Episode Report Card
Heathen: C- | Grade It Now!

Previously on ER: Mark's tumor returned -- and this time, it's inoperable -- but he hasn't told Lizzie. While this went on, Lizzie groused to Benton that Mark won't kick out Rachel because of some silly misguided thing called "being her father" and "loving his daughter" and stuff. Susan and Carter split up because they didn't feel a spark. Firefighter Sandy Lopez yelled at Kerry, "I did you a favor!" Except they don't show what that favor was, so for all we know, Sandy fed Kerry's dog and it didn't like the Alpo and took a revenge dump on the sofa. This is a half-assed "previously" segment. Mark got Gamma treatment on his brain, and Susan found out; Lizzie told Mark she didn't know when she'd move back home. That was such a mish-mash.

A telephone rings. Dr. Elizabeth "Taming of the Shrew" Corday rolls awake and hazily answers her wake-up call from the hotel operator. Hanging up, she sighs heavily, listening to the sad music twanging through the scene and fully aware that it means she'll have a rough day. She darts a look at her sleeping daughter -- who has aged and is huge -- and shuffles into the bathroom to look at her worn face and mussed hair. I love that she's wearing baggy pajamas. That feels right somehow. As Elizabeth rubs her eyes and leans slightly toward the sink...

...Dr. Mark "A Scar is Born" Greene rinses his razor and then brings it to his lathered face. He then takes a huge chunk out of his neck, because the character isn't tragic enough. He's Ziggy. He'll never win. As Mark almost curses, the closed captioners write that he's "moaning softly." Ew. A thousand times: Ew. Mark wets a towel and holds it to his jugular... Lizzie one-ups him by shaving a hunk out of her chin. Ha! No. I'm sure her beard gets waxed. She's actually "helping" Ella do a puzzle, by which I mean she's telling the confused child what the pieces are called and making cooing noises that she probably heard someone make on television once. She finally grabs Ella's piece-clutching hand and impatiently shoves it into the right hole. Nurturing, evidently, is harder for her than birthing a watermelon would be for Mark. "Can you say 'Ma-ma'?" Elizabeth wheedles. She scoops up Ella and answers a knock at the door; it's her nameless blonde nanny, there to start the day. ["I know she's a doctor, but she's a doctor at a County hospital. How can she afford more than a month's worth of nights in a pretty nice-looking hotel, and a daily nanny? Actually, forget it, I don't care." -- Wing Chun] "You're early," Elizabeth says, not entirely pleasantly. "I figured you could use a break," Nanny says. "That's right," Elizabeth agrees, handing off Ella. Yes, she does need a break from that grueling twenty-minute stretch of mother-daughter bonding. I feel for that child. I'm briefly rueful that Mark's going to die, because he at least ups the temperature in that family from utterly frigid to mildly nippy. Elizabeth moves to write a check for Nanny, but apparently Mark took care of it already. Lizzie's all stony about it. She demands the mail and then leaves with a very forced "Bye-bye, my love," to Ella. As she closes the hotel door...

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