ER
Midnight

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Midnight

Previously: Neela worried that something more was wrong with Fry Cook, but Pratt figured he was fine. Steve showed up at the hospital and got introduced to Luka. He separately, defiantly, told Sam he might not skip off this time. Carter's father Stephen Keaton was dismissive and disapproving of Kem.

We begin the episode with Carter using a paint roller to put sample colors up on the living-room wall. He's chosen sunshine yellow, a burnt orange, a gray, and some others, none of which really say "Carter" to me, but that might be because when I think "Carter," I think either "pasty white" or "red," because those are the two alternating shades of his ever-expanding jowls. Kem is unwrapping gifts, one of which is a book from Elizabeth entitled The American Way Of Birth. Kem reads the title, confused. Carter snickers that it argues that the shift from home births and midwives to hospital births is because American OB/GYNs are greedy SOBs. This coming from a surgeon, who will slice and dice before she prescribes leeches, and isn't exactly raking in minimum wage. It's a very...odd...present. Also, Elizabeth wasn't complaining so much when she gave birth at County, although if memory serves, she was being a right royal beeyotch for other reasons. Those being, her loveless marriage and dilating vagina. Carter kicks back on the couch while Kem flips through the book and yammers that Americans are neurotic and technology-reliant. Thanks, Kem. It's really easy to be judgmental about that when you're in good health. Talk to me after a CAT scan has saved your life. I'd rather pay for a regular mammogram that turns up clean than ignore my breasts and possibly lose one. "With all your money and equipment, your infant mortality rate is still terrible," Kem judges. "You'd rather be in Kivo giving birth on a concrete floor?" Carter asks, amused. That Carter. He's so good for international relations -- really busting through those pesky stereotypes about Africa.

Carter wants to talk about the paint colors, because perhaps even Carter is tired of Kem being preachy. "Why don't we ask George?" he suggests. Kem balks at the name, so Carter gets on his knees and practically shouts right up the birth canal at the Cartus. Dude, don't do that -- you're going to scare it into hibernation. "Would you rather be born on a filthy, dirty floor in a primitive mud hut in Central Africa," Carter begins -- at which Kem gasps, mock-appalled, "I do not live in a mud hut" -- "or in a modern hospital surrounded by the finest doctors and equipment in the world?" Carter finishes. He orders Cartus to kick once for the U.S. and twice for the mud hut, again displaying an impressive sensitivity toward the African nation that allegedly changed his life and morphed the downy fuzz on his chest into sturdy man-vines. Kem and Carter giggle and joke as they curl up on the couch, his hand still pressed to her belly, waiting for the Cartus to wind up and deliver a kick.

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