ER
The Advocate

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The Advocate

A nurse knocks on the door. Great hiding place, guys. Top notch. The nurse yells through the glass that Anspaugh and Romano are waiting for Weaver. "Tell them to start without me," Kerry replies emotionally, wiping her eyes. The alderman rubs his face, frustrated. "There's no record of the shot. It's too late for that," he begins. Weaver wants to tell the truth. "No one else knows?" Bright asks carefully. "Keith didn't say anything?" Weaver is disgusted. "Oh my God, Jonathan, he's dead, he's dead," she moans. "It hurts me more than you know," he says pleasantly, as if the loss of Keith smarts as much as a lightly stubbed toe. Weaver thinks his concern is bullshit. "You let the poor kid believe he gave you the syphilis," she spits. Bright insists that he does care, but that he's got to protect himself first, so she must tell him what people know. "I also have to protect you, and I have to protect this hospital, and a dozen other programs..." he says. "What about protecting your staff, your lover?" she seethes. Well, it has a syphilis sore on it, so it's a bit late to protect his staff. Bright takes a step toward Kerry, who continues trying to cower away from him. "This is not your fault," he says. "But if you confess to something like it was, people will treat you like it was." By now, Kerry's in a literal and figurative corner, staring at him through wide, frightened toes. "Don't worry," she says, sickened. "He lied for you. He loved you." The nurse raps on the glass again, still apparently the stupidest nurse alive for not noticing something major was going on in there. "And I killed him trying to hide that for you," Weaver says, nauseated by herself and her actions and his.

Kerry turns to leave. "Yes, you won't want to be late for that meeting," Bright says. "Congratulations, Kerry." Based on his line delivery, he knew full well Anspaugh would be rewarding her with a promotion. Creepy how much he fancies himself a puppeteer. I hate the alderman. He's so smarmy.

Like a zombie, Weaver enters a conference room, where Romano and Anspaugh are deep in discussion. Romano is arguing that he has never let his rehab interfere with his work schedule; Anspaugh merely says that administrative duties are not Romano's strong suit. "Can I come back later?" Weaver pleads emotionally. Anspaugh tells her to sit down. "How long have you been planning this?" Romano spits, ostensibly to Anspaugh, who fills Kerry in: he's making her a joint Chief of Staff. "I'd rather cut off my good arm," Romano snarks. Anspaugh doesn't care. "It's a gift, Robert. I suggest that you take it," he warns. "Take it right up the ass," Romano snaps. And somehow, magically, against all social logic, this seems to be the wrong thing to say. Imagine that. Anspaugh nods curtly and awards Kerry the job in full, then leaves in a huff after darting one last disapproving and disappointed look at Robert. He doesn't offer any other explanation for yanking Romano's title; it's possible it's a combination of them feeling he's slipping, and Kerry's political successes. Kerry gapes emptily, meets Romano's toes for a second, and then stares off into space, well aware that the administration she's being asked to run is the thing she just fatally violated. We fade to black thinking that Laura Innes should get the hell off this show and onto one whose star is rising, not fading.

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