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Quo Vadis?

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Quo Vadis?

Dr. Luka "Sperm Bank" Kovac and our spry pal Gallant hold court in Trauma Green, examining a woman who took a bullet to the temple at close range. "Who shot her?" Gallant asks. "Does it matter?" barks an entering Benton. He's clearly rushed, and he's annoyed that Luka hasn't already started a course of medication. "I'm still assessing her," protests Luka. He's trying to walk Gallant through some basic procedures. "Why don't you treat the patient first?" Benton snaps, coldly enough to freeze Luka in his tracks. The woman's brain stem seems dead, and her blink reflex is inactive. Just as Peter rattles off a list of meds, Dr. Elizabeth "Storm? What Storm?" Corday bursts in to take command of the procedure. Benton reams her for making him stay twenty minutes past his time, and orders someone to call neurosurgery immediately if the woman's head CT shows anything fixable. That sort of sounds obvious, doesn't it? "What's the rush?" asks Elizabeth, interested. "I have to be somewhere…you're late and I have to get the hell outta here." The Credits Of Old Pictures That Don't Mean The Show Is As Good As It Used To Be practically gobble up his frosty exit.

Elizabeth, Luka, and Gallant quietly poke and prod the gunshot victim. The room is much more relaxed without Benton, and in fact, Gallant goes so far as to ask if the older doctor is ever in a good mood. He doesn't realize that he's hit upon the eternal question. "He has his moments," Elizabeth smirks gently. The patient, blood crusting along the side of her face, doesn't blink during a check-up, and the doctors look resigned to the fact that she's brain-dead. She's only twenty-nine. Chuny whips out a driver's license, holds it right up to her face, and notes that the dying woman is an organ donor.

Outside Trauma Green, Luka asks the woman's husband, Old Man Pruitt, if the hospital can be of assistance in contacting any other family members. I prefer using first names, so we'll call this couple Ray and Donna in honor of 90210, because it's Christmas, and Ray Pruit(t) owned a Christmas-tree lot with his trashy mother and his sensitive guitar. Elizabeth exits the trauma room to offer condolences to Ray, who chokes out Very Touching Stuff about how they were going to drive to Minnesota, and this trauma has ruined both her hair and their vacation. Sympathetically, Elizabeth explains that the bullet pierced Donna's brain stem, and surgery can't repair that; in addition, she isn't able to breathe on her own, so the odds of her surviving are very slim. "Her medical exam is consistent with brain death," Corday concludes. Ray blathers about how his child bride was sleeping peacefully when he saw her last. Elizabeth takes a deep breath and segues into the organ donation issue, admitting that it's a tough time to discuss this, but Donna did fill out the card in her wallet and that's something they must consider. "Yeah, I guess…it's what she wanted to…can I see her?" Ray chokes, kneading his hair. They consent.

Mark yells for Elizabeth to help him in Trauma Yellow. Fifteen-year-old Rudy Escalona, a boxing hopeful, suffered an LOC from an apparent blunt head trauma -- as in, some hard punches. Rudy's a cute kid. He isn't answering their questions, but he's awake; Papa Escalona shouts out that Rudy is in good shape and doesn't have any real medical problems. "I hit him, man," slurs Rudy, his eyeballs flickering wildly. "I hit him good." The reactive pupils seem like a good sign. Mark asks him what year it is, but Rudy's too whacked out to reply, drooling that nobody thought he could do what he apparently did. Papa Escalona begs his son to answer the questions, so Mark shoots Haleh a "get him out of here" look. Smoothly, Haleh guides the man into the hallway so he can get cracking on the paperwork. Elizabeth notes that Rudy has a clear airway and a soft abdomen, in addition to those delightful bee-stung lips just begging to be smooched, or painted with MAC Spice, or turned into a brooch. Under their breath, Mark and Elizabeth establish that, because she's off by six, she can check Rachel's homework. "She needs help with trinomials," Mark informs his wife. Elizabeth cracks that she failed algebra. "It's that, or the Revolutionary War," Mark offers. "I'll stick with math," she says quickly. Yeah! Because you lost that war, woman! Except so did my dad, so there will be no more gloating.

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