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A Walk in the Woods

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A Walk in the Woods

The choir is starting its chants as Bishop Cromwell asks Luka, "When did you lose your faith?" The camera pans down to Bishop Cromwell, wearing his miter and everything, as he adds, "I've found with most people, it comes and goes, like intimacy in a relationship. Sometimes it's so strong -- a passion, rapture! And then, at other times, it's impossible -- distant. Lost. But that's not God. That's us. We put up our own barriers, with our egos, and our pain. He's always there, no matter what." The organ starts playing "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," and Bishop Cromwell lights up: "Bach. I love Bach." They've come out of the shadows of the sacristy and are illuminated by the light from the nave. (Basically, they're backstage, behind the altar, Bishop Cromwell having skipped the processional.) Bishop Cromwell lets go Luka's shoulder and strides out onto the chancel, taking his place at the altar and leaning down to kiss it.

Three segments. Five hours. I'm speeding up! I even went and tidied the house up in the middle of that last segment so that Glark's socks weren't all over the front hall when Sars and Djb get here.

Back at County, Romano, Benton, and Janet "Amy Aquino" Coburn seem to be deep into the interview process; I say "deep" because they all look wicked bored. Benton asks the applicant, "Why do you want to be a doctor?" What follows is a montage of the applicants all answering, we may presume, the same question, or at least some version of it:

  1. "I've given that question a great deal of thought, and I think it all boils down to one thing: I really want to help people."
  2. "My dad died of lung cancer, and I was twelve, and I vowed I would work for a cure."
  3. "My research in molecular biology has been very rewarding."
  4. "I expect we'll see gene therapy in our lifetime."
  5. "I'm a people person."
  6. "The bottom line is, I really want to help people."
  7. "I volunteered for the Pediatrics ward -- I'm very empathetic."
  8. "When I saw my kitty suffering like that, I knew that I had a calling..."
  9. "...to help people in their time of need..."
  10. "...and I think you have to combine humanistic skills..."
  11. "...with a passion for making a difference."
  12. "And I -- I really just want to help people."
  13. "I just want to help people."
  14. "I want to help people."
  15. "[long pause] Help people."

The committee looks nonplussed. Well, they want to be doctors, not creative writers. Give them a break!

Elizabeth -- in her scrubs and cap and with a gown trailing after her like a train of self-righteousness -- storms over to Weaver and bellows, "How could you?! Dammit, Kerry! They sawed off half his skull, then they inserted high doses of chemotherapy wafers into the empty cavity!" Over this last sentence, Weaver dryly says, "Hello, Elizabeth, how are you." Elizabeth doesn't even stop to take a breath: "It caused temporary swelling right next to Broca's -- of course he had a little aphasia! But that was six weeks ago. The swelling's gone down and he's back to normal." Throughout this last bit, Weaver's been crutching toward the desk with Elizabeth stomping alongside her, haranguing her every step of the way. When they reach the desk and Weaver has still made no answer, Elizabeth adds, "If anything, I find his honesty rather refreshing. We could all do with a little more candour around here!" Weaver -- very gently, considering Elizabeth's totally inappropriate hissyfit -- replies, "Candidly speaking, then, are you sure that you can be objective about this?" In a strangled, hysterical voice, Elizabeth shrieks, "Of course I'm not objective! Look, I've been with him every moment, and I can tell you he's making remarkable progress, and is no danger to anyone -- except [getting in Weaver's face], perhaps, easily threatened minor demigods!" Okay, Elizabeth. The line you've crossed is so far behind you that it's invisible to your naked eye. I know you're mad, but this is not your fight, and this is not your business, and also? Shut the fuck up. Mitchell has quietly appeared and is on the other side of the desk as the conversation continues. Weaver quietly says, "He may be endangering patients. I'm not unsympathetic to his circumstances, but I have larger responsibilities." And she doesn't add -- as she certainly might -- that she is not making any judgment, here. She could have just gone to Romano and asked him to require Mark to go on medical leave -- or suspended him for his stunt with the patient the paramedics brought in last week -- but she didn't; she appealed to an authority higher than hers -- and one that is utterly objective and certainly would have no vested interest in diminishing the number of competent physicians working in public hospitals -- to do no more (as I understand it) than give Mark a test, so that if he passes, Weaver will have no legal recourse to get rid of him, and if he fails, it's all the proof anyone should need that Mark needs to take some time off while his aphasia heals, if it is, indeed, temporary. And if Elizabeth can't even see the argument that a language challenge puts Mark's patients in danger -- if her paramount concern right now is Mark's pride -- then she is just about the shittiest doctor this hospital has ever seen -- and that is saying something. Maybe if Weaver had said even some of that to Elizabeth, she wouldn't be so quick to spit the following drama-queeny conclusion: "It's despicable. And you should be ashamed of yourself. I hope that you end up with a possibly fatal illness one day, Kerry, so that I can do absolutely nothing to help you." Ah -- the line any of the five remaining Elizabeth fans needed to hear in order to convince them of how hard she sucks now. Elizabeth? SHUT! UP! MY GOD! Weaver watches her go, looking like she just had the wind knocked out of her. Mitchell comes around the corner and asks, "What was that about?" Weaver mutters, by way of response, "Some days, I really hate this job." Mitchell agrees, "Well, you, me, and everyone else around here. Are you ready?" Weaver looks at her blankly, and Mitchell reminds her, "Dinner?" Weaver says she's almost ready. She hands a chart to Carter and reminds him that he still has a leg laceration to suture. Carter distractedly assents. "Get there by Easter, would you please?" she snarls. Carter's all, yeah, yeah.

We leave Weaver, and the camera starts following Carter, as he eats an apple and takes a cursory look at the chart in his hands. He rounds a corner, finds a film on a light box, and asks Malik if it's Zack's, which it is. Malik offers to take it up to the PICU, and Carter says he'll do it.

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