Abby stops studying the wonders of her anal canal long enough to notice that Maggie isn't exactly thrilled with the Us Weekly approach to treating depression. "Do you think this is the right facility for him?" Maggie finally wonders. Abby groans. She hates it when people question her judgment, because it's always unimpeachable. Always. Except for her first husband, the secret abortion, the dye job, botching the Luka thing, treating Carter like horseshit...need I continue? Maggie's basically just alarmed at what they're making Eric do, and how they're at once simplifying and demeaning the disease. "Okay, the collages are stupid," Abby allows. "But that's only one part of the therapy." Maggie snorts that it would be mighty fine if Eric was ten. "Emotionally, he pretty much is," Abby shrugs. "No he's not," Maggie says, appalled, as well she should be. "Okay, fifteen," Abby says callously. What a bitch. He's not an illiterate half-wit. His brain hasn't suddenly dissolved just because he's bipolar. She's acting like it's the plague.
The non-argument continues outside. "I know how he feels," Maggie points out. "Like we're trying to take away his personality, the things he likes about himself." Abby counters that those very things are destroying him. Maggie suggests that letting Eric handle this independently, seeking his own therapy, taking a job, and trying to stay on his medication without supervision. Abby hates that idea. "You can't force medicine or therapy down his throat if he's not ready. It won't work," Maggie insists. "Oh, and you know what will?" Abby laughs hollowly. Um, yes. She's lived it. Why doesn't that matter to Abby? Maggie stops and fixes her daughter with a furious and hurt gaze. "Why do you do that? We're not talking about me. Why do you shove that in my face?" she asks. Abby answers that she hates the way Maggie tries to pretend she knows best. "Maybe this once, I do," Maggie spits. Abby says she's too unstable to get Eric through this. "I'm his mother," Maggie states. "Come on," groans Abby, snorting. "You've been in and out of hospitals for the past thirty years. You're not anybody's mother." Hey, gang, spike some hot chocolate for our new friend, Delinquent Mother of the Week #4. Maggie's lip curls in disgust. For a second, she doesn't move, and then she simply raises her head and walks curtly past Abby into the street. "Okay, wait," Abby calls after her, more irritated than contrite. If Abby's supposed to be the star of the new generation of ER, then the writers aren't doing their show any favors by dragging us into her family life in such a way that it makes us want to throttle her. At least when we're forced to endure Clan Carter, we feel sorry for him. A little. Until the butler shows up.