The Longer You Stay

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The Longer You Stay

Outside, Carter sprints to Doc Magoo's. He leaps over a concrete step and lands wrong, careening to the pavement and hitting hard, recoiling in pain. Slowly, he staggers to his feet, taking a second to catch his breath and swallow the pain before limping over to the diner. Inside, Weaver is chatting with Ponytailed PI when Carter bursts through the door and calls her name.

Weaver charges into the trauma room, then freezes. "Wait, where are you?" she asks, a bit puzzled. The grim facts reveal themselves: ruptured aortic dissection after a forty-unit dose of tenecteplase. The color leaves Weaver's face. "Put the scalpel down," she orders softly. Malucci insists that their time is better spent opening the chest to fix the defect, but Weaver knows that won't work. Frustrated, Chen finally throws up her hands and begs for Weaver to offer one more possible path. "Stop compressions," Weaver instructs. "You killed him." Malucci yanks away his hands, as if to say, "Who, me? She did it." Chen hangs her head and knits her brow, angry at herself.

Roger approaches Reese and Benton, gently ensuring the young boy's good health. "The doctor will make it better, right?" he smiles. Reese signs in the affirmative, then adds something about Carla. "I know," Roger frowns. "Mommy's gone." Roger explains that he's swamped, what with the funeral arrangements and having to call Carla's parents, so he would really appreciate it if Peter took Reese for the night. Benton, taken aback, stammers, "Yeah, I was going to anyway." Pause. The two men stare at each other. "Right, right," Roger finally says. He turns his attention to the child. "Reese, you have to go with your father tonight, okay?" he signs, as though it's torture for the kid to grieve in the arms of his biological dad. He promises to visit Reese in a day or two, then departs with words of love. Benton turns around and spits three nails into the wall. Then, he kisses his son, who caresses Benton's cheek sweetly.

Doesn't it feel like years ago when this show started? Back when Toe Boy and the punk girls were our comic relief, and no one was depressed, and Cleo had three lines, and Lisa Nicole Carson still had a job? Sigh.

Weaver stares agape at Paul's x-rays. "You don't know what Marfan's looks like?" she asks Malucci. "He's an artist, he was up all week. I was thinking cocaine," he blathers, like, shut UP Dave, do you have to be such a stubborn asshole about this? It. Wasn't. Drugs. "Did you check the blood pressure in both arms?" quizzes Weaver expectantly. Malucci mutters something. "Did you or didn't you?" she shouts. Fiercely, he snaps up his head and spits, "No." Satisfied that he's a dickweed, Weaver turns to Chen and wonders why she didn't spot the Marfan's Syndrome right away, because Paul's x-rays indicate a classic and perfect picture of the problem. "I was told that it was clear," Chen explains. Weaver can't even process this properly, so amazed is she that Chen authorized thrombolytics without staring down the x-rays and being totally secure with the diagnosis. "I should have," suffers Chen. Malucci tries to justify it by noting what a rapid decision they had to make. "Know what? That's your job. You make quick decisions based on the information available," Weaver lectures. "You had the right information, but you didn't bother to look at it." Bitter and bitterly embarrassed, Malucci sarcastically marvels, "And you've never made a bad call?" Carter charges forward with a muzzle and staples it to Dave's head. "Not as lethal and stupid as this one!" she rages. The young doctor explodes, demanding to know why she didn't arrive sooner in response to their numerous pages. "In a perfect world, Malucci, I wouldn't subject patients to your care," Weaver begins. "If you knew your ass from your elbow, or even gave a damn..." "I do, I do give a damn," he chokes. "...then this man might still be alive!" Weaver concludes. Carter takes a brave stab at diplomacy, but just ends up with the "dip" part. He tries suggesting that Paul would have died during surgery anyway, but Weaver rightly notes that it's pointless to say that because they will never know. Malucci chooses this time to act professional, heading outside to notify the brother and request that the whole family be screened for Marfan's, but Weaver angrily stops him. "No one talks to anyone about this case!" she bellows. "Is that clear?" Chen nods, tearfully trying to cling to dignity in the face of this shameful day. Malucci hisses his assent. "Ice that back, Carter," is Weaver's parting shot. Malucci immediately does the mature thing and knocks a tray of metal supplies to the ground, irate; Chen just puts a wobbly hand to her forehead and blinks away sobs.

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