The Patient'sPOVCam is such a stupid affectation. I seem to recall watching an episode of SCTV about twenty years ago that punctured that particular filmic trope. And yet, here it is again, just in case we didn't get that, in this episode, Dan is standing in for us viewers, what with our lack of familiarity with medical jargon, our insignificant little unglamorous lives, and -- despite the complete normalcy with which we are burdened every day -- the compelling stories that can still arise out of our own crushing banality. Yay! We are special, too! And K-9...I mean, "Dan" -- he speaks for me!
Look, it's like I am the one lying on the gurney in the rig, as Dr. Dave stares down and asks me whether I passed out! Oh, thanks for asking -- I did. It was a side effect of having this anvil land on my chest and pin me to my office floor. But I'm feeling much better, now. Dan "Surrogate" Harris doesn't know whether he passed out since everything happened so fast. Dr. Dave asks whether he's experiencing any more pain, and Dan says that he was struck in the chest by the air bag in the SUV. Dr. Dave calls for more morphine, and then we can tell we're at the hospital, because we can hear the voice of John "Pilly Joel" Carter at the door of the rig, expositing that he didn't know Dr. Dave was doing a ride-along. Dr. Dave blah blah residency requirement blah procrastinationcakes. Cut to DanCam as they yank him out of the rig; Carter chuckles that he always thought Dr. Dave would make a good paramedic. Hey, that's funny -- so did I, which is why I pointed Dave toward the set of Third Watch way back in my recap of last season's fourth episode. Dr. Dave gives Carter the bullet on Dan: the only salient piece of information is that Dr. Dave cleared Dan's neck on the ride over. Dan asks about CuteDean (as who wouldn't); Carter breezily says he thinks CuteDean was brought to County, and asks whether Dan is taking any medication (no), has any drug allergies (again, no), and whether he's had any previous medical complaints. Cleo"racle 9i Database" Finch leans into DanCam long enough to ask Carter, "Did Wells give you my paycheque?" "Yes," Carter confirms, handing it to her. "Thanks. Peace out," she replies, and takes off. Good goddamn riddance. Dan says he can't recall any recent medical complaints, and that the only surgery he's ever had was an appendectomy when he was four. Impatiently, he asks after CuteDean's whereabouts again, and is told that Weaver has CuteDean in Trauma Two. The gurney changes direction and we/Dan see/s Dr. Dave at the end of the bed; he's apparently stuck around to say...that...he's leaving. Wuh? Dan asks who Weaver is. No one replies.
By now, we've arrived in a trauma room; Dan looks completely terrified. Well, actually, with his chins all compressed and flattened, he looks more like a constipated Hutt. The various personnel cut off his clothes (whereupon Dan protests, "My wife just bought those pants," and I confess, "pluck" went my heartstring [tm Niki], a little...shut up, I don't want to have to terminate myself permanently!) and shine lights in his face. Carter orders tests. Dan says that the last time he was in a hospital was when his wife had their son. They asks the name of his family doctor, and he tells them, as they pour some (apparently cold) orange goop on his chest and get ready to cut. Dan asks what they're doing, and Carter explains that they're putting in a chest tube. Dan marvels that he had a collapsed lung. They ask who they should notify, and Dan gives the name of his wife, Debra, and the school where she works. Okay, the straight-on overhead shot of Jim Belushi flat on his back is not flattering. It makes his head look really, really wide. Like, Goodman wide. From the next room, we can faintly hear Weaver's voice, as the door swings open and Abby "Lisa" Lockhart ambles in, asking for a Foley kit. Dan turns his head toward the door and sees CuteDean on the table in the next room; immediately, he starts calling CuteDean's name again, and begs someone to hold the door open so that he may talk to his son. CuteDean's head is still immobilized, so he can't turn to look at Dan, but he calls, "Dad? Is that you?" Dan smiles as reassuringly as one can when both one and one's progeny are both lying flat on their backs in adjacent emergency-room beds, and tells CuteDean everything's going to be all right. Even as they stick in the chest tube, Dan keeps up the patter, joking that Debra will be angry when she learns that the SUV is totalled, and that Dan plans to tell her that CuteDean was driving. Dude, maybe CuteDean would have kept his eyes on the damn road, so whatever. Finch -- who has actually been here this whole time, but who cares -- gets called away from propping open the door (and Dan yells out some parting remarks to the effect of "don't be scared" and "be strong"), and Dan asks her whether CuteDean will be okay. Finch smiles and offers the non-response, "Looks like a tough kid." Dan squints that he is. Sexy, too. But Dan doesn't say that part. Well, one Dan I know does. Not the Dan on the show, though. A Dan that's not a big, fat factory worker. Speaking of which, in what universe would a CuteDean come from anywhere near the loins of a Jim Belushi? If you wanted to get an SNL alumnus for this part, maybe I could believe Christopher Guest.
In New York, Mark fills out papers in the posh waiting area and gives the hairy eyeball to a passerby using a walker. We now see that Mark has five Old Fisherman's Stickie Pads arranged in an upside-down "W" shape on his forehead. Look, NBC. For the last time. The. Olympics. Are. OVER. We've had to live with that stupid Olympic-rings bug in the corner of all your shows for over a year -- now you're actually arranging it on your stars' bald pates? Let it go! Elizabeth snaps him out of it by asking for his forms, and he asks her to sign one. She looks it over and exposits that it gives her power of attorney. "If something goes wrong..." he trails off. "'If something goes wrong,' what?" she asks, apparently not having heard The Tale of the Tragic Lesbians, and apparently not having ever watched while a medical procedure went awry during, you know, her career. Mark clarifies that, duh, if something goes wrong, he doesn't want there to be any heroic measures to revive him. (Word. Hey, is there a paper I can sign requesting that no run-of-the-mill, not-especially-heroic measures be used to sustain him, either? Like, a blood transfusion? Or, giving him water to drink? Or, any security measures at the hospital that would prevent, say, a grizzly bear from breaking into Mark's hospital room and eating him? Wait, that's not likely to happen -- it's just a dream I had.) Elizabeth -- and we can barely hear her because she's muffled by The Big, Down-Filled Sleeping Bag of Denial -- insists that he's going to be fine. Mark starts to point out that she's a surgeon, and she knows -- "-- that you're going to be fine," she concludes, handing him back the form without signing it. So...if something bad did happen, who would decide how to dispose of Mark? And I mean that literally. I understand the Hudson River works well in these situations. But seriously, both his parents are dead. He's divorced. His kid is a minor. Who else is there but Cleopatra, Queen of Denial? Elizabeth resolutely reads her magazine as Mark asks, "You don't want the responsibility?" "It's unnecessary," she sniffs. Okay, I know she's trying to be brave and optimistic and doesn't want to tempt fate, but she knows that it is necessary, so what the bloody hell?! Mark very seriously glances toward some poor bastard we can't see and says, "I don't want to end up like that." Elizabeth follows his gaze, pauses a moment, and then huffs, "Now you're being dramatic." No, he is being practical, and DAMN YOU for making me TAKE MARK'S SIDE! Mark and his Dr. Scholl's corn pads hiss, "If I end up in a persistent vegetative state..." "Fine," she snips, and signs the form. Geez, is he supposed to thank you? You're going to be his wife -- which is your funeral, anyway -- so suck it up and get ready to pull the plug, because if you don't want the job, I am next in line!
Back at County, Dan gazes sadly into the next trauma room. He's apparently stable, since they're sitting him up in bed. Lisa comes in with a form for him to sign, to consent to CuteDean's treatment. Dan asks what they're doing, and Lisa puts a bright face on things, saying that they just had to take Cute