A Little Help From My Friends

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Heathen: D+ | Grade It Now!
A Little Help From My Friends

Chip is still bawling. Susan passes by and, put off by the wailing, insists that it can't be that bad. "It is," he moans. "I just want to go to sleeeeeep." Susan moves away to check on the status of Chip's Psych consult, and runs smack into a spaced-out teenager. "Wow, your face is so beautiful. Is it square? I never knew what they meant when they said 'square face,' but..." babbles the girl, while Susan stares at her and wonders if this is the proof they needed to assert that, yes, crack is wack. Chen rushes over to the girl, Anastasia, and shepherds her back to her group of mathletes. "They're on the math team. They compete in math tournaments," Chen explains to a bewildered Susan. "Oh yeah, we used to call them 'geeks,'" Susan retorts. "What's she on?" Chen shrugs. "How many cubic-inches in the ER?" babbles Anastasia as Chen guides her elsewhere. Susan pauses in front of Jerry and peers up at him. "Is my face...square?" she winces.

Luka enters the ICU and spies Rick, whose mother is sitting with his unconscious body. "They think he needs dialysis now," a technician exposits. Luka moves gingerly toward Rick and his mother. "Mrs. Kendrick? I'm Dr. Kovac. I treated Rick when he first came into the ER," Luka begins. Slowly, the woman peers up at him. "I've wanted to meet you," she whispers. As Luka pulls up a chair, we hear The Tinkling Piano of Hey Luka, Remember, This Woman's A Lawyer, So Unless You Never Want To Have Enough Money To Replace Your Dodge Penis, You Should Shut That Guilty Mouth. Meanwhile, Rick looks adorable even in his coma. "He was such a funny kid," reminisces Mrs. Kendrick. "He'd have been a good man...Did he know about the leukemia?" Luka shakes his head. "By the time the tests came back, he was unconscious," he says. Romano catches sight of Luka as Mrs. Kendrick asks whether her son was afraid at the end; Romano watches with justifiable disapproval while Luka shares that Rick not only wasn't scared, but cracked a joke with Cynthia about selling the engagement ring. Rick's mother seems to appreciate that her son's last words were in jest. Romano can't stand to see any more. He can hear the time-bomb ticking, and it's making him crazier than Captain Hook in a clock shop. "Dr. Kovac," he shouts. Luka excuses himself gently.

Outside the ICU, Romano turns on the charm -- which is to say, he bares his fangs and licks his chops, which has the unfortunate effect of smearing the bright purple lipstick he's wearing, which he must have stolen off the corpse of a crack whore. "What are you doing? Your own private M&M with the kid's mother?" he seethes. "She wanted to know how her son died," Luka says. "One word: peacefully," Romano spits. "Leave it at that." Luka's feeling all honest and soulful, but Romano points out that Luka kind of did off her son, and he'd better not be getting all Lady Macbeth about it, because there's not enough hand soap in the world to save him from the Wrath of Romano if County General gets slapped with a malpractice suit. Romano sternly points out that such a suit would harm the hospital and the other patients more than Rick ever suffered. Luka blinks emptily at him, which Romano takes to mean, "We don't have threats in Croatia," so he promptly sends Luka home for the day to sit in the corner and think about what he did. "If I see you with that patient's family again, you're fired," Romano adds. Luka stares at the floor. We fade to black pretty sure that no one's going to fire Luka, because the hospital's always short-staffed and there's no other eye candy there.

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