ER
I'll Be Home For Christmas

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I'll Be Home For Christmas

The incision is made. Benton and Susan work the rib spreader. "Oh God," the mother chokes, grossed out. There's a very juicy noise signifying the tearing of gooey flesh, and then we get a really graphic shot of the gaping hole they're making in Teddy's chest. Have you ever wanted to see a chest ripped open? Yeah, me neither. It's disgusting. Susan guesses there's two liters of blood swimming around in there, so they suck it out. "Page Romano NOW," Benton yells.

Romano reports immediately to the OR, not having figured out the joys of leaving your pager in the bathroom. "Who the hell takes a gun to a six-year-old?" he grumbles, disgusted at the carelessness. Benton works quickly but carefully to find the bullet. "Are we really going to go through the motions here?" Romano snaps. Jerk. A Hero doesn't let innocent children die without putting up a hell of a fight -- especially not if cameras are rolling. Peter extracts a fragment of the slug, which confounds Shirley. "It looks weird," she observes. Romano peeks at it and identifies it as a shard of the Black Talon fragmenting bullet. Shirley, awestruck, compares it to an explosion of razor blades inside Teddy. "Sort of the point," mutters Romano. Elizabeth appears, ready to scrub in and help. "She's gonna love being brought in on this," Romano groans, before noting that Teddy has bullet fragments in all four chambers and possibly in the great vessels as well. He thinks Teddy is toast, with a damn lot of red jam spread on top.

"What do we have here?" Elizabeth asks, brightly. "An organ donor," Romano retorts. It's weird to hear him not care a whit about helping the patient. He tries to talk Peter out of wasting time on a lost cause, figuring they have other surgeries lined up and waiting to get in the door. Benton informs him that he fixed defects in the left ventricle and right hilium, and gets angry when Romano continues to be flip about it. "Either you're going to help me, or get the hell out of here," Benton bellows. Romano throws a blue fit and storms out. "Elizabeth, we can do this, all right?" Benton says, half reassuring, half pleading.

Mark finds Teddy's agonized mother and tries to comfort her. You know, I really don't want look at him or recap this scene, so I'm not going to bother. Mark puts on his sympathy face, and I can't stomach it. And you aren't missing a damn thing.

Shirley wipes sweat beads from Benton's forehead. Elizabeth is pleased to discover that Teddy's stool hasn't clogged up the abdominal cavity, which she considers a positive sign. I'd have to agree; sometimes, I repeat that in front of the mirror as part of my morning affirmations. Peter finishes with the SMV -- which I assume is part of Teddy's heart, and not a new all-terrain Toyota -- and stitches it up with Elizabeth's help. There's a really graphic innards shot that's so clear, it looks clipped from a Discovery Channel surgery special. And there's a reason I don't watch Discovery Channel surgery specials. The first time I watched this, my hands were over my eyes. The docs yank out the catheter and "throw in a good knot" to tie up that hole. Benton urgently roots for Teddy's body to bounce back. Innards shot #2. I refuse to look at it on Pause, but from what I gather during one very quick peek, the vein in question puffed right up in a healthy way, and the internal bleeding stopped. "Look at that," Elizabeth gawks. "That's incredible! How the hell did you do that?" Benton grins that it's his damn farewell episode, so he knew all along the boy wasn't going to die. Elizabeth offers to close up while Benton delivers the good news to Teddy's mother. Content, Benton tears off his scrubs and thanks Elizabeth for her help. "Peter, that was truly remarkable," she praises. "A little going-away present," he smirks. Emotionally, Elizabeth avers that County General will miss Benton terribly. "Wish I could say the same," he metas. "It wasn't all that bad," Elizabeth protests teasingly. Benton pauses, considering her. "We had our moments," he grins, winking, then spinning out of the OR. Elizabeth looks floored again, then shakes it off and returns to the matter at hand. She wasn't paying attention to Shirley, so...does anyone remember the Angel of Death? I'm just saying. How funny would it be if, in the next episode, an infection kills off Benton's Last Surgical Miracle? Except for the needless waste of life, it'd be kind of a knee-slapper. It was great to see Elizabeth and Peter's old sparks again, too. It reminds me just what a giant bucket of water Mark really is.

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