ER
Kisangani

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Kisangani

A man brings in his son, who suffers from trouble urinating, a fever, and a cough. "He's about sixty years too young for an enlarged prostate," Carter muses. They lie the patient onto a table as Carter goes to work trying to diagnose him. Carter mutters things about urinary tract infections and full bladders, while Gillian calmly lifts the boy's body three times a certain way. "Tripod and head-drop signs," she tells Carter. "Sorry...?" Carter bumbles. Gillian explains that those are tests they use to determine polio, because they can't perform a spinal tap. "He has polio?" Carter gasps. The father hears and Frenches, "Polio?" Gillian gives him a rueful "Oui," while Carter helps them lift the boy back into his father's arms. The dad gives an anguished sigh and then shoots a really long glare at Carter, as if the crazy new American boy brought polio over with him from the States. Carter just sort of looks at him in Stunned Look #3.5: Not Quite As Stunned As Last Time, But Still Fairly Stunned. Gillian complements this with Empathy Expression #2: Poor Sap Doesn't Know What He's Gotten Into Here, But He'll Learn, And He'll Probably Become A New Man Because Of This And Go Home With Fresh Determination To Fix All His Problems With Work And The Woman He Left Behind.

At the cafeteria, Carter eats cold mush, the likes of which Miss Hannigan might serve on a good day. Gillian saunters over in her tight tank top and scrub pants and sits down beside him, lighting a cigarette sexily, but strangely not flirtatiously. "How's the jet lag?" she asks. "Terrible," Carter yawns. He asks if carcinogens are her only meal for the day. "I've had the food before," she smirks. "It lacks a little something," he says diplomatically. "Taste," she cracks. "Besides, I'm on a liquid diet, consumed entirely after dark." She sucks on her cigarette to convey that there are other things she consumes after dark, if you know what I mean, and I think you do. I'm referring to male genitalia, if you follow me. Specifically, penises, if you get the gist. Gillian exposits that she's from Montreal and serves time in Congo for a month a year. "My penance, I suppose," she shrugs. "Penance for what?" Carter asks. "My wanton ways back in the world," she says in a half-kidding way, with what she imagines is a charming grin. People have come down pretty hard on Gillian for being a slut, and TPTB definitely gave her some lines to that effect, but I'm guessing she's not such a bad person -- maybe she drinks a lot and smokes, like Abby, but I don't think she's a ho, and I certainly don't think that reaching out to men when you're in a scary and shocking situation like this automatically makes you a tramp. I think it makes you human. I know I'd want something warm to cuddle at night if I had to deal with death all day. I mean, all I do is recap this show, and it makes me desperate for a warm body.

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