I've never liked Carter - not since he was first introduced as a character and not as he's "grown" with the series. I remember the original episode with Ruby - Carter was douchey then but near as bad as he was in this one. He was so cold & rude to Ruby in the original episode - like a sleazy used car salesman after he knows he's sold you a lemon. You know damn well he'd remember Ruby - that jacka$$ remembers the most pointless things so you know he'd remember this case. This was a very disappointing episode but then again, most episodes that focus on Carter suck so why I'm not surprised. I'm so glad Carter left when he did - he could've left 5 years earlier and I would've been just fine with that.
This episode.. I do not know.. in some way it was good - I liked the Ruby part of the episode - he was such a great char back at season 2 and now.. and the words he said to Carter - it was all true. Carter made a mistake and now he had a change to correct it. So, on that part, this episode was so well written.
On the other hand - nothing else happened. Morris was a little funny with his presentation but... he will survive it.. Ray with those two elder ladies.. I do not know - I did not bought it.
The writers of this episode did a good job remembering the past, even if Carter did not.
Background: Red Buttons makes a return appearance as Mr. Rubadoux (call him Ruby if he likes you). Ten years earlier, Carter helped treat Mrs. Rubadoux. He was only a student at the time. Carter talks Ruby into signing up his wife for Vucelich's study. Ruby thinks Carter is great because he really cares. Ruby calls Carter night and day about his wife's conditions.
She does not ever get any better after the surgery. Vucelich and Benton put a lot of pressure on Carter to turf her to a nursing home. He disagrees because he knows she will get worse and come back. The surgeons are ok with that, because she would no longer be on the surgery rotation, but would belong to medicine. Carter lies to Ruby and tells him that his Sophie is ok to leave the hospital and that she would get better. She does come back to medicine as predicted, never got better and eventually dies. Carter is no longer allowed to call Mr. Rubadoux Ruby.
It bothered me a little that Carter did not remember Ruby. Ruby definitely remembered Carter. He did not want to be treated at county and especially did not want Carter. Abby does her best to treat Ruby, but he doesn't trust her because she is a woman and she is young. Anspaugh and Kayson agree that Ruby needs surgery. Abby disagrees that surgery is the best course of action because Ruby is not stable enough. Abby locks horns with Anspaugh and Kayson. They pressure her the same that Vucelich and Benton pressured Carter 10 years earlier.
It was a nice touch to have Abby as frustrated as Carter was with senior staff's handling of the patient. As I'm watching, I'm still disturbed that Carter doesn't remember. It's not like him. But you can argue that he's had so much happen in 10 years that maybe it would be easy to forget what had happened. He does seem tentative, so maybe even if he did not remember all the details, his instinct must have told him to give Ruby some room.
In the end, it is Carter that talks to Ruby about his choices. And yes he did lie ten years earlier, but he is not lying now. If Ruby has the surgery, he may never leave the hospital. It's the kind of doctor that he needed to be, but was not able to be when he was just a student. Another problem that bothers me is that we don't know what Ruby decides to do. We don't know if he listened to Carter. I'm sure he didn't want to. I doubt that Ruby forgave him, but I was hoping that maybe he respected him a little more. We don't know that either. In the end, you're left hanging.
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