Summary for "Quarantine"
The following summary was written by Diane Rosenfeldt and edited by Yolette
Nicholson. We share responsibility for all grammatical and continuity errors.
CHICAGO HOPE 1.10 "The Quarantine" Air date: 1/2/95
Written by David E. Kelley Directed by
Dr. Danny Nyland is pacing agitatedly in a deserted operating room when Dr.
Jeffrey Geiger bursts in
"What's going on?" Geiger demands. "I get stat paged to OR 4, where's the
"It's not an emergency," Nyland says. He asks if Geiger remembers
Georgeann Tuckman, a recent patient. Nyland had called Geiger in on a consult,
and at first they had thought she had myocarditis, then the flu.
"I didn't think the flu," Geiger interrupts. "I thought it was some kind
of virus she probably snagged at the CDC."
Nyland says, "You were right, more right than you want to be. She was
just diagnosed in Seattle--Ebola virus."
Geiger grimaces, and after a long silence, asks quietly, "How
She was in Day 4 when she was there, Nyland tells him, thus highly
contagious. He had run to the first empty room when he had heard, and paged
Geiger. They needed to be isolated immediately, and it would be a couple of
days before they knew whether they had been exposed, either by contact with
Tuckman's bodily fluids or through the air. The paramedics who had brought her
to Chicago Hope were under quarantine at Cook County Hospital, he says.
Geiger thinks for a moment, then announces, "All right. First off, this
place is officially sealed. You and I are gonna spend some time together.
Nyland says bluntly, "What's the progression?"
Not good, Geiger says. Seventy percent fatal. Incurable.
"I'm sure . . . sure we didn't contract it," Nyland falters.
"I'm sure you're right." Geiger cuffs his ear reassuringly and walks
"Oh God," Nyland mutters.
* * *
Burly security men in bubble suits finish installing a huge steel bolt on the
OR door and ram it shut. Chief of Staff Dr. Phillip Watters watches Geiger
through the OR window as he talks to him on the phone. "I'll be back on the
phone with Atlanta in 20 minutes. Meanwhile, we set up a command post in our
lab. I don't want you leaving this area."
Geiger asks him to check whether the CDC has plasma from survivors in
case he and Nyland need transfusions. Brushing off Watters' protest that that
is premature, Geiger also wants him to research intravenous Interferon as a
treatment, and to get a cribbage board.
Watters gestures at Nyland, pacing in a corner. "He OK?"
Geiger says wryly, "He'll live. Maybe."
As Watters leaves, Geiger turns to Nyland. "OK, first the bad news: we
got ourselves a beauty. This virus wiped out entire tribes in Zaire, Sudan,
probably came to the U.S. through a monkey. Maybe this is my payback for
killing the baboon."
"Give me the good news?" Nyland pleads.
Turns out Tuckman was there on Day 7 of the disease's course, not Day 4,
making her much less contagious, Geiger says. They would have to wait a couple
days, do their own bloodwork . . . and notify anyone they've been "sharing
intimate breathing space with."
Nyland looks stricken. "Oh no."
"Make the call," Geiger says.
As Nyland picks up the phone, Geiger asks, deadpan, "Man or woman?" He
rests his chin on Nyland's shoulder, the better to eavesdrop on the phone
conversation. Nyland just looks at him.
* * *
A bubble-suited security guard gives Camille Shutt a none-too-gentle shove
through the OR door.
Glaring at Nyland, she demands, "What have you given me?"
"You slut!" Geiger remarks from his vantage point behind them, eagerly
hunkering forward to monitor the ensuing conversation.
"What have you given me?" Camille repeats.
"I've been exposed to a virus," Nyland tells her.
"We used a condom, for God's sakes, two of them!" she hisses.
"It's airborne, the kissing is just as dangerous," Nyland explains
"Well, maybe you didn't kiss," Geiger interjects helpfully.
"Please don't joke!" says Camille, starting to lose what was left of her
composure. "They said it could be fatal!"
Geiger assures her the quarantine is just a precaution.
But Camille turns to Nyland, pleadingly. "Look, uh, can we just say . . .
I mean, we don't want to put it out there that, um, you know, you and I were .
. . out of sensitivity to Aaron?"
"He knows," Geiger says.
"He knows I had sex," Camille says impatiently, "but he doesn't know with
"Well, what's the difference?" Geiger shrugs.
"It'll make a difference!"
Nyland suggests they say that Camille was in on the Tuckman examination.
"There's no need to add to the drama here," he concurs.
Camille turns beseechingly to Geiger. "Can we do that, Jeffrey? Please?"
Geiger takes a long moment to reply. "Sure."
Nurse Maggie Atkisson lurches through the OR door. She glares at Nyland.
"What have you given me?"
Nyland repeats that he's been exposed to a virus.
Camille glares at Nyland. "You pig!"
"Busy pig!" Geiger remarks.
To Atkisson's question, Nyland replies, "Hopefully nothing, but I need to
be quarantined, which unfortunately includes the people that I've been with."
"Do we need a bigger room?" Geiger asks.
"Could you be someplace else?" Nyland tells him testily.
Geiger says blandly, "It's just I need to order food. Should I be
"Not from me!" Nyland says.
But Camille wears an expression of dawning chagrin.
* * *
"I don't believe this!" Dr. Aaron Shutt says as he is escorted through the
halls by suited-up security guards and a similarly suited Watters.
"I thought you and Camille were apart!" Watters says.
"We are. We kissed after Rabbi Taubler's funeral," Shutt says
exasperatedly. "This virus is not spread casually, Phillip, you don't need to
be wearing that stupid suit!"
"I'd rather be safe, thank you. This disease is more dangerous than
"Oh, well, that . . . that cheers me up," Shutt grouses.
A guard yanks him along.
Hospital counsel Alan Birch, in a bubble suit much too big for him,
"Phillip, I want to be heard! Anybody exposed should be put in a suit
immediately for transport! I want Dr. Shutt put in a suit immediately."
"And WHY is my helmet fogging up?" Birch adds peevishly. "They've given
me defective equipment."
Looking martyred and bored, Watters assures him, "We'll get suits on
"Your helmet doesn't fog!" Birch exclaims through the mist over his face.
"Are you breathing through your nose?"
Watters rolls his eyes heavenward and walks away.
"I'm blinded, Phillip," Birch says, groping empty air. "Phillip?"
"This is unacceptable."
* * *
Back in the OR, the mood has not lightened.
"Well, are we gonna die?" Camille asks.
"Nobody's dying," Geiger says calmly.
Atkisson isn't satisfied. "Well, I heard it could be spread with a
sneeze. That it came from a monkey . . ." She rushes over to Nyland. "Oh,
tell me you didn't have sex with a monkey!"
"Hah!" Camille says. "He didn't have time!"
Nyland shoots her a glare, "Please!"
The OR door slams after Shutt, who looks accusingly at his wife.
"Where did you get it, Camille?"
Camille smiles placatingly, "Aaronnn . . . "
"Never mind "Aaronnn," he mimicks her wheedling. "They say we've got to
be isolated here for two full days!!"
As Geiger tries to calm Shutt down, Atkisson moans and grabs a handy
basin. "Ohhh, I feel nauseous! I could throw up! We are gonna die! I mean, I .
. . I just took this job! Now I'm exposed to a deadly virus?"
"Take it easy . . ." Nyland says soothingly.
"Doctor, you have done quite enough!" Camille interjects.
"What is THAT supposed to mean, Camille?" Shutt demands, picking up on
the tone. "You gave it to *her*?" he asks Nyland.
Atkisson sinks onto a stool still embracing the basin.
Geiger points out reasonably that they're probably all right, they just
have to do the bloodwork, wait a couple days and it'll be over.
"In the meantime," Geiger taps Atkisson on the head with a forefinger,
"hey, nothing is served by panic. Everybody, just call the people that need to
be called . . . "
He looks pointedly at Camille, who returns his stare balefully.
Atkisson, however, looks like she's gotten a headache.
" . . . if you haven't already done so," Geiger continues. "Otherwise
just sit back and stay calm. Everybody stay calm."
All heads turn as the door opens and another bubble-suited figure is
shoved inside. The bubble on the suit is too small to make out who it is until
its occupant pulls the hood off, showing a discomfited Dr. Arthur Thurmond.
Into the stunned silence, Shutt finally speaks.
"You gotta be kidding me!"
"Don't look at me," Atkisson says defensively.
Geiger looks at Nyland. "You little brown-nose!"
"I didn't touch him!" Nyland protests.
All eyes turn toward Camille, who stammers "It's not what you think!"
Thurmond says, "We . . . we shared a stick of licorice. Red. The chewy
Shutt demands incredulously, "Were you two together?"
Geiger shakes his head in distaste. "I can't picture that. Which is a
blessing. I get . . . I get vasovagal."
As Camille begins to protest, Shutt says, "Quiet. I wanna hear this!"
Thurmond mutters doggedly, "Licorice. Red."
"Chewy?" says Geiger.
"Jeffrey!" Shutt says.
Camille says, "I have to tell them, Arthur. Like you said, it was
Thurmond gestures toward Geiger. "He'll make it something."
"No, he won't. Dr. Thurmond passed out last week in the research lab. I
thought he stopped breathing and . . . "
Thurmond interjects, "Which I didn't, I just fainted, it was hypotension,
that's all, nothing more."
Camille continues, "I thought he wasn't breathing, and I started giving
him mouth-to-mouth. That's why I thought maybe if I had the virus maybe I'd
Geiger pounces on the first part of the explanation.
"You're having fainting spells when you're going into the OR?" he
demands. "What if you go face-first into somebody's intestine?"
He turns to Camille. "How the hell can you stay silent? His episode could
cause a patient to die."
She explains that Thurmond had said it was one isolated incident and she
knew Geiger would make something out of it.
A shouting match ensues among everybody in the room. It ends abruptly
when Watters, suited up, enters the room.
Everyone stares, uncomprehending.
After a pause, Geiger asks out loud, "Am I the only one in this hospital
not having sex?"
Shutt looks accusingly at Camille.
"Hey!" she protests.
Everyone turns to look at Atkisson, slouching miserably on her stool.
Thurmond accuses gleefully, "Did you concubine with that nurse, Phillip?"
"She's been here less than a month!" Camille sputters. "You're Chief of
Staff! What in God's name were you thinking of?"
With great dignity, Watters says, "How I was exposed is none of your
A mortified Atkisson stammers, "He . . . he and I were not . . .
together. I, I, God, it's so embarrassing . . . can you just tell them?"
Watters explains that Atkisson had felt faint after the Antonovich
morphine episode. He reached to steady her, and she vomited on him, thereby
possibly exposing him.
"Who do you think you're kidding?" Thurmond chortles.
* * *
Birch conducts a press conference.
Over the clamor of voices, he exclaims, "I am in charge! I am in complete
A reporter asks, "How many doctors are infected and how did the
Birch explains, "No known infections, this is simply a precautious
quarantine. Uh, Chief of Staff Phillip Watters is included, thereby chain of
command according to hospital by-laws passes to house counsel. Uh, nonononono,
Chicago Hope continues to be open for business. And I'm in complete charge.
Not to worry. Not to worry at all."
His grin, meant to reassure, holds an edge of panic.
* * *
Later Birch, helmet still fogging, updates Watters through the OR window. The
situation is better. The paramedics at Cook County are still healthy, and the
CDC is optimistic. Chicago Hope's board doesn't like the fact that an OR is
unusable, but Birch has calmed them down.
"I can't see his face," Thurmond says. He and Watters have both removed
their bubble suits. Thurmond wears a shirt, bow tie, plaid boxer shorts and
"Everything's under control," Birch reiterates to Watters.
"I'm sure it is," Watters says soothingly.
Turning from the window, Birch mutters, "Blind as a bat. Guys?" He
gropes down the hall.
* * *
Watters announces that if nobody develops symptoms by Friday, they're in
the clear. When asked what the symptoms are, he replies, "Could be like the
flu--fever, headaches, abdominal pain--or could be worse. Nosebleed, rash."
Geiger says insinuatingly, "With all that's been going on, somebody must
have a rasssh."
"This is not a funny situation," Watters replies.
When nobody reports any symptoms, Watters says that they'll do their own
bloodwork and cultures. On a practical level, food and blankets are available,
and there's a temporary toilet set up off the scrub room, he says.
Thurmond interrupts him. "I want to see the chart on the Tuckman patient.
I want to see her symptoms."
"You don't trust my opinion?" Watters asks.
"I'm just concerned that you might have been busy that day lecturing
senior doctors on how they should stay away from young nurses," Thurmond
* * *
As Nyland reaches past Shutt for some luncheon meat from the buffet
gurney, Shutt freezes for a second, then sniffs Nyland's hair, twice.
"You smell familiar," he says.
"HEY!" Camille says hurriedly, pasting on a cheery smile. "I have an
idea, Phillip! Um, your Christmas party was scheduled for tomorrow night, why
don't we have it right here?"
At everyone's incredulous look, she hurries on, "Well, um, ah, we're all
together, we could have it here instead of your house . . ."
Shutt stares at her. "Why are you acting like that?"
"Like what?" She smiles at him too brightly.
"Like you act when you're hiding something."
"What act -- ?" She feigns incomprehension.
"You're acting the way you act when you get nervous, and I think you got
nervous when I started smelling him!" Shutt accuses.
"What are they yapping about?" Thurmond asks.
"I dunno," Watters shrugs.
Raising his hand, Geiger chirps, "I do!"
Simultaneously, Camille yells "Never mind!" and Nyland says "Please!"
Shutt assumes the air of prosecuting attorney. "Now, you say that you
were exposed to the virus by treating the Tuckman patient."
"I think so, yes," Camille says.
"You think so. Well, we're getting the woman's chart. If you were in on
the examination, uh, it'll be reflected in the notes, won't it?"
In the uncomfortable silence, Shutt once more smells Nyland. Camille
asks to see Shutt in the scrub room. As they close the door, Geiger watches
them through the window.
"This could be worth the price of the virus right here," he smirks. He
looks at Nyland. "Bet you'd like to be a little fly on *that* wall!"
"Your seniority aside, there's only so much disrespect I'll take from
you," Nyland warns.
But the light has dawned for Atkisson. "Oh, you were with *her* too?"
"It doesn't concern you," Nyland says shortly.
"Well, before or after me?" she asks.
"Never mind!" he says.
Watters says to Atkisson, "Was I before or after him?"
"After, but see, I don't know if I was after her, because if I wasn't, it
could be her to him to me to you, and I don't know where the mouth-to-mouth
comes in . . . "
"I'm confused," Thurmond says mournfully.
"I heard something about a monkey," Atkisson continues.
"The monkey wore a condom," Geiger says.
* * *
In the scrub room, Shutt says, "So it was Nyland?"
"A one-time thing" Camille says pleadingly. "After I dropped Rabbi
Taubler's heart I was upset . . ."
"I'm gonna recommend that you be terminated, Camille," Shutt says
coldly. "I have no objections to your having a personal life, but I mean, to
be having one-night stands with other surgeons in this hospital . . . "
Camille is outraged. "What about you and Antonovich?"
That was different, he says. How so, she demands to know.
Shutt becomes increasingly agitated.
"I am Chief of Neurosurgery," he states. "I have a chain of command in
this place which is dependent on my maintaining respect with this staff. I
can't have that respect undermined by a promiscuous ex-wife whose sexual
escapades serve to humiliate me!"
Camille is furious. "The only reason that I don't take your head off
right now is because those people can see through the glass!"
"You wanna take my head off, Camille?" Shutt asks. "Go ahead! The truth
is there's nothing you can DO to me that you HAVEN'T ALREADY DONE."
* * *
Watching through the glass and eating chips, Geiger tells Thurmond,
"She's gonna feint to the left, go back up the middle."
As Camille feints to the left and goes back up the middle, Geiger adds,
"I saw this on a PBS special. That's not friendly body language. See those
little specks o'spit coming out of her mouth? That's hostility."
Thurmond says, "That Nyland fellow slept with them all?"
"I believe so, yeah."
"And *I* get sued for asking a girl to lunch," Thurmond marvels.
Geiger offers him some chips as they continue to watch.
* * *
Watters finishes making a sandwich at the buffet gurney as Atkisson
approaches him. She apologizes for the others not believing their story. He
tells her it's OK and starts to take a bite.
Atkisson grabs his arm, pulling his sandwich hand down. "Well, you know,
it's not my habit to *vomit* on people and I just want you to understand, you
know, that that was a fluke."
"What's done is done." He smiles at her.
Atkisson walks away feeling better. Watters looks at his sandwich with
* * *
The Shutts continue their argument.
Camille takes exception to Aaron's assertion that she is subordinate to
him at the hospital. He tells her to try a craniotomy sometime, see if she can
do that, and she replies that he should try being a scrub nurse for a day. He
says he could do that, and nastily adds that she's a nurse, not a brain
She replies that she's finding whole new reasons to have left him: "There
was so much more to hate about you."
"Well, that's one thing about being a quitter, Camille," Shutt says
bitterly. "One reason is enough . . . Did you ever fight for us? Did you once
try to communicate?"
She protests he was never there to talk to, except at night, when he
wanted to sleep.
"I was HAPPY," Shutt shouts. "When you're tired and happy you sleep! YOU
were unhappy, you let it fester."
"Why couldn't you see that I was unhappy?" she cries back. If she had let
it die, then so did he.
"I loved you," Shutt says.
"And still you did nothing," Camille mourns. "We stopped talking to each
other, we stopped touching each other, all we had in common was a joint
checking account, and this was *you* loving *me*?"
Shutt notices that Thurmond has put a drinking glass against the window
and has his ear against it. He bangs on the glass. "Hey, haven't you got
something else to do?"
"No," Thurmond says.
Shutt throws open the connecting door. "This is not a sideshow put on for
"It certainly is, it's a circus, started by Mr. Penishead over there!"
Thurmond gestures at Nyland.
Nyland snarls, "You know what, I'm sick and tired of being pimped by
everyone here for . . . for no other reason than being young!"
"You think it's terrible being young," Thurmond retorts, "you just try
"You give new meaning to the word 'pimp,' " Shutt says, going for Nyland.
He throws off Geiger's restraining arm. "Hey, hey, hey, get your hands off of
He rounds on Geiger, jabbing the air with his forefinger for emphasis.
"You know, you're not the only person with a license to go nuts around here,
Jeffrey, you keep your hands off of me!"
Geiger backs off, hurt.
"Geez, his finger was right there, you coulda bitten it!" Thurmond
"Dr. Thurmond, why don't *you* go in the corner and FAINT?" Shutt directs
"This is a horrible Christmas," Thurmond grumbles.
* * *
Geiger asks Camille what she and Shutt were talking about.
"It's none of your business, Jeffrey, it has always been none of your
business," Camille tells him brusquely.
They start to argue, but Shutt interrupts, "Lay off my wife, will ya?"
"She's not your wife," Geiger snaps, "she's your significant ex-other."
They begin bickering loudly.
"HEY!!!!" Atkisson yells. "Listen to you people . . . you're all
Thurmond says politely, "Excuse me, young lady. Your name again is?"
"Yes. Uh, I apologize again. Who here is it you slept with?"
"What if I said it was you?" she says snidely. " Would you know
Thurmond regards her warily. "It's a trick. It's a trick question,
Phillip. She's a trickster." To Atkisson, he says authoritatively, "I'm Dr.
Arthur Thurmond. Don't ever try to trick me. I'm Dr. Arthur THURMOND."
Atkisson continues, "Two weeks ago I get in trouble 'cause I didn't kill
his patient fast enough." She gestures at Shutt. "Now I could have a fatal
disease, and I'm locked in a room with the people who represent the nerve
center of the whole hospital, and you're nuts! You're all NUTS!"
A tap on the window behind her makes her shriek. It's Birch.
"Good news! I've got the piano and my helmet's fixed!" he beams.
* * *
Geiger sits at the piano softly singing "Something Stupid." Atkisson is
dancing a little. The others are sitting or lying around, making uncomfortable
Birch walks in to say that the blood tests are negative but the lab wants
some specimens. Watters pushes him back out of the room.
Atkisson joins in the song, loudly and horribly off-key. "I CAN SEE IT IN
YOUR EYES THAT YOU DESPISE THE SAME OLD LIES YOU HEARD THE NIGHT BEFORE . . ."
When Watters manages to make himself heard over the din, he suggests that
they send for Ray Kadalski, a hospital psychiatrist. "I know that the fear of
death can make people agitated, and the way we've been acting, perhaps . . ."
Nyland says, "It has nothing to do with fear of death, sir. In this
environment, fear of living could be more stressful."
He looks meaningfully at Geiger, who comments, "What a profound thought.
It should come with bubble gum."
"Go to hell!" Nyland fumes. "Maybe THAT came out of fear of death."
"Fear of getting fired should be more of a concern," Geiger says
"Obviously this little group has a few demons to exorcise," Watters
observes, and suggests they all use this forced togetherness for some
"Now *I'm* going to puke," Thurmond mutters.
Watters ignores him. "This is an order from your Chief of Staff. Now,
everyone has immunity, there's no threat of retaliation. You have stuff on
your mind, say it now. Mr. Nyland, you seem particularly motivated, you start.
Go on, go on."
Nyland plunges in.
"Well, first off, I don't believe for a second the part about no
retaliation." He nods toward Geiger. "He likes to grind my stones for sport,
God help me if I should antagonize him."
Geiger says reasonably, "All right, then let me start."
"Complaint number one, there isn't a single resident in this place with
ANY stones. They're all obsequious, cowering little sycophants who'd rather
suction my drool with their tongues than stand up to me."
"OK, your turn now," he adds pleasantly.
"All right, I'll go," Nyland says. "Jeffrey Geiger breeds malice, oozes
contempt, and until he finds some peace with himself, is a liability to this
hospital. Dr. Thurmond, the legend, if only he cared as much about saving his
patients as he does his reputation!"
"You say that again and I'll sue you," Thurmond threatens.
Nyland continues, warming to the subject. "Dr. Watters, gifted hands,
great mentor, but tolerates his childishness," he nods at Geiger, "and
forgives *his* waning skill!" He indicates Thurmond.
"You send a message that the surgeons come first!" Nyland complains.
"I have never sent that message," Watters protests.
Camille says, "Yes you do, Phillip. It's all about the surgeons in your
department. You coddle them. How on earth could he get away with the way he
acts without your tacit approval?" She, too, gestures at Geiger.
"Hey, how's this about me?" Geiger asks.
Camille goes on, "This is also the most blatantly chauvinistic
institution I've ever seen! It's a boy's club, and if a woman surgeon ever
gets ahead here, it's because she acts like one of the guys."
"That's crap," Geiger says. "Name me one woman surgeon who shares that
"Dead, doesn't count. Name a live one."
Camille is exasperated. "You see this? Look at what goes on here! During
a bypass, he comes on to Winslow with a toilet fetish!"
"She accepted," Geiger points out.
"In surgery, he hits on women with 'Hey, I'm prone to sexual harassment,
here I come' and gets away with it. Dr. Thurmond fires a nurse and then asks
her out on a date. He's already being sued."
Thurmond objects, "I have a motion to dismiss pending."
Everybody ignores him.
"What, these women lack the capacity to say yes? *There's* an argument
for equality," Geiger sneers.
"These women know that to get along you go along," Camille says bleakly.
"Is that why you ended up with Dr. Nyland?" Shutt asks.
"Interesting query," Geiger says. "I'd like to hear the response."
Camille says matter-of-factly, "You want my response, Jeffrey? I'll give
it to you. The chauvinism in this hospital is so pervasive it killed my
marriage. I lost my husband to another man. That man is you."
"I beg your pardon?" Geiger says.
"What?" Shutt is stunned.
Thurmond turns to Watters. "Are they homosexuals, Phillip? Not that they
don't have rights . . . they throw a lovely parade."
Camille says wearily, "They're not gay, Dr. Thurmond, they're just best
friends. The camaraderie of the surgeons, the male bonding, I just couldn't
compete with it."
Shutt says sarcastically, "Well, there is an excuse that shatters all
"It's true. Anything fundamental that happened to you, call Jeffrey.
Something torturing you, you couldn't wait to tell him. I slowly became an
accessory, Aaron, we both know that, someone to hand you a scalpel at work and
a napkin at home."
"Well, once again, Camille, you manage to locate blame in the most
convenient of places," Shutt answers. "Maybe I started talking to him because
you stopped talking to me!"
"No. With every day you lived within these walls this veil went up, and
after a while I just couldn't pierce it any more. I couldn't reach you as my
husband. I promise, it was you, not me, 'cause you don't know how I cried over
it. And I see you with him, and the way you share, and laugh. I lost you to
She turns to Geiger. "All this anger I had at you, the truth is, uh, I
probably owe you an apology. I mean, much of my disgust you deserve, your
behavior is usually repulsive, but a lot of my anger . . ."
She falters. "I'm jealous. I wish he loved me the way he loves you and
Thurmond speaks up. "You lost your husband to this hospital, young lady.
He lost himself. You play God on a daily basis long enough, you forget how to
be human. Let's face it, how many surgeons are any different? Oh, we roll out
the bedside manner for our patients, but we put our hands in people's insides
every day, holding vital organs. To function we have to think of ourselves as
godlike. If we admit we're fallible we're lost."
"This man can make the dead come back to life," he continues. "It's
miraculous. But it robs him, too. The smell of a flower--where's the wonder?
Hold a brain in your hand, the smile of a child simply fades. I've saved over
a thousand people, people living today only because of me. I have *three*
friends, if I'm lucky. And I don't know my grandchildren, never knew my own
kids. He has no choice, young lady. No choice."
"I don't believe that," Shutt says. "I can't believe that. I won't end up
not knowing my own kids. I won't end up like you."
"You're 40 years old, Aaron," Camille points out. "You don't even have a
wife, let alone kids. You'll probably never have a family, you'll never take
There's a moment of silence, broken by Atkisson: "Why is it I feel, I
dunno, being quarantined with a fatal disease should somehow be more fun?"
Geiger says, "All right. Is it my turn to speak? It really feels like my
"Go," Watters says.
"Thank you. First let me say how sorry I am for you people. What with the
homeless and the stuff happening in Bosnia and even the patients I see every
day, I lost sight of the true victims in society, which happen to be you.
Starting off with the unfortunate Dr. Nyland, Yale-bred, silver spoon stuck
deep into his esophagus, he now has to treat sick people. All the people here
aren't nice to him--I should say the senior surgeons aren't nice, the nurses
seem to be extremely supportive."
"This is exactly what I'm talking about!" Nyland starts argumentatively.
"Problem is, I'm talking now," Geiger stares him into silence.
"This is a HOSPITAL," he continues. "This is not a company that likes to
give points for treating the personnel well. This is by necessity a cruel
place. We bust your ass to make you a better doctor, and you know what, you
might one day be the best doctor, it doesn't change anything, 'cause as soon
as you're not, this place will be just as cruel all over again. You don't
believe that, you ask him." He points at Thurmond. "You wanna be treated nice?
You go work at Wal-Mart."
He turns to Camille. "And you . . . blaming this hospital for killing
your marriage, blaming me. Grow the hell up. As cruel as this institution is,
marriage is a *much* tougher one."
He squeezes his eyes shut. "It takes work. It's a lot of work, lady, and
even if you work as hard as you can every damn day, there is no guarantee your
wife won't snap and drown your child anyway.
"Bottom line, he loves you more than LIFE, "Geiger emphasizes. He looks
at her. "Trust me on that. Maybe it's not enough to make it work, but it
should be enough to prevent you from walking out the door. And I will not
apologize for me loving him or him loving me. That's probably my deepest joy.
"And you," he says to Shutt, "As much as I love you, I'm getting tired of
To the room in general, he continues, "You wanna complain? That goes for
all of you. We could go to work in a bank, sit pleasantly next to our
co-workers for 40 years and never know them. We come to this place, we see
each other raw every day, our guts are hanging out--that's not misery, that
makes us *lucky*. I don't give a damn how much tumult and antagonism there is,
it's life, we're deep into it every day, and I feel lucky to be here. I'm not
buying into any of your despair. Go see what's out there. Talk to your
patients. See what real people are up against. And then complain."
He looks around the room. "You're a buncha spoiled babies, every one o'
"You know," Nyland remarks, "that was a very impressive speech, Dr.
Geiger. It could almost make us lose sight of the real truth, that *you* cause
most of the antagonism around here, and it doesn't make us feel lucky at all.
And no doubt you feel good about yourself, that's pretty obvious, but it
doesn't change the fact that you're the most hated surgeon in this joint, and
some of us other doctors have to pick up the people you leave in pieces."
"Is that what you do with your nurses? Damage control?" Geiger derides.
"If they're coming to me, don't you wonder why?"
Shutt snaps, "What's that supposed to mean?"
"I was talking to him," Nyland says.
"Well, talk to me," Shutt persists.
"Talk to your wife! Then she wouldn't be needing me!"
Shutt punches him in the nose. Commotion ensues.
Thurmond worries about Nyland's blood transmitting the virus.
"Shut up, Arthur," Watters says, then turns to Shutt. "Now you listen to
me. . ."
"No, I won't listen to you," Shutt rants. "I'm tired of you jumping in as
referee trying to legislate everything. I don't listen to you, Phillip, you
know why? You're not a real person."
"Aaron . . ." Geiger begins.
"You shut up too!" Shutt shouts bitterly, and returns to Watters. "You
know you glide around here on this even keel, so poised, so unflappable,
always ready to step in and help somebody out--isn't that ironic, that's why
you end up in this room! You caught her and she puked on you!"
He gestures at Atkisson, who is helping Nyland pack his nose.
"Well, there's plenty more vomit where that came from, Phillip!" he
continues. "Life is not lived on an even keel, OK? We explode! See that, I
just punched a guy! Maybe I punched the wrong guy."
"You wanna take a swing at me? Oh, please!" Watters says invitingly. "You
know, I come here every day, trying to be a rudder to you prima donnas. You
don't know the frustration I have to bottle up inside. I would love to blow. I
go to bed and pray somebody will take a swing at me and give me the
opportunity. Do me the biggest favor known to man, Aaron, and swing at me. I
would *love* to lose it. Go ahead. C'mon, first shot. Hmm?"
As they stand nearly nose-to-nose, Camille says with desperate
cheeriness, "I think we should all sing a song!"
There's a long silence during which Shutt seems to be about to back off.
Suddenly Thurmond clutches his chest, staggers and begins to fall. The others
spring into action, catching him, lifting him onto the operating table,
setting up an IV, taking pressure, cutting his shirt off.
Watters speaks softly. "It'll be all right, Arthur. Just lie calm."
* * *
A little while later, Thurmond, hooked up to monitors and sporting
various plastic tubes, protests, "This is not necessary!"
Geiger says, "Yes, you keep saying that. I have these funny rituals when
people have heart attacks."
He turns to Nyland. "Can I see the readout, doctor? I hope that wasn't
"Bite me," Nyland responds.
"Just trying to maintain a reputation."
Thurmond says philosophically, "How fitting that I should die in this
"You're not gonna die, Doctor, too many premiums would go up," Geiger
Thurmond continues, "If I do die, Phillip, I want you to speak at my
funeral. It was always my hope to speak at yours."
"I appreciate that," Watters says drily.
* * *
Geiger gestures to Watters and they go into the scrub room. Geiger says
there's a chance they'll have to do an angioplasty on Thurmond. Watters nods.
"True, Phillip?" Geiger asks, after a pause, "I'm the most hated guy
"Well, with Hackett dying . . ." Watters demurs. They exchange rueful
"I - I don't need to be loved by everybody, I admit, but to be hated . .
. that's not a goal either," Geiger muses.
Watters takes a stab at consolation. "Well, hate is sometimes just . . .
"All these profundities and still no bubble gum?" Geiger responds
"I'd *love* to be a resident again," he confesses. "I'd love to have
somebody backing me up. Nobody's backing me up, Phillip. That's not easy. I'm
alone. They"ve got people coming in behind them. Nobody comes in behind me.
Nononono. It's not, it's not easy."
He wanders away still muttering.
* * *
Camille sits down next to Shutt. "You OK?"
"You wanna talk to me," he replies, oozing quiet rage, "get yourself
scheduled for one of my procedures."
"Kill yourself." She starts to get up.
"Hey," he says. "You're a liar." How dare she blame the death of their
marriage on him, he says, she was as obsessed by her job as he was with his.
"Until I woke up one day and realized it wasn't enough," Camille says
sadly. "I turned to you and you weren't there. You had forgotten how to be
"It takes two to forget, Camille," Shutt retorts. "It takes two."
* * *
The loud beep of a monitor sounding the alarm sends Nyland springing to
his feet. Thurmond was going into shock. Nyland yells for Geiger.
Geiger rushes back into the OR. "Probably having an inferior MI." He
orders Nyland to get dopamine and isopryl.
The others hurry to do their jobs. Shutt reports that Thurmond's lungs
"We gotta do a bypass," Geiger decides. "Can we get an anesthesiologist
Watters says, "We're losing him. I'll do the anesthesia."
As the others work to restore respiration, Watters tells Thurmond, "Hang
on. It's Christmas."
Shutt administers the paddles. Nothing happens. Geiger orders lidocaine
and more paddles. Again, nothing. Geiger calls for the saw. When Camille asks
about masks, Shutt points out the sterile field has already been broken.
"Jesus, Arthur," Watters says desperately, "'Hark, the herald angels
Within seconds, Geiger is cutting into Thurmond's chest, and the others
have arranged themselves into an OR team.
Geiger finally gets his hands around Thurmond's heart.
"Paging Dr. Thurmond . . . Well, doctor, this muscle feels good," he
murmurs. He continues to massage the heart, maintaining a running monologue.
"Come on. I got my hands in your guts, if you got that virus I could get it, I
don't want it to be for nothing! Come ON!!"
Suddenly the monitor indicates that Thurmond's heart is beating on its
"He's converted back," Watters says, his voice shaky with relief. "You
old fart, when you wake up, I'll kill ya for this! I'll kill ya!"
Geiger tells Nyland to take the heart and keep pumping while they prepare
to put him on bypass. As he puts in stitches he begins to sing again, "I know
I stand in line until you think you have the time to spend an evening with me
. . . "
Camille, Nyland, Shutt and Watters join in softly, "And if we go
someplace to dance I know that there's a chance you won't be leaving with me.
And afterwards . . . "
" . . . WE DROP INTO A QUIET LITTLE PLACE AND HAVE A DRINK OR . . ."
Everyone else stops singing and looks at Atkisson, who trails off and
continues getting sponges. They all resume, softly, "And then I go and spoil
it all by saying something stupid like I love you."
* * *
The operation is almost finished. As Geiger prepares to close, he gently
tells Camille to rest, and calls Atkisson over.
"Do not puke on this patient," he orders.
As Nyland finishes up, Geiger, standing scant inches from him, says
softly to Watters, "This kid's getting good."
"Why don't you tell him that?" Watters says.
"Not a chance," Geiger says.
* * *
Shutt and Camille cross paths near the makeshift facilities.
"You might want to, um, light a match," Shutt says. "Listen, I'm sorry. I
know I've been acting kinda crazy. Uh, the, the thought of you with another
man . . ."
He trails off and then takes another tack.
"You remember all that stuff that you said at, uh, Rabbi Taubler's
funeral about anger being buried love, you remember that?" Shutt asks
desperately. "I think that's what's been going on here. I didn't mean half
the crap I said, and punching Nyland . . . well, that I meant."
They both laugh a little.
"It's understandable. The thought of me being with another man, that has
to upset you," Camille says. She can't quite look him in the eye, but says
significantly, "It's so unthinkable, really, me being with anybody else."
"What are you saying?" Shutt presses.
Camille begins to cry. "I want to come back."
Shutt is on tilt. "Is this . . . is this because of, uh, Christmas? I
know people get lonely this time of year, is it . . . ?"
"Because I can't live without you, Aaron," Camile sobs. "I . . . I know
we have a lot of work to do, I won't even go so far as to say that I'm
confident, but I love you. I could never love anybody the way I love you, and
I want to come home."
Shutt takes her in his arms.
Geiger comes in to report they're taking Thurmond off bypass, and looks
askance at them.
"We're getting back," Shutt says, trying not to look too pleased.
"You heard me. Go ahead, say something smart," he challenges.
"Thank God!" Geiger says. "That smart enough?"
He turns to Camille. "So I get to be nice to you again?"
"And I could use it!" she says, drying her tears.
"So could I." He kisses her cheek. "Welcome back."
"Welcome back," he repeats, patting Shutt on the chest as he walks away.
* * *
In yet another press conference, or maybe it's been just one big long
one, Birch announces that the quarantine should be lifted within 24 hours.
When asked what's been happening in the OR, Birch just shrugs, saying
everybody's bored, they're playing cards and Scrabble.
"Not even any cabin fever?" someone asks.
"Nonono. These are seasoned professionals," Birch asserts. "They're
well-versed in crisis. They're handling this with the typical poise that
reflects the cool calm of Chicago Hope Hospital. Control and
excellence--they're both systemic to Chicago Hope."
He tries to lean back authoritatively in his chair. It hits something,
which crashes to the floor behind him. He raises his voice a little. "That's
not gonna change with me in charge. Cool and calm. I'm in charge.
"So. You," He points to another reporter.
The press conference continues.
* * *
The lighting is low in the OR. At the piano, Geiger softly plays "Silent
Night." Camille lies with her head in Shutt's lap. Nyland, standing, and
Atkisson, sitting, doze nearby. Watters sits close to Thurmond, who begins to
"It's all right, Arthur," Watters says soothingly. "We had to do a
bypass, but everything went fine."
Thurmond says weakly, "Who did it? Not Penishead?"
"Well, Dr. Penishead assisted but Geiger did it. You'll be up on your
feet in a week. You can expect a full recovery."
"What about the virus?"
"Still no symptoms, I think we're OK," Watters smiles.
"Speak for yourself. I've had a horrible day."
In the corner by the window, Geiger plays on.
DIANE'S RANDOM NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS:
Every time I see this episode I'm farklemt by the wit of the screenplay.
If Oscar Wilde had ever written for TV--well, maybe not, but you get the idea.
(We know he wouldn't have been married to Michelle Pfeiffer, at any rate.)
Equal credit goes to the actors, who enrich the words with a wealth of
priceless reactions and perfect comic -- and occasionally dramatic -- timing.
Witness Geiger's unholy glee as he sees the Camille-Nyland situation revealed,
Camille's ghastly attempts at smiles as she tries time after time to change
the uncomfortable subject, the look on Shutt's face as he gets a whiff of
Nyland, etc. Ensemble acting at its finest.
YOLETTE'S RANDOM NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS:
Thought I'd add that Geiger's little speech about not apologizing for
"me loving him or him loving me" is one of the most moving deliveries I've
ever heard. For one, it is so rare for a man to be so eloquent on the
emotional subject of marriage and friendship. For two, it was absolutely
perfect for this series in which the most appealing part heretofore has been
the friendship between these two men. Kudos to David E. Kelley.
This episode also marks the last one for E.G. Marshall, who plays Dr.
Arthur Thurmond. Rumor had it that he was tired of commuting to his home in
Connecticut from Los Angeles. But interestingly enough, Marshall's next
project was another CBS show shot in Los Angeles, "Courthouse," in which he
played a judge. "Courthouse" also has the distinction of featuring many of
the crew from the first season of "Chicago Hope."
"Quarantine" was nominated for an Emmy in editing, but
surprisingly, not for writing in a drama series. Just goes to prove that
members of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences can be dumb, deaf and
blind on occasion.
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