Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Note About Recap for 12.22 21 Guns ... and Some Girl(s)

Decided to do a pre-emptive strike this week and post a note saying that the blog probably will not be updated by tomorrow night … seeing as the recap is only somewhat … oh, alright … less than somewhat … partially … maybe that’s a better word … partially written … Well, that’s not exactly true either … Let’s say, there are some ideas down on paper … well, actually on the computer … or still in my head … So, there is a chance it may be up before the rerun of The Human Shield airs, or it may not be. If it’s not, it won’t be posted before Monday – seeing as I will be away again this weekend, and though I will have my laptop, there’s no Internet access. I know! Tell me about it … I can’t believe it either … Didn’t think there were any places left like that … and, no, I am not going to Darfur.

And for all who emailed me asking about some play about Some Girl(s) that I saw this past weekend, I could relate the story of how I was a just teensy bit late, miniscule amount of time really, to meet my friends and apparently had “just missed” by nanoseconds the adorable Eric McCormack and some girl from some TV medical drama out in front of the theatre, who were apparently very nice and said “hi” to everyone and pictures and yada yada yada before going in the stage door; or I could tell you all how my supposed “best friends”, who don’t even watch said TV medical drama nor read recaps involving said medical drama, nor carry camera phones to document seeing star of said medical drama yet felt compelled to constantly remind me that I had missed seeing said star of said medical drama; or I could even tell you about how I am now in the market for new best friends … But, let me just say this: If you can … Go … Seriously … You absolutely will not be disappointed. Funny, surprising, and extremely poignant at times. Innovative set. Well written … well cast … well acted. Bravo.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

ER 12.21 The Gallant Hero and the Tragic Victor

Previously on ER: Jessica Albright, Chief Surgical Resident, aka Snotty Surgeon, grabs Morris by the scrub shirt in the drug lock-up and plants one on him as the stomach turns and the eyes revolt at the idea of Morris about to get any; Pratt walks through the Sudanese desert, dragging a woman in desperate need of medical attention as we hear him in voiceover saying “I never wanted to be around this type of suffering. I mean who would?”, as the scene shifts to Pratt walking with Carter and saying “I’m glad I came here” and Carter answering that he’s glad, too; Victor Clemente, Attending, aka John Leguizamo, aka Chi-Chi Rodriguez from To Wong Foo tells Ray that he’s been examined by the Impaired Physician’s Committee and that he’s in the clear and that Ray better start showing him some respect; Chi-Chi, with funky facial hair this time, talking on his cell phone to “Bobby”, aka the husband of his skanky girlfriend Jodie, (who reminds me of Cha-Cha DiGregorio, the best dancer at St. Bernadette’s with the worst reputation from Grease), aka Gecko, because he looks like a dirtbag-gy version of Michael Douglas in Wall Street, and Gecko is asking Chi-Chi if he’s getting any sleep and Chi-Chi replies “I’m not doing this” and Gecko asks him what time he’s going home tonight; Chi-Chi tells Abby that he hasn’t been getting any sleep lately and that he really needs some; Ray tells Neela that he wishes he didn’t feel the way he feels and that she’s the best friend he ever had; Michael Gallant, former County ER Resident now serving time on the front line, aka Neela’s husband, aka Plank, because he’s just so wooden and reminds me of the piece of wood with the smiley face drawn on it from Cartoon Network, tells Neela that he’s a soldier and she reminds him that he’s also a husband.

Kanye West sings Goldigger as a convoy of jeeps drives down a dirt road in daylight. Captioning tells us that it’s “25km SW of Mosul, Iraq”, as we get closer views of the jeeps and the soldiers in desert camouflage manning guns on them and what looks like a transport truck following. Close-up of Plank, asleep, with his head in his hand, and a case of water over his left shoulder, in the back of one of the jeeps. He startles awake at the sound of gunfire. He looks back to see a soldier in another jeep, shooting the stationary machine gun. Kanye keeps going as Plank grabs his pistol and hops out of the jeep, staying close to the ground, and coming up next to other soldiers shooting their rifles, on an incline. Soldiers jump out of the now stopped convoy and join them. A soldier close to Plank tells him that one of the drivers got hit. Plank looks over to see two other soldiers dragging the driver of the truck behind it, for cover. Crouching, he takes off across the open, towards the injured man. He grabs his bag from the jeep he was riding in and hurries over behind the truck, as a couple of soldiers provide cover. Plank asks “Corporal Milton” if he can hear him, but Milton doesn’t respond and we see his bloodstained shoulder from his neck wound. Plank tells him that he’ll be okay as he pulls supplies out of his bag. Plank puts gauze against Milton’s neck injury and grabs another soldier’s hand and presses it to the wound, telling him to hold pressure there. Another soldier tells Plank that he just called the CASH, which is a Combat Support Hospital, and that they are sending a chopper. Plank yells that isn’t going to work. Gunfire is still going on all around them as Plank asks how far they are from the aid station. Another soldier tells him that “Eagle” is only about four kilometers due north. Plank tells them that they are going to lift Milton onto the truck. Yet another soldier asks if they shouldn’t wait for the chopper, but Plank thinks Milton will bleed out before they get there and yells “Let’s go!” Plank and three soldiers lift Milton onto the truck as shots continue to be fired. What’s that noise??? Sort of sounds like … metal grinding on metal … the sort of sound that you hear … when a wood chipper starts up … uh oh, Plank … I got a baaaaaaad feeling about this …

Cut to the truck following an armed jeep. A soldier tells Plank that he doesn’t think Milton is breathing. Plank is doing compressions and tells the soldier to keep pressure on the wound and that he’s doing good. Plank keeps doing CPR. Soldier looks up at Plank and shakes his head, saying “the pupils are fixed and dilated”, then for a second I thought he said “fir”, which would make sense, seeing as it’s Plank and all, but Closed Captioning told me he said “sir”. Plank keeps doing compressions, then stops, realizing it’s a lost cause. He and the other soldier exchange a look, and taking off his helmet, Plank says “we can stop”. Nobody else is taking off their helmets, so I’m guessing that’s not a smart move, Plank. Plank sits down, then removes the other soldier’s hand from applying pressure to Milton’s neck. One of the other soldiers tells Plank, “Thanks for trying, Fir” … oh, all right … he said “Sir”, too … Plank rubs his head in his right hand, obviously disturbed by the fact that he couldn’t save Milton. The soldier exposits that Milton just got engaged, then asks Plank “You got a girl back home, Captain?”, as I get even more apprehensive and start channeling the guys in Dead Poet’s Society and start reciting Whitman “Oh, Captain, my Captain, our fearful trip is done …” Plank tells him that he’s married. He starts to explain that his wife Neela is a doc … as we see a flash over his right shoulder, and Plank starts to duck, then the Jeep explodes … Wow … even though I was expecting something to happen to Plank, that explosion still took me by surprise … yikes … poor Plank …

At this time I’d like to pay tribute to our dearly departed Plank, as sadly, that moniker must now be retired. I’m going to go out on a limb and say … fare thee well, my dear Plank … not to beat around the bush, and I hope I’m not barking up the wrong tree, but as you leaf … I mean, “leave”, to seek out greener pastures, as a babe in the woods, please remember … in order to see the forest for the trees … across the board … even a blind squirrel finds an acorn sometimes, and … uh … anyway … you have served me and my snark well … and you shall truly be missed …

In Memoriam:


Recap 12.7 – Recap 12.21

I think that I shall never see, a poem as lovely as a tree …


Here lies dear old Plank
Too bad he wasn’t in a tank
He really was quite a guy
Very sad that he had to die
Things were great, could not be better

Until he wore Luka’s sweater
Then he left Neela this past winter
And now he is only just a splinter
All that’s left was a zipper
After he went through the chipper.
Though he may have been made of pine,
Even so, he was mighty fine.

But, as all good characters who touch our lives in some way, Plank shall live on, not only in the memories of those of us who watch and are still interested in this show, but in the hearts and minds of those who can just never get enough wood … The First Church of Plank is dedicated to the memory of our fallen tree … who shall now and forever after be referred to as “Deadwood” …

After Opening Credits, a Japanese newscast is playing on a TV in a darkened room … is it Luka’s Bat Cave? Camera pulls and starts panning up a denim covered leg that I’m so hoping is attached to a shirtless Luka, but instead is an appendage of shirtless Chi-Chi. Great. Once again no naked Luka and I’m pissed off already. Thanks, ER. Chi-Chi must work out a bit though because his chest ain’t too bad … hmmm. Chi-Chi is watching the news intently, which is a nice bit of continuity as we learned that Chi-Chi speaks Japanese back in Two Ships. A car alarm starts blaring, and Chi-Chi gets up out of bed to look out the window. Chi-Chi’s got his paranoid puss on again and hears clattering noises. He reaches under the bed and pulls out a baseball bat. Strutting over to the door, he hears banging coming from upstairs and stops and looks up anxiously. Camera shows us a vent in the ceiling as I start getting bad flashbacks to Aliens when the radar was telling them that the creatures were in the room and they thought the sensors must be malfunctioning, until they realized ducts ran overhead. Shudders. The noise stops but we hear someone running down steps. Chi-Chi hurries over to his door, checks and double-checks the forty-seven locks he has on it, then peeps through the peephole, as we get a close-up of his eye, and then a shot of the empty hallway.

Morris is in bed … and not alone. For … the … love … of … God … Ugh. Thankfully, because I’m in need of my eyesight at the moment, he’s wearing a muscle shirt, so we’re not shown shots of his excess nipples. Morris looks around, like he’s a bit confused, then looks over at a naked Snotty, asleep next to him. Morris looks a little surprised to be waking up next to her. No more than the rest of us are, Morris … trust me. Since Snotty’s unclothed and Morris has on the wifebeater, I’m guessing he didn’t want to ruin his chances of getting any by subjecting her to his terribly troubling teats. Morris raises his fist and quietly celebrates his magnificently misguided mindset of mighty macho manhood for supposedly salacious smutty scoring with the supremely smug snappish sour surgeon. Morris reaches into his pants pocket and pulls out … his cell phone. Oh, thank you, Jesus. I guess he has to call everyone he knows to tell them about his sexcapade. This, probably like his performance that night, should take less than a minute. Oh no … even worse … he’s using the camera phone to take a picture of the solidly slumbering Snotty. Pretty smart, Morris. I would definitely need photographic evidence to believe your story, too. He then leans closer to her so that he can be in the pic, too, and holds up his hand with the thumb and pinky extended and shakes it back and forth in a total “Duuuuuude” pose, mouthing “Oh yeah!”. Hee. Very funny, but also, since it’s Morris, udderly ridiculous.

Jane the Intern, aka Sara Gilbert, aka Darlene Connor from Roseanne is standing in the Ambulance Bay commenting to someone “Mothers often eat their own young in the wild, and we just think it’s part of nature, right? … But when women kill their children …” The camera pans around to reveal Abby, sporting the clipped updo and headband coiffure combo she wore at the beginning of the season in Nobody’s Baby and wearing a total WTF look on her face, staring at Darlene and putting on surgical gloves. Darlene continues “… it’s a crime and we think they’re crazy”, as Abby narrows her eyes at her. Abby’s expression is cracking me up as she says “What?” in a total “Huh?” tone. Hee. Darlene chuckles and says “Well, I mean, it just makes you wonder, right? Are lions crazy, too, or are women like Susan Smith and Andrea Yates just acting upon some primitive impulse that’s deep within our genetic makeup?” Really should watch who you’re talking to, Darlene. Considering she’s way pregnant and carrying the Lukaby, and since Luka seems pretty happy hanging out with her in the Hair Salon, I’m pretty sure she could convince him to throw you back on the permanent night shift, so I’d be thinking about keeping my piehole shut if I were you, Darlene. Speaking of the handsome devil, as Abby continues to stare at Darlene, Luka walks up behind her and asks if he’s interrupting something. Darlene smiles at him and says “Just some girl talk”, as Abby looks over at him and basically rolls her eyes without actually rolling her eyes, before following Darlene to the incoming ambulance. Maura Tierney was hilarious in this scene without even saying anything – her facial reactions were really funny. Luka grins and follows them as Morales the paramedic is bringing in Dennis Young, 34 year old assault victim, with blunt trauma to the head and face. Abby asks if he was mugged as we see Officer Former Buzz Cut (FBC) from both Split Decisions and Strange Bedfellows. I guess since both Jeannie and Lydia aren’t on anymore, we don’t get their husbands Reggie or Al as recurring officer du jour, so they have to use somebody. Officer FBC says that it looks like a home invasion and that “they tuned him up good”, as we get a shot of Dennis’ bloodied face, head and neck immobilized. Luka asks him “What’s your name, sir?” Once again with the not paying attention, Luka. Morales just told you that it’s Dennis Young. I mean come on, that name should at least ring some bells, as it’s very close to Dennis DeYoung from Styx and if you know craptastically cheesy listening Manilow and “Copacabana”, you gotta know Styx and “Babe”, Luka. I’ll bet Chi-Chi knows “Mr. Roboto”. Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto. Dennis doesn’t answer as Morales tells Luka that the airway is okay, decent vitals and he can move all extremities, as the camera gives us a yummy shot of a concerned-looking, and of course gorgeous-looking, Luka in the lovely Luka Blue II. Delicious. Abby shines a penlight in Dennis’ eyes and says that the pupils are five millimeters and equal. Morales tells them that there were two kids in the house with Dennis and that they got worked over too and are being brought in, and that one of them looks real bad. Luka tells Abby to go to Trauma One and to get a head, facial and spine CT as soon as she can. As she takes the chart from him he asks her to send Sam out to help if she sees her. Oooh, Luka’s asking for Sam. What could it possibly mean? Maybe his hands are getting all wrinkly from all the shampooing in the Salon and he’s looking for a change, and since he hasn’t been hit with any sutures kits in a while, he’s waxing nostalgic for getting pelted with flying objects … Abby doesn’t seem to be bothered though.

Ray and Morris are walking down the steps and in an incredulous tone, Ray tells him “Get out of here”, and Morris swears that “she invited me in for a drink, the door wasn’t even closed and she was tearing my clothes off”. Obviously, Snotty is not versed in proper undressing technique, as she left your undershirt on, Morris. Ray scoffs “yeah, right”. Morris then says “To quote my man, Rick James, the girl is a Superfreak” and starts singing “Superfreak, superfreak, she’s superfreaky, yow”. And now that song is part of my head. Thanks, Morris. Though it could be worse … could be Manilow … Morris tells Ray that Snotty has sex toys that he’s never even seen before. And you wasted them on Morris, Snotty?!?! Not only are you a bitch … you are a CRAZY bitch. Morris says that they “must have been German” and that one of them “took two hands to operate” … Ewww. I’m not only skeeved out by that … I’m also … intrigued … Morris shows Ray his phone and tells him to check out and “Oh yeah, I tapped that” and points to the picture. Ugh. Where’s a helicopter when you need one? Ray asks what exactly he’s looking at, and Morris explains that it’s Albright. Ray asks where and says that he’s seen more convincing photos of Bigfoot. Hee. Morris tries to explain that it was dark and that he couldn’t use the flash.

Dennis is transferred onto the table and Officer FBC, who Closed Captioning finally named “Hollis”, though at this point it’s kind of pointless because I’m still going to call him FBC, asks if there’s any chance Dennis is going to be able to talk to them. Abby doesn’t think so. Morris and Ray walk in and Morris says, “Enlighten me, ladies”, as Neela comes into frame and Abby says that it looks like they’ve got an open skull and facial fractures. Officer FBC says that they don’t have anything to go on because nobody saw anything. Morris asks “Glasgow Coma Scale?” and I at first thought he was referring to what happens when you’ve sampled a few too many whiskies at The Pot Still Pub, but Wikipedia tells me that it’s initially used to assess level of consciousness after head trauma, and is comprised of three tests: eye, verbal and motor responses. Dennis groans as Abby starts pressing along his cheekbones and tells Morris “spontaneous eye opening”. Officer FBC asks Neela what Dennis is trying to say. Neela says that Dennis is altered and she doesn’t think he knows what he’s saying. Ray says that Dennis withdraws from pain as Morris asks “For a grand total of?” and Abby answers “12”. Morris asks “And we intubate at?” and Ray answers “GCS of nine”, and Morris responds “excellent” as Snotty bursts in. She starts pressing Dennis’ abdomen and asks Abby if there’s any blood in his belly. Morris tells her that they were focusing on the primary survey. Snotty looks over at him and challenges that if she wanted excuses, she’d ask him directly. Snotty asks for the sonosite, as Morris looks at her and sort of smiles, then looks over at Ray, gesturing to Snotty. Ray just shoots him a look, as Morris gives him a scrunched-up “oh, please” face back. Snotty asks Neela if she has any idea why the CT scan on her “trampoline guy”, Margolis, never got to the OR. Neela says that she’ll have a tech run them up, but Snotty tells her that Dubenko wants her to personally bring them up. Neela Botox-scowls with a “what?” face as Abby asks for a gram of vancomycin to be hung. Neela asks Snotty if this is about the oral contrast, but Snotty has no idea. Neela says “you know, oral contrast increases the risk of anesthesia”. Snotty tells her that if Neela wants her professional opinion, “I’d find those CT results and haul my ass up there”, as Morris cuts in “after we stabilize this patient”. Snotty tersely tells him “No, now”. Morris is looking around with a “what the hell is going on?” expression as Abby tells Neela to go and that they’ve got it. Snotty addresses Morris, “Call me after the scan, Moe. And have Neurosurg and Head & Neck take a look”, then she grins at him before she walks out. Ray asks if she just called him “Moe” and Morris says that it’s a nickname … for Morris, and Abby interjects “Or homo”. Ha!!! Morris tells her not to worry, “that little vixen’s getting punished tonight” as Abby shoots him a “say what?” look. Morris continues “Oh yeah, she’s in store for a little …” and starts singing to the tune of “More, More, More”, “… Mo, Mo, Morris … how do you like it? How do you like it?” Um, I definitely don’t, Morris. Ray and Officer FBC behind him smirk, and Abby looks over with a “you have got to be kidding me” face. Hee.

Luka, Darlene and Sam are waiting in the Ambulance Bay as Pratt walks out to join them. Sam pats him on the arm affectionately and says “Hey, Stranger!” and Darlene welcomes him back. Luka smiles and tells him “Glad to see you survived”. Yeah, I’ll be you are, Luka, considering you’d probably be liable if something happened to him … what with the “forced volunteering” you blackmailed him into. Luka asks him how it was and Pratt answers “Well, hot, sweaty, fly-infested, you know, weather was a little overwhelming to be honest”. Darlene asks if he saved a lot of lives, and he looks at her and answers sincerely, “I tried”, as Luka watches him. Pickman the Paramedic unloads three year old Eddie. She says that he has good pulses, his BP is 100/50, but he “decided to stop breathing as we pulled in”. Well, that was awfully inconvenient of you, Eddie. Can’t you decide to start up again now? Luka rubs his sternum and asks him to open his eyes, calling his name. Pratt says that Eddie’s posturing and Pickman tells them that Eddie was awake on the scene but now this is all they can get out of him. Luka says “Okay, Sam, you’re with me” … God, I certainly hope not, Luka. Your hair is looking really good right now, so I’m thinking you shouldn’t be dropping your current Hairdresser … or your role as her Shampoo Boy. Sam says that Eddie is bradying down and Luka says that it’s a probable head bleed, and calls for 30 migs of Mannitol and to call CT and get Neurosurg down there. Paramedics help a young boy with a bleeding mouth and his left arm in a sling out of the rig. Paramedic tells Pratt that this is Sean and he’s ten years old with blunt trauma to the face and chest, he’s tachy at 135, his BP’s good, and he’s 100% on room air. They help Sean, who looks an awful lot like Patrick Fugit when he played William Miller in Almost Famous, to a wheelchair and Pratt introduces himself. William complains that he wants to stay with Eddie, and that he’s scared when William’s not with him. Pratt tells him not to worry and that they’ll have him in the room right next to his brother.

Luka is intubating Eddie in Trauma Green as Sam bitches that the IV blew. Luka calls for a tube, as Chi-Chi, with his ever-present coffee mug, enters the room. Sam asks “who did this?” and Chi-Chi groans when he spills his coffee as he puts it on the sink. He walks over to the table saying that it must have been the same guys who “busted up the pops”. Chi-Chi thinks it looks like the work of meth heads. Chi-Chi’s looking mighty slovenly with all the “un’s” going on – face unshaved, tie undone, shirt untucked. He asks what Eddie’s story is. Luka explains that Eddie’s three years old, hypertensive and bradycardic and it looks like traumatic head injury. Luka gets the tube in and calls to “bag him at a rate of 40”. Chi-Chi checks Eddie’s eyes with a penlight and says that the pupils are dilated and the left is greater than the right. Almost talking to himself, Chi-Chi starts spouting off about “Step-offs? Hematomas? It could be head trauma”, as Luka and Sam exchange looks because Chi-Chi’s obviously a little slow on the uptake today. Chi-Chi examines Eddie’s eye more closely and says there’s retinal hemorrhage, and then a lot like Rain Man says “Definitely head trauma” and orders for Neurosurg to be called and to get Mannitol on board. Luka purses his lips and dismissively tells him that they’ve already done that, then shakes his head. Chi-Chi looks at him as Sam says that the pulse is hanging in the 60’s and that she doesn’t have a line. Luka calls for an IO needle. Chi-Chi tells him that he doesn’t want to do that and to trust him. Luka emphatically says “oh yeah, I do” and calls for Betadine. Chi-Chi goes to the cabinet, and grabs a small case. Putting it on the tray next to Eddie, he tells Luka that “the IO’s drills’ the greatest, man … Wait till you see this”. Luka says that they don’t have the Pedes model, but Chi-Chi shows it to him and tells him that they do and that they got it in last week. As ER Chief, wouldn’t Luka have to sign off on ordering new equipment? Judging by the look Sam just shot him, she must be thinking the same thing. Way to be on top of your department, Luka. I hope your extracurricular hair activities are not affecting your effectiveness at managing the ER. Because Abby’s probably hitting the third trimester uncomfortableness uppage and sexual stimulation slump now anyway, so maybe you can cut out the deep conditioning treatments for a while and just go with some wash and wear hair. Chi-Chi says that he’ll show Luka how to use it and starts playing with the thing, which sounds like a drill, as Sam stares at him, then keeps glancing over at Luka. Guess she’s worried he’s going to use the drill to remove that Botox-inducing scowl she’s sporting on her forehead again. Luka looks over at Chi-Chi who’s still zoom-zooming and tries to take it from him, but Chi-Chi blocks him and says that he’s got it. Luka insists and takes it from him and Chi-Chi tells him that he’ll talk him through it. Luka puts Betadine on Eddie’s leg as Chi-Chi tells him tibular tuberosity, and repeat “one finger breadth medial”, then getting a little agitated, asks if Luka is listening to him. Eddie’s monitors start beeping and Sam calls out “he’s seizing”. Luka orders two of Ativan as he starts to put the drill in Eddie’s lower leg. Sam says that she can’t because she doesn’t have access. Luka tells them to hold on, as he gets the drill thing placed and puts the tube in, with Chi-Chi give encouragement the whole time, then telling him “nice job” before ordering Sam to get a head CT. Sam again stares at him as Luka disgustedly asks “What’s wrong with you?” Chi-Chi looks at him and protests that he’s trying to help him, that’s all. Luka bitches at him that he doesn’t listen to a word anybody says and that he’s all over the place. Chi-Chi apologizes and explains that he didn’t get a lot of sleep last night. Luka orders some more meds and tells Sam to pack up Eddie for the scanner. He turns to Chi-Chi and quietly but authoritatively says “Outside”. Chi-Chi questions “What?” and Luka says more forcefully “Now!”, before shooting a glance over at Sam, snapping his gloves off and storming out, sexily. Chi-Chi scoffs and looks at Sam and no-name nurse before following. Sam stares after them, which is about all she’s done so far this episode.

Luka bursts out of the Trauma room doors with Chi-Chi hot on his trail. And I am so with you on that, Chi-Chi, because I’d be hot on Luka’s tail … I mean trail, too. Luka looks around then asks Chi-Chi in a lowered voice “What are you on?” Chi-Chi protests that he’s not on anything and that he told him, and all he needed was a cup of coffee. Well, considering you were carrying one when you walked into that trauma and it apparently hadn’t done you any good, I’m thinking that’s not all you need, Chi-Chi. Luka stares at him and Chi-Chi asks him snidely if he wants a drug test, then starts unzips and tells Luka “go on, grab a cup, baby”. Oh, I don’t think that’s going to work with Luka, Chi-Chi. Luka tells him to take twenty minutes and get himself together. Chi-Chi wants to know “why? Because I repeated an order? Man, come on, please. What are you, my moms?” What is with Chi-Chi and the pluralizing of the parental designation all season? Annoying. We hear Frank yell “Luka!”, and Luka turns around to tell him “not now” and turns back to Chi-Chi. Lowering his voice again he says “Look, you’re an Attending. I need you to be on the ball” and tells him that he’s serious. Chi-Chi angrily says that he’s serious, too, and getting in Luka’s face, tells him that he is seriously starting to piss him off. Seeing as he’s got at least a foot on you, Chi-Chi, I wouldn’t be waving my finger in Luka’s face that way if I were you. Though I guess as long as you’re not threatening Abby in some way, your safe from Luka’s pounding on you. Chi-Chi yells at him that if he doesn’t want to work with him, that’s fine and that Chi-Chi doesn’t need him. Well, I sure do, Chi-Chi, so I’m glad you’re no longer in the competition. Now if I could just get rid of the millions of others that “need” Luka as badly as I do … Luka starts to call after him as Frank “Dr. Kovac” ‘s him this time. Luka turns around and pissily says “What, Frank?” as Frank is standing with two somber looking men in uniform. Frank quietly tells Luka “These gentlemen are looking for Dr. Rasgotra” and that one of them is a Military Casualty Officer, as the camera closes in on Luka’s shocked and dismayed, and mighty attractive, face.

In Trauma Yellow, Chuny, who’s just magically appeared all of a sudden, calls out that Dennis’ sats are falling, 89. Ray says that he can’t see the chords and that there is too much blood and they need a surgical airway. Abby yells for a crich tray, but Chi-Chi tells her to “slow her roll” and calls for someone to open up a central line kit. He tells Abby to grab a Magill and says he’s going to do a retrograde intubation. Ray says that he’s never seen that work, as Chi-Chi cockily tells him “You’ve never seen me do it, Junior, but today’s your lucky day”, as Abby stares at him and Ray looks around. Chi-Chi starts pouring Betadine on Dennis’ neck and Abby tells him that she thinks it would be faster to just crich him. Chi-Chi says that exposes him to all kinds of infection and bleeding, not to mention subglottic stenosis and “a big ugly ass scar”. Well, considering he’s not Catherine Zeta-Jones with the airbrushing, I’m guessing Dennis wouldn’t care too much about that, Chi-Chi. Especially since it could like, save his life and all. Chi-Chi starts to stick a needle in Dennis’ neck, as Ray says that the sats down to 84 and tells Chi-Chi that hypoxy isn’t that good for you either. Luka comes into the room and asks where Neela is. Abby tells him that she got called up to Surgery. Luka puts his hands on his hips as Chi-Chi says that they’ll aspirate and push the wire through. Luka tells Abby that there are soldiers looking for Neela, and that one of them is a Chaplain. Abby, Ray and Chuny stare at him, stunned. Chi-Chi keeps working on Dennis. Ray tells Luka that he needs to find her and Luka says that he’s trying to page her. As he’s about to head out, Luka asks Abby if everything is okay in here. She says yeah, and then hesitates, glancing over at Chi-Chi, before adding “I think so”. Ray is looking off, evidently really distressed by the news of Dead Wood Chipping. Chi-Chi bitches at Luka that it would be a lot better if he stopped talking to the Residents while Chi-Chi’s trying to show them how to save this guy’s life. Luka starts “Listen, Vic …” but Chi-Chi interrupts and says that he’s all over this and tells Luka to go find Neela. Luka grinds his teeth, but doesn’t say anything and leaves the room. Chi-Chi tells Abby to look at the pharanyx. With a clamp in one hand and a penlight in the other, Abby takes a look, but says she can’t see it. Chi-Chi says that she will and keeps pushing on the wire, muttering under his breath, “Come on, you son-of-a-bitch”, as blood drips onto his hand. Abby looks up at him to see that he’s got another nosebleed. Chi-Chi sniffs up the blood … nice … and yells, “Damn it!” Chuny holds some gauze up to his nose.

Neela exits the elevator on the Surgical floor, carrying an x-ray envelope. Her beeper goes off and she takes a look at it. She spots Shirley. Shirley! Yay! We haven’t seen her in ages. I love Shirley, she’s always good for a snarky comment or two. Neela drops the envelope on the desk and asks if Shirley (yay!) can make sure it gets to Dubenko. Shirley thinks that he wants to see Neela. Neela says that she’s being paged to the ER, and asks again if Shirley can make sure he gets it, and starts back towards the elevators. Shirley tells her that Dubenko was very specific about speaking to her in person. Neela purses her lips, grabs the envelope and rolls her eyes a bit.

Ray says that Dennis is bradying down, and the sat’s are at 60. Abby complains that she still can’t see the wire and yells for a crich tray to be opened, as Chi-Chi protests that she doesn’t need the damn crich tray and Chuny still holds a now blood-soaked gauze pad up to his nose. Abby’s had enough, looks over at him and bitches in a “oh, come on” tone, “Vic”. Chi-Chi tells her to stop staring at him and focus on her patient, as Abby shakes her head and takes another look. Chi-Chi tells Ray to do more suction and that the wire has to be there. Abby gets the wire and pulls it through, with a simply lovely visual of her pulling it up out of Dennis’ mouth, looking like she’s fishing and he’s what she caught. Chi-Chi tells her to stop pulling the wire and says that it will guide her to the chords. He tells Chuny “that’s enough” and thanks her for wiping his bloody nose, as he holds the gauze up himself and Abby grabs a tube and tries to intubate Dennis. She’s having a hard time getting it to pass through. Watching her a little creepily, Chi-Chi suggestively tells her “Work it, mommy” and rolling his hips tells her to “side to side, wiggle it” as she ignores him and gets the tube to go in. That was weird. And creepy. And I’m sure Luka wouldn’t approve of you telling his BabyMama to” wiggle” anything, Chi-Chi. Remember, I warned you about messing with Abby. Luka doesn’t take to kindly to guys who do that. Chi-Chi unnecessarily tells her to pull the wire out, as she is already doing it, then says to bag Dennis. He tells Chuny to call for a portable chest as Ray asks if they’re all good there, and Chi-Chi says they are. Ray asks Abby, which doesn’t sit well with Chi-Chi who questions “Why are you asking her? Man, I just told you we were doing good”, and stares Ray down. Ray looks over at him questioningly, then over at Abby and tells her that he’s going to go find Neela. Chi-Chi bitches to Abby, “Do you believe this? Ridiculous, huh?” as he holds some fresh gauze up to his nose. Abby looks over at him, worriedly.

Coming out of OR 1, Dubenko asks Neela what percentage of liver injuries stop bleeding by the time surgical exploration is performed. Neela guess “about half?”, but Dubenko corrects “how about 80%”. He tells her that she has plenty of time to learn all that in the next five years. Neela looks confused and asks “What?” Dubenko says that it seems like all of his complaining has finally paid off and that they’ve been funded for an additional slot on the surgical residency and tells her that it’s hers for the asking. Five years? I thought the residencies were four, or is the Surgical Residency a different length from the ER’s? Or does Neela have to start over the Residency, like Carter did when he switched from Surgery to the ER? I’m sure we’ll get no explanation. Neela asks if he’s serious. Smiling, Dubenko says “Well, if you don’t want it” and Neela, looking mighty pleased tells him repeatedly that she wants it, as her beeper goes off again. She apologizes and says that it’s the ER. Dubenko tells her to ignore it and that she’s a surgeon now and they never answer on the first page. Nice. Remind me never to go to County if I’m ever injured in Chicago … fictionally … Neela stares at him as he explains that he’s kidding and waves her along. Smiling broadly Neela rushes to the elevators as Dubenko tells her to come find him after her shift and they can grab a beer at Ike’s to celebrate. Totally happy and glowing because the writers just can’t resist racheting up the angst as much as possible before totally crushing her, Neela yells to him that’s great, but the drinks are on her. Snotty comes up to her, smiling and saying that she guesses congratulations are in order. Neela thanks her and says that Dubenko just told her and that she’s so excited and she can’t wait to get started. Snotty thinks it’s going to be fun and very seriously tells her that she’s really looking forward to being her Attending. Uh oh. Considering how these two have clashed in the past, I am so not believing in Snotty’s sincerity right now. Neither does Neela seem to as she stutters “Right … wonderful”, and fake smiles as the door closes. Hee.

Neela exits the elevator in the ER walking past Sam and Chuny, who stop and look at her with really distressed expressions. Sam tells her that Luka is looking for her. Neela says that she got his page and then happily tells them her news, and smiles. Notably subdued, Sam tells her that’s great and Chuny pipes in that Neela really should try to find Luka, as Ray comes down the steps behind them. Neela says that she will and starts to walk off as Ray tells her to hold up and he needs to talk to her. She happily tells him “I got it”, but he doesn’t know what as she fills him in “Surgical residency”. Ray tells her that’s good for her and that it’s really great, as she’s surprised by his lack of response and tells him to try to contain his enthusiasm. She starts to walk towards Admit and he follows her saying that he needs to tell her something, and she says that Luka is paging her. Ray says he knows and that it’s important. Neela thinks her news is too, but nobody seems to care. Ray tells her to listen but she interrupts that it’s not like she’s leaving the hospital or anything and that she’s going into Surgery and she’d think they’d like having her up there. They get to Admit and Neela asks Abby if she’s seen Luka. Looking at her very troubled and compassionately, Abby hesitates before quietly telling her that there are two men there to see her … from the Army. Neela looks intently at Abby and apprehensively asks like she already knows what’s happened, “The Army”? Abby nods sadly and knowingly as Neela stares at her, disbelievingly. Ray tells that they tried to find her. Neela turns around to see the two men sitting in Chairs. Abby and Ray watch her as she slowly walks over to them. The two men stand up, and one of them addresses her “Dr. Rasgotra?” He totally reminds me of Greg Germann who played Richard Fish on Ally McBeal. Neela, filled with dread, says “Yes?” Fish introduces himself and the Chaplain, Father Marris, who’s looking at her sympathetically. Fish asks if there is someplace more private that they can talk. Neela just wants him to tell her why they are there, as we see Ray, Abby and Frank still watching. Fish really thinks it would be better … but Neela says forcefully, “Tell me” as a tear rolls down her cheek. Fish tells her that the Secretary of the Army would like to express his deepest regret … as Neela interrupts and says quizzically “Regret? There must be some mistake …” Fish continues that Captain Michael Gallant was killed in action, as Neela closes her eyes, shakes her head, tears falling, and says doubtingly that she’s sorry and they’ve got it mixed up and explains that “Michael” is a doctor and he’s not a “soldier, soldier”. Yeah, I thought that was Robson Green … or Dougray Scott … Fish tells Neela that he was killed when his truck was hit by a roadside bomb. Neela looks distraught as Fish says again that the Secretary extends his deepest sympathies. Trying to hold herself together, Neela tearfully apologizes and says she’s working, and in an angrier tone says she can’t do this right now and storms away from them towards Admit. Abby watches her with tears in her eyes and shakes her head, seemingly at the senselessness of it all. Neela walks briskly to the charts, grabs one, and continues, walking past Morris, Sam, Chi-Chi, Luka and Pratt. Everyone, standing near Admit, watches her, sadly, but no one follows her, because it’s like they don’t know what to do.

After commercial, Fish asks Abby to please tell Neela that they are there to help in any way possible. Why am I getting the feeling he’s going to start playing with Abby’s wattle? I’m going to give you the same warning I gave Chi-Chi, Fish. I’m pretty sure Luka wouldn’t appreciate you touching Abby’s wattle … or any other part for that matter … Abby asks if his tree farmers … I mean “parents” have been notified, as Ray, who had been watching this, starts to walk away. Fish says no, but that it’s something they can do if Neela would like. Playing with her ear, Abby asks “What about Michael’s” then stops herself and changes it to “her husband’s …” What, Abby? … “Branches“? … “Shavings?” … “Sawdust”? … She finishes “… remains”. Oh, that’s really sad. Fish hands her an envelope and says that it takes 7 to 10 days for the deceased to get there from Iraq, and says that arrangements can be made to fly him to Chicago or wherever Neela decides. Abby says that she’ll pass that on. Fish says that all the information is in the packet and handing Abby a card, says that if Neela has any questions she can contact him or Father Marris. Abby thanks him. Fish thanks her and starts to gather his stuff as Chi-Chi asks if it was “friendly fire”. Fish looks up, raises his eyebrows and asks “Sir?” Chi-Chi wants to know how they even know what really happened over there and doesn’t the whole war smell like a little bit of right-wing cronyism and the oil and the multi-billion dollar defense contracts, as Abby looks over at Ray for help, then away before finally trying to stop Chi-Chi from further embarrassing himself. He holds up a hand to her as Sam moves closer and Chi-Chi keeps ranting about what the real psychological warfare is and pointing at Fish says his coming in there and feeding them a bunch of lies to placate the masses. Abby again glances towards Ray, who is watching with his hands on his hip. Abby puts a hand on Chi-Chi’s arm and tells him to “shut up”. Getting more agitated, Chi-Chi wants Fish to tell him about the deficit and why we had to go over there and kill everybody for democracy, as Abby tries to pull him away and Sam comes over to help by saying she needs him to check a blood gas. Sam leads him away to the Curtain Area and Abby apologizes to Fish before following them. Ray says that he’s going to go find Neela and make sure she goes home. Chi-Chi takes the chart from Sam, as she and Abby watch him intently. Chi-Chi says that the patient is doing better and he wants to lower the FIO2 to 70. Chi-Chi, looking really jumpy, is trying to write on the chart, but is having a hard time with the pen. He gets it, signs it, then hands the chart to Abby, ordering another test. Abby and Sam stare at him and Sam asks if Chi-Chi wants her to look at his nose. He thanks her, but says that he’s fine, and wipes at his nose with the gauze again. He apologizes for what happened over there, but says “those guys come in here like Stormtroopers”. Chi-Chi really is losing it, because those two Army guys couldn’t have been any more mild and respectful. He chuckles as he wipes his nose again and says that it’s like stigmata. Concerned, Abby tells him he should go crash in the Lounge, but he insists that he’s fine. He says “You know there’s no rest for the wicked” and grinning and pointing at her says “You … you, Abby, should know that”. She gives him another “oh, really? Well, okay, then” funny facial expression, like she’s trying to figure out why Chi-Chi would say that to her. Grinning, Chi-Chi says “that intubation was cool though, right?” and tells her that she’s got to “put that in your bag of tricks”, as his nose starts up again. He walks away saying that he’s got to take care of this. Sam and Abby watch him as Sam shakes her head and Abby sighs.

Pratt is sitting at the desk in the hallway, staring into space sadly. Abby walks up to him and says “hey”. He asks if she found Neela, but she shakes her head and says that Ray is looking for her. Pratt tells her that he came there today thinking how nice it is to be back and that he figured he’d come back, maybe save a few lives, and maybe even bring somebody back from the dead, but he damn sure didn’t expect to lose a friend. That’s sad. Abby agrees, and nods, looking away. As she is just so selfish and I’m sure not worrying about her friend or thinking at all about her friend’s recently chopped down husband, but instead is most likely contemplating that now would be just the absolute perfect time to ask Pratt about what’s up with Carter … but alas, it’s not to be, as Officer Former Buzz Cut calls to him, interrupting. Abby must really be so disappointed … Except, not. Officer FBC tells Pratt that William won’t say anything and they’ve got nothing. Pratt asks if they found the mother. Officer FBC says that she’s been in a rehab since November, as Abby looks away and he continues that the dad’s out of it and the baby’s in a coma. He tells Pratt that William is all they’ve got and asks if he can try talking to him. Pratt says okay and starts to get up, as Abby pats him on the shoulder and walks away.

Pratt goes into the Exam Room and asks Darlene how they’re doing in there. Darlene says okay, and kind of quiet, as William, in a gown and his arm in a sling, just looks down. Pratt puts an x-ray up on the viewer and asks William if he wants to see something really cool and tells him that’s his skeleton. The kid’s ten, Pratt, not two. I’m sure he knows what an x-ray is. Moron. William won’t really look at him. Pratt points out where his collarbone break is as Darlene moves closer to the x-ray. And Mekhi Phifer really shouldn’t stand profile and push his jacket back as he puts his hands in his pockets – it just emphasizes his stomach. Though maybe he’s trying to show some sympathy for Abby and strapped on the big baby belly, too. Either way, not a good look for you, Pratt. Darlene takes a closer look at the x-ray, though we really shouldn’t be made to take a closer look at her, because yikes, Sara Gilbert got old-looking. She tells Pratt that it looks like old rib fractures, and he looks, then glances at her surprised. What? Intern Darlene spots this but fourth year Resident Pratt doesn’t? Yeah, that’s believable. Though she has just finished working all those overnights, so her night vision has probably improved, just like I’m sure Abby’s has from living at the Bat Cave, so maybe a fringe benefit is better x-ray detecting. Except even I can see the breaks in the ribs on that x-ray, Pratt. Idiot. Pratt turns to William and asks if he remembers hurting his ribs. William shakes his head quickly. Pratt sits on the stool in front of him and asks “No?” Pratt says gently that he knows William is worried about his dad and his brother, but they’ve got the best docs helping them out. Oh, don’t lie to the kid, Pratt. Dennis is in Trauma Yellow with Abby – never a good sign. Though Eddie is in Trauma Green with Luka, so I guess you’re about half right, Pratt. Pratt tells William that they need him to help them, too, by telling them what happened. William looks off and doesn’t say anything. Pratt asks “You do want to help Eddie, right?” William nods, and Pratt tells him that he needs to talk to them. William tentatively says that Eddie wanted to play with his Bionicle guy, and he took it away from him, and Eddie started crying and wouldn’t stop, so Dennis started shaking him. Pratt asks if Dennis hit him, and William, still not looking at him, admits that Dennis punched him and threw him into a chair. Pratt asks about his brother. William says that Eddie kept crying and Dennis kept shaking him and telling him to shut up, and using “the f word”. “Then he grabbed Eddie’s head and slammed it against the wall”. Oh, I would so like to do that to you right now, Dennis. Darlene glances at Pratt, who processes all this while William continues that Eddie was crying so hard that he couldn’t breathe, so William grabbed his baseball bat and hit “him”. Surprised, Pratt asks “You hit your dad?” His voice cracking, William tells Pratt that he wanted Dennis to leave Eddie alone. Pratt nods and asks how many times William hit him. William replies “Until he stopped”.

Neela is up on the roof, arms crossed and staring off as Ray comes over to her. Ray looks around, like he’s trying to think of what to say. Shaking her head, Neela says disbelievingly, “I was just talking to him four days ago”. She says that he was complaining about the soil content … I mean, the food … and she was complaining about how cold Abby’s apartment is. Yeah, well I guess Abby didn’t notice, having Luka to keep her warm and all. Bitch. Neela honestly can’t remember what else they were talking about. Ray says “I’m so sorry, Neela … we all are”. Neela thinks that she was probably ordering a latte or watching “Celebrity Poker” when he was being blown up by a bomb. Neela says “Just like that, he’s gone”, and you can see the pain etched on her face. Ray tells her that if she needs anything or if she wants him to do anything, but she says she doesn’t. She tells him that she doesn’t need him to do anything. Getting angry again, she says that she needs to go back to work. Ray stops her and says that she needs to go home and take care of things and take care of herself. Neela cries “I don’t have a home. I don’t have a husband. I don’t have anything! All I have is this stupid hospital!” and covers her face with her hands. Ray moves to touch her, but she throws his hands off and tells him “Just stay the hell away from me!”, and walks off, leaving Ray to watch her, sadly.

Abby is in the drug lockup, staring absently at a shelf as we see Luka through the door behind her, looking at a chart. He spots her and walks around the corner and into the lockup, leaning against the doorway. She hears him walk in and looks over. Looking concerned, he asks her quietly “You hiding?”, and she nods and asks if it’s that obvious. Well, seeing as you really can’t hide from him considering the whole compass/”always finding each other” thing you two have going on, I’d guess so, Abby. He raises his eyebrows, then walks over to her and caresses her left shoulder with his right hand. Bitch. He sighs and leans back against the wall, looking down at her. She can’t believe that “Michael” is dead. He asks her mildly if she wants to go home and that he’ll cover for her. She says no and asks “what about Neela?” He says they can take care of things. Abby asks facetiously, “Who? You and Clemente?” Luka sighs and says that Weaver knew he had problems before she hired him and shrugging, adds “Now we’re paying for it”. Abby fondly, and sort of wifely, starts tugging at his labcoat lightly, adjusting it, and reminding him “Well, Luka, it’s your ER”, as he gives a “yeah, I guess it is” nod and holds her hand. Why am I getting a bad feeling about the fact that she had to point that out to him? Luka’s come a long way in this job, but he still shows some signs of maybe not being completely on top of everything. Hope it doesn’t come back to bite him in the ass. Abby grins a little, then moves in to hug him, saying “Let’s go away someplace”, as he sighs and puts his arm around her, kissing her forehead. Awww … that’s sweet. Bitch. She continues “… where it’s warm, and nobody knows who we are” as he gently rocks her back and forth. Again, sweet. And again, bitch. He asks “Like a vacation?”, which for some reason reminds me of Benton Backwards when, also in the drug lockup, she asked him if he wanted to go out sometime and he asked “Like a date?” Hee. So, I half expect her to respond here “That’s sort of what I was thinking”, but instead she grins and replies “No, not like a vacation … a vacation. A real one”. She says that even if it’s just for a couple of days before the baby is born as he hugs her tighter, still kissing her head. Bitch. She thinks they can hang out by a pool, or the ocean. He pulls back to look at her, and rubbing her back he says playfully “I can dig a hole in the sand for your big belly” and tilts his head, smiling at her. She smiles and asks him “What is that? Some sort of Croatian mating ritual?” Hee. He grins and nods “Mm hmm”. Smiling, she jokingly responds “What am I, a sea turtle?”, as he chuckles. Hee. Why am I getting an image of Luka, Abby and offspring riding the East Australian Current and Luka saying to the Lukaby in his best surfer dude voice “You so totally rock, Squirt!”, and then “Give me some fin … noggin …dude!” They smile very lovingly at each other. Nice affectionate little scene showing that they were able to share a quiet, intimate moment and make each other smile, while not taking away from the seriousness of what happened or how everyone has been affected by it. They really are adorable … Bitch … Neela walks into the lockup and grabs something off the shelf, never looking up, and walks back out. Abby calls her, then follows her. Luka gets a sort of “here we go” expression and goes after.

Abby goes up to Neela and says “Why don’t you let me take you home?” I’m just noticing the design on Abby’s dark olive green maternity top – couldn’t see the whole thing before – and see that it’s a giant heart. It’s kind of cute and maybe she’s finally branched out from Luka’s closet and actually gone clothes shopping. Neela walks away saying that she has patients to pass on. Luka tells her that they can take care of that and that she needs to go home. Neela wants to know why everyone is so damn insistent that she go home and that she has things to do and hasn’t even told her in-laws yet. Abby tells her that the Army guys said they could take care of that, but Neela says no, she has to do it. Abby asks “Well, don’t you think it would be better to do it from my apartment?” , for some privacy. Neela answers that they are probably both at work and she wants to tell them both at the same time when they’re together, tonight. I thought “Michael’s” parents said they were separating in Strange Bedfellows? Are they still living together? Luka says “Neela, go home, please”. Sam walks over and tells Abby that Dennis Young is crashing again. Abby tells Neela that she’ll check in on her later, then exchanges a look with Luka before walking off. Sam starts “Hey, Neela … I just want to …”, but without looking up from the syringe she’s filling, Neela says curtly “Don’t”. Sam hurries off, leaving Luka with Neela. He tells her that the men from the Army left a package for her and Frank has it at the Desk. Neela still won’t look up, or answer, so Luka says “Neela?” I’d like to see a scene sometime in the future, though not now, so close to the splintering, when Luka talks with Neela, since he lost his family so horrifically, he’s probably the only person who can really understand what she’s going through. She slams down the syringe, whips off her gloves and says “You know what? If it makes everyone else happy, I’ll go home” and stomps away, leaving Luka to sigh, sexily … I mean, seriously.

Abby goes into Trauma Yellow where we hear lots of beeping and asks what’s going on, as Sam walks in behind her. Chi-Chi says that Dennis is bradying down and orders the no-name nurse to push the damn atropine. Chi-Chi asks Abby if she’s sure Dennis didn’t have an epidural, but she says no, just diffuse brain edema. Chi-Chi calls for 100 grams of Mannitol as Sam scowls at him and says that they gave him Mannitol. Chi-Chi looks up at her as Abby says “bilaterally blown pupils”. Chi-Chi tells her to check the ET tube because maybe it came out. Abby says it’s fine as Sam says “GCS three”. Abby says that Dennis’ brain stem is failing and there’s not a whole lot they can do about that. Sucks for you, Dennis. I would feel sorry for you, if you hadn’t used your son’s head as a baby battering ram. Asshole. Sam says that the heart rates down to 30 as Chi-Chi says that he’s lost the pulse and it’s PEA. Chi-Chi’s hair is looking mighty bushy and curly right now. Did he have an emergency appointment at the Hair Salon during the last commercial? If so, it’s a little tight and didn’t really take too well, Chi-Chi, and maybe you should ask Abby and Luka for a “reverse perm” to parry problem perm perils. Chi-Chi calls for an amp of epi and two angiocaths. He tells Abby that maybe it’s a tension pneumo. He sticks a needle in Dennis’ chest as Abby counters that he’s satting at 100%. Chi-Chi asks if Dennis got Dilantin and Sam says he did, at 15 per kilo. Chi-Chi tells Sam to start compressions as she moves a stepstool over to stand on. Abby is just standing with her hand on her hip, biting her lip at all this as she bags Dennis. Sam starts CPR, but Chi-Chi bitches at her “Hey, Sam, you call those compressions? Come on” as he steps up to take over. Sam steps back and looks over at Abby as Chi-Chi says there are new AHA guidelines, in December issue circulation. He starts compressing Dennis’ chest rapidly saying 100 per minute, as Abby looks at Sam and then over at him. Chi-Chi continues “… deeper and faster. That’s how you’re going to save a life, okay?” Chi-Chi says that he needs to perfuse Dennis’ brain and he needs hypertonic saline at 23.4%. Sam says they don’t have that. Chi-Chi starts grumbling “We don’t have that? We don’t have that??? Hypertonic saline reduces ICP when Mannitol fails, as Abby and Sam again share a look. Chi-Chi says there was a paper last fall in … Lancet … or was it the New England Journal? Still pumping Dennis’ chest hard and talking rapidly to himself, Chi-Chi says “It was Neurosurgery. That’s right. The author was Weston … or Williams … or something. It was a “W” … Wares! That’s it. That’s it. Wares. Neurosurgery, 2004, October. Still watching him, Abby says quietly “Hold compressions”. Chi-Chi stops and the monitor bleeps as Sam says “Asytole”. Abby says gently, “Okay, let’s just call it , Vic”, as Chi-Chi starts furiously doing CPR again. He looks at her and says “Call it? Lockhart, I never figured you for a quitter”, as Abby wipes at her forehead, looks away, and takes off her gloves. Still with the compressing, Chi-Chi says that Dennis needs Burr holes and they’ve got to reduce the ICP. Abby impatiently complains “He has an open skull fracture. Burr holes are not going to help”. Sam walks over and turns off the monitor, but like the Energizer Bunny, Chi-Chi’s keeps going, and going, and going. Abby yells “Vic!” He finally stops, carping on the fact that Dennis should have had an ICP monitor and everybody knows it. He shouts at Abby “He should have had a damn ICP monitor!” Abby calls the time of death at 14:20. Chi-Chi starts to storm out, throwing things, knocking stuff over and griping “Come on. We can do better than this!” He forcefully pushes open the doors bellowing “We got to do a lot better than this!”, as Sam and Abby watch after him with “what’s going on?” expressions on their faces.

Chi-Chi goes out into the hall mumbling about doing a lot better than that as Luka comes hurrying up behind him, saying that he needs to talk to him. Distracted, Chi-Chi keeps walking, muttering “Yeah, and I need a cup of coffee, not that crap they serve here in …” as he slams his gloves into a waste barrel, “… or the effluence they try to pass off at the Roach Coach. I need a real cup of coffee”. Luka tries to speak to him again, but Chi-Chi keeps rambling “You ever been to this Italian place, Marrinaccio’s on Randolph? Oh my God, the best coffee this side of Milan. They even make their own biscottis”. He’s still walking, with Luka behind him. They pass Admit and Frank joins the entourage as Chi-Chi keeps moving towards the doors, babbling “Man, it smells … You know, I’m going to treat everybody. Everybody. I’m going to treat everybody to espresso and biscotti, okay?” as he walks out towards the Ambulance Bay, past Chuny and some paramedics bringing in some guy on a gurney. Chuny calls to Luka that they have a 48 year old complaining of chest pain. Luka, torn, looks after Chi-Chi and tells Chuny to take the guy to Exam 3. Glancing back the direction Chi-Chi went, Luka follows Chuny and asks if the patient is on any medication and Chuny says Lipitor and aspirin. Frank asks Luka if he should go get Chi-Chi. Luka says no, and to let him go, but to tell him as soon as Chi-Chi comes back. Walking with the gurney, Luka tells Chuny to get first day labs, 12 lead, lopressor and nitro. He tells the guy not to worry and that they are going to take good care of him. And I never wanted to be an overweight, balding 48 year old guy with high cholesterol so much before in my life so that Luka could take “good care” of me, too.

As they are moving the gurney into the Exam 3, Luka overhears a very loud discussion between Pratt and Darlene in the drug lock-up. Pratt asks how many visits DCFS made and Darlene answers “one”. Pratt complains loudly “One?!, and Darlene tells him it was following an accidental scalding. Luka tells Chuny that he’ll be right in and goes to see why Pratt is raising his voice. Pratt angrily says “So I guess his little brother ‘accidently’ got his head slammed up against a wall today, huh?” Luka asks what’s going on. Pratt explains that he’s got a kid with a busted collarbone and he’s got signs of old rib and humerus fractures, then adds “And he’s the lucky one!” He goes on how the kid’s little brother is in the room next to him in a coma. With his hand on his hip and looking mightily concerned, as well as mightily hot, Luka asks Pratt if he called Social Services. Darlene says they’re coming. Pratt starts bitching “We got CT’s, MRI’s, PET Scans, Dopplers, 4-D Ultrasounds … but we still can’t save one kid from getting his brains beaten out”. Luka watches Pratt’s tirade intently, glancing quickly at Darlene. Pratt continues that William had to kill his old man because there was nobody else there to help him, and adds bitterly “I guess that would be too much to ask, wouldn’t it? … I mean … because it’s much better that we spend, what is it now? $6 billion a month in a war all the way across the world? To kill off a few more of the other kids who actually get to make it to their teens?” Luka asks if he told the police. Pratt scoffs “So they can arrest him? Yeah, because that’s the one thing we do well in this country, isn’t it? We got prison down to a science. Prison and war”. He stalks out past Luka and Darlene. Even though Pratt’s ranting rhapsodic rhetoric was more than a bit overblown, I like that Pratt’s stint in Darfur has apparently acutely affected him and made him think. Luka looks around a bit, like he’s trying to think of what to say, then explains to Darlene that Pratt and Gallant were friends.

Chi-Chi is walking down the street holding a coffee carrier filled with cups and drinking out of one. He’s passing under the El, talking to himself about how good the coffee is and he doesn’t know how the Italians do it and babbling about what the hell a French press is. A homeless guy walks over to him and says that he knows him. Chi-Chi says “Oh yeah?” and Homeless tells him “you’re a killer”. Chi-Chi says that he’s not a killer, “Jerry Lee Lewis is a killer”. Really? I knew he was somewhat of a perv, marrying his 14 year old cousin and all, but a killer, Chi-Chi? That’s a bit harsh. Even though Closed Captioning doesn’t say so, I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt, Chi-Chi, and believe that you said “The” Killer, which would be referring to Jerry Lee’s nickname, so I guess that’s okay. Chi-Chi then tells Homeless that he is “the mayor of Munchkinland”, which would be kind of funny, if Homeless shrunk about eight inches, was dressed in a green felt suit with huge pocket watch and top hat, sported a handlebar mustache, and welcomed you most regally, Chi-Chi. Homeless keeps walking with him and says “You kill them in the hospital”. Chi-Chi stops and Homeless tells him that he has blood on him. Chi-Chi looks down to see his blood-splattered labcoat and shirt. He starts bitching about it being a nice new shirt, and how it went right through the Trauma gown. Homeless keeps spouting how he knows what Chi-Chi does, and how he cuts them up into little pieces. Do you know what Chi-Chi did last summer, too, Homeless? Chi-Chi tells him to step off as Homeless yells how he feeds surgical waste to the dogs. Is that what “Kibbles ‘n Bits” are? Ewww. Homeless shouts that Chi-Chi’s got to stop the slaughter. Chi-Chi points to the blood and asks if Homeless knows how he got this, then says he was saving someone’s life. “Because that’s what I do, I save pieces of crap like you”. Chi-Chi’s pissed and not paying attention where he’s going and walks out into the street in front of a taxi, that screeches to a halt, startling him and causing him to toss the coffees in the air. Chi-Chi yells at the cabbie to watch where he’s going. Cabbie screeches something back, but Chi-Chi is still shouting, too, so I can’t hear what he’s saying. Chi-Chi starts pounding on the cab’s hood, then kicks in the headlight. Too bad you dropped the java, Chi-Chi, because you could have channeled Abby after she almost got run down in Blame It on the Rain and thrown the coffee at the driver, who called her a “crazy bitch”. Good times. Chi-Chi moves towards the driver’s side door, still yelling how he’s a pedestrian on a crosswalk and had the right of way, which is technically true, Chi-Chi, but you did turn and walk off the curb without looking right into the cab’s path, so I’m guessing you got to take some of the blame here. Cabbie gets out and asks Chi-Chi if he wants him to kick his ass. Hee. This guy’s pretty darn big, too, so I’m guessing he’s could grind Chi-Chi’s bones to make his bread. Backing up, Chi-Chi challenges “Oh, now you’re gonna kick my ass, huh? You’re gonna get violent on me, right? You’re gonna kick my ass”, as he climbs up onto the hood of the taxi, and starts jumping and yelling “Kick my ass! Kick my ass up here!” For God’s sake, would somebody please kick his ass just to shut him the hell up. Jeez. He’s really not just jumping up and down on the hood, he’s also jumping up and down on my last nerve, too. He whips off the labcoat, which conveniently seems to undo the buttons of his shirt, too, and throws it on the ground, before doing the same with the shirt, all the time still ranting and stomping like a total lunatic. The cabbie can’t believe what he’s doing either and asks if he’s psycho. Ooh, that seemed to stop him. Chi-Chi shouts “Psycho? Psycho … you don’t know about psychosis, man. I’m the freaking doctor! Chi-Chi’s got a huge tattoo on his upper right arm, which looks like a giant bug, but is really an Aztec symbol for Diety. Chi-Chi then yells that he’ll show him psychosis and the camera angle changes to inside the cab as we see Chi-Chi smashing the windshield with his right foot. He and Cabbie are still shouting at each other and Cabbie asks if he’s on drugs. Chi-Chi’s all “Yeah, I’m high, I’m wasted, I’m flipping … Want to dip my urine?” And the reason Chi-Chi didn’t channel Abby earlier is because he was waiting to channel her brother Eric, because he unzips and starts pissing on the windshield. Nice. And we get a lovely shot of Cabbie watching in horror behind the stream, then duck as Chi-Chi starts spraying wildly. Isn’t there an open grave he can fall into? Ugh.

Abby is at Admit, calling Neela. She leaves a message that she’s thinking about stopping by tonight on her way to Luka’s. Oh, for crying out loud, have they still not resolved the living together thing??? Face it, Abby, if your clothes are there, you eat there, you sleep there, you spend all your time outside the ER there, you get Salon treatments there, and someone else is living in your apartment, you freaking live there! Owww, I swear sometimes you two make my brain hurt. Abby continues “… and we’re going to get some takeout”, not from that Thai place again, though, right, Abby? She asks if there’s anything special Neela wants to eat or if she needs anything to give Abby a call. Abby hangs up as Ray walks over. She asks if he talked to Neela as Sam walks up and Ray says that he tried and he thinks she just wants to be alone. Sam feels she’s going to have a lot of time alone and it’s probably best if she’s around people right now. Ray sighs and says that he tried, but it didn’t seem to work, and walks away. Sam glances over at the doors to the ambulance bay and calls Abby as she rushes towards a gurney being brought in. It’s Chi-Chi, surrounded by cops and paramedics. Also in the convoy is Sad Cop, who gave Abby the little girl Sydney’s stuffed animal that Abby placed with her body on the gurney, in The Human Shield. Chi-Chi lies and tells Sam that he got jumped and that he was going for a cup of coffee and they ambushed him. Paramedic gives the bullet saying they’ve got a 41 year old male with altered mental status. Chi-Chi bitches “I’m not altered. You’re altered, okay?” Really, Chi-Chi? The paramedic used a taxicab as a urinal, too? Freak. Chi-Chi mutters “There’s just no connection with you. No … on a human level”. He keeps babbling as Paramedic tells Abby, who’s joined the entourage, that Chi-Chi was wandering around in traffic, combative and uncooperative. Chi-Chi gripes that he was uncooperative because they were tying him down. He starts yelling “What is this, fascist Germany? 1984?” Oh, I hope not, Chi-Chi, that was an even worse year for hair and I shudder to think what Abby’s and Sam’s looked like then. Though Sam was probably only like five, so I guess she gets a pass. But Abby was probably in high school and sporting either some huge Mall Chick frizzed out big hair, or a mullet. Sam tells Chi-Chi to take it easy and Abby asks why he’s in handcuffs. Sad Cop explains that Chi-Chi assaulted several motorists. Chi-Chi rambles “You know what it is? It’s xenophobia, that’s what it is?” What’s that? Fear of Lucy Lawless? Actually, it’s fear of strangers or foreign people. Chi-Chi keeps mumbling as Abby asks Sam about Trauma One, but she says it’s full. Sam asks “Exam Two?” and Abby agrees. Paramedic says that the pulse ox is 99 on two liters. Chi-Chi snipes at him that it’s on room air, “you mouth breather”. Is anyone else finding Chi-Chi as totally and completely annoying as I am? This storyline bores me to tears. Chi-Chi asks Abby to get them all away from him and that Paramedic doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing. Abby ignores him as they keep guiding the gurney down the hall. Paramedic says dextrostick 102. Not getting anywhere with Abby, Chi-Chi tries Sam and asks her to tell them that he’s an Attending and what a colossal mistake they’ve made, as they wheel him into the room. Sam tells him that it looks like he cut his leg. He brushes it off as superficial and murmurs that he can feel the platelets already going to take care of that, he can feel them and he’s going to fix that with a “get well” sticker. Abby says they’ll check it out anyway and Sam chimes in that it will only take a minute. Chi-Chi starts to try to get up saying that he gets it, it’s funny and that the joke’s on him, and that everybody’s laughing, then says “Okay, now get it off of me”. He asks again, then starts thrashing around, agitated, and yelling for them to get it off him. Paramedic and Abby try to calm him down as Abby calls for five of Haldol, IV push. Chi-Chi stops fighting and says almost pleadingly, “Abby, you can’t give me Haldol”. Sam turns from the closet where she’s filling the syringe to look at him, as he repeats “You can’t give me Haldol, Abby … I’m not crazy, you understand?” Abby, who’s listening to his chest, looks at him sympathetically and tries to calm him, telling him “It’s okay, it’s okay”. Chi-Chi spots Ray in the doorway and asks him to “come here”. He appeals to Ray “These freakin’ chicks are losing their mind, man. Help me, man”. Abby asks Ray to get Luka. Chi-Chi blasts the Paramedic tending to his cuts, “What are you going to do, amputate my leg?” Then he calls after Ray “Hey! Oh, that’s it, that’s it” and mockingly sing-songs, “Run to daddy, you little bitch … run to daddy, little bitch”. Sam comes over with the meds and Chi-Chi warns her “Sam, don’t you dare. Don’t you dare, Sam”, then more fiercely, “Sam, don’t you dare!” Abby tells him to try to relax and he starts to fight again. Paramedic pushes him back down onto the gurney and tells him “Settle down, Doc”. Starting to feel the effects of the Haldol, and getting a little loopy, says “See, he said I’m a doctor … you heard him. I’m a doc. I’m a … I’m a doctor, not a freakin’ patient”. Well, you got the “freak” part of that right, Chi-Chi. Staring at her, he forcefully says, “Abby … Abby, I’m your Attending. You hear me? I’m your Attending … Do no harm, Abby. Do no harm, Abby”. Nodding and looking at him compassionately, Abby assures him, “I know … I know”. Chi-Chi starts to say “I’m an Attending at …” as the sedation takes full effect and he loses consciousness. Abby and Sam exchange a look.

Pratt bursts into Sutures, looking for William. He looks into Trauma Green to see William at Eddie’s bedside, and Darlene standing nearby. Darlene tells him that she thought it would be okay. Pratt asks her “Do you mind …?” She answers “Oh … sure” then asks William if he’d like some more Jell-o. He asks “Can I?” and she says that they’ve got tubs of it downstairs. Tubs of it? What, do they need it for Jell-O Wrestling or something? And what’s “downstairs” from the ER? Isn’t that where the morgue is? What kind of Jell-O flavors would they have down there? Autopsy Apple? Postmortem Pineapple? Biopsy Blueberry? Yuck. Darlene says she’ll be back in a few minutes and leaves. Pratt walks over to William and sits on a stool. William thinks that Eddie’s going to be hungry when he wakes up. Pratt tells him that since his mom’s away, he’s going to have to go stay with a foster family, probably until she gets back. William asks “The Fosters?” Hee. He’s cute. Why can’t he be the New Alex? Pratt smiles and says that their name’s not Foster, that’s what they do, they take care of kids. William asks if Eddie’s coming too, but Pratt answers that Eddie is going to have to stay in the hospital. William wants to know if it’s because he’s still sick. Pratt optimistically tells him that Eddie is showing signs of improvement though, and they’re going to have him in a very special part of the hospital that’s just for kids, and William can visit him there. William asks about his dad. Pratt hesitates, then gives him the standard doctor schtick about how severe his injuries were, the doctors couldn’t fix him, yada yada yada. William can’t believe it, “He’s dead?” Pratt sadly nods and says “Yeah, I’m afraid so”. Looking scared and lost, William tells Pratt in a broken voice that he didn’t mean to kill him. Pratt says he knows that. William tearfully says “But I’m going to go to hell”. Oh, I can’t help it … this kid is really getting to me, and I’m tearing up. Though it also could just be my allergies, since I forgot to take my Claritin this morning … Surprised and confused, Pratt asks “What?” William thinks God send you to hell if you kill someone. Pratt shakes his head and says gently that he thinks God makes exceptions, “if you were trying to save someone else”. Lip quivering, William asks hopefully, “Really?” Okay … so it’s not the pollen … This kid is really good. Maybe he can hang around the set for a bit and some of his non-monotone droning acting skills could rub off on Newlex. Just saying. Pratt assures him, “Really”, and William smiles a little, relieved. Very well done scene. Mekhi Phifer has impressed me all season, but no more so than in the last episode and this one. He was great with this kid.

Abby walks out of Chi-Chi’s Exam Room. Luka asks how Chi-Chi is. Abby says that he’s settled down. Abby tells him “Okay, uh, I’m going to get out of here”. Not looking at him, she continues that she’s going to go to her place and check on Neela. She’s looks up at him as he tells her “Okay, call me. Let me know how’s she’s doing” and Abby says she will. Abby leaves and Luka walks towards Admit. Sam comes up and asks him what the deal is with Chi-Chi. Luka says they have to hear what Psych says. Frank thinks it’s too bad because he was starting to like the little guy. Yeah, well, I think you may have been the only one there, Frank. Ray hands Luka some labs and says that Chi-Chi’s tox screen was negative. Morris isn’t so sure that’s a good thing. Luka tells them “Okay, come on, guys, let’s give Vic some privacy. We’ve still got a board to clear” and tells everyone to get back to work. I love authoritarian Boss Man Luka. Yum. Luka spots Pratt at the other side of the Desk and walks over to him. He asks if Pratt needs him to sign off on anything. Pratt looks up quickly, shakes his head, and quietly says “no”. Luka asks if everything is okay with him. Giving a little bit of a ‘tude, Pratt says “Yeah, why?” Luka thinks that sometimes it can be a difficult transition “coming back to this place”. Pratt thinks he’ll be okay and that he was just a little rattled earlier because of the whole “Mike” situation, aka The Wood Chipping. Making me so wish I were a tube of Chapstick, Luka chews on his lips invitingly, then tells Pratt that it’s good to have him back. He starts to walk away, but Pratt stops him and says “Thanks for making me go there”. Luka nods and tells Pratt that maybe someday he can tell him all about it. Pratt softly answers “Yeah, some day”.

Abby opens the door to her apartment, carrying a big paper bag in her left arm, with a plastic bag dangling from her hand. She calls “Neela?” Abby closes the door as Neela appears from the bedroom. Abby quietly says “hi” and Neela grins a little and says “hey”. Abby walks over to Neela and tells her that she brought her some dinner and some groceries. Neela smiles slightly and thanks her. Abby puts them down on the kitchen table, then turns and asks Neela if she called “Michael” ‘s family. Neela almost imperceptibly nods. Abby looks at her for a second, then puts her key down on the table and says “Hey, how ‘bout I stay here tonight?” Neela replies that she thinks she might like to be alone. Abby asks her gently, “Really?” Neela again nods a little. Abby shrugs and lightly jokes, “I could use a break from Luka’s snoring”. Luka snores??? Well, I guess it’s inevitable that he would have to have one fault, one weakness … I mean, Superman had Kryptonite, right? So Luka’s is a deviated septum or obstructive sleep apnea, or something. Who cares? Doesn’t his prowess with the conditioner and styling products more than make up for this one little imperfection, Abby? They chuckle a little and grin at each other. Neela smiles and says that “Michael” used to snore when he was drunk. Then she looks sad as she tells Abby that she had to come home and find a photograph because she couldn’t picture him in her head. Well, you really don’t need a picture, Neela, because all you’d have to do is look at a table … or a floorboard … or an overhead beam … and I’d think you could pretty easily conjure up an image. Abby doesn’t know what to say to this, and just looks at her, sympathetically. Neela thinks that one day she’s not going to be able to remember what he looks like. In that case, I’d suggest a trip to a forest, Neela … I’d think just about any one would do the trick. Abby assures her that’s not true. Neela looks away and bites her lip, as tears roll down her face, before looking back at Abby and insisting that she’s going to be fine. Abby nods understandingly and says “Okay”, and grins encouragingly at her, which Neela returns. Abby hugs her, and Neela looks like she really appreciates and needs it. Rubbing Neela’s back, Abby whispers “I’m sorry”. Lovely scene. I really like the relationship between Neela and Abby, and think that Parminder Nagra and Maura Tierney are very good at playing this as a genuine friendship, the type that has been sadly lacking on this show for a long time. And though they haven’t interacted as much the second half of this season as the first, it was nice to see and totally believable that it would be from Abby that Neela would accept a little comforting. Well played.

Dr. Nelson, Abby’s Attending on her Psych rotation and who was also seen in Lost in America, comes out of Chi-Chi’s room and tells Luka that he’s putting Chi-Chi on a 72-hour hold. Luka wants to know “What are you calling him?” and Nelson responds “Gravely disabled”. He says that Chi-Chi is blaming it on insomnia. Luka says that the tox screen was clean and Nelson responds that there’s no history of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Sure about that, Nelson? ‘Cause the pissing on stuff was sure a symptom of Abby’s brother’s bipolarism. Nelson says that Chi-Chi’s had prolonged sleep deprivation and was recently the victim of a violent crime, so there’s probably some PTSD going on, too, but they’ll know better in a few days. Luka shakes his hand and thanks him. Nelson walks away as Luka looks into Chi-Chi’s room. He hitches up his pants before entering, like he’s bracing himself for whatever’s coming, sighs, then goes into the room.

Chi-Chi is in a wheelchair next to and facing the bed. Luka comes around in front of him, saying “Hey, Vic”. He sits down on the bed, as a very subdued Chi-Chi says “What a day you had, huh?” Luka agrees “Yeah”, then asks how he’s feeling. Looking ahead but not really focusing on anything, Chi-Chi says monotonically that he’s pretty good, then adds “considering”. He continues lifelessly, “I just feel like such an ass for flipping out in front of the kids and everything”. Hee. I know she can act immaturely sometimes, but I really don’t think I’d classify Abby as a “kid”, Chi-Chi. Chi-Chi drones that he’s a passionate man and that’s what makes him a good doctor, and asks Luka “Right?” Luka tells him what he wants to hear and replies “Right”. Chi-Chi thinks that he can’t keep up his pace without spinning off the road at some point, but that he’s sorry that it had to happen on Luka’s watch. Luka assures him that it’s okay and that the important thing is that Chi-Chi can get some rest now. Luka really is treating him very solicitously. Chi-Chi agrees that he’s going to get some serious R&R. As he starts to chatter about catching up on his sleep, Luka looks like he wants to end this, so interrupts and says that he’ll take him upstairs. Chi-Chi likes that he’s getting personal escort treatment. I am so with you on that, Chi-Chi, because Luka can be my “personal escort” anytime. Just saying.

Luka pushes this very toned down version of Chi-Chi through the doors. Chi-Chi tells him that he really appreciates this, Luka’s helping him like this. Chi-Chi wants Luka not to be afraid to come up anytime and see him. But not for the personal escort services, Chi-Chi, because those are strictly mine now, so back off. Still going in the moderated tone, Chi-Chi tells Luka “especially if you need to run something past somebody” and insists he can still make a diagnosis on tough ones. Sam comes over and puts her hand on his shoulder and tells him “Take care of yourself, okay, Vic?” Ray tells him to be cool as the elevator doors open and Luka drags Chi-Chi’s wheelchair on it. He tells everyone to get back to work, as Luka pushes the floor number button. We see Sam and Morris walk off, and Pratt hold his fist up for Chi-Chi in a “be strong” gesture as the door closes. I really like the ensemble feel in this episode and how connected, caring and compassionate all the characters were to the situations going on with Neela and Chi-Chi.

Neela is sitting staring at the package the Army guys left for her. She finally tears it open and pulls out some papers and a videotape with her name on it. She looks intently at it with an expression of both anticipation and dread before popping it into the VCR. With Chinese food takeout cartons on the table in from of her, she picks up the remote, presses “Play”, and the screen is filled with Deadwood’s face as he says smiling, “Hey, it’s me” and does a quick kiss. He says he’s getting the camera ready, then sits back a bit. He’s wearing a blue scrub shirt and is about to start talking when a guy grabs him and starts joking to the camera “Neela, te quiero” and Deadwood laughing pushes him away saying, “Get out of here, you freak”. Camera closes in on Neela, who smiles a little, and puts her hands to her mouth as we hear Joker saying “I love you, Neela” and making kissing noises, then we see Deadwood still pushing him and telling him “Get out of here”. The guy goes away, and smiling and gesturing toward Joker saying “You see what I gotta deal with? You see that?” Still holding her hands to her face and looking like she’s going to burst into tears at any second, Neela watches closely. Deadwood sighs and says that hopefully she’s never going to see this thing. He goes on that if she is, then something went wrong, as Neela puts her hands to her eyes to wipe away the tears. Deadwood says “Maybe not wrong, but , certainly not according to plans”. Crying, she keeps watching, as Deadwood says sincerely, “I love you, Neela … Marrying you was the happiest day of my life”. Well, really how could it not be, Deadwood? What with the ER staff humming the Bridal March, the crappy sheet cake with the printed message, Father Superior Jerry officiating, Manilow, chili fries and martinis all at the swanky highbrow Baby Joon’s, then a scenic ride on the El before spending your Wedding Night at the posh and elegant … Ray’s apartment. Yeah, I think I like Abby’s and Luka’s celebration of your nuptials better. Deadwood tells Neela that she makes him strong, as tears stream down her face and she closes her eyes and cries harder. We hear him say that he knows she didn’t want him to come back to Iraq, and if she’s watching his, she owes him a big “I told you so”, as she again covers her eyes. He says that he did what he had to do. She wipes her face and looks back at the screen as he tells her that she’s the most beautiful and kind person that he knows and he just wants her to be happy. Um, then maybe you shouldn’t have left her when she asked you not to, Deadwood, because that certainly made her unhappy. He wants her to know that he will always be with her. Neela cries again. Parminder Nagra is just great in this scene and her facial expressions really portray the range of emotions that Neela must be going through. She’s even making me get a little teary. Deadwood wants her to find somebody, get married, have babies, as she sobs. Deadwood says “Of course, he won’t be as fine as me …”. Well, maybe not, Deadwood, but at least he won’t need to be pruned. Neela laughs and he says that he guesses that she’ll just have to live with that. He tells her again that he loves her … forever, and blows her a kiss, and the tape ends. Neela puts her head in her hands and breaks down. Well done.

Hopefully, the next recap will be up sometime this week, but I’m off to New York now and will get a chance to see Neil LaBute’s play Some Girl(s). Maura Tierney’s in it and since I’ve got front row seats, if her character ends up getting the guy, the absolutely adorable Eric McCormack from Will & Grace, I may not be able to help myself from “bitch”-ing her in person. Good times.