I want you all to know that I have watched each episode at least twice so that I can give you the best recap possible.
There were things in this episode I never wanted to see again. But I did it. For you. I hope you appreciate it. ☺
Here we go:
It is early in the morning. Michael walks around his living room in a towel (yup, only a towel) reading the details of a surgery from a tablet and pouring a cup of coffee. And then a woman says, "If you're trying to get me in bed again, it's not working."
Surprise! Michael spent the night with last week's reporter, Liz Martin.
They banter and flirt and he tells her that the surgery he's performing today is on a 2-time marathoner who risks never walking again if Michael makes a mistake. Liz says the lead for her article about him will be, "There's nothing Michael Holt likes more than a challenge."
A little later, Michael comes out of the OR, bragging about the outcome to a colleague (or maybe the anesthesiologist?) who tells him that two other surgeons turned the guy down because it was such an impossible case. Michael just laughs that off.
Rita finds Michael and comments that his good mood must mean that he forgot about the Paralysis Research dinner. Michael remembers. Then he asks Rita if his friend, a doctor looking for a job, has arrived yet because Michael wanted to talk to him about taking over Clinica Sanando. Rita says that he isn't there, but that a Dr. Sykora is waiting for her interview. Michael is annoyed because the interview was arranged by Anna's boyfriend, Philip, and Michael feels micromanaged. Rita reminds him that Philip was probably just trying to help since Michael is so busy with his own practice.
Michael goes into his office to meet with Dr. Sykora (Rachelle Lefevre). They discuss her resume, which most recently includes a position as VP of Community Affairs for an HMO. She comments about his lack of HMO experience. He asks her what the job was, she explains that she was told the job would be about creating a wellness program for the uninsured, but was disappointed to learn that it was all about publicity and that she never got to do anything of the sort. Michael tells her everything that's wrong with Clinica Sanado. She gets mad, tells him that he shouldn't have wasted her time when he obviously has someone else in mind for the job, and leaves in a huff.
Chasing her out of the office, Michael runs into Dr. Pat Ross, the doctor friend he was waiting for. Michael introduces him to Rita and Dr. Ross tells stories about how amazing Michael was back in med school. Michael takes Dr. Ross over to Clinica Sanando for a tour. When Ross learns that he's responsible for everything from treating patients to running every aspect of the office, Dr. Ross says he's seen enough, that he isn't that desperate for a job and bails.
On the way out, a man and his son walk in. The man, Rafe Douglas, hurt his arm trying to show off to some kids by slam dunking on the basketball court. He shattered the glass, cutting his arm, and dislocating his shoulder. And also giving himself a bad case of the hiccups. Zeke comes in to help Michael. Michael and Zeke push the shoulder back into place.
(This is one of the scenes I did NOT want to watch again. Ick!)
Rafe asks again what to do about his hiccups and Michael tells him to try breathing into a paper bag. Michael runs into Philip, who wants to know what happened with Dr. Sykora. Michael says she wasn't a good fit but that he'll find someone.
And then Rafe collapses. They have to use the defibrillator to shock his heart, which works, and they get him into a room. Zeke says that a few lacerations shouldn't have caused this. He and Michael talk about a few possibilities and Zeke agrees to monitor him.
Anna shows up, which annoys Michael because it's a bad time. She quips that she wishes she could just call Rita and make an appointment, reminding him that she has no control over when she appears. Michael insists that this just isn't working because he has other patients. "Patients with checkbooks," she says. "They get sick too," he replies. They argue and she leaves.
Outside, Rafe has checked himself out because he has to get to work. Michael gives him a referral to a cardiologist, one of the best in the city. Rafe shrugs it off since he can't afford a specialist. Zeke tells him to listen to Michael, but Rafe leaves.
That night, Michael is at the Paralysis Research dinner and runs into a pilot, Carol Gordan (Cara Buono), an attractive woman who flew a patient for him last year. She has pain in her hand and Michael asks about it, suggesting that she might have carpal tunnel syndrome. When a tremor in her hand causes her to drop and break a glass, cutting herself, he insists on taking her to his office to stitch the cut. He insists on letting him run tests to confirm the carpal tunnel and she agrees to come in first thing in the morning.
The next morning, Rita greets him with questions about Carol, who is already waiting. He goes into the room where Bax is running the test. Everything looks normal. Michael keeps Carol distracted while Bax continues checking for tendinitis or other conditions, but nothing seems to be wrong, until Michael and Bax notice a tremor in her other hand. In another room, they discuss possibilities of drug use, alcoholism, brain tumors, a stroke, and Michael decides that she needs an MRI. They go back to talk to her about it, but Carol has split.
Zeke calls because he's lost track of Rafe and wants to know if he ever went to see the cardiologist. Michael tells Zeke to call himself, then tells Rita to get the FAA on the phone because he wants to stop Carol from flying until he knows she's safe to travel.
Anna shows up. She asks what's bothering Michael, he explains the situation with Carol and she reminds him of an ice road trucker up in Alaska that Michael thought had had a drinking problem. It turned out he'd had 18 cups of coffee. Anna asks what happens if Michael reports Carol to the FAA and it turns out there isn't anything wrong with her, and he realizes that she'll never get to fly again. He hangs up and goes to the airport to find Carol.
Carol is mad that Michael has shown up, insists she's fine. Michael threatens to call and report her. She tells him about a friend that had brain cancer two years before. Carol is afraid to find out that her tremors are caused by cancer. Michael convinces her to come in for tests.
The MRI shows two lesions in her brain. She asks if it's cancer and he says that's the one thing it isn't. They aren't sure what it is. She says, "You're the best in the business, this place has everything, how could you not know?" He tells her there are a lot of possibilities and the only way to know what the lesions are is by cutting into her brain. One of the lesions is in a place that controls movement in the arms. If she doesn't have surgery, she could lose the ability to fly. She agrees to have surgery first thing in the morning.
Michael gets into his car and a detour forces him to go through downtown. The cardiologist, Dr. Howard Eastman, calls to tell Michael that he never heard from Rafe. A basketball bounces into the street in front of him and he slams on the breaks and tells Howard he'll call back. Michael picks up the ball and goes to the court to find the owner. He sees the shattered backboard and knows this is where Rafe was injured. He yells, "No, Anna, Rafe is NOT my patient!" Then he picks up the ball and says, "Tell you what. If I make this shot, I'll find Rafe." He sinks the shot and calls Tavo at Clinica Sanando to get Rafe's number.
Michael calls and reaches Rafe's wife. Rafe is on the couch, an ice pack on his shoulder and a wet cloth on his forehead. He refuses to talk to Michael, so she lies and tells Michael that Rafe is feeling better and just went to the store. Satisfied that Rafe is fine, Michael hangs up and says, "Happy now, Anna?"
The next morning, Dr. Lance, the anesthesiologist, preps Anna for surgery. She begs to be put way, way under. She's terrified of the surgery and asks Dr. Lance, "Is Michael Holt as good as he says he is? As EVERYONE says he is?" Dr. Lance says, "Honestly? No. He's better."
Michael and Bax confer about the surgery and realize that the location of one of the lesions means that Carol will have to be awake for the surgery. Bax shows pictures and asks her to identify them, to ensure that her brain is still functioning normally. Michael says the lesion isn't cancer and Carol is relieved. She asks, "What is it?" He tries to dodge the question by telling her to focus on the pictures, but she insists. He tells her it's a kind of larva.
(That's the other part I did NOT want to see again!)
He tells her the larva aren't alive and that this is much better than having cancer. Then he asks if she's had any bad pork lately. She tells him she was in Ecuador in January and that might have been when she contracted it. Michael removes the first lesion and the tremor in her hand stops. She asks if this means she can fly again. He tells her first thing's first and moves on to the second. Bax puts up a new picture and while Carol is making a joke about it, she stutters, then stops speaking, then loses consciousness.
Her blood pressure jumps, her brain is starting to swell and there's a leak of some sort. They raise the bed, suction out the extra fluid and manage to bring her blood pressure down. It was a cyst that burst. Michael feels guilty that Carol is unconscious and Bax insists that he couldn't have known that would happen. While they are washing up, Rita comes in and says Zeke is on the phone and that Rafe Douglas has shown up back at Clinica Sanando with what seems to be neuro problems.
Michael asks Rita to have someone drop his car off at the clinic and takes off running.
When he arrives, Zeke says that Rafe's lungs are clear, but there is tension in his neck veins, he's unconscious and Michael remembers the hiccuping, realizing that Rafe has a sack of blood around his heart. They can't crack his chest open in the clinic, and Michael decides he needs to do a procedure to drain the fluid. Zeke says Rafe must have bruised his heart when he fell and Michael says the cardiologist would have seen it if Rafe had shown up.
Without any equipment but a needle, Michael performs the procedure, missing the fluid at first, but then finding it. His blood pressure stabilizes, his pulse rate goes back up, and Rafe is going to be okay, though Michael tells Rafe's wife that he needs to go to an OR.
Out on the street, Anna is waiting for Michael. He's angry because things went wrong with Carol and then blames her for getting him involved in Rafe's case because of the ball. She says she didn't do any of that. He says he's mad. She says he's scared.
Zeke asks where to send Rafe and Michael says to go to Manhattan Memorial. He tells Rafe that he's going to the best cardiac surgeon he knows. Rafe says he can't afford it and Michael says, "You can't afford not to." Rafe thanks him and is put into an ambulance.
Philip shows up and asks Michael why he blew off Dr. Sykora. Michael says she wasn't right for the job and that he's still working on it. He gets into his car and Anna is waiting for him. She thinks it's sweet that he's offered to find her replacement. She asks what happened to the other candidates. He says he offered the job to one person, who turned it down, and that the woman Philip sent wasn't right. Anna says, "Philip may be a lot of things, but he has good taste in women."
That night, Michael goes to Dr. Sykora's house because she has apparently been ignoring his calls. He apologizes for the way he treated her. She asks if he's there because his first choice turned him down. He says yes and offers her the job. She says, "Okay." He says, "Great." She says, "No, I mean I'll think about it."
Michael goes back to his practice and finds Rita still at the office. She runs through tomorrow's schedule and he asks about Carol. Rita says there is no change, that she's still unconscious. He goes to Carol's room and falls asleep in a chair by her bed. He wakes up sometime later when she grasps his hand. He looks over to see that she's awake. She doesn't speak, but she looks at him and he says, "Welcome back."
What's coming up: Next week, Rachelle Lefevre joins the cast as a series regular and Clinica Sanando is in danger of being closed down. Also, look for former ER doc Eriq LaSalle to have a recurring role as Dr. Evan Morrison, a neuropsychiatrist.