Ben's room. Carol bags Ben (on his tracheotomy hole! Ew!) as Mark stitches a cut on Doug's arm. Doug puts his hand on Ben's wrist and asks, "Hey, how're you feeling? You made it!" "Just like you promised," says Joey sunnily, entering with his parents, and with unfortunately T.J. Hooker-esque timing. Doug smiles, and stands up to greet them. Mr. Larkin swallows hard and says, "Thank you!" "That's all right," Doug says quietly. An orderly starts moving Ben's bed, and as it rolls by, Doug tells the smiling Ben, "Hey, you remember -- Wrigley Field! We got a date." Doug reluctantly sits back down as Mark says he has to finish the stitches. Doug regards his arm and cracks, "That one's crooked." Mark fondly says, "Yeah? Well, next time, you can do it yourself." And now comes the Iceman/Maverick portion of the episode. Doug soulfully looks up at Mark and says, "Hey, Mark, thanks." "For what?" Mark asks. "You did all the hard work. I don't think I could have gone up in that helicopter." "I just got lucky," Doug humbles. "No. You know about kids," Mark replies. Doug and Mark stare into each other's eyes. And then they make out. Mark breaks it up by indicating Doug's wounds and saying, "Good as new." He goes to the door. Doug asks what he's doing, and Mark says he's "looking for reporters." He glances up and down the hall, and pronounces it "all clear." Doug gets up. Doug rubs the small of his back, because we're supposed to think, despite the fact that he looks perfect, that he's exhausted.
Mark and Doug walk down the hall, Mark exhorting Doug to "get some sleep." Doug scoffs, "My car's in Grant Park with a flat." And the keys still in it, so...I would venture to say your car's not in Grant Park anymore. Mark says they'll pick it up tomorrow, and that he'll get Doug a cab. "I guess I missed the opera," Doug smirks. Mark says that Linda will understand, and gives Doug his coat. "Grab a bite?" Mark suggests. Doug accepts.
Doug and Mark push open the doors into the ambulance bay. A woman's voice off-screen calls, "There he is!" Immediately Doug and Mark are surrounded by reporters begging for "just a moment of [Doug's] time" and asking how it feels to be a hero. Doug is blinded by the lights, and finally, we get a crane shot in which Mark and Doug are crushed on all sides by cameras and journalists, unable just to end their day in peace.
And speaking of ending in peace...that'll just about do it for me. As much as I have enjoyed recapping ER, I realized over the summer that between editing and posting half the recaps on the site, writing half the content over at Fametracker, and also (I hope) embarking on some entirely new projects this fall -- [cough] book [cough] -- something had to give, and I just will not have time to write the ER recaps, at least for the foreseeable future. Thank you all for reading the past season and a half of poorly fact-checked, lazily medically researched, and obscenely long recaps, and for being so smart and funny and well-behaved on the forums.