Next Of Kin

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Next Of Kin

...and toward the front desk. Carter meets up with Dr. Susan "Patient Killer" Lewis en route, and they marvel that Timmy was being launched onto his noggin and he still didn't want to rat out Jimmy. It's a stirring tale of sibling loyalty brought on by repeated blunt-force trauma to the head. The oldest story. Susan asks when Abby's due back from her vacation. "She's back," he says. "Is everything okay?" Susan asks. "Yeah, other than needing a vacation from her vacation," Carter sighs. Susan makes a nasty crack to the effect that being stuck on a train with her family would make her jump in front of it, and as payback for her being an idiot, Jerry appears and tells Susan that she's got to cover Weaver's shift. "That's the second time this week," Susan whines. "And it's only Tuesday!" chirps Jerry. Dr. Jing-Mei "Deb" Chen wonders if Kerry is moonlighting, or just slacking. "'Getting involved with labor negotiations' is what I heard," Carter shares. "Something like that," Susan says under her breath. Chen laments that this means they won't be going salsa dancing later. "Losing all your party pals?" Carter asks. Chen poutily rests her elbows on the desk. "Between work and boyfriends, nobody seems to have time for fun any more," she frets. True, but Chen? Riding the P-train won't change that, so stay off it.

A woman interrupts from the waiting area. "Are you doctors?" she asks. White coats? Stethoscopes? Nah, they're hookers. Carter waves her off to triage, so the woman stands there for a second, paralyzed by fear and possibly regret at having chosen to wear that tweedy hat. "I just can't," she sobs, bolting. Honey, it's okay. You can take off the hat. Chen looks over to see that the woman left a dark red duffel bag on the ground. "Should we look or call Security?" she asks boredly. Then the bag starts to cry. Loudly. Ladies and gents, I think we just met Delinquent Mother of the Week #2. Carter and Chen bolt toward it. Surprise! It's a baby. Carter runs outside to find the mother, but he can't. We hit the credits hoping that this week's delinquent mother theme isn't going to yield an appearance by Carter's own mother, because I'm already kind of chilly.

Abby drags Eric and Maggie through his new treatment center as a man describes the daily eight-hour therapy regimen. He's all proud of it. You can tell by the way he says "recreational therapy," as if he's just waiting for the psychiatric community to get wind of his revolutionary spin on Pin the Mania on the Donkey. Maggie tries to be polite, but can barely hide her skepticism; Eric flat-out doesn't hide his. Dr. Demento starts detailing his four-pronged approach to recovery -- therapy, structure, social interaction, and medicine -- and Eric winces mightily. He doesn't like being pronged. Abby pointedly makes sure that the good doctor dispenses the meds himself. "Absolutely," he avers. Eric shrinks a little more at the sight of patients' lockers for personal belongings and his mention of hot lunches and occasional cultural field trips. "What about recess?" Eric sasses. "No swings? No monkey bars? No slides? Not even a merry-go-round?" Abby scolds him, so Maggie grabs his elbow and takes him away to talk to some of the other patients. "Oh, the Bipolar Show and Tell?" Eric nods mock-agreeably. Tom Everett Scott's done a great job in the past two episodes. His line readings are funny, and he's looking adorable. Abby and Dr. Demento watch him go, the latter's smile indicating that he's seen it all before and he's pronged it into submission. Abby cuts to the chase and asks if Eric will be kept on anti-psychotics because he's had delusional thoughts along with his mania. Dr. Demento assures her that he'll decide that after he's spoken with Eric and seen his medical history. "I don't know how much cooperation you'll get, but I can tell you anything you need to know," she insists. Dr. Demento gazes at her serenely. "It would be more helpful coming from the patient," he says, basically telling her to piss off. Abby rolls her eyes. She is so freaking eager to drug up her brother.

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