Do you agree with Gamma? : LUSENET : ER Discussions : One Thread

I was particularly taken with Gamma's comment to Carter: "You have a beautiful spirit and that place is beating it out of you." I really had to think about whether there was any truth to that. I still haven't decided. I understand Gamma doesn't get the good part about being an ER doc--she just sees the bad. But she's known Carter longer than anyone else, so she would know how he's changed. Certainly Carter is quite different from when he started, but in the grand scheme is it for the better or the worse? What do you all think?

-- Barbara (, November 03, 2000


So many times the Carters have tried to get John to join the family business. Gamma has always seemed to try and respect his decision to be a doctor. Even in "Under Control" she is respecting the fact that he wants to go back to work. Gamma is the only family of Carter's that we see. She cares for him, and last season has proved it most. In season four, she seemed more like a businesswoman than a grandmother, now it's the opposite.

I don't know if the spirit is being beaten out of Carter, but he is not the same. Gamma cares for him and does not want him to get hurt anymore in this place he seems to trust and love. She wants him to be okay, and she can't see that happening in a place that hurt him so much.

-- Joanne (, November 03, 2000.

I think in many ways she is right. Over the years Carter has changed because of his exposure to the ER. I don't know if I'd go as far to say that his spirit is gone, but with the events of the last few months it does seem as if Carter has been a shell of his former self. I was just glad to see that his Grandmother would express her concerns about him. The writing for this scene was great, very realistic.

-- Emma (, November 03, 2000.

I also appreciated Gamma's comment. It really brought you back to the days when Carter was so young and idealistic. I think she was right in pointing out that there's something in Carter's situation that has to be changed, or else his spirit will be crushed for good. I think that's a real danger. I also think she was right (in a way) about pointing John toward his own practice - what Carter really needs is his own FAMILY - a steady significant other, or a wife and child of his own. Carter has lived for nothing but his medical work and she's right, it is killing him. Mark Greene is a dedicated ER doctor, but he has a life -- his daughter, and his (now deceased) father, and Elizabeth. I thought this was a really good scene and sounded just the right note of fear and darkness about the untenable path Carter is still on. Something's got to change in his life. He's sort of in between his old way of life (pre-stabbing, drug addiction) and whatever new way of life he needs to find. That's why he has so many ups and downs these days.

-- Tracy (, November 03, 2000.

Oh, and one other thing - you know things are truly bad when you see Gamma losing control of her emotions.

-- Tracy (, November 03, 2000.

When Carter first came to us in the ER, he seemed like he had just been getting by. His rotations before the ER were not particularly demanding, his grades were not the best and he only went to so-so schools. Remember how shocked and impressed he was by the other candidates who were applying for their residency at County (such as Dale). Carter only got into the program by a fluke but he made the most of this second chance by combining a competiveness and thirst for learning with his natural compassion for the patients.

Carter was hit with a life changing experience last year and I find Gamma's phrase about it("sucking the life from him") to be dead on (if you'll pardon the pun). He didn't handle it too well then but hopefully he will go on to become a better person and doctor. Last night he showed he could move on after a shocking situation. Good for him!

Businesswoman or no, Gamma is pretty smart, isn't she?

-- maryann (, November 03, 2000.

I thought Gamma (Yayyy Gamma's Back!) was right on with her comments. It's amazing to see the change in Carter over the past few years. Yes, some of it is a natural maturing process that everyone goes through, but some of it has definitely been because of his experiences while working at the ER.

There were a few moments during the episode where it was so clear the changes he had been through. When he was working on the heart patient with Luka for a moment you could see the old Carter; the confidence and the grin was back. Until then, I had lost perspective on how much he had changed due to his experiences. It was nice to see that flash and be able to make the comparison.

But, back to my original point - Gamma loves him and wants what's best. It was so nice to see someone having concern for Carter. I was holding my breath waiting for him to just let it all out - but alas, he couldn't.

I don't think his changes are necessarily for the better or worse, it's just life. Everyone goes through experiences that change them for the better or worse. I do know, however, that I really miss that smile!

-- Kelly W. (, November 03, 2000.

Carter getting accepted at county was no fluke. Carter was not an mediocre student. He got great praise form Benton. Carter graduated with high honors. This was mentioned during the second season.

-- Brenda (, November 03, 2000.

I thought that Carter didn't make the first cut at County but only got a slot when someone else turned them down. He didn't strike me as a very serious scholar back then -- I mean he spent his summers sailing while others did more useful things for their careers. He has grown much since.

-- maryann (, November 03, 2000.

During season one Benton gave Carter the highest praise and grades he ever gave a medical student. The ER wanted him on a sub I and was offered it and turned it down. Carter wanted the surgical sub I . While he was initially beat out by one person for the one slot, Benton really wanted him. Carter did get the slot when the other person accepted the slot and Cartet was second choice for it. In other words , Carter was first choice for aan ER siub I and second choice for a surgical sub I for his fourth year of medical school. That certainly does not indicate that Carter got bad graded and not respected as a student for his third year work. In fact it is quite the opposite. Carter did take the summer off except he did do one pediatric rotation during the summer. I think it was quite common for medical students during the summer between their third and fourth year to take the time off. Carter did graduate from medical at the end of the second season high honors. That means he graduated near the top of his class.

-- brenda (, November 03, 2000.

Most of my students tell me that their ER rotation is one of the toughest. I seriously doubt that Carter (at least in reality) would have gotten a surgical spot at County if he didn't have excellent evaluations. I was wondering if we will see Carter and a therapist. Based on this interactions with Gamma it appears as if he isn't seeing one. It seems to me that even though Carter is attending AA for his drug addiction we have not seen him deal with the major factor that caused him to turn to drugs. Perhaps he dealt with this is rehab, but even so I would still like to see him deal with particulary in light of the shooting in Benton Backwards.

-- Emma (, November 04, 2000.

Carter, to me, seems to be going through the fire of a serious life- change right now. Something akin to what's known as a dark night of the soul in spiritual terms. It's not fun to go through or to see someone go through it, but once you have, you know that who you are on the other side is a stronger person, though not the same. I think the Carter we'll see at the end of this year and then into next year will be a seasoned doctor who has what it takes to back up the inate compassion he has for the patient's in the ER. I thought Gamma was on target and said what any grandmother would to an obviously distraught grandchild. I guess I still saw a bit of it as typical Carter-family controlling, asking him to leave the ER for private practice and FINALLY agreeing she'd give up on getting him out of medicine altogether. He's 30 now, Gamma, time to let him make some of his own decisions about his life and career path.

-- Diana (, November 04, 2000.

Couple of comments.

A "place" cannot beat the spirit out of you unless you let it. He seemed to be ok the first couple years of his residency. In retrospect I would say that I truly saw a change in season 5. I agree with Diana who says that he's in a very dark place right now.

Carter's grandmother is quick to realize that all is not well, but she didn't help matters by blaming his choice of work and breaking down. If I were in Carter's place, I too would have run like hell to somewhere where I could forget my troubles. Unfortunately, in Carter's case, that place happens to be work, where a lot of the trouble began. What's a guy to do?

I'm reminded of a comment Susan Lewis made in season 3. She was up for Chief Resident, and Kerry offered it to her. She didn't accept it. When Mark questioned her, her reply was something like this: "At the end of the day, I realize that this is all I have. It's not enough."

-- S. Trelles (, November 05, 2000.

I can understand her point of view but Carter has gone through many changes over the years, some good, some bad (we've seen selfless acts and selfishness) but on the whole he has matured very well as a person and a doctor. He's still in a fragile state and like everyone has said *a dark place*. I liked and understood the fact he had to go back to finish his shift but he really should be getting therapy in regards to the attack on him & Lucy plus talk to someone. You could really see him freaking out after the shooting in the er. The one thing I can't figure out is why none of his friends and colleagues, except Luka went to check if he was ok. Obviously he didn't want to tell Gamma what happened in front of him and upset her. I do think he'll come out of this a stronger, better person.

-- Laura (, November 05, 2000.

I agree with Laura about being disappointed that no one else went to check on Carter other than Luka. I supervise a department with a total of 34 people; and I make it a point to go see someone if anything traumatic happens to them, at the office or away. They work for me and I'd darn well better be ready to be there for them if they need me. In fact recently an employee had a bad interview in another department (and got some bad news from home just after). She was crying and upset. I sent her home, with pay. There was no point in her hanging around for another two hours. Back to ER, I'm very disappointed that neither Kerry or Mark checked on Carter. And if they were too busy they could have tried to call him at home. I know they're busy, I know they're in the ER where things happen, but my goodness, it was a SHOOTING! Some support would be nice.

-- Diana (, November 05, 2000.

What *is* the Carter family business?

-- Driad (, November 05, 2000.

I was very disappointed by the lack of support after Carter saw the shooting...after I saw how shaken he was I thought, "Yeah, there's gonna be the moment..." but nope. I appreciated Luka's gesture, and Kerry's sweetness, but can't anyone ask if he's okay? In real life, coworkers see if others are okay. I bring this situation up a lot, but consider Carter after Gant died...Mark *left* a trauma to check on him after he seemed upset, and Kerry encouraged it. I guess stabbings and shootings aren't a big deal these days.

-- Elaine (, November 05, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ