Abby sneaks a smoke outside, taking great pains to peek around the side of the parked ambulance to check for prying eyes, somehow forgetting that she's standing in front of a sliding-glass door. When she hears muffled sobs, she does a quick double-take and realizes it's Neecole sniffling away in secret. Abby sneaks away, wrestles at length with her conscience and her basic dislike for the girl, and then finally figures her conscience should take one for the team because the devil on her shoulder already made Neecole sponge-bath a puke-encrusted man. Her mind made up, Abby tentatively grimaces while approaching Neecole, uncomfortable with her surge of goodwill and wondering whether her time might be more enjoyably spent stapling her tongue to her own small intestine. "You on a break?" Abby blurts before she can turn back. "No," Neecole sobs prettily. Abby offers to fetch her some soothing coffee. "No, thanks," Neecole blubbers, refusing to turn and face Abby. Rolling her eyes, Abby figures she'll let Neecole swing at one more pitch before she ends the inning. "Want to talk?" she asks, hating herself even before she utters the words. Neecole wants to know whether David's going to die. "No, not today," Abby says, praising Neecole's and Gallant's timing. "Try not to let it upset you too much. Everyone once in a while, some freak comes in and tries to off himself in the hospital. I wish they would just do it at home." So naturally, Neecole reveals that her father did it at home, and her eight-year-old self found his hanging body. "He lost another job. I found him in the kitchen," she weeps. "I was too little to do anything." Abby scratches her esophagus with her big-toe nail. "God, I'm sorry," she sputters. "Does Luka know this?" Neecole ruefully replies, "No, I never told him," as though they've had some long-lasting relationship built around the lie that her father didn't commit suicide. Except we all think she's lying about the hanging, since it's a trifle too convenient. I think she relishes making Abby feel stupid, in a well-hidden and conniving way. "I don't think I can do this," Neecole cries. "It's not always this bad," Abby says soothingly. "We've all cried. Sometimes, it's the only thing you can do." I liked Abby in that scene. It sucks that she's been so gloomy lately, but her helplessly immature attitude toward Neecole cracks me up, and her last line got to me.
Elizabeth hunts down Mark and excitedly tells him she's finally found the common link between all her post-op infection mortalities. Mark scans the paperwork she hands him. "Babcock?" he asks. Elizabeth glows with her triumphant revelation, noting that she only missed the link because he subbed for a few people. Wouldn't this have come out during a CDC and/or criminal probe? Why, after all these weeks, has this research-and-discovery operation been left for Elizabeth to perform herself? Sounds a bit shoddy to me. Mark doesn't even act surprised about the news, just calmly states that it sure sounds like Babcock's headed for a date with Carmen from Infection Control. God, he's devoid of spark. Has Anthony Edwards been sleepwalking this whole season? Idiotically, Elizabeth wonders why Babcock didn't step forward once he found out Elizabeth was being investigated. Sheesh. Would you? Doubt that very much; I don't have her pegged as an altruist. Frank steps in to awaken Mark and inform him that Rachel's school is on the phone to tell him that she's being suspended and sent home. "For what?" Mark asks, incredulous. "I don't know. I really don't think it's any of my business," Frank insists. The Greenes protest that it must all be a misunderstanding. "It's probably drug-related," suggests Frank helpfully. No, Frank, not yet. That's called "blowing the wad." Mark flees to collect his hairy hell-spawn.