24 Hours

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

Benton ambles over to the desk and asks, "John Carter?" "Yes, sir," Carter squeaks, as they shake. The two co-exposit that Carter is a third-year surgical student. Benton briskly starts giving Carter a tour of the ER: desk, lab, back out in the hall. Benton winds down his bafflingly fast ER 101 lecture by asking whether Carter knows how to start an IV. He does not. This pulls Benton up short: "I thought you were third year." Carter says he is, but that all he's done so far are dermatology and psychiatry. Benton dismissively observes, "The well-dressed specialties, huh? Well, you'll find that surgeons actually try to help people, not just bill them." I think they actually do a bit of both, but whatever. Benton starts giving Carter a crash course in IV-starting. Carter hasn't had a chance to take this in yet when Benton spots Carol coming down the hall and introduces her to Carter. She says "hi" pleasantly enough and continues on her way, as Carter gazes after her adoringly. Benton murmurs, "She's terrific, isn't she. She goes with an orthopod that used to be a Big Ten tackle and looks like King Kong." I'm no Tag fan, but "King Kong"? Not really. Benton winds up the IV lesson. Carter pretends he totally took it all in. The tour resumes: "All along here, you have the medical examining rooms. This is where the pill-pushers kill their victims. But this...this is the surgical room." They enter what -- again -- looks like what we now call a trauma room. Both stand and gaze at the room; Carter looks like he may have had to catch his breath a little when confronted with it for the first time. But the moment doesn't last long; Benton shows Carter the phone they use to call the OR, tells him about the idiots who work in X-Ray, etc. They come back out into the hall and run into Dr. Morgenstern, of whom Benton warns, "He's the head of ER. Watch out: he eats students for lunch." Aw -- the idea that William H. Macy could be a hard-ass is sort of cute. Morgenstern greets Carter and asks Benton about the severed-hand guy. Morgenstern then turns to Carter and informs him, "Dr. Benton is one of the best residents we have. You learn everything you can from him -- except attitude." Oh, no need to worry about that; it's clear these days that Carter's learned his "attitude" from Mark. And, that whatever "attitude" Benton evinced here wasn't memorable enough for Eriq LaSalle to keep acting that way for the rest of the series. "He didn't mean that," Benton mutters to Carter. "Oh yes he did," Morgenstern calls from offscreen. Back to the tour of all the parts of the ER that no longer look the way they do now, including the suture room. Carter, of course, doesn't know how to suture, either. Benton asks a passing Haleh whether there's anyone waiting to be sewn up. "How the hell would I know?" Haleh snaps, failing even to slow her pace. Benton tosses off some sarcasm about the "great spirit of camaraderie" in the ER, because, as we all know, if there's one thing Benton is known for, it's being a team player.

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