Feeling particularly self-righteous about his duties, Frank complains to Benton that he really shouldn't be expected to take all his phone messages. Both Roger and Jackie called. This little triangle of ire fatigues Peter, so he decides to check on Willie's wee winkie. Near his room, Abby is consoling Whiny, telling her Willie will be ready to rumble in another week, but must be let down gently if she insists on dumping him. "I didn't want to hurt him," Whiny alleges. Benton orders her to march right up to him and confess her true intentions. "I backed over a guy's cat one time and I stayed two more weeks," Abby argues. "[This has] gotta be worth at least three." Ha. Benton doesn't want to deal with any of this crap, so he leaves in a huff. "I'm bad at relationships," squeaks Whiny. "I can never say what I feel." Abby nods. She knows whereof Whiny speaks. Her brain hamster jumps off the wheel, changes Abby's lightbulb, and starts running again just as a spark flickers in her eyes.
Elizabeth, angry as ever, enters Dr. Robert "Rah, Rah, Bitch Boom-Bah" Romano's office in mid-tirade, irate that he yanked her from surgery. She shuts up the minute she Edwin Bane of the Cook County Health Department. "So it's an investigation now?" she says quietly. The Bane of her Existence evasively compliments her awesome and baffling string of patient deaths. "Did something turn up in the cultures?" she asks, worried. No. And Carmen hasn't reported any problems with her technique, except perhaps for all the fire she breathes. "We're looking at other theories," Bane states. Elizabeth swears she'd have fixed the problem by now, if only she knew what it was. Bane announces that his next step will be a formal criminal inquiry, citing the fact that all four dead patients were elderly people in marginal health, and suggesting that at least one of them preferred euthanasia to surgery. Elizabeth denies this, but Bane cites Mrs. Tanzi from "Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magic." She insists they had a quality-of-life discussion, but never referenced pulling the plug, and resents his accusatory tone. Dryly, Bane notes Elizabeth wouldn't be the first wannabe Angel of Mercy, deliberately putting patients out of their misery and trying to cover her tracks. Frowning, Romano intercedes. He thought this was a fact-finding chat. "If there's something you want to tell us, you should tell us now," Bane intones dramatically. "Like what -- that I'm going around with a syringe full of bacteria and infecting these people on purpose?" she stammers, amazed. Bane's silence is very pointed. Frustrated, she turns to Romano, who waits a very uncomfortable beat before rising, slamming his hands on the desk, and booming, "All right, that's it." Bane warns Elizabeth to hire counsel, then leaves as requested. Her arms crossed, Elizabeth scowls helplessly at Romano, who shakes his head. I debated this with my roommate, and we both think Romano's timing seemed suspicious there, like he knew that meeting would end the way it did, but wanted to unnerve Elizabeth anyway -- and play the part of the supportive boss. His anger, basically, didn't seem organic so much as timed.
Eden scribbles away on a piece of paper. "Is that your dog?" Neecole asks gently, perched next to her in the waiting room. "Yeah, Speedy," she mourns. "He's lost." Abby approaches with a smile. "Did somebody order crayons?" she asks. Eden is a cute little thing, so I can only presume her mother will expire next week. Maybe Mark and Elizabeth can adopt her and fuck her up beyond repair. Abby politely, but without interest, asks whether Neecole has finished her shift. "I'm waiting for Luka," Neecole lilts. Silently, Abby turns to keep from unleashing her fangs in front of the French waif. Neecole decides to try worming her way into Abby's heart, slathering her in saccharine comments about how she deeply admires Abby for being a nurse. "I always wanted to be a nurse," she says dreamily. "At the hospital where my mother died, the nurses treated me like I was their daughter. They gave me ice cream and dolls to play with. They were like angels." As Neecole flags down a passing bridge salesman, Abby's expression bespeaks the cavities forming on her every tooth. Luka saves her from further mouth decay, approaching to ask whether anyone has seen Kirk. "I talked to him an hour ago," Neecole offers. It seems Kirk has disappeared. "You finished stitching his hand, right?" Neecole asks, a tinge of nervousness in her face. Luka explains that Adele, the social worker, was slated to see him afterward. "Maybe he didn't want to get that tube removed," Neecole suggests. Luka freezes. He never told Kirk he wanted to yank the catheter. Abby bites her tongue as Neecole swears semi-convincingly that she didn't mention anything about it to Kirk, and reassures Luka that Kirk will be fine. "He's on the street with a disease and no money," argues Luka, confirming that Neecole's opinion is worth about as much as a used tampon.