ER
Four Corners

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Four Corners

Now it's Benton's turn for story. He's at Walt's body shop, and the latter ["totally not Ving Rhames, of course" -- Wing Chun] orders his daughter Joanie to order a rotor and new brake pads for Benton's car. "I'm sure your father will give me a deal," Benton hints broadly. "If I ever need an operation, you'd better not charge me," Walt sighs. Benton grins. "Only for parts," he says. As soon as her father is out of earshot, Joanie whispers that Benton should pay full price if he can -- her mother got fired and the family is strapped for cash. Then she breaks into a wide smile and tells Peter to bring Cleo over, because they haven't seen her in ages and the young kids really love switching her off and bedecking her with fridge magnets. Peter sighs that they're taking a break because Cleo needs space to deal with "some rough stuff."

Cut to County General, where Benton pulls on a pair of rubber gloves. In the background, little Holly asks Abby whether she reached another unnamed "him." Peter yanks the curtain around his cubicle to freeze out the distraction, and examines the older man assigned to his care. "Nine years hosting a talk show, and I've never gotten bit [sic]," groans the man with distaste. Peter mutters that he thought the shows were all staged. "Not exactly," SpringerLite says. "People don't usually get hurt. We use lightweight furniture just in case." As he blathers, Benton spies Cleo "Mrs. Roboto" Finch chatting with Mark, overhears a reference to a damaged liver, and visibly tenses. "I think a transsexual bit me," frets SpringerLite, implying that he might've caught something. Benton is fresh out of shit to give. He leaps up and hightails it toward Cleo, although if the closed-captioners had their way, she'd be called Claire. Benton inquires about her health with obvious concern, but she lightly brushes it aside and insists she's perfectly healthy. "But you're still taking [the meds]?" Benton persists. He's referring to the incident in the season finale, when Cleo cut her hand and exposed her blood to that of an HIV-positive patient. She's on a course of treatment to prevent herself from being Jeannie Boulet Redux. Cleo stalls Benton's questions by handing off Zombie's case -- she's twenty, she broke her wrist and got smacked repeatedly in the head with a folding chair. Cleo further exposits that Zombie just learned her boyfriend is her half-brother, and is in need of delicate handling. I'm not sure which of these two would be more inept at that.

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