ER
The Domino Heart

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The Domino Heart

Mark tells a maintenance guy to put four liters of water at every sink. Lucy "White" Knight, all bundled up and clutching a big old cup of perkalicious coffee, asks what happened; Mark explains that a water main broke, and they can fix it, but it might take awhile. Amira comments that Lucy doesn't come on until that night, and Lucy says that Valerie Page, the bad-heart girl, called her at home. Apparently, Valerie matched with a heart donor, so she's on her way in. John "Courtesy" Carter appears, and Mark busts his chops for all the cases stacking up in chairs, and Carter says he's on the code team and got called to the cafeteria for a false alarm, and then Lily bitches to Carter that his amoebic dysentery patient just used the toilet. "So?" Carter asks. Lily reminds him that they have no water, so they can't flush. Yuck. Carter escapes to another case; Mark tells Lily to put an "out of order" sign on the door and call Housekeeping. Then he tells Amira to find port-a-potties for the ambulance bay, "and maybe some air freshener." Amira looks nonplused.

Luka examines the bottom of a girl's foot as one of the Wallendas looks on. He tells the Wallenda that, in spite of the laceration, the girl can perform tonight, and he instructs the translator to pass this along to the girl, who smiles and thanks Luka. The Wallenda explains that, when the platform collapsed, one of the pieces of wood fell on top of the girl. Luka doesn't understand how she got the laceration on the bottom of her foot in that case; the translator passes the question on to the girl, who demonstrates by doing a one-handed handstand on the bed rail. "Wow," Luka says, and then remarks that he thinks he'll go see "that circus of yours." Enter Romano with a very very tall security guard: "There's one of 'em." The guard escorts the Wallenda out of the room.

In the hall, a woman explains to Jing "Queen Of The" Mei Chen that her mother has had Parkinson's disease for almost fifteen years. An orderly wheels the mother, played by Ruth Ann from Northern Exposure, alongside Chen and the daughter. What is this, Old Home Week? First the guy in the bubble (Anthony Edwards), then Holling, and now Ruth Ann? What next, the ER gets a radio station and that annoying git from the Ford commercials starts broadcasting lines of poetry? ["Dude, don't dis Chris in the Morning." -- Wing Chun] Anyhow. Chen asks if the mother's condition has changed recently, and the daughter says that in the last few days, Ruth Ann has felt so weak she can't use her walker, "and I'm worried she had a stroke." The daughter starts to help the orderly hoist Ruth Ann into bed, and Chen says, "Oh, no, let us help," and the daughter says, "Oh, I don't mind -- I do it every day," but in a tone that clearly means, "I do mind, because I do it every day." Ruth Ann calls herself a "burden" to her daughter Louise, saying that Louise has to lift her onto the toilet and sponge-bathe her; Louise smiles fondly at her and makes "don't worry about it" noises. Louise asks Chen if the problem could be with Ruth Ann's heart, or if the Parkinson's could have worsened; Chen says they'll check. Ruth Ann says she doesn't feel worse, and as Chen says that they'll examine her and run some tests, Louise slumps into a bedside chair and sighs. "You okay?" Chen asks her while putting her stethoscope to her ears. "Oh, yeah, fine," Louise says wearily, sighing again.

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