Summary for "Small Sacrifices"
From email@example.comWed Mar 15 01:19:46 1995
Date: 14 MAR 1995 14:04:04 -0500
Subject: Summary, January 23rd
Okay, gang, here's the summary for the January 23 episode.
The following summary was written by JenLCB and edited by BevSouth. We
share responsibility for all grammatical and continuity errors, but all
opinions attributed to one are that person's alone. Also, please notice
(especially any of you lurking CH crew and editorial staff) that we
spelled "David" right this time! :)
CHICAGO HOPE, Season 1, Episode 1.13, "Small Sacrifices"
Written by David E. Kelley
Directed by David Jones
Original Air date, January 23, 1995
PRELUDE: WHO WAS THAT MASKED MAN?
The trauma center is busy: one guy's left ring finger has been severed,
and a blood-covered hockey player has arrived by ambulance. As the latter
is wheeled in on a gurney, another man wearing a hockey uniform has shoved
one hand and half his arm inside the patient's chest to close off a hole
in the patient's heart. He claims to be Dr. William Kronk, a
cardiothoracic surgeon at Euclid Hospital. Finally, the police show up
with yet another patient; the police tell Phillip Watters that this one is
a mugger who bit someone's finger off and swallowed it. Kronk takes over,
telling the mugger that he'd better have the swallowed finger surgically
removed, or face a long jail sentence, then races off with the patient
whose chest was filled with Kronk's hand just moments before. As the chaos
subsides, Dr. Watters mutters, "Who was that man?"
PLOT ONE: NEW MEANING TO "GIVING THE FINGER"
The first patient to arrive in the trauma center, Anthony Tedesco, is a
concert flautist; since his finger is missing, bitten off by the mugger,
he'll never be able to play again. Unless ...
When the surgeons open the mugger's abdomen, they find the finger which,
luckily, hasn't been damaged too much in the digestive process. The finger
is sent along to Geri Infante so that she can sew it back onto the
flautist's hand. But the surgeons are also pulling other things from the
mugger's stomach, like a toothbrush ("You eat fingers, you gotta brush,"
as Kronk says), a shoelace, a chess piece, and -- oops! -- a second,
partially digested finger! But Geri has already sewn the first finger onto
Tedesco's hand. There is some debate over whether it would be ethical to
take the finger back from Mr. Tedesco, although if left on Mr. Tedesco's
hand, the finger will probably die anyway since it is not an exact tissue
Jonathan Saunders, the HMO representative, turns up with Walter Platt,
another mugging victim whose finger is also missing. When Platt describes
the finger, down to a scar and its location, Geri's worst fears are
realized: she's sewn the wrong finger onto Mr. Tedesco's hand. After Platt
and Tedesco meet, Tedesco realizes he cannot keep another man's finger and
gives his permission for it to be removed.
Before that can happen, however, the hospital's Ethics Committee demands
that Alan and Jonathan obtain a court order allowing them to amputate the
finger, even though they have Mr. Tedesco's consent. In the court room,
cranky Judge Aldrich complains that the lawyers are wasting his time. He
grants the order, but commands them to first turn around, face the gallery
and say, together, "We are toads," or face contempt charges. They obey his
orders, but face the gallery and say, "Together, we are toads."
The amputation is scheduled.
When Platt visits Tedesco, he is listening to a CD of his symphony
orchestra, the Chicago Philharmonic. After a few moments, Tedesco tells
Platt that what he is hearing is Tedesco's flute. Platt is flabbergasted,
but seems to fully understand, perhaps for the first time, that after the
amputation of a finger that rightfully belongs to him, Tedesco will never
again play concert flute.
PLOT TWO: WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND.
Aaron Shutt has been sued by Godfrey Nabbitt, a former Chicago Hope
patient who came in with a relatively simple medical problem and ended up
almost being killed by the staff. When Aaron tells Alan Birch about the
lawsuit, he learns that Nabbitt is also suing Geiger, Nyland and the
Nabbitt himself arrives in Alan's office and offers to settle the suit
for $750,000, half of what he's asked for in his complaint. Alan
counteroffers with $11,500, but Nabbitt sneers at him and tells Alan that
he's a nothing. As they leave Alan's office together, Alan mumbles, "Not
Gathering the doctors in the hospital's conference room, Alan explains
that Nabbitt's attorney, Douglas Wambaugh, has requested a group
deposition, rather than deposing each doctor individually, which would
take months. Entering the conference room for the deposition, Wambaugh
assures the doctors he doesn't want to appear adversarial. When Jeffrey
suggests, "Maybe we could all hold hands," Wambaugh retorts, grinning in
admiring recognition, "You're a character!" Wambaugh starts with Nyland,
asking him if he had been romantically involved with the nurse who was
attending Nabbitt -- the nurse who was supposed to have ascertained any of
Nabbitt's allergies during triage. Nyland admits the affair. Wambaugh then
explores Geiger's "zeal to play with mechanical toys," referring to the
defibrillator he had installed in Nabbitt's chest. He finally turns on
Shutt, bringing up his wife's affair, the death of the trapeze artist, and
Dr. Antonovich, with whom he had also slept ("or is that a typo?").
When it's Alan's turn to depose Nabbitt, he asks him what he thinks his
legacy will be, admitting that he personally wanted to be a doctor, but
that he wasn't talented enough or brave enough. He asks Nabbitt if he
takes pride in his actions, if he will be proud to tell his children,
should he have them, that he had sued the doctors who had dropped
everything to save his life.
PLOT THREE: WILD THING! I THINK I LOVE YOU!
Geiger, operating on the hockey player's heart, expresses admiration for
Kronk's technique in draining the blood from the sac around the heart.
Kronk visits the patient's room to pick up his hockey equipment, which had
been mixed up with the injured player's. The hockey player tells Kronk
that he can't wait to meet the player who hit him and broke his rib, and
that he will recognize him because he was wearing a distinctive green
helmet with a yellow stripe. Kronk pulls on his helmet -- the green one
with a yellow stripe -- and stops to face his patient, who is
When complications arise in the hockey player's recovery, Geiger is
stumped, but surmises that it is a pulmonary embolism, or possibly an
infection. He tells Camille to get Kronk back so he can find out what the
injured man was exposed to. Kronk returns, and finds a piece of a tooth in
the patient's right main bronchus which was obscured in the x-ray. This
inadvertently prompts Geiger to retort, "Whaddya want, a Nobel Prize?"
FINALE: YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT, BUT YOU GET WHAT YOU NEED.
When Alan tells Jeffrey that they settled the Nabbitt lawsuit for
$42,000, Jeffrey assures Alan that he is talented because he keeps them
afloat every day, adding, "I've never met anyone with more courage." When
he questions Alan's ability to raise a baby who has a hole in her heart
-- to raise the child as a single working parent -- Alan tells him it's
the easiest thing he has ever done. "I was never alive before her. I was
never alive." Jeffrey, perhaps remembering his own dead son, Joey,
silently wipes his eyes and leaves Alan alone with his daughter.
Watters finally gets hold of Kronk and tells him, "You're good. We want
you. We'll pay." When Kronk scoffs at the idea of "working in this fat cat
hospital," and asks Watters what Geiger would say, Watters tells him it
was actually Geiger's idea in the first place.
Tedesco is about to have his new finger amputated when Platt shows up,
telling Tedesco that he's heard Tedesco was going to be playing Carnegie
Hall in the spring; Tedesco confirms this. Platt tells Tedesco that all
his life he wanted to be creative, perhaps even play Carnegie Hall
himself, but now, instead, he drives a truck, which he "can do with four
fingers." Struggling with his words, Platt tells Tedesco that what he'd
really like to do is see himself on stage at Carnegie Hall, and that the
only way he can do that is for Tedesco to keep the finger. The surgery is
canceled, and Platt finally blurts out that now he can go to Carnegie Hall
and see a piece of himself on stage, performing, something he wanted all
THE FOLLOWING ARE JenLCB'S "RANDOM THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS":
When Aaron tells Alan he wants to file a counterclaim against
Godfrey Nabbitt, Alan is distracted by the baby vomit on his lapel: "And
I have puke on my shoulder. My daughter has vomited on me. This is not
acceptable." He wanders off, leaving Aaron to say, "I'm talkin' to myself
now." Later, Geiger sniffs the vomit to verify its identity, and Alan
tells him he will take care of it as soon as he gets a picture.
In Alan's office, before Wambaugh arrives, Alan warns Phillip to
let him do all the talking. "Please do not speak, Phillip. I will do the
talking. Your lips do not move, except of course to read. OK?" He also
mispronounces Wambaugh's name as "Wombug." This strikes me as Alan's way
of not showing respect, perhaps to make himself appear more in charge.
When Alan asks Nabbitt what his legacy will be, he admits he had
wanted to be a doctor, but was not talented or brave enough. This is
somewhat different from what he had told Stacey (that he didn't have the
stomach for it). He says that he works in a hospital, so he can
vicariously save lives by helping keep the doctors able to complete their
jobs. This echoes Platt's decision to allow Tedesco to keep the finger. He
never had the creativity to be a musician, but knows his finger will allow
Tedesco to play Carnegie Hall.
BevSouth's comment: Actually, I don't think this is any different
than what he told Stacey, i.e., not being "brave enough" could also be
interpreted as meaning "not having the stomach for it." For instance, I
nearly pass out at the sight of a needle (much less one coming near me),
and I think of that as not having the stomach for it, as well as not being
very courageous. That's just MHO.
JenLCB'S VOTE FOR DIALOGUE OF THE WEEK:
GEIGER: Don't be trying to characterize us as experimental
hacks for General Electric, testing out the new microwave.
WAMBAUGH: I happen to like GE. They bring good things to
SHUTT: Who is this man?
WAMBAUGH: Ah, Dr. Shutt. I was just about to get to you. How
is it you put my client in a coma?
SHUTT: I didn't put him in a coma. He woke up.
WAMBAUGH: A day later. But please, just between friends,
this wasn't your best work, was it?
SHUTT: Who IS this man??
JenLCB'S VOTE FOR SPEECH OF THE WEEK:
Alan Birch in the courtroom: "Your honor, I am not a toad, I am
an attorney here in the normal course of legal business. Now there would
be consequences if we unilaterally amputated that finger without a
declarative judgement. So I -- you know, I just don't give a damn about
your trip to Florida, and I don't give a rat's ass about taking up your
time. And see, you, Your Honor, are a toad. Yeah, yeah, there he is,
people! Look up at him! There he sits. Judge Toad! The Honorable Justice
Toad!. . . . It's an abuse of power, your toadship. . . . Yeah, take me! .
. . This is not respect."
JenLCB'S VOTE FOR LINE OF THE WEEK:
"Did he say he wanted to take a picture of the puke?" Geiger to
Nyland, referring to Birch.
Beverly and Jenny
Editor and Writer
The Chicago Five
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