Episode Report Card
Heathen: C- | 1 USERS: A+

Debbie arrives at the hospital with three tanks of oxygen. Carter actually has the gall to act disappointed, when really, he should say, "Thank you, Girl I Dumped So That Africa Could Get Even More Depressing For You." She hedges when he asks what Christmas supplies she got, and when she shrugs that she picked up a knick-knack here and there, Carter acts annoyed AGAIN. Carter, seriously, there's not a Walgreen's in Kinshasa. There's not a Christmas tree forest. Can you lower the expectations just a tad? Carter hightails it into their storage room, and sure enough, Debbie was downplaying it -- she got a TON of boxes and stuff, which she claims she snagged from the embassy's basement. Very resourceful. Carter whips out a Santa hat with a ratty beard attached and dons it with delight.

Late that night, the hospital personnel unload the wrapped packages from Carter's pals in Chicago. He's thrilled at how many people chipped in, and points out that they marked the age and gender of the appropriate recipient on each present. Angelique hands Carter a package, which contains a card that everybody sighed. "What's Martin, Hall, and Jacobs?" Kem asks, pulling out a thick envelope and staring at it. Carter offhandedly shrugs that it's a law firm, then lets his jaw go slack. "Oh my God," he says. "Dr. Romano died." He seems surprised and affected, which is more than I ever expected from this show. But then Kem goes, "Was he a friend?" and Carter goes, "Uh, no," and brushes the whole thing off. And that's the measure of a life, I guess. Everyone gazes adoringly up at the tree they've decorated in the ward, and Kem and Carter swap loving grins.

Fade to the ward during the day, as all the workers pass out presents to the delighted kids. Carter, as Santa, has the ratty stained beard on -- it looks like the one that Santa Schnapps puked on back in Chicago -- and a pillow shoved under his nasty, sweaty undershirt. Ho ho ho. When Carter's handed a package for a little boy, he gets an idea, swipes two more, and sneaks off.

Next, he's by Celine's side; her son is lying in bed, unconscious. Carter grimly sits down with her as she haltingly asks if her son will ever wake up again. "No, I don't think so," Carter says, fighting tears. He gives her a present for the baby and her young daughter, and then holds up the final gift for the boy. "Shall I open it for him?" Carter asks. He unwraps a Tonka truck and then gently places it next to the unconscious child, taking his hand and attempting to wrap it around the toy. But the boy's arm is limp, and it lists like rubber back down to the bed. Carter swallows a huge lump in his throat and whispers, "Merry Christmas." He blinks. Celine is sad. Beard is sad. Celine. Carter. Celine. Beard. The mustache part is practically weeping. This is a lot of cutaways, but I guess when you have three characters in a scene, you've got to get all their reactions.

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