Piece Of Mind

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Piece Of Mind

In Mark's otherwise empty (and, it must be said, incredibly swank) hospital room, Mark and Elizabeth dangle their legs off the end of the bed. Mark muses, "Guess it's too late to change my mind now." "Would you?" she asks, and he immediately replies that he wouldn't. Tense percussion plays on the soundtrack. Mark tells Elizabeth about Blue Lips, and Elizabeth shrugs nervously and says she thinks they'll be there soon, to get him. Sure enough, an orderly wheels in a bed, which Mark and Elizabeth both regard as if it were a casket. The orderly offers to help Mark onto it, but he climbs up on his own. Elizabeth looks like she may vomit.

In the hall, Mark jokingly asks Elizabeth whether she's going to go see a movie. She tells him that she'll be right outside, then pats his hand, observes that it's "like ice," and offers him a blanket, which he declines. Mark closes his eyes, and she anxiously asks whether he's all right. Mark takes a breath and begins, "If I don't make it --" She hisses at him to shut up. He soldiers on that if he dies, he left her his life insurance to pay for the house for her and the baby. Well, I should certainly hope so, good lord. Again, who the hell else would he leave his house to when she has presumably also been making mortgage payments on it all this time? The orderly stops at a doorway, and Elizabeth, instead of acknowledging Mark's most recent pronouncement, tells him she can't go any further, and leans over to kiss him goodbye. Well, "so long," anyway. If only it were goodbye. But it's totally not and we all know it, so what is with the damn Buffy crypt music? Maybe if it were Dr. Dave on the slab, there would be some suspense as to whether the producers would actually kill him off. Also, I timed it: the kiss lasts exactly two seconds. Because they have no sexual attraction to one another. Because. They. Are. Brother. And. SISTER. Or might as well be, anyway. She tells him she'll see him very, very soon, and they kiss again, for three seconds. Hey, you two -- get a room!

Suddenly, we start seeing the proceedings from Mark's perspective -- MarkCam, if you will. Hey, it's like Mark and Dan are visual parallels, here! Even though they're opposites, they're also analogues. Because, see, Dan is a regular joe working stiff lunchbox blue collar Ralph Kramden Fred Flintstone Dan Conner non-doctor and doesn't know what's going on with his own care, and while Mark is a refined educated sophisticated well-read penis-faced intellectual doctor, he should know what's going on a little better than Dan, but A Health Scare Will Make Ignorami Of Us All. GET IT?! Good. Anyway. MarkCam. The doors swing closed on Elizabeth smiling bravely and wringing her hands, and the orderly says that he's going to lower Mark's head (and calls him "Mr. Greene," because he doesn't know much about his patient, or care to find out -- just like Dr. Dave asking how Dan was doing, and just like Carter not knowing that CuteDean was Dan's son, GET IT?!). Mark's orderly calls out to an unseen co-worker named Jésus that Mark is his "last guy." Jésus has to work a double shift. They commiserate about how much it sucks to work the holiday. Mark wonders, "Have I ever been this cavalier with my own patients? Who am I?! Hey, this is just like that movie The Doctor, where William Hurt is the eponymous arrogant bastard doctor who gets cancer and then finds out first-hand how shitty the medical establishment can be! Huh, imagine that. Life imitating art." Except Mark isn't real, so really it's art imitating art, or pap imitating slightly-less-tired pap, or Fonzie jumping shark, or Wing taking nap.

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