby seems to have some sense and puts the kibosh on this thinking, but Jeez, Luka, what are you going to suggest next? Britney? Avril? Cher? Justin? Ruben? Clay? Yikes. How about since you two are all into Copacabana, you go with Lola, Rico, or Tony?. Getting a mischievous look, Abby asks him “What about Charo?”, he grins at her as she laughingly asks “Or Liberace?” Hee. And you better watch out, Abby. Considering his penchant for piss-poor pop, and the fact that he’s currently wearing his coat like one of Liberace’s capes, Luka just might take you up on one of those. Gesturing over his shoulder, Luka suggests “How about we give him the name of the first person who walks through the door?” Abby asks “Seriously?” and Luka replies “Sure”. Abby shrugs like she’s game and says “All right” and they turn towards the doors, as Chi-Chi walks through. Luka says “Well, maybe not” as Abby smiles broadly. Hee. Chi-Chi Kovac. Hee. Sounds like something from the Porn Star Name Generator. Chi-Chi comes over to them and asks what’s up. Abby tells him that it’s great news about Cha-Cha, and Chi-Chi thanks her. Luka chimes in that they’re all happy to hear it, though he really doesn’t sound sincere. As he starts to walk away, Chi-Chi tells Luka that maybe now he can put him back on the schedule. Luka says to Abby “Give me a second” and she agrees “Mm hmm”. Luka walks after Chi-Chi calling “Hey, Vic”. Chi-Chi stops and Luka tells him that he needs to undergo an evaluation by the Impaired Physician Committee. Chi-Chi can’t believe he’s serious. Luka tells him “medical, drug testing, psych”. Chi-Chi realizes that he is serious, but says that he doesn’t need that, and starts to walk away again. Luka insists “I do”. Chi-Chi stops for a second, and then says “Okay, fine, fine. Whatever you need, man, I’ll do it for you, okay?” Luka says “okay”. Chi-Chi walks away and Luka turns and goes back to Abby. I like the way Luka handled that. He has really been proving himself as ER Chief. He handled this much better than Weaver did when she tried to insist that he submit to psych evaluations with Meyers in Season 9. And I still don’t understand why she didn’t think that he might have needed some counseling after killing the mugger on his first date with Abby back in Season 7. Funky ringtone plays again and Chi-Chi looks at the phone, scoffs, then answers “You son of a bitch”. He tells the caller, obviously Gecko, that he’s screwed because Cha-Cha is upstairs telling the cops right now everything that Gecko is doing. Chi-Chi tells him that they are going to get him. A horn honks and Chi-Chi looks over to spot Gecko in a car, pointing his thumb and forefinger at him like a gun and pulling the trigger, then driving away. Chi-Chi chases after him, but of course can’t catch up as we go one last time to Carter’s Colorless Conflict of Compassion.

Next on an all new ER (which is hopefully on this week, even though NBC.com says that it’s a rerun of the Man With No Name episode, but other listings have that it’s a new ep):

No Carter, so it’s definitely going to be good. Mysterious illness outbreak, though thankfully not Monkey Pox this time. Everyone in the ER looks concerned, as we focus on Abby, finally looking like she’s wearing a maternity shirt, and the Animated Announcer of Artificial Angst asserts “And what if you were pregnant … and couldn’t take the antidote?”, as Abby forcefully says “Don’t tell me everything’s going to be fine!” Ooh, melodrama. Can’t wait.

16 Comments:

At 5:21 PM, March 06, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sides aching yet again. Keep recapping, we need you!!!

 
At 5:23 PM, March 06, 2006, Blogger Bel Vezer said...

Yay! I've been hitting the refresh button all day long!

Loved it! Fantastic work as usual. I especially have to give you major props for the way you handled the Carter/Darfur situation. I COMPLETELY agree with your decision. It would have trivialized it too much so good for you.

 
At 7:20 PM, March 06, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have I told you lately that I love you? Yep, I do.

You had me rolling with the whole recap of the baby names scene. Just HEE!

I'm very thankful that you spared us the Carter stuff.

I love your recaps and look forward to them every week. Or whenever NBC deems it fit to actually air a new episode.

 
At 9:26 PM, March 06, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think they SHOULD name the baby Lola...that'd be cute...but not too cheesy, since theoretically only the two of them know what happened after Luka serenaded Abby with "Copacobana" in the car ;)

 
At 12:43 PM, March 07, 2006, Anonymous rv said...

Great summary. I missed the show and frankly wasn't interested in Carter in Darfur for the same reasons that you didn't want to recap it. I agree that it is commendable on the part of the show to attempt to highlight these issues but to fit it into jumbled up episode like this one was really off the mark.

Your comment and Luka's batcave improving night vision was right on for me.

 
At 10:22 PM, March 07, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hee.....you did it again!! Such fun to read. I was a bit worried after the Sat. night chat. Thanks for the insightful links to REAL information on Darfur.

And have I mentioned that I too miss Susan...and Sherry Stringfield...and her hair??

Larue

 
At 8:37 AM, March 08, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you again for your great work. I didn't realize how many details I had missed until I read the recap. I agree that the Darfur scenes were not done as well as we may have hoped. I thought the writers did a much better job with the KISANGANI and THE LOST episodes. I was looking forward to something like that. But I, too, applaud their effort.

PS Loved all of the alliteration!!

 
At 9:59 PM, March 08, 2006, Blogger Luka Goddess said...

Classic as always, but right on point regarding the trivial treatment of Darfur. Carter Saves the World is the low point of this season, and brings into sharp relief what a good thing his departure was for the show!

Blessed be Celine and Jewel for creating some balance! It makes me appreciate how might life and lightness Luka and Abby have brought us this year, and how much better the show is for it.

 
At 11:24 AM, March 09, 2006, Anonymous Wild Corgi said...

If only TPTB had adopted your method of dealing with the Carter in Africa situation...

I thought you walked that difficult line deftly and sure-footedly. Good work again, as always.

Liked the light silliness of discussing ridiculous names. At least they have't decided to call the baby Chopper.

Yet.

 
At 1:54 AM, March 12, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sparing us all of the Carter crap! What a waste of an epi! Wow, we found out that Carter is still an arrogant ass. Great! Thanks TPTB! Oh wait! We also learned that Carter is still in love with Abby, and she will dump that ugly Croat on his ass when Carter comes galloping in on his white horse to rescue her from death's door.

Can't wait for the next epi. Now that looks good!

 
At 6:04 PM, March 13, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Sanctimonious Smirk of Condescending Righteousness" had me LMAO! Hilarious as usual!!!

 
At 11:53 AM, March 16, 2006, Blogger answer-man said...

ps I'm having a little trouble sending comments so if I do it twice please excuse me and I apologize.

 
At 12:05 PM, March 17, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for saying what I thought about the patronizing mini-tour of Dafur and double the thanks for posting some useful links to real information on that terrible crisis.

 
At 5:39 PM, March 19, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always read your recaps of the episodes and think you do an amazing job!! It probably takes a lot of time but thank you very much :)

 
At 4:18 PM, March 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hee, hee, heee ...
can't help giggling, it's my more efficient workout class!

 
At 1:37 AM, November 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The episode sounds better when you filter out the Darfur parts with Carter.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home