As Mark saunters down the hall, stretching his arms, the credits start appearing unobtrusively in white text at the bottom of the screen, so I guess we aren't getting the Grand Mal Special that is the opening credits sequence. Tinny, vaguely bluesy music plays on a radio as Mark negotiates the hallway. The layout of the reception area looks different here than it does on the show now; instead of being a kind of island, with desks on all sides, it looks to be about half that size. Actually, the layout of the whole ER area looks different than it does now, possibly because they didn't want to go to the expense of building a great big set just for the pilot, in case the show didn't get picked up. Anyway. Doug "Confessions of a Dangerous Pout" Ross is leaning over the reception desk (such as it is), drunkenly rambling at Jerry; there's a wheelchair right behind him. Mark taps him on the shoulder. Doug turns, resting a hand on the handle of the wheelchair to steady himself, though it quickly starts to roll away from him. Mark holds Doug up as Doug asks whether he got Mark out of bed. When Mark tightly confirms that he did, Doug -- staring into space at nothing in particular as though he's blind -- opines that Mark is "a real friend" for getting out of bed to tend to him. (At this point, we also learn that this episode will include "Special Guest Star" Julianna Margulies.) Jerry tells Mark that Room Three is free, and Doug babbles, "Room Three is free! Three is free. Three for three!" Mark throws Doug's arm across Mark's shoulders and they wander off, at which time Doug decides to favour the ER with a rendition of "Danny Boy" while palming Mark's bald-ass head.
Doug and Mark stagger into Room Three, where a bad spiral permed Wendy futzes with an IV. Doug loudly tells Mark again that he appreciates Mark's ministrations, adding, "I'm a little under the weather." Mark tries to help him into bed, but Doug makes a show of feeling the bed with his palms and then climbing onto it, again behaving as though he's blind, but trying to prove that he's not incapacitated. Doug lies down and starts calling out drug orders for himself; Mark quietly tells Wendy to get him some aspirin. She takes off. Doug, chuckling, says, "So anyway, she says to me, she says, 'I didn't know that pediatricians could be so sexy.' And I said, 'Honey, you ain't seen nothin' yet.'" Mark the disgusted prig starts Doug's IV a little more aggressively than he might were he not so obviously jealous of Doug and Doug's confidence with the ladies and Doug's hair and Doug's smile and Doug's future movie career. Doug sits up a bit at the IV stick, and then tells Mark he needs a fast drip. Mark bitterly tells him to lie back and let Mark take care of it. As soon as Mark glances away, Doug is sitting bolt upright, expositorially murmuring, "How's your beautiful wife? How's Jennifer?" Mark dismissively says she's fine. "You two settle your problems?" Doug asks. Mark lies, "Yeah. Yeah. Everything's okay." Doug -- whose breath is probably a real treat right now -- leans closer and grins, "Hate to lose you in the ER, you know." Mark noncommittally tells him again to lie back. "I am!" croaks the still-sitting Doug. Then he lies back, tells Mark again how much he appreciates Mark's taking care of him, and apparently passes out. If Clooney were acting this scene opposite any other man, or woman, or mammal, it would be redolent with Ho- or HetYay! As it is, the unstoppable force of George Clooney's charisma is utterly foiled by the immovable object that is Anthony Edwards's milquetoastitude. Wendy comes back in and chirps that she has Doug's aspirin; Mark tells her to give him 2000 ccs on a fast drip. Wendy asks, "Does he always do this?" "Only on his nights off," Mark sniffs. We learn that this episode was written by Michael Crichton and directed by some nobody. Lydia wanders in; Mark tells her he's going back, and that she should wake him at 6:30. Lydia -- only a nurse, so she doesn't get the luxury of sleep -- has no response.