Thursday, September 28, 2006

ER 13.1 Bloodline

Well, well, well … new season … new beginning … new opportunities for Crankiness … new graphics to the riff from Snow Patrol’s Open Your Eyes that played in the Season finale … and the beautiful voiceover of Goran Visnjic telling us:

“Previously on ER” … Haleh introduces Mary, the fake EMT trainee, played by Natalie Wood’s daughter Natasha, to Sam; Natasha points a gun at Sam and tells her “Pull the blinds, bitch”, and I’d so have to agree with you on that descriptor Natasha; Luka pushes open the door to Sutures, only to have Rafe, the soon-to-be fellow escapee of Sam’s ex Steve (not Cute Cole Hauser Steve, but Sleazy Garrett Dillahunt Steve) stick a gun in his face; Luka grabs Sleaze, and Sam tries to keep Rafe from shooting him; Natasha goes on my shit list by injecting Luka in the shoulder blade with a needle; Sam pleads with Sleaze that Luka needs to be intubated; Rafe tells Sam she’s going to walk them out of there; Abby realizes something’s wrong and alerts the cops; Sleaze and Rafe go Tarantino on the ER; Abby takes a nasty fall into a chart cart; Jerry grabs Timmy, the Strawberry Boy and drops to the ground; Sam pleads with Sleaze to think about New Alex, and Sleaze says that he already did, pulling open the van door to reveal Newlex in his school uniform, trussed up like a Christmas turkey; Abby yells to Morris “Find Kovac, Jerry’s hurt”; Haleh notices Abby’s head bleeding and asks her if she’s okay; after channeling Lisa Miller from NewsRadio and cursing Luka and his domain, Abby collapses against the door between Trauma Green and Sutures, trailing her bloody hand along the window, and slumps to the floor.

Helicopters, sirens, walkie talkies, bullhorns, people running everywhere and … a distressed looking Weaver. She’s standing in the Ambulance Bay trying to take in what all is going on. Cops are trying to keep rubberneckers behind the barricades. Gurneys rushing by, sirens still wailing, Weaver still looking perplexed. She walks over to a guy in a suit, probably a detective, who’s talking to a witness, and tells him that she thinks “they” took one of the nurses. She asks Witness Guy if he saw Sam with them, and he says he thinks he saw one guy dragging her. Weaver’s watching The Detective and tells him Sam’s name and that he needs to find her. Weaver starts to head back in and Lily comes up to her. Weaver wants to know how Lily got through and she says that she slipped through Oncology and asks if everyone is okay. Weaver tells her to call OEMC and put them on medical bypass, that they’re closed for internal disaster, then tells her to page Luka, then bitches “It’s his damn ER”. Oh, you’re going to feel badly ‘bout the bitchin’, Weaver, when you find out where he is. A cop tells Weaver that the main area is clear and they are working their way through the rest. Weaver sees Chuny and tells her that admitted patients need to go up to the wards and not to wait for open beds, they can board them in the hallways for now. Weaver surveys the area, including the lovely Jackson Pollock-esque blood splatter left in the elevator by the cop who got shot in the neck. Chuny tells her that everyone else is getting triaged. Weaver says that they need to assess all equipment for possible damage, and Chuny says it’s been started. Weaver spots Frank, who says that he came in as soon as he heard. Weaver thanks him and tells him to call Pratt because they need him, as Frank stares into Trauma Yellow at Morris and Ray working on Jerry. Weaver assures him that Jerry’s going to be okay. Weaver and Chuny are walking down the hall and she spots Strawberry huddled on the floor crying. She asks the cops if someone is with him. Chuny kneels down next to Strawberry and tells him that everything is okay. Weaver leans down and gently introduces herself and asks if he’s with somebody. He tells them that Jerry was taking care of him. Weaver asks Chuny where Strawberry’s parents are and she says that they were on their way in and she’ll take him up to daycare until they get there. Weaver keeps going down the hall and sees a cop with a bloody leg. She tells him that someone should take a look at it, and he says that it’s nothing. She says it looks like something to her and he responds ominously that lots of folks got it worse. Yeah, no kidding, Bloody Cop. Could you please stop diddling around, Weaver, and find Abby and Luka? My nerves have been shot all summer and you just have to prolong the agony, don’t you? Curse you, ER! Haleh walks out into the hallway, and Weaver asks how Jerry’s doing. Haleh says they are waiting on the second thoraseal and that Abby is getting it. Oh my God … have they not freaking noticed that it’s taking Abby a hell of a long time to get something that was RIGHT NEXT DOOR??? Weaver, who was in Trauma Yellow when Abby went into Trauma Green to get it, had time to walk outside, look around all distracted for a bit, shoot the shit with some people about Sam, waltz around looking at the condition of the ER, comfort Frank, go Strawberry picking, talk a cop into putting on a Band Aid, and inquire about Jerry’s condition. Meanwhile, Abby is lying in a pool of her own blood and Luka is frantically trying to get out of restraints. And here I thought those six Zantac I popped before the start of this show would at least get me to the first commercial break. Ugh. Weaver says she’ll be right in and starts to turn to move down the hall when Haleh stops her to ask if there’s any word on Sam. Weaver looks at her worriedly as we cut to:

Oh, great. Here I was thinking that maybe for once Sam and her spawn being in a moving vehicle at the end of the Season Finale, like they have been in every one since they’ve been on this freaking show, would mean that they are finally leaving. But no, God obviously doesn’t love me that much, because there they are … in the escape van with Sleaze, Natasha, and Rafe. Thrilling. I guess the reason they’ve had every character so far ask about Sam is to remind the audience that we are actually supposed to be caring about what’s happening to her. Never mind other characters affected by the day’s events … you know, like say … oh, I don’t know … a quite pregnant woman lying on the floor bleeding, maybe? … or a lovely yet temporarily paralyzed guy strapped to a gurney, perhaps? Sleaze and Rafe are changing clothes while Natasha drives. They’re bitching at each other – Sleaze thinks they should have waited, Rafe thinks they’d have walked right out if Sleaze hadn’t let Sam play doctor. Ewww … really Sam? Please tell me you were not “playing doctor” with Sleaze? Ugh does not begin to cover it. Just looking at Newlex would have sworn me off Sleaze for good. Oh, wait. I guess he means letting Sam intubate Luka. Which I do give you props for Sam, though that best be the last time you do any tubin’ with Luka … ‘Nuf said. Sleaze asks Sam if Newlex is okay. She’s holding him, and he is doing the best acting of his life by doing a spot on impression of an expressionless mannequin. Sam tells Sleaze that Newlex’ insulin levels are peaking and he needs some food. Sleaze asks “Peaking?” and Sam disgustedly tells him that Newlex is a diabetic and asks if he’s forgotten. Sleaze looks a little shamefaced, then asks Natasha “how far to the switch?” She tells him it’s about 10 minutes and he tells her to hurry up and tells Sam that they’ll get Newlex something soon. Sam glares at him and Newlex stares blankly ahead. That wooden look … really, it’s uncanny, Newlex. Bravo.

Jerry ain’t doing so well. Morris calls for another two liters on the infuser as Weaver bursts in. She asks Jerry how he’s doing, but Jerry’s out. Ray tells her that there are decreased breath sounds on the right. Weaver says it’s because his chest tube is clamped. Morris asks if she wants Jerry to bleed out, and Weaver tells him that Jerry needs to get up to the OR. Morris says that they are still waiting on that thoraseal. I guess they figured Abby went out to the local thoraseal store, and is having trouble getting back in because of the barricade. This is ridiculous. Prolonging the suspense is one thing … torturing poor innocent, yet exceptionally cranky, viewers is quite another. Get on with it already! Weaver says that she’ll go find it as Ray says that Jerry’s sats are dropping. Weaver opens the door to Trauma Green and looks shocked as:

We hear the Cacophonous Chord of Comatose Childbearers and see Abby unconscious on the floor with her head propped up by the door. Finally! Thank God. Weaver rushes over to her, calling her name. She checks Abby’s pulse and keeps telling her to open her eyes, pleading with her to wake up. Weaver yells “I need some help! Now!”, then hears a clanking noise. She pulls herself to a standing position and looks through the window to see … Luka, where I left him, strapped to the gurney, trying to move it and looking back at her, as the Pounding Pulse of Prostrate Prettys plays and Weaver stares through the trauma room door looking, well … traumatized.

As we reach the brand spanking new credits, which aren’t actually credits but a series of graphics saying “ER” and “emergency room” flashing by to a new pulsating patter, I call shenanigans on the Continuity Supervisor for this show. Luka’s gurney is not in the same position it was in the finale. When he saw Abby through the door, he had to look over his left shoulder. When Weaver spots him through the window, she’s looking at him full on, with his right side closest to her. I guess Luka with his Super Slavic Stamina was able to do some serious maneuvering of that thing and spin it in a semi-circle yet, unfortunately, still not make it any closer to the door.

Pratt and Neela are walking fast through the cemetery and Pratt is saying into his cell phone that they are coming in right now as the actors’ credits, starting with “Goran Visnjic” (just had to get that in there) come across the screen. I actually kind of like it if this is the new beginning. I know the crashing into the credits and the simulated heartbeat has been the endearing, if somewhat annoying, staple of this show for the past twelve years, but I like that they are trying something new. And since I was on the blog that the show’s Producer, David Zabel, did after the premiere, I liked what he said the reasoning behind it was too – that it gives them a little more time to get into the story. Works for me. Pratt tells Neela there’s been a shooting and that Jerry took a couple of hits and they are trying to stabilize him right now. Neela asks worriedly “And Abby?” Pratt tells her that they found Abby in a pool of blood and that Frank wasn’t too sure about anything else. As they get to the limo, Pratt tells Neela that he’s going to drop her off before he goes to the hospital and he’ll check in on her later, but Neela won’t hear of it and insists on going with him and tells the driver to get to County as fast as he can.

Looking through the window into Trauma Green, we see Abby is on a gurney and Morris is tending to her. Oh, great. She’s so screwed. Chuny is calling out that the sat’s on 98 with room air as Weaver is extubating Luka, who has been cut loose and is sitting up on the gurney. And he’s still mighty pretty, though looking a bit bruised from where that asshole Sleaze stomped on his face. As the tube comes out, Luka goes into a fit of coughing. Weaver listens to his lungs and asks him “What the hell happened?” Holding his throat, coughing and choking, he tells her in a scratchy voice that Natasha stabbed him with vec and that Sam did an intubation, all the while staring at the door to Trauma Green. He asks how Abby is as Chuny puts a mask over his face and Weaver says that she still needs to check on her. Weaver tells Chuny six liters of O2. And starting to move towards the door, tells Chuny to call her if his pulse ox drops below 94. She turns towards the door, as Luka rips off the mask and starts to stand up. Chuny tries to get him to sit back down but he says he’s fine and keeps moving. Weaver tells him that he needs to be monitored for at least an hour, as he doubles over a little bit. Tearing off and throwing the pulse ox monitor on the bed, he puts his hand up to his head and keeps insisting that he’s fine, though he’s still leaning over and coughing. Weaver tells him that he was paralyzed and intubated and that he belongs in the ICU. Still coughing, he stands more upright and moves to go past her, she tries to block his way, but he pushes through into Trauma Green.

Weaver gives up and tells Chuny to give him a stool as Luka crosses over to Abby and we hear the whooshing sound of a fetal heartbeat. As he leans over her bed, she starts to wake up, disoriented. Morris is doing an ultrasound and says that the pressure’s up to 110 on two liters as Luka leans over and kisses Abby’s head, and Morris says that the fetal heart tone is 160. Abby reaches over towards Luka, but is still a little dazed. Luka pulls up the stool that Chuny brought him and taking her right hand, asks her how she’s doing. Looking around confused Abby asks how she got there. Luka tells her that she passed out and that she was bleeding. She says that she had a cramp as he kisses her hand. Okay, I know I shouldn’t be worrying about this, but since her hand is clean and she was just until now unconscious, who wiped the blood off? Yuck. Chuny pushes Abby’s bed more upright as Weaver, looking at the ultrasound monitor, says that it was probably vagel from the pain. Luka asks Abby if it’s stopped now and she looks at him and nods. Still looking at the monitor, Weaver says that it seems to have slowed down. Abby and Luka look at the monitor. Morris says there’s no sign of abruption and the baby’s moving around and looks healthy as we see the image of the Lukaby on screen. Leaning into Abby and nuzzling her hair, Luka says quietly into her ear “Congratulations, it’s a boy” and she smiles before turning her head towards him, and they lean their foreheads together, noses touching. Aww, that’s sweet … Bitch … You know, I had promised myself that since I actually met Maura Tierney this summer and since she really is a totally down-to-earth, funny, and genuinely nice person, and since I truly do like the character of Abby, that I wasn’t going to “Bitch” her this year … or not as much this year … or at least not in the first recap … not to mention the first scene … And even though they really are adorable, honestly …I just can’t help it … I mean, come on … just look at who she gets to canoodle with, for God’s sake! … Then you try refraining from saying it … Uh huh … See? … It’s not so easy is it? … It’s okay … you can say it with me … Bitch … Weaver says that it could be a placenta previa. Abby lifts her face from Luka’s and turns towards Weaver negating it and saying that she doesn’t have previa. Luka tells Weaver that they saw a low-lying placenta on the twenty week ultrasound. Taking over the ultrasound, Weaver thinks that explains the bleeding and tells Abby that she may need a c-section. As Luka holds his hand to his throat again, Abby insists that she doesn’t need a c-section and tells them to call Coburn. Hmm, is this the beginning of an “Abby-in-denial-so-obviously-whatever-she-negates-will-come-true” thread? Great, just when I was breathing a sigh of relief for the Lukaby. Morris says that she’s been paged. Lily comes in and tells Weaver that Psych is here. Weaver says she’ll be right there and Abby asks her to move her to OB. Morris chimes in that they still need a sterile spec exam, but staring at him distrustfully, Abby says definitively, “Dr. Weaver, send me to OB”. Still holding his neck, Luka glances at her. Weaver looks at Abby, realizes she’s serious, then asks Chuny for the vitals. Chuny says the pulse is 85, BP 112/78, and Weaver tells them to take her up. Ray comes in and says he’s having a rough time with Jerry’s airway. Morris says that he’s got it and goes with Ray. As they are lifting the sides to the gurney up to move her, Abby tells Luka that he should help with the intubation. He tells her he’s staying with her. She assures him that she’s just going up for NST’s and that Luka can come up after Jerry’s tubed. As they start to move the gurney, Luka shakes his head, and says “no”, glancing over at Trauma Yellow. Abby pleads “Luka … it’s Jerry”. He stops, sighs, looks over at the trauma room, then looks at her and takes her hand, kisses it, and tells her “Page me if something changes, okay?” She keeps watching him as the gurney starts moving, and I am so with you on that Abby, because I’d be reluctant to stop looking at him, too. He slowly lets go of her hand. Holding his throat again he tries clearing it, and watches as they wheel her out.

Frank is answering the phone as police and other emergency people are still milling about, and lab people are CSI’ing it, some snapping pictures for the folks back home, because nothing says “vacation” quite like a torn up emergency room. He apologizes to the caller and tells her that they are closed and she has to call Mercy. Weaver is walking with Andrews from Psych and he’s telling her that the clinic is taking in any walk-ins with stress reaction. Hey, does that include me? I’ve got acute stress reaction from being forced to wait four months and an extra five minutes before finding out what happened to The Pretty. Stress reaction, and a severe case of agida. Oy. Weaver thinks that’s good and thanks him. He thinks they should discuss a Critical Incident Debriefing at some point, but Weaver blows it off saying “Maybe in a few hours. Let’s just get through this shift”, because she knows the last time they tried to have one of those Debriefings, everyone bailed on it except Victor Clemente, aka John Leguizamo, aka Chi-Chi Rodriguez from To Wong Foo, Eve the Nursing Supervisor, aka Kristen Johnston, aka Sally from Third Rock from the Sun, and Abby. I would think Abby’s current patient status gives her a pass on this one, and since Chi-Chi went psycho and Sally punched Santa, I’m guessing that debriefing ain’t going to be happening any time soon. Though the non-debriefing did lead to Abby arriving at the batcave to confront Luka and they worked their first shift in the Hair Salon (as evidenced by Luka’s new coif in the next ep) so if this one will end with naked Luka saying “panties”, then I’m all for it being mandatory, Weaver. And I do mean “de-briefing”, Luka. With me doing the “de-“. Just saying.

A cop is trying to stop Pratt and Neela from entering, but Weaver tells him it’s okay. Pratt wants to know what’s up with Jerry and Weaver says he’s being redlined to the OR. Neela asks worriedly about Abby and Weaver tells her that Abby’s good and they sent her up to OB just to be safe. Well, that’s not actually true, Weaver. Abby did have to insist that she be sent up there, to which you relented. Neela starts to walk down the hall and spots Abby being wheeled to the elevators. Chuny tells Abby that they just called and Coburn is on her way in. Neela comes over and asks Abby how she is. Abby downplays it saying that she thinks she must have just hit her belly when she fell and that she’s fine. Neela asks how the baby is and Chuny says that the fetal heart tone is 155. Abby tells Neela that she’s just going up for monitoring and Neela says that she’ll go with her. Abby tells her no, but Neela says “C’mon, it’ll be fun. We can play ‘Who had the worse day?’ “ Hee. Abby grins at her and assures her that she’s fine, as they load her on the elevator. Noticing Neela’s concerned look, Abby insists “Really”. Neela resignedly says “Alright, I’ll come and check on you later”. Abby waves to her as the door closes.

Rafe, Sleaze and Natasha are switching vehicles and Rafe tries to hurry everyone along. Newlex tells Sam that he doesn’t feel good. It speaks! Well, actually … It drones! Sam, with the Botox-inducing frown this time tells Sleaze that Newlex needs to eat something. Rafe thinks they need to get some miles behind them first. Sam insists to Sleaze that Newlex can’t wait. Sleaze tells her to get him something to hold him over, but to make it quick, and stops Newlex from going with her. Rafe says he’ll take Sam, who tells Newlex that she’ll be right back. Natasha wants Rafe to get her some chips, then tells Sleaze that she’s “hitting the head”. Lovely. She’s such a classy gal. Sleaze looks at Newlex, who is slouching against the SUV and tells him to stand up straight … eat his veggies, comb his hair, brush his teeth, don’t plant corn in the winter, don’t eat yellow snow, don’t chew your fingernails and swallow them or a hand will grow in your stomach … and all other sorts of fatherly advice. Actually, he tells him to “be a man”, and that he’s “not a little kid anymore”, which coming from Sleaze, the anti-Mike Brady, is just as ridiculous as my suggestions. Sleaze thinks Newlex is really going to like Canada, because with his winning personality, superior acting skills, and sparkling conversation, Newlex can easily get a job as a hockey puck … or a Curling stone … But Newlex monotones that he likes Chicago, because I guess he’s afraid you just can’t get good deep dish in Canada.

Morris and Ray are still trying to tube Jerry. Morris tells Ray he needs more chrichoid, but Ray says that he’s about to crack the larynx. Yuck. No wonder Luka’s throat is sore. They’re having trouble seeing the chords. Luka is sitting on a stool in the corner watching. Haleh calls out the sat’s and Luka stands up, tells Morris in a raspy voice to pull out and bag and to give him the flipper, and moves to Jerry’s head. Luka tells them that if they can’t get this in, they’re going to need a straight long blade. He sounds horrible and wheezy, and it looks like he should have listened to Weaver and let them treat him. Hearing how Luka sounds, Ray listens to his back as Luka fiddles with the laryngoscope. Morris asks Luka if he’s okay as Luka coughs. Luka ignores it and says to let him know when the sat’s are up. Luka’s hand is shaking, and he bends over in a fit of coughing as Ray says he has tight wheezing throughout. Morris orders Luka to sit down and tells Haleh to get him an albuterol nebulizer. Luka insists he’s okay. Ray tells him that it’s a bronchial spasm and he probably aspirated some saliva. Luka is having a hard time gripping the instrument, and doesn’t seem to have regained full function of his hands yet. Luka tells them that he can do this, but Morris yells at him that if he doesn’t get treated, they’re going to have two patients to intubate. Morris then says “please” and Luka complies, giving him back the flipper. As Luka goes to sit back down, he chokes out for Morris to grab an LMA just in case. Haleh hands Luka the nebulizer and tells Morris that Jerry’s pressure is down again. Ray says to autotransfuse from the thoraseal as Neela and Frank watch from outside the door. Luka’s still coughing up a lung as Frank asks how Jerry is. Ray assures him that Jerry’s okay and asks if somebody could call Jerry’s mom. Frank says that he’ll do it right now. Morris tells him that she can meet them up in the OR. And Ray quietly says “Yeah, let’s hope so”.

Sam and Rafe are in a convenience store. Sam shoots some dirty looks at the clerk, probably because he’s reading Maxim and after the incident with Old Alex and Luka’s magazine at school, she knows what this kid is “up” to. Sam and Rafe are separated by an aisle and he tells her to grab what she needs. The annoying country music playing over the loudspeaker keeps imploring us to “Look up, love”, so Sam finally pays attention to the warbling warning and looks around, noticing a security camera. She moves directly into its line of vision and starts to blatantly steal stuff. Either kleptomania needs to be added to her increasingly long list of faults, just like some washed out blonde dye needs to be added to her increasingly long dark roots, or else Sam’s being really smart and identifying herself here. Good plan, except Rafe catches her doing it, and asks if she’s going to pay for the stuff. He tells her not to steal because these people work for a living. You have no morals about hurting The Pretty, or shooting up a hospital, in that order of importance, mind you, but you get all high and mighty about a little shoplifting, Rafe? Asshole.

Jerry’s bradying down. Morris has some long Luka Blue II colored pixie stick looking-thing with notches on it inserted into Jerry’s throat. Neela is standing behind him and Luka, in what should be a sexy raspy voice but instead sounds like he’s been chewing on glass, is instructing him on what to do. Luka tells Morris that if he enters the trachea, he’ll feel clicks when he pass over the cartilaginous rings. Luka has a hard time getting that all out and has to suck on the nebulizer for a bit. And I now know what I want to come back as in my next life. Ray calls out that Jerry’s heart rate is only 50. Morris starts to feel the clicks and when he gets to the third one, Luka tells him to hold it right there and chokes out for Ray to pass an 8-0. Ray slides it over the top of the pixie stick, and Morris keeps pushing it until it’s down Jerry’s throat. Luka then croaks to pass the tube and Morris tries to insert it, but it doesn’t want to pass. Luka calmly tells him to rotate counter-clockwise. Morris says that it’s caught up on something. Luka keeps coughing and sucking as Morris gets the tube in. Luka says “end-tidal CO2”, and Morris looks at the sensor and says that it’s yellow, and they all breathe a sigh of relief as Neela says that yellow means “yes”. Luka nods at the job well done. Dubenko crashes through the doors and starts bitching that he thought they were bringing Jerry up. Morris tells him that they had a little problem, but they’re ready to roll. Dubenko asks for his vitals, Ray says that the pressure’s up to 90 systolic and Morris says that he’s had four bags of O neg and two liters autotransfusion on the cellsaver, as Luka rests his forehead on his hand and continues his albuterol treatment. They start moving Jerry out the door. Dubenko yells to Luka that everyone upstairs is doing everything they can “to help you guys out”. Morris looks back at Luka as he walks out the door and nods. Luka, still head in hand, sucking on the tube, and leaning forward on the stool gives Morris the thumbs up. Luka’s looking a bit poorly and I’m sure could do with a treatment more than just with albuterol. Seeing as Abby’s a bit incapacitated at the moment and unlikely to resume her Hairdressing duties just yet, I’d be more than happy to help you out with an intensive moisturizing salon treatment there, Luka. Just saying … and … Call me …

Coburn (yay!!!) is looking at a printout from the contraction monitor thingy. I love Amy Aquino. Though I’m not lovin’ the That Girl flip. Thought I told you to ditch that ‘do last year, Amy? Abby’s right there, and since she’s not doing anything but sitting, maybe she can style it for you. I’m sure she’s missing the Salon about now. She must be, considering that she’s pulled her own her hair back and up since we last saw her with it all hanging down in the ER. Coburn tells Abby that the baby looks good, but that she’s definitely contracting. Abby’s surprised because she doesn’t feel anything. Coburn tells her that sometimes you don’t and that she thinks the belly trauma put Abby into pre-term labor as she sits on the stool next to Abby’s bed. Coburn says that the baby’s head dropped down and caused a little placental bleeding. Abby’s obviously not liking what she’s hearing and tells Coburn it’s too soon and to give her terbutaline, which is an asthma drug that relaxes bronchial tubes, and also is known to relax the muscles of the uterus. Maybe Luka should be taking it, too, and get rid of all the rasping and wheezing and give me back my velvet-voiced valentine … Coburn gives Abby a look and says “You need magnesium”. Abby looks away annoyed, and Coburn, in her best “Coburn condescending” voice says “I know you know that, Abby. Remember all the times you gave it when you were a nurse up here”. Abby pissily says “Well, mag makes you feel like crap. So, why don’t we just start with the terb”. Coburn tells her that terbutaline can sometimes masks the signs and symptoms of abruption. Abby looks a little sheepish as she admits that she didn’t know that. Coburn, in her best “Coburn chirpy-yet-no-nonsense” tone tells her “Today you’re the patient, not the doctor”. Looking away Abby says trying to sound definite but coming out as if attempting to reassure herself, “I’m not having an abruption”. Shhh, Abby! You need to stop saying this stuff out loud … the writers might hear you, and then you’re totally fucked … Coburn replies, “Not right now. But the trauma puts you at risk”, as Abby nods. Coburn continues that if she does abrupt, they need to know right away. Trying not to get upset, Abby says “So you can do a c-section”. Coburn looks at her and nods. Abby looks over at her, understanding, then looks down. Coburn gives the nurse the orders for magnesium, finishes writing on the chart, gets up and tells Abby to let her know if she has any more pain. Abby nods and says “okay” before looking down again. Coburn walks out, leaving Abby to try to process all this and dabble in denial.

Sam and Rafe come out of the store. Natasha’s back from “the head” and wants to know if they have her chips. Rafe says yeah. Sam asks Natasha if that’s the key to the bathroom she’s carrying and Natasha says it is, but warns her that it’s nasty. Can’t be any nastier than the one my friends and I were forced to use at a seedy basement club in Greenwich Village. Yuck doesn’t even begin to describe it. I still have nightmares. Rafe says no, and that they need to leave. Natasha, showing sista solidarity, tells him to let Sam “take a pee” because “we” can’t hold it in like you guys. I beg to differ, Natasha. After aforementioned rank restroom experience, I’ve gotten quite adept at “holding it”. Sam walks towards the back of the store, with Rafe none to happy that she’s doing so. Natasha distracts him by demanding her chips. Enough with the chips, bitch. You got a Cool Ranch fetish or something? Jeez. Sam enters the bathroom and yeah, Natasha wasn’t kidding. It’s pretty foul. Sam tries the windows, but the grate over them doesn’t budge. She grabs some paper towels, and a pen out of her scrub jacket pocket, and writes a note, leaving it in the sink, along with something she pulled out of her pocket. Sam is really keeping her cool here and being very smart about trying to get help. As she unlocks the door, Rafe is standing there, waiting for her. He pushes past her and notices the note. It reads “Kidnap Lic # W132890” and her County ID badge is lying on top. Good thinking, Sam. Rafe’s not too impressed with Sam’s street smarts. He pockets her ID, then flushes the note down the disgusting toilet that obviously drowned the Ty-D-bol Man. Yuck. Sam moves towards the door and Rafe grabs her by the hair and yanks her back. He gets all in her face and tells her that the next time she tries something like that, they take it out on her kid. As much of a nothing as Newlex is, and as much as I wouldn’t miss him if he were gone, sort of like Carter, I still don’t want to see anything happen to him; unlike Carter, who I just don’t want to see … period. Sam tries not to show it, but you can see the fear in her eyes.

Luka’s in Abby’s room now, reading the printouts from the contraction monitor. Luka tells Abby that she’s definitely not contracting. Abby says a little worriedly that contractions don’t last this long. Coburn comes in and asks when the pain started. Luka looks at Abby and tells Coburn “about 15 minutes ago”. Coburn grabs the ultrasound wand and Abby pulls up her shirt, exposing the baby belly with the monitor strapped to it, so Coburn can examine her. Since Luka and Coburn are both standing up, we get a better view of the obnoxiously cutesie kiddie-themed balloons and bears curtains on the observation window. Coburn asks Abby how bad the pain is from 1 to 10. Abby replies “I don’t know, like a 4 … maybe”. Abby thinks it’s probably just a bruise from when she fell down. And the props people did a good job with discoloring the baby bump, because it really does look bruised. The Lukaby appears on the screen as we hear Abby say that she just needs some Tylenol or something. Coburn says there’s no evidence of abruption, as Luka nods, looking at the screen and says “great” . Abby looks relieved and grinning a little says “See, I told you”. Coburn orders a CBC with platelets and some other labs that I can’t follow so I’ll just say “other labs”, but whatever they are, Abby’s not too happy about them. A little annoyed, she asks “Why? What for?” as Luka sits down on a stool next to the head of the bed, leaning against the siderail. As she cleans off the ultrasound goop from Abby’s belly, Coburn informs her that only 20% or abruptions have ultrasound findings. And again in “Coburn condescending” mode, which shall be referred to as “CC” from here on out, says “Let’s send the labs to be sure”. Abby sighs, then protests that the baby looks great, the heart rate’s good, excellent variability, as Luka interrupts, saying her name softly and repeatedly, and holding his hand up in a “calm down” type of gesture. Abby shuts up. Sitting down, Coburn says, continuing in “CC”, “Okay, here’s what I would say to you if you weren’t a doctor. If the placenta separates from the womb and bleeds, then the baby can be deprived of oxygen”, as Abby nods like she knows this and looks away, and Luka, leaning on his arm, watches her, and takes her left hand in his, holding it. Not looking at him, she squeezes back as Coburn continues that even if they don’t see a blood clot, the labs will give them advanced warning before the baby’s in trouble. Abby nods and says quietly “okay”. Coburn orders 12 of betamethasone, and Abby throws up her hands and disgustedly yells “Oh, come on!” Coburn tells her that they have to mature the baby’s lungs in case of an emergent birth, but Abby is not listening. She’s just shaking her head and repeating more and more forcefully, “No, no, no, no, no, no!”, then grabs the IV line quickly away from the Random Nurse and holds up her hand to stop Random from giving her the drug. Coburn looks over at Luka for backup as, agitated and a little irrational, Abby spits out “I have two and a half months left to go. This baby is not coming until then”. Luka holds up his hand again and says soothingly, “That’s what we’re all hoping for”, but Abby won’t be placated and says forcefully “I can wait two more weeks. The risk of prematurity goes way down at that point. I can wait. I’ll go on bedrest. I’ll use a bedpan. I won’t move”. Coburn tells her “You know that I want you to have a healthy baby”. Abby pleads, looking a bit like a scared little kid, “Then why do you keep focusing on the worst case scenario?” Luka’s had enough, flexes his hand and says sharply “That’s her job”. Abby’s glances over at him then down as, frustrated, he slaps his hand back down on the siderail, then moves to sit back on the stool, resting his elbows on his legs and looking down. Looking a little shamefaced, Abby finally acquiesces and holds the IV line out to Random.

More picture taking, because I guess the Admit Desk just isn’t working it for the photographer and making love to the camera. Weaver, Chuny and Frank are on the move talking about patient beds and whether the night staff’s been called. Weaver asks Frank if he’s checked on Sam, but he says he was told they still have no leads. Lily tells Weaver that OEMC is on the line and wants to know where they’re at, and Weaver says they can take four critical paramedic runs then back on bypass until they see how they’re doing. Bloody Cop limps over and tells Weaver that there are a lot of people outside showing up for treatment. She tells him they’ll take care of it. She tells Chuny to set up fast-track in the west lobby and they’ll speed through anyone who doesn’t need x-rays or labs, then tells Pratt to help.

Railroad crossing gate coming down. Rafe and Sleaze are pissed because they are stuck in a line of traffic waiting for the train to pass. Rafe puts the SUV in gear and speeds out of the line down the opposite lane, towards the tracks. Sam asks what he’s doing and he tells her to shut up. Sam is thinking he’s going to get them all killed. Rafe is thinking they can make it because the train’s probably a mile away. Newlex is thinking how great it is that he actually gets paid to sit there and stare blankly. Rafe swerves round the gate and over the tracks. A cop in the traffic coming in the opposite direction pulls out of line, turns around and chases after them, sirens blaring. Sleaze loads his gun and tells everyone to be cool and nobody gets hurt. They pull over and a burly cop gets out of his patrol car and walks up to the driver’s window. Sam is looking around, trying to figure out how to capitalize on this situation. Newlex is looking around because that’s what the director told him to do. Burly Cop knocks on the window and Rafe rolls it down. He asks Rafe for license and proof of insurance. Don’t they usually ask for vehicle registration? Not that I would know or anything … I always observe all traffic rules and posted speed limits … well, most of the time … some of the time … Look, those tickets weren’t my fault … Speed traps, I tell you … It’s a right-wing conspiracy, I just know it … Anyway, Sleaze starts unnecessarily expositing that they are on their way to the lake so that his son can get some fishing in before dark. Nice one, Sleaze. First rule of being a fugitive, never volunteer information. Not that I would know or anything … Never been one myself … At least not in this tri-state area … Look, it wasn’t my fault … How was I supposed to know you aren’t supposed to break and enter into a library? … I had a big test the next day and the copy of the Federalist Papers I had at home was abridged, and … Anyway, Burly Cop looks in the window at Sam, Newlex and Natasha in the back. Sleaze smiles and says that it’s Newlex’ birthday. Really, Newlex? I think going on the lam is a really shitty birthday present to give the kid, Sleaze. Couldn’t you have just stolen him a Game Boy or something? Burly Cop takes Rafe’s info and says he’ll be right back and walks back to his car. Rafe’s paranoid about what the cop is doing, but Sleaze thinks he just a “local yokel” and this is the most excitement he’s had all day. Sam chimes in that Burly is probably calling for backup. Sleaze admonishes her “Sammy!”, but she keeps going that every cop within a thousand mile radius knows what the three of them look like. Rafe thinks this is taking too long, says “screw it”, throws the SUV into gear and peels out.

Elevator door opens and who steps out but … Estelle Costanza!!! George’s mom from Seinfeld!!! I love her! Every time I see her, all I can think is “What am I supposed to do with all this Paella??!” Hee … Apparently, she’s Jerry’s mom and Morris is telling her that they are trying to find the source of the bleeding. She tells him that her Jerry is “not the hardy type” and she only hopes he doesn’t wilt under all this … Hee … Morris tells her that he had a good pulse and blood pressure when he left the ER. She scoffs that this would never have happened if he didn’t insist on working at that “facacta cesspool” … Hee … Morris assures her that as long as the surgeons find the bleeding and stop it, he should be fine. Real comforting there, Morris. George’s Mom thinks Jerry could have gone to law school. Morris didn’t realize that. George’s Mom herself sent the application to Harvard, but no, Jerry wouldn’t go. Morris is impressed that Jerry got into Harvard, but George’s Mom says “No, they rejected him … four times … but that’s not the point …” Hee. As they keep heading towards an area where she can wait, she wants to know how much all of this is going to cost them. Morris doesn’t know, but he’s sure Jerry’s health insurance will cover it. Not to mention Workman’s Comp, I should think, considering he was injured on the job. Though not sure “caught in the middle of a gun battle on the premises” is one of their covered incidents. George’s Mom bitches that they don’t cover the deductibles. She tells Morris, getting increasingly louder, “You know who covers the deductibles? Me! I cover the deductibles!” Morris steers her to a seat and says for her to wait there and he’ll come back to talk to her about this, but he’s going to go check on Jerry first. She calls after him “He doesn’t have any savings, you know. But why would he? He can barely survive off that weekly insult you people call a paycheck!” as Morris escapes out the door.

Morris joins Neela in the observation area off the operating theatre. He asks how Jerry’s doing and Neela tells him that the bullet nicked the right ventricle. Morris swears, because he was hoping it had missed the heart. They watch as Dubenko operates on Jerry. Morris thinks a cardiac defect isn’t so bad and that it’s repairable, and asks Neela “right?” Neela doesn’t look so sure. As they are watching, Jerry goes into v-tach. Dubenko calls for the internal paddles as they lose the pulse. He shocks Jerry’s heart as Neela murmurs “Oh God”. Jerry’s still in v-tach. Morris quietly pleads “Come on, Jerry”. Dubenko shocks again but nothing happens. He starts internal compressions. Dubenko can’t figure out why Jerry’s in v-tach. Morris hears them say Jerry’s got ST elevation and says “He’s having a heart attack”. Dubenko and the OR team run through what it might be. Neela gets an idea and interrupts over the intercom. Dubenko tells her “not now, Neela”. She apologizes for interrupting but wants to know if it’s possible a suture is tying off the coronary artery. Dubenko thinks that’s a good call and goes to check. Morris wonders if Neela could see inside the field, but she says it’s a hunch. Wow, she really has found her calling after all the wishy-washiness … she really is a surgeon. Dubenko cuts the suture, shocks the heart again, and they get sinus rhythm. Morris tells Neela “Way to go!” Dubenko says they are going to put Jerry on bypass and reposition for a coronary graft. He calls up to Neela that he needs another set of hands down there.

Sleaze and The Gang are speeding along with Burly Cop right on their tail. They swerve around a giant tractor rolling peacefully down the highway … like you do … and keep going. Rafe is swerving in and out of lanes. Sam holds Newlex tighter. Sleaze yells at Rafe that the cops know where they’re going now, and know what they’re driving. Sam implores Sleaze to let her and Newlex out and that they don’t need them anymore. Sleaze tells her that they’re not prisoners, they’re his family. Sam frantically yells back that he’s going to get his family killed and wants to know if that’s what he wants, as Newlex looks on, terrified. Actually, that’s a bit of an overstatement … he’s really just … looking on. Cop pulls alongside them, and Rafe swerves into him to try to run him off the road. Sam keeps yelling, Natasha is flying around back and forth because she neglected to put on her seatbelt, Newlex is … Newlex. Rafe again swerves into the cop’s car. This time it veers off the road into some construction obstacles and as the cop tries to keep the car straight, it rides up the back of an equipment hauler and flips over, landing on top of a pick-up truck before crashing to a halt. Yikes. That had to hurt, Burly Cop. Rafe’s laughing because they got away, but Sleaze is pissed because he thinks cops are going to be crawling everywhere. Rafe doesn’t care because they’re getting further away. He and Sleaze are arguing, even throwing in an “asshole”, which I didn’t know they could say on this show now, considering last year, they bleeped out half of it when Abby said it while throwing coffee at that guy in Blame It On The Rain. Visibly shaken, Sam asks Sleaze again to let them out, and says she can go back and check on Burly. Sleaze starts yelling at her to “Shut the hell up” and tells her that she’s not leaving, nobody’s leaving. He keeps on yelling and asking if everyone understands that, and Rafe tries to get him to calm down, but Sleaze starts pounding his fist angrily against the dashboard. Glancing over at Newlex, Sam looks back, realizing that Sleaze is really losing it.

Luka is sitting on Abby’s bed, looking down and trying to stifle his coughing, clears his throat. Abby asks him if he’s okay, and he insists that he’s fine. Abby kind of rolls her eyes like she doesn’t really believe him and tells him that Sam probably saved his life. He agrees and says that he hopes she’s alright. Luka looks at the printouts and Abby asks “how’s he doing?” Luka says good and tells her to turn around and see for herself, but she jokes that the magnesium has drained all her life force. Luka sits back from the monitor and moves his left arm to the other side of her, and rubs his right hand on her leg. Awww … Bitch … Abby complains “We’re so not ready for this”, but Luka thinks that no one ever is. Abby says they don’t even have a carseat or a stroller, but Luka tells her definitively, “We have a crib”, which he put together with his hot handyman hands … hmmm … And can I say that I really didn’t think it possible, but Goran Visnjic actually looks even better on my new widescreen High Definition TV… Yum … and yes, I am rubbing that in … ooh, rubbing in … and Luka … sigh … maybe I’ll just recap the freeze-framed image on my TV for the next five or six pages … I can practice my vocabulary … I wonder how many different ways there are to say “hot”? … Anyway, this concludes our little Luka interlude, we now return to Abby’s complaining, already in progress … Abby whines that they don’t even have a name. Luka looks at her for a second, then looks down and says that he was kind of hoping that they could name the baby after his father. Abby’s a little surprised, “Really?” Looking wistful, Luka says “Yeah, he would really love to have a grandson named …” and looking away towards the monitor he continues “… Mongo”. Mongo! Hee … Will he have a forehead like a drive-in movie theater? … Hope he doesn’t get out of his cage … well, I guess more of an enclosure, really … then you can go out and get him a leash - one of those clothesline runners for the backyard. Then he’s got plenty of room out there to dig … The goofy bastard will be just about the best thing you have in this crazy old world … Mongo … hee … Abby’s face is hilarious as she stutters “Mo … Mongo?” Abby still doesn’t know his dad’s name? You would think she would have made a point of finding out after Carter had asked her if she knew it in “Now What?” when they thought Luka had died in the Congo. Mongo in the Congo. Hee. Still looking at the monitor, Luka tells her that it is a very popular name in Croatia. Abby just sort of looks away like “Oh my God, my son is so going to get his ass kicked at school” … until … Luka can’t keep it going anymore and starts chuckling, turning to her and telling her he was just kidding. She starts laughing and hits him. They keep laughing and he tells her that his father’s name is Josip, “but I don’t care how we’re going to call him”. Still chuckling, she tells him it’s not funny. They keep giggling and smiling at each other. Awww … they really are so cute. All of a sudden, Abby doubles over in pain and cries out “Oh my God!”, startling Luka, who asks if it’s a contraction. Still in pain and hunched over, Abby says she doesn’t know and thinks her water broke. Luka lifts up the blanket to look and the sheets are soaked in blood. Yikes. The Menacing Melody of Maligned Mongo’s starts as Luka rushes to Abby’s IV and turns something on it. Abby asks what he’s doing and he tells her that he’s opening up her saline. He runs to the door and calls out that they need some help in there. Abby asks worriedly if he’s sure it’s not a contraction. He checks and says that there’s nothing on the monitor. Abby’s still in pain as we hear beeping. She cries out “What’s that?” and Luka tells her that the baby’s heart rate is dropping. Abby says “Oh God. How low?”, but Luka doesn’t answer as he pushes up the siderails to her bed and tells her to get on her left side now. Coburn comes running in and Luka tells her “Sharp pain, gush of blood”. Coburn says the baby’s heart rate is in the 60’s and they’re going to the OR. Abby asks if it’s an abruption as Random Nurse puts an oxygen mask over her face. Coburn tells her it looks that way. Coburn calls out “Stat. Page anesthesia”, but Abby pulls the mask off and tells her no, she wants a spinal. They’re moving her bed and Coburn tells her that general anesthesia is quicker. Abby’s still feeling pain, but she tells Luka, who’s walking alongside, leaning over her as they rushing the bed down the hall, holding her face with his left hand, “I want to be awake, Luka”. He tells her “You’re okay. You’ll be okay”, and puts the mask back on her, never letting go of her face.

Meanwhile, back in White Trash Central, the outlaws have stopped for the night in what looks like some kind of abandoned junkyard type place or some such. I really don’t care. Sleaze and his merry men are arguing, while Sam and Newlex are huddled together at the SUV, watching. Rafe and Natasha are bitching at Sleaze because he wants to lay low, and they want to keep going. They think they should split up, and Sleaze bitches “Not until we get another car”. Natasha starts complaining about how Sleaze and his family are slowing them down, and he goes after her, but Rafe gets between them, trying to get Sleaze to calm down. Newlex asks if they’re fighting. Nothing gets by you, does it, Newlex? Vivacious, and a Mensa candidate … you’re just the whole package, aren’t you? … Moron … Sam tells him they’re arguing because they don’t know what to do, and they know they’re in trouble. Newlex wants to know if Sleaze is going to hurt them. And I’m sure the director said “look in a state of panic” here, Newlex, not “look in a state of Prozac”. Sam hugs Newlex and tries to reassure him that everything’s going to be okay. She looks over at Sleaze, who is telling Natasha and Rafe that he doesn’t want to fight in front of his kid, and asks them to go inside one of the dilapidated warehouse-y looking buildings that are all around. They go inside. Sam realizes this may be a chance to escape. She turns to Newlex and tells him that she needs him to help her do something, but that he has to do it so that no one else knows. She hurries him over to where the Hole in the Head gang’s stuff is and tells him they need to find the keys. Newlex says that he thinks the other guy has the keys. Sam says to then look for a gun, or something. Newlex questions “A gun?”, like he’s never heard the word before. You know, the original Alex jumped up and down and basically skateboarded on my last nerve, but at least the kid could act. This kid is very cute, but one usually reserves someone of his acting caliber for the afternoon soaps. Newlex says what I think is “Mom, I’m scared”, though he may have just said “My nostrils flared”. Sam tells him that she’s knows he’s scared and that she’s messed up a lot, but that she’d never, ever let anybody hurt him. Linda Cardellini has been very good in this episode and the last one. Getting Sam out of a lifeless relationship with Luka has been good for her character, and his, and though they didn’t give her much to do last season, now maybe she’s finally getting a chance to show us what she’s got. Don’t fuck it up, Linda. Though do make an appointment at the Salon, to do something about that hair color. Blah Blonde just isn’t working for you, but at least it’s not curled. As always, it all comes back to the hair. And I’d like to officially acknowledge that tonight’s episode marks the one year anniversary of the last time we saw Susan Lewis on this show. I still miss Susan … and Sherry Stringfield … and her hair … As Sam swears to God, we hear a gunshot. Ooh, probably shouldn’t have brought the Big Guy into this Sam. Sam whips around and looks over at the warehouse, where the shot came from in time to see a flash and hear another couple of shots. She quickly tells Newlex to go and they start running to the SUV. Sleaze walks out of the warehouse carrying his gun. Sam puts Newlex in the car, and turns around to face Sleaze, putting herself between him and their son. Sleaze puts his gun away, and then picks up some containers of fast food that they had been eating and asks if Sam and Newlex are hungry. He starts walking towards them as Sam hugs Newlex.

Frank is sitting alone in Trauma Yellow. Pratt comes in and asks him what’s up. Frank says that he’s always believed that nothing ever really changed. What is he channeling Season 9 Abby now? Oh, please don’t do it, Frank. She was miserable then … and drunk … And most eps her hair was just awful. He says that he’s old enough that he knows that there’s always going to be troubles … War … taxes … Carter coming back … Bad guys now are the same as bad guys have always been, but that’s not how he feels today. He feels like the world’s getting worse and what we’re watching is the slow steady descent of the human race. Haven’t you been watching this show, Frank? Nothing good ever lasts longer than two episodes for these people before we’re knee-deep in the angst again … Although this ep has raised the level up to chest height and it’s still only half over … I better get my snorkel ready for Abby’s delivery … and fins … Pratt considers what Frank is saying, but doesn’t buy it. He just thinks today was a rough day for the home team … Yeah, okay … if this is what it’s like for this team, I’d seriously think about asking for a trade, Pratt …

Neela is scrubbing in for surgery as the opening bars to David Gray’s poignant Life in Slow Motion starts playing. She looks into the operating theatre at Jerry. Abby is lying on a surgical table, wearing an oxygen mask and surgical cap, and has a pulse ox monitor attached to her ear. She’s looking off, worried. Luka is sitting beside her, watching her and stroking her face. He too is decked out in surgical garb, complete with mask and I am starting to feel a little more hopeful for Abby and the Lukaby as we see that Luka’s scrubs, as well as Abby’s surgical cap, are in his signature color, Luka Blue, the Original. He looks over to see Coburn, scrubbing in. While I was watching, you did a slow dissolve … While I was watching … Neela and Dubenko begin operating on Jerry …You did a slow dissolve … Neela uses a hammer and chisel thingy to crack the sternum … Lovely … While I was watching ... Coburn calls for a 10-blade, as we see Luka off to the side behind her, sitting on a stool and looking like he’s praying … You did a slow dissolve …Camera pans to Abby, still looking anxious, behind the drape that is shielding what Coburn is doing from her view … Shot goes back to Coburn making the incision … Oh, yuck … I’ve had two c-sections and that curtain is up for a reason, people! From the blood and stuff we’ve seen in the short time since this scene started, I’m guessing we’re in for some seriously gory stuff … As if my stomach wasn’t already upset from the worry … Now I’ve got to deal with the nausea from disgust, and I’m not just talking about the Sleaze storyline, either … Ugh … Blood starts coming out from the incision, Coburn calls for lap pads and says “Oh boy” worriedly. Abby, who had been looking over at Luka, wants to know what’s happening. Coburn says “Lots of oozing” as Luka looks up. Abby closes her eyes for a minute, then looks back over at Luka, and they hold a gaze as he is wringing his hands. Did I imagine … Abby looks away again …Or do the walls have eyes … Neela is cross-clamping the aorta as Pratt joins Morris on the observation deck …Did I imagine … Neela calls for ice … Now is really not the time for a refreshing beverage, Neela, while Jerry’s chest is open and nauseating me … But Neela pours the ice into the open chest cavity … They held us hypnotized … Coburn opens Abby’s uterus … Did I imagine … Abby’s still fearful and probably imagining all sorts of stuff right now as Coburn calls for 20 units of packed cells … Or do the walls have eyes … Luka is now standing on the opposite side of Abby, holding her left hand. He keeps looking back and forth between what Coburn is doing and Abby … David’s oh–oh-oh’ing as Coburn is having a rough time and Luka is throwing concerned glances over at the cell-saver collecting Abby’s blood … which is filling up rather quickly … Yikes … David’s now ay-ay-ay’ing as we’re back to Jerry, Neela using some surgical instruments and picking up what I guess is an artery, but I can’t look too closely because of the wooziness … Ugh … Dubenko is telling her to check for leaks … Coburn is starting to pull out the Lukaby, and I’m sorry, no offense, Abby, but I didn’t want to see this when it was happening to me, let alone your cut-open abdomen, thanks - no matter how many “this is so cool” ’s and “you gotta see this” ‘s that my husband kept spouting off … Luka is still holding Abby’s hand, and now he’s stroking it with his other hand … Life in Slow Motion … Coburn pulls the Lukaby all the way out … Somehow it don’t seem real … Luka’s still looking back and forth to the blood output … Life in Slow Motion … Coburn asks for scissors … Somehow it don’t feel real … Abby’s looking around, wondering what’s happening … Life in Slow Motion … Coburn cuts the cord on the Lukaby, who’s looking a bit floppy … Somehow it don’t feel re-e-e-e-e-e-al … he’s handed off as a Gratuitous Guy from Pedes takes him saying “C’mon little guy, give me a cry” and Luka watches … Luka’s still holding Abby’s hand as they remove her oxygen mask … Abby and Luka watch as they work on the Lukaby … Re-e-e-e-e-e-al … Gratuitous Girl from Pedes says the pulse is less than 60 as Abby grips Luka’s hand tighter, neither of them taking their eyes off the baby … Gratuitous Guy from Pedes says “Let’s bag him” and calls for an intubation tray as Luka moves to the other side of the table, closer to the baby, but never letting go of Abby’s hand. Without looking away from the baby, they just switch hands as Luka moves between Abby and where the baby is … Gratuitous Girl is calling out some medical stuff, but I’m too busy watching Luka and Abby, connected and totally focused on their baby … Re-e-e-e-e-e-al … Neela is shocking Jerry’s heart. OR Shirley (yay!) says “Sinus rhythm”, relieved. Haven’t seen OR Shirley in a while. Maybe now that we are going to have a main cast surgeon again with Neela’s switch, we’ll get to see more of OR Shirley, who always cracked me up. Anesthesiologist Guy says that they have a pulse, as Morris and Pratt celebrate and David Gray keeps la-da-da-la-da-da-la-da-da-da’ing … The Lukaby has been intubated and they’re doing compressions. Abby is watching this, teary. As she looks away, Coburn yells out “Abruption clot!” and that it’s consumed all of Abby’s clotting factors. YIKES! That thing is huge! Coburn says that the uterus is not responding to massage as David stops singing, but the keyboard interlude begins. She says “Let’s pack it off”, as Luka hears her, turns away from where he was standing cross-armed over the Lukaby, and moves over to Abby. He picks up her hand again and holds it in both of his then looks over to the baby again. Gratuitous Guy is calling for epi as they continue to bag the Lukaby. Luka looks over at Abby, who looks really frightened. Gratuitous Guy says to hold compressions and listens to the Lukaby’s chest again as Gratuitous Girl says that the pulse is up to 120. Abby and Luka are watching this, and seemingly without knowing it, they each have their right hand over their heart. Gratuitous Guy says “Get ready to move”, as Abby closes her eyes, a little relieved. Coburn spits out “Damn it!” and Abby asks “What?” as David starts up again … Snowflakes are falling … Coburn says the uterus is boggy and hemorrhagic and that the sutures are making it worse, not better. Uh oh, Abby. Luka turns towards Coburn as another Random OR Person says “Nothing after twenty minutes. She’s not clotting at all”. I’ll catch them in my hands … Abby asks if she’s in DIC as Luka puts his hand on her shoulder. Coburn says that the FFP should reverse that now that the baby’s out … Snowflakes are falling … Luka asks “What if it doesn’t?” as Random OR Person shouts out that the pressure’s down to 80/50 and Abby closes her eyes … I’ll catch them in my hands … Coburn calls for two more units and says that she has to control this bleeding. Abby tells Luka to go the NICU, but he’s says he’s staying … Snowflakes are falling … She wants him to stay with the baby, and he tries to protest “Abby”, but she loses it, pushes his hand away and starts yelling and crying “Shut up! Shut up! Please, just shut up! I want you to stay with the baby!” Now if I had a peppy pen, I would probably be all pissy towards the Princess, but it’s clear here that she is terrified. … Now you’re my long last friend … Luka is obviously conflicted and unsure. Coburn turns to him and tells him to go and she will call him if he needs to be there … Frie-e-e-e-e-end … Tearfully, Abby tells Luka in a broken voice, “I don’t want him to be alone”. Oh, this is so sad. She doesn’t want him to be alone if he doesn’t make it. Luka understands, squeezes her hand and hesitates a second before reluctantly leaving. … Frie-e-e-e-e-end … When he’s gone, Abby takes a shuddering breath and starts really crying, overwhelmed.

Sleaze is in the front seat of the SUV while Newlex is sleeping in the back. Sleaze grabs his gun and a liquor bottle, gets out and comes over to where Sam is sitting on the ground, a blanket draped over her shoulders. He sits down next to her and takes a drink from the bottle, before putting the cap back on. Being the gentleman that he is, he neglects to offer Sam a swig … which is just as well because I’m almost certain Sleaze has cooties. He points out a star to Sam, who’s about as interested in his astronomy lesson as I am in this storyline. He tells her that it’s dead and by the time we see it, it’s already gone. Sam doesn’t respond to this trivial trivia. Sleaze, as in tune as ever, thinks she’s worrying about Newlex’ diabetes and tells her that they’ll get him his insulin way before he needs it, and that he’ll be fine. Sam Botox-scowls into the distance as she channels her son and monotonically drones “You know, Sleaze (Steve), I was going to ask you what happened to you … to turn you into this. Then I realized, it was always in the cards from the moment that I met you. You were on your way to becoming exactly what you are right now”. And you still slept with him? Ugh. What’s that say about you, Sam? It’s one thing to be White Trash, but quite another to actually sleep with it … Ewww … Sleaze keeps on chugging from the bottle. Better watch the backwash, Sleaze. Sleaze tells her that he loves Newlex and he knows she doesn’t believe that, especially right now. Sam scoffs that he really loves him and that’s why he gets some woman to snatch him from school, tie him up and leave him in a van. Shaking her head, Sam says “You don’t even remember his medicine”. Sleaze puts his arm around her and starts stroking her hair with the hand that is holding the gun. Sleaze tells her “you have a right to be pissed” and “you’re right, it was my fault”, and that it was his fault for letting them get separated in the first place. Sleaze thinks the three of them have to stay together and there’s no other way. Sleaze starts whispering sweet nothings to her, like “I’d rather we were all dead” as he starts kissing the side of her head. I really don’t think I want to see what’s coming … literally … Sleaze doesn’t want her to be afraid of him. He starts undressing Sam, who’s completely unresponsive. He keeps kissing her and telling her that she doesn’t need to be afraid of him anymore. He pushes her to the ground so that she is lying on her back and he is on top of her, as the bile that has been threatening to rise from my stomach all night finally reaches the surface. Yuck. Sleaze thinks as long as they stay together, she and Newlex are safe. Sam looks about as thrilled to have Sleaze laying on her as I am about watching this shit. Sleaze starts to unbuckle and unzip, as I start to gag. And listening to his grunting really doesn’t do much to quell the queasiness. Isn’t it time for a commercial yet? Ugh. This scene is going on way too long. I don’t know who this is more unbearable for, Sam or me. Sam may be the one who’s being plundered and pillaged, but I think it’s the rest of us who are being violated. And, really, Sleaze, if I’m going to see what’s under anyone’s BVD’s, I’d strongly prefer that it be Luka.

Coburn is still trying to control Abby’s bleeding. She asks where they are on factor replacement and Random OR Person tells her “Four of packed cells, two units FFP, pack of platelets”, as Abby stares upward with her hand still over her heart. Coburn tells her that she’s had uterotonics, packing, and O’Leary stitch and a b-lynch brace. Abby asks weakly if she’s still bleeding. Coburn tells her that the blood has penetrated the thickness of the uterine wall and defeated, says she doesn’t know what else to do. She tells Abby that they can keep waiting for her to clot, or they can start thinking about a hysterectomy. This pretty much isn’t what Abby wants to hear. Abby looks at her, then away again, before asking how long they can wait. Coburn tells her that too many transfusions put her back into DIC, and then the bleeding gets even worse. Camera pulls back to give us a full shot of Coburn, her team, and Abby, and that’s a hell of a lot of blood and bloody towels all over the floor. Yikes. Random OR Person says that the last crit is 21. Coburn shakes her head and sighs, and tells him to stay ahead two units.

The Lukaby is on a ventilator in an incubator in the NICU. We can see his little chest rising and falling. Luka, looking all stubbly which should be a real manly look for him but is really just showing how worn out he is, is standing over the baby with his arms crossed, watching. Weaver comes up next to him and tells him that Jerry is in Recovery, and she thought he’d want to know. Not looking away from his son, Luka nods slightly, then quietly asks if they’ve heard anything about Sam. Weaver tells him no, and Luka sighs. She moves closer to him, telling him that the NICU is a scary place and she remembers the feeling just walking in. Luka’s still not looking at her and she continues that she know his boy is a lot sicker than Henry was, but everything turned out okay for her boy, and she knows it will for his, too. I love Weaver. And I’ve always loved the relationship she and Luka have had, and hope now that we’ve been seeing more of Weaver that they continue that this year. Luka looks so sad. I just want to comfort him. And do his hair. Still watching the baby, he tells Weaver that they are concerned about prolonged hypertension, and that he’s on 100% oxygen, so there’s a risk of toxicity". Then Luka gets choked up and can’t continue. He covers his eyes and silently cries. Weaver looks at him sympathetically, and starts to rub his back, soothingly. Normally, I’d be telling her to back off, bitch, but since it’s Weaver and she’s on the opposite team, and she is being so caring towards him, I’m going to let it slide. I’m also getting a bit verklempt watching him, too. Talk amongst yourselves … I’ll give you a topic … intensive once-a-week moisturizing conditioners vs. 2-in-1 daily shampoos … discuss … Still covering his eyes, Luka tries to pull himself together … as do I. He regains a bit of composure and tells her that they are going to do periodic ultrasounds and chokingly continues “to check for interventricular hemorrhage. Luka’s still trying not to cry as Weaver tells him that there’s nothing more he can do for the baby right now and that he should go be with Abby. Luka tells her that Abby doesn’t want the baby to be alone, and smiles slightly and fondly. Still comforting him, Weaver tells him “He won’t be”. That’s so sweet, Weaver. Luka nods and covers his face again. Then he sighs and rests his chin in his hand and just looks at the baby. Great scene.

Neela, Pratt and Morris are visiting a surprisingly lucid and good-natured Jerry. Pratt tells him that Morris got him through in the ER, which Neela calls the “first circle of hell”, then Pratt continues that Neela got him through surgery, and Morris chimes in “the second”. Jerry says that he guesses it’s up to him to get himself through the recovery and Pratt says that’s circles “three through nine”. Neela tells him “here’s one way to start” and hands him that Satanic torture contraption they make you suck on at regular intervals post operatively, to keep your lungs from filling up. Don’t think you’ll be exempt from it, Abby. I still remember fondly it being forced upon me after the c-sections, and the extreme fits of coughing using that devilish device caused, which then resulted in such lovely and oh so wonderful spasms of pain. Talk about “circles of hell”. I’m sure Dante had OB nurses in mind when he described the lowest level in The Inferno. Sadistic bastards. No wonder Abby worked there so long … Pratt tells Jerry that it will keep him from getting pneumonia. Neela explains that “suck on it to make the ping pong balls rise” and he has to do it twice an hour. George’s mom comes in and immediately starts bitching at Jerry “Do you know what time it is?”, then complains about having to wait out there watching the same cable news over and over. Jerry says “Hey, Ma”. George’s mom then bitches more softly this time that she missed her water aerobics and that he was supposed to take her. Ah, yes, nothing says “I love you” quite like bitching and the inflicting of guilt. Jerry tells her he knows, as Neela and Pratt smile at each other and move quietly out of the room. George’s mom tells Jerry “Oy vey. You gave me such a scare” and starts kissing his hand. Jerry says he’s sorry. Morris, who stayed behind, is watching all this and smiling, then adds “Aw, look at that punim”, smiling at Jerry like a proud parent. Jerry and George’s mom just stare at him, and Morris gets flustered and leaves. Then Jerry and George’s mom exchange “what an asshole” looks. Hee.

Abby is sitting up in bed in Recovery, staring off, looking distressed and lost in thought. Luka comes in and walks over to her. He says “hey”, snapping her out of her reverie and she smiles and says “hey” back. He puts his hand on her shoulder, looks at her and sighs. He’s wearing one of those plastic hospital ID bracelets that they give parents that matches the one they usually place around the baby’s ankle. He reaches up to caress her face as she asks how the baby is doing. Luka tells her “he’s fine”. She asks if he’s still intubated as Luka pulls a stool over and says “Yeah, but he’s sat-ing well, you know … pressure’s holding with dopamine. He’s making urine”. He puts his right hand back up to her shoulder and covers his mouth with his left as she asks “Brain scan?” and not looking at her, he nods and says “clear”. Abby breathes a sigh of relief, smiles at him, and says “Well, those are all good things.” Still covering his mouth, Luka says “Yeah … all good things” as he looks at her. He’s clearly not giving her the whole story that he gave Weaver. Probably because he knows that she can’t do anything right now and all she’ll do is worry even more than she already is, and he’s trying to spare her that. Abby looks down, smiling slightly as he caresses her shoulder and watches her. Not looking at him and trying to say it lightly, she asks “Is one going to be enough?” Oh, no. He asks “What?” and still not looking at him, she responds “One baby”. So Abby’s been thinking about having more kids with Luka? Wow. Turning down his crappy proposal aside, I’m pretty sure this means she wants to be in this with him for the long haul … or until Carter comes back, whichever comes first. Except, so definitely not. She’s attempting to be casual about this, but it’s apparent from how she can’t look at him that she’s really apprehensive about the way he’s going to answer. From the look on Luka’s face, it’s clear he gets what she’s about to tell him. Luka watches her, a myriad of emotions playing in his eyes as Abby, looking very sad but still not looking at him, explains that her uterus wouldn’t stop bleeding and Coburn did everything she could but … then she shrugs a little as the Somber Strings of Withdrawn Wombs plays. He glances down briefly as Abby finally looks over at him. Looking back up at her he asks rhetorically, “You had a hysterectomy?” as Abby nods sadly, still looking anxious of his reaction. The Pensive Piano of Sorrowful Situations begins, heightening the somber mood. Luka locks gazes with her, and reaches up his right hand to hold her face and caress her cheek. Abby closes her eyes and leans into his hand as he tells her quietly “Well, one is all we need”. Awww. Perfect answer, Luka. Abby opens her eyes, looks at him and smiles. She looks relieved and reassured before she closes her eyes again and lets him continue to stroke her face. What a wonderfully tender moment. She reaches up her right hand to caress his arm a bit, before opening her eyes and turning her face away a little, saying that she’s not going to be able to see him for a while because she can’t get to the NICU for at least 24 hours. Yeah, and you are so going to feel like crap when the Neonatal Nazi Nurses finally do make you haul yourself out of bed and try to walk for the first time, Abby. So not fun. Luka tells her that she doesn’t have to wait that long, and he reaches in and pulls his Treo out of his pocket. It’s a smartphone, people … get your minds out of the gutter. I like that Luka’s tech savvy. Note to self, return the Blackberry. He pushes a couple of buttons and a video of the baby, with the tube in his mouth and shock of dark hair, starts playing. Luka passes the phone to Abby, then folds his hands like he’s praying and leans on his arms and into Abby, though not actually resting on her, as she did just have major surgery. She smiles at the image on the screen, holding the phone in her right hand and putting her left on Luka’s neck, stroking his hair. Both are mesmerized by their son. Luka tells her quietly, voice cracking a little, “That’s when I told him to wave to Mom”. Okay, that did it … I can feel the tears rising up now. She laughs softly. Luka rests his head in his right hand, but keeps the fingers of his left over his mouth, like he’s trying to hold in all his emotions and keep them from escaping. Neither take their eyes off the screen. Luka tells her “He’s a smart one”, and she’s smiles proudly at the baby. Looking thoughtfully at the video, Abby nods her head a little and states “Joseph”. Luka murmurs “Hmm?” Still stroking his hair, she tells him that she doesn’t remember much about her dad, but she remembers when she was little that he used to love to watch boxing. Especially Joe Frazier because he said he was the best “pure fighter”. Luka is trying not to cry, and I am, too. But damn, Maura Tierney is getting to me. Silent tears are flowing down her face – she’s just heartbreaking. Choked up, she says “I’d like to call him Joe, if that’s okay”. Luka kisses his fingers, like he’s blowing “Joe” a kiss. Oh, I am so sobbing openly and my shirt is now completely soaked. If L’il Joe is going to be in for an extended stay in the NICU, I’d better invest in some adult-sized bibs. “Joe” … awww … that’s cute. Joe Kovac … Jo Ko … J Ko … Just J Ko from the block … Hey, Joe, where you gonna run to now? … Though I was kind of getting used to the idea of Mongo … Mongo Joe … MoJo … Abby gave Luka his MoJo … Hee … Luka turns and kisses her for a long moment. He tells her he’ll be right back and asks if she needs anything. She shakes her head no, and he goes, leaving her alone with her son.

What an unbelievable scene. This has to be the most emotional, poignant, intimate and heart-wrenching scene that I’ve ever seen on this show … or any other show for that matter. Goran Visnjic and Maura Tierney are just extraordinary. They are absolutely amazing together and both emote so well that you can actually feel all of the emotions that Luka and Abby must be feeling pouring off of them; the feelings they have for each other, the delight and joy they are feeling as parents mingled with the crushing fear for their child’s uncertain future. I’m thinking that where last year they made me have to shell out big bucks on cigarettes and air conditioning, this year it’s my Kleenex and dry cleaning bills that are going to skyrocket.

Luka leaves the Recovery Room and walks down the hall to the Men’s Room. He leans on the sink for a moment, before he starts thoroughly washing his hands, like he's trying hard to clean something off of them. He dries them determinedly. As he does, he finally succumbs to the emotions he’s struggled to keep at bay, Luka starts to cry: crying for everything they’ve been through … crying for everything they have left to face … crying for the other children they’ll never have … crying for the one they have who may not survive. He puts his hand to his head trying to control himself, but can’t stop weeping, and neither can I just watching him. He finally contains it and looks up at himself in the mirror. He walks over to the trashcan, and leans his left arm on the hand dryer, and holding his side with his right hand, like he’s in pain. Breathing deeply, he moves his hand up over his heart and holds it there for a second before giving in to his frustration. He picks up the metal trashcan and hurls it at the mirror. Great, Luka. Like you really need another seven years of bad luck. We see Luka reflected back through the shards of glass, as shattered as the mirror.

Sam is staring straight ahead as Sleaze is lying next to her, asleep. The Resounding Refrain of Resting Rapists plays as she quietly says his name, to see if he’s awake. She pushes his hand, which is still holding the gun, off of her, telling him that she has to pee. She ties the waistband to her scrubs closed and stands up. She moves slowly away from him and when she’s a little further, begins to run. She hurries over to the SUV, checks on Newlex, then climbs into the driver’s seat, closing the door as silently as she can. She puts the key in the ignition and glances back at Newlex. She looks at him for a minute and seems to come to a decision.

Sam gets out of the car and walks back over to where Sleaze is. She moves towards the gun, which is Sleaze is no longer holding, but it’s laying next to him. She quietly picks it up and points it at him, all the time Botox-scowling. Sleaze is sound asleep. Sam determinedly fires the gun … once … then again … And as we fade to black, we hear a third shot. Damn, Sam. I’m guessing Sleaze ain’t coming back this year. Unless ER turns out like his last gig on Deadwood, where they killed him off one season, brought him back as a different character the next, then killed him off again. Hee. Maybe Sleaze has a twin brother … his evil twin … well, even more evil twin … Slime.

Wow, wow, wow. What a great episode. And next week’s looks just as emotional as MoJo struggles to live and Sally Field returns as Manic Maggie, Abby’s mom. I can’t wait.

Oh, and in response to the lovely comment left on the last post. Thank you so much for your feedback. I'd like to invite you to be a guest recapper. It would be great to see how it really should be done ...

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Season Premiere Recap

Since it seems from the volume of emails I've received that recaps should be instantaneous, here's what happened in the Season Premiere:

Neela saved Jerry. Sam shot Sleaze. Abby had a boy. Luka threw a trashcan. Cranky cried lots.

Details to follow ... eventually.