It's been a month. A lovely, peaceful month. But we're back now, so bone up: Sam decided she wanted to get serious with Luka; Frank had a heart attack; Elizabeth dated both hot Dr. Lawson and Minivan; and Susan's pregnant. Neela and Gallant danced. Neela is claustrophobic and flipped out in the hyperbaric chamber. Having watched the episode, I can't figure out the wisdom of using this clip. It's not relevant to her problems in the ER, and it's really not the reason she's having trouble finding a specialty. Maybe they're just foreshadowing that her next rotation is in the Closet Ward.
We fade up on a conference among Kerry and all the Attendings -- Carter included; it's been referenced before, but it bears mentioning that show really has glossed over his promotion. Don't TPTB know that fans often wank until there's chafing? Anyway, the nucleus of power is discussing the med students and their suitability to the ER, apparently leaving those same med students to run the ER in their absence. Who's making decisions down there? Pratt? Oh God, that can mean only one thing: Naked K-Y Conga Line. For those of you with shrines, voodoo dolls, or threatening letters in the making, Lester's last name is Kertzenstein. He likes short walks on the beach, the feeling of corn between his toes, panty hose, and the smell of water. It's too bad, given the theme in this episode, that Lester isn't his last name and his first name isn't Mo. Carter shrugs. "Lester, Lester, Lester," he ponders. Luka calls him "polite," and Chen suggests that he'd be good in pathology. "That way his patients will be dead before he gets to them," Susan snarks. Wait, we haven't seen Lester messing up. I think she's mixing up Lester with Malarkey. That Chuck Fetus is making her forgetful. She needs to remember the sniff test: if he reeks of pot, it's Malarkey you've got.
"Lockhart, Abby," Weaver says impersonally. She's apparently the only one with professional remove, as the others all swap awkward glances. "Strong clinical skills," Luka offers. "Efficient, when she needs to be," Chen adds. And for the trifecta of milquetoast compliments, I present Carter's offering of "Knows where to spend her time." Aw, they're just jealous that she's got better hair than they do right now. Seriously. Carter felled The Beard -- it can't be that hard to tame The Mop. Sure, it's growing in difficult, insidious clumps down his face and threatening to swallow it whole, but there's got to be a machete out there that's up to the task. Susan and the Chuckus sigh, "The only person who's not sure about Abby is Abby." Carter and Luka swap expressions indicating that they agree with this, and that they've perhaps experienced this firsthand. Probably outside work. With all that lack of certainty, Abby must've been horrible in the sack. Weaver asks whether Abby even wants to work in the ER. "As much as she wants anything," Susan says. There's no snark in her tone; she's just being honest, I think, and seems to have Abby pegged. When she wants things, Abby definitely seems to want quietly and casually rather than loudly and with teeth-gnashing ambition. She's not effusive, that's for sure, but I also don't think she's just along for the ride in life. Anyway, Kerry writes down "rank to match" and moves on to Neela, pronouncing her name with the kind of pretentious accent I've sadly come to expect. "Intelligent. Sweet," says Luka. Chen calls her "studious," which prompts Carter to snort incredulously that Neela is easily smarter than anyone in the ER. Whichever wall it's pressed against, I'm sure the glass Pratt is using to eavesdrop just shattered. Chen does point out that she thinks Neela hangs back rather than getting involved in traumas, which isn't something I feel like I've seen demonstrated. They've bent over backwards to show us that Book Learnin' Ain't Everything' 'Round These Here Parts, and that Neela's weakness is her instincts -- and Luka does point out that she needs to be more assertive -- but they haven't shown her to be anything less than willing. So, Chen should do as I often instruct her to do, and shut her piehole.