What caused the change in Carter?

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Why was Carter suddenly sleeping so well at night and full of energy in the day? My guess is he discovered that certain drugs enhance sleep and others can give boundless energy. Notice nothing has been said about his writing scrips for Benton and Cleo since the original incident. He may have decided to treat himself with out benefit of psych or medical consult. Gamma should have been suspicious at the sudden changes, but was probably so relieved to see Carter being "normal" that she missed the obvious. Maybe he wasn't a "whirling dervish" but he was certainly more energized than he's been since the stabbing. I think his downfall will come in the season finale and we will spend the long summer months writing scripts in our heads to bring his story to a happy conclusion while TPTB leave us hanging. My observations and ramblings-any other speculations out there?

-- Bev (bev.burris@eer-h.com), May 05, 2000


I know that chronic back pain from surgery or injury can cause a person to have good days and bad days, but not to the extreme we saw last night. You do not go from pumping up a bed because it hurts to bend over and limping more noticeably as the day goes on, to suddenly one week later (remember they run on the same time line we do) you become super doc. No limping, sitting up the way he did on the weight bench, and working a double shift, all without a sign of pain, chronic or otherwise. Either the writers have lost their minds (which I doubt) or Carter has discovered painkillers.

I can see how it would be easy to think, "Just one good night's sleep would help me". I can also see how easy it might be for that to become a second night, then a third.

Just speculation, I guess we'll see soon enough.

-- Nancy Wilson (nwilson@wko.com), May 05, 2000.

It seems to me that they are trying to set up the bipoloar disorder storyline after all. One day he's like he was on Loose Ends, and thenext day he's depressed and limping again. That's what I think.

-- Kimmy (swiss_cheesed1953@yahoo.com), May 06, 2000.

I personally think Noah Wyle's character was completely ruined by Lucy's death. Before he was cute, funny, nice, even a little stuck up. Now he's a melodramatic jerk pumped full of drugs and who knows what else. I used to love Dr. Carter, now he just disgusts me. Come on, these people are ruining EVERYONE, first Carol now John. Oh please, stop!

-- Gina G. (thatsagirl@aol.com), May 06, 2000.

I don't think Carter's character has been ruined by his knifing. I think they are realistically showing how someon normally reacts after such a traumatic event. I imaging that very soon they will have Carter start recovering from the PTSD, Chronic pain , and survivors guilt he has right. I think it will be overkill if they bring bipolar into it as well. I think everything we have seen can be explained away by his having PTSD< chronic pain , and survivors guilt and by someone who is trying to mask all this and is in denial. He is getting much better at masking it as time has gone on. I live with chronic pain( back and legs) and I have up and down moments with the pain just as it been portrayed with Carter. Thankfully , I am not dealing with PTSD and survivors guilt as well. I also think it is quite possible that Carter is taking some or all these to try to help himself: Pain killers for the pain, pills for his insomnis, and uppers for him to take during the day so he is not so tired. Poor guy. I hope he gets out of denial stage soon and het help. I think we will see him start to recover and be his normal self early next season. As for now, I think we will see him get worse, but I don't think he has acted that bad. I certainly don't think he turned as mean as Greene did during his PTSD days. I doubt TPTB are going to drag this storyline out too long like they did with Greene

-- Brenda (jckwfan@aol.com), May 06, 2000.

Maybe the self-medication we were speculating about a few weeks ago has finally begun...

-- Linda (l.brown@mindspring.com), May 06, 2000.

For any of you that think Carter is "doing splendidly getting over the stabbing" I think he's doing a lousy job. He needs to get over the denial and get some HELP! (i.e., see a shrink). Come on Carter, the clamming up days should be over.

-- Gina G. (thatsagirl@aol.com), May 07, 2000.

Personally I think that Carter was lying to dear old Gamma about sleeping at night, but I could be wrong. Something as simple as caffeine pills can give you quite a bit of energy. I really think that Carter is pretrending to himself and everyone else that he is back to the way things were.

-- Emma (webbef@hotmail.com), May 07, 2000.

Like I've said before, this storyline was kind of a weak attempt at giving him bipolar disorder, though he wasn't quite a "whirling dervish". And, as I always say, I hope they don't go there. Aside from that, he has also defied 2 doctors now; Mark and Luka, and when he spoke to Luka and Kerry about doing the ICU procedure, he just brushed them off like it wasn't a big deal, like they were being ridiculous for worrying about him doing this. And once again, absolutely no consequences. Though he was pretty good at teaching Abby. Carter has gone through "kick-ass" phases (like in season 2), and he always pulls out of it, realizing he wants to be a good, kind doctor. I am very curious to see what happens on the season finale...there must be something that sets him off???

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

As Elaine pointed out, Carter goes through "kick-ass" periods. He can be nakedly ambitious and has stepped on a few toes because of this. He has slid a few rules (mostly) for the benefit of patients. We've seen him YELL at Anspaugh when he got *really* ticked off. (Yes folks, he has limits!) And we've seen him lie to cover his own butt. There are several sides to this guy's character, and not all are attractive. Most of the time you see Carter, but sometimes his evil twin comes out to play. So don't make this character out to be a saint, because HE ISN'T. I'll quote what some of the reviewers said about "St. Mark": I never believed in "St. John" anyway. And it's yet another reason why I find Carter such a kick.

That said, I don't think Carter's acting totally out of character, especially considering what he's been through. Generally Carter is able to sequester his evil twin before he really screws things up. I'm going to use Dissociative Identity Disorder (also known as Multiple Personality) as a metaphor here. I'm not suggesting that Carter has this! When someone has DID, it is usually the result of prolonged childhood trauma. It's too much for a person to handle, so the personality splinters/dissociates into enough "people" to handle the trauma.

Carter is unable to cope with the trauma he has recently undergone. His evil twin is taking over sometimes (more often than not) and eventually will draw the attention of his co-workers. (Note: he already has drawn some attention!)

Or I could be talking out of my butt here. It is very late! Have I made any sense at all?

Thank you all for your patience.

-- S. Trelles (trelles@ix.netcom.com), May 08, 2000.

Carter in this episode reminded me of an old Carter. I can really place from when, but he seemed to revisit himself. I don't think he was lying to Gamma at all, when he said he slept like a baby, it looked to me like he really meant it. Maybe not naturally...

As for the PTSD and stuff, he obviously has something to deal with. And he obviously has to deal with it because it has a lot of potential to grow into something else.

-- Joanne (bucklind@hotmail.com), May 08, 2000.

To me Carter has been the most interesting character every season since ER first went on the air. He continues to be so now.

I actually look forward to the season finale a lot more than I do to Carol leaving because Carter is so much more interesting then whatever they are doing with Carol.

-- Rusty Priske (rusty.priske@hrdc-drhc.gc.ca), May 08, 2000.

Amen, Rusty!!!

-- S. Trelles (trelles@ix.netcom.com), May 09, 2000.

I agree with ya'll, Rusty and Trelles. I can't wait for the season finale with Carter as the centerpiece. It's going to be great!

-- Katrina (cattrek@ga.freei.net), May 09, 2000.

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