Inside the elevator, Pratt genially asks when Abby and Neela started their rotation. "Five minutes ago," Abby says. Pratt babbles about how awesome the NICU is -- full of umbilical cords and chest tubes and wee little procedures. Sam cocks her eyebrows and twitches as if to add, "And dying babies, which don't make for much fucking fun, because I'm low on Dead Infant jokes." No, wait, that was me who said that. Once they reach the NICU floor, Pratt and Sam stay behind and wave Neela, Abby, and Matt out of the elevator with their patient. "You're gonna love it!" Pratt gushes loudly. Then, to Sam: "Let's get out of here." Sam growls, "I hate the NICU." Pratt finishes, "Those guys are screwed." We smash into the credits wondering why TPTB decided that the best way to sell an entire hour about the NICU would be to lead off with a bunch of comments about how crappy it is there. It's like saying, "American cars suck llama! Wanna rent one?"
"Day One, 8:45 AM." We're in the NICU, presumably filled with babies presumably created in the image of the most deadly and nefarious villain, the cause of all accidents and fatal problems: Rex the Wonder Preemie. A prissy med student is leading Abby through the NICU, giving her the bullet on various patients. "Who names their kid 'Humphrey'?" Abby snarks. This pisses off Miss Priss, who doesn't much care for humor, and from the look on her face seems to hope one of the bullets she's giving will embed itself somewhere terminal in Abby's intestines. She puts Abby in her place by rattling off some confusing jargon that leaves Abby sputtering.
Neela is getting all of Lester's patients. But none of his patience: she had hoped to get flow charts and index cards to keep track of each baby, whereas Lester preferred to file all his information informally in his brain, and this wigs out control-freak Neela to the point where she's a half-second from cracking open Lester's skull and raping it of the relevant portions. Lester shrugs that his final patient doesn't need any paperwork -- he's a vegetable, because Rex the Wonder Preemie decided he wanted a nice crisp salad. The kid's mother is hoping for a miracle, even after two months and $2 million in medical bills. Holy shit, that's an expensive salad. Neela looks over at the kid's incubator, or whatever it is -- I don't know what they're called, so I'm going with that -- and sees a prayer group keeping vigil. "They're here every day," Lester says. "He's a paperweight. There's nothing to do."