Reactions to Dennis Gant's death vs. Lucy's death : LUSENET : ER Discussions : One Thread

There has been a great and ongoing debate about whether there has been too much or too little about reactions to Lucy's death. I remember that when Dennis Gant died, Carter felt extremely guilty, and Benton was feeling some sort of emotion, too. Both Dennis and Lucy were, to different degrees, let down by Carter not long before they died. It seems that this similarity would point to similar reactions in both deaths. Maybe the current situation is different because Carter has to deal with pain and emotions from his injury. I remember Carter telling Mark or maybe Benton that he felt partly at fault for Dennis's death. He said something like, "I knew Dennis wasn't doing well, he was in trouble, but I was too busy to help." That sounds like what happened with Lucy, too. He also asked Benton if he wanted to go through the mourning alone and just pretend that nothing had happened. Now it seems that Carter wants to go through his feelings alone, maybe even pretend nothing happened. I think the Carter story is working very well, andn I really like it, but did anyone else notice the similarities, and especially differences, between this and the Dennis Gant story? I would love to hear thoughts on this!

-- Annie (, April 04, 2000


Yes, I am so glad someone brought this up. I was thinking that no one really cared about it anymore. I don't like it that Carter seems to be reacting to Lucy the same way Benton reacted to Gant. Carter isn't like this. We know that it DID affect him, because her name was almost the first out of his mouth when he woke up after the stabbing. And I am really hoping for Carter to come to some kind of confrontation, if only with HIMSELF (does that make sense?) about his feelings of lose/guilt about Lucy. I know a lot of people think this subject is long over, but I would like to see some closure, if only on the season finale. I know Carter has a huge heart, and I don't agree that they should portray him right now as only concerned about his performance at work while dealing with physical pain. The old Carter would have more to deal with than that, IMO.

-- Elaine (, April 04, 2000.

If you remember from The Storm II, Lucy told Carter that he was "closed off" "emotionally withdrawn" "not in touch with his feelings" . Lucy was the exact opposite of this, very in touch with her feelings and other peoples feelings (especially her patients). I think she had Carters personality down, observed things about him that he wasn't even aware of. I think that Carter is going to have a hard time sharing his problems with others who can help him and this is going to be a contributing factor to his downfall.

-- Aisling (, April 05, 2000.

I completly agree with you Elaine. I could not have said it better.

-- Shauna (, April 05, 2000.

I agree with what you all have said...I'd like some more insight into what Carter is thinking/feeling in regard to Lucy, and that so far his apparent coldness is out of character. But we have to keep in mind some important differences between the Gant situation and the Lucy situation for Carter...

1)As Annie noted, Carter too was gravely injured. He's a victim too, whereas with Gant, he was more of a bystander watching what happened. It's easier/more justifiable now for him to be in a more selfish state of mind.

2)The suppostion with Gant was that he caused his injuries himself, whereas Lucy and Carter were attacked without rationally justifiable provocation. I'm not exactly sure how this difference could cause such a different reaction in Carter, but maybe with Gant he felt that maybe with a little extra kindness he might have helped Gant. But with Paul, unless they had figured out the state his illness had left him in immediately and committed him, violence was a possibility. Sure, Carter could have supervised Lucy more closely, listened when she asked for help, whatever, but schizophrenics have likely come into County before without such dire consequences. I'm not sure that Carter's neglect of Lucy was so bad that the only possible result was the horrible one we got. If it was though, then that's got to be a terrible burden for someone with a heart as big as Carter's to carry, which might explain his need to keep things inside. I doubt that Carter really wants to get on as though nothing happened. We'll just have to be patient to see how the emotional pain will manifest itself.

-- nancy (, April 05, 2000.

Just a somewhat related comment: ever since "Be Still My Heart" aired, I've been more aware of mental patients on the reruns. I've also noticed that they call for restraints/special precautions a what happened on "Be Still..." was very out of character for the ER.

-- Diana (, April 05, 2000.

I never took much credence in what Lucy said to Carter because Lucy was very annoying and immature at times. I definatly don't think she was correct in whatshe said about Carter most of the time. Just because Carter does not share his personal feelings to her or other people does not make him not in touch with his inner feelings. I think Carter has a great heart and has been wonderfuland understanding with patients 99% of the time. If Carter was so closed off he would not have tried talking to Benton about Gant in "Post Mortem". It was Benton who was closed off, not Carter. I do think Carter will keep too himself and try to work things out by himself because he has a lot of emotions and pains he his dealing with . I think it is natural that he would try to sort them out by himself. Eventually, it will be too much for him and he will probably explode and he will get others involved in helping him.

I think they have done a realistic and good job with the aftermath so far. I think if we had seen everything at once it would be unbelievable. However, I don't want them to drag out the aftermath for months like they did with Greene. That was overkill to see Greene become mean for about 3/4 of a year. I would like to see Carter be at his worse sometime during May sweeps and be on the road to recovery at the beginning of the new season. I think we could see Carter go from acting out to , to coping , and to making a few changes and improvements in his outlook and behavior as a result. Since , Greene and Carter are different people I don't expect nor want Carter to act like Greene did. I just can't picture Carter being mean and incompetent for months on end.

-- Bev (, April 05, 2000.

I agree with what everyone else has said too, although in The Storm II I did think it was odd that Lucy called Carter closed off, because he isn't ( remember, Susan once told him she was afaid he cared TOO much, TOO emotionally involved!?). However, the majority of the time he was with Lucy. Whether this was due to Anna's leaving, his weird relationship w/ Roxanne, or his sexual tension w/ Lucy, or maybe it was just his awful BEARD, but he was definetly a different Carter from the one we knew, and that is what is disappointing about all of this. I do not want a huge "oh my gosh Lucy is gone and I didn't get to tell her I was a jerk only because I was in love with her"...but what I would like is something like along the lines of Carol's talk to Carter in chairs after Gant's death, or Mark leaving a trauma to talk to him outside about Gant. A little concern, a little friendly help. Under the circumstances, I did not expect mention of Lucy right away, but hopefully as Carter copes with his own disablilities, soon what else/who else he is missing will come out.

Also, looking back, I do not think that Carter was overly horrible to her that final day. He did tell her he trusted her, he complimented her on her work on the spinal tap, and just before their last conversation :( he did say "I don't want to get on your case, but...". She should have had Malik sit with him, but maybe he was busy. So I don't know. They were both at fault. Carter should have given her his attention when she respectfully asked for it right away, but then they both got frustrated. However, in the past, I regret to admit that Carter could have been a better teacher to her. My theory: It's all that sexual tension. :) (maybe)

-- Elaine (, April 05, 2000.

I agree with Bev re: Lucy. I also think that enough is enough. Her character is long gone and while I don't think the writers are finished discussing the aftermath, it's time to let Lucy R.I.P.

-- Carin (, April 05, 2000.

I think that Carter has become more closed off since Chase died, at least more closed off to his friends (not necessarily his patients). I do think he was starting to open up more this season. For those people who want Lucy's name never to be spoken again, sorry but that isn't how it works in real life (I know this is a t.v. show). When you lose a co-worker, you don't forget about them and never mention them again. I also think that it is unrealistic for Carter not to have some feelings of guilt or sadness about Lucy, because he knew what she was going through after the stabbing. I will be very disappointed if Carter doesn't deal with the fact that his med- student/friend was killed. I'm hoping that if I'm patient once Carter's storyline has played out I, as a viewer, will receive closure and be ready to move on with next season.

-- Emma (, April 06, 2000.

Emma, I don't think Chase died. Last time we saw him, he was in a nursing home or hospital because he had suffered brain damage from his heroin overdose. I agree with some of you that Carter's attitude of being closed off does seem somewhat out of character, considering what we have seen from him in previous seasons. My theory is that maybe he really does feel some guilt over Lucy's death and he is forcing himself to "tough it out" - maybe he is thinking something like "Why was I lucky enough to survive and Lucy died? It just as easily could have been me." So maybe he is thinking that he should be able to make it, since he was the lucky one. Kind of like he's punishing himself or something. I mean, we've never known him to have any kind of self-persecution complex, but who knows what trauma could do to a person. I know that none of this has actually come out in the storylines lately, but that is just my theory.

-- Melanie (, April 06, 2000.

Melanie, I think that was a good observation. I think Carter is sort of punishing himself because he lived. I really hope the writers do not just drop this story. I think Lucy will probably be mentioned later on if and when Carter has a "break down."

-- colleen (, April 06, 2000.

Survivor's guilt? Yeah, that would work.

-- Diana (, April 06, 2000. are right I forget that Chase lived. Survivors guilt sounds like a good storyline. I think it would satisfy both Lucy fans and people who didn't enjoy the character.

-- Emma (, April 06, 2000.

Everybody has such great insights into this topic; I am so glad I started this thread. I just want to thank everyone who has contributed! I have enjoyed reading the responses.

-- Annie (, April 07, 2000.

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