Episode Report Card
Heathen: B | Grade It Now!

Next, we're treated to the intercutting of Abby and Jake with Neela getting her photo taken with the joyous Tsengs, as they prepare to take Dirk home. As Raab supervises, Abby swiftly and cleanly intubates. Mr. Tseng smiles to Neela that they're going to keep calling the baby "Dirk," because the name brought him luck. He thanks her, and then sharply calls for Mei Fan to follow him out. She lingers, so he grabs Dirk in an effort to hasten things. Mei Fan shoots a lingering glance at Inga and observes that it will be strange to leave. "It'll be great. You'll love having him home," Neela smiles. "I know you're right. Bye Neela," Mei Fan says pointedly. "See you tomorrow," Neela says, totally missing the fact that Inga's bleeding brain just got smashed by an abandonment anvil. Mei Fan looks back sadly one last time, and then leaves with her husband and Dirk.

Raab shrugs that they can't do much for Jake but wait to see if the medicine works. "I don't know if I can take another round of this," weeps Mrs. Kyle. Jake is like, "Lady? Stuff it. That's my song." Abby pats Mrs. Kyle on the shoulder as Kyle twitches to fight tears. My Bitch Pants wander out from the laundry pile and start snuggling up to my knees, as if to tempt me into employing their services in this relatively kind paragraph.

Neela and Abby are outside getting coffee, the former complaining that she needed a break from the claustrophobic NICU. "Did you eat anything?" Abby asks. Neela absently throws out her coffee and babbles that Raab is right -- she likes science and answers, and can't handle the uncertainty of the NICU. Like that's any less certain than regular medicine. Why she only having this problem now? "It gets easier," Abby promises. Neela frets that she'd planned to be in neonatology since she started, and that she's perplexed to find she doesn't love it. Then she shares that when she was three, her six-day-old brother died in the NICU, and she has no memories of him at all. "The NICU is so sad all the time. How can you stand it?" Neela wonders. Abby thinks for a second. "I don't know," she says. "When I was an OB nurse, the preemies freaked me out. I thought they looked like frogs. I was sure I was going to hate the NICU." But she doesn't, which she says is because it's as much about dealing with the parents as with the kids. "And as it turns out, tragic family dynamics are my specialty," Abby says wryly. Her pager interrupts the moment; there's a delivery.

Smash to Abby, Matt, and Neela entering the delivery room and finding Sandy Lopez there trying to expel a child from her womb. This show sucks. Surprises aren't worth anything if they come at the expense of character, and after going through Kerry's miscarriage and her heartbreak when Sandy refused to get pregnant, it would have meant a hell of a lot more if we'd seen even one tiny bit of dialogue between them that indicated Sandy might come around on the issue. Which forces me to ask: when did Weaver become so unimportant to the show? So tangential? Laura Innes deserves more than to be some jackhole's afterthought. And still she stands there, lovingly stroking Sandy's sweaty brow as their son makes his ER debut and doesn't have the sense to take stock of things and try to kayak right back up the birth canal.

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