The Greatest Of Gifts

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The Greatest Of Gifts

In the hall, Carter introduces himself to the adoptive parents, James and Linda; he's African-American, and she's of Asian descent (I think someone on the forums said they thought she might be of Korean ancestry, but I might well be on crack). James asks if Carter is the doctor attending, but Carter says he's "a friend of Deb's." "Who?" asks James, and Carter shakes his head and remembers, "Jing-Mei." Clearly suspicious, but trying to be pleasant, Linda tightly asks, "Is there a problem?" Carter is all affable WASPy putting-a-good-face-on-it, and cheerily says, "She's starting to push, the baby's healthy -- could be any minute now." James remarks that they should get in there, but Carter -- still keeping the peace -- says that Chen's "feeling a little overwhelmed." Linda says that Chen had told them they could be present at the birth, and Carter says he knows, but that labour can be demanding, and that Chen needs to focus. Starting to get annoyed, Linda says, "We jumped on a plane and travelled all night from Portland to get here." Carter says he knows, and offers them a seat in the hall. Linda regards him levelly and asks, "Is she changing her mind about giving the baby up for adoption?" Carter emphatically says she isn't, adding that he thinks she might be "a little embarrassed," and that she "needs her privacy." James tries again to assert his and Linda's claim, and Carter promises to bring the baby out as soon as he's born. Carter backs away and heads back into the delivery room; Linda licks her lips, looking like she's been here before, and that it hasn't ended well.

At the desk, Randi sorts through Christmas cards and announces that she heard Chen's having her baby. Weaver tells "Dr." Dave Malucci to examine a patient who's been there since 9 AM, and he blows her off. Randi suggests that they send Chen some flowers, and Weaver tells her not to. Randi further offers to start a pool, but Weaver tells her to leave Chen alone, and to drop it. I think we're to infer from this exchange that Weaver's the only one who knows Chen doesn't plan to keep the baby. Anyway, after braying at Randi, Weaver glances up and sees that Kim "Mitchell" Legaspi has appeared; Weaver greets her, softening her voice. Mitchell's put her hair back in a barrette, but, trust me, I can still tell how bad the ends look. Elizabeth Mitchell, you do not have curly hair. Stop over-processing it; it looks like ribbons on a present that's been crushed in the trunk of a car. They blah about some patient, and Weaver "casually" says that she tried to call Mitchell the other day. Or, rather, she gets as far as "da-" and the rest of the word is cut off by a hiccup. Mitchell giggles; Weaver excuses herself. Mitchell says that her machine's been acting up, and that she needs to get a new one. Weaver says, "I wish I'd known that sooner; I might have gotten you something different." She hands Mitchell a gaily wrapped parcel and wishes her a merry Christmas. Mitchell giggles again, looking like the gift is utterly unexpected, and thanks Weaver. Weaver shyly explains, "I happened across a copy over the weekend and couldn't resist. Hopefully, you don't already have one." Mitchell thanks her again, and asks whether she should open it now. Unlike me, whose response would be, "Yes! Now! I can't wait!" Weaver calmly says, "Or later," and hiccups again. Mitchell giggles again, and suggests that Weaver drink some water upside down, before taking off.

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