ER
The Letter

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Heathen: C+ | Grade It Now!
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The Letter

Okay, pause here. Now, what really cheeses me off is that the Lava Lounge scene was a good opportunity to show the cast members really talking to each other outside the ER, and trying to console each other and just connect on a different level. We could've seen Kerry trying to relate to everyone, the awkwardness of Sandy being there, people's acceptance of them as a duo, and all that good stuff...but we got robbed of it. I feel like that is lazy of the writers. They got everyone there, then just sort of stranded them because they couldn't figure out how these people would actually talk to each other and what they would say.

Chen bursts into the diner -- yup, it's gotta be Doc Magoo's, the only restaurant in town -- and is relieved to find Carter. "I was going to page you, but Jerry said you're on at 7," she says hurriedly. Abby's startled that Carter's working in an hour and never mentioned it, but Carter shrugs. "I've done it before," he says. Aw. Chen breaks the news that something's up with Al, and that he needs Carter.

In Al's room, everything's awry and it sounds like no one knows quite what is happening or what to do. All we can tell is that his condition is worsening. Carter clarifies for Chen that Al is pretty much a special, private patient of Mark's, and that none of them is quite sure how to handle him. Al decides to give them a hint: his pulse and blood pressure plummet. Carter begins compressions, and Chen calls for an intubation tray. They charge the paddles to 200 and shock him, and it works. I should point out that he hasn't had any lidocaine because Chen couldn't find a way to administer it, so Al just got shocked into a giant plate of Ouch pie. "Tough old bird," Carter says admiringly. Chen points out that Al is trying to speak. Carter leans down and holds his hear just over Al's mouth. "Dr. Greeeeeeeene," he rasps, displaying a strong affinity for vowels. "No tubes and no shocks." Carter stands up grimly and announces that, quoth the patient, "No more."

Susan waits tensely outside the OR. She's without a stitch of makeup, her hair is down and slightly mussed, and she's staring at Romano as he finishes up with Melissa. Sherry Stringfield looks better when they don't put extra makeup on her. Romano exits the OR, fatigued. "Did you get it?" Susan breathes tensely, because the war against cancer is America's war, people, and this time, it's personal. "It bled like stink," Romano bitches. "Control was impossible around the rib cage, I was inside and outside her chest simultaneously." Susan prods, "Did you get it?" Romano sighs. "Yeah, I got it," he announces. Susan is delighted that he saved Mark...er, I mean, "Melissa." Susan exposits that Melissa's father is fine and due to be extubated in the afternoon. Romano visits the water fountain to splash water on his face, and marvels that getting hit by a cement truck turned out to be that girl's greatest blessing because if that cancer had gone undiscovered for much longer, she'd have had barely a 50% chance of surviving it. "You should get some sleep," he says helpfully. "You look like crap." But Susan's still tense. "Are you sure you got it?" she urges. Romano is sure. Susan nods, relieved, and gazes fondly at little Melissa on her gurney, praying she'll grow up into a fine young man with spectacles and a penchant for misery.

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