ER
24 Hours

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

Back downstairs, Mark treats a woman who seems to be hyperventilating. He orders a bunch of drugs and tests and asks the patient, "Do you take digitalis, dear?" Okay, seriously, what's with the docs calling women much older than themselves "dear"? I don't even like old people to call me dear, so if I were old -- and it's hard to tell how old this patient may be, since she has an oxygen mask covering most of her face, but if she's old enough to have heart problems that require her to take digitalis, she's probably at least in her forties -- and some punk-ass clown like Mark called me "dear," I'd poke him in the eye. Anyway. She seems to shake her head no to the digitalis question, but I guess she must have said she does, because he then asks her whether she took any today, and when. It seems as though she took it this morning, so Mark calls out for someone to "add a dig. level." There are more drug orders, and then, in the brief moment of stillness, Mark glances around and smiles to himself, "I can't give this up." Digitalis looks alarmed, and Mark notices her and quickly assures her that she's fine. Lydia shows up to say that Jen is on the line for him. Mark gets back to work on Digitalis, telling Lydia he'll have to call Jen back.

OR. Things gurgle. Everyone waits for Morgenstern. It's 2:29 AM. Benton starts to make some stupid, sarcastic speech, but is fortunately interrupted when Morgenstern enters, telling Benton to give him the background. Benton gives him Mr. Harvey's medical backstory, concluding with the ruptured aneurysm. Morgenstern takes a gander: "So you decided to open him up. That's one of the ugliest incisions I've seen in a long time. A good veterinarian would do a better skin cut than that." Morgenstern takes over; Benton steps back, and then makes for the door, sighing. He also whips off his little scrub cap and mask while he's still in the OR, so if Mr. Harvey gets sepsis because the field's been contaminated, we know whom to blame. When Benton reaches the door, Morgenstern tells him, "You did a good job. You were lucky as hell, but you were right to open him up. Good work." And, as soon as it started, the "attaboy" moment is over, and Morgenstern is back to work. Benton smiles, and walks into the hall, where we get the opening-credits shot of him making the "booyah!" motion. That's nice and all, but shut up, Benton. I like him so much better all taciturn and morose than I do when he's chipper and making stupid jokes.

Downstairs, we're back to Beaten-Up Baby, whose mother has, by now, arrived. Okay, in my own defense, I think it's understandable that I confused this child-abuse mom with the one whose kid swallowed her key; they're both professionally attired, with weirdly long, luxurious hair (weird, given that they're otherwise all businessy) and gigantic lips. Anyway, Beaten-Up Baby is squalling as several nurses attend him, and Mrs. Beaten-Up briefly tries to coo at him to calm him before bitching at Doug, when he enters, for not giving Beaten-Up Baby something to stop him from crying. Doug examines Beaten-Up Baby, saying nothing. Mrs. Beaten-Up Baby bitches, "Look! He's still crying! Why aren't you giving him something?" Doug, judgmentally failing to meet her eye, curtly explains, "I can't give him anything until I know the extent of his injuries. He's been to X-Ray, so we know that he has a skull fracture." "A skull fracture!" exclaims Mrs. Beaten-Up Baby. To her totally whipped-looking male companion, she spits, "The babysitter! I never trusted her." Nice try, lady, but Doug sees straight through your snooty façade and right into your black, black heart: "Ma'am, your child has multiple contusions that are at least twelve hours old. He has a skull fracture. He also has several old, healed fractures. He is a battered child." Mmmm. Battered child. So yummy with french fries, the English way. Mrs. Beaten-Up Baby snorts, "Oh. I'm not even going to respond to that. You think I'd harm my child?" "Happens all the time," Doug clips. Mrs. Beaten-Up Baby -- getting flustered now, because she can tell the jig is up -- snaps that if Doug isn't going to treat Beaten-Up Baby, she's going to take him home. Doug declares, "No you're not." To Mr. Beaten-Up Baby, Doug barks, "Do you have anything to say?" Mr. Beaten-Up Baby is seriously such a caricature of a cowed man that he might as well be dressed up in Amos Hart's hobo costume. "He's my date!" Mrs. Beaten-Up Baby yells. Mr. Beaten-Up Baby shrugs, all, "Hey, I'm just waiting for her to turn my back so I can run away." One of the nurses picks up Beaten-Up Baby and joggles him a little, and he instantly stops crying -- for a few seconds, anyway.

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