Frank bursts in with the mixed news that he found Douglas's mother: sporting a different surname, a Belinda Matheson arrived with a headache last night that turned out to be a brain bleed. Abby is appalled that Douglas sat there overnight, unnoticed. She asks Frank to escort Douglas upstairs to see his mom, but Frank horks up the reveal that Belinda is dead. Abby is stunned. She sags a bit as her eyes register total dismay. She chokes that Frank needs to find Douglas's father and bring the boy a plate of fries. Meanwhile, Gallant has rescued Miranda from the hungry jaws of death, and Luka compliments the young student on a good catch.
It seems Douglas's father lives in L.A., but the tot doesn't know the phone number. He sits peacefully in the waiting room while Abby turns around and rails on Frank. She can't believe that an ex-cop like him wouldn't think to call the school and track down a contact number that way. "Act like a cop!" she scolds. This answers the question of whether the actor, who appeared early in the series as a detective, is playing the same character -- it appears so. And to his credit, Frank doesn't get arsy with Abby. Instead, he's almost -- gulp -- gentle. I find myself wanting to hold him. Abby figures out that Weaver treated the mother, and she loudly hisses in disgust that someone from neurosurgery ought to come down and tell little Dougie that his mother has died. But from the look on Frank's face, it's apparent that someone already let slip that information -- sure enough, Abby turns around to see Douglas peering up at her, confused and upset. "No, she didn't [die]," he whimpers. Abby cringes, picks the toe lint out of her back molars, and escorts Douglas to the waiting room so that she can explain about the birds and the bees, and what windshields and flyswatters do to them.
"It was...pretty bad," Abby chokes, referring to B's headache. Abby explains that a blood vessel in B's brain ruptured, then realizes that a kid who didn't even know his mom's first name might not understand the word "rupture." So she clarifies, "It broke." Dougie doesn't like the idea of a broken brain. "The doctors tried really hard," she says, "but they couldn't fix it." Douglas gulps, then brightens and asks if his mother can come home. "Only if you bring in a taxidermist," Abby thinks. Out loud, she tries again to make it clear that his mother is dead, but Douglas freaks out and runs screaming to the exam room and the trauma room where he last saw his mother. "Mom? Where is she? MOM?" he screams, terrified. He throws open the door and, when he sees strangers inside, bugs out his eyes. Confusion and panic wash over his face as he looks around wildly, sees nothing familiar, then bolts back out into the lobby. "Mom, where are you?" he sobs. Abby chases him, grabs his arm, and finally corrals him. "She's dead," Abby says. "I just want my Mom," he cries, throwing himself into her arms. Abby gently soothes him, patting his back. Putting a little boy in distress feels as hackneyed as putting pregnant women in complex and perilous situations from which only a nonconformist doctor can save her. Yet, despite this blatant attempt to make the audience Feel Something Profound, Maura Tierney does a great job with the boy, who is the second most adorable child ever to guest on ER (Reese, we miss you!).