Props to Kim, whose visit this past weekend was part of the reason this recap is going up when it is (the other part being the usual laziness), and to Sars and Djb, who'll be making another of my recaps late in just a couple of short weeks.
Previously on ER: the Sidelined Surfer made Elizabeth uncomfortable; Carter confessed to Weaver about stealing a patient's Vicodin and throwing the pills up before they had any effect; Mark told Luka he'd be back to work soon, and Wing Chun groaned in contempt; Elizabeth freaked out in the middle of an operation; and Weaver brokered peace between herself and Legaspi.
Shower. Even before we see her, I know this scene is going to feature Kerry "d. lang" Weaver, and I'm right: there she is, after a slow pan, standing under the shower stream. For some reason, the camera stops just at the small of her back, and the title ("Surrender") is placed beside her instead of in the centre of the screen, as it usually is. Anyway. Pan back up and over to Weaver's face; she's thoughtfully and slowly touching her fingers to her lips. After a moment she smiles to herself. We hear the bathroom door open, and Weaver starts as if caught doing something illicit. We hear the voice of Kim "Mitchell" Legaspi as she tells Weaver she's going to put a clean towel in the sink for her. Weaver grins and calls, "Okay, thank you!" Yay! Weaver got some! Mitchell asks what time Weaver's shift starts; Weaver says she's on at nine, and Mitchell lets out a silvery laugh and tells her she should hurry, before offering coffee, which Weaver accepts. Mitchell walks out, and Weaver sticks her head under the water. For no reason, we get a slightly too long shot of her face, close-up and centred in the middle of the screen, as she brushes the water off her face. Are we supposed to think that the sound of Mitchell's voice brought Weaver back to herself, and that she realizes what she's done and is trying to cleanse herself of it? Or were they just slightly under their hour this week? Whatever.
Mitchell prepares a bagel in her kitchen as Weaver crutches in. I see that Mitchell and I have the same curved Ikea corner shelf, though Mitchell's is, for some reason, painted gold. But, look -- just because she has the same shelf I do doesn't mean I'm gay, okay? Anyway, Mitchell glances up and tells Weaver that Mitchell's blouse looks good on Weaver. She fails to add that it would look even better on her bedroom floor. Weaver awkwardly asks whether it isn't too long, and Mitchell assures her that it's not. She fails to add that there's no such thing as "too long," if you know what I mean, and I think you do. Awkward pause as Mitchell pours a cup of coffee and then comments that it's a good thing she has a forty-gallon water heater. Weaver's all, "Huh?" and Mitchell observes that Weaver takes long showers. ["Did anyone else have a flashback to Laura Innes as Sheryl Fleck on My So-Called Life, when she caught Graham's brother phoning up his ex and said, 'It's my fault. I take really short showers'? Okay, going to get a life now." -- Sars] Weaver apologizes breathlessly, and Mitchell tells her it's okay -- that she does, too, and that she sometimes has to "stand under there for twenty minutes, just to wake up. When it's cold. Especially in winter." She totally fails to add that they should save time, next time, by showering together. They gaze at each other fondly for a second, and then Weaver shakes it off and, in a strangled voice, asks whether it's cold outside, crutching over to her coat. "Low twenties do you want a bagel?" Mitchell blurts, too fast. Weaver, not meeting Mitchell's eye as she puts on her coat, says she'll get something at work. Weaver seems to be struggling a bit with her cane, and Mitchell hurries over, with Weaver's coffee in an insulated mug, asking if Weaver's okay. Weaver says she's fine, and Mitchell clarifies, "No, I meant, about us. First time can be a little --" Weaver replies, "No, it's just...just different." "That's true," says Mitchell seriously, and then smiles. Weaver adds, "But good." "Really?" asks Mitchell, sounding relieved. Weaver says, "Yeah." Mitchell gives Weaver The Look, and says she'll see her at work. "Yeah," Weaver replies. Mitchell kind of holds out her hand, awkwardly, waiting to put it somewhere on Weaver when they kiss, I guess, and they sort of move toward each other like they're going to kiss, but Weaver -- though she closes her eyes -- moves her face away at the last second. Mitchell ends up with her right hand on Weaver's cheek, and her forehead kind of pressed against Weaver's. Anyway, they don't connect, is what I'm saying. Weaver makes to leave, and then comes back to murmur, "Um, I'm sorry, but I know this is understood, but I just...this is just going to be between us, right?" Mitchell raises her eyebrows and then replies, "Of course." Weaver looks somewhat regretful, but like she can't think what else to say. She makes to go, and Mitchell hurries after to get the door for her. On the porch, as the door swings closed behind her, Weaver catches her breath, looking terrified.
At County, Peter "Blaxploitation" Benton is dressed for surgery and giving instructions to a nurse, who's trailing him. Robert "Rocket" Romano rolls up, calling out that he gave the procedure in question to a "Henderson." He calls Benton to follow him for a "little chore." Benton protests that he's "a little busy," but Romano insists that he follow, and then leads the witness, asking how the "per-diem" situation is working out. Benton diffidently replies that it "could be better." Romano asks whether a $10,000-a-year raise and a limited benefit package would help. Benton grunts, "What?" Romano immediately offers $20,000, but insists that his final offer, and adds that Benton will have to take on some administrative duties, as well. I assume Romano is in the process of forcing Elizabeth out of her job. Benton wisely intuits that there has to be some catch, and asks what's in it for Romano if Benton does accept the position. Romano pauses for a beat, and then makes to take his ball and go home, stomping off and pouting at Benton to "go back to surgery." Benton drawls that he's "just asking." Romano screeches, "Do you want the bump, or don't you?" Benton considers for a second, and says that he does. Romano asks, "So, we have a deal?" Benton agrees that they do, and they shake on it. The camera focuses on their hands; as Benton tries to let go the handshake, Romano hangs on and drags Benton along the hall and into...