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A River in Egypt

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Heathen: C+ | Grade It Now!
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A River in Egypt

Outside the room, Carter tells Abby that he's off to lunch with his father, and that she should page him when CC gets Aisha's number. "So, 'down-low' is 'bisexual'?" Abby asks, puzzled. "No, 'on the side; in secret,'" Webster Carter replies. "In the closet?" she tries to clarify. "No -- to be in the closet, you have to be gay," Carter explains. Abby shakes her head. "He is gay," she points out. "No, he's on the down-low," Carter says with a snicker. Abby sighs. "If he's having anal sex with his friend, he's gay," she rationalizes patiently. That's my favorite line of the episode, heightened by the absolute matter-of-fact delivery. Carter repeats that the anal sex is just for release. "So 'down-low' means 'in denial'?" Abby giggles. Carter laughs too. That whole bit was entertaining, actually.

Abby notices that Weaver is examining Joyce's sprained ankle. Joyce sweetly insists that she sprained it while trying to use the new roller shoes Brian bought her for Christmas. Weaver wants x-rays.

Cut to the x-rays, which Abby says look absolutely fine, pending Weaver's approval. Joyce scrunches up her face. "Will I need crutches?" she scowls playfully. Abby tells her she'll need some help getting around until the ankle can bear her weight, so Joyce decides to call Brian for help getting home. Abby flinches. "It's not all him," Joyce insists. "I give as good as I get." Abby grumbles that she doesn't see Brian in the ER getting his limbs treated. "Our walls are pretty thin, Joyce," Abby insists, silently conveying that she heard everything and knows almost everything. "He's the only guy I've ever loved," Joyce says, maintaining the sweet demeanor despite the air of desperation developing behind it. Abby begs her to talk to a social worker about ways to handle this situation, suggesting that Joyce came to County General for a reason. "I came here because I didn't want to answer a bunch of questions," Joyce pouts crankily. Abby blinks, knowing Joyce is too firmly entrenched in the Egyptian village of Down-Low to relocate now.

Bless Sharif Atkins -- this entire episode, he's done nothing but spout convoluted medical jargon, and he's pulled it off better than Kellie Martin ever did. He's gabbing with Weaver when Romano approaches to bend her ear. Gallant stops talking and stares. "You can go away now," Romano says glibly. YES! The one character they're writing consistently! Romano continues, to Weaver this time, "I was going to have you paged, but I couldn't be sure you were wearing your pager." Weaver tenses and stiffly says she refuses to be intimidated by baseless rumors. Romano slams her with the reveal that a Doc Magoo's waitress is willing to go on record and testify that Weaver came in looking for a lost pager on the night "Chen and Malucci killed that guy." To me, that last bit is the most important -- CHEN and MALUCCI killed that guy. Weaver tries to offer an explanation, but Romano doesn't want any part of it. "No explanation, no spin. Just fix it," he says. Chen has demanded an Attending position with standard pay, and a personal apology from Weaver, which is actually a pretty tame demand, except for the fact that she was negligent and now she's expecting a promotion. Romano wants Weaver to make it happen. Kerry complains that she'd have no authority over Chen at all. Romano wheels on her, grouchy. "We settled with this dead kid's family," he snarls. "I am not going to open it back up again because you have a management problem created by your own negligence and deceit!" Oooh, you go, Romano! It's funny -- I'm pretty anti-Chen in this instance, but Weaver was wrong, and I'm enjoying that Romano calls her out on that fact. In the chain of love, Romano's at the top. He snipes that Weaver had better superglue the pager to her forehead, lest she misplace it once again. Weaver watches him leave, feeling very, very alone and very, very screwed.

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