ER
The Student

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The Student

Abby announces a car accident involving a nursing-home van. All three victims have good vitals. Gallant claims the first one; Carter snatches back one of the three charts he gave Neela, telling her to keep two and then assist Gallant. She and Gallant swap a look that's unreadable. I like to think it's of the "Will his hair hurt me if I say no?" persuasion. Pratt coasts out to the front desk for his two seconds of screen time -- just long enough to say something about breasts, as is his wont. His oily, predictable wont. "I'm leaving the stripper in Curtain 4 just for you," he tells Gallant. "Try not to tube her." Gallant is confused. Turns out it's an acronym: "Totally Unnecessary Breast Exam." He should've gone into gynecology. Although that would be repulsive. I think he'd be a little too into the fingerbang aspects of the job, and nothing's more off-putting than having your legs in the stirrups for a doctor whose first response is to think, "Daaaaamn, I can't WAIT to get all up in that." Gallant shakes his head in what looks like affectionate exasperation and wishes Pratt a good day.

Pratt skulks up to Chen and oozes that she might like to buy him breakfast, but Chen's not interested in eating a limp sausage with two eggs over-easy -- way, way too easy. Plus, Chen's father's nurse is waiting for Chen in triage. The nurse is quitting. "Your father won't wear his diaper, he throws food at me, and when I try to help dress him he yells bad words," the woman says gently. I don't see the problem -- that sounds just like many wee babies. Except that they don't have a choice about the diaper. Chen desperately insists that her father isn't really like this. The nurse doesn't doubt it, but unfortunately for both of them, he's like this for now and it's not acceptable. "I pray for him," the nurse says, handing Chen what looks like a rosary for her father. Chen looks like she's torn between using it to throttle the nurse or hang herself from the lights in the doctors' lounge. The nurse hands off her address so that Chen can mail her one last check, and takes off, leaving Chen in the lurch.

Neela and Gallant sit on the curb in the ambulance bay, awaiting a trauma. Neela is frowning about Carter's speech, and whether she's a good fit for the ER. Gallant says that Carter was just trying to motivate her. One of these days, Carter's going to have to learn to teach well -- that, or motivate himself straight back to a permanent gig in Africa. Neela worries that he's right, and that the ER is just too fast and unpredictable for her. Gallant points out that it's a large hospital full of other departments in which she could specialize, but Neela shoots down NICU, obstetrics and gynecology, and pediatrics, and frets that staid research and teaching aren't why she became a doctor. Gallant pretends to ignore her: "Were you talking to me?" She smacks him playfully and he laughs adorably. "This place is so up and down. You learn to ride through the rough days. I did," he insists. "You were probably good from the start," Neela flirts. Gallant shakes his head instantly and credits her with being way smarter than his young, scared self. "You really like it here?" she asks, curiously. "I wouldn't stay if I didn't," Gallant replies. Was that the characters talking, or the actors?

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