Summary for "With The Greatest Of Ease"
This summary was written by Diane Rosenfeldt and edited by Yolette
Nicholson. We share responsibility on any typographical, spelling, or
CHICAGO HOPE, EPISODE 1.4
"With the Greatest of Ease"
Air date: 10/6/94
Written by David E. Kelley
Directed by Jim Frawley
Camille and Aaron Shutt amicably pack some of the decorative
objects in their living room for her to take to her new place. Camille
remarks that it's strange that they're getting along.
"It's so civil," she says, "Almost like . . . "
"Denial?" Shutt finishes for her.
Asking for alimony would make things "more exciting," he
encourages, but she tells him everything she wants -- the car, the
vacation house -- he's already given her. When he persists that she
should still ask for alimony, she says, "You're just determined to
bludgeon me with passive-aggressiveness, aren't you?"
They reminisce about the first time they kissed, then Shutt says,
"I miss you already."
Standing close, they end up holding each other. Their kisses
become more passionate, then Camille pulls away.
Both a little shaken, they resume packing her things.
* * *
Shutt walks through the halls of Chicago Hope with Dr. Nadine
Winslow, who asks him, "So tell me, am I walking a plank here or not?"
"With Jeffrey Geiger? There's no plank, Nadine, it's just a
straight drop," Shutt says.
At her disbelieving look, he adds, "There's nobody finer. He'll
As they reach the bottom of the stairs, a man in a wheelchair
exclaims, "Dr. Shutt! I'm back! I got yellow stool and I can't burp!"
Shutt draws a blank. The man reintroduces himself as Joseph
Colitto, from whom Shutt had removed a large brain tumor only two
weeks previously. He's back in for upper GI tests.
To cover his lapse, Shutt tells the nurse pushing the chair to
make sure they do an ultrasound, but Colitto says sarcastically, as
he's wheeled away, "I think he missed me!" His wife, at his side, says
Shutt was probably just surprised to see him.
"Yeah, maybe he figured I was dead . . . ."
Shutt is chagrined, but barely has time to think about it.
Over the PA system, he, Geiger and Dr. Phillip Watters are stat
paged to the Emergency Room. They arrive simultaneously to find the ER
a flurry of controlled chaos and pink Lycra.
Dr. Danny Nyland is doing hasty triage, ordering X-rays and
C-spine tests, routing leotard-clad injured people in various
directions. These are the Flying Travellis, whose trapeze act had just
gone very wrong.
Watters, Shutt and Geiger begin scanning the X-rays on the
lightboard. So far there's a C-2 injury, two head injuries, and a
hemothorax. Each doctor picks his first patient.
Geiger's is the patriarch of the Travellis, a robust
60-something with a punctured lung. Geiger reassures Mr. Travelli as
he orders blood and has him brought to an OR.
One of the younger Travellis, Sean, goes into arrest and Watters
administers paddles. The heart restarts, but it's too late, his pupils
* * *
Winslow enters Mr. Colitto's room and introduces herself. He
immediately asks for Shutt, and when she explains that there was an
emergency, Colitto grouses that *he's* never the emergency. His wife
chides, "He saved your life, Joe."
"Who says? Ever since then I got yellow stool and I can't burp!"
Winslow points out that those symptoms are due to a large
gallstone and tells him his gall bladder has to come out. Colitto eyes
the young black doctor and after a long pause, he asks, "Are you a
* * *
Surgery proceeds on the various Travellis. As Camille preps a
40-ish woman for Shutt, Nyland brings him Sean's CAT scan and asks if
he can do anything. Shutt says he *might* be able to help him, but he
*knows* he can help the woman so she comes first. He fires up his bone
Meanwhile, Geiger opens Travelli. "Guy's got muscle on muscle,"
he remarks. He goes to work and extracts a large sliver of rib from
* * *
After the surgeries, while winding down at an upscale watering
hole, Shutt recounts to Geiger his awkward reunion with Colitto as
justification for his feeling that "people are just passing through"
Geiger succinctly pinpoints the *real* problem: "Camille's gone,
ya got voids to fill" -- and the solution: "Mitigate."
"Mitigate. Emotional healing takes time, but physically that gap
can be filled. I've seen a few worth filling in this very room. Watch
Accosting a curvy young woman in a minidress, he leads her to a
chair at their table. " 'Scuse me, miss? Will you join us one second?
I won't keep you a minute. You're lovely, by the way. Aaron Shutt,
Jeffrey Geiger. I'm sure we'll get your name. It's not important.
Here's what is: We're both busy professionals, particularly me. I'd
love to take the time to get to know you. I'm a firm believer in
extended courtships. Whatever happened to bundling, for example?"
As he pauses for breath, the woman turns to Shutt. "Is he a
"Very much so," Shutt says solemnly.
Geiger resumes: "Look, the point is this. I could take you to
dinner, a show, a quiet nightcap, learn about your youth, fawn at your
intellectual acuity, all these things I'm sure would happen." Pulling
his gaze from her breasts, to which the previous remarks were
apparently addressed, he continues, "*Why?* My interest is
procreational and my time is short. Why indulge the charade of a
preamble, why not just physically commune, after which I could offer
to pay your tuition to the Barbizon School?"
"Wait a minute," she says. "You mean like we have sex, and then
you give me a tip?"
"Well, if you want to put it that way, I could even charge it on
my Visa and rack up some frequent flyer miles."
The young woman seems intrigued, and asks Geiger to put his
hands on the table, stand up and then to spread his legs.
"Right here? Yes, Ma'am," Geiger says, amused. "Gotta be
polite," he remarks to Shutt.
Briskly handcuffing him, the woman says, "You're under arrest
As the woman begins Mirandizing Geiger, Shutt's chuckle becomes a
grin which becomes a laugh.
"What are you laughing at??" Geiger says peevishly as the woman
leads him away. "This is a big mistake. Call the Eel, will ya? Stop
laughing. Call the Eel. You coming? You're a witness here. You saw for
yourself I . . . I gotta be in surgery tomorrow, lady, you're risking
*life* here. Call the Eel."
"I will," Shutt promises.
"You will,'' Geiger grouses him, "you're laughing, you will . . .
I'm very upset!"
Grinning broadly, Shutt follows Geiger and the vice cop out of
* * *
Hospital counsel Alan Birch rushes headlong into the precinct
house. "Has he been booked yet?" Birch asks and is relieved to find
out he hasn't. He briskly herds the desk sergeant, Geiger, Shutt and
the arresting officer, Detective Stacey Hallmora into an interrogation
As Geiger and Hallmora trade snipes, Birch tells Geiger, "Your
big mouth is the reason you're here, so why don't you keep it closed?
Think you can do that?"
"I dunno, lemme try." He pauses for a microsecond. "Oops, seems
Birch tells the police that even though Hallmora was
investigating a prostitution ring out of the nightclub, and even
though Geiger appeared to solicit her, his approach does not fit the
profile of the operation she's investigating.
Hallmora protests, "It may not fit the pattern, but the guy
offered me money for sex!"
"As an icebreaker," Geiger interjects. "I'm shy."
Birch rushes on: "Officer, we know this bar. Male and female
patrons go there to mix, some seeking lifelong commitments, others . .
. more finite physical encounters. People meet, people mix, people
offer things. Did Dr. Geiger go too far? I'm sure he did. Did he
think you were a prostitute? Certainly not. He will testify to that.
Dr. Shutt here, an enormously credible neurosurgeon, will corroborate.
And you yourself will confirm that the suspect's approach fell outside
the solicitation pattern you were investigating. My question: Why
bother? The prosecution will be costly and he's not your target. *Why
* * *
"So he wasn't arrested?" Watters inquires of Shutt as the two
examine Sean Travelli.
"He was," Shutt says wryly, "but the Eel sprung him with the
famous 'Why Bother?' Defense."
Watters is grave. "What's going on with Jeffrey?"
"He's having his period," Shutt says. He notes that there's
pressure and swelling inside Sean's skull. He and Watters explain to
the elder Travelli that Sean will be kept in a coma so as not to
stress his system while the injuries try to heal.
Watters asks Travelli about Sean's parents.
Travelli answers that Jeannette, the woman Shutt had operated on,
is Sean's mother. He asks for help in obtaining a wig for her so the
family can perform the next evening. Over the protests of both
doctors, Travelli insists the troupe will perform.
Watters asks about Sean's father, and Travelli explains that he's
dead: "That was our *last* fall."
* * *
As Colitto returns to his room from having tests done, Winslow
reiterates to him that he needs the gall bladder operation. Colitto
says he wants a second opinion.
Shutt walks in and concurs with Winslow. Colitto says he wants
Shutt to do the operation, and remains adamant despite Shutt's
protests that Winslow, as a general surgeon, is better qualified than
he to perform the surgery.
Colitto claims he just feels more comfortable being cut open by
someone familiar, but he's obviously uneasy at the prospect of being
treated by Winslow.
* * *
Geiger advises Winslow not to take Colitto's rejection
personally as the two drive to a restaurant. Patients form
attachments, he tells her.
They pull into the restaurant's parking garage, but as Geiger
prepares to back into a spot, a motorist zooms past and slips into the
spot, shouting triumphantly, "Rack and pinion! Sorry!"
Geiger gets out of the car, protesting that it's *his* spot, but
the guy yells that he's not giving way just because of Geiger's MD
plates. "Hey, big doctor, I'm probably keeping you from a golf game!"
"I'll show you my golf game," Geiger says, marching to the
trunk of his car. He pulls out a golf club.
The man's taunts continue.
"Here's my chip shot!" Geiger announces as he smashes one of the
guy's headlights. "Ya got two of 'em, looka this!" he exclaims in mock
surprise, and lines up his second shot.
The now frightened motorist pulls out of the spot and races
away with a squeal of tires.
"Your car looks like a par four!" Geiger yells after him.
Winslow stares at him, appalled.
"You're not a well man," she says. She orders him to take her
back to the hospital. Between last night's arrest and now this, she
says she's not sure about him. And she's not in the mood for lunch.
"Well, I act out a little sometimes. And he did take my spot."
Winslow looks at him stonily.
"I got some stuff going on," he says.
"What kind of stuff?" she demands.
Geiger promises he'll tell her tomorrow. "Today," he pleads,
"let's just have lunch."
Warily, she agrees.
* * *
From his bed Travelli watches and analyzes a videotape of the
afternoon's disastrous performance. Watters is concerned that this is
bad for him, but Travelli replies it's the only way to learn.
Then his face contorts in anguish. "It *was* me. I lost the
balance. It was me."
* * *
In the women's locker room, Camille soaks her feet and shares
girl talk with Angela Giandamenicio, assistant to Drs. Jeffrey Geiger
Camille is terrified and excited all at once about being single
again, and looking forward to having her own place and to struggling
financially after years of affluence.
"Being so safe, it was making me dead. It's gonna be a great
year for me, I can feel it. My own apartment -- it's gonna be great,"
she enthuses. But Angela expresses some doubt as to the joys of being
alone out there.
After Angela leaves, Camille repeats to herself, "It's gonna be
a *great* year." Then she puts her head in her hands.
* * *
Later, Watters finds the Travellis gathered around Sean's bed,
singing in Italian, and orders them back to their beds.
Jeannette asks to stay with him, "A mother should be with her
"Yes, she should," Watters relents.
He then takes on Travelli, who truculently insists that the
Travellis will be performing the next evening, using other, uninjured
"You have *backup* Flying Travellis?" Watters says incredulously.
Travelli doesn't expect him to understand, but "what we do. It
does have meaning."
"You're a circus act," Watters reminds him. Travelli rejects
this, saying it's maybe a little like what Watters does, defying death
on a daily basis.
Watters doesn't really buy this, and asks Travelli to reconsider
performing again. "You lose people you love, your family," he insists.
Travelli replies, "We also love each other every day, as if there
might not be a tomorrow. That's a joyous reality. I would recommend it
But he's sobered by Watters' reminder that his nephew could still
* * *
Birch, giving Hallmora the grand tour of the hospital, brings her
to the observation room above the OR. Looking down, he points out
various high-tech devices. She seems impressed.
"I can actually do many of the procedures myself," Birch
embroiders. "Of course I'm not licensed."
Hallmora says he should stick to law, he's good at it.
A phantom cough distracts them. It's Geiger, sitting on the
floor in a darkened corner. Birch, looking a little trapped, asks
Hallmora to wait outside a moment.
When she leaves, Birch, chagrined, says, "I was kidding. About
uh, me doing procedures."
As he starts to retreat, Geiger stops him.
"Hey, Alan? Something you should know: Thank you. For the other
night. And like she said, stick to the law, you're good at it."
Looking flustered and pleased, Birch leaves.
* * *
In Winslow's absence Shutt tries to reason with Colitto. But he
stands his ground; he wants Shutt -- or at least somebody Jewish -- to
do his gall bladder. He thinks Winslow is too young, by which, Shutt
observes, he means black.
Colitto reasons that professional shortcomings might have been
overlooked in Winslow's case for the sake of affirmative action; on
the other hand Jews are plentiful in hospitals without special
treatment, so they must have to be really good. Besides, Winslow is
beautiful, and may have gotten on staff other ways than being a good
Shutt is outraged but helpless in the face of this logic.
* * *
"It was adult-onset schizophrenia," Geiger explains to Winslow.
"She drowned your son? Your wife drowned your child??"
"What can I say? She's institutionalized, she probably will be
"My God," Winslow whispers.
"Yeah. So see, I *am* married, Nadine. 'Least technically."
"How do you stay sane?"
"Did I look sane to you with that golf club?," Geiger asks
ruefully. "Another thing you should know about me. I don't really want
to be with anybody. I mean I do, but . . . I don't." At Winslow's
confusion, he says, "I'm probably afraid of real intimacy. I, uh, I
kinda shoot for places I can get to and I stay away from ones that I
"Why are you telling me this?," Winslow asks, "Push me away?"
"No," Geiger says. "Yeah."
He takes another direction. "This could lead to us sleeping
together. I happen to be very good. I'm *amazing*, and you're too
young to peak so soon. That'd be wrong of me."
Winslow tells him he says things like that to keep people off
balance, but "you don't scare me, Dr. Geiger. I'm not running."
She kisses his cheek and walks out of the room.
* * *
Sean's condition suddenly worsens. Shutt, suspecting
intracranial bleeding, prepares to do emergency surgery and, since the
boy had a cardiac bruise and could be tamponading, sends for Geiger.
Geiger has time only to put on gloves as he and Shutt work
feverishly on the failing boy. Suddenly everything goes wrong. Looking
at the monitors, Geiger pauses.
"He's herniating, Aaron. He's herniating, he's not gonna make
Shutt continues to work obsessively. Geiger, gamely massaging
Sean's heart with his hands, asks one of the technicians, "What's his
brain doin'?" Not much -- "We just lost Levels 3, 4 and 5."
The machines flatline. Geiger stops working and says quietly,
"Okay, he's gone. C'mon, Aaron -- he's gone."
Despairing, Shutt yanks his gloves off and pushes out of the OR.
Geiger calls it: "T.O.D. 4:18."
* * *
Travelli feelingly addresses the other mourning family members:
"Okay. Okay, we move on. We have a show tomorrow, we must concentrate.
We made a mistake. This caused us great pain. It was *my* mistake; let
me bear the weight. We will make no mistakes tomorrow. The Travellis
will fly tomorrow. We only get better. We only get *stronger*."
Watters looks on uncomprehending.
* * *
Shutt stalks down the hallway minutes after losing Sean
Travelli, when Colitto calls out, "Dr. Shutt, you find me a surgeon?"
"No, I didn't." Shutt snaps.
Colitto grouses, "I'm not a priority -- big surprise."
Shutt rounds on him, growing increasingly agitated. "Hey. We got
a lot of sick people in this hospital. Now, if you're so stupid and
bigoted as to risk your own health, then no, you are *not* a priority,
and you're *certainly* not one of MINE!"
He starts to walk away, then turns back to apologize. Colitto is
himself agitated, near tears.
"You think I'm *happy* to learn I'm a bigot? You think I'm a
proud man? I'm scared. You wheel me in and out of rooms, you cut me
open, I'm scared . . . . You can go to hell, that's what you can do!"
The nurse pushes Colitto's chair away. Shutt walks on, then sags
against the wall. Camille comes up behind him and tells him she's
taking him home.
"You don't live at *home*, Camille," he says bleakly.
"But you do, and I'm taking you there," she informs him. She
leads him away.
* * *
The next day Watters calls Shutt and Camille to his office. He's
learned about the Colitto incident, and tells them to their mutual
shock that should their marital tension become an obstacle to the
hospital or its patients he'll "move one or both of you out."
Shutt protests that marital tension had nothing to do with the
Watters brusquely points out that when Shutt has lost patients in
the past he's always kept it together, and tells him he should try to
Turning to Camille, he says her that even though she's done
nothing wrong, Shutt is the more important of the two of them, and if
one has to go, she's it, unfair or not.
Watters hurries out, leaving them stunned into silence. Shutt
apologizes for getting her in trouble and thanks her for being there
for him. But Camille is clearly angry.
"I'm always there for you, Aaron, I hope you know that," Camille
says tightly as she leaves.
* * *
"What do you mean, we're off?" Winslow demands, sitting across
from Geiger in his office.
"I've lost interest," he replies too glibly, "short attention
span, what can I say? I still think you're a nice lady. Could you
Winslow refuses to leave without an explanation.
Geiger says he just misjudged her -- he'd thought, erroneously,
he could just go out and have fun with her with no complications. At
her continued prodding, he levels with her.
"You're quite a woman, Nadine. You got more truth out of me in
two minutes than . . . It's gonna sound crazy, but the girl of my
dreams has always been white and Jewish. You being black, that was my
safety net. I'm ashamed to admit it."
Winslow's steady, silent stare unnerves him. "I . . . never
thought I'd really fall into, uh . . . I can't lie, I, um, I never
thought I'd really fall into love with a black woman, I'd be able to
use all the pragmatic obstacles as a shield."
"Suddenly with you," he admits, "I don't feel so safe anymore."
Winslow just stares at him. "So you're telling me that you don't
want to see me because you're afraid of falling in love?"
"No," he replies. "Yes."
"You're derailing a train that hasn't even left the gate!"
"I do that," he says. "I'm married. I can't be in love with
"Could you please leave?" he whispers.
"Wow," she says, "it's tough to both admire and pity a person at
the same time, but I see now it can be done."
"Me too." She opens the door to leave.
* * *
"Security to the waiting room!" squawks the PA system.
Watters rushes to the scene. It's the Travellis. Jeannette has
turned on the elder Travelli and accused him of killing her son.
Watters calmly orders her taken to the ER and sedated.
Travelli, obviously shaken, tells him, "My brother, Sean's father
. . . when he fell I was the first to get to him. In his eyes I could
see 'Go on -- go on.' And now Sean."
Then why, Watters asks, do they keep going on?
Travelli counters, "In here you face death every day. How do
*you* go on?"
By hurrying on to the next patient, Watters replies.
Travelli thinks their situations are similar. He says on the
wire, fear keeps the Travellis alive, but "On the ground we cry. We
* * *
As Colitto is wheeled into surgery the next day, Shutt
sheepishly approaches him.
"I been to hell. They sent me back."
He introduces Dr. Rosenzweig, whom he's enlisted to do the
operation, with himself assisting.
Shutt explains he was upset the previous day because he lost a
patient, and assures Colitto "I never lose two in a row."
He grasps Colitto's hand. The older man returns the pressure.
* * *
Standing outside the hospital, watching Sean's casket being
loaded into the hold of the Travellis' bus, Watters asks Mr. Travelli,
"How many more must fall?"
Sean is the last, Travelli says.
Watters adds, "Just one last thing, man to man . . . use a net!"
Travelli smiles. "I do like you."
As they shake hands, Watters says, "Fly high, Mr. Travelli."
Travelli replies, "To hope." He climbs aboard and the bus pulls
* * *
That evening, at Shutt's house, freely flowing liquor has put the
two doctors in a philosophical mood as they watch the Travelli
"We're no different, Aaron," Geiger says. "We stare down death
every day and what do we do? We keep climbing back up on the high
"'Cept we don't go splat," Shutt observes.
"Not much," Geiger says, turning off the tape and looking through
a pile of Shutt's CDs. "Oh, Otis Redding. We're saved."
Shutt begs him not to put Otis on, but Geiger ignores him and
Otis begins crooning "Try a Little Tenderness". Shutt beseeches him:
this was Camille's favorite album, her favorite *song*. Geiger just
sits back down.
"Ya know how happy songs can make you sad?" he asks. "Sad songs
do the opposite. That's a fact. It's like the countereffect."
"Why are you doing this?" Shutt protests. "We used to listen to
this song together all the time."
"It doesn't matter." Geiger closes his eyes and wails along with
Otis. "'Try . . . a little tenderness'. It's beautiful. We sing,
surrender to the misery, suddenly we feel better. It's a science."
Shutt just says, "Please."
But Geiger is lost in the moment. "'. . . Anticipatin''. . .
that's right on point, Aaron . . . 'things she'll never, never, never
possess' . . . ."
* * *
The music continues in Camille's new apartment. There are boxes
everywhere, no curtains on the windows, but Camille takes a glass of
wine and sits in the single small easy chair. She looks a bit
apprehensively around the room, then offers herself a small, silent
toast and, smiling a bit sadly, sips the wine.
* * *
Geiger says, "We go on because we have to. We save life, Aaron.
Have a bad day -- know what? -- it's just a day. There's another one
after that. And another, and then another, and then another -- more of
'em good than bad. More good than bad."
"Mm-hm," Shutt concedes, misty-eyed.
"Heroes, Aaron. We save lives. More good days than bad, remember
that." He too offers a small toast: "Heroes."
DIANE'S RANDOM NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS:
In this episode, cutting-edge medicine takes a back seat to
relationships both personal and social. I especially like the Shutt
breakup storyline in counterpoint with the Geiger/Winslow scenes. The
way the two men approach the termination of their relationships is
totally opposite. Aaron agonizes, Jeffrey mitigates. How totally like
Geiger to willfully short-circuit his own happiness by pushing away
the one woman in the whole first season, as it turns out, who could
have been his equal in a relationship. Wonderful acting by Patinkin
and Dillard in the final breakup scene. And what vintage Geiger the
nightclub scene is -- "I'm sure we'll get your name. It's not
important" -- and his unabashed attention to her boobs -- what a
smoothie. Great comic timing in this scene -- every time Geiger
repeats his "Call the Eel" mantra it gets funnier, and Arkin's
mostly-reactive work is priceless.
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