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Kisangani

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Kisangani

Later, when things have calmed down, Carter and Charles wait in the van for Luka to remove his tongue from Gillian's mouth. This takes a while. Carter and Charles even take the time to swap a glance, like, "Do you think their braces got locked together?" Finally, they separate. Luka rubs her cheek affectionately, but Gillian pouts and storms off, ripping her hand from hers. She climbs into the van while Carter stands near the door, gazing awkwardly at Luka, the dirtiest and most foul incarnation of the species (sex on legs). "What should I tell Weaver?" Carter asks. "Whatever you want," Luka shrugs, surprised that it even came up, because seriously, what the hell is Carter even doing thinking about Weaver at a time like this? "Ah, death, civil unrest -- God, how I miss that crutch." Carter kicks at the ground and asks if he can at least tell Weaver that Luka will be returning. Luka's all, Eh, whatever, feh. Carter nods his acceptance and then grins, "Don't do anything stupid." Luka's face splits, his smile is so wide. "Like what?" he asks. "Like get yourself killed," Carter says, hopping into the truck.

Gillian, sobbing, waves through the back window at Luka, who watches the truck go with something resembling sadness and acceptance. Then he shrugs it off and goes back inside, where he immediately warms up and sits down next to the amputee, a happy expression on his face. He asks the little girl if her mother knows how lucky she is to have such a beautiful daughter. "Yes. She is my treasure," the mother Frenches. Luka exhales, and we back out of the modest room and see that the father is still cradling his whooping-cough-afflicted son. Luka has finally found something that makes him feel like a doctor again.

In the car, Gillian lays her head in Carter's lap and weeps, pained to leave the one thing that made her feel human amid all this. Carter absently pats her head.

We dissolve into a cleaner Carter back in Chicago. A cab drops him off, and he lets himself into a pitch-black apartment. We don't see that it belongs to Abby "Out Of Africa" Lockhart until Carter's in her bedroom. She is sound asleep with the drapes open, so that the moon can light her face attractively. That Abby's so clever. She knows lighting schemes. Carter strokes her cheek gently, and then bends down and kisses her head. Still she doesn't stir. Is she passed out? I would have woken up at the sound of the doorknob, but maybe that's because I'm a paranoid freak.

Exhaling, Carter gently sits down at the foot of Abby's bed. And that's it. Will he stand up? Will Luka stand up? Will everyone spend next season perched on a mattress? Who can say. I don't care that much that there isn't a cliffhanger, but I do care that the ending hasn't given me any reason to look forward to Season Ten. This didn't feel like a season finale. In a way, it felt like a series finale -- Luka found his calling, and Carter realized that no fight he can have with Abby can compare to what he's seen in Africa. Everyone's entering a new phase. End the show! Or, you know, add three more seasons. Whatever.

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