Cruel And Unusual

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Cruel And Unusual

First off, thank you Demian for stepping up so heroically to cover for me last week, and for doing such a fabulous job of it. I owe you a drink the size of your head. And thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes and the text ad and the Sedaris. Y'all are too kind.

Apparently the fine folks behind MDs were worried that the week off, coupled with the rapid deterioration of my mental faculties triggered by turning thirty, would make me forget everything I've ever seen on this show, so they've thoughtfully strung together highlights from every single episode. The clips are helpfully out of order, however: Kellerman busts out the "don't let rules get in the way of helping patients line," Gina dies, Dalgety convinces her parents to give up her organs, Donge and Fishlips make googly-eyed overtures, Levi the security stud flirts it up with Joyner, and Kellerman and Dalgety are stranded in the desert.

And now, finally, on with the show. We open in a corridor with Kellerman and Joyner striding along rapidly and discussing Dalgety. Kellerman figures that, in spite of everything, Dalgety is doing okay.

Dalgety begs to differ. We cut to him in the midst of throttling a pop machine, rocking it violently back and forth in an attempt to dislodge a can. Donge comes around the corner just in time to warn Dalgety that such recklessness results in the deaths of "2.7 Americans every year." How embarrassing to be one of those people. Dalgety barks, "Yeah. A lot of stupid ways to die!" Like under the crushing weight of an anvil dropping on your head, for instance. He kicks the machine as a parting shot, and of course, the reluctant can comes tumbling out. Wah-wah. Dalgety leaves it.

Cut to a patient's room. Joyner and Kellerman are discussing with the patient and his wife the ins and outs of heart transplants. Joyner lets us know that the patient, Mr. Farrell, is next up on the list for a heart. Mrs. Farrell muses that "it's strange to be sitting [there] waiting for something bad to happen to someone else." She's obviously never hung out with a TWoP recapper.

Dalgety's now pacing the corridor with Yang, scrunching his nose and saying, "Hickenlocher? I've never hearrrd of him." Yang says the guy's with Sutro, and the patient they're about to see started with him last week. The duty nurse comes rushing up behind them to hand off a file, nagging that Dalgety said he was going to see Bed Four and Bed Six, and asks if he should page for back-up. Dalgety breezes that he'll get to them all. He and Yang enter the room of Mr. Lumley, who's having some abdominal pain. Dalgety asks Lumley to show him where it hurts, and then presses on the spot, saying he noticed that Lumley had his gall bladder out already. Dalgety muses that it could be a stone, and asks Yang what the ultrasound showed. Yang glances through the file and says it doesn't look like Lumley had one. Dalgety asks why not, and Yang quotes the file: "Gallstones ruled out due to prior removal of gall bladder." Lumley thinks that's reasonable. Which is why he's not a doctor. Dalgety explains that stones can still form in the common bile duct. "Who knew?" Lumley asks, marveling that you really do learn something every day. Dalgety points out that his doctor should have. Lumley says, "For twenty bucks a month, I guess you get what you pay for." Dalgety tells the nurse to schedule an ultrasound, but the nurse protests that they need Hickenlocher's approval first. Dalgety motions for Yang to saddle up the white steed, and the two of them ride out in search of Hickenlocher.

The nurse trails them out, but is distracted by Pangborn and a few other people milling around the big window that overlooks the lobby. He asks Pangborn what's up with all the extra security. She says they've got a V.I.P., and Coones adds that the guy is a convict from San Quentin. "That's Wayne Pruitt?" the nurse asks, eyeing the jailbird on the gurney. "I thought they were gonna gas that dirtbag." "Not if I have anything to say about it," says Pruitt's lawyer, who happens to be Coco from Fame. Looks like Coco's dancing for the ACLU these days. ["She's also Adele The Social Worker on ER, where she doesn't do much dancing at all anymore." -- Sars] She exposits that Pruitt's death sentence is under appeal, and she's there to ensure that he receives all the care to which he's entitled. "Hell of a lawyer," Pruitt wheezes. "Trying to keep me alive just so they can grease me. Plus, she's got a great ass." Clearly, he must die. He turns his head in Pangborn's direction and says, "So do you, honey." "I get that all the time," Coones sighs wearily. God help me, I actually chuckle. I ponder the state of my mental health as we head to commercials.

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