ER
A Hopeless Wound

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A Hopeless Wound

Cut to Romano in the operating room. What, he's operating already? One-handed? Elizabeth walks into the room and asks what he's doing. Romano tells her the name of the operation; when Elizabeth expresses shock, he adds that "this poor swine was full of stones." Just when you think it's just Romano being insensitive about patients again, Elizabeth walks over to the table and realizes that Romano is operating on a pig. This whole scene is so dumb, and maybe it's supposed to be a homage of sorts to the time that Romano operated on his dog, but I just can't see County General letting Romano use up valuable, expensive resources to operate on a pig. Like, we get that Romano wants to get back to doing surgery by whatever means necessary, and I don't know that the pig was needed to make that point. Romano claims that he needs to keep up his skills, and that he's a better surgeon one-handed "than the rest of the hacks in this hospital." Elizabeth reminds him that he's not cleared to do surgery, "even on barn animals." Okay, so I guess County doesn't know about it, but it's still dumb. Romano changes the subject by asking whether Elizabeth knew that Kerry put forth a proposal to let PAs do post-surgical rounds. Elizabeth thinks it's a good idea. Romano says the point is that no one ran it by him, and that he's still the head of both surgery and the hospital. Elizabeth starts to say something else, but Romano interrupts by exclaiming over the size of the pig's gallbladder, which he has just removed. I freaking love Romano. He continues, "Look, I know Weaver's been forming alliances with some of the tribal elders while I was recuperating, but I would have expected a little bit more loyalty from you, Lizzie. Just rewrite the proposal as if it were generated from us and keep me abreast of any other covert Weaver ops, okay? The last thing I need is Mata Hari leading another palace coup." During this last part, Elizabeth notices that the pig's tail is moving, and then it starts squealing. Apparently, the anesthetic has worn off. Romano, Elizabeth, and the rest of the surgical team struggle to restrain the pig. Now there's a sentence I never thought I would write in an ER recap.

7:06 PM. In the darkest office ever, Romano gets the range of motion tested on his arm. His elbow is up to ninety degrees. Romano murmurs that he's not worried about his elbow. The doctor measures his wrist, and says that it can flex ten degrees. Romano insists that the doctor's calculation is wrong, and makes the doctor check it again. The doctor does, and comes up with ten again. Romano says that it was fifteen last week. The doctor tells him that fluctuations are normal, and that Romano's got to give himself at least nine months to recover. The doctor starts to help Romano to put his arm brace back on, but Romano grabs it and puts it on himself. I thought that was a nice, subtle indication of Romano's attitude -- much better than having him operate on a pig. Romano asks how it affects his odds. The doctor deflects the question, but Romano insists on an answer. The doctor tells him that the odds for "full flexion, extension, and opposition of the digits" are 20%. Romano looks up, shocked at the low number. The doctor continues, "But even then, without radial and ulnar deviation of the thumb, I'm not sure you'll be able to operate." Romano looks crushed. The doctor reminds Romano that he can still be Chief of Staff, and that most of his job is administrative anyway. Romano is now wearing his robot arm brace -- which is super-cool -- and he says, "Thanks for the pep talk, there, Marty!" and extends his middle finger. Despite his chipper Romano-esque brusqueness, his eyes look sad.

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