WHY isn't anyone helping Carter...hopes for what is to come?

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It has been bothering me that Carter has had so little support recently, because (as the review for this last episode also stated) Carter is the friendly one and has always been very loved by the staff. Hello?! I know that this is all leading up to something big, but we could see a *little* bit more concern before hand, there are plenty of signs to everyone that he's not right. I know that Mark is rightfully preoccupied, but he has always been there to be his voice of encouragement...always always always. I enjoy Mark's father, but I almost regret that Mark has to have this plot right now, because therefore he is not bothering with Carter. I know, that's insensitive. So I was wondering what everyone would like to see happen with Carter. These are my hopes,

- Carol having a LONGER talk with Carter (maybe she even says she feels bad leaving not knowing if he's okay...just to be polite, not that she'd really stay...they hug, Carter says to say hi to Doug) - Kerry talking to Carter about the night of the stabbing--Carter admits to her he feels guilty about Lucy (but that's IT...no romantic crap with Kerry!) - Mark following Carter out to the ambulance bay after he freaks out(yes, very reminiscent of Post Mortem)...or maybe Luka - More than one scene with Benton, maybe he even offers to get him out one night (oh God, a night w/out Cleo!) - here's an interesting idea...he freaks out in front of Dr. Dave, and so he ends up checking up on Carter - Carter's apology to Deb for being so irritable; her apology that she hasn't known what to say to him recently - An eventual major breakdown (but not TOO dramatic) where in the end all of the staff pulls together to help him out (and Carter admits to the staff wholeheartedly that he really needs them...a very moving season ending scene) - Carter REALLY says goodbye to Lucy (he can't go visit her grave, but something like that)

So these are all my ideas...another long post from me! Please anyone give other hopes for what is to come...it doesn't have to be just about Carter (though I like that the most!)

-- Elaine (mrsclooney78@hotmail.com), April 19, 2000


Hooray! An all-Carter Jamboree! Elaine, I knew I could count on you! You must like him as much as I do! Also, you probably said, but I just forgot; how long have you been watching the show?

In answer to your original question, I think that it is the same thing that happened after Carol's suicide attempt. No one really knows what to say. Not even Carter. Everyone wants to help him, but no one knows how. What Carter really needs is a SHRINK. What is UP with that? Male pride? Doctor, heal thyself!

I don't see Carter apologizing to Deb. He did sort of apologize to Carol. Men don't apologize easily. They'll probably just forget about it. I would like to see Deb doing some support work for him though. They do go back a ways, even if they haven't been too close.

I do forsee a major break (or breakthrough) for Carter. Whether it's a suicide attempt, an accidental overdose, a public breakdown or what, I just can't tell. I'm working on logical timelines here (it's really late, is any of this making sense?) We don't usually see any major cliffhangers on the season finale, it's impossible because they operate on real time. Julianna Margulies is leaving 2nd to last ep of the season, so they'll have to do something major to Carter beforehand (and maybe Carol will help out) or it won't be as major as everyone seems to think, it'll happen on the season finale, and Carter's problems start to get resolved that ep. I also think Kerry will be instrumental in picking up the pieces of Carter, either a shoulder to cry on, or getting him to the help he needs. I think Kerry may feel a tiny bit guilty (and more than a little traumatized) she cut ties with both of them, and she's the one that found them on the floor. I hope they (Carter and Kerry) discuss that. Carter's feelings for Lucy got so complex that I think he's just not sure what he's feeling right now. (and no, he was never in love with her! I don't think Carter's ever really been in love. The closest he got was Anna Del Amico, and look where that got him.) He has to understand that it's GRIEF he's feeling, and that it's a process. And thinking of Lucy brings the memory of his own attack. (Hello PTSD!)

I dissected the possibility of a Kerry/Carter romance on another thread, so I won't do that here. I do think that it's time for Carter to get serious with a girl. Enough playing around. I see that middle of next season or even further into the future.

I'm sure I could go on and on, but I'm really tired and it's late so I'll have to come back later when my head is less fuzzy.

-- (trelles@ix.netcom.com), April 19, 2000.

I've been thinking about Carter too, because I love him and I really want him to deal with this a little more than he has been. It's obvious most other people are incredibly busy now, Mark with David, Carol with the twins, Benton with Cleo, but they've ALWAYS been busy and found time to help each other. What I think would be cool is if Carol confronted Carter first, or possibly after Mark, about her leaving and that sparks some sort of discussion. The last episode sparked me on Carter/Carol in this way. Or possibly, Mark sees what he's been ignoring while rightfully preoccupied with David and tries to make up lost time while dealing with the recent losses of his life. I don't what Kerry could do besides being a good friend. She always seems to know what he's thinking, rather scary really. I like Kerry fine, and I love Carter, but I can't see them together! I mean, really!

-- Joanne (bucklind@hotmail.com), April 19, 2000.

I have thought about Carter for a long time because the situation around him is quite strange to me. I'm sure everybody has different views but this is really weird(?) to me. I thought Carter has quite a lot of good co-workers. But I don't think I saw people comforting him often like I thought. And the thing is we've never seen his friends outside of the hospital. Does he have any friends? Anyone from medical school? or High school? former neighbours? something like that.... I really think he needs someone to rely and depend on, or there must be a story like helping him to get over this. Maybe it won't be necessary, but so far, he seems to need someone because obviously he doesn't handle this well. Where are his friends???? I don't mean blonde cutie residents or medical students... you know.... like fluffy for Peter. NAH-

-- Kilim Felicity (kilim@sfu.ca), April 19, 2000.

I,too, wish that someone would help Carter. He has always been my favorite character. He is so sweet and caring towards others that I can't understand why people haven't noticed his problems. I agree that others in the ER need to check on him, but what about his grandparents? I mean he's living with them, so why aren't they helping him? I loved the scene with him and gamma in the kitchen; We need more scenes like that. By the way, did anyone see the TNT rerun last night? One of the patients on there was bipolar. Carter displays none of those traits. He may be depressed, but he is definitely not manic. I hope that he will be okay!

-- Katrina (cattrek@ga.freei.net), April 19, 2000.

I agree with all of you! I have been strongly hoping and wishing that we could have an "all-Carter jamboree" as trelles said. That would be wonderful. I would love to see it be Kerry that he confides to, with everyone else realizing (finally!)how much he is hurting. Kerry and Carter have wonderful chemistry! As friends only -- not anything else. I also want to see Kerry say something that REALLY helps him - not this "I know how you feel because I've had a recent life change myself -- even though it can't really compare to your near-death experience" that Carol gave us. (I know, I know, she was just trying to help, and I give her credit for that. I just don't see how it can compare.) I am sooo excited for the rest of the season to see what happens. Hope this all makes sense. I think I rambled and did too many run-on sentences. Sorry! :)

-- kristal (teetle1@juno.com), April 19, 2000.

I suppose the problem with people helping Carter is that the most likely candidate (Carol) has her own problems to deal with now or soon, as does Mark. Too bad Susan moved!!

Just for the record, Carol wasn't trying to COMPARE her situation with Carter's, only saying that she knows what it's like to have your life change and he can trust her with things (by speaking to him about Doug, which is her sore spot).

-- Arianne (CarolRossSusanGreene@yahoo.com), April 19, 2000.

Thanks everyone...and if anyone has any more good ideas on what should happen with Carter or anyone please, bring them on...

and to answer the first response on this thread, I have been watching ER since the end of season 3; I started watching after seeing GC in One Fine Day, and I got obsessed w/ Carol and Doug! I stopped watching awhile after Doug left, but I got back into it, since I have always liked Kellie Martin and I have become VERY interested in Carter (you think!?) because of her so now I really enjoy watching reruns because I can watch the scenes w/ Carter and the others I missed while I was too obsessed w/ Carol and Doug (though I still am!)

-- Elaine (mrsclooney78@hotmail.com), April 19, 2000.

I thought I'd continue my novel now that I have a fresh brain.

I've been watching the TNT reruns as often as I can. I've seen them all before, but it helps put alot of the things happening now in perspective. Here's how I see it. Carter at first (season 1) was something of an outsider. He was new. His purpose is to provide fresh eyes to look through at the conditions of the ER. Does this make sense? I'll give another example. In the Star Trek series there was always a character to comment on the human condition, someone who is an outsider. In the original series this was Spock. In TNG it was Data. In DS9 it was Odo. In Voyager it seems to be Seven. This was always part and parcel to the Star Trek theme & franchise because the show was always meant to comment on the human condition. Let's transpose this to ER. The doctors & nurses here are used to seeing *everything*; nothing shocks them anymore. Here comes our fresh-faced, rich, young, very naive Carter, not knowing where he fits in, having to take the punches of Benton and pretty much everyone higher up on the food chain. We can relate to this. And we have enjoyed watching him grow up, learn to take the punches and give a few back. (Remember the scene with Anspaugh?) He's sure given me 6 wonderful viewing years.


It seems, that as time goes on, the friendships of the ER have gone by the wayside with no one to pick up the slack. The original "ER buds" were as follows: Mark/Susan, Susan/Carol, Carol/Mark, Mark/Doug, Doug/Carol (sort of, and then definitely after season 1) and on the periphery, Susan/Carter. Benton/Carter were a team, but they were never "friends" til recently, and that seems a little tenuous. (Benton never seemed to warm up to anyone.) In the beginning, Mark was the crux. Things seemed to revolve around him. It created focus. In the past few seasons there seems to be a lack of focus. Focus has become almost impossible with all the new characters. And I agree with Arianne-It's too bad Susan left! She seemed to be the bridge for Carter and the rest of the ER. And now that she's gone CARTER HAS HAD TO BUILD HIS OWN BRIDGES AND HE NEVER REALLY HAS! With Carol, maybe, but again, that's tenuous. (He always seemed to be a little sweet on both Carol and Susan!) He never has gotten to be a "pal" to anyone in the ER. We almost never see the gang hang out at Magoos anymore and I can't recall seeing Carter there except for an ep in season 1 (where he was relegated to the counter with Deb I might add!) Mark, Carol, Carter and Benton are the only original crew members left. Benton never chummed much in the ER, and Carol is leaving. Mark and Carter were never "pals."

The point of this? What's happening is not so strange. No one (other than Mark/Carol) has been there for anyone this season or for most of last. (Weeelll...Carol & Luka, but that seems more of an impetus for Carol to leave) They just seem to bumping into each other randomly. We saw a little coming together in "All in the Family". I'd like to think that the writers are preparing us for a regrouping of alliances to restore some balance. (I must be an optimist)

Carter's up for Chief Resident next season. Kerry will necessarily be instrumental in his getting the slot (or not, depending on Carter's state of mind). Remember, she seems to be grooming him for the job she once had. It is in her interest to see that he is ok. And they were roomies once. She does care about him. So I think next season the emphasis will be Kerry and Carter.

Lord I do run on!

-- (trelles@ix.netcom.com), April 20, 2000.

I think "A Match Made in Heaven" did what it was suppossed to do. It got the idea into our heads that Carol and Carter were going to be pinpoints for each other in this stage of their lives. It got me, I know that, and I'm almost expecting more from the two of them in the future. But looking back on it, how much backup does it have? Have Carol and Carter really been close in the past? Yeah, they've talked, they been friends (I still love the fact that he was the first to hug her when she announced to the staff she was having twins!) but since this scenario was thrown at us, I know I'm relying on it. It's not the only option.

I was watching "Love Among the Ruins" last night and how everyone on the staff was complaining about their huge med school loans and then Benton just looked at Carter and said "Must be great to have to worry about them". And then the staff made a point of finding out just how rich Carter was. I don't know why this bothered me, maybe because it bothered him, but I think it shows just how much they didn't know about him. People don't ask, they assume or wait to be told. I'm wondering if that's what going to be a big thing here.

-- Joanne (bucklind@hotmail.com), April 20, 2000.

I was watching the scene from Under Control where Carter is talking to Kerry and she asks him, has he talked to anyone yet about what happened. If you watch Carter close, you can see him actually flinch (physically) when she asks the question. Maybe he was reliving the attack in his mind and then quickly covering up his feelings... I wonder if Carter will have any flashbacks. That comes with PTSD. Also, am I the only one who thinks Carter is already stealing meds. Did you see the happy look on his face when Romano said he could write prescriptions for Cleo and Benton. I bet that is the bombshell that will be dropped at season's end, that Carter has been self medicating all along...

-- Tracy (bankybooda@aol.com), April 20, 2000.

After the bomb dropped about Doug seeing the twins already, it wouldn't surprise that the writers will throw that in. What I mean is that they will probably protray the drug addiction as it was happening already. So I agree with you Tracy.

-- Paula (pbranden@dwave.net), April 20, 2000.

Trelles, you make some VERY good points!! In fact, you took the words right out of my mouth. I only wanted to add another friendship from the early years, that of Doug & Susan. Doug, Carol, Susan, & Mark were sort-of like a close-knit "group" of friends. That's one major thing that I miss about the show.

Also, like others, I'm trying to remember whether or not Carol and Carter have been as close as they're seemingly becoming. I do recall Carter oggling Carol a bit on his first day (so yes, he was a little sweet on both Carol & Susan -- hence the cuteness of "Twist & Shout"). The thing that I HAVE realized is that they aren't "friends," but they are closest and will talk whenever the other has had a rough time of it or is experiencing some wonderful news. Carol gave him a little pep talk the first episode of the second season, and Carter was the first person to walk over to Doug & Carol after Doug's proposal and congratulate them. I too LOVE that he was the first to give her a big hug and kiss after she announced she was pregnant with twins!!

Where I'm going with this is that they are both experiencing a rough patch, and I'd have to say they both seem a little protective of one another. SO, since this is generally the type of situations where they bond, it makes sense for them to be bonding in "Match Made In Heaven" and hopefully in the episodes to come. :-)

-- Arianne (CarolRossSusanGreene@yahoo.com), April 20, 2000.

Arianne, I stand corrected. After you said that Carol wasn't trying to "COMPARE", I went back and watched that scene. You were right. I realize now that she wasn't saying "I know how you feel because my experience was just as hard", she was saying "I know how hard a sudden and drastic life change can be." Thank you for your comments! :)

-- kristal (teetle1@juno.com), April 21, 2000.

I know it has been in the spoilers, but I'm not sure I buy the Carter "drug addiction" thing. After all, why isn't he popping sleeping pills at night (a way to achieve dreamless sleep) - in the last eppy, he was drinking *milk* when he couldn't sleep! Plus, he obviously is still in pain, and painkillers would seem to be another logical choice.

The spoilers have also suggested a suicide attempt- I'm wondering if they're planning to have him overdose on drugs as a suicide attempt - maybe in Gamma's bathroom?

-- Beth (bsmith@internet-95.com), April 23, 2000.

Carter's still a little boy at heart who likes to have fun but he's very sensitive. For example in the xmas episode he starts out dressing up as santa and trading guns for gameboys, having fun. Then a little boy of 7 comes in who's been shot in the head and killed in a drive-by and he snaps at a patients he knows to be a member of the gang who shot the boy. - The patient demands to know where his gun is and Carter loses it, heaves up his xmas sack and pours out all the guns he's collected from others snapping 'yeah, very funny, then BAM, 7-yr-old's brains are splatted on the floor' (along those lines anyway). At that point Kerry sees him and demands to know what's going on. She rushes up and calms him down. The point is Carter needs people, or a person, to help him and keep him in control when he's in trouble and that's what he's not getting right now. He needs a person he trusts to just offer friendship and support because he's a very emotional person. This is why he goes to grandmothers and eats soup with her - which was SO cute - We can see the little-boy-Carter coming out as he sits down in a tie while gamma sets out the bowl. But in order for Carter to be able to relate to someone he has to have known them. He's friendly and cheerful (or was) but he doesn't give his trust and affection so easily. THis is why someone from the past needs to help him. He always needs people to be there for him - he's very reliant on others, unlike people like Kerry and Luka who keep everything to themselves, Carter's very open and earnest. He needs someone who he has a relationship with such that he can not only confide in them but they can confide in him. This is why nothing is helping him at the moment. Everyone's bottling up their hurt and keeping it in and Carter feels a burden to the others. He's ashamed to let go and ask people to help him because he thinks they expect him to deal with it. Carol's talk with him wasn't enough. He needs to be bullied (ok, that's not the right word but you know what I mean) into letting his friends know how he feels. He doesn't need a shrink or a councilor, he just needs all his friends to support him. But it looks like everyone's got their own problems to deal with so Carter feels very alone and he also mistakenly thinks that he's the only one who feels this way when in reality everyone is feeling helpless and having problems and none of them ar eopening up and helping each other.

I must stop now and just hope any of that made sense. Happy Easter everyone!

-- juliet (Vizzn@AOL.com), April 24, 2000.

HEy, just another thought - in AITF when Lucy and Carter are being operated on those who can't help all meet up in the cafe across the road and they all sit there comforting each other. There's real warmth and everyone's trying to help each other and despite the fact that none of them talk directly about Carter and Lucy they all gain comfort from each other. Now, after its all happened, instead of talking about it like they should, they're avoiding the subject in the hope it will just go away like it did when no one knew anything for certain. Evryone's just hoping they won't have to confront it and it will disappear like it did in that cafe the night it happened. No ones really thinking that the situation's different now, they're just all carrying on as they were.

-- jul (Vizzn@AOL.com), April 24, 2000.


EXACTLY!!!!! I said somewhere on another thread, that Lucy was right about being closed off, but your post drove another point home for me. He has been TRAINED to be closed off. It's not really him. And he has no other outlet for his feelings.

-- (trelles@ix.netcom.com), April 25, 2000.

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