ER
No Strings Attached

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No Strings Attached

Okay, so if I were your regular recapper, I would have known to set my TiVo to start early, but it slipped my feeble and rusty mind that NBC always starts this show a minute or two early in order to suck additional advertising dollars out of its pale, bloodless corpse. So whatever happened in the first minute or two, you will have to figure out for yourself. I'm sure it wasn't crucial. There might have been bleeding, or atmospheric snow to convey loneliness, but that's about it.

TiVo kicks in as Kerry and Carter help wheel a car-accident victim down the hallway, and Kerry asks if she has any medical problems. When the girl gives a noncommittal gurgle and horks up a few tablespoons of blood, Abby says, "That's a 'yes.'" Which sounds like a good zinger until you actually think about it for ten seconds, because obviously Weaver meant "other than the blood pouring from your head," so it's not exactly an effective burn. Nice try, though.

Next down the chute is Chen, riding the gurney with the next victim as Haleh bags her. I swear to God, nothing about that sentence is dirty. The accompanying paramedic, meanwhile, is oozing exposition from the mouth as he explains that all these mangled adolescents were hit by a car outside their school. Run down by a classmate -- a difficult way to go.

Dark-Haired Accident Victim is thumped down on her backboard in a trauma room as Chen, Haleh, and Pratt work on her. Romano enters, and is assigned the especially unlikely and pointless remark that pedestrians who are hit by cars often emerge with injuries. Only he says it like kind of a prick, on account of the fact that he is one. He wants everybody to stop trying to save the doomed student, because her recovery is as likely as his winning a Hyundai on a game show, as he puts it. I wish I were making up the absolute lameness of the banter. Satisfied that he has uncorked the obligatory misanthropic one-liner and that the Steadicam operator is in place behind him, Romano enters the room where Weaver and Carter are working on the other victim. Carter calls her "Kayla," I believe. Man, if they're in high school, they were born in about 1987, and if she was born in 1987 and is named Kayla, she is named after a soap-opera character. Try to contain your contempt -- I know it won't be easy. SoapGirl allows Carter to suck a cup or so of blood from her mouth, and when Romano sees that she's scared, he gives her the utterly charming reassurance that he never lets anything happen to a "pretty girls like [her]." Ugly girls can go die, I suppose. And rightly so -- what good are ugly girls? I swear, if a doctor said anything that revolting to me -- even if I were sixteen -- I would spend the next hour memorizing everything that happened for use in my future lawsuit, in which I would take his house, his car, and his golf clubs. Prick. They poke at SoapGirl a bit, and then Romano tells her they have to operate on her "belly." That's all the information she needs, of course. No sense confusing a pretty girl with words like "stomach" or "intestines" or "spleen." She's lucky he didn't say "tum-tum."

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