ER
Blood Relations

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Blood Relations

Cut to Neela up in the antechamber, getting the rundown from the technician: she can't have any lipstick or hairspray on, nor nail polish, perfume, jewelry, or open cavities in her mouth like metal fillings or unfinished root canals. Apparently, the trapped air in there can expand in the chamber, and...ouch. They hurriedly ask if Neela knows how to clear her ears, and Neela just stands there looking completely floored by all of this. "Pinch your nose and blow," the guy says. He's a weenie-esque nurse who's apparently in charge of taking people into the chamber. "I can't go in there," Neela protests. She desperately asks for a replacement, and Weenie accurately takes this to mean that she's claustrophobic, but there's no time to get anyone else, so in she goes. The chamber looks like a cross between a bomb shelter and a subway car. There's a small chamber in front in which they stand and are brought down or up in pressure (they call it "ascending" and "descending" even though the room itself never moves), and when it's safe to do so, they enter or exit the hyperbaric chamber.

Once they're in, it's loud. "Get used to it," says Weenie. Two seconds later, Neela is wringing her hands and pacing. "I'm sorry -- can we stop now?" she asks. Why, yes! Split-second therapy. It's a miracle! The tech comes in over the loudspeaker to ask if there's a problem. Neela is fidgeting and again begs for them to stop. But they can't, of course, so she rests her head against the glass window and breathes, fogging it up a little. We fade to black wondering why she didn't just tell Susan she was claustrophobic and be done with it. Also, she's from London -- has she never been on the Tube? She should just close her eyes and pretend everything's dirty, and that there's a punk across from her with a nose ring chained to an earring chained to a white mouse crawling around on her shoulder, and Neela will feel right at home.

Vicky is wheeled into a room with her two children and husband. The daughter cries out delightedly. Susan sighs that Vicky ought to be in the post-partum ward: "You're not doing them any favors by not taking care of yourself." "How is he?" the mother asks, distractedly, staring at her husband. Susan tells her again that she shouldn't be there, and Vicky snaps, "If I can't be with my baby, I want to be with them." Susan actually has the gall to look put out by this, and she rolls her eyes and snarks to Pratt that Vicky's nice and crabby. I can't believe Susan's being bitchy instead of understanding that a mother whose newborn is in danger might be calmer and more comfortable making sure the rest of her family is going to survive? Bite your acid tongue, Susan. Somebody throw her some milk to balance out her personal pH levels. Pratt is tending to the dad, who's slowly regaining consciousness, at which point they'll try to identify any brain damage. Malarkey and Abby pop up to share that their kids are worried, but otherwise fine. "Any word on the baby?" they ask. "Samuel," Vicky shouts. "He has a name -- Samuel. Can you make sure whoever's with him knows that?" Susan nods sadly and exits.

Carter bumps into Susan in the hallway and oh, my, she's pregnant. I can't criticize the show for how suddenly she started showing, though, because Sherry Stringfield actually is pregnant and there's not much they can do to pretend she's less knocked up than she is. Even the vertical stripes are defeated here. Carter pats her belly comfortably and asks how she's doing. "Fine. Tired, a little scared," she admits. "About having one?" he asks. "YES," I scream, crossing my legs and shedding a tear for the future of my reproductive organs. "No, [about] what happens after you do," Susan says.

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