There's no "previously on" this week, which I assume has something to do with the fact that the producers reportedly shaved two minutes out of the show as a result of Boobgate 2004. Unless they finally are throwing in the towel and admitting that everything up to this point was irrelevant and boring -- a grand tradition of mediocrity that will indeed live on through this hour.
Elizabeth Corday waits on the snowy sidewalk outside County with a very grown Ella in tow, having ostensibly just finished giving the child her daily growth hormone injection, in the hope that developing her quickly into a mouthy and surly adolescent will be the storyline kiss of death she needs to exit the show. I guess it's been three years, but...I don't know, the kid just looks older than I expected. A minivan stops in front of them, and Elizabeth slides open the door, depositing Ella in an empty seat next to an identically bobbed doppelganger. Presumably this is the backup Ella -- the test case. For today's purposes, though, the girl is packaged as "Ella's friend," and she belongs to the guy driving the minivan. "Happy birthday, Sydney," Elizabeth smiles. "Are you ready for the party?" Minivan Man grins that she's been ready for a month, ever since that last round of shots bounced her straight into Pull-Ups and solid foods. They are headed for an aquarium, and then a puppy party. I'm not sure how one throws a puppy party; are there dog brothels from which you can rent a pup's services for the afternoon? Or is it a like a Tupperware party -- "Pup"perware -- where a heavily Avoned woman shows up with an array of dogs, ranging from cheap to deluxe to microwave-safe, and attempts to sell you as many as your cupboards can fit? Elizabeth commends Minivan for being brave enough to take on the party by himself, and so of course he genially invites her along. Ella's all excited about this prospect. "I can't, Ella, I have to work in the hospital," Elizabeth apologizes. Then she smiles and says in her best, brightest I'm-talking-to-children voice, "I have a pancreatic ojejunostomy at nine." The kids blink blankly, as if to say, "Ojejun-ASS-tomy. Get back with me when it's a whipple." Lizzie promises to pick up Ella at 6. "They'll be well into their sugar rush by then," Minivan smiles. "Maaaaaarvelous," Elizabeth says cheerfully. Since when is she so chipper?
Carter trots into the hospital, Kem by his side. She's yammering on about wanting to talk to someone in County's infectious disease department so that she can compare her statistics with those in Chicago. Because that's useful, since they're very, very similar places with similar circumstances. They both start in C and end in O, for example, and both are peopled with dickheads (Carter). Kem also wants to check out their clinical lab to see what the up-to-date equipment looks like. Frank listens to all this while chowing down on a breakfast perogi. As Carter disappears to the lounge to find Weaver, Frank offers some to Kem. She shoots it a look of amused alarm. She should be stuffing it into her mouth. I think her shoulder blade could slice bread.