Episode Report Card
Heathen: F | 1 USERS: A+

Susan watches from outside the room. She is the Angel of Doom. She can smell an act-out a mile away, and the stench of this one reeks worse than the entire three-year run of Roswell. The good people from Clorox want to pimp something, so Susan clears her throat and picks up her walkie-talkie. "Tell the CDC we have our first casualty," she intones. We fade to black wondering if this was a parent-wide conspiracy, and if we children were right all along about the dangers of oatmeal.

Okay, that's the most manipulative midway point ever. I think my problem with it is that I'm totally not engaged in the story, so the ominous music and Susan's somber, overly dramatic line reading did absolutely nothing to chill my spine. My spine's so unchilled, it's actually in Tahiti getting a tan. I totally didn't care one way or the other whether the kid I'd never seen before lived or died. Shouldn't we have seen her come in "last Tuesday" and do something endearingly adorable before getting summarily dismissed as a flu patient? Then maybe I'd care. Ordinarily, I know the Patients of the Week just come and go, but when you're pegging a season-ender on this kid, it might've been nice to make it a kid in whom we're invested. I wish this show would sack up and just randomly decide to kill off one of its own, for no reason other than to shake up the show and freshen its chemistry. I'm kind of tired of comings and goings being dictated by discontent actors and expired contracts, and other exits that are highly publicized and suck the show dry of all surprise. Be daring. Fire someone for no reason. This episode, and this halfway mark, would've resonated a lot more if the show had the balls to (a) kill off a major or secondary character without it being a highly publicized exit; (b) have a major character at least present with the oatmeal pustules; or (c) write character-driven season finales instead of this horribly contrived disaster crap. ["I will say this, though: this is the kind of episode that makes me miss recapping ER -- lots of crazy disaster crap that's fun to mock, and very little boring story-arc stuff." -- Wing Chun]

Carter's miffed. He just lost a patient, he was second-guessed in front of Robin, and he's yet to see anything from Abby's lingerie drawer. In short, his boyish boxer-briefs are in a right wad. He storms out of ex-Bree's room, followed by Pratt. "What are you doing?" Carter seethes. "I thought I was helping," Pratt retorts. "You're not. When I call code, that's it," Carter states. "End of discussion." Pratt rails at Carter for overlooking the option of administering high-dose epi. Carter is still stuck on the eschewal of authority in front of the mother of the patient being treated -- yet another argument against letting family watch trauma cases being treated. I'm not sure in what universe that's a good idea. Perhaps some bizarro universe, where brussel sprouts taste like rum and new Cascade with sheeting action actually makes your dishes less clear and sparkly. Pratt swears his idea was worth a shot. "You're wrong," Carter shouts. "Now you'll never know!" spits Pratt. Carter rails that high-dose epi does not, in fact, pump up circulation or improve the chance of survival. "If you'd read the literature, you'd know this," Carter sneers. "Or you could teach me," Pratt practically pleads. This is total bullshit. Pratt doesn't want to be taught anything. Pratt just wants the credit for good calls and good excuses for the bad calls. Carter rails that he doesn't have time to stop what he's doing and patiently explain things to Pratt, despite the fact that this is a teaching hospital. I guess it's a fine line. Although Carter should be teaching, the middle of a severe crisis -- with a weeping, moaning mother bear growling at the foot of the bed -- is not the time to stop and quiz Pratt on what will and won't work. Nor is it the time for Pratt to shout out theories. He should watch and learn, and ask questions later about why certain paths would or would not have helped. Dumb-ass. "I don't have time, Pratt, to stop and explain things," yells Carter. "So I'm supposed to read your mind?" Pratt wonders. "No, you're supposed to shut up and follow my lead!" Carter rants. "Then LEAD!" shouts an exasperated Pratt. This scene is so obviously an attempt to make us root for Pratt even a tiny bit, but the net effect is that it makes both Pratt and Carter hard to tolerate. ["Although at least there is precedent for Carter sucking ass as a teacher." -- Wing Chun]

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