Shirley catches up with Elizabeth in the hall and peppers her with perfectly pleasant questions about her trip. In this, she slips that it's been two months since the monkeypox scare. I'm not completely sure why the show insists on skipping entire chunks of time. It won't make the season end any sooner. Shirley asks about Ella and tries to be polite and interested, but Elizabeth rewards her with curt answers. "Nice to be back?" Shirley finally asks. "I'm off to the ER," Elizabeth says. "I'll let you know." She hops into the elevator and waits for it to descend, a stony expression on her face. She looks antsy, but it might be the Muzak making her crazy.
The first things Elizabeth hears when she steps into the ER are two roaring cries of bitchery from a patient: "Bite me, panty smellers!" and "Die, scum-sucking pervert!" This shrill rage should make Elizabeth feel quite at home. It's like she's looking in a slightly more obscene mirror. Chen and Gallant are trying to restrain an angry old woman who we'll call Mad Madge, for no good reason; the old girl is spewing obscenities the way characters on this show usually spew vomit. Chen shouts out a greeting to Elizabeth, who couldn't give a shit if she was pumped full of Ex-Lax. Mad Madge hauls off and punches Gallant in the left eye. "Dr. C, looking good!" whistles Malik. "Thanks," she says insincerely, asking immediately about the motorcycle accident victim she's here to examine. Malik doesn't know, but he follows her into Trauma Yellow to assist.