ER
Beyond Repair

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Heathen: B | Grade It Now!
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Beyond Repair

Exiting Miranda's room, Abby draws the curtain and rejoins Luka. Gingerly, she notes how little she's seen of him lately. "I've been working nights," Luka says. The exchange is awkward, filled mostly with one-word answers: Luka's Christmas was "quiet," for example. He's also made a resolution for 2002: buy dinner for The Lawyer Fairy, who stopped by and gave him an out clause that lets him flee to make a movie overseas. As such, Luka will be volunteering for Doctors Without Borders for two months, living in Bosnia. The Lawyer Fairy deserves a promotion for that one -- perhaps demigod status would suffice. Meanwhile, do we really think Romano and Weaver are okay with Luka just taking off, leaving them short an ER doctor for eight whole weeks? I think Weaver would rather eat wax. Abby's completely taken aback by Luka's decision, and slightly stunned that his do-gooder disease -- the one that so fucked him over with Neecole -- has become full-blown. Luka shares that the change of scenery sounds really appealing, which elicits an empathetic mouth-twitch from Abby.

Douglas happily chomps away on a donut. He's the picture of bliss, except for that whole missing-mother thing. Dr. Mark "Brain Freeze" Greene approaches, clad in a horrible olive-and-orange toque that's protecting his skull from a potentially embarrassing case of frostbite. Someone rip that thing off! If Icicle Andy's finger can take a suicide leap, it seems fair to hope Mark's head might do the same. "Nice hat, Snoop," Frank says. Mark complains about the cold hospital, claiming the lounge thermostat reads fifty-six degrees, and Frank snipes that he should get used to this, for it heralds an imminent ice age identical to the one that wiped out the dinosaurs. "The cold didn't kill the dinosaurs, Frank," Mark says loudly, and too slowly. "Cholesterol did." It's not a great line, but it hit me that other actors on this show would've pulled it off and made it chuckle-worthy. But coming from Anthony Edwards, it sounds more like a plea. "Please like me," he's saying. "I'm funny! Remember Goose? You liked Goose!" Yeah, and Goose died. On so many levels.

Dr. Elizabeth "Heart Like a Tundra" Corday appears, busy and barely looking up from her chart. Mark pulls her aside and frantically whispers that he found a lighter in Rachel's laundry. "She's smoking," Elizabeth deduces. Good thing she cleared that up, because I was pretty worried that Rachel had started chugging butane. It occurs to her that Rachel might have graduated to the bong, since her boyfriend Andrew -- "Ex," Mark says snottily -- tested positive for pot. Mark wants to search his daughter's room, but he's too weak to make that decision himself and wants Elizabeth to do it for him. She's not giving in, though, because she has an actual brain, and though she turned it off on her wedding day, she's determined to use it now. Mark reminds her that asking Rachel won't guarantee a true answer -- duh -- but Elizabeth still thinks that a room search unforgivably invades his daughter's privacy. Sure, she suggested he rifle through Rachel's pockets, but only because it's a natural part of the laundry process. Come to think of it, what idiot hiding a smoking habit isn't meticulous about checking pockets? Rachel is dumb. Totally gets it from her father. Mark, suddenly distracted by a so-called "patient" at this big building with doctors, drops the subject and leaves.

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