ER
One Can Only Hope

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Heathen: C- | Grade It Now!
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One Can Only Hope

"I'll be right there," Abby says to Chen, turning back to Eric first. Apparently, Jody works at the base's bookstore. "She's smart, funny...when she's not throwing up," Eric notes. Sweet that he pretends that funny shrimp isn't the only amusing thing to burst forth from Jody's lips, but I think we all know he's full of it. Abby draws out that Jody's almost twenty-one. "She's trying to be a writer and hasn't been discovered yet and she's good," Eric babbles with the air of a man who's never read a word from his girlfriend's pen because he's really only worried about how she handles his. "And you can afford a plane?" Abby asks. Eric reminds her that he's renting it. He's trying way too hard to be blasé. Abby worries that he doesn't have enough dosh to afford all this; Eric changes the subject and asks if this is a bad time. Abby insists it isn't, but dashes off into Trauma Yellow...

...where she encounters Dix, Lizzie, Chen, and Malik. "I want the American doctor," Dix barks. "Chen is the American doctor," Lizzie says coldly. As they prep a chest tube, Erin bursts in, panicking that she's lost Sarah. "Me love you long time," sing-songs Dix to Chen, who glares a fourth bullet right up his nostril. "Careful -- she's the one with the big needle," Elizabeth snarks. Abby waves off Erin irritatedly, saying they can't very well stop treating Dix to help her find a lost patient. Chen's in with the needle; Dix's pulse returns. "Niiiice needle," Lizzie says. Ew. Nathan interrupts, in need of Lizzie's help elsewhere; she leaves as Chen wonders whether they can crack Dix's chest just for sport.

A haggard, wheezing girl is struggling for life in Trauma Green. Dr. John "Love 'Em And They Leave Me" Carter is treating her with Haleh. Apparently, the girl, Alison, fell down at a crosswalk. As Nathan observes, Elizabeth deduces from Alison's scars that she's had lung-volume reduction surgery and a liver transplant. Then, Carter makes them shut up so he can listen for a sound in her breathing; whatever it is, it's "so faint," according to Lizzie, but my closed-captions aren't working and so I can't decipher the medical hoo-ha pouring forth from Carter Fountain. Oops. Elizabeth pauses and reprimands Nathan for going over her head to Romano with his concerns. "I've told you my concerns," he says plainly. She wants him to go through the proper channels. "I'll certainly try," he says, again in a flat tone.

Back to Alison, who reminds us of her presence by breathing like Darth Vader. Carter asks if she's got emphysema; she doesn't. She's got a genetic condition called alpha-one trypsin deficiency, and fortunately, Elizabeth makes Nathan give us all the bullet on this one: it's a condition that basically leads to cirrhosis of the liver and erosion of the lung surface, so Alison has the lungs of an eighty-year-old smoker. Elizabeth glances pointedly at Nathan, so that he'll finish the diagnosis. Taking a deep breath, Nathan intones, "She's drowning in her own mucus." Tasty. Carter wants to tube her, but Alison frantically waves that off. Nathan suggests a pressure mask, and Carter and Haleh shoot each other "that guest-star's got moxie" looks as they acknowledge that this might just be crazy enough to work. "Good call," Elizabeth says curtly.

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