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"Loose Ends"
Season 6, Episode 20
Loose ends.jpg
Air date May 11, 2000
Written by Neal Baer
Directed by Kevin Hooks
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Loose Ends is the 20th episode of the 6th season of "E.R."

Plot

DR. GREENE SHARES MEMORIES WITH FATHER: A weary Dr. Greene (Anthony Edwards) remains at home to care for his father (guest star John Cullum) and shares a tender moment while a robust Dr. Kovac (Goran Visnjic) tries to court Nurse Hathaway (Julianna Margulies).

In addition, faulty hospital procedure causes Dr. Benton (Eriq La Salle) to assail Kovac for not checking up on a patient (guest star Lincoln Kilpatrick) who now might lose his leg; likewise, Dr. Chen (Ming-Na) is horrified to learn that a simple metabolic test for infants could have prevented a boy's disabling brain seizure.

Dr. Carter (Noah Wyle) assumes Greene's shift and is a whirling dervish of activity who can't resist taking over other doctors' cases as well.

When an anemic teenager (guest star Polly Cusumano) refuses crucial treatment, Dr. Corday (Alex Kingston) makes a calculated gamble in order to assist her.

Dr. Malucci (Erik Palladino) is enraged when a 6-year-old car accident victim (guest star Steffani Brass) claims that her father (guest star Jay Underwood) has been sexually abusing her. Maura Tierney, Laura Innes and Michael Michele also star.

Synopsis

Mark Greene is at home taking care of David. David asks for a Bloody Mary and Mark makes him one. He tries to get David to eat but it’s a struggle. He goes to give him some medicine but ends up breaking the bottle and cutting his hand. He needs stitches but he doesn’t want to leave David alone. Elizabeth Corday goes to Mark’s and does the stitches. She offers to stay and make them lunch but David says he isn’t hungry. He does ask her if she’d like to stay for tea and she says she’d love to. David tells Elizabeth that he has something to give her. He asks Mark to bring him a green box in the desk drawer. Inside is a string of pearls. They were Mark’s mothers that he gave to her on their wedding day. Elizabeth says they’re beautiful and Mark puts the necklace on her. Later, Mark bathes David. David asks if Mark is alright and Mark says yes. David says he looks tired and that this used to be his job. That he used to give Mark a bath when he was a baby. David tells Mark that the day he became a doctor was the proudest day of his life. They both tell each other that they love one another. Mark wakes up later and realizes that his Dad has passed away while he was sleeping. He gets up and gives him a kiss on the lips. Elizabeth returns to the apartment and finds Mark going through his Dad’s papers. He starts to cry and she hugs him.

Luka Kovač finds Carol Hathaway in the breakroom. He asks her was he hasn’t been able to reach her these past few days. She gives him the excuse that one of her babies was sick and that her kitchen was being redone. He shows her that he’s brought her flowers because it’s her birthday. He tries to kiss her but another nurse walks in before he can. Weaver asks Carol to help her get some data for a meeting she has coming up in a couple of hours. Carol says she’s on it. When Carol fails to do so, Weaver confronts Carol about being distracted and asks if she can handle doing her job anymore. Carol says she can. Carol receives a package from Doug and it’s a box full of animal crackers. Kerry Weaver asks Carol if something’s bothering her. Carol tells her that she has ten patients and two babies up in daycare. That she wants Weaver to get off her back. Weaver tells her to stay on top of things and she won’t bother her again. Weaver asks Carol if there is anything she can do to help her. Weaver tells her that she’s worked with Carol for five years and that she knows her. Carol says that she hates her life. That she loves her work and her daughters but how did she end up raising twins by herself. Weaver tells her that if she needs time that she can use her sick days to figure things out. Luka finds Carol on top of the roof. She tells him that she can’t have dinner with him tonight. He asks if he did something wrong. She says no that it’s all her.

John Carter is seen working out when his grandma walks in. She asks if he wants toast and coffee for breakfast. He says pancakes sound good. She says that they can manage that. Weaver is looking for someone to cover Mark’s shift so Carter offers to take it. Carter helps Abby Lockhart put in a chest tube by using a camera to guide her. Carter jumps from patient to patient. One of his patients is a man who came in with his daughter. Dave finds blood and bruises on the little girl's thighs. He asks her if anyone’s been sexually abusing her. She says yes that Dad plays a game with her sometimes. Dave gets upset and attacks the Dad but Carter stops him. Carter tells Dave Malucci to have Cleo Finch do a pelvic exam. Carter’s next patient needs a central line but the nurses tell him that they don’t do that in the ER. He does it anyway and discovers that the man had a hole in his heart. Luka still yells at him for not calling him to come to supervise. He also gets told off by Weaver because he performed a procedure he wasn’t supposed to. He says that he won’t do it again.

Elizabeth has a patient who is both bulimic and anorexic. She tries to get psych to come down and put a hold on her. She becomes upset when psych won’t admit her. He tells her that if she can convince her patient to stay that he’ll admit her to the psych ward. Desperate, Elizabeth calls the girls mom in hopes that she’ll be able to convince her. This only upsets the girl who demands to be discharged. Elizabeth says fine that if she doesn’t care about her own life than neither does she.

Jing-Mei Chen works on a seizing child. Finally, after 30 minutes, the child stops seizing. Weaver has her run a bunch of tests to see why the little boy is having seizures. Jing-Mei learns that the little boy has a rare metabolic disorder and that if the parent’s had given him sugar water when he got sick they could’ve prevented this from happening. Jing-Mei is upset about the whole situation and asks Robert Romano why they don’t just perform the test on every infant. He says it’s too costly. Later, the boy’s mom approaches her and asks her to do the same test on his baby sister to see if she too has the disorder. Romano is called into the boy’s room and Jing-Mei asks him to sign a petition so that Chicago hospital can start doing the tests. He signs it much to Jing-Mei’s pleasure.

Peter Benton has a patient whose leg may need to be amputated. The son is upset and asks how this could’ve happened. Peter asks who the previous doctor they’d seen was and he learns that it was Luka. Peter confronts Luka and asks him why he didn’t follow up with his patient. Luka retaliates and asks if Peter calls back all of the patients he sees. Peter says only the high-risk ones. Luka gets upset and walks away.

Characters

Trivia

  • Maura Tierney (Abby Lockhart) & Julianna Margulies (Carol Hathaway) also worked together on the fourth season of The Good Wife (2009).
  • This is John Cullum's final appearance

Goofs

  • At 32:00 Luka hands Carol a syringe of fluid which alternates between her right and left hands in between shots, and also changes from air-filled to filled with a yellow solution.

Quotes

Dr. Dave Malucci: Hey, Chief, am I a yuppie?

Dr. Kerry Weaver: No, but you will be when you grow up.

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