April 6 episode - annoying?

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I found myself rather annoyed by last night's episode. Carter lying like a dog. Kerry giving us Doug flashbacks by going against orders and protocol. Luka inexplicably becoming the check-in point for kidney transplants - please, anyone, do transplant patients EVER come through the ER? Mark being bullheaded and stubborn (and he thinks his father is stubborn!) and most likely lying to his father about hospices being full. And throwing a wrench into his relationship with Elizabeth while he's at it. Romano just going OVER the top on everything. Cleo and Benton's rendevous at the end - very soap-opera-y. And Carol and Luka at the end. I'm not hanging on to the Doug thing, but it still seemed wrong somehow, and unexplained. How long have they been such buddies? I sure hope next week is better. Last night it seemed like all the characters were completely off, the plot developments unconnected. Anyone else think the same thing?

-- theresa (tduggan@c-b-e.org), April 07, 2000


I thought it was kind of poignant when poor Carter couldn't even remember the diabetes case. It was clear to me that he genuinely couldn't recall it. Real people lie... what bothers me about the show is when the doctors are always bending the rules and covering up for each other.

-- debbie (riccardoiii@aol.com), April 07, 2000.

As for the Carter and the diabetes kid; I took it that he was clearly lying...by the end of the show to Mark. When Cleo first asked he couldn't remember but by the end he knew the deal. As with Carol/Luka, ok so he's feeling her, but she does not want to reciprocate, I believe.

-- Larry (larrybro95@hotmail.com), April 07, 2000.

Carter was clearly NOT lying when Cleo brought it up to him first. He quite obviously didn't remember the patient. Then when he read the chart and confronted the father, he did remember. The last scene with Mark - he obviously was not wanting to admit his poor judgment on the case and was being defensive by pretending not to take Mark's bait. Carter seems to be getting into a very defensive, self-conscious mode lately. I wish this episode had tied it a little better to the last new episode and the conversation with Kerry where Carter appeared hurt that Kerry would have noticed that he was having trouble getting around. Nevertheless, they seem to be setting up some interesting situations for Carter's upcoming storyline re deceit and covering up.

-- debbie (riccardoiii@aol.com), April 07, 2000.

Boy, do I agree!! I think Carter did remember the patient, and he was lying!!!!!!!! The "Doug Flashbacks" - what a great way to summarize her hypocritical actions. Yesterday's show was out of character.

-- barb (barbelaine@hotmail.com), April 07, 2000.

I didn't think Carter remembered the diabetic kid at the beginning. After all, if I hadn't just seen him on a rerun, I don't think I'd have remembered him. In the five months since November, Carter would have seen a number of other patients...plus he did have a certain ordeal. He only spent a couple of hours with the kid in the first place. I did think he lied to Mark at the end, but I think there was more reason than covering up. Mark got a copy of the chart from the Insurance (hmo?) guy. If Carter fessed up now, then what he did in November would have been for nothing. The insurance company would have called it pre-existing and not covered the kid anyway, plus the hospital's contract with that company would have been jeopardized. He was in (from the original lie of tearing up the kid's medical information), so he had to stay in. There was really no where for him to go. I don't like that he lied to Mark either, but it was a consequence of the original lie.

-- Diana (dilynne@juno.com), April 07, 2000.

I agree that Carter clearly did not recall the patient at first and then was lying through his teeth at the end. But Mark totally knew he was lying. I thought it was interesting how Cleo said she would not cover for him but then she did. I remember the original epi and was torn about what Carter did. Those meds could have financially ruined that family (I am not sure how much they are but my mom takes meds that run over $150/mo -- luckily she has insurance). That is a really fine line that I am sure doctor's have to walk often. The father obviously was not holding up his end of the bargain. I was just wondering what Mark was thinking because as I mentioned before I think he knew Carter was lying.

-- amanda (amanda.rehm@home.com), April 07, 2000.

What made me angry the most was the way the father of the kid acted when Carter talked to him privately. In the other epi where the kid was first brought in.. the father begged for Carter not to put down that it was diabetes... he promised he would do whatever he had to until he had insurance and then would come back. Carter takes a risk for this guy and then the guy turns on him in last nights epi. At least thats how it seemed to me.

-- Yvette (Frazzzld@aol.com), April 07, 2000.

Regarding Carter lying and the particularly bald lie to Mark at the end of the episode...I'm almost thinking this was put in on purpose so we can see Carter is capable of serious lies...this may become more important if the drug abuse storyline develops for him...in the shot with Mark at the end, it seemed that the camera lingered on his face, showing how he actually went about the act of lying...I suspect this will be a big issue in epis to come.

-- nancy (ntc72@mailcity.com), April 07, 2000.

The whole lying thing bothered me too, because for the most part Mark respects Carter a lot and I don't want him to blow up at him. For some reason I noticed that Mark confronts Carter differently about problems than he does with most others. He rarely yells at Carter, unlike with some others, like Deb, Malucchi, DOUG. Although, at first I was mad because I thought Carter HAD to remember this kid, and I almost expected Cleo to recognize him too because they both had a long debate about this. I thought maybe Carter would be feeling guilty/worried about this because he was ethically torn, and so he should remember him. However, this is most likely because we just saw this episode last week, and really doctors probably do not remember one-time patients, even if decisions about them were difficult. I guess it looks like Carter will be messing up more in the next few weeks, hopefully bringing in his personal problems.

-- Elaine (mrsclooney78@hotmail.com), April 07, 2000.

I agree with Theresa about Luka checking in the transplant patients -- seems weird. Does anyone know if that is how that happens?

-- amanda (amanda.rehm@home.com), April 07, 2000.

Having been a transplant nurse, I never once recall a patient of ours going to the ER. In fact we had transplant clinics in our hospital for our patients who were ill. Certainly, if their pagers had gone off, they were to contact the transplant coordinator first and head directly to the hospital. They always came to our floor where we, the nurses, started the workup and then the physician would clear them for surgery. But come on folks, this is television and there are many things they do to dramatize events! I for one was also hoping the patient would not get the transplant. He broke the rules by using drugs...PERIOD!

-- Steph (smrock@worldnet.att.net), April 07, 2000.

Nancy, I think you are right on the mark! It was very obvious to me Carter was LYING through his teeth to Mark and did a very good job of it, and Ithink you are exactly right about it showing us he's capable of lying like that, thus in the future lying about the drug thing!

-- Danette (bjpind@televar.com), April 07, 2000.

I know in an interview, Laura mentioned that she was slated to direct a 'West Wing' this season, and maybe another ER, so that would give her the out she needed for a couple of weeks!

-- Lisa (Shaniakicks@hotmail.com), April 07, 2000.

I liked last night's episode also. However, I was perturbed when the man who abused drugs got the liver (or kidney, I don't remember). It would have been an interesting storyline if the first lady (the pregnant one) decided that she really wanted the organ afterall-- after they'd admitted the first guy. That would have been difficult.

-- Carin (cdenisehaze@usa.net), April 07, 2000.

I agree with everyone who said Carter didn't remember the boy with diabetes at first. Of course, by the time he talked to the father he totally remembered or he couldn't have bawled the father out the way he did. Which means he was lying to Mark at the end. I didn't think it was at all unusual for Carter not to remember the boy. Remember that earlier in the season he didn't remember Mrs. Connelley, the woman whose husband died after being in a fire, and who then came back and died in "Be Still My Heart".

I don't agree that Cleo said she wouldn't lie for Carter, and then she did. She told him she wouldn't lie, and she didn't lie. She didn't stand in the middle of the ER and yell, "Carter changed the chart!" but she was also not very forthcoming with the managed care rep. She might have covered a little, but she didn't lie for Carter. There's a difference.

I totally agree about the father turning on Carter. But a tragedy almost happened and he wanted to blame someone so he blamed Carter. I guess this sort of mirrors the Paul Sobricki thing. The father wants to know how he could have realized his son's condition could turn so serious if Carter didn't seem to know. How could Carter or Lucy know just how violent Paul could become if a consultant from psyche couldn't come down and tell them? And in Carter's case with the Paul story, a tragedy did happen, and this time Carter is blaming himself.

-- Annie (GoldenLaur@aol.com), April 07, 2000.

Back to the transplant issue...this is the second recent epi where Elizabeth has been heavily involved in a transplant storyline (the other was the young guy who was brain dead and had no ID; she and Mark disagreed about trying to maintain his life so his organs could be harvested). I don't remember her ever being so adament about transplants before. Does any one else? Maybe this is going somewhere in the future.

-- Diana (dilynne@juno.com), April 08, 2000.

Annie, I never said Cleo LIED for Carter, I said that she covered for him. The way she did so was as you said, not being forthcoming about the situation. I just found that to be interesting because she acted like she wanted Carter's head on a platter!

-- amanda (amanda.rehm@home.com), April 08, 2000.

It bothered me too. I thought Carter would tell the truth. I really never expected him to openly lie, and now it will blow up in his face. I even thought we'd see a scene where Carol would tell everyone that Romono suspended Carrie. It will be interesting to see their reactions. I guess Carrie regrets she wanted him for chief of staff??

I also read the Star tabloid and its weird just how much they predicted is comming true. The stuff about Romono and Chen seems a little far fetched. I still keep expecting to see a bedroom scene with Carrie and romono in it like the one with Carrie and the rep from the HMO., That was shocking. Who knows maybe they are secretly married with children? Just a joke.

-- elaine (namkcub1@aol.com), April 08, 2000.

I just read Theresa's beginning thread again, and I also agree with a lot of it. I already commented on Carter's lying, but I also totally agree that a lot was unconnected. I know that Carol and Luka have this friendship, but why all of a sudden were they having a barbeque together, alone for that matter!? It would have made sense if others were there too, but just them? That came from nowhere. Kind of like the pool thing with Benton and Cleo in "Under Control". At least this week Benton showing up at her place didn't seem just like a throw in scene to get all the characters screen time. Anyways, back to Carol and Luka, I'm glad Doug's "voice from the past" is jumping in again. I do like Luka, but he'd be better as someone the rest of the female staff can flirt with, stay away from Carol!

I also still don't like how unsupportive Elizabeth is being of Mark. I understand where she is coming from, but she defends Mark to his father, so why can't she talk like this to Mark. She can still be adament, just add a little comforting too.

And of course I think Carter's storyline was totally unconnected, like they skipped it this week and will get back to it next week. But then I guess that's what keeps us watching.

One more comment, it seems like recently everyone has been paired up to fight or disagree with at least one other person. There are so many arguments, aren't there!? Anyways, this was an okay episode, it had it's funny parts, but I think next week will be better.

-- Elaine (mrsclooney78@hotmail.com), April 08, 2000.

My points:

1.)Carter lied to Mark to cover his own a**. We've seen him cover it before so I'm puzzled why everyone's surprised. Carter's a sweet guy, but he's no saint. That's why he's believeable. I also give Carter points for being savvy. Mark was obviously trying to trap him and he didn't fall for it. My opinion-he shouldn't have falsified the chart in the first place, insurance or no insurance. Then his a** would have been covered and the doggie wouldn't have been back to bite it.

2.)Yup, Mark is stubborn. Yup, his father is stubborn. Where do you think Mark got it? Also to Mark I say this: Liar, liar, pants on fire!!! Get over the guilt and give your father the peaceful last days he deserves! You are not doing him any favors by being the martyr to care for him.

3.)Carol and Luka. Oh... I was really hoping they wouldn't go there.

4.)What is it about the Pedes room that makes people break the rules? Do you think it's the water? Also, Carol was very true to form here- willing to share some of the responsibility with Kerry. And Kerry, also true to form, shouldering it all herself. The characters weren't all completely off.

-- (trelles@ix.netcom.com), April 09, 2000.

This is in reference to Kerry being suspended supposedly to direct an episode for West Wing.....

I would believe that she needs to be written off (being suspended) an episode to direct another show. But what I don't get is that I don't think it's necessary for her to be totally not in an episode if she decides to direct an ER episode. I mean Helen Hunt has done it for "Mad About You" where she was in the episode she directed.

-- abigail (abbyqueen@aol.com), April 09, 2000.

Re: Helen Hunt directing vs. Laura Innes directing. Mad About You was a half hour sitcom with 1 set (their apartment). ER is an hour drama with multiple sets. It would appear to be much easier to act and direct in an environment like Mad About You than in an environment like ER. Anthony Edwards has also directed an episode of ER and he was only in the very opening scene. The rest of the time allows the actor to focus on directing. Needing to focus 100% on directing isn't an insult to the actor/director. If anyting, I think it shows dedication to the craft and a desire to not do anyting half-a**ed.

-- Carin (cdenisehaze@usa.net), April 09, 2000.

I just wanted to add a couple of things: To trelles:I totally agree with you about NOT being surprised about Carter lying. Of course he was going to lie -- who wouldn't at that point? In a way I felt that Mark was almost saying its OK. He could have pushed it more because he knew Carter was lying. To Elaine: I thought the same thing when Kerry got suspended "I bet she wishes she would not have gone against Mark and stuck up for Romano for chief. And about Carol and Luka: just because they were barbecuing together does not mean that they are a thing. They are both two very lonely people and I think they both still love the missing people in their lives too much to get involved with someone else.

-- amanda (amanda.rehm@home.com), April 09, 2000.

To respond to an actor or actress directing and appearing in the episode: Directing a half-hour sitcom with one main set and a few minor ones is still definately a challenge, but with just two leads isn't as complicated to write and/or direct for all of the characters. Besides, neither Hunt nor Paul Reiser were ever absent from an episode during the entire seven year run, which is more or less neccessary in that format.

To direct a show with elaborate medical sets and up to thirteen regulars would be difficult enough, that really directing oneself would be so very stressfull -- considering they have, on average, eight days to complete filming. That would explain why Anthony Edwards and Laura Innes appeared only briefly in the episodes they directed.

I would also like to add that on tonight's episode of "The X-Files," Gillian Anderson wrote, directed, and was featured in the episode. She did an amazing job, "All Things" was one of the best episodes from all seven seasons, IMO. Of course the difference there is, as it was with "Mad About You," there are just two leads. David Duchovny also wrote and directed an episode last year and has another one coming up shortly. I suppose that, yes, it can be done -- however, with "ER"'s format, it just seems that it would be much too difficult. JMHO.

Sorry for rambling, it happens when I'm tired!! ;-)

-- Arianne (CarolRossSusanGreene@yahoo.com), April 10, 2000.

I might have missed where someone else commented on this, so sorry if I'm being repetitive. But one thing that truly annoyed me was the set up for the pen. The two accident patients were still duking it out as they came into ER, so why, oh why, would they be put into a room together? The only answer I can think of is: so one guy could grab Romano's pen and stab the other guy in the cheek with it, creating a wild start of the epi. I just couldn't hold that in any longer.

-- Diana (dilynne@juno.com), April 10, 2000.

I don't agree with Theresa at all! I found this epi to be the best one since "All in the Family"(and the only one worth re-watching). The only things that annoyed me about it were the Luka/Carol scene (retch!) and the Peter/Cleo scene (full-out barf). I don't find Kerry's actions to be out of character (because she truly believes she is doing the right thing) or Carter's (because he is changing a lot right now) or Romano's (because he just really is that much of a jerk!) What I especially enjoyed about "Viable Options" was that it was almost completely character-driven, so none of the plots seemed recycled.

-- joy (joygirl01@yahoo.com), April 10, 2000.

Carter and Mark: some people have been saying that Mark is not supportive enough of Carter, that there has not been enough reference to Lucy and their attack. I think that there has been just the right amount, especially this episode. Mark has cut John serious slack, with the dialysis and the chart. These are both VERY serious mistakes, one involving other staff and the other being actually illegal. mark and Cleo are both being very understanding. Someone said that MArk was trying to "trap" John with that little question period- I completely disagree! Mark knew perfectly well what John had done and why, he was just going through the motions for the sake of administration. He's being easy on him. Also, we see the connections with John and Mark and Kerry and Romano. I'd much rather have Mark for my boss!

-- May (archerl@cadvision.com), April 13, 2000.

In the previous episode with the diabetic kid, the father saw the kid's chart and freaked out because it said diabetic. He told Carter to take it out and Carter said, "I can't. It's against the law." (Shoulda stuck to your guns there, Carter) THAT is why he lied.

-- Felicity (felicity08@juno.com), April 14, 2000.

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