Carter and Chen both smile at the baby, and each other. Bette leads in a tentative Linda and James. Chen asks Linda what the baby's name is, and James says it's Michael Alexander. Carter nods approvingly, and Chen greets the baby, "Hey, Michael!" Michael gurgles. Chen holds out the baby, and Linda rushes forward while trying not to appear to be rushing, and rocks him gently, singing "Baby Mine" from Dumbo. Chen holds Carter's hand, crying at the tableau of mother and child, but smiling whenever she gets a glimpse of Michael's face. Seriously, you can see each emotion Chen has in Ming-Na's face. She's really marvelous in this scene.
In the waiting room, Mark stares at fish in an aquarium. He straightens up at the sound of footsteps, and sadly we see him and Elizabeth through the tank. She tells him that she may have to go to trial in the Case of the Sidelined Surfer. Mark says he thought she was going to be able to settle, and she says she did, too. She adds that Rachel called, and that she wants to come out a day early for Christmas. Before Mark can respond, Chris Sarandon comes around the corner and introduces himself as Dr. Burke. Oh, come on. He's apparently a brilliant doctor. He's in New York. They couldn't have called him Dr. McGrath, his name when he was the philandering doctor on Felicity? Rip-off! I won't go into all the medical blah, because who cares? The upshot is that Dr. Burke wants to operate. The procedure will be an "awake craniotomy"; Mark will be "conscious and talking" throughout. Oh, boy. My least and second-least Mark moods. Elizabeth breathes, "Thank god for second opinions." Mark doesn't say anything, probably because he's very very conscious of having soiled his pants in relief. Dr. Burke cockily says that most of the jerks on the tumour board are happy with a twelve-month prognosis, whereas most of the people on his own protocol are "disease-free for twenty-four months and counting." Mark blinks and swallows hard. Dr. Burke suggests that they operate on December 31: "You can ring in the new year with a load off your mind." Ha ha. The Tinkling Piano of Mortality Deferred plunks on the soundtrack. Mark purses his lips and laces his fingers through Elizabeth's.
I'm still holding out hope that he'll die on the table, for the record.
Carter is, once again, dozing in the on-call room when his pager goes off. He shuts it off, but Randi comes to the door to tell him that a multi-vehicle accident involving a motorcycle and a mini-van (ouch) is coming in.