The Greatest Of Gifts

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The Greatest Of Gifts

In New York, a lab tech with an accent that sounds like Brooklyn by way of Melbourne, Australia explains to Mark that the test he's about to undergo should last about an hour, and that its purpose is to map out the brain's language centers. Wringing her hands, Elizabeth asks when they'll see Dr. Burke, and the tech dismissively says that "Burke's one of the best in the world; he's busy."

In the MRI control room, the tech instructs Mark to remove anything metal he might be wearing. Elizabeth asks the tech to call Dr. Burke and let him know they're here; the tech explains that "he likes to be notified when the renderings are up." "So as not to waste any time with the patients," Elizabeth passive-aggresses. Mark says, "Elizabeth," in a warning tone, and the tech reminds Mark to take off his belt. Mark does, his pants slide down, and I place a quick call to Mitchell because now I am, decidedly and without any ambiguity, a lesbian. Okay, none of that stuff after "belt" actually happened, but if I ever saw Mark bottomless, it most assuredly would. Anyway, Elizabeth seems more nervous than Mark is; she asks to stay in the MRI suite as Mark undergoes the test, to which the tech agrees. For the first test, Mark will be naming objects he'll see projected on goggles. Mark asks, "Do I get to shoot down any aliens?" and the tech smiles briefly as if to say, "Shut up, Baldo."

Back at County, Weaver is assuring Mrs. Jeff that surgeons will do their best to minimize any scars Jeff may have, when Mrs. Jeff abruptly stands up, mother-bear rage in her eyes, and screeches at a woman, "What are you doing here?" The woman, who looks sort of like a low-rent Edie Falco and has a kid about Jeff's age with her, says that she was worried. Mrs. Jeff spits, "He almost died, Mona!" which is a bit of an exaggeration. Mona asks Weaver whether Jeff will be all right, but before she can reply, Mrs. Jeff yells, "You're putting that dog down, Mona!" Mona's son quietly says, "Mom?" Mona tells Mrs. Jeff that the dog in question is usually very sweet. Weaver suggests to both moms that this might not be the best time to discuss the dog's proposed euthanasia, but Mrs. Jeff is having none of it and demands to know what Mona's talking about. Mona declares that Jeff must have provoked the dog in some way, whereupon anyone who's watched a TV show before says, in unison, "Ohhhhh." Mrs. Jeff is clearly not in any disposition to hear any arguments and storms off. Mona's son, all doe-eyed, asks, "Mom? Are they gonna kill Winston?" Mona says she doesn't know; Weaver takes them to chairs.

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