ER
A River in Egypt

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A River in Egypt

Next, we see Eleanor puking violently into a toilet, probably one buried deep in the servants' quarters. "You shouldn't have to go through this," she slurs shakily, leaning back against the wall. Carter parks himself against the tile and exhales tiredly. Orange puke crusts the toilet. That bathroom can't smell too good. Perhaps they can summon a servant to flush the commode for them. "She asked me to leave," shares a sniveling Eleanor. "Do you want me to leave?" Carter, unnerved by how utterly pathetic his mother is, shakes his head. Eleanor's smile is still in place, but it's almost ghoulish and commingled with tears, running makeup and a dripping nose. "You're right," she nods. "I failed you. I failed your brother and then I failed you." She rambles about her guilt at not realizing something was amiss with little Bobby, and Carter's stunned she's carried that around with her for more than twenty years. Eleanor flogs herself for not taking him to a doctor the second he complained of fatigue. "It delayed the diagnosis by less than a month," Carter points out. "Wouldn't have changed anything." Eleanor winces, still smiling to mask whatever shred of emotion she hasn't already exposed by dribbling it onto her dress or heaving it into the toilet. "I just stood by while it was eating him alive," she cries. "I just stood by." Carter wordlessly watches his mother implode. And ironically, while we stare at a puke-stained porcelain toilet bowl, the closed-captioning proudly proclaims that ER is sponsored by Clorox, "so you know it's clean." Indeed.

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