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Recap / ERS 1 E 06 Chicago Heat

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Season 1, Episode 06:

Directed by Elodie Keene

Written by John Wells & Neal Baer

Chicago Heat

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Mark is lying in bed with Jen when his hospital pager goes off. Rousing himself out of bed, he answers the pager and calls County... only to find out that he's being called back in to work by Carol, as a heat wave has played havoc throughout the city, causing a neighbouring hospital to lose power and the nearby Mercy hospital to lose the power in its trauma ward. Upon arriving at County with Rachel in tow, as Jen is looking for an apartment in Milwaukee, Mark and Doug diagnose a five year-old girl with heart problems while Lydia brings Rachel to the hospital's staff lounge.

As Haleh tells Mark about the humid conditions plaguing the hospital (and the city), a pizza deliveryman phones the hospital to tell them he's been stabbed by a customer and is driving himself to the ER. Mark barely has time to ask how the patient's condition is before the deliveryman drives the vehicle straight through the receiving doors, causing Mark to jump out of the way and the hallway and lighting fixtures to be damaged. Having seen what's happened, Dr. Taglieri pops out of a nearby hallway to ask if someone ordered a pizza.

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The pizza deliveryman is wheeled into one of the exam rooms to diagnose his injuries, but despite his apparent cries of pain, Benton discovers that his injury is Just a Flesh Wound, and tells Nurse Chuny and the others to give the man a bandaid and send him on his way. Meanwhile, Mark contends with a DOA that was left in the hallway because there is no space in the morgue, and Doug continues to diagnose the five year-old girl, Kanesha, who looks on in surprise and fear as the doctors circle around her and examine her condition.

Meanwhile, Susan is told that her sister, Chloe, has arrived at the ER and wants to see her. Susan arrives at the doctor's lounge to find Chloe, who has stolen donuts from the lounge's fridge and annoys Susan for the way she dresses. After Susan asks her what she wants, Chloe tells her that she was thrown out from her apartment, even though the former made a $500 deposit on the property. Chloe asks to stay with her for a few days, and after several moments of begging and pleading, Susan reluctantly gives her the keys and tells her to be on her best behavior. Chloe tells her that things will be okay, and Susan reluctantly hopes that it will...

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Mark questions Kanesha's father, Mr. Freeman, later in the day and tells him that the staff is doing everything they can to help her, while his other daughter acts dismissive and distracted regarding the situation. Later, Doug realizes that the situation is worsening, as Kanesha has become hypertensive and isn't responding to treatment. Mark muses aloud as to whether Kanesha has been poisoned, but after a tox-screen report, the two doctors and a representative from Child Protective Services go to Mr. Freeman and tell him that Kanesha overdosed on cocaine. He is taken aback by the revelation, but states he would never allow drugs in the house.

Benton is also on his shift when Lydia tells him that Ivan, the liquor store owner, shot and gravely wounded the robber who wounded him several months back. Benton finds Ivan holding his head and walking behind the robber, who has several gunshot wounds. Ivan tells Benton that he got revenge for the shooting by taking out the assailant first. As Benton and Carter work on stabilizing the patient, a 14 year-old boy, Dr. Langworthy arrives and attempts to seize control of the unit by ordering Lydia to crack open the patient's chest, just before Benton shuts her down. He orders Carter to look after Ivan's superficial wounds while continuing to stabilize the boy. Outside, Ivan attempts to justify his actions as Carter sews up the headwound the former sustained.

Mark also brings Rachel into the exam room to meet Kanesha, who is still recovering from her wounds. They have a conversation about each other's families before Rachel walks to the nearby OR and sees Benton and Langworthy preparing to crack the boy's chest to remove the bullets from inside. Seeing what she's doing, Mark pulls Rachel away from the room before anything else happens and tells her that the staff are trying to help the "sick boy" better. Soon after, Benton and the rest of the trauma unit wheel the boy to the intensive care unit, Ivan looks on in shock as the realization of what he did sets in. He eventually breaks down crying after Benton tells him that he's not sure if the boy will fully recover. Later, Langworthy admits to Benton that the boy died, and they are forced to break the news gently to Rachel after she asks about his condition.

In the nearby hallway, Doug stops Carol near the elevator and mentions that he wanted to apologize for his actions at her apartment a few weeks back, when he encountered both her and Tag. He tries to make amends with her, but she tells him it isn't the time. The conversation is interrupted when Tag arrives on the elevator, and Carol leaves both of them alone to take the stairs up to a nearby lab to get some test results. Despite their prior encounter, Tag says he doesn't blame Doug for wanting to get back with Carol, as he would have done the exact same thing in his shoes, before exiting the elevator. Later, as Tag and Carol look after a patient who has dislocated his shoulder and been sedated, Tag says Doug is still in love with her, but she brushes off his concern, claiming he "always wants what he can't have." Tag also wants to move in together with her, but she expresses reluctance at the offer and says she needs to move at her own pace...

Susan heads back to her locker, only to discover that Chloe broke the lock and stole one of her credit cards. Upon discussing the situation with Cvetic afterwards, Susan expresses reluctance to cancel the card, claiming she doesn't want to see Chloe get arrested... while also claiming that Chloe made her life hectic due to overstaying her welcome the last time she stayed at the latter's apartment. Despite reaching out to Cvetic for help, he refuses, claiming that Chloe is her responsibility and he has too many patients to attend to.

Doug continues to blame Mr. Freeman for Kanesha's condition, leading Nurse Connie to confront Doug later and accuse him of having a racial bias in the case. She suggests Taking a Third Option — having the entire Freeman family screened for drug use. Upon receiving the results, Doug discovers that while Mr. Freeman's test is clean, his older daughter's was not. Mr. Freeman says he's not surprised by the result, and that the death of Mrs. Freeman several months earlier caused his older daughter to self-harm due to the guilt over the incident. Doug promises to help them before he leaves.

In the receiving area, a detective questions Ivan over the shooting, and it's revealed that, despite Ivan's claim that the teenage robber shot at him twice, he was unarmed and Ivan chased him out onto the street before shooting him. However, the cop declines to press charges and leaves, while Ivan learns of the boy's death and reels in shock before heading out of the hospital...

Later that night, as Mark puts Rachel to bed and they talk about what she learned at the hospital, Susan comes back to her apartment and discovers that Chloe has left the place in disarray, along with stealing her television. Susan has a momentary breakdown before Cvetic arrives and sees the state of the apartment. He promises to get Chloe some help before they embrace...

Tropes:

  • Affectionate Nickname: Chloe refers to Susan (her sister) as "Suzie", though this takes on a more sinister tone when one realizes that Chloe only uses the term when she wants something.
  • Awesome by Analysis: Lydia has the ability to very accurately diagnose a patient's blood alcohol level simply from smelling their breath, to such an extent that she's Famed in Story because of it.
  • Babysitting Episode: Mark is forced to look after Rachel at work after Jen goes to Milwaukee to look for a temporary apartment space...
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Cvetic claims that he won't treat Chloe on Susan's behalf due to this, claiming Chloe could be harboring a dark secret that could negatively impact Susan's life.
  • The Bet: Susan, Jerry, Haveh and several of the nurses bet on the results of a patient's alcohol level test during one of the early scenes.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Ivan (who mentioned buying a gun for his own protection in the previous episode) motivates the plot by shooting and wounding a robber who tries to fleece his store, proving that he was right about wanting to protect himself from robbers. Then it gets turned around at the end of the episode, when a detective reveals that Ivan chased the robber (who was unarmed) into the street and shot him.
  • Children Are Innocent: Invoked via the conversation between fellow five year-olds Rachel Greene and Kanesha Freeman, who talk about the latter's stint in the ER and each other's respective families.
  • Contrived Coincidence: As Susan attempts to deal with a family member who is using her her to get money and possessions, she meets a patient who tries to do the exact same thing after being treated for an alcohol and drug problem.
  • Dead Guy on Display: In the post-opening sequence, with Rachel pointing it out to Mark, who has to call for the attendants to move the body out of sight. Turns into a Brick Joke at the end of the episode, when Mark discovers that the corpse has been left in the hall all day and jokingly asks Jerry if they should "grab shovels and bury him in the parking lot" the next morning.
  • Drives Like Crazy: The pizza delivery man in the opening sequence (having been stabbed) drives his vehicle straight into the ER, through the receiving doors, prompting Taglieri to ask if "somebody ordered a pizza".
  • Dr. Jerk: Said verbatim by Doug, who claims he was this to Carol in the past.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In this episode, and in "Luck of the Draw," Doug claims that he has a son he has never met. For the rest of his time on the series, however, this subject is never brought up, and Doug will claim in later seasons and episodes that he has no children.
  • Empathic Environment: Coupled with Rule of Symbolism, heavy rain begins and the air conditioning kicks back in once the major plot threads resolve themselves.
  • Eye for an Eye: Ivan invokes it as he explains to Benton why he fought back against the robber:
    Ivan: He shoot me? Now I shoot him.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Susan is shown to be covering for her sister's mistakes; Chloe, conversely, uses and exploits her sister for money and a free place to stay.
  • Four Lines, All Waiting: The episode is the first to start bringing some of the disparate plot threads from the first few episodes together, as it focuses on Susan's relationship with her sister, Doug and Carol's uncertainty following their confrontation at the end of "Hit and Run", Benton's dealings with Ivan (the convenience store owner from the pilot, who makes his last appearance in this episode) and Langworthy, and Mark's Babysitting Episode with Rachel due to Jen being out of town.
  • Gentle Giant: The first display of Jerry's role as an impromptu bouncer in the ER occurs when an HIV-positive man attempts to harass Susan for money to move out of his neighbourhood and get into a treatment program, prompting Jerry to intervene when he tries to attack her.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: Arthur, the drunk, slovenly patient who the staff take bets on regarding his alcohol level, reappears at the end of the episode, having put on a clean set of clothes, shaved and cut his hair. Nurse Chuny and the others are amazed at the transformation.
  • Hypocrite: Carol has spent much of the past several episodes—and this one—rebuffing Doug, but gets visibly jealous as he begins flirting with a pharmaceutical rep.
  • Idiot Ball: Susan, who knows that her sister has either stolen/lost the $500 in deposit money she gave her for an apartment, and after seeing her bluff her way into making herself at home in the hospital's staff lounge, gives her the key to her apartment... causing her to lose a credit card, her television and have her apartment trashed. For her part, she does get a My God, What Have I Done? moment by the end of the episode.
  • Karma Houdini: Ivan seemingly gets off scot-free for shooting the teenage robber, even though he chased the boy (who was unarmed) into the street and shot him.
  • Manly Tears:
    • Ivan breaks down crying after Benton tells him the robber (who is just a boy) may never fully recover from his injuries.
    • Mark also sheds a few tears after Rachel's interaction with Benton leads the latter to admit that they couldn't save the teenage robber.
  • Mistaken for Racist: Doug's interactions with Mr. Freeman have the latter claiming that he's being treated dismissively because he's Black. Doug counters that his daughter overdosed in his house and believes him to be the cause, though he later realizes he made a mistake treating him that way a drug test reveals that Freeman's other daughter possessed (and used) the cocaine that Kanesha OD'd on.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Having initially tried to justify his reaction of shooting the robber by claiming it was an Eye for an Eye, Ivan eventually has this reaction once he sees how bad a condition the robber (a 14 year-old boy) is in.
  • The Nose Knows: Lydia is able to win The Bet with the other staff members over the drunk patient's blood alcohol test due to smelling the patient and guessing the right number.
  • The Oner: As Benton, Langworthy and the trauma unit wheel the liquor store robber through the ward and into an elevator before Ivan looks on in shock and despair.
  • P.O.V. Cam: Seen from the perspective of Kanesha, the child heart patient, who looks on as Doug, Mark and other doctors walk in and out of the room examining her condition and administering drugs to her IV line.
  • Pulled from Your Day Off: Mark gets pulled back into work on one of his days off after the power in other neighbouring hospitals fails and an increased number of patients start arriving at County.
  • Race Against the Clock: Subverted. In the post-opening sequence, dramatic music plays as the pizza deliveryman is wheeled into the ER, screaming about the pain he's in. Benton orders a full prep for surgery, and is busy diagnosing the patient... when he discovers that the "wound" the man is complaining about is Just a Flesh Wound, causing the dramatic music to stop instantly.
  • Running Gag: For the sixth time in a row, an episode opens with a doctor (in this case, Mark, again) being roused from his sleep by work, though in this case, he's home when it happens.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: In the opening sequence, Mark practically tosses Jen out of the way to get to his hospital pager, which is lying underneath her.
  • Trash the Set: The pizza delivery vehicle in the opening, which smashes through the emergency doors, mangles the entranceway and barely stops before flattening the front desk.
  • With Friends Like These...: Chloe annoys Susan, loses the money the latter had paid on a deposit for her apartment, steals cash and a credit card from her wallet, and eventually flees from her apartment while stealing her TV, leading Susan to suffer from a brief Heroic BSoD.

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