Susan, in one of the trauma rooms, huddles over a twelve-year-old kid who fell from a ladder while hanging Christmas lights on his house. Where is Stan? Are we done with him already? Dang. I wanted to learn about life and love and dumpster-diving. Carter enters with the kid's parents in tow. The mother, played by Lea Salonga, exposits that her son Ben smacked against a bike on the way down, but notes that he's waking up. Enter Benton, who gets the bullet; Carter adds that Ben might have a liver or spleen laceration. Benton would prefer to "control the pain," which is med-speak for "drug him up but good." Mostly, he prefers not to remove the spleen unless absolutely necessary. And the liver, Benton? What of the liver? The LIVER? Guess he's ruled that out. Lea freaks at the word "remove." You should see her when she has to take off her nail polish. Carter calmly says that Ben can live without a spleen. Seriously, nobody knows what a spleen does, so why would anyone think the spleen is important? Lea and her husband launch into a whole bit that's supposed to be endearing, in which they fret about whether she can donate hers, and if not, whether one of the visiting extended family might have a matching spleen to sacrifice. "Sir, we don't transplant spleens," Benton says, almost serenely. And for some reason, that's my favorite line of the entire episode. Carter moves to escort the panicked parents to the waiting room; Lea offers to give blood to her son, but faints before she can say anything else.
Carter examines Lea elsewhere; she claims she's never fainted before, then waves merrily at the enormous gaggle of people clogging the waiting room. Each person is part of her family -- cousins, siblings, nieces, nephews. She puts on a happy face. Benton approaches to share that Ben's blood count is stable, and that his first CT shows only minor injuries. Lea blahs about her son's upcoming band concert, during which time Carter feels her neck and finds a swollen lymph node. "I know I'm sick," she confesses, sharing that she has lymphoma. Carter and Benton both look taken aback, doing a very poor job indeed of hiding the fact that lovely Lea's a total goner. She brightens and looks at her family. "Don't tell them, though," she begs. "There will be plenty of time to talk after Christmas." It feels like TPTB are setting us up for more on her story in a later episode, although if they're just going to kill off Lea without letting her sing, that will blow mightily. Roma beeps Benton, and Carter waves him away, promising to call another surgeon.