Big ups to Scrapper and KermitDFrog.
Previously on ER: Chen returns to the ER, and gets bitched out by Kerry for lying about a patient's medical condition; Bad-Heart Girl, a.k.a. "Valerie," thanks Lucy and says Lucy is a doctor as far as she's concerned; Corday brings a woman to see Rollins, then manipulates Rollins into telling her where he left the woman's sister's body by holding up a syringe full of enough morphine to kill him; Luka asks Carol how she's doing, and she confesses she's "exhausted"; Mark suggests that Holling move in with him in Chicago.
Mark "Get Set, Go" Greene looks groggily at his clock, which reads 5:50 in the morning, and jumps out of bed; the Weather Channel blares in the background. "Dad?" he calls out, coming into his living room to find David "Holling" Greene on the couch with a cup of coffee. "You're up early," Holling bellows over the TV, and says it might snow later. "Dad, it's a little loud," Mark says in an exasperated tone, and Holling suggests that Mark could put a door on his bedroom, which Mark says he doesn't want to do, and as the phone starts to ring, Holling offers to build him a door, and Mark asks him to turn "that thing" down and picks up the phone, and he apologizes to someone on the other end by saying, "My dad's visiting," while grabbing the remote out of Holling's hand and muting the TV. "Who the hell's calling at this hour?" Holling wants to know. "My neighbor, you woke her too," Mark says flatly, scratching his ear and heading into the kitchen. "The walls in this building are paper-thin," Holling grouses, adding, "By the way, we're out of coffee," just as Mark picks up the empty pot and clanks it back down, and he goes on to say that he could barely get a cup out of the "dibble-dabble" left himself. I love Holling -- specifically, I love Holling's accent, and the way he busts on Mark doesn't hurt either -- but Mark looks like he might kill his father. He says he'll just get dressed and go to work. "This early?" Holling asks. "This early," Mark mutters. Holling says he likes "that Weather Channel," which he never bothered watching in San Diego because it always said "clear and sunny, clear and sunny, chance of a cloud, mostly sunny." He fixes himself a bowl of cereal. Mark rolls his eyes and goes to get dressed. Heh.
Carol "One For My Babies, And One More For The Road" Hathaway bustles into the ER, looking apprehensive. Chuny welcomes her back and asks after the twins, and Carol says that "they're doing great," but she doesn't know how she'll do: "This is my first full day without them." Get out the binoculars, everyone, and you'll see this subplot heading east from Marin County right . . . about . . . now. Carol remarks hopefully that it seems quiet, but Amira disabuses her of that notion as a gurney goes past the desk. Chuny goes to meet it, and Carol says she'll follow Chuny in a second as Luka "Just Don't Argue Anymore" Kovac gets the bullet from Doris, who has a mondo sasso new haircut. The guy on the gurney, a trapeze artist in the circus, slipped off the platform during practice, but he caught his arm in the cable, and "that's what saved him," or so the two other Flying Wallendas following the gurney tell Luka. The team hoists the injured Wallenda onto a table, and Mark comes in and mock-introduces himself to Carol, adding, "You must be the new nurse." Carol laughs, "Hi, Mark," and Mark goes to wash his hands, but the spigot just sputters and coughs up a bit of spray; nobody knows anything about it, so Mark goes to deal with the plumbing. The Wallenda's pressure crashes. Luka calls out some orders, and Carol is a little slow on the uptake, and a little defensive about that, and Luka tells her, "It's okay if you're a little rusty," and Carol snaps over-cheerfully, "I'm fine, thank you," and Luka shoots her a look designed to give her guff, and have I mentioned that the man can really wear a safety goggle? Enter Robert "Little Big Mouth" Romano, who "didn't know the circus was in town," and Luka fills him in on the Wallenda's condition and asks Carol for something, and she gets defensive again, and Romano introduces himself and yanks the Wallenda's arm out at an angle, and the Wallenda yells in pain, and the other Wallendas protest that Romano is "hurting him," so Romano orders morphine, but Luka says, "His pressure is too low," and the Wallenda speaks to the other Wallendas and they beg Romano to stop, and Romano tells the Wallenda to hang on and yells at Luka, "Kovac, get these guys outta here," and Luka tries to calm everyone down, and after a short conference, the other Wallendas each grab one of Romano's arms and drag him from the room, and Romano struggles and splutters and howls, "Call Security!" Luka tries not to smile, and as Romano makes his loudly enraged and involuntary exit, Luka and Chuny watch open-mouthed. Cue credits.