ER
Just A Touch

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Just A Touch

Lester -- who is apparently not on another new rotation -- argues with Malarkey about who's treating a particular patient, Malarkey trying to claim that Lester's never done the requisite procedure before. Pratt intervenes, checks out the chart, looks up at the attractive brunette patient, and decides to settle it by taking the case himself. "You two should be ashamed of yourselves," Neela glowers at Lester and Malarkey. To shut her up, Malarkey tosses her the chart of a young girl with bluish skin who's horking up yesterday's eggs into an emesis basin. No Vomit Comet sightings, though.

Abby tells Luka she'll get Mrs. Garrison admitted. "How's Psych?" he asks, interested. Abby says it's scary, because she actually likes it there. She then asks how things are in Luka's world, and he pauses, and then heaves a mighty sigh. "Sam's ex-boyfriend is back in town," he begins. Abby stares at him, clearly trying to egg him into giving her more context, but Luka tiredly throws up his hands as if to indicate that it's all beyond his understanding or explanation. This has Abby's interest completely piqued, which makes me wonder if she knew for sure that Sam and Luka were seeing each other.

Abby bumps into Carter and Chen, who are escorting her father into the hospital again. Carter's in plain clothes, so I guess he is just with her for moral support, or to give false hope to those that yearn for Chen and Carter to go bump in the night. Chen exposits that he hurt his right arm and now can't do much for himself. "I've already been through four home-care workers," she says, fatigued. Carter is present, but doesn't indicate that he is listening, as Abby quickly offers to help out because she needs the money for her spring tuition and isn't being allowed to pick up any more nursing shifts. "Abby, you don't want any of this," avers Chen, wheeling her father away.

Abby and Carter decide to grab some coffee. "How's Kem?" she asks. "She must be getting big!" Carter nods. "You should see Susan," Abby grins. "Know how some mothers talk to their unborn children? She threatened to pull hers out with her bare hand if it didn't hurry up."

Pratt is with Brunette, trying to determine the cause of her back pain. She insists that she hasn't strained herself in any way; he lifts her arm and touches her back, and she twitches. He apologizes, explaining that he's just checking her lymph node. "I'm ticklish," she says. "I'll make a note of that," he says, easily. But not really flirtatiously, unless you know Pratt and are already aware that he has that propensity. That's my entire problem with this coming storyline, by the way: I don't think it floats unless you have prior knowledge of Pratt. I don't think anything he does is so overt that a woman with no experience with Pratt as a person would ever read it as slimy or inappropriate -- but because the writers have already shown us the flirty, semi-oily side of Pratt, they think we'll buy into the fact that a character he's never seen before thinks he's being an asshat. Like, the woman totally flinches when he says, "I'll make a note of that," and even though that's a stupid remark, it's not inappropriate and just came off as a lame attempt on his part to be friendly. Pratt then asks Brunette whether she does breast self-exams; she doesn't, and she's never had a mammogram. Pratt calls for Sam to observe a breast exam, squeezing the woman's shoulders as he does it, which again is something I think Pratt figures will be reassuring. And it would be, if you had never met Pratt before. Again, not buying it. The woman's face is all, "VIOLATED! I'm violated!" Too extreme.

Then Pratt says something a little stupid: "Do this every month -- you have to get to know your breasts. You can't just rely on friends." But although it alludes to her sex life, it really doesn't sound like he's intimating that he'd like to be part of it. Sam, though -- because she's a pawn in this plot -- glares at Pratt and shakes her head as if to say, "You are a stupid ass." Pratt tries to sound authoritative and smooth and gentle as he very explicitly takes the patient through an exam, explaining to her why you pinch the nipple, where you apply firm versus soft pressure, and what area you have to cover. She looks horrified the whole time. Woman? You've clearly been around the block. What is your problem? Ten guys at a bar on a Saturday night could violate you five worse ways, and that's just with their facial expressions. Pratt doesn't seem to be enjoying himself; he seems to be calm and trying to make a very technical thing seem easy so that she will know how to do it herself. Brunette's all wary.

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