ER
First Snowfall

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First Snowfall

In Trauma Green, the boys' mother is totally messed up. Nathan says the father -- who I'll call Dodger after his character on China Beach -- wants to enter. "No!" shouts Elizabeth. Finally, someone talks some sense and keeps a family member from watching all this wacky death shit. They're going to have to crack the mother's chest. RibSpreaderCam must've cost this show a fortune, because they're using it ad nauseum. And I do mean that, because Dodger barges in at just this moment and barfs up a lung. Ah, sweet vomit. Where would we be without you? Now Dodger has sticky yellow puke residue on his mouth -- which, given that his mouth already looks like Steven Tyler's, isn't doing him any aesthetic favors. Nathan tries to shove Dodger into the hallway as Luka starts compressions and the machines beep away his wife's life. "Your wife is bleeding into her chest," Nathan yells. "The doctors are trying to save her." Dodger doesn't want to leave, though, even though he hears Luka say, "Her heart's empty!" Dodger is a sucker for the vomit comet. He wants to ride that puppy hard and put it away wet, but Nathan shoves him into the hallway to save me from having to write any more about this.

Chuny grabs Elizabeth for help in Trauma Yellow because Matt's rib may have punctured his heart and his lungs are, to use the technical term, totally whacked. Erin bounces around behind Carter saying things she imagines are useful. She's like one of those stress toys with sand at the bottom, where you hit it and no matter how hard your blow was, she bounces right back up, all willy-nilly and bushy-tailed. Someone should puncture her just once. Randi enters and shouts that Abby's on line two, but since there's a dying family on his hands, Carter smartly tells her that now's not the best time for reruns of The Abby Lockhart Show. Elizabeth says Matt's having a massive MI and she can't repair the coronary artery because it would be feeding a dead heart. Suddenly, she catches Susan's eye; Susan is wheeling a brain-dead Toby out of Trauma Green. Elizabeth stares back at Matt for a second, then dashes out into the hallway to chase her epiphany. Susan shares that Toby's basically a veggie salad at this point, so an inspired Elizabeth tells her to get a transplant team there right away.

Dodger spies Toby's gurney and brightens at what looks like his un-mangled son. Then he recognizes Elizabeth. "Aren't you working on my wife?" he asks, confused. "I'm working on your family," Elizabeth corrects urgently. She explains as carefully as she can that Toby is brain-dead; Dodger can't quite digest all this. Susan ducks into Trauma Green so that Elizabeth can spend a few more moments with Dodger. "Your other son, Matt -- his heart is failing," Elizabeth pants. "The artery that feeds it is severed. His lungs are bruised and filled with blood. His only chance is a heart and lung transplant in the next six hours." She might as well be speaking Urdu for all the comprehension that's in Dodger's face. Elizabeth clearly explains that she wants to grab Toby's heart and lungs and hook them up in Matt's body. Dodger can't deal with this. He doesn't deal in innards. "This son is dead," Elizabeth says bluntly. "I might have a chance to save the other one." Dodger reels. Dodger is not an actor, he's a reactor. "No, he's just...save them both," he nods pleadingly. He's not ready to give immediate consent, and Elizabeth's needed next door, so she grabs Nathan and urgently whispers that he absolutely must work on Dodger until he agrees to the transplant. Now, of all times, when his peer-pressure skills are most needed, Nathan decides Dodger isn't really ready to make this decision. "Make him understand," Elizabeth presses. "We just have one shot at his other boy."

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