Props to Sars, to Nicole, and to John Cullum, whose performance has made this increasingly annoying show bearable these past few months.
Anti-props to CTV, which co-airs ER in Canada, and faked me out last night by not showing ER at all and letting Celebrity goddamn cocksucking Millionaire run long. As a result, I missed the very first scene of the show, which my esteemed colleague Sars will fill in for me.
["David 'Holling' Greene calls Mark 'Kojak' Greene into the living room; he's cold. Mark puts a blanket over him and comments that Holling needs more oxygen. The customary intergenerational bickering; then Holling expresses the desire for a Bloody Mary. Word to that, Holling. Holling remembers that Ruth used to make Bloodies for him. Mark doesn't think that's a good idea, but Holling gives him a level stare and asks if Mark thinks a Bloody Mary would kill him. Mark returns the level stare, then asks if Holling wants Worcestershire sauce in his Bloody. Holling says no. Back to you, Wing Chun." -- Sars] Thanks, dude.
In his room at Gamma's, "Stone Cold" John Carter works his arms with free weights, which he clicks together with each rep. Gamma knocks, and enters, asking what the racket is, and he explains that he's trying to get back into shape. She asks how he slept. "Like a baby," he says. She asks if he wants toast and coffee for breakfast, and he pauses and replies, "I feel like pancakes today." Me too! She pretty much says, "Coming right up," and leaves. Gamma, I know you love your Dr. John, but really, I'd rather see you doing something more interesting than re-creating the role of Flo from Alice.
In the lounge, Carol "Ma Whiner" Hathaway opens her locker and prepares to put her coat in it as Luka "Shell" Kovac enters behind her. Keeping one arm behind his back, he wishes her a good morning, then asks if everything's all right: "I only got your answering machine the past few days." She apologizes, explaining that "it's been crazy," and that Tess has a bad cold, the kitchen's being repainted, and they've been staying at Carol's mom's. Dude, one story is an excuse; three is a lie -- and an obvious one. As she talks, she fusses with her coat and bag and studiously avoids eye contact, proving that she more than Carter really needs a psych consult. Luka skips neatly over her roadblock of excuses, whips his arm out from behind his back, and proffers a bouquet of fresh flowers, wishing her a "happy birthday." For a long moment, she regards the bouquet as if it were a bear trap, and then takes it, apprehensively marvelling, "Luka, they're beautiful." "I picked them from my garden," he explains, which only seems to alarm her more, so he goes on, "From my neighbour's garden, actually." In a zombie-fied Nurses of the Corn voice, she asks, "How did you know it was my birthday?" "I have my ways," he says seriously, and then smiles, looking rather pleased with himself. Carol's reaction is a continuing blank stare. He starts to move in for a kiss, and she sort of keeps her chin down but then looks like she's recovered her senses -- which is to say, she starts to move toward him, too -- until Conni comes in and Carol and Luka spring apart. Conni calls Luka to help with an incoming GSW, and he says, "See you later," and books. "'Kay," Carol squeaks, and then as soon as his back is turned, throws back her head and sighs loudly. Oh, POOR CAROL. What a burden it must be to be you, with one gorgeous doctor on the west coast pining for you, and another even MORE gorgeous doctor acting like a puppy at your feet. How do you find the strength to get up in the morning? Lake Michigan is not capacious enough to contain the tears I've cried for you. Truly, you are a hero for our time -- nay, for all time.