ER
First Snowfall

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Heathen: B | Grade It Now!
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First Snowfall

Ow, there's a bright light in my eyes. I would move toward it, but that would take me right to Elizabeth, and...no. She's examining Toby, whose mother and brother Matt are the two other drunk-driver victims. The father was spared because he was inside searching for a carrot to use as the nose. Imagine that -- a vegetable being used for good and not evil. Poor Toby isn't having a good day. "His brain is mush," Elizabeth deduces. "Tell me the drunk driver died on impact," Susan grunts. But Elizabeth is distracted by Matt's arrival next door in Trauma Yellow; she's about to go to him, but the mother joins them in Trauma Green. "She jumped in front of her kids and the truck hit her straight on," the paramedic says. Elizabeth stares at her, moved, not understanding the concept of the selfless impulse. "Please, save my boys," the dying woman croaks. "Save...my boys." Luka decides to take control here. His boys are just fine, thank you. Elizabeth whirls into...

...Trauma Yellow, where Carter is helping Matt, who's conscious. Which sucks, given that he's undergoing a whole lot of what doctors and other ER professionals refer to as "medical hoo-ha." Carter reports the presence of massive chest contusions and a whole horde of shattered ribs. "He should be dead," Carter marvels. Um, Carter? The kid's awake. He can hear you. You're going to ruin Christmas if you keep this up. "He would be if his mother hadn't jumped in front of him," Elizabeth intones.

Abby and Maggie sit side by side, neither looking at the other. "Have you talked to him?" Abby asks. "Briefly, on the phone," Maggie says. Abby looks further away and draws a shaky breath before admitting that "it" is happening to Eric. "He showed up in Chicago with this girl he'd just met, and I knew he didn't have that much leave, but mostly I just...saw it," Abby exhales. Is this the same "it" that's been plaguing Joey Potter her whole life? "I just felt it right away," Abby continues. Maggie blinks hard as Abby goes on about how she should've called Maggie, but she panicked and ended up getting Eric arrested. Maggie tries to get Abby to relax, but she won't. "I needed to know, I had to know," Abby spits bitterly. "So I called here and I...got his medical records, and they had misdiagnosed depression. They thought it was stress." Maggie gulps. "We thought it was situational," Maggie says, getting up and pacing across the room, leaving a stunned Abby in her wake. "What?" Abby gapes. Maggie exposits that she made Eric see her doctor, and even he thought it was post-traumatic stress. Abby is wounded that Maggie knew all along, and she didn't. "Post-traumatic stress? Mom, you're bipolar," Abby hisses. "Do you even know anything about your disease?" Oh, says Abby the expert. She should be happier that Maggie seems so in control, but no, that's not about Abby and this situation can be, so poof, self-righteous rage wins. Maggie bristles but handles it well. "Yeah, Abby, I know a lot about it," she says levelly. She Who Rules the Roost demands to know why she wasn't told; Maggie tries to feed her a line about protecting her, but Abby's allergic to bullshit, so Maggie admits that Eric specifically did not want Abby to know. Looking punched in the gut, Abby sucks wind. Credit goes to Maura Tierney for the fact that you can see defiance give way to hurt in her eyes.

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