After the break (ten pages and I'm only halfway through this? Kill me), Carter returns to his seat having -- thank god -- shaved off his chin pubes. Seatmate tells him he looks good, and recommends that he choose the fish. Carter says he's not hungry. A stern-looking flight attendant stands beside their row and says, "Excuse me, Dr. Carter? Were you smoking in the lavatory?" Carter pauses, apparently considering whether to lie, and finally smiles and admits, "Yes." The flight attendant snips, "Then you're in violation of federal law, punishable by a two-thousand-dollar fine and imprisonment." Carter smirks. The flight attendant continues, "Do I need to have the marshals meet us at the gate?" Carter promises that it won't happen again. She demands the butt, which he sheepishly surrenders. Carter continues grinning moronically. "Doctor, huh?" snorts Seatmate. The scene cuts before Seatmate can start asking Carter for free advice regarding his erectile dysfunction.
Mrs. Palmieri sleeps stretched out in chairs. Mark wakes her up and tells her that the blow to Mike's chest caused some internal bleeding around his heart. Mrs. Palmieri says that sounds serious, and Mark allows that it can be, but that at the moment there's only a small amount of bleeding, so they need to operate to drain the blood before it restricts function. "Open-heart surgery?" Mark assures her that it isn't -- that they go through the upper abdomen with a very small incision. He hands her the consent for the procedure. She wipes her nose and says, "You just need the one signature, right? I couldn't find his father if I wanted to." I'm not really sure what that non-sequitur was in aid of. If Mike'd had a strong male presence growing up, he wouldn't feel the need to endanger his life playing football? Or that he'd be better at it? Or that Mike's dad left Mrs. Palmieri in search of the real Lesley Ann Warren? Call it.
Romano comes showboating into the ER to ask what the "big emergency" is. In the ER? Oh, there aren't any. Mark says that he didn't page Romano, and Weaver comes crutching out from around the desk and says that she did. Romano kvetches at her not to page him if she leaves messages with his assistant. Weaver's like, whatever, we have a real crisis down here. Romano drawls, "And...?" Weaver pushes open a door to a curtain area completely filled with bags of garbage, and snaps, "And it's become a health hazard! If somebody calls the County, we'll be fined!" Romano leans on her: "But 'someone' isn't going to call the County, is she?" Weaver tells him that Housekeeping is refusing to clean the sheets or towels, and that Weaver needs the nurses to do...you know, actual nursing tasks. Romano buck-up-little-campers her to "troubleshoot -- it's called being a manager," but Weaver stops him cold: "You need to end this strike, Robert." He's all, you find me the half million dollars it'll take to meet their demands, and Weaver is all, I hate you little man, and Romano dismisses her by chiding Benton, in his leather jacket, about "keeping bankers' hours." Benton mutters, "I've been on since five." Romano invites Benton to walk with him Benton starts to say he has to go pick up Carter, and Romano explains that they're going to go finish the interview. Benton asks about Elizabeth, and Romano sniffs, "I let her sit in to make her feel important, but it's my decision." Romano says he doesn't question Benton's skills, but his loyalty. Benton says that his loyalty is to his patients. Romano -- stopping at the men's room door and pushing it open with his ass -- appropriately enough says that Benton has a real propensity for being a pain in said ass. Well, if that isn't the teeny little pot calling the kettle black, I don't know what is. Anyway, as Romano enters the men's room, Benton waits outside; Romano sticks his head back out and snorts, "I'm not going to jump you, you homophobe." Please. Romano wishes.