But for Gamma, it's just begun. As she lies inside what looks like one of those CAT-scan tubes, Carter is advised against sending her for orthopedic surgery. The doctor spits out the encouraging statistic that one third of elderly patients going in for this type of surgery end up dying within a year from post-op complications. This news clearly terrifies Carter, who's worse than a Mama's boy -- he's a Gam-mama's boy, and he can't bear to live his rich family lifestyle without her there to pay the bills. Suddenly, machines beep wildly, signaling a massive spike in Gamma's heart rate. Carter realizes that she's panicking, and rushes in there to calm her as the machine slowly ejects. "Call your grandfather to come pick me up," Gamma says, her voice quavering. "I want to go home." Carter stares at her, floored. "Grandpa's not here," Carter hisses patiently. "Get him!" snaps Gamma. "Grandpa's dead," he counters, a bit more harshly, but only because he's having an impossible time digesting all of this trauma. Gamma looks lost and lonely, utterly confused and a trifle scared. This totally chokes me. There's something about seeing old people cry and act helpless -- it tugs shamelessly at my heartstrings. During Brooks's last scenes in The Shawshank Redemption, I weep with abandon. ["Oh my god, me too. 'I don't like it here. I don't think I'm going to stay'? I lose it every time." -- Wing Chun] And don't get me started on the actress who plays Jim Lovell's mother in the otherwise saccharine Apollo 13. I know better, but she's so cute and sweet and proud and clueless...God, I have to stop. It's too much. Carter reminds his disoriented grandmother that she's hospitalized with a broken hip. "Oh, yes, of course," she recalls. "I hit a dog. I hit a dog! He was in the middle of the street." It dawns on Carter that his problems here are way larger than he expected. They're Andre the Giant, bottled up in script form.
Abby sips a steaming cup of coffee outside the ER, watching curiously as Luka puts Neecole in a cab and sadly watches it drive away. Abby pretends she doesn't want to stare right at Neecole and do the "I told you so" dance. Carefully, she approaches Luka and asks if Neecole is okay. "Not really," he answers absently. "Is that baby okay?" Abby presses. "Yeah," Luka says. Lordy, is NBC paying him by the word? Abby rambles about how incredible Mark's great Joeysicle save was, how it was a total miracle that Mark ever manages to save anyone's life. I might have over-extrapolated a bit there. Luka is totally unresponsive. "You all right?" Abby finally asks. "What is it?" Luka finally musters the words, "She's pregnant." Sitting glumly on a stoop, he groans and rubs his eyes helplessly. "I see," she chokes, struggling to remain calm. "Is that why she was stealing?" Luka shakes his head. "That's a habit," he explains. "She doesn't know how to trust people." Oh, oh, OH, Luka, you hot but ignorant clod! What does her trusting people have to do with pocketing all their belongings, thereby violating their trust instead? Has Luka always been this stupid? I'm also really bothered by the fact that Luka didn't get to confront Neecole on-screen. I'd care so much more about his side of the story if we'd gotten to see the shock in his eyes when Neecole pulled the wool over them and stuck him with what's probably someone else's baby. It's not like Goran doesn't have fans, and can't act. Talk about trust -- no one at ER is trusting him with any material. Anyway, Abby at least agrees with me that Luka is missing the point entirely. "Her father kicked her out when she was sixteen," Luka says. "She's had to learn to live on her own." Abby winces. "Her father?" she asks, momentarily baffled before slowly figuring out that Neecole's very adept at duping people. She watches Luka cradle his head in his own hands, and listens sadly to his insistence that he only ever meant to help her. "I didn't think I'd be with her," he whispers. "It just happened." Yes, these things do -- I frequently find myself pregnant by guys who just stroll around naked, trip over a power cord and end up having wild sex with me totally unintentionally. It's a hazardous world. And why the hell didn't we ever get to see Luka fall prey to this girl? He's so clearly just a pawn in Abby's storyline, rather than being a full-fledged character with a plot of his own. It's sad that no one gave us a window into this facet of the Neecole/Luka relationship, and I'm not just saying that because I missed out on seeing Goran tear off his shirt. Well, that might be part of it. But, man, rather than retread some hackneyed Carter Has Back Pain story, someone should at least try throwing Luka a bone. Back to the baby scandal. Abby snorts, "You sure it's yours? Or that she's really pregnant?" Luka insists that Neecole isn't that type of person, countering, "You don't know her." Abby groans, "Do you?" I definitely think Abby is obliged to tell Luka about Neecole's lies, relative to her father's non-demise; granted, Luka needs to digest the pregnancy news a bit before finding out his French waif is a dirty liar, but if Abby waits another full week, she'll end up watching him get hopelessly entangled with this girl and Luka will end up resenting her even more for keeping silent. So although I think it's totally unrealistic that Abby was so restrained as to stay quiet, I don't entirely object to it, as long as she sets him straight eventually -- or goes to Neecole and threatens to blow the whistle unless the wench does it first.