Carter is on the phone in the lounge, explaining to whomever that he's stuck at the hospital and needs a notary to come to him. As he hangs up, Chen enters and apologizes for stranding him -- what, did she pick him up from home so her could come with her and her father? I'm confused -- and promising to give him a lift home. He laughs that he already made arrangements to get a notary to come to County, and shrugs that he'll just kill time there until his shift. He's picking out themes for the nursery, and asks Chen to pick her favorite: jungle, aquatics, or the circus. Unless Carter wants his child to grow up a twisted head case, I suggest he stay away from anything involving the clown, that nefarious lower order of humankind. "If you had a baby, which..." Carter begins, and then sees Chen's wounded eyes. "I like the jungle," she says softly. Carter is grateful for his flirtation with yoga, because it's enabled him to get half his leg in his mouth here without popping a joint. "It's okay, don't worry about it," Chen insists with a sad smile. "You know, sometimes I forget, myself. Actually, I think that's when I feel worse -- when I realize I haven't thought about him in a week or so." She distantly, ruefully, notes that once her father dies, she'll be totally alone in the world. Carter is sad. Oh, gross, and also smug. What is wrong with him? Did the wind change once during a scene, freezing his features in that cat-ate-the-canary arrangement? Chen shakes her head no and bites her lip. "Maybe you should," Carter says. That's easy to say when you're not the one who has to deal with potentially uneasy adoptive parents. "Maybe I should've kept him," counters Chen. "He is three years old now." She looks awed, proud, and distraught at the same time. It's actually the first nice scene I feel like I've seen from Ming-Na in a while -- Chen's been such an ice block lately, it's nice to remember that she has a human side. I think this was my favorite part of the whole episode, for continuity and character reasons in addition to her lovely acting.
Abby's therapy group consists of the usual TV loons: one who gently threatens suicide, one who speaks Klingon, one who is paranoid about bad smells, one who can't smell after his accident ("No one 'accidentally' puts his head in a paint mixer," sniffs one woman), and one argumentative guy in heavy eyeliner who snipes at everyone. Abby seems out of her league, as Big Ears listens as only he can. Abby stands up to get some coffee by the mirror, and you can tell she wants nothing more than to give up that it's a spy mirror by gesturing wildly at her supervisor for some tips. But when none of the patients listens to her and all start yelling, Abby casually lights a cigarette and takes a satisfied drag. This somehow freaks all of them out for different reasons, and they quiet and all offer, in turn, pleas for her to stop. Even cranky old Eyeliner has a sob story about smoking. Having unified the group, Abby drops the cigarette to her right side and chirps, "Now that we've all agreed on something, let's talk about personal goals." We cut away, and I can't for the life of me figure out where she put that stupid cigarette. There doesn't seem to be an ashtray; I think it might be in her coffee. God, I hope she forgets and takes a swig. All this show needs now, after The Great Ball-Handling Brouhaha Of Half-An-Hour Ago, is a grandiose spit-take.