Yeah Essay, Research Paper
PLOT ONE: MAN OF THE HOUR
At the beginning of the episode, Doug tardily keeps an appointment with Morganstern, who, backed up by Mark Greene and (reluctantly) Neal Bernstein, offers Doug his job back. Doug is in the public limelight now thanks to his rescue of a little boy last week, and Morganstern assesses the hospital’s prestige is helped by Doug’s presence. Without much visible enthusiasm, Doug accepts the offer, also acknowledging an award dinner scheduled for the evening in his honor. One of the first patients of the day is Alan, a young asthmatic boy whose guardian recognizes Doug from television. Alan’s HMO wants him transferred to their care, which Doug revolts against by exaggerating Alan’s condition on the chart, thus ensuring that Alan isn’t going anywhere. When Mark finds out, he confronts Doug. “This cowboy crap has got to stop.” He realizes the problem: “You can’t take the fact that I’m your boss?” Doug replies sourly, “That’s typically narcissistic of you, Mark. I can’t take the fact that anyone’s my boss.” Later in the day, Mark and Doug clash again, over the emergency treatment of a pair of injured motorcyclists, and Mark orders Doug to go home, warning as well that he will write Doug up for his insubordination. On his way out, Doug receives a phone call from his father, whom he hasn’t spoken with since he was twelve. The conversion is brief and curt. That evening, Doug is a no-show at the dinner, and Mark finds him in the lounge drinking and playing pool. Bitter and a bit inebriated, Doug recites for Mark his “speech”, which bluntly lambasts Mark, Morganstern and Bernstein in turn by name. When Doug steps up the podium to receive his award, however, he chooses not to give this speech, and instead leaves with a gracious general thank-you. Afterward, Doug tosses his award off the roof of the building and tells Mark that his dad called only because he saw Doug on television. Doug inquires about the condition of his job, and Mark says that it’s still his if he wants it.
PLOT TWO: DOUBLECHECKING
Carter treats a Hispanic boy with facial paralysis. The mother looks with disdain upon Carter, whom she believes too young to be a real doctor. Carter diagnoses Bell’s palsy, but it’s later pointed out to him that he neglected to check signs for a more serious malady, Ramsay-Hunt syndrome. This spurs him to spend much of his day trying to retrieve young “Wilbur” (as he liked to be called) for a re-examination. Carter also overcompensates by ordering a huge array of tests for his next patient, Mrs. Briggs, who has a history of renal failure and lupus. Mrs. Briggs turns out to be Dr. Vuselich’s patient, which makes both Carter and Benton antsy until Vuselich declares that Carter’s “shotgun” approach was valid given the patient’s complex history; Vuselich promptly invites Carter upstairs to scrub up for a “fem-pop bypass”. That night, Carter makes his first house call to the Corvalans’ to check Wilbur’s paralysis again. Harper, whom Carter brushed off earlier in the day, is allowed to tag along. Despite the apparent clean bill of health, Mrs. Corvalan shuts the door in Carter’s face. Walking down the street, Carter expresses relief that he’ll be a “real doctor” in four months’ time, to which Harper complains that he’s talking shop. Carter’s response to this is a kiss.
PLOT THREE: IS THERE A NANNY IN THE HOUSE?
Susan Lewis is scheduled to work a night in which she has no night nanny scheduled for little Susie, so she spends the day trying to find one. A terse conversion with Cookie rules out the grandparents, but it looks like Susan might have a miracle solution when she treats Ms. Ransom, a frumpy English lady who takes to children in the E.R. A real “Mrs. Doubtfire”-type, Ms. Ransom seems to be just the ticket until Susan discovers that she has a terminal blood disease and must be admitted immediately for a bone marrow biopsy. Ms. Ransom reveals that she’s already had one — and is refusing subsequent transplants. Susan watches glumly as the proud Ms. Ransom walks out of the E.R. Later that day, Susan arrives at the day care and is surprised to see her father there, playing with little Susie. Mr. Lewis disavows the non-responsibility of his wife, and humbly offers his services as little Susie’s night nanny, even though it means that he’ll have to come to Susan’s apartment. “I figure it’s about time,” he says.
PLOT FOUR: SIBLING MATTERS
A teenager named Julia is brought in as an attempted suicide by her brother Kyle. Julia swallowed two bottles of pills, it’s later revealed, and she refuses to talk initially. Kyle reveals to Carol that their mother is recently deceased, and their dad “isn’t around” much. Julia finally decides to talk when Carol confides in her that she too tried to kill herself with pills. Julia is pregnant, and Julia reveals that it was caused by a sexual encounter with Kyle that began when she innocently tried to comfort Kyle over their mother’s death. Both Julia and Kyle are extremely uncomfortable about this incident, naturally enough. Kyle explodes when he finds out that Carol knows about it, and predicts that their gun-toting father will literally kill him when he finds out. Carol tries to assure Kyle that their situation will be treated with utmost confidence; however, Carol herself blabs about it to Lydia later, not realizing that Kyle and Julia’s father is standing nearby. Security is provided for the teenagers, and Carol finds Mr. Kaslaw in the lounge. The man morosely brandishes a handgun, which Carol flinches at, but he then asks Carol to take it from him, which she gently does.
Things almost seem to rise a notch above absolute zero between Peter and Jeanie when they have a brief conversation about Jeanie running into Peter’s sister Jackie recently. When Jeanie is out of the room, Carter does the wink-wink-nudge-nudge thing to Benton, labelling Jeanie as attractive and “available”. “She’s married,” corrects Benton. “She told me she was divorced,” says Carter, which freezes Peter. Later on, he asks her about it, specifically why she never told him. It turns out that Jeanie and Al are separated, not divorced, and Jeanie blames the communication gap on her and Peter’s recent lack of civil conversation. “Al and I had a lot of problems that had nothing to do with you,” she tells him.
When Shep hears about the Julia Kaslaw suicide attempt, he and his partner claim that Julia is an exception; “pills are for people who don’t really mean it,” scoffs Shep. When Carol mentions that she herself “meant it”, Shep brushes it off with a chuckle and “Yeah, right,” which causes Carol to stalk off. Shep is astounded to learn that Carol wasn’t kidding with her reference to a suicide attempt, and, overcome with remorse, he profusely apologizes to Carol and asks her out. That night, she finds him on her new roof, helpfully tearing shingles off in an attempt to save her some repair money. Unfortunately, now there’s a gaping hole in her roof. The couple sit next to the hole and talk. Shep, clumsily but sincerely, offers his relief that Carol’s suicide attempt didn’t take. They huddle together and laugh when the (loud) train roars past.
A man gets his foot “squooshed” during a Civil War re-enactment. Treated by Mark, the man insists on roleplaying his part even during surgery, asking for ether and a bullet to bite on, refusing any contemporary anethsthetic. Mark reluctantly obliges the latter part, thus ensuring a memorable hospital experience for the man.
REVIEW: “The Secret Sharer”
I don’t know if it’s just me or not, but there seems to be a lot happening on this show.
It may be me, because since getting my new apartment three weeks ago, I’ve been having to do my summaries on sparse, handwritten notes since the computer is no longer in the same room as the television. And believe me, it makes for a lot of notes.
The headline fight is still Doug Ross vs. himself, and in terms of execution, I like the way that his problems are being handled. He’s clearly irresponsible and self-destructive, but what’s extra nice about this story is that the writers refuse to play him as 100% wrong and the other doctors as 100% right. Each one of the points he brought up in his faux “speech” about his superiors had at least a germ of truth, particularly that of Morganstern (which I’ll get to later). Especially interesting is the rupture in Doug and Mark’s friendship, and one of the most telling lines was Doug’s assertion that he doesn’t like being subject to *any* boss — although the unspoken fact was that Mark being Doug’s friend made it even worse. If the writers wanted to be really courageous, they’d break up this friendship for half the season, but I have a hunch that they’ll mend things sooner than that. I only hope that things aren’t hunky dory as of next episode; the final scene on the rooftop had an aroma of resolution about it that I fear is liable to forebode the premature end of Doug’s immediate troubles. If so, it’s too soon. Doug has to learn or quit; otherwise his presence in the E.R. is an unrealistic distraction.
Harper-bashers were likely unhappy with the end of this episode, which fixed up the split between Harper and Carter. I happen to like Harper, at least to a degree, but I kind of wish there’d been a *little* recrmination for her behavior in last week’s episode, when she acted petulant when Carter wouldn’t abruptly forget her indiscretion, and virtually insisted that Mark Greene ignore the professional implications as well. Still, if we’ve learned anything about Harper in her brief time on the show, it’s that she’s no saint, so I think I’m more intrigued than anything else — so long as the writers remember this aspect of her character as much as I do. Carter’s own story of over-correcting a mistake is classic St. Elsewhere/E.R. antics, but the episode added an additional twist by having Vuselich acclaim Carter’s methods.
There isn’t much to say about Susan’s encounter with the “Hail Brittania”-humming Ms. Ransom, except that I expected Ms. Ransom to be another fugutive from the erstwhile Turkey File. On the other hand, I liked the meeting with her father. From Paul Dooley’s brief appearance weeks ago in “And Baby Makes Two,” I wasn’t expecting this change of heart. Aside from the tone of hopefulness in the ending to this subplot, I think what pleased me most about it is that Susan at last has some other source of support for her Susie-related ordeals, thus freeing her up for other storylines at last.
The story of Julia and Kyle Kaslaw served well its twofold purpose of providing a dramatic, if lightly-painted, story of a dysfunctional family with a twist, as well as casting more serious light on the relationship between Carol and Shep. I think Shep’s “big-lug”-ness is finally beginning to grow on me; he seemed genuinely repentant when he realized that she really had tried to kill herself, which makes him a notch above a lot of television’s galoot-boyfriends. I think I liked the subtle resolution to the Kaslaws’ story; a less confident show would have had Mr. Kaslaw barging into the E.R. waving his gun around [cue melodramatic confrontation]. This was a more appropriate ending.
One thing occurred to me during the brief Benton/Jeanie subplot: I really wish something would happen to Peter to make him smile again. How long has it been since we’ve seen that? His joyless affair with Jeanie is in the past (and having said that, I’m really hoping they don’t get together again now, at least not for a while), and the death of his mother is also months ago. Not that I’m suggesting that Benton should get over his troubles, but for the characters’ sake (as well as the show’s), I’m simply wishing good tidings on him. (A Thanksgiving dinner with Walt and Jackie would have been terrific, but a no-go thanks to the 11/23 rerun of “Blizzard”. Maybe Christmas.)
Some assorted comments:
Seeing Austin O’Brien (as Kyle Kaslaw) was a minor jolt; he’s sprouted like a weed since making Last Action Hero. These days, he looks more like River Phoenix than the pubescent waif he played opposite Scwarzenegger.
I mentioned Morganstern earlier, and one curious thing I’ve noted about this character is that beneath his nice guy veneer, there lies an increasingly evident streak of beaurocracy-serving image-mindedness. Doug had a real point when he complained that Morganstern was quick to rehire him once the media declared him a hero. Morganstern is still far from the two-dimensional badguy status of, say, Neal Bernstein, but I really wish they’d do more with him along these lines in the future instead of chaining him as a foil device for the Doug Rosses of the show.
Along that subject, I hope we see more of Dr. Vuselich as well. His authoritarial presence provides a refreshing balance for the Benton & Carter show, although it’d also be nice to see Dr. Hicks again too.
So Carter will be a doctor in four months, eh? Realistically, that puts it around mid-March, although I wouldn’t be surprised if they tried to stretch it to the end of the season.
Line of the week –
Jerry: “And we got a marriage proposal [for you] on the fax.”
Doug: “Does it include a bankstatement?”
Line of the week (numero dos) –
Mr. Richter: “Could we send out a private to round up some bourbon?”
Mark: “Mr. Richter, we’re fresh out of privates as well.”
[Although truthfully, all of Mr. Richter's dialogue was hysterical.]