Episode 1.13 : Can We Talk About the Gigantic Elephant in the Ambulance?

  • Mercy
    • Episode Premiere : February 03, 2010
    • Distributor : NBC
    • Genre : Drama
    • Seasons : 1
    • Show Period : 2009 - 2010
    • Production Company: Universal Media Studios, Berman Braun
    • Official Site :

Cast and Crew

The Story

Sonia is late to work and struggling to find her gloves in the wake of moving chaos. She has to catch the bus to the train to Short Hills, or she'll be an hour late like she was yesterday. A knock at the door reveals cute pregnant neighbors Noah and Sarah, who have come bearing cookies to welcome Sonia and Nick to the building. When Sarah claims everyone who moves into the building gets pregnant within six months, Nick answers his ringing phone. Lauren has sent a car to pick up Sonia, and it's waiting downstairs.

Spying Sands and Gillian flirting, Veronica hides in the meds room where Chloe works. Veronica is just explaining that she threw herself at Sands and he said no, when a guy interrupts. It's his first day and he needs a password to check labs -- can he use one of theirs? After ignoring him at first, Veronica says no. When he insults her, she lays into him -- why would she give him access to everyone's medical records!? Introducing himself as Dr. Joe Briggs, the new chief of ICU, Briggs takes off. Chloe offers her password, but it's too late; Briggs thinks she's a collaborator.

While escorting Veronica to the bedside of her case for the day -- a comatose hiker found in the woods with hypothermia -- Klowden explains that hotshot Briggs is supposed to make a boatload of money for the hospital. Veronica isn't too happy to see Sands examining hiker Beth, who is just regaining consciousness. Beth pulls off her mask in a panic. Her 8-year-old son Eli is still out in the woods! Sands orders Klowden to call search and rescue. When Veronica points out that paramedics can't intubate without base contact, Sands decides to go, and Veronica goes with.

Riding out to the woods in the ambulance is so awkward that Veronica breaks the ice, asking if they can talk about the giant elephant riding along with them -- the fact that she put her balls on the line and declared her love. Does Sands think it's easy for her to be vulnerable like that? No, he thinks it probably takes several shots of vodka... The ambulance doors slam open and the search is on. The local cops found Eli's backpack and telescope, and think they have some footprints.

Chloe tends to 8-year-old swine flu patient Kylie, who's hooked up to an ECMO machine, which performs heart lung bypass. Chloe assures parents Joseph and Karen that Kylie should only be on the machine for another week, then moves off to find recent widower Craig playing celebrity with an elderly and unwilling patient. Chloe asks Craig if he's hanging around the hospital because he's having difficulty accepting his wife's death, but he denies it. Angel tells Chloe that Craig is a lost soul who can't leave the place where his loved one died -- it happens all the time.

At the Short Hills mansion, Sonia finds Lauren sitting on the floor, smoking a cigarette, having fallen out of her wheelchair on the way to the bathroom. Now she needs a change. Although Sonia is all business, Lauren is mortified. Meanwhile, Simone calls Mike to help her with her broken down car. Mike hesitates when he learns that the car belongs to Sands, but relents, admitting that he owes Simone a favor. After all, she was the one that advised him to go on a vision quest, and the gods smiled on him in Atlantic City. When he offers to take Simone to work, she admits she got fired, and it looks like Jamie wants to sell the bar.

The search in the woods continues until Veronica spies Eli, submerged head first into the ice. He looks dead and has no spontaneous respiration. Sands doesn't think he has a chance, but they're going to give it a shot anyway. Veronica starts compressions which continue until they reach the hospital, where Angel takes over. Everyone scrambles around the resuscitation bay trying to warm Eli up, but Sands knows they have to heat his core. Veronica calls ICU for the ECMO machine.

Lauren's son Paul returns home after a long night of partying, spilling the contents of his pockets on the hall table. When Sonia spies a baggie of white powder, he assures her that it's not cocaine, but heroin. Sonia informs him that Lauren took a fall. Paul's partying isn't any of Sonia's business, but if he's going to be there for his mom, he needs to be there. Meanwhile at Delaney's, Mike talks to Jamie in the back while Simone waits at the bar. After shaking hands with Jamie, Mike joins Simone, in a daze. All she wants to know is did he manage to get her job back?

Mike confesses. He's creating his own reality, so he bought the bar. Jamie will give Simone her job back until the deal goes through. Simone can't believe it, but Mike claims that he got a sign -- his blackjack dealer at Atlantic City was named Delaney, so it's meant to be. Back at the hospital, Briggs stops by the resuscitation bay to visit "Nurse Indignant." She's out of luck on the ECMO machine; the hospital only has two. One's being used by a 25-week preemie, and Kylie's on the other.

Since Kylie's been on ECMO for two weeks, Veronica wonders if she can come off for three hours -- it's Eli's only chance. Off the record, Briggs thinks it's fine, but neither he nor Sands wants to ask Kylie's parents. Veronica volunteers to do the dirty work, but Kylie's parents refuse, with Chloe rising to their defense. Briggs steps in with a solution: he could do a bronchoscopy and instill recombinant D.N.-ase to break up the mucus, then coat the inside of Kylie's lungs with surfactant. She should be almost back to normal in two hours. When Joseph demands to know why no one offered such treatment before, Briggs admits it's his first day. ECMO does come with potential bleeding complications, so this is a better way to go.

In the hall, Veronica demands to know why Briggs didn't tell her he had a solution. He set her up! Briggs disagrees; it was Veronica who set him up, that's why it all worked out so brilliantly. Kylie's parents never would have been open to his more radical procedure if Veronica hadn't terrified and alienated them. Together, they're like Fred and Ginger, if Ginger was an angry, bitter nurse. When Chloe asks if it's really going to work, Briggs claims he hopes so, and claps his hands in excitement. The day just got interesting!

Chloe assists Briggs with Kylie's procedure. As they finish, alarms sound. Kylie's oxygen saturation is down. When Chloe comments that he should never have let the ECMO go until he knew this was going to work, Briggs lays into her. If Chloe is going to hop from foot to foot, he can't use her. Chloe still wants to get an oscillating ventilator for back-up. Briggs bets her $50 million it won't be needed. As Chloe picks up the phone, the alarms stop. Now she owes Briggs.

Angel finally stops compressions on Eli as Veronica turns on the ECMO. Now they have to let the machine do its work. Beth explains what happened. Eli is crazy about the stars, so last night they went hiking with his telescope. They didn't know it would get so cold. Eli sprained his ankle, but he was to heavy for Beth to carry, so she wrapped him in her coat and left him at the ranger station, then tried to make it back to her car. She should never have left him alone. Sands points out that if Beth hadn't gone for help, Eli would be dead. Veronica promises Beth that they won't give up.

When Chloe discovers that Craig is still hanging around the hospital, she calls in Harris to give him some advice. Harris claims that he knows just what Craig is going through; the despair, the suicidal ideation. Most nights he dreams that he's lying in the grave next to Yelena as dirt is thrown on them like an oddly comforting blanket. Craig's had the same dream, and spends his time listening to old voice mails from his wife. Does it get any better? For Harris, so far, no. Although people are kind, the sun rises and sets, and occasionally he feels like he has something to offer the world. That's the best he can do.

Sonia finds Lauren listening to Lou Reed and feeling no pain. Lauren explains that she's fighting for her right to party. She had quite a heroin habit back in the early '80s. When Sonia insists that Lauren can't manage her pain with street drugs, Lauren reminisces about all the heady parties and fabulous people from her past. She didn't sleep for years because she didn't want to miss an instant. Then she turned one day, and the whole beautiful carpet was rolled up, yielding nothing there but bare floor.

Later that night, Mike finishes fixing Sands' car. Simone is so thrilled that she offers to bring him back to her place or go to his place. Mike's tempted, but he's trying to grow up a little. He can have fun, just maybe not with the sister of the guy who banged his wife. Simone points out that sex can be excellent revenge, but Mike insists on walking away. Back at the hospital, Briggs stops by Eli's room. Even if Sands can get his heart back, there's a good chance Eli's "squash is toast." Once Eli's core temp is up to 88ES, Sands shocks his heart back. Now they just have to wait to see if he wakes up.

Veronica and Chloe drink as Sonia cleans out Veronica's closet, upset that no one wants to listen to her heroin story. When Veronica brings up Chris, Chloe opens her compact and holds the mirror up to Veronica's face. Veronica took Kylie off ECMO even though she could have died. It's because Veronica does whatever she wants without thinking of anyone else. And she's not even remotely looking at Chris' POV. She's been mean to him for months and now he's supposed to come running? Her pent up anger expelled, Chloe asks if they can watch "Project Runway."

Gillian bumps into Veronica in the hallway. She heard that Veronica dropped by Sands' place. When Veronica admits she was tipsy, Gillian snipes. That seems to be her excuse for a lot of things. Sands isn't interested in Veronica, so it's time for her to move on. Veronica moves on to stand over Eli's bed, urging him to wake up. Sands finds her and suggests they take a walk, but Veronica has a better idea, taking him out to the basketball court for a game of Horse, just like the old days. Sands wants to play for a case of beer, but Veronica prefers to play for love. If she wins they get back together; if she loses they're just friends.

The game is tied. Chris makes his last shot, which means Veronica needs to make hers to keep the tie. Chris' phone rings. Eli's awake, so the game is on hold for now. Inside, Briggs asks Eli the answer to 2 + 2. When the answer's good, everyone's relieved that Eli's going to be okay. Beth thanks Briggs for saving Kylie so Eli could have the ECMO machine, and he responds with false modesty -- it's what they do here at Mercy. He promises to write the case up for publication and put Sands on it as second author. Who knows? It might even give him an actual career. Veronica gapes; how much does she hate this guy?

Chloe escorts Craig out of the hospital to Delaney's for a burger. Craig is just feeling a little better when he starts kissing Chloe. She pushes him off, and he apologizes, explaining that Harris gave him some pills to take the edge off. After two beers, he's feeling a little tipsy. When she takes him to the door to call a cab, he tries again. Warning him that the window where he's allowed to do weird stuff is rapidly closing, Chloe pushes him out the door.

Back in Short Hills, Sonia finds Paul shooting golf balls over the pool, and apologizes for jumping to conclusions about the heroin. Paul admits that when he was younger he did every drug known to man and Lauren was always on him to stay clean. It's ironic, because now he's scoring for her. She never asked him to do anything before; what's he supposed to do? Sonia explains that his relationship with his mother is changing. Now it's time to take care of her. Tomorrow she'll teach him how to get Lauren in her wheelchair. Sonia turns to go, but Paul convinces her to stay to learn how to play golf.

Back on the basketball court, Veronica lines up her last shot and blows it. She lays into Sands for being a game rigger. He's taller than her, he played in high school, and then there's the unfavorable weather conditions. Sands claims the weather isn't rigged; it's life. Veronica insists that life is rigged. Sands showed up just as she was trying to put her marriage back together, and then he met an awesome girl. All she wants to do is get back to what they had, and now it's not going to happen. Sands grabs Veronica and lays a passionate kiss on her, ending her speech.






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