Props to Glark for writing the recaplet, and to Sars for inviting us to Thanksgiving dinner with her folks, for putting up with our flatulent asses for a whole week, and for taping this episode at the Sars Family Seat while I slumbered upstairs. I got a migraine. Is that a triptophan side effect?
Previously on ER: Sally Field showed up and freaked out; Weaver divined that Sally was bipolar, and Abby confirmed that she had been since Abby was a kid; Weaver brought Kim down for a consult, and Sally told Kim that she didn't need a psychiatrist; an Australian dude told Elizabeth he didn't want back surgery, so she told him she recommended an outpatient procedure instead; that procedure went awry when Elizabeth went out of town; Benton's nephew was brought into the ER, with gunshot wounds, and Benton couldn't save him; Jackie let out a primal scream that still sends chills up my spine. Oh, and Sars did a stellar job pinch-hitting for me, but after one week with the Capeside whiners, I am so glad to be back here. ["Right back atcha, babe. And, JANE! STOP THIS CRAZY THING!" -- Sars]
Fade up on the living room at Jackie's house, where Peter "Grand" Benton is simultaneously singing and signing "The Wheels on the Bus" with Reese, who's having a blast. Jackie -- in a bathrobe and slippers and with her head covered with a long and straggly red scarf -- shambles into the room, crosses her arms, and tries to fade into the wallpaper. After a moment, Benton notices her and greets her with a hearty, "Hey!" She flatly says she'll go make breakfast, but he stops her and says he'll do it, suggesting that she go back to sleep. She wearily tells him that "there's no point." He offers to write her a prescription to help her sleep, but she drones, "No, no, no, no." "Walt still asleep?" asks Benton. Yeah, asleep in Johnnie Cochran's bed, last I checked. Okay, seriously, Ving Rhames is obviously too big a star to come back to the show now; if they couldn't get him back to do a guest shot when his fictional son is violently killed, clearly, he's never coming back. Why not give Walt a job in Milwaukee or something and stop with all this "he's asleep" foolishness? Oh, Jackie brought her son to the hospital. Where's Walt? Uh, parking the car. Jackie and Benton are at the funeral. Where's Walt? He's standing behind that tree, but he's here. I mean, really. The viewers are not stupid. Either bring back Rhames, or write Walt out of the show, please. Anyway, Benton tells Jackie that he was planning to come home early from the hospital and help her with dinner. She says she thought he was going to Finch's, and he diffidently replies, "I don't have to." Without meeting his eye, she tells him that she isn't planning a big dinner, and that he should "please go." Benton tells Jackie that he'd rather be with her (and Walt, who I'm guessing would spend most of the meal out in the driveway, working on the car), and she braces herself against the countertop, with her back to him, and repeats, her voice breaking, "Please. Go." He takes a step toward her and touches her shoulder, gathering her into his arms as thunder crashes outside. Nice job by both actors there.