Chaos Theory

Episode Report Card
Heathen: D+ | Grade It Now!
Chaos Theory

Before the ER season premiere kicks off, NBC wants to advise you that viewer discretion is advised, because that sort of warning really works for NYPD Blue. Except on that show, the warnings mostly forewarned the sight of a large man’s naked ass, and so help me God, if they actually show Abby slapping Frank’s ass raw, I’m going to explode my television set.

Previously on ER, a little girl died of a mysterious smallpox-like disease probably contracted while in Central Africa with her parents. Her brother Adam is in critical condition. Drs. Chen and Pratt were quarantined, and Weaver was stuck outside the locked-down ER; when Carter and Abby treated the sick children, the CDC confined them to the trauma rooms. And in the face of death and body odor, they kissed.

We act up in a forest. Carter is perched on a rock, fondling himself as usual. Luka, clad in a blue hunter’s cap, aims a dart straight at Carter and shoots; Carter passes out. Luka loads him into a truck, where a caged Abby already waits, and drives them off into oblivion. The triangle terror is forever over.

Yeah, as if we’d be that lucky. Really, we’re in Central Africa, and the creature on the business end of the dart is an ape. And if it’s technically not an ape, I apologize; I tend to classify all enormous, hairy apey things as “apes,” including but not limited to the gargantuan fanged spider in my shower right now and Alec Baldwin. Next, we cut to an SUV navigating terrain in the Congo Republic. The hunter hops out, opens the back hatch, and removes a metal briefcase for carrying biohazards and, in some instances, blood money. The camera pushes in on the caged ape and a lemur that, given the show’s constant reminders that we’re dealing with Central Africa, is a wee production error – lemurs, according to a few readers who’ve e-mailed me, are only found wild in Madagascar.

Virus Hunter runs the metal case through a hospital where a lot of locals are laid up. He speaks to a nurse in French and follows her to the bedside of a young African boy covered in tiny flakes of those brown paper towels that we had in our college dining hall. Looks like Brawny pulled its sponsorship (“That’s a Brawny kind of pustule!”) of the ER makeup department, because those are most definitely discount pustules. The kid lies there absolutely rigid because if he stirs so much as a centimeter, they’ll all slide off his skin. The nurse gets all tense and stressed, using a long swab to “carefully” “remove” one of the “pustules,” which comes off clean and flat. Why waste the cotton? If she sneezed, they’d come off even easier. Nursie bags up the pustule and they load it into the biohazard case. Suddenly, we’re on a pier, where native kid cavalierly drops the case off to a passing motorboat. Hope it was the right boat, or else Paula Abdul’s next Botox injection will contain a nasty surprise.

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