ER
Chaos Theory

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Chaos Theory

A bubbly receptionist interrupts Elizabeth’s fervent hatred. “Congratulations!” she chirps. “They sold your house. For ten thousand more than the asking price.” Elizabeth stares at the proffered fax document as if it’s on fire, then gingerly takes it and tries to digest what it says. The receptionist hovers over her shoulder, reading along with a pleasant smile. “I would like to read it myself, thank you,” Elizabeth says through tight lips, exiting the room for some fresh air. She stands motionless outside, reading the fax in a daze, and finally reaching up to wipe one eye. One tear: The Sum of a Marriage.

Day 13. A nurse enters Romano’s office, which is bedecked with flowers despite the tragic reveal that no one’s been to see him and he has no apparent family. I think the flowers might be from the forums. And from John Wells: “Dear Paul: Sorry to hear about your arm. Hopefully it’ll recover quickly and be able to resume its stellar acting career. Come on, high five! HA! Just kidding, chump. Love, Wellsie.” Also, did he wake up and decide to go in for more surgery? What’s the deal with the arm crisis – are his fingers less blue now? Why hasn’t Anspaugh been there? What the hell? The nurse chides Romano for not touching his food. “Your body needs nourishment to heal itself,” she recites. “That’s brilliant,” Romano grunts. “They teach you that in nursing school?” The nurse chirpily threatens to tell Joe Gunn: The Iron Needle on him, and then he’ll really get a detention. “Go ahead, tell Gunn. I’ve seen his work,” Romano retorts. “Might as well have prosthetics come fit me for a hook.” Oh, my God. That’s the one way they could redeem this plot: a surgeon and his hook bravely overcoming the obstacles – and becoming unlikely friends. It would be exactly like Fastlane, only with several enormous differences.

Weaver knocks on the door and receives a plate of piping hot veiled hostility, served Romano-style: “Kerry! I was wondering when you were going to come visit me.” She smiles that she was indeed there the previous two days, but he was whacked out on painkillers. “Re-carpeting my office?” he banters stiffly, staring straight ahead into thin air. “How are you feeling?” she asks. “Better,” he replies. “Surgery went well,” Kerry offers. “So they say,” he monotones. “You know how surgeons lie.” This whole time, he can’t look at her for longer than a second, spending most of his time gazing bitterly at the bed or off in the other direction. Kerry remarks that he’s pretty lucky, which Romano greets with a hollow laugh. “Your people rallied around to save you in a deserted hospital,” she says. “If it wasn’t for Kovac, you’d…” “…Still have my arm,” Romano glowers. Oh? It wasn’t Luka who knocked his clipboard off the gurney. It was the small tribal child in Surinam doing a rain dance. “You do still have your arm,” Kerry sighs. “Do I?” spits Romano, making a sarcastic celebratory gesture with his right arm. Kerry stares sadly at him, wondering why she bothered to look so freakin’ fabulous just for this. The makeup and hair people are giving Laura Innes a lot more love this season. She’s got a slightly softer look to her, but not so soft that it dulls her character’s interesting (read: frequently bitchy) edges. She tries to talk to him, but he won’t have it. “I signed the third-quarter income projections,” Romano babbles. “We should evacuate the hospital once a year for the money we’re saving.” Kerry opens her mouth. “Going to sleep now,” Romano bleats. “Apparently I need my rest.” Kerry stares at the ground for a second, then slowly exits.

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