24 Hours

Episode Report Card
Wing Chun: B+ | 1 USERS: A+
Long Day's Journey Into Shite

Mark walks over to Doug, who comments, "Boy, she really did it, didn't she." "Yeah, she did," Mark says, judgily. "She seemed okay today," Doug says, punching "okay" in a way that makes it seem as though they've been monitoring Carol's moods for a while. Mark agrees that she seemed fine. Doug babbles, "She was making jokes. Everything was great. She was funny. She was joking like always, and...she was great." Mark condescendingly tells Doug to go get some coffee, and then walks in to check on Carol.

A machine does its thing. Mark shines a light in Carol's eye. Doug watches, looking sick. After a moment, he steps back into the doorway, burying his hands in the pockets of his lab coat. Mark, checking Carol's heartbeat, looks up at Doug and does an irritated "get out of here" flick of his head. Doug nods faintly, swallows, blinks, and walks out. Mark continues his exam.

And now, back to patients we only care about a little. The shotgun-to-the-chest guy staggers in; Benton and some other anonymous nurse help him onto a bed. They pull open his coat to reveal the blood splashed all over his -- conveniently, for the producers -- white t-shirt. Benton examines him for a second, and then exclaims that it's a knife wound, not a shotgun wound. Carter, peering gingerly over Benton's shoulder, evidently gets an eyeful of the wound (which -- again, strangely, considering how gory the show is now -- we at home do not) and excuses himself, quietly saying, "I feel ill." He takes off. Benton calls after him, "That's okay, I didn't need you anyway." He tells the nurse to notify the ER, and they move the bed, so we can see Mark framed in a doorway behind them, sitting at the desk. He gets up, looking thoughtful, and hands Jerry the chart he'd been holding. He puts on a green scrub gown and wanders off.

Time for another opening-credits shot! It's Carter, in profile, sitting in the ambulance bay, holding his stethoscope, either trying not to barf, or having just finished barfing. Cut to a needlessly "artsy" shot of a puddle, with the "Emergency" sign reflected in it, backwards and upside down, which we pan up from to see Mark striding very slowly toward Carter. Like Angel, only wussy. Wussier. "Feeling better?" Mark asks, once he's reached him. Carter says he is: "I'll be okay in a minute. It just got to me, all of a sudden." Mark nods, and tells him to keep his head down: "There's no rush. Just relax." Mark boringly observes that it's stopped raining. Carter gulps air and says, "I thought I was going to be sick. I'm sorry." Mark pontificates, as Carter studies him raptly: "Don't ever say you're sorry. See, there's [sic] two kinds of doctors: there's the kind that gets [sic] rid of their feelings, and the kind that keeps [sic] them. If you're going to keep your feelings, you're going to get sick from time to time. That's just how it works." Carter is still staring up at him in adoration, so Mark tells him again to keep his head down. (Which, if it were possible for Mark to create a homoerotic vibe with any of his male co-stars -- or any man, anywhere -- would be the inspiration for a riff on Carter doing something else with his head...down...but we've already established that Mark doesn't have that capacity, so let's move on.) Carter loosens his tie and looks down again. Mark sinks down into a squat, yammering on, "People come in here, and they're sick, and dying, and bleeding, and they need our help. And helping them is more important than how we feel." Carter nods. Mark adds, "But it's still a pain in the ass, sometimes." Carter chuckles faintly. Mark confides, "Sometimes, I just want to quit and do something else." Oh my God, DO IT. Mark: "Yeah." What? Carter stares at him moistly. Mark tells him to take a few more minutes. Carter nods. Hauling himself up, Mark adds, "By the way, I was in medical school with Benton." He was? Does that ever come up again? "He used to get sick all the time. So, don't let him give you any crap. You're going to be fine." Gee, coming from Marque, Queen of the Wussies, that means a lot, not. Carter grins gratefully, and fidgets with his stethoscope.

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