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The Advocate

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The Advocate

In his office, as he closes the door, Bright cracks to Kerry that he should put her on the gay marriage case. Kerry freezes, as if she can't figure out what he's heard or how he heard it or how she can pretend it's not true or blame it on Abby. But Bright clarifies that he simply meant she's a problem-solver. "I can't tell you how much I appreciate that," he says. "That's why I hate to implore you for another personal favor." Kerry blanches as Bright explains, in the most gooey and genial manner, that he's in love with one of his staffers but he doesn't want word getting out about this, so he wants Weaver to treat his lover with the same discretion she afforded him. Weaver tries to get Bright to send "her" to a free clinic and more or less asks if the syphilis has infected "her." The alderman expertly executes The Dance of the Pronouns to avoid confirming or denying his lover's gender. "It's just a shot of penicillin, right?" he points out. Weaver gulps and shakes her head, pointing out that giving treatment without generating a medical record is malpractice. "But you've done it before," he says. Weaver uncomfortably pleads that she could lose her license, so with all due respect, she won't be putting anything into his lover's ass. Bright gets all calm and kind, gushing that of course he understands and he shouldn't have asked, and it's all okay -- which is behavioral code for "Blackmail is sexy, and no, I'm not talking about Gallant."

Weaver turns to leave. "Congratulations again," Bright says too pleasantly. "You did some real good today, Kerry." Then he pauses. "Of course, there's no guarantees for next year's budget at your hospital." Kerry freezes. "What?" she whispers. Bright cheerfully mentions that they're voting that afternoon on whether to eliminate emergency services at County. Weaver can't believe he's acting like some kind of gangster, like the head of the Syphilis Mafia. She doesn't even have balls, yet he's still got her nuts in a vise. "I need you, Kerry," he intones. She stares at him, suddenly very aware that he's her puppetmaster and that puppets are unbelievably creepy-looking, and we smash into the credits.

On a rainy morning, Carter and Gamma ride together in her limo. He's staring out the window, quiet and standoffish. "Is your jalopy still in the shop?" she tweaks him. "It's a Jeep," he whines. Gamma's like, whatever, Jalopy Boy, and switches the subject to his lack of interest in breakfast. "I don't like to eat much before a shift," he says. "All that blood and guts, you know." Gamma shudders. "Don't remind me," she grunts. There's a pause, after which she gingerly asks what his secret agenda is. Carter shrugs that he was just checking up on her, and that he'd really missed having servants cut the crusts off his bread and shine his shoes and chew his food for him. Then, he reaches into his coat pocket and pulls out the ring box, handing it to Gamma. I knew it! I knew she was the only woman he'd ever truly love. "I wanted to give this back to you. For the time being," he says softly, clarifying that he never actually proposed because it felt rushed. "What did she do?" Gamma asks. "Nothing. She doesn't even know," Carter says. "I don't think she knows. Maybe she knows, I don't know." Gamma expresses sorrow. "I thought you'd be relieved," Carter sasses. "I thought you didn't...care for her." Gamma sighs that she's done with trying to force Carter into doing what she wants. "You're past having me badger you about your choices," she decides. Note that she never actually says she likes Abby, or that she isn't relieved the proposal didn't happen. Very smooth, Gamma. She hands back the ring and tells Carter he can give it -- or not give it -- to whomever he likes. Carter sighs, because in truth he wanted Ed Asner to have it, and he hasn't yet found another grifter with a dirty clinic and a gruff but lovable demeanor.

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