ER
Damage Is Done

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Damage Is Done

For the third episode in a row, we begin in a bedroom -- but this time, the comfortable-looking bed houses Dr. Elizabeth "An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor" Corday. The clammy skin, wet hair, red-rimmed eyes, and ghostly complexion tip me off that she's either sick or in rehab. Luckily, she employs an ear thermometer to ensure we know it's just the flu. Dr. Mark "An Apple A Day? Doesn't Keep Baldness Away" Greene enters, his young baby Ella on his arm and a cup of chamomile tea in one hand. Elizabeth grumps that she's gone a record ten minutes without running to the bathroom. Again with the symmetry -- the last show ended with toilet antics, and this one begins with a reference to them. I wonder if one of the writers actually worships some bogus Porcelain God. Ella giggles, and Mark shares that she decked the halls with boughs of toilet paper. "God, [and] she's not even walking," groans Elizabeth good-naturedly. Mark grabs the thermometer, reads it, and picks up the phone to call his wife in sick -- which she protests mightily because she's got a presentation. But Mark is already on the horn, and he's in one of his famous Dark Moods, which can mean only one thing -- he's trying to be funny. Oh sweet Porcelain God, lord of all that is as yet untainted with recapper vomit, please make it stop. "[Elizabeth is] projectile vomiting. Do you still want her to come in?" Mark asks. Elizabeth isn't amused. Mark kisses her head and promises Katherine will be there soon to mind Ella while Elizabeth recuperates. "Who's going to look after her until then?" Elizabeth frets. "I'm not doing anything today," pipes up a voice from the doorway. Mark leans back to reveal an especially earnest-looking Rachel "An Apple A Day Helps Me Bong It Away" Greene. Distaste flits across Elizabeth's face, but she quickly replaces it with forced gratitude, even as she suggests that it's wrong to expect Rachel to sacrifice her Saturday. "I'm not doing anything today," Rachel chirps, taking Ella from Mark, who's more than happy to hand her off and flee.

Dr. Kerry "Hot Lips" Weaver barks out a few orders to Haleh, then oh-so-subtly asks if Dr. Chen has shown up for work today. She has not -- she's too busy praying that the Porcelain God will cut off my fingers so I can't make up any more dumb nicknames. Weaver stops cold when she spies Dr. Robert "The Porcelain God is Love" Romano chatting animatedly with Dr. Susan "Burberry" Lewis. Haleh lowers her voice to say that Romano's been looking for Weaver. As Weaver approaches him, Romano blathers to Susan about swimming in Lake Michigan in January wearing nothing but an attitude and a banana hammock. He also says the words "sex drive," probably subtly trying to state the point that bald men can be manly, despite Mark's best attempts to prove otherwise. Susan's agape. She grabs Weaver and shares the big secret that Romano's in the Polar Bear club. Weaver, though, is in no mood for chit-chat, and tries to dismiss Susan so that she and the Rocket can speak privately.

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