A couple of the nurses are sitting petulantly in chairs. "You can't just sit here," Abby begs. "The union steward said we have to stay our entire shift," Conni grumbles. Abby begs them to help, but Lydia hops on Abby's back and uses it to propel herself onto the high horse that's going to carry her, we hope, far away from this episode. "Think about how you'll feel ten years from now when they start replacing you with minimum-wage grads out of nursing school," she preaches. I didn't realize the nursing pay scale was so vast. I'm guessing it isn't, really, based on how realistic all this sounds.
Malik summons Abby to help Susan, and she asks why he's not striking or fired. "I'm LVN," Malik says. "Don't get no cheaper than me." I have no idea what that stands for, and I'm too tired to look it up right now, so I suggest that we all just do the logical thing and assume it stands for "Lusty von Nuttensachen" and leave it at that. They good-naturedly trade a few patients before Abby pleads with him to cover for her for five minutes so that she can duck into Luka's room to say hi. "Are you kidding? I haven't stopped for six hours and I had to use a patient's urinal," he groans. "And that Carter letter...look, I'm sorry, I know that was harsh," he adds. I don't understand why everyone first read the letter on the sly, then felt the need to mention it to Abby despite the fact that it was clearly being passed around without her knowledge -- I mean, sure, Abby likes Me Time, but not the kind of spotlight that involves Carter, pen and ink, and the word "unfettered." Abby finally thinks to ask how they heard about the letter, and Malik pins it on Jerry. Abby sets her duck lips in motion and starts quacking off toward the front desk.
First, Abby bumps into Romano, and demands some help treating the patients, lest they all die in a flurry. He tells her that the service should send some help, and in the meantime, Geriatrics loaned them Edna. Abby and Malik swap a look, and approach a frail old woman with her wiry gray hair in a giant bun. "Edna," Abby calls. "Edna! Excuse me, hi! There's a drunk in Exam Four that needs more Ativan." Edna continues doing whatever she was doing and mutters, "I'm sorry, dear, he's a putz." Abby's confused. "That Carter boy," Edna continues. Wow, she's quite perceptive for a befuddled old biddy. "Too bad you didn't dump him first," Edna adds. Abby is starting to get pretty damn perturbed, but where I'd normally expect her to start wailing or sucking on cigarettes, she manages to keep it inside. "You've got to be kidding me," she does allow herself to mutter. Edna pins it on "the big man." God's all, "Whoa, Granny, keep me out of it, or you'll be roasting on Satan's spit in a totally non-euphemistic way."