Adam Arkin Aaron Shutt
Mandy Patinkin Jeffrey Geiger
Hector Elizondo Phillip Waters
Roxanne Hart Camille Shutt
Peter McNicol Alan Birch
Thomas Gibson Daniel Nyland
Margaret Colin Karen Antonovich
Allen Garfield Ray Kadalski
Stephen Elliot Harold Aldrich
Branden Jefferson Marcus Lavelle
Wafeeq Hampton Antoine Metcalf
Jeffrey King Steinhorn
Bert Rosario Anesthesiologist (Lou)
Sharmon Augustus Paramedic
Ed Stone Process Sever
Bart K. Willerford Orderly
Johanna Denis Candy Striper
Story by: Michael Braverman & Michael Nankin
Teleplay By: Michael Braverman
Director: Steve Miner
Summary: Aaron has difficulty after a gang member shoots up the E.R., then dies on his table. After seeing his mother shot, a young boy thinks he is paralyzed. Antonovich accepts Phillip's offer to work at Chicago Hope.
Aaron and Jeffrey are in the O.R.
JEFFREY: He's not gonna make it.
CAMILLE: He's arresting
AARON: Oh, come on
JEFFREY: O.K., he's gone. Come on Aaron.
Cuts to Aaron leaning against the window rail, still in his scrubs. Camille turns him around to face her.
CAMILLE: Come on. I'm taking you home
AARON: You don't live at home, Camille!
Cuts to Phillip's office. Phillip is seated behind his desk. A night Chicago sky-line can be seen out the windows. Karen Antonovich is standing on the other side of the desk with her back to us.
KAREN: Two-eighty seems low
PHILLIP: That's just a base. You keep everything from your consultations, plus 40% of your surgical fees. You'll be taking home over 1 million dollars.
KAREN: how much does Geiger make?
PHILLIP: None of your business!
KAREN: It my business if I work here.
PHILLIP: You don't have his practice or his name. Karen, we're offering you an opportunity to work at Chicago Hope. That's the biggest dividend you could ask for. Plus, with the hours I see you put in, you'll never have time to spend the money you make as it is. A great pension, 280 base, 40% of surgical, you'll never make a better deal than that anywhere. The only thing left for you to do here is shake my hand.
He stands and extends his hand. She walks forward and shakes it.
PHILLIP: You won't be sorry, it's a fun place.
Cuts to the ER doors. Two paramedics wheel in a man on a stretcher, camera pans right following the stretcher to an observation room where it zooms in. A man is standing by a gurney talking.
MAN: His bike skidded in a puddle, went over a curb. But we couldn't find any cuts or bruises.
Camera Changes. Nyland is on the left of the bed with a boy lying on it. Shutt is on the other side of it, nearest us. The man and woman, obviously the boy's parents, stand by Nyland. The boy is holding a toy Unicorn.
NYLAND: Sensory deficit in the lower extremities. No indication of a fracture in the spine films and blood work shows no Cycil-cell.
MOTHER: He said he didn't hit his head or anything.
AARON: Is that right Marcus? You didn't hit your head? What about your back, did you fall on your back?
MARCUS: No Sir
AARON: Do you feel this? Can you feel me moving your leg?
MARCUS: Just a little, they're kinda numb.
Aaron examines the boy, feeling his feet. A paramedic is talking quickly in the background. Cameras pan out to show a gun shot victim and Shutt looks up.
PARAMEDIC: Get out of the way. A gun shot would, he's losing a lot of blood. O.K, where do you want it?
OTHER VOICE: Right here!
Nyland moves to help as victim as wheeled into the room beside Marcus.
PARAMEDIC: We've got a gun shot wound to the belly, we're losing BP at 65.
NYLAND: O.K, get him in here. Get him monitored, get some lines in. Come on lets move.
Nyland pulls the curtain between the two beds. Aaron is talking to the parents.
AARON: I want to get him up to radiology. Run a Cat-Scan on him.
MR LAVELLE: Doctor, do you have any idea what ....
AARON: I won't know anything until I see some films.
MRS LAVELLE: Is it serious?
AARON: Well, hopefully not
A young black boy enters the ER and looks around.
AARON: You know, you're pretty lucky you've got a Unicorn Marcus, these guys have magical powers in their horns. He got a name?
MARCUS: Nitro. The magic's only if you drink water out of the horn.
AARON: Is that right?
MARCUS: My dad told me, he's a teacher.
The young man in the ER sees the gun shot victim and pulls out a gun. He starts shooting into the room. The Unicorn's head is blown off. Aaron covers the boy with his body as others fall to the floor. Nyland is seen falling, shot. A police officer shoots at the gunman, who shoots back and the policeman slides down the wall.
Phillip, Antonovich and Jeffrey run down the hall way.
JEFFREY: How many shots?
PHILLIP: You know as much as I do
Camille comes running form another area to join them.
CAMILLE: I heard Aaron was in there, is he O.K?
PHILLIP: I don't know.
Nyland comes out of the room with a bloody shoulder. Camille runs into the ER shouting Aaron's name over and over again. Aaron is kneeling on the floor covered in blood. He is leaning over Mrs. Lavelle.
AARON: Jeffrey, get in here. Bullet nicked her carotid, we've got to get her into the OR stat
JEFFREY: Somebody get on IV in here
Out in the main room Nyland and Waters assists the shooter lying on the floor. Camille helps Marcus and Mr. Lavelle leave as Aaron and Jeffrey continue to work on Mrs. Lavelle.
AARON: The bullet passed through. I can't move my hand to see the damage, we've lost the line.
They lift Mrs. Lavelle onto a gurney while Aaron keeps his hand on her neck. Jeffrey gives orders and then swaps Aaron's hand for his.
JEFFREY: Watch out. O.K. Notify OR One, gunshot wound to the neck. I need ten units O-neg on standby. I got her head, watch out. O.K. I'll take it, on three. One, two, three. O.K. lets go.
They wheel Mrs. Lavelle out and Aaron stands there watching. Phillip calls out to him and he wanders over in a daze.
PHILLIP: Are you hurt?
PHILLIP: Head full of shrapnel, get him up to the OR
PHILLIP: You're the only Neurosurgeon here, now come on.
NYLAND: I'm gonna get a Cat-Scan while stable, come on let's go.
AARON: I can't do him
PHILLIP: That boys gonna die, you'll do it, now!
Aaron stands in disbelief then wanders slowly after Nyland. "Heard it through the grapevine" starts to play as Antonovich stops Aaron to see if he's OK. Camille can be seen watching.
Scene cuts to OR one. Jeffrey is operating on Mrs. Lavelle. Aaron pushes the door open and pops his head in.
AARON: How's she doing?
JEFFREY: Mastoid damage but I'm making progress. (looking up) What the hell are you doing here?
AARON: Shooter's in Two. Took a bullet in the head.
JEFFREY: You're operating?
AARON: It's me or the morgue!
JEFFREY: That's nuts!
Scene Cuts to Aaron looking at films as he puts his gloves on, in OR Two.
AARON: Well, we'll never be able to get all the fragments.
DR MICHAELS: Cabinet work's done, clips are in place
ANESTHESIOLOGIST: Stats fine, we're OK for now.
CAMILLE: We've got two more units we can hang
AARON: OK let's do it
Aaron starts to drill the shooter's head.
Back in the ER Dr. Thurmond is stitching up Nyland's arm as Kadalski walks over.
THURMOND: One more young fella, let's make it tight.
KADALSKI: Doctor Nyland, Raymond Kadalski from Psychiatry .... how are you feeling?
NYLAND: My arm hurts
KADALSKI: How about emotionally?
NYLAND: My arm hurts
Phillip Waters walks over to Antonovich who is treating the police officer.
KAREN: He has to be admitted
PHILLIP: Admit him
KAREN: Ah, ... I'm having second thoughts
PHILLIP: First day on a new job
KAREN: A kid walked in with an assault weapon
PHILLIP: That doesn't happen often
Phillip walks off leaving her staring after him in surprise
SHUTT'S OR where they continue working on the shooter
AARON: I wonder where it is
DR MICHAELSON: What?
AARON: The part of this glob that turned this kid into a killer, where the neuro-transmitters for murder are
Dr. MICHAELSON: In the old days they'd take care of that with a little snip to the frontal lobe.
AARON: That's not a bad idea. Hemostat. Ah, it's tamponaded. I'll lift it out, you go in. Here we go ... easy ... lift here now .... OK
They remove a fragment and Aaron drops it in a bowl
AARON: Save that ... lift here ... now hold it
DR MICHAELSON: He won't be going back to the debate team after this, will he
AARON: retract. I hic-up, he'll never wake up ..... never pick up a gun .... never kill another kid .... basin
Another fragment goes in the bowl
WAITING ROOM, Marcus is looking at the fish in the tank while sitting in a wheelchair. Mr. Lavelle is pacing around nervously.
MR LAVELLE: It's O.K., Marcus. It's O.K. We're just gonna have to be brave little man, huh?
Geiger enters the room.
JEFFREY: She's gonna be OK. We're looking at a complete recovery
MR LAVELLE: Thank God, Thank God
JEFFREY: We'll just keep her here a few days but by Friday, see ya later. He O.K?
MR LAVELLE: Yeah, just a little bit of shock. She's gonna be all right Marcus, Mommy's gonna be O.K. Did you hear what the Doctor said?
Jeffrey walks over and kneels down in front of Marcus, looking him in the eye.
JEFFREY: Hey Marcus, I'm Doctor Geiger. I just operated on your Mother. She's doin' great. How ya doin'?
MR LAVELLE: He has trouble moving his legs, that's why we were in the Emergency Room
JEFFREY: Well, he's already admitted. We have a few more tests, I guess you and your Mom are both gonna be staying with us Marcus. Everything's gonna be O.K, buddy. Come on, don't you worry, huh.
SHUTT'S OR. They are finishing off the procedure. Nurses are pitting away equipment and Aaron has removed his glasses, the loops(head light)are still on his head.
AARON: O.K, Lou, door's closed. Let's bring him up.
LOU: I'm trying
AARON: Well, try harder. Numbers?
LOU: O-2 stats fine, BP 90, pulse 62 - steady!
AARON: what do the bears show? (I guessed at this line)
LOU: He's loosing his cortical wave. Only activity is brain stem.
AARON: All right kid, come on now, party's over lets wake up. Antoine, don't do this to me, Antoine, hey Antoine (shouting and shaking his shoulder)
LOU: I think he's a heart lung prep.
AARON: ANTOINE , ANTOINE
DR MICHAELSON: Easy Aaron. He'll come out, just give him some time. He'll come out.
Aaron grabs the loops from his head and hurls them to the floor in anger, then turns and bangs out of the room.
As Antoine is wheeled out Aaron is seen scrubbing out. Camille hears him talking to himself and walks over.
AARON: I've gotta get some music in my O.R. Geiger always has music, I want music. It's too quiet in there you know? I need more noise.
CAMILLE: Hey, are you O.K?
AARON: Yeah, Why wouldn't I be? I just .... it would be nice to have a little music, that's all!
As he walks away from Camille we can see Karen Antonovich standing around in the hall watching.
AARON AND PHILLIP walk through ward doors and into Antoine's room. They check his vitals as they talk.
PHILLIP: Go home. Get some rest.
AARON: NO! I can't. I've got the Lavelle boy.
PHILLIP: I can give him to Antonovich
AARON: She's officially on staff?
PHILLIP: As of tonight
AARON: She's not a neurosurgeon. I'm the only one here , remember?
PHILLIP: Is he gonna make it?
AARON: Ah, it could go either way, until he wakes up. If he wakes up. That gun he was carrying was like an automatic canon, Phillip.
PHILLIP: What is he 17? How do these kids get to be killers like that?
AARON: Practice! I'm told this one started with a rape when he was 12.
PHILLIP: But, he's a boy.
AARON: I don't know what he is. Can't be human. I saw the look in his eyes, Phillip, it wasn't human.
Antoine's eyes fly open and he starts to convulse. They jump into action and try to save him.
PHILLIP: The cranial pressure's spiking
AARON: Get that crash cart in here stat!
PHILLIP: Get me some paddles, come on
AARON: I need some atropine
Phillip calls for clear as he shocks Antoine. Aaron spits the needle cover out of his mouth from the atropine as he checks his stands clear. He then pushes forward to start compressions. Phillip stands back shaking his head. Aaron doesn't want to give up.
AARON: We've got to get him up the O.R.
PHILLIP: No time. We've got to do it here
AARON: I can relieve the pressure if we can get him up to the O.R.
PHILLIP: (Unintelligible because Aaron was still talking over top)
AARON: Phillip, we can still save him .... we can ......
PHILLIP: we can't .....
NURSE: Flatline ..... he's flatline
AARON: Ah, come on Phillip we can still get it
PHILLIP: We can't
GEIGERS OFFICE where Aaron and Jeffrey are sitting on the couch eating hot-dogs. They are both still in scrubs, and look tired.
AARON: Dead! One second he's touring up and down, the next second he's dead! I told you no relish
JEFFREY: Sue me
AARON: You know, this is the first patient I've ever had die on me where I feel absolutely nothing, nothing!
JEFFREY: Well, you're probably still traumatized. How can you expect .... son of a bitch ... has put relish on mine too . What's the damn problem filling an order for a hot dog!
AARON: I didn't feel anything, Jeffrey!
JEFFREY: They murder people for sport, Aaron. You're not supposed to feel anything accept maybe a little relief. He won't be killing anybody else. It's not even hot! Let's go home, get some sleep, maybe get a decent hamburger on the way.
AARON: I don't want to go home
JEFFREY: Come on, you're going home, Lets go!
Jeffrey snatches the hot-dog out of Aaron's hand as he is about to bite it and walks away leaving Aaron sitting there looking at his hand. They walk out into the reception area where Jeffrey retrieves messages and hands some to Aaron. They both have coats on, over their scrubs and walk down the hall.
JEFFREY: You're tired, I'm tired!
And I'm angry. place specializes in hot-dogs. What is this, we stick our hands in people, try and save life and they can't concentrate on a simple food order? I hope that vendor comes in with appendicitis. You said appendix? Oh, I'm sorry I thought hernia. Mustard - relish .... appendix - hernia .... heh, so what? Just once we should get to sell hot-dogs for a day. People never die with that kind of a screwup, huh?
JEFFREY: Can't even read these damn things
MARCUS IS IN THE MRI with a nurse standing beside him.
MARCUS: I'm cold
KAREN: This will just take a little bit
From in the tech's room we can see Karen Antonovich, the tech and Phillip.
KAREN: Now lie down. Try to stay as still as you can. You're doing great
MARCUS: I'm not doing great. I can hardly move my legs, I'm not doing great.
IN DOCTOR SHUTT'S OFFICE Karen is explaining Marcus's condition to Mr. Lavelle with Dr. Michaelson standing by. They are waiting for Aaron to come in.
KAREN: He has a congenital Venus Malformation AVM for short. Right here on his lower spine. This is a tangle of veins and arteries around the spine.
MR LAVELLE: That's why his legs are so weak and numb?
KAREN: Yes. The blood vessels leaked and caused a blood clot that's putting abnormal pressure on the spine which is causing him to loose feeling.
MR LAVELLE: He's had this since birth and it just caught up to him?
DR MICHAELSON: Possibly as the result of his bike accident but these abnormal vessels are fragile and can bleed at any time.
The camera has panned right and now shows Phillip standing by Mr. Lavelle listening also.
MR LAVELLE: Is the damage permanent?
KAREN: Well, the clot could enlarge and that could cause a loss of blood supply to the spinal cord, which in time could produce permanent paralysis BUT the good news is that it's operable which I would advise.
AARON enters the room and everyone turns to greet him. Phillip moves toward him.
AARON: What's going on?
PHILLIP: Ah, we've been waiting for you. Marcus Lavelle needs surgery, we'd like to schedule as soon as you're free.
AARON: Oh, well .... I'm sorry but .... I'm not available.
PHILLIP: If there's any nerve root entrapment a dissection could get complicated
AARON: Well, ah ... I'm sure that Dr. Michaelson can handle it also with Dr. Antonovich.
DR MICHAELSON: Sure
DR ANTONOVICH: Sure. Yes, absolutely ... we can do it!
AARON: Good. Mr. Lavelle? I wish you the best of luck.
AARON LEAVES the room and Phillip raises his eyebrows.
SCRUB ROOM and Aaron and Phillip are arguing. Aaron is scrubbing furiously and Kadalski comes in and stands nearby watching.
AARON: I'm not doing it
PHILLIP: Why not, you're the neurosurgeon ....
AARON: I'm not the only neurosurgeon here, stop playing that like a stupid trump card
PHILLIP: Don't talk to me like that!
AARON: Don't order me into surgery
PHILLIP: There could be nerve root entrapment, I don't want ....
AARON: I can't be everything to everyone and I'm not available ... I don't care ... all right? I DON'T CARE!!!
KADALSKI: Aaron, why are you washing your hands?
KADALSKI: Your not scrubbing for surgery ... you're not scheduled for surgery ... why are you frantically washing your hands?
PHILLP: Ray ...
KADALSKI: Please, what are you washing you hands of, Aaron?
AARON: You come near me with your bloated psycho-babble and I will take your head off, O.K?
KADALSKI: Now, that was very hostile
PHILLIP: Another time Ray
KADALSKI: I'd just like to do some breathing exercises
PHILLIP: Ray, Ray (laughingly)
KADALSKI: He needs to know I'm there for him
Aaron lunges at his throat and Phillip holds him back. Kadalski looks surprised.
AARON: Get away from me!!!!
PHILLIP: Stop, stop. Right now he needs for you to be somewhere else ... please
Kadalski holds his hands up and backs away. Aaron snatches paper towels from the dispenser and dries his hands.
PHILLIP: Now, we're having that M & M conference
AARON: I know we got it! A patient dies so we all have to sit around a table and re-live that, now that's what makes us dedicated doctors ... dedicated to the good fight.
PHILLIP: Listen if you're gonna snap Aaron ...
AARON: Oh no! God forbid I should snap Phillip. I wouldn't DARE snap. I mean ... I've got bullets whizzin by my head in the E.R.....I gotta operate on the shooter, patients are dyin' on me but I won't snap, God Forbid I should snap. That could make me human, God Forbid any Doctor be human at Chicago Hope
PHILLIP: Aaron ...
AARON: Hey Phillip, do me a favor all right? You tell everybody here to go to hell, O.K?
Aaron walks away with Phillip standing watching him leave.
AT THE M & M CONFERENCE everyone is sitting around the table. Files and case notes are open in front of them. Thurmond is sitting next to Aaron, Jeffrey is on the other side of the table facing him.
THURMOND: Patient was 85 with a ruptured triple A, family refused surgery, cause of death was congestive heart failure, 4:06am on the 25th
JEFFREY: Anything remarkable Arthur?
THURMOND: She said she once spent the night with Babe Ruth
JEFFREY: Very Good. Antoine Metcalf. Removal of bullet and bone fragments from his frontal and temporal lobes, the afore mentioned projectile conveniently supplied by Mr. Ernie Laiten, one of Chicago's finest. He was yours Aaron?
AARON: A ... bullet entered frontal lobe causing massive damage to the entire right side of his brain, bone fragments, hemorrhage, copious tissue loss, time of death was 11.55pm, last night. Cause of death was a Cerebral Edema.
JEFFREY: O.K. Walter Madson, Dr. Thurmond? Another one of yours? Who says all streaks must come to an end ...
AARON: Excuse me .... um ... theres ... ah ... there's more on the Metcalf case.
THURMOND: Well get on with it. I'm hungry.
Aaron turns to Dr. Michaelson.
AARON: Tell them
DR MICHAELSON: What? I don't know what you mean
AARON: Tell them Paula
DR MICHAELSON: It's nothing. We all joke to relieve tension in the OR. We Say things. It's nothing!
JEFFREY: Dr. Michaelson, this is the only reality check we have on ourselves and our peers. So, if you have something to say, say it!
AARON: Come on damn it, tell 'em
DR MICHAELSON: Fine! Half way through the procedure Dr. Shutt joked on how simple it would be, maybe even appropriate to cause this patient's death
AARON: That's true
THURMOND: Nonsense! All of us make morbid jokes in OR. It keeps us sane when the pressure becomes nearly unbearable. It was a joke - end it here and now.
JEFFREY: Can we end it here Aaron? I can't believe I'm asking this but did you kill this patient?
AARON: No but ... um ...
JEFFREY: But what?
AARON: But I didn't save him either
Jeffrey looks around him, upset and confused as though looking for something.
JEFFREY: Did you provide appropriate and acceptable treatment to this patient? Say yes and this goes away.
JEFFREY: Maybe you didn't hear me. Say yes and this goes away
AARON: I don't know
FRONT STEPS OF CHICAGO HOPE HOSPITAL. Aaron and Jeffrey are quickly moving down the steps arguing.
JEFFREY: Are you out of your mind?
AARON: Go away Jeffrey!
JEFFREY: All you have to do is say you did your best and it's over
AARON: Well, maybe I didn't do my best
JEFFREY: Aw, that's crap and you know it. I know it. I'll re-convene the conference and you'll tell 'em ....
AARON: Go away
JEFFREY: I won't go away, I'm not gonna go away! I'm not gonna let you throw away your career, I don't care what kinda crisis ....
AARON: Look, will you leave me alone .... just back off!!!
A man approaches them with something in his hand. He is a process server.
JEFFREY: Excuse me, Doctor Shutt?
P.SERVER: Summons/complaint. I need you to sign here and also here if you can accept service for the hospital.
JEFFREY: What's this for?
P.SERVER: I just deliver it
JEFFREY: More of Camille's impeccable timing?
AARON: (opening it) No, it's not Camille. It's Antoine Metcalf's family. They're suing me for wrongful death
PHILLIP'S OFFICE. Phillip, Alan Birch and Aaron enter the room. Phillip is angry about the complaint and is yelling.
PHILLIP: How the hell can we be sued already?
ALAN: He's a PI lawyer, these kind of complaints come on disk. They just fill in the blanks.
PHILLIP: I mean, the kid walks into our hospital, shooting and his family's gonna sue us!
ALAN: Wrongful death. Count seven references Aaron's little quip in the OR about the hic-up. They're claiming he willfully caused death and the alternative, reckless disregard. They're asking punitives, and they can get them
AARON: Well, let them sue. I've got patients.
ALAN: You do not want to loose this one Aaron. Willful takes it outside your policy. A big enough judgment means that boy's family gets your house!
PHILLIP: How did they know what was said in the OR?
ALAN:(scratching his head)I don't know .. somebody must have talked!
PHILLIP: Well, I wanna find out who! You get me every nurse and every technician that was in that room!
ALAN: First, I'm bringing a motion to dismiss. I've marked it up for tomorrow. We've got a shot. Harold Aldridge is sitting. Thurmond's best friend, bi-annual heart patient, maybe Arthur can give him a call. It's not really ethical for me to suggest this as a lawyer, so of course, I didn't. What is proper for me as as an attorney is to suggest to the client to just snap the hell out of the self-pity. You go in there tomorrow exuding guilt, the claim will stand. We don't want to give this jury any opportunity to misconstrue your little joke in the operating room.
Alan walks past Aaron to leave. He hesitates before going to say one more thing.
ALAN: Please infer my urgency on this. Tomorrow morning, 10 O'clock!
JEFFREY'S OFFICE. Jeffrey is humming a nonsense song. He is playing with a Yo-yo and looks up to see Camille watching him from the door way.
CAMILLE: Can I talk to you for a second?
JEFFREY: What's up?
CAMILLE: I'm worried about Aaron
Jeffrey walks over to the chairs in front of his desk and pulls one out for Camille before sitting in the other one.
JEFFREY: I think we've just gotta give him some time. A few of the bullets came close to him, ya know
CAMILLE: I know ... it's just ..... I ....Thing is "sigh" Look Jeffrey. I don't know how to behave here. I know he's hurting. I wanna help him, but I'm also the ex-wife and I also know he's hurting over ..... should I just ... ah ... stay away from him? I don't know what to do.
JEFFREY: I don't know either
CAMILLE: Yeah, I...um...(smiles) I hear that something might be going on between him and Antonovich, which would be good, I mean that would be good .. I mean ... maybe ... ya know ... if she's there to comfort him, that would be good
JEFFREY: I think we've both just gotta try to help him anyway we can
Camille stands to go and Jeffrey sits thinking.
AARON'S OFFICE. Aaron is sitting at his desk with Alan on the other side standing. Aaron is yelling at birch and gesturing with his hands, he then stands to eye-ball him. A lot of the argument at first overlaps then Aaron stands in silent anger, answering quietly.
AARON: GET OUT OF MY OFFICE!
ALAN: Please don't yell at me
AARON: O.K. I'm sorry, please get out of my office
ALAN: Try and get this. A patient of yours died. You made incriminating remarks with regard to that patient
AARON: I DON'T NEED YOU TO TELL ME THAT, I DON'T NEED A LEGAL LECTURE ON ....
ALAN: YOU NEED TO LISTEN TO THIS!!!! You wanna self destruct, that's you business. You wanna take this hospital down with you, that becomes my business. This is a legal problem, this is my turf now, so don't you dare dismiss me. You will damn well listen to what I've got to say!
AARON: Speak quickly!!!
ALAN: Thurmond's talking to Judge Aldridge. You and I will be appearing before Judge Aldridge tomorrow. You will go in there wearing the indignation that comes from being wrongly accused ... because .. YOU WERE WONGLY ACCUSED!! Think you can summon up the indignity I'm talking about?
AARON: I will try!
ALAN: GOOD! Bear in mind, you're a neurosurgeon you're going up against the family of a gang member. The deck is stacked in our favor. If you can manage not to tip over we'll win. You got that?
AARON: I got it
MARCUS IS ON THE O.R. TABLE.
DR MICHAELSON: What is that? Suction please.
KAREN: Looks like a second Hematoma. I need more light ... bring it around ... see that there?
DR M: Wasn't on the film
KAREN: It probably happened after the M.R.I.
DR M: We've got to get that first. Suction. Come on, get some suction in here.
Karen looks up to see Aaron watching from the observation deck.
DR M: There's no way to see it
KAREN: They'll blind-side you every time ... keep sucking here ...clamp ... and another? ... O.K. I need 2 units... bi-polars ... pull that back
Dr. M: mmm.....here .....
KAREN: I think we have enough elasticity in the interior vessel
DR M: You think? God, I hope you're right
KAREN: I'm right, I know I am
Karen look up and Aaron is gone.
WAITING CHAIRS. Karen comes out of the scrub room and heads over to Mr. Lavelle.
KAREN: The procedure went very well. It was a little more complicated than we had anticipated but I think it was a complete success.
MR LAVELLE: I'd like to see him
KAREN: Very soon. We're gonna keep him in recovery until he starts to wake up and then we'll move him back to the ICU room. We're already moving your wife there.
MR LAVELLE: He's gonna be OK?
KAREN: I believe so, yeah. So, why don't you go tell April the good news and we'll take care of Marcus here
MR LAVELLE: Thank you, Doctor, thank you.
AARON: From me too, thanks
Karen looks over to the nurses station and Aaron is standing there reading a chart. She smiles and walks over.
KAREN: How are you doin' Aaron
AARON: Oh, I can't complain. (they both laugh)
KAREN: Well, I've missed seeing your face the last couple of days. Do you really think you did anything wrong with that Metcalf kid, besides making a bad joke? You really think you screwed up?
AARON: All I know is that a part of me didn't want to get the job done and I know I didn't get the job done. That's all I know right now. Those two things.
KAREN: You know, it wouldn't kill you to lean on somebody . I'm um, new in town and I don't have very many friends so if you could use some companionship ....
AARON: Can I take a rain check?
AARON: Anyway, you did good work on Marcus and I thank you for that
KAREN : Sure
DR THURMOND'S OFFICE and Dr. Thurmond is examining a monitor while Judge Aldridge is sitting in a chair.
JUDGE: All right Arthur, un-hook me. I'm back on the bench in 20 minutes.
THURMOND: Superior Court, big deal. You just sit up there getting flatulent while pin-head attorneys beg you for zoning barriences. Good. Any decent judge your age would be doing appellate work by now.
JUDGE: Let me tell you, the real work is done in the trial courts. I like being in the trenches.
THURMOND: Oh, I know the sink-hole cases you get in the trenches. A colleague of mine is being dragged before you tomorrow as a matter of fact, it's un-believable! Anybody with a word processor can file a law-suit these days
JUDGE: What colleague?
THURMOND: Aaron Shutt. Made an off-hand comment while trying to save a gang punk. Now his family's looking to win the lottery.
JUDGE: Arthur, I sagely hope you didn't ask me here for this sudden exam to influence a case coming before me?
THURMOND: You know better than that. Ever had a defendant appear before you and maybe back in chambers you were wishing you could pull the switch on him yourself? I know you have.
THURMOND: So, when you take the bench, you do the job no matter what you think of the scum at the defense table. Am I wrong?
JUDGE: No, and?
THURMOND: The same with Aaron Shutt. I know him personally. There's nobody with more integrity. He made an insensitive remark about a criminal that came into the hospital, shooting up the place and then he performed expertly as a doctor.
JUDGE: You son of a bitch! You don't think I know what you're doing? You hook me up to wires, you reduce my with mortality so you can stand there as an omnipotent influence
THURMOND: There he goes. That's why you have a coronary condition!
JUDGE: I don't care how many angeo-balloons you shove up my legs, I don't care how far back we go as friends. I have every mind to hold you in contempt and I also have the power
THURMOND: is that right
JUDGE: Don't you dare test me on this
THURMOND: Listen, my friend. I'm old, I'm rich and as for your flaccid threats, if you can't stop frivolous litigation like this from tying up your precious time, don't be telling me how much power you have!
JUDGE: I've enough to knock you on your puffy ass
THURMOND: My friend, I've never asked you to look over so much as a parking ticket. Just read the briefs in the Shutt case. If the case has cause ....
JUDGE: I'll do as the law calls for and no more, Arthur!
THURMOND: That's all I ask. One last thing ... you're in no position to call MY ass puffy!
AARON AND DR MICHAELSON WALK PAST THE NURSES STATION talking about the Lavelles.
AARON: You've moved Mrs. Lavelle into Pediatrics?
DR M: After post-op Dr. Antonovich felt it would help both their recoveries if he could re-cooperate with his mother. Dr. Shutt, it was a by the book procedure. We found a second Hematoma , no problem with the extraction. The rest went according to game plan.
AARON: Well obviously it didn't or he wouldn't be paralyzed now
X-RAY EXAMINATION ROOM. Dr. Michaelson, Karen and Geiger are leaning over a table examining Marcus's x-rays.
KAREN: I know I got it right
JEFFREY: Maybe there's some bleeding around the cord
KAREN: It would have showed up on the post-op MRI
The camera zooms out to show Phillip standing back watching.
JEFFREY: Did you look close? Maybe you didn't wanna see it!
KAREN: I looked close
JEFFREY: Maybe she missed something.
KAREN: I didn't miss anything
JEFFREY: Well, lets do an electro-mio-gram
KAREN: I did it already. Neurologically, the boy is normal
JEFFREY: Normal boys can bend their knees
Jeffrey walks over to a light board and snaps up an X-ray
KAREN: Why are you even here?
JEFFREY: A neurosurgeon should have been doing this procedure
DR M: I am a neurosurgeon, thank you very much!
JEFFREY: Well you were not good enough for this delicate procedure
DR:M Were you in the room?
JEFFREY: If I were in the room this boy would be playing soccer
KAREN: There's no bleeding Phillip
They all start arguing at once. Could be bleeding, Dr. Michaelson is angry at Geiger.
PHILLIP: QUIET!!!! Just quiet! It must be hysterical paralysis. The boy saw his mother shot. I'll get Kadalski to talk to him ......
JEFFREY: (shaking his head) No
PHILLIP: ........this kind of thing usually works itself out
Camille walks into the doorway and interrupts
CAMILLE: Excuse me. Have any of you seen Aaron? He had a pituitary adenoma scheduled for 5:30, he never showed
JEFFREY: (checks his watch) It's 6:20 now
BACK MORGUE HALLWAY. Rock music is playing and Nurses, Techs and Candy Stripers are all cheering. Aaron is pushing a Gurney with a candy striper sitting on it. She is yelling and they are racing another gurney. Aaron is winning. Everyone is on their underwear! Aaron is wearing Boxers, shoes and a pink/white bike helmet. Jeffrey walks in and stands there in disbelief. Aaron wins the race and everyone cheers. A HUGE Tech steps up to claim the next race.
TECH: O.K. I'm gonna take him on next!
AARON: OK. Just give me a second, give me a second ... God ... give me a second ha ha
Candy S: Come on ... we're beating everybody
AARON: Hey Jeffrey. I just paid five to one
JEFFREY: What are you doing Aaron??
AARON: I'm winning. Beating the pants off everybody, if you will excuse the expression
JEFFREY: Well, get your clothes, lets go
AARON: No, no no! I can't do that. I got the daily double. I've gotta go right away in the other direction.
TECH: Ready? in five seconds
AARON: Hey, you should put some money on me ... I've never felt stronger
Off they go, leaving Jeffrey standing there with his eyes bugging out
OFFICE HALLWAY. Alan and Phillip are walking to Aaron's office.
ALAN: I need him for court, Phillip. Session starts, 10am sharp
PHILLIP: I won't need him long
AARON: Don't bludgeon him either. A brooding Defendant is a guilty one. Do you think this could be kind of a pep-talk?
Phillip enters Aaron's office leaving Alan rubbing his head. Aaron is standing behind his desk putting on his jacket. He looks despondent
PHILLIP: You've canceled three major procedures, postponed two others and turfed the Lavelle AVM to Antonovich and Michaelson.
AARON: I had legitimate reasons
PHILLIP: You were involved in a shooting incident. I understand your reasons. You want time off ... take it. You want counseling ... get it. But as long as you continue to show up in this hospital I expect you to show up. Do I make myself clear?
AARON: You always do
PHILLIP: The fact that you may have wished the Metcalf boy dead means nothing except that you're human. You did everything right in that OR. From my personal observation you were doing everything possible to save him at the time he died
AARON: Well, you're assuming that attitude doesn't pervade ability
PHILLIP: I'm assuming that when the time came for be Antoine Metcalf's doctor you were his doctor. I'd like your other patients to get the same consideration
AARON: I apologize
Phillip turns to leave, then hesitates and walks back to Aaron
PHILLIP: One other thing, you're not an island Aaron. A lot of your colleagues are here for you. Me included. Try to remember that.
Phillip opens the door to leave, revealing Camille on the other side.
CAMILLE: Can I help?
MARCUS' ROOM: Kadalski is talking with Marcus while Karen stands beside him. Geiger is lounging on Marcus' bed and his parents sit on the other bed.
KADALSKI: You're at the Zoo, Marcus. Lots of kids, laughing, ho ho ho, having fun, whoa, and running around. You're looking at a big hippopotamus in the water. He's so big, and he's chortling, "snort, snort snort", splashing water around, splash, so silly. But ho, what's this? Everybody's running over to see the Giraffe with a big long neck. Such a great giraffe. You'd like to run over too. Can you run Marcus? Can you move your feet just a little? And see the nice Giraffe? Try ... try to move them just a little
MARCUS: I can't
KADALSKI: Try a little harder
MARCUS: I can't
JEFFREY: Excuse me
He pulls Kadalski and Karen aside.
KADALSKI: This technique works. It both relaxes and motivates
JEFFREY: You're depressing him. Not only is he paralyzed, but now he's missed out on the nice Giraffe
KADALSKI: Look I'd like to continue on this line with an escalating scale of intimacy. I'd like to start off with the treating doctors and then work our way up to the parents. Truth is what will finally win out
KAREN: O.K. Jeffrey, you go first. Then me, then the parents
Karen elbows Jeffrey
KAREN: Come on
JEFFREY: Oh, leave me alone, will you .... Hey Marcus, how ya doing? Look, you didn't miss anything with the giraffe. It was dead. So, you're better off right here with that silly hippo. "Cept, what killed the giraffe? Lyme disease! Got it from an ugly tick, all fat and grey. Swelled up with the giraffe's blood. It's waddling over to your hippo right now. I hate ticks. This one's getting closer and closer, big, fat, infected! It's going for your hippo. So you better stop that tick, Marcus, step on that tick, move your feet, step on that tick, splatter it all over the ground, step on that tick
MARCUS: I can't
JEFFREY: Squish it all over ... grind it's guts into the pavement ...
KAREN: Jeffrey! Maybe I should go
JEFFREY: I thought I saw a little wiggle.
KAREN: Yeah, yeah, you did great. Just you know, it's just that it's my turn
JEFFREY: I saw a little wiggle
Marcus shakes his head
ALDRIDGE'S COURT ROOM. Both councils are standing and Aaron sits by Birch in a dark suit looking disinterested. The Plaintiff's council, Steinhorn is speaking. Full of indignation.
STEINHORN: Dr. Shutt's conduct would be an intentional battery at worst, reckless indifference at best ...
ALAN: Your Honor, even a cursory review of the independent autopsy report reveals no evidence ...
STEINHORN: I would, I would, I would, ... ah ... dispute the independent characterization if this was a ...
ALDRIDGE: Hold on for a second! Am I to understand that this individual, Metcalf, entered the hospital emergency room, committed murder, was himself shot in the cross fire and you're blaming this Doctor?
Birch sat down and got comfortable.
STEINHORN: The record will reflect that this doctor made oral remarks about not undertaking appropriate measures ...
ALDRIDGE: Do you have any idea, about the kind of health care crisis this country is in?
STEINHORN: I beg your pardon?
ALDRIDGE: People in this country can't afford medical coverage, and one of the reasons is that gun violence costs society over a billion dollars a year in medical costs, one billion dollars!
Aaron looks at Alan who smiles and adjusts his shirt.
ALDRIDGE: Litigation! Another half-billion dollars, so you can imagine my joy in seeing this judicial system being taxed by this case. Your guy opened fire in a hospital and you have the stones to take up the time of that doctor, this court and me!
STEINHORN: Your honor, I don't see ...
ALDRIDGE: Now how the hell would you like it if a family member of yours was in a car accident and the emergency room was understaffed because the doctor was tied up in a deposition. Doctors and Judges can't get to the real problem because it's tied up with attorneys like you, YOU ASS! YOU LITTLE TOAD!!!! Now I'm ordering you, council, not your client but you personally, to pay for the court costs! These doctors are trying to save lives, criminals come in shooting at them and toads like you waltz in, looking to hit a jackpot!
Steinhorn is standing there is shock and Alan is laughing behind his hand
ALDRIDGE: Now, I want you to turn around and admit to this court room that you are a toad!
STEINHORN: I ... um ... I .... ah ... don't
ALDRIDGE: You do it or I'll hold you in contempt! And I remind you this is Friday. Now you do it now!
Steinhorn turns to face the gallery.
STEINHORN: I am a toad
ALDRIDGE: Speak clearly, again
STEINHORN: I AM A TOAD
ALDRIDGE: Motion for dismissal granted! Next case
AARON'S OFFICE. Aaron is sitting on his couch with his jacket off. Jeffrey is behind the desk playing with Aaron's brain bits. As they talk he walks around to sit next to Aaron in the chair.
JEFFREY: You know you didn't kill that kid.
AARON: I know that I did nothing wrong, technically. Just like that Judge. He made the right ruling, this should have been dismissed. But maybe he came to that decision a little quicker, a little easier because it was a gang kid. Maybe he was lacking the intellectual acuity that would have allowed him to see something small, something microscopic that would have made this lawsuit stand. And .. Maybe it was just as baseless as he said it was. It didn't matter, didn't matter! because, the judge wasn't trying to make it stick.
JEFFREY: What are you babbling about?
AARON: I was operating on gang scum, Jeffrey, I wasn't afraid to loose him and maybe without that fear I wasn't everything I could be in that room. Maybe my acuity was compromised by who it was that was on the table.
JEFFREY: You don't know that
AARON: No, I can't know that. I will never know it. But I promise you this, I will always wonder, always and wondering is ... ah ..it's.. it's paralyzing. I .... I. .... I don't want to go back in that room
JEFFREY: When Laurie drowned Joey, do you remember what happened to me?
Aaron nods his head
JEFFREY: I didn't think I would ever be functional again, much less ... you held me that night, do you remember?
AARON: Yeah, I remember
JEFFREY: You told me forget what ever I was thinking. To forget about me trying to trust myself and instead to trust you, just trust you. Because you were the one who could think clearly. I clung to that, Aaron. I wanted to believe you, I had to believe you, because what I was thinking or feeling ..... to survive I had to believe in you. So now, I'll ask you to do the same with me. You did the best you could do on that Metcalf kid because you're incapable of anything else. It's innate. When we cut, it's innate. Whether you believe that or feel it, you have to accept that it's true. I'm telling you it is. You will walk back into that operating room again, you will!
MARCUS' ROOM and Kadalski is playing the guitar and singing "High Hopes" with gusto! Everyone looks pained. Marcus is smiling. Aaron, Phillip and Jeffrey enter and Jeffrey starts to laugh.
JEFFREY: (to Phillip) ha ha ha, are you paying for this?
KADALSKI: Doctor, I would appreciate you not being here
JEFFREY: I have an idea (taking the guitar) if you don't mind. Here lean over like this. Marcus, kick Dr. Kadalski, will ya?
KADALSKI: Please, please. I was making progress, he felt my little prick before
JEFFREY: Oh yeah, I bet that excited you as well, huh?
AARON: Everybody, I would like to speak to Marcus myself for a moment, if that's all right
MR LAVELLE: I think he would like that, Doctor
AARON: And if I could ask everybody to stand just over on this side of the room for a moment
Aaron pulls the curtain, blocking everyone out of Marcus' space and sits on the bed.
AARON: You know, I've been sort of frozen myself, since the shooting. I've been able to walk but ... ah...well, not operate on anybody
AARON: Too scared, I think That was something seeing those bullets, hearing them. That's why ..ah.. you're not moving your legs. Because of fear, they've told you that?
AARON: Sometimes I think that ... ah ... all the fear and the pressure is the thing that keeps us from getting ... you know ... unstuck! But I suddenly realized ... I was just talking with my best friend a little while ago and I realized, whether I ever operate again or not, he is still gonna love me just the same, and... God, it took such pressure off
On the other side of the curtain everyone is listening. Camille and Jeffrey both turn around to face the curtain and Marcus' parents cuddle
AARON: I don't have to get better right away. I can be weak, I don't even have to be strong. I can just ... you know ... go limp and I don't know ... free-fall, because I have people who love me and are gonna take care of me, no matter what. And you've got that Marcus, your parents are gonna love you, even if you don't walk right away. I know that you wanna do it today, partly because of them, just like I wanna operate because I don't wanna let my people down. But let's not think about that today. Sometimes, ya know, We have to be there for them, we have to be strong ... for them. But today, we're gonna let them be there for us. We'll be weak, well need them. So, no pressure. You just let your family love you. You heal.
Aaron starts to rub Marcus' feet as he talks, never taking his eyes off Marcus' face
AARON: You've got all the time in the world, and all the love in the world. And, all you gotta do it just go limp, and accept it
MARCUS: I can feel that. I can feel you rubbing
AARON: You can? I can feel it too, Marcus. It feels to me like you're moving them.
On the other side of the curtain everyone starts to look happy. They begin to move towards the curtain and Jeffrey looks proud
AARON: It's coming back. Maybe we oughta call your parents back in, huh?
AARON: Mr. & Mrs. Lavelle?
Aaron pulls back the curtain as the same time that Mr. Lavelle does.
MR LAVELLE: We're right here
MRS LAVELLE: Honey?
MARCUS: I can move them
MRS LAVELLE: I know sweetheart, we heard
MR LAVELLE: It's gonna be all right buddy, huh? You'll be walking soon
Mr. Lavelle & Marcus embrace happily. Aaron walks towards the door to leave.
AARON: We should .. ah .give them some time
PHILLIP: I have patients
JEFFREY: Me too
Aaron and Jeffrey leave first. As they go Jeffrey puts his arm around Aaron's shoulders and gives him a quick hug. Camille, Phillip and Karen walk behind them. As they all go their separate ways Aaron looks back at Camille and seems sad again.
Executive Producer: D E Kelley
Associate Producer: John Heath
Creative Consultants: Michael Nankin & Toni Graphia