Zack's trauma room. Machines are beeping. Nosy Carter has joined the party. Chen has just finished performing the spinal tap, and comments that the fluid looks pretty clear. She hands it to Malik, ordering a bunch of tests. Carter -- basically just getting in everyone's way at this point -- picks up one of his sneakers and says, "He's got those shoes that light up when you walk. How do you think they do that?" Malik seems equally fascinated with Zack's shoes. Aw, Malik. Lisa is like, whatever, Bill Nye, get out of the way so that Chen and I can roll the patient back over. Carter finally examines Zack himself and asks Chen, "What is that?" Chen asks what he means. Carter puts his hands on Zack's face and, in a close-up, we see a purplish discoloration around Zack's left eye. Carter tells Chen that she hadn't said anything about a macular rash. Chen says that he didn't have one half an hour ago, and supposes that it could be a "viral exanthem." Carter notes that it could be measles. "Measles?" Lisa incredulously repeats. Carter runs through Zack's symptoms: "Fever, altered mental status, pneumonia." Chen dismissively argues, "Or, more likely, he has a virus with pneumonia, and had a febrile seizure from the high temperature." Carter examines Zack's face and, jostling his head back and forth, maintains that Zack is evincing a "classic measles rash," and asks Lisa for a tongue depressor. They remove Zack's mask as Chen asks Carter whether he's ever seen measles. He says he hasn't, and asks if she has. She says of course she hasn't: "Nobody's seen measles." Okay, I know it's not common, but it's not like it's the Bubonic Plague. I'm only twenty-six, and I think I even remember a couple of kids getting the measles when I was in school -- or, at least, that it was discussed (often in concert with mumps) so that people were aware that the disease existed and that you could get it. At any rate, I find it difficult to believe that "nobody's seen measles" in a room full of medical professionals. But I digress, sort of. Carter checks out Zack's mouth and exclaims, "He's got Koplik spots on the buccal mucosa!" "What?" says Chen, looking for herself and then suggesting, "Or he bit the inside of his mouth when he was seizing." Carter tells Malik that there's a Nelson's (which I assume is a medical encyclopedia of some kind though I couldn't find it on Amazon) in the lounge, and asks him to go get it. Everyone looks tense. Carter shines a light in Zack's eyes.
After a moment, a pretty woman who looks like the love child of Paula Marshall and Megan Mullally trots in. Miss Pre-School says that she's Mrs. Woodman, Zack's mother. Mrs. Woodman anxiously exposits that she was in court and had to turn off her cell phone. Chen catches Mrs. Woodman up on what's happened so far, and Carter asks her whether Zack's immunizations are up to date. "No," she says, flatly. Carter asks whether he's had the MMR (a big one to vaccinate kids against measles, mumps, and rubella, a.k.a. German Measles), and Mrs. Woodman announces, "He hasn't had any immunizations -- none of our children have." Immediately after she's uttered the word "have," there is a single timpani drum beat on the soundtrack to let us know that things are going to start getting very bad, very soon -- although my Pavlovian response to the Timpani of Crisis is not anxiety but boredom. Because I get it. Please, John Wells, I promise -- I already get it. Don't bludgeon me with an MMR booster -- my shots are up to date! Before anyone can answer Mrs. Woodman (or set in place her sash and tiara for winning what we're to think is the deserved title of Worst Mother of the Year), Malik runs in with the medical book. Carter tells Lisa to put a mask on Zack. Mrs. Woodman shrills, "What the hell is happening?" Malik opens the book to show Chen a diagram, and she replies by drawling, "Ohhhhhh my god." The music gets more agitated. Carter exposits that they have to get Zack into a "laminar flow room." Chen yells at Miss Pre-School to call the school, and not to let anyone leave. Jesus, it's measles, not the Andromeda Strain! Everyone prepares to move Zack. Mrs. Woodman asks what's wrong, and Chen intones, "Your son has measles." "That's not too bad, right?" Mrs. Woodman hopefully asks. Chen PSAs, "One in five hundred kids die [sic] from measles." They leave Mrs. Woodman alone to think -- really think -- about what she's done.