Ben is still on hold, still listening to the same song. He sighs.
Maria is sitting up in bed, obviously doing much better. She's even eating Jell-O. Stiles learns that Maria's daughter is pre-med. I wish they would tell me her name. Stiles promises that Dr. Gideon will be in later this morning, and leaves. Daughter follows Stiles out and asks if her mother is really getting better. Stiles tries to not answer the question, and promises to do her best.
Ben is still on hold. Someone actually answers, and asks where to direct the call. Ben gets put on hold again. Same music.
Cherry goes in to see Linda, the violin prodigy. She's all scrambling into her robe. Cherry tries to revive the witty banter they had going earlier, but Linda keeps trying to get rid of him. If this were ER, she'd be doing drugs. Cherry tries to update her on her case, and wonders why Linda is rushing him out. A cough is heard from the bathroom. Cherry opens the door and a young guy pops out and bangs his head on the door accidentally. Linda introduces him as "Peter Yoo," and he's apparently her secret boyfriend. See, Peter is Chinese, and Linda is Korean, so her father has a problem with it. Peter is also extremely goofy. Cherry reveals that Linda is eighteen years old. Dude! She looks about ten. Cherry gives out advice on "playing [her] parents," by relaying a story of how he once brought a male actor home from college, and pretended it was his boyfriend, and from then on, any girl he brought home was totally cool with his parents. Linda absorbs this information.
Ben is trying to enter some the doctor's name into the phone using his keypad. He's told he is being transferred, but immediately gets put on hold again. He yells, "Oh, hell!" and slams the phone down. So HMOs are not just evil -- they have sucky phone systems as well. Got it.
Ben is talking to Crusty Old Doctor (COD) at the HMO. Ben says that his asthma diagnosis actually turned out to be leukemia. Ben outlines the treatment. COD says it sounds right. Ben says that he wants to arrange for Maria to receive treatment at his hospital, but COD points out that they could do it at the HMO. Ben makes up something about her advanced condition warranting hospital care, but what he really means is, "You screwed up, and I'm not letting you have her back." COD's having none of it. Ben starts questioning COD's treatment. COD gets defensive and says that he has "ten Maria Montoyas in his waiting room every morning" and he "follows the clinical algorithm." Ben keeps arguing, and COD gives him the name of the person who has to approve out-of-network services, and dismisses him. Ben fires the parting shot: "This can't possibly be why you became a doctor." You know, Ben is right, but does he have to be so damn smug about it?