Last week on ER, Romano romanced a helicopter rotor and lost an arm in the deal; the reattachment surgery was successful, but he still acted bitter. Carter hooked up with Abby during the quarantine. Elizabeth's father urged her to adjust to life in London, but she couldn't, so she decided to go back to Chicago.
A radio plays the morning news and traffic report. The camera pans across a bathroom, where we see that Dr. John "Loverboy" Carter is taking a shower while "A"Abby Lockhart wipes steam off the mirror. "You've been in there for twenty minutes," she complains. "Miss me, or am I wasting water?" Carter calls out teasingly. Abby petulantly rubs the mirror. "Both," she whines. Carter can't figure out why Abby's knickers are knotted, since her shift doesn't start for two more hours, and also because she's probably not wearing any. Abby drops the tidbit that she's contemplating attending an AA meeting before work, then waits hopefully for Carter's reaction. He's silent, so she wanders over to the shower. "Helloooo?" she says. "Something wrong?" No, but there's about to be: Carter's decided that it's sausage time. He opens the shower door and yanks her inside with all the force of a snail towing a car. Thus begins the now-infamous Shower Scene, which consists largely of absolutely nothing. Abby's robe drops to the ground, and we get a shot of wet Carter kissing her neck while damp Abby's eyes close in what's supposed to be arousal, but which comes off as "Dammit, now I can't use the 'sorry, but I have to wash my hair' excuse." That, or Noah Wyle pulled an unexpected Free Willy.
There's mayhem in the ER. Again. I don't know what this show would do without mayhem. ["Be Chicago Hope?" -- Wing Chun] A junkie begs Frank for help getting a new "prescription," and Frank rebuffs him. Carter exposits that they're low on beds for patients. Dr. Jing-Mei "Deb" Chen runs her finger over Carter's neck. "Did you cut yourself shaving?" she asks, then a realization dawns on her. "Ooooh, never mind. Lipstick." Since when does Abby wear lipstick?
Dr. Susan "Any Which Way But" Lewis stares in disbelief at the board. "I think we're getting there," Carter says, approaching her. "Hardly," she groans. "Board #2 is for the patients in the halls." Carter's a bit startled. After eight years, he still doesn't recognize mayhem when he sees it. Perhaps it's masquerading as pandemonium. With a wry grin, Susan flips through charts detailing patients' heat exhaustion, smoke inhalation, and boils. "All up for grabs," she says with sarcastic excitement. 'I love my job," Carter deadpans.