At the front desk, Carter tries to use the computer, but Frank appears and says that the server's down because they're installing new software. Carter then asks for test results on a patient, and Frank grouchily points him to the fax machine. This is all an elaborate ruse to get Carter to grab A Hero's Last Fax (tm the forums) off the machine. It's very contrived. Carter skips off to the fax machine.
Pratt appears and asks Frank whether his match letter arrived; the match letter lets him know where he'll spend his residency. "Do I look like the postmaster?" Frank crabs. Gallant helpfully calls out that they hand out match letters at the Dean's office. "Yeah, I know that, genius," bitches Pratt. Apparently, he forgot to get his, and they're sending it to County General by messenger. Susan's stunned that Pratt forgot about it. "I had a date," he smarms. No, you didn't. Women wouldn't date that. Would they? Well, maybe women who are vegetables. And deaf.
Carter chirps, "Hey, when did this come in?" He brandishes A Hero's Last Words, and announces that it's a letter from Dr. Greene. "What does it say?" Susan asks, eagerly. "It says, 'Dear ER gang,'" Carter reads. "Oooh, we're a gang now?" Susan giggles, secretly hoping this will be a Pink Ladies thing where she gets a satin jacket and a pre-screened boyfriend in black leather. Oh, man, I'm getting Luka flashes, and it works. "We got a secret handshake and everything," Carter cracks.
Here it is. The letter. A Hero's Last Outpouring. You will be shocked, okay? So I want you to be prepared for that. Swaddle yourself in thick blankets to dull the shockage. (And if you prefer, you can click here to skip to the end of the recap, where I've included a full transcription of The Letter with no snark breaks.)
"Dear ER gang," Carter reads. "So here I am, out on the beach at 5:30 in the evening. Elizabeth is sitting with me drinking a juice, but I'm all about the Mai-Tais." A Hero's Last Tipple. Abby approaches. "What's he reading?" she whispers. Haleh tells her, and she stops walking and joins the congregation. "The sun is going down," Carter continues to read. "Rachel is dipping Ella's toes in the ocean as they head off on the quest for the perfect seashell." Abby smirks. "A 'wish you were here' would have done it," she grins. "He doesn't have to rub it in," Haleh agrees, laughing. Oh, but their merriment will be short-lived. There is a major shock coming. Major. Mark my words. Pun intended. Carter continues, "Weirdly enough, I find myself thinking, you know what would make this moment complete? Some jogger dropping to the sand, short of breath, so I can swoop in with a piece of bamboo to perform a nice, clean intubation, fix the guy up, and send him off with a good, simple dispo." Luka approaches and spies the assembled masses. "What's this?" he asks. "It's Mark," Susan shushes him. Luka settles back to enjoy The Gospel According to A Hero. But Abby wants to make a joke first. "The day I start fantasizing about critical procedures is the day I leave, too," she teases. Susan simply stands near Carter, smiling adoringly up at him, as if the spectre of Mark has perched on his shoulder and begun plucking out his hairs, one by one. "Which, I guess, is my way of saying that I miss you all, and that dingy place," Carter reads.