ER

Season 3 Episode 7

No Brain, No Gain

0
Aired Thursday 10:00 PM Nov 14, 1996 on NBC
8.4
out of 10
User Rating
80 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Benton fights to save the life of a gangbanger already declared dead by Doug. Nurse Rhonda Sterling floats down to the ER again and makes another critical mistake. Carter fights Edson for the rights of an incompetent patient and bonds with Anspaugh in the meantime. E. Ray worries that an MRI test gave him negative karma. Carter and Keaton get closer. Mark fears Susan is dating Morgenstern; she tells him that she's moving to Phoenix.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

Wednesday
No results found.
Thursday
No results found.
Friday
No results found.
SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Benton and his quilt, trying to save the baby and a shooting victim and in the same time getting more to understand what he wants.

    8.4
    The last episode left us with some open edges and here they are ended. The baby, in whose operation Benton made a mistake, is getting worse and there is not much promised for her. Benton is taking it hard as he is getting over his pride and thinking he knows everything (and is now ready to learn), feeling guilty and trying to do the best to save a boy already declared dead. This makes some tension between Benton and Doug and also him and Mark, but in the end, they get the pulse and the boy is back. From that Benton does everything and he does believe, that boy can survive. The end is only not so happy as after so many minutes without oxiden, the brain just do not work anymore.



    The other mayor storyline is focused of Greene and Susan. Greene is getting more and more into thinking that he could tell Susan how he feels and Carol tries to push him to make the move but they end up thinking she is seeing Morgenstern. The truth is much more tragic - she is leavingmoreless
  • Out of guilt because of a mistake in a previous procedure, Benton goes all the way to try to save a patient already pronounced by Ross. Carter tries and fails but learns something and gains someone. A very secretive Susan makes a big decision.moreless

    9.0
    Currently rediscovering the earlier season of ER, I was amazed to see that no one reviewed this episode. So I will give it a try.



    When a young gang banger is brought in, Doug Ross soon realize that there isn't much that can be done for him, as he has been too long in cardiac arrest. He logically decides to pronounce him, but when Benton arrives and decides to give it another shot. He manages to get his heart started and takes him to OR certain that he can save him. Of course we know understand his motivations.

    In the previous episode Fear of Flying, his error while operating a baby has had terrible consequences on the health of the little girl. She is still between life and death and when this story starts, it doesn't look very good for her. So Benton is on a mission: saving this patient to somehow redeem himself and prove that he is reliable.

    The operation becomes a marathon but ends satisfactorily: the patient is alive and his injuries have been repaired. One thing needs to be checked: has this patient still brain functions or was Ross (and Keaton) right when assessing that it was too late for him. The respirator is stopped in the presence of the boy's mother and sadly he fails to breath on his own.

    Benton is devastated. Keaton goes to him to assess whether he knew that it was a lost battle and just wanted to train his operating skills or if he honestly thought that the boy could be saved. He explains that at no time he had doubted that the patient could be saved. He had been absolutely certain that he would breath on his own and his shock in discovering that Ross had been right all along had been big. For him this is his second mistake in front of Keaton. She urges him to go and see Megan the baby who was doing so poorly in the morning before he leaves for home. A reluctant and depressed Benton complies and discovers that a miracle has occurred. During his marathon surgery, the baby's health has taken a turn for the best. She will survive. The life he thought lost and destroyed by him has been spared. The one he thought he could save from the claws of death died but Benton’s efforts might not have been in vain, some of the organs could save other patients.



    Dr. Anspaugh has invited a Japanese colleague Dr. Okida to help him with the surgery on an esophagus tumor. But shortly before the procedure has to start, the patient is AWOL. Edson, who was in charge of preparing the field for Anspaugh, offers Carter and Gant a place in OR if they help him finding the man. The patient Mr. Percy is wandering around in ER looking for change for the vending machine. Carter finally finds and saves him after he had tried to eat all the saltwater taffy Wendy had prepared for her colleagues. With the tumor in his throat he couldn’t swallow a single thing and was close to choke to death. As a reward Anspaugh invites Carter to join them and asks him to take care of the patient. Discussing with Percy, John soon realizes that the man has not understood the procedure, nor can make the decision for himself. After confronting Edson about that, Carter has to make a choice: chose the patient best interest and prevent the surgery but angering Anspaugh and endangering his career or stay silent and let the procedure take place. He decides for the latter. During the procedure Carter notices that a lung has been slightly punctured. Thanks to that, the surgeons can repair the damage right away. Anspaugh is so satisfied with John that he invites him to join them while they go out for a little karaoke, leaving a bitter Edson to care for the patient. When he comes back, Carter learns that Mr. Percy had a stroke after the surgery and will probably never recover. Edson still sour that he was not invited tells him that if he had had the guts to speak up for Percy as he wanted, the patient would probably have better chance for his future. Carter angrily attacks Edson in front of Keaton. They grow closer as they discuss and they share a first kiss.



    Rhonda the floater is back in ER and her actions have a terrible impact on a patient. Still clutching his favorite football, a man is brought in, his right foot severed in an accident. He is stabilized and his chances look good. Rhonda takes care of his belongings and packs the foot in ice so that the surgical team can reattach it. Everything seems to go well until the foot and his personal belongings are unpacked (the first one by the surgeon, the second by his wife): the ball was on ice, not the foot. As a consequence, it is too late to hope that the foot can be reattached and the man will stay disabled. Carol’s reaction is what can be expected in that situation. She wants to report the fault on Rhonda’s file and prevent her from ever entering ER again. We learn at that moment that the new floater policy is actually a way for the hospital to get rid of the most senior and therefore expensive nurses. Rhonda prefers to resign than having this incident reported on her file. Carol doesn’t believe that the hospital is up to that, until Lydia becomes herself a floater proving that indeed Rhonda was right.



    Mark has finally the guts to ask Susan out, but she refuses saying that she has other plans. He is convinced that she has an affair with Morgenstern as he witnesses in several occasions how close they seem to be. When he goes to her place late in the evening, he wants to confront her about Morgenstern. She tells him that the other doctor only helped her to get a transfer. She has decided to move to Phoenix to be closer to Chloe and Suzy. They hug and admit how much they will miss each other. Sadly Mark doesn’t tell her how he feels.



    E Ray is convinced that something is wrong with him since he received a MRI. Strangely most electrical devices in his immediate radius seem to play crazy. He finally convinces Jerry and Wendy to help him. He is certain that he needs another MRI in order to become his old self.



    It is hard not to look for parallels in Benton’s and Carter’s story.



    The first one went for action: in the previous episode he operated on Megan’s liver causing severe damages to the baby, here he went for it and tried to save a young boy. In neither case he had thought about the consequences of his actions.

    In the first case it was clearly a lack of knowledge about infants which brought doom upon him. He was overconfident and applied proved methods on adults to this young child instead of asking Dr. Keaton for help. He gambled and lost.

    In the gang banger’s case, he ignored Doug’s opinion and tried to save at any cost an already brain-dead patient. Again he acted overconfident, disregarding what others thought. In this case there was little to lose. Luckily for him!

    At the end, all is well that ends well for Benton. The young boy is dead, but thanks to his actions, he could become a donor and save other patients. Megan recovers but without him having done anything.

    He got lucky and one has to wonder if he has learned anything for both procedures.



    Carter on the other hand has a decision of his own to make: action or silence. The easy way out and probably the safest for his future is to remain silent. Speaking for his patient and pointing out that Mr. Percy is incompetent and cannot make the decision to be operated by himself will most probably anger Anspaugh. As he decides to say nothing, you can see his struggle, but at the end the fear and his wish to please take the better. Sadly his decision will have repercussions: Percy had a stroke and he will have to live with this reminder of his lack of courage. His violent reaction against Edson (who clearly deserved a good beating) is also directed at himself. He knows that he should have said something. This event will have an influence on his future actions.moreless
Anthony Edwards

Anthony Edwards

Dr. Mark Greene

Eriq La Salle

Eriq La Salle

Dr. Peter Benton

George Clooney

George Clooney

Dr. Doug Ross

Gloria Reuben

Gloria Reuben

P.A. Jeanie Boulet

Julianna Margulies

Julianna Margulies

Nurse Carol Hathaway

Laura Innes

Laura Innes

Dr. Kerry Weaver

Dwier Brown

Dwier Brown

Dr. David Herlihy

Guest Star

Cecil Hoffmann

Cecil Hoffmann

Gail Herlihy

Guest Star

Jenny O'Hara

Jenny O'Hara

Nurse Rhonda Sterling

Guest Star

Abraham Benrubi

Abraham Benrubi

Jerry

Recurring Role

Jorja Fox

Jorja Fox

Dr. Maggie Doyle

Recurring Role

John Aylward

John Aylward

Dr. Donald Anspaugh

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

More
Less