Props to Sars, who spent New Year's hanging around Wing Manor like a good smell, and to Glark, who did me the courtesy of chuckling as I yelled my ER jokes at him during this episode. At last, an episode that inspires me to yell out jokes, instead of one that makes me want to slit my wrists, like the last two did.
Previously on ER, Mark had a seizure; he found out he had an apparently inoperable brain tumour; Dr. Non-McGrath told him that, no, in fact, it was operable; Wing Chun didn't particularly enjoy getting teased like Tiffany's bangs.
With the screen still dark once the "Piece of Mind" title has faded away, a man with a very grating Midwestern accent road-rages at another driver not to "pull out," and follows up this stern admonition with the epithet "dumb-ass." Fade in, and we see that the driver with the brutal accent is Jim "Non-Dead, Unwired" Belushi. He turns to the passenger seat -- totally taking his eyes off the road, mind -- to yell, "I asked you a question." Cut to the passenger, who is...oh, hello, CuteDean. CuteDean -- who is just as cute in fake Chicago as he is in fake Connecticut -- mumbles, "I just don't want to play anymore." K-9 brays that he doesn't enjoy getting up at 5:30 in the morning, either (and I'm thinking CuteDean isn't talking about giving up playing the French horn, if those are the hours he's keeping; it's got to be hockey, because Chicago's a bit nippy for CuteDean to be on a rowing crew, and that's about the only other sport I know where boys have to get up that early to practise). Plus, then About Last Night... mentions cold arenas and his "frozen butt" (and I will thank you not to require me to imagine your butt again, Belushi), which kind of gives it away. Unless CuteDean is a figure skater. Or a speed skater. Or a ringette player. Or maybe he curls. I'm done now, because we all know they're talking about hockey. CuteDean points out that he's "not going to make the NHL." "Not with that attitude!" squeals The Principal. CuteDean shoots him the Arched Brow of Dropping the Chalupa. Mr. Destiny rhetorically asks CuteDean whether he wants to spend the rest of his life working in a factory, as he does, and CuteDean pouts that he doesn't. Meanwhile I'm thinking that CuteDean really has more of a swimmer's build, and that it's too bad his character is not, in fact, a swimmer in this episode -- or on Gilmore Girls and...where was I? Oh yeah -- blah blah blah blue-collar first-kid-to-have-a-shot-at-collegecakes. Curly Sue exposits that if CuteDean attends college, it'll have to be on a scholarship, and that, with his grades, it would have to be an athletic scholarship. CuteDean posits that he might get better grades if he weren't playing hockey all the time. Wild Palms has no response to that. Every time Traces of Red addresses CuteDean, by the way, he stares straight at him -- and doesn't seem to be driving all that slowly, either. CuteDean reaches over to turn up the radio and turns away from the camera, both to stare out the passenger-side window and to give all of us at home a good look at his perfectly sculpted cheek and jaw. Presently, the camera cuts to a truck coming toward Gang Related's little SUV. CuteDean hears the horn and turns back in time to see the truck on its collision course, screaming, "DAD!" Then, from a few feet back, we see the big truck completely plow into the SUV, embedding its grille into the SUV's driver-side door, and propelling it at least thirty feet...sideways. Dude. I just hope CuteDean doesn't land on his face.