Chuny spies Carter and squeals. "How are you?!?" shouts a delighted Haleh. Both swarm him, followed by Malik and a few other nurses. Okay, Carter gets the homecoming of a long-lost son, but Luka almost dies and his return merits banter no more emotional than "Oh, hey, dude, did you get new pants?" Maybe it's because I think Luka is a hot piece of ass, but I don't think that treatment is entirely equitable. Kem hangs back a little, almost as if she's shy, or just letting Carter have his moment. Frank bows a little toward Kem and gently asks, "And who's this lovely lady?" Carter replies, "This is Kem Likasu. She's visiting from the Congo." The smiles that greet this remark make it obvious that they assume "visiting from" means "shagging me in," and "Congo" means...well, "Congo," actually. "It's good to meet you all," Kem says. Carter shares that she's got an appointment with someone in OB. "Second trimester," he says. Kem rests her head cutely against Carter's chest. Everyone exclaims delightedly over the pregnancy.
Pratt oozes over and shakes Carter's hand. Carter asks how it's going. "Life is good," Pratt grins. "I see it's better for you." He greets Kem warmly and asks if Carter's back on shift work. "Yeah, about five minutes ago," he answers. A nurse steps forward to escort Kem upstairs while he gets things going. "You're coming, right?" she asks, nervously. Carter squeezes her and assures her he will. They kiss. Smile. Backward glance. Smile, smile, Beard, smug smile, smile.
Behind him, medics wheel in forty-four-year-old Larry, whose car met and married a utility pole. The medics say that he may have suffered a syncopal episode. Unless that's an offbeat reference to a seizure brought on by a sudden lack of rhythm, then I have no idea what that means. A kid's coming in with him. "Who's worse?" Carter asks. "Dad, by a long shot," the medic says. Carter gets down to business and asks for a portable chest and some O-neg. "Sure," one of the nurses says. "Cool," says a surprised Carter. Before, he was like, "There are black people in Africa?" And now he's all, "There's MEDICAL STUFF in Chicago?" His face is a question mark all the time now. God, how I'd like to repunctuate him. My fist would make a great period. Malarkey shows up and declares himself a second-year resident. "Barely," snorts Pratt. Carter sends Pratt off after the kid, who is also the vehicle driver. The boy's nineteen, and apparently crashed the car because he was trying to revive his father from the rhythmless funk. The kid, Martin, also cracked some ribs and is wearing a homemade neck brace fashioned by his father because he suffers from ankylosing spondylitis -- that is, a bone disease.