Carter sidles up to Abby, vaguely entertained by Luka's display of crotch rocketry. "You off?" he asks. "Not until 10," she sighs. "This way, I'm never home when my neighbor is." Carter is surprised Brian's still out on bail, and Abby exposits that it's just until Brian's trial ends and he goes to prison, at which time he'll be behind bars and she'll regain a modicum of normalcy. The Jinx Fairy sadly puts away the tequila and puts on her gut-kicking boots. Carter awkwardly inquires about Joyce -- who is safe -- and then gently asks about Abby's well-being, lightly touching her bruised eye. It's a very sweet gesture, caring instead of clinical. Abby appears to combine a flinch with a blush. Strange, but I don't think I imagined it. They must be loading up on Carter/Abby/Luka moments to refresh our memories about the old triangle. "I think my Good Samaritan days are over," she observes. Carter credits her for saving Joyce's life, then carefully tries to make sure she's not suffering post-traumatic stress. Abby cottons to it and excuses herself, but with silent appreciation of his concern; Carter offers to buy her coffee and pie if she needs to talk. Briefly, I'd like to bitch again about how we've officially gotten screwed out of both Luka and Carter's reactions to finding out that Abby, a once and maybe future object of their affections, got the tar beaten out of her. To me, that's this story's payoff -- seeing what this does to change this stale non-triangle, and seeing these people in the moment instead of joining them afterwards. Argh. And, ugh.
Mark spaces out at a coffee stand near the hospital. He's crowding the front right side of the shot, and my God, are these people intending to make him look hideous? It's the worst shot of him since the infamous Head vs. Towel Dispenser bout a few weeks back. Susan scampers over on her way home and says something really dumb that's supposed to be chatty and perky. "I'm a little slow getting started today," Mark apologizes weakly. He offhandedly breaks the news that the tumor's back, and this time, it's pissed off. Susan's all, "That blows," as if Mark just told her he saw a penny, picked it up, and all day long he had bad luck. At least act like your character cares, Sherry. Mark tiredly explains that he's going under the Gamma knife. "How's Elizabeth taking it?" Susan asks. Mark drops the bomb: she doesn't know yet. Susan's appalled, but more because Mark's being the jolly loner and even trying to pull off a day of work, rather than reaching out. "I'll see her this afternoon," he says evasively. Susan promises to stop by after his 1:30 surgery to make sure he's feeling okay. He resists; she insists. Dr. Michael "I Am So Great! I Am So Great! Everybody Loves Me, I Am So Great!" Gallant interrupts to unload some work on to Mark, so Susan dashes home to sleep in a real bed.