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Season 9 Scene Summaries
The Cordano Love Lounge

"Dead Again"
Season 9 ~ Episode 2
Airdate:  October 3, 2002
She's Baaaaack!  And so happy to see him! 

Romano sits in the Physical Therapy department, struggling with his (buff) therapist (who looks and sounds just a little like Shirley, so she's hereafter referred to as NotShirley) and scuffling with Kerry, who appears to be trying to take over his job.  (It is worth noting that he is wearing a black tee-shirt...which somehow, makes him even hotter.  I didn't know that was possible.)  Kerry seems to be genuinely concerned for our Rocket Man, and as he grimaces in pain, she asks if he's "considered upping [his] Vicodin".  "Ibuprofen," he grunts back.  You know, if he took his prescription Vicodin, then I have a feeling he wouldn't get hooked like Carter did.  And even if he did, I can't imagine anyone would stage an intervention.  Well, maybe Elizabeth and Kerry would...but then they'd be the ones fist-fighting over who got to fly to Atlanta with him.  I think that mental image just won us a few Male Cordanos.

Heh.  Sorry.  Back to the scene.  The therapy is hurting him, so NotShirley stops, he tells her to keep going, but she has another patient.  Unless that patient was Javy Lopez (or maybe Gallant!), there is NO WAY I would be running away from that pretty face.  Kerry gathers her papers, NotShirley helps Romano put his sling on, and Elizabeth strolls into the open doors of the PT department, grinning at Romano's griping at Kerry while folding her arms across her chest.  Romano's grimace softens when he looks up and catches Elizabeth smiling at him.  "Lizzie!" he exclaims, obviously overjoyed but still in pain.  Kerry waltzes to the door, with a smooth, "Elizabeth, how are you doing?"  I love how Elizabeth's gaze briefly darts from Romano to Kerry as she answers, "Fine," then she looks back toward Romano before Kerry can reply.  Hee!  She loves him.  Kerry comments that they'll catch up downstairs (yeah, you will!  And Elizabeth's gonna make you cry!  Wooooo!) and Elizabeth doesn't reply or nod or anything.  I love Elizabeth in this scene.

"I heard rumors," Romano slurs.  Maybe he has been hitting the Vicodin.  "All true, I'm afraid", she smiles.  "The one face I missed seeing in recovery," he says calmly, without his usual Romano Snark.  She unfolds her arms and takes a few steps toward his retreating figure.  "I'm so sorry, Robert," she says with genuine concern.  Romano grabs a towel from the collection on the counter and replies, "What, about my arm?  Or about not being there?"  That last question is very soft, very reminiscent of the time he asked her to go to the Christmas Party on top of the Prudential building in Season 4.  Elizabeth just smiles and sort of changes the subject, bringing them back to reality, "How are you healing?"  "Hurts [really bad]," he replies, and pulls out the seductive voice: "You?"  She looks into his eyes, then down again (probably telling the butterflies in her stomach to go away), pulls herself together, and asks, "Any sensory function yet?"  Her pager goes off as they walk (arms only inches from each other!) towards the door.  "Nope," he answers with a clear tone of disappointment.  Is he disappointed because his arm isn't working or because she has to leave?  ;)  "It's a motorcycle accident; I have to go.  I'm sorry," she says as she shakes her head and he gives a little nod.  The director made a harsh cut to the next scene, and we all wish we had seen a parting hug or smooch.  Well, the Cordano fans, anyway.



"A Hopeless Wound"
Season 9 ~ Episode 5
Airdate:  October 31, 2002
Elizabeth is trying to leave the hospital to go trick-or-treating with Ella when she is stopped by a nurse who says Romano needs to talk with her before she leaves.  Elizabeth tells the nurse, "Tell him you couldn't find me."  Unfortunately, Romano is on the cordless phone the nurse is holding -- we hear him yell, "I heard that!" as Elizabeth resignedly takes the phone.

Elizabeth walks into an operating room and, in a concerned voice, says, "Robert, what are you doing?"  He's removing a pig's gall bladder ("giving [his] right arm a workout, it's been five months").  He asks her if she's aware of Weaver's proposal to take over his job...umm...hire PA's to cover post-call surgical residents' rounds.  Elizabeth thinks it's a good idea, but he is upset because no one asked him -- "and last time I checked, I am still the chief of both surgery and this hospital".  Elizabeth tries to explain,  but he interrupts her, exclaiming over the size of the pig's (really large, green, and slimy) gall bladder.  "Look, I know Weaver's been forming alliances with some of the tribal elders while I was recuperating, but I would have expected a little more loyalty from you, Lizzie."  Exasperated, she just says, "Robert..." as he finishes his rant.  Mmm...loyalty.

Romano gets bad news about his arm from Marty (it will be at least nine months before he can *think* about operating again) and as he leaves Marty's office, he runs into Paul Nathan, a third-year med student.  Nathan says, "Excuse me, I'm looking for Dr. Corday?" and Romano replies, "Yeah, aren't we all...are you a bill collector or a suitor?"  It's nice to see that Romano wants to know if she's dating again.  Romano and Nathan go down to the ER on the same elevator.

Romano walks into Elizabeth's trauma asking, "What's this?"  "Rubber mask melted to the face," she replies.  He makes a cute little grossed-out face, then observes for a second before saying, "I thought you left, Lizzie."  "Me too," she replies, "I'm supposed to be trick-or-treating."  Romano winks at her as he says, "You're a little old for that, don't you think?"  Elizabeth does not respond because she didn't see the wink...okay, that's just speculation.  She is having trouble intubating MeltedRubberMaskMan, so she yells out an order for a crike tray, and Romano goes to get it.  Apparently, you need two functioning hands to open a crike tray -- and poor Romano only has one -- so he heads back to the trauma with the unopened kit.  Lily bumps into his bad arm and he cries out, doubled over in pain.  Elizabeth looks horrified.  "Robert, are you okay?"  No response.  "Robert?"  "I'm okay," he finally responds.  "If you've got this, Lizzie, I'm going to check on the rest of the kids."  Awww, they have kids now!  Worry washes over her face as she watches him walk out, his lips clamped together in pain.

Later, Romano supervises Dale Edson (forever referred to as "Weasel"...on this website, anyway) as he tries to stop a rapidly spreading cellulitis from eating up a man's leg.  Weasel is not moving fast enough for Romano, so Romano gets a little impatient when Shirley says she's still in the scrub room.  "Get her the [heck] in here -- maybe she can debride this guy's wound without using a chain saw!"  Elizabeth is talking on the phone with her nanny as she "safety"-pins her wedding ring to her scrub top.  She finishes scrubbing and asks a nurse to take the phone.  When Elizabeth lets the phone drop from her shoulder, the phone knocks her ring down the drain of the scrub room sink.  She and the nurse debate the options, as Shirley walks in and says, "Don't hate me, he wants to talk."  Hee.  I love Shirley!  Over the speakerphone, we hear Romano yell, "Lizzie, get your [butt] in here!"  "I've lost my wedding ring!" she yells back.  Romano counters:  "Oh, boo hoo!  This guy's about to lose a leg!  I'd say 'Chop Chop' but that would be in extremely bad taste."  Elizabeth asks the nurse to make sure the sink isn't used again, and we hear Romano's voice over the speakerphone:  "Will somebody please call Tiffany's Search and Rescue Team?"  Elizabeth angrily replies, "I'M COMING!!!"

Next time we see the couple-to-be, Romano is supervising Elizabeth and Weasel on the surgery.  The infection has spread up to the quadricepts -- Romano wants them to just get rid of the infected tissue and let antibiotics and oxygen treatments do the rest.  Elizabeth retorts, "If we treat this conservatively and it spreads, we're committed to a hip disarticulation to stay ahead of the infection." "It's worth the risk," says Romano. "Of his being non-ambulatory?" Elizabeth asks.  Weasel puts in his two-cents:  "With an above-the-knee amputation, at least he can use a prosthetic." "And if it gets into the hip, it will spread into the abdominal wall and he'll get septic," Elizabeth finishes.  Romano gets angry.  "I am trying to save this man's leg.  Dry the field."  "What about his life?" Weasel demands.  Romano retorts, "He's young, it's the same thing."  "Oh, come on, Robert, of course it's not," Elizabeth impatiently replies.  She spouts all this medical jargon before dealing the final blow: "It's a hopeless wound."  Romano contemplates this with his brow knit, as Elizabeth stares at him, wide-eyed, waiting for his response.  "Fine.  Take it."  "Robert..."  "I said take the leg."  He shoots a glare at Weasel (and probably Elizabeth, but I'm going to pretend like that's not true) and storms out of the OR, slamming an IV pole down in his dramatic exit.  Elizabeth stares after him with a neon sign over her head that alternately blinks I'M WORRIED ABOUT YOU! and I LOVE YOU!  No?  Okay, maybe NBC only broadcast that part to my house.

Mmmm...Lounge Scene.  I Love Lounge Scenes.  Anyway, Elizabeth slips into the darkened surgeon's lounge and picks up the phone on the wall next to the door.  She turns to see Romano, sitting alone in this ugly, red leather ManChair, and softly asks, "Why are you still here?" "Uhh," he mumbles, "My piano recital was cancelled." (bit-o-trivia here:  Paul McCrane plays the piano and guitar) Elizabeth leaves a message for her nanny and hangs up the phone, turning to face Romano.  "We did the right thing," she says.  GrumpyRomano says, "Trying to convince me or you?" "Look, I've been through a period of adjustment.  When I became a mother, every time I had to treat a get over it."  Romano rubs his eye with his good hand and bleats, "Please, spare me the $2 psychoanalysis, Lizzie."  "Fine," she retorts and turns to leave.  Romano can't let her slip through his grasp (with the lights dim and everything) and practically begs her attention, "Hey, look look look look...I know most people don't like me.  I don't care -- I don't like most people."  Elizabeth turns to face him, looking like she's just seen the Tootsie Roll Center of a Tootsie Pop for the first time.  Romano continues, "But I'm good at what I do.  I save people's lives.  Everyday.  People who no one else can help...If I can't do that...I..." He chokes up as Elizabeth brings a hand to her mouth, almost in disbelief that he just opened his soul to her like that.  She walks over and kneels in front of his chair, where Romano is trying to be TheToughGuyThatDoesNOTCry.  "Robert, I know you're frustrated.  You're an excellent surgeon, and you will be again, I promise you!"  Elizabeth places her hands on his good hand as she finishes, "You will be!"  Romano slowly looks up into Elizabeth's eyes, and reaches out to stroke her cheek.  The three-second caress catches Elizabeth off guard.  "I'm being paged," she stammers as she looks at her waist.  Robert withdraws his hand and softly says, "Elizabeth".  She repeats that she's being paged and leaves the darkened lounge quickly, briefly stopping outside the door to collect her ruffled emotions.  I don't know how she got over The Touch that quickly -- it would have taken me at least a couple of minutes.

Elizabeth and Ella are walking towards the elevator on the surgery floor, when Elizabeth hears Romano call her name in the background.  She pauses, makes an ICan'tDealWithThisRightNow face, and says, "Uh, Robert, can we talk tomorrow -- I really have to get Ella home."  Romano catches up to them and says, "Uh, I thought you might want this before you left."  Elizabeth turns around and Romano holds out his hand.  "It's my ring," she whispers.  Romano makes a silent "yeah" motion with his mouth before replying, "Amazing what you can do with a laprascopic camera and a snare."  Elizabeth takes the ring and Romano gives the Cutest!Wave!Ever! to Ella.  Elizabeth looks at the ring, then Ella, then quietly thanks him.  He turns to leave and mumbles, "De Nada".  He takes a few steps away, then turns again to face Elizabeth.  "Uh, look, about today..."  Elizabeth is uncomfortable.  "Uh, let's not."  Romano waves his hand dismissively and stoically continues.  "It was a...momentary weakness on my part.  It won't happen again."  Elizabeth realizes she is staring at him, so she looks at Ella before looking up at Romano again, this time with a softened face.  "You'll get through this, Robert," she promises.  Romano glances at Ella, then back up to Elizabeth's eyes, and puts his emotional shield back up.  "'Course I will.  G'Night."  "Night," Elizabeth responds in kind.  As Romano walks away, he looks back at Elizabeth twice -- the first time with the same determined face, then again with a sad face that says, Take me with you -- I need a hug.  Elizabeth boards the elevator as strains of Tracy Chapman's "The Promise" float into the scene.  (Listen Here)  As of this episode, this is going to be the Official Cordano Theme Song.

This episode is going down as one of my favorites, mostly because it's Romano-Centric (and he wasn't being a complete pain the entire time!) and there was a lot of build-up to the Cordano relationship. 



"One Can Only Hope"
Season 9 ~ Episode 6
Airdate:  November 7, 2002

This episode was a little ehh for me, mostly because there was not much Cordano interaction.  At the beginning of the episode, we see Elizabeth talking with Mr. Willow, who is a little upset that she didn't remove his any of his widespread cancer while he was under the knife.  She tells him (three times) that he needs to be referred to Oncology, but he keeps peppering her with questions about his mortality until Elizabeth has to leave, clearly upset.

As Elizabeth quickly storms out of recovery, we hear Romano yelling "Excessive therapy? Excessive?  All right, how's this for excessive - I got my arm sliced off!  I mean, what do I have to do to get full therapy, I have to have a pack of wolves come chew my leg off too?  Look, my physical therapist, my orthopedic surgeon, and the Chief of Staff at this hospital that pays your premiums, what's his name again?  Oh, that right, Meeeeee..."  Jacy tells Elizabeth that Romano is talking with his insurance company, while he continues, "...have all determined that I need a minimum five days a week to regain occupational use!"  Elizabeth asks Jacy for an oncology consult for Mr. Willow and Romano starts yelling again in the foreground.  "It's not disability, you gnat!  I'm still working!  It's...hello...hello?"  Jacy silently laughs in the background as Elizabeth glances up briefly from her chart.  "Coward," Romano mutters under his breath after he slams down the telephone.  "Peek-and-Shriek still out of it?" he asks Elizabeth.  "No, I told him," she replies.  "You told him -- you were in there all of 90 seconds!"  Elizabeth asks Jacy to start a morphine drip.  "You know, I'm going to have to get you your own complaint box," Romano gripes.  "There's nothing I can do for the man but pain control," she protests.  Romano clarifies that he's talking about "your medical student, the martini shaker.  He camped out in my office and says you refused to put him on call."  "He has Parkinson's disease," Elizabeth gripes.  "Yeeaah, thus the martini shaker reference.  C'mon Lizzie, work with me," Romano talks as if he's talking to a 4-year-old, snapping his fingers (as if that's going to get her attention).  Elizabeth presents a good line of reasoning, "Stress and sleep depravation only exacerbate his symptoms!"  "Well, he says he's managing it, makes a good argument -- I don't think it's fair to the others to make them pick up his slack."  "I'm not going to put the man on 36 hours straight," Elizabeth refuses.  "He'll take a nap."  "It's bad enough he has to treat patients" "Oh...I get it," Romano begins.  "What?"  Romano gets all fake pouty: "You have something against doctors with disabilities."  He looks down at his file as Elizabeth retorts, "Only on a case by case basis."  Wow, I have not seen her make a flirt face like that since she was trying to hook Benton back in Season 4.  Romano tells her to put Nathan on call -- he doesn't want a fall-out with the ACLU.  "What, and we care nothing about Mr. Nathan?" Elizabeth questions.  Innocently, Romano replies, "Who's Nathan?"  In disbelief, Elizabeth stares at Romano and says, "HIM, my Parkinson's student."  "Oh, uh...right... No, I don't care.  This place is littered with masochists.  Just make sure he doesn't kill anyone."  The scene ends as we wonder if Romano is one of the masochists, working harder than necessary to achieve full recovery.

Romano is in a meeting with Mary, County's director of nursing, Kerry, and Abby (who is late).  Romano calls Abby "Dude" and asks if she has "anything monosyllabic to add, other than apologies for being late."  The petition Chuni filed against Luka was apparently signed by all the female nurses in the ER -- except Abby.  Mary says, "Apparently, your relationship with Dr. Kovac ended better than Chuni's."  The camera cuts to Romano, who raises his eyebrows and makes a That'sBrandNewInformation! Face as he eats a piece of honeydew.  Abby looks at Mary in disbelief.  "Did you really just say that?"  With his mouth full, Romano shoots out, "So it's true!  You're all suckers for the accent!"  To quote Heathen at TWoP , "Look who's talking, Rocket."

Elizabeth works on 14-year-old Sarah, a girl that took ketamine.  Ketamine "blocks nerve paths without depressing respiratory and circulatory functions, and therefore acts as a safe and reliable anesthetic"...for animals.  It is a veterinary drug that is apparently used recreationally under the name "Special K".  Elizabeth orders a rape exam, and tells the father that Special K Sarah was taken advantage of.  Later we find out that she took the drugs because it...*ahem*...enhances her relationship with her boyfriend(s).  Elizabeth tells Special K Sarah that drugs are extremely dangerous, long-term brain damage, etc.  Special K Sarah asks Elizabeth if she likes being a doctor, and Elizabeth replies, "Some days are better than others."  "Must be weird, seein' people nekkid [sic] and stuff."  They share a giggle and Elizabeth says that she supposes it's weird and it depends on the patient.  "I don't care for the hairy ones," she grins.  WooHoo!  That's going on the quote page.

I *could* comment on the Carter & Abby line dancing, but I will not.  Let's just say I'm still laughing.



You Will Fail.

"Tell Me Where It Hurts"
Season 9 ~ Episode 7
Airdate:  November 14, 2002
Before anyone gets too excited, this was a Romano-free episode.  Let's take a moment of silence...
Thank you.  *sniff*
At least Romano's name was mentioned.  Once.  In the beginning of this episode, Kerry finds out she's pregnant (and spends the rest of the episode in a blissful glow) and later tells Susan that she will be taking some personal time off.  "And with Romano out of commission, you'll probably be forced to pick up the slack."  We're probably six months past "Chaos Theory" now, so our Armless Wonder has not healed yet.
I loved Elizabeth's scene with Nathan, the "Martini Shaker" med student.  Elizabeth is so exasperated with her student by this point that she decides to tell him like it is:
Elizabeth:  When you first came to me, you requested that I treat you like any other medical student on my rotation.
Nathan:  And I appreciate that.
Elizabeth:  I know your disease presents you with innumberable challenges, and the very fact you're standing here is testimony to your character.  But the truth is, I would fail any other student with a similar performance.
Nathan:  I realize I have to make certain adjustments to accomodate my disease...
Elizabeth:  NO.  No.  Political correctness aside, you are physically handicapped and I would be doing a disservice to your future patients.
Nathan:  So that's it? ...What's the appeal process?
Elizabeth:  A give me your word you will never treat patients.
Nathan:  No, I can't do that.
Elizabeth:  Then you will fail, Mr. Nathan.
Elizabeth walks out on Nathan, and we end the scene wondering how much off-camera time she's spending with Romano.  Since when is Elizabeth politically incorrect?

Mmmm...both my boys in the same scene!

"A Saint in the City"
Season 9 ~ Episode 12
Airdate: January 16, 2003
Finally, Romano and Elizabeth are in the same episode.  But do they have any scenes together.  NO.  What the...
I'll forgive them this week, because they gave me Gallant and Romano in the same scene.  My television burst into flames with all the hotness.  Those of you who hang out over at TWoP know how much I love Gallant (Sharif Atkins), and putting him in a scene with Romano is like winning the Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes for me.  Well, almost.
Anyway, Gallant and Luka are working on Mr. Callahan in Trauma 1.  Luka teaches Gallant how to insert a chest tube, telling him to "push with your hips".  I will refrain from making a 7th grade joke there and move on.  Romano barrels in for a surgical consult.  "Ex-lap -- don't even bother to scan him.  Come on upstairs, sir, where the good drugs are!"  If I read that line, and didn't know Romano at all, I would swear he was Lucifer.  Just saying.
Romano has another opportunity to yell at Luka.  Mr. Callahan needs to go up to the OR, but refuses to leave his brain-dead wife until she dies in Trauma 2.  We see Luka supervising the couple, as Mrs just lies there and Mr slowly bleeds into his abdomen.  Romano knocks on the window, and motions for Luka to step outside.  "Okay, cowboy.  I've got a vascular surgeon, an anesthesiologist and three surgical residents waiting in an OR suite that rents for about five grand an hour."  "She's dying," Luka moans, and explains that the man wants to stay with his wife until she passes.  "Yeah?  Well, if she doesn't die faster, he's gonna be dying with her," Romano spits back.  Luka, exasperated, says that Mr. Callahan is aware of this.  Romano doesn't care.  "I'm going upstairs.  If he's not up there in 10 minutes, I'm taking out your spleen!"  Coming from a man who may or may not be cleared to do surgery...that would scare the heck out of me.
Romano and Kerry scuffle over the treatment of the Alderman.  Romano wants him in a private room, waited on hand and foot, but Kerry respects Alderman's wishes and keeps him in a shared room (Curtain 2?).  Romano kisses up to Alderman -- Kerry is sincere.  After Romano leaves, Alderman tells Kerry that it's "tragic about his arm."  Yeah, we all agree.
Romano knocks on glass windows a lot lately.  He calls Kerry out into the hall -- she never moved Alderman to his own room, so he tears into her.  It's hard to take him seriously when he's wearing a lavender shirt and a royal purple tie.  She looks nonplussed at his speech.  Mmmmm, I smell a Power Struggle brewing! 
Elizabeth!  I thought her bedside manner was back to normal in "First Snowfall", but she was (rightfully) an absolute witch to Luka.  She approaches him at the admit desk.  "Your Mr. Callahan is finally in recovery.  Send your patients up to the OR a little bit more promptly in the future, all right?"  Her delivery of this line just reeked of Romano. I think she's under his influence more than she realizes!  Yay! 

"No Good Deed Goes Unpunished"
Season 9 ~ Episode 13
Romano is back in the OR without a properly healed arm.
Romano supervises Jensen, a surgical resident, on an abcess dig in OR 1.  Apparently, Jensen is not the most skilled surgeon at CCGH -- Romano tells him that if he "moves any slower...this guy's gonna heal before we can sew him up."  Elizabeth enters, holding a mask up to her face.  "Giving one of your inspirational speeches, Roh-but?"  He gets all excited, since they haven't spoken in three months (on-screen, anyway).  "Elizabeth!  I thought you were doing an atriocable shint.  Another lap to me?  I take it he died?"  The last note is sour, and Elizabeth responds professionally, "On the contrary, I'm finished.  The patient's in recovery."  Waves of Concern flood the OR as she continues, "I heard you were having some difficulty, though."  "You were misinformed," he shoots back, offended.  Elizabeth's voice betrays her heart, as she softly intones, "Apparently.  I didn't realize you were back on surgical rotation."
Romano tries to sound casual.  "Just assisting Jensen."  Elizabeth steps toward the operating table.  "Ah.  So, how are we doing, Jensen?"  He is obviously nervous, and says, "Fine, thank you.  Good hemostasis, no leak."  ConcernedElizabeth takes another step forward.  "The posterior femoral cutaneous nerve runs right next to the artery.  It's easy to cut both."  Romano takes this as a personal jab at his supervisory skills, and caustically comments, "And the head bone's connected to the...what again?"  Elizabeth ignores the daggers shooting out of Romano's eyes, leans in to Jensen's shoulder, and asks, "Would you like me to scrub in, to check?"  Romano replies for him, with an exceptionally soft, "No."
Elizabeth's patience is quickly tested.  "It would be such a shame for this young man to come in for an abcess and go home with a dropped foot because of a severed sciatic nerve," she shoots back.  Romano gets equally testy.  "You're right, you know?  And look, I just figured out a way you can help me."  He flings down a bloody lap pad.  "Leave."  Elizabeth backs out of the OR wordlessly, worry and concern and a million other emotions expressed in her eyes.  She keeps her eyes on him until she is out of the OR, when we see him staring back at her with contempt.
Later in recovery, the patient has a little sensory loss on the thigh.  Elizabeth is angry, Romano is cocky, Elizabeth gets more angry, Romano's mood turns sour.  TPTB are killing me.

"The Advocate"

Season 9 ~ Episode 17

Elizabeth and Romano play doctor.  Kind of.


We come back from the commercial break with a close-up of a gloved pair of hands lightly pressing Romanos fingernails in a dimly lit exam room.  Elizabeth's voice tells him that he didn't do something to his arm, and he agrees as his gaze floats from his hand, to her face, back to his hand.  She doctors him up as he starts a lovely little monologue:  "Let's see, what's next?  I could cut it while slicing a bagel and not realize it until I pass out from the blood loss..."


Elizabeth interrupts him with a stern, "Robert..."  "Or maybe I could set the [darn] thing on fire," he continues, looking over to her.  She sighs heavily and plays with a roll of gauze.  "You need to be patient," she reproaches as she starts to wind the gauze around his arm.  Romano makes a cute little face, "Yesss.  So everyone keeps telling me.  Although none of us actually believe I'm even going to partially recover, do we?"  He looks up at Elizabeth, and she gives a little half-hearted smile but does not reply.


Romano stares over the mere inches to Elizabeth's face.  "Do you believe in the laws of karma, Elizabeth?"  She looks down as he continues, "the Eastern philosophy -- the influence of past actions on your future life?"  "I know what it is," she nods as she goes back to fixing his arm.


"So I can be a jerk -- so what?" he says with a half-disgusted face.  Elizabeth looks up at him with an expression of agreement but understanding.  He continues his little rant.  "I've always been honest.  Brutally honest.  Bruised some egos, hurt some feelings, maybe, uh, provoked a few tears, but, uh, honesty's a [heck] of a lot more than most people can claim."  Elizabeth stares into his eyes, and he makes a little pained smile as he returns her gaze.  "I don't deserve this."  It's hard to tell if he's being serious or sarcastic here...especially after that "karma" line earlier.  Either way, I don't think he deserves "this".  Do I get a vote?



"Finders Keepers"
Season 9 ~ Episode 18
Airdate:  April 3, 2003

Okay, so I know I said I was only going to do the Cordano scenes, but this episode was so Rocketlicious, I couldn't NOT recap his scenes.  Enjoy!


It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood today -- because Rocket Romano has taken over as ER Chief, and does a brilliant job of making everyone's life a living nightmare on the first day.  I love it when he gets on his little Raging Rocket Rants. 

We begin with Kerry being a total monster to him -- she's moved into his office before he had a chance to move out, fired Brenda, called him a "human resources nightmare" and told him he has three options:  be ER Chief, teach, or leave.  Romano mentions that a model rocket in his office was a gift from a grateful girlfriend.  Did you hear that?  He had a girlfriend!  Too bad we never knew her name, or saw her visit him at work, or heard mention of her EVER before today. 

Anyway, he glowers in the elevator on the way down to the ER, and after stepping into the department, berates the first staff member he comes across -- my lovely Gallant!.  The list of offensives piles up:  Luka ("green card", "Igor"), Abby ("booty"), Haleh ("you're fired"), and Jerry ("pituitary boy").  And that's all before the first commercial break.

Credits, commercials, Pratt/Chen, Elizabeth!  Look, there she is!  With Ella!  Remember, she's a mother?  And she's struggling with raising a child and working at the same time?  Whatever, PTB.  Anyway, Ella's adorable and Elizabeth shoves a street vendor out of the minivan and tells Chris to take off.  Chris proceeds to run over Annoying Street Vendor's foot, and Elizabeth gets to stand there looking exasperated (but cute in her green cargo pants and fat/phat belt).

Gossip about Romano at the desk.  Luka says, "He can call himself King as long as I get severance."  Heh.  King Romano.  I like it!  Anyway, Carter wheels a patient in, wanting to park her in Exam 1, but as we see in the background, Romano is turning Exam 1 into his own private office.  Niiiiiice.  He appears at the desk, giving all the new rules to the docs and nurses hanging around.  Be on time, treat and street, clear the board, and tells Jerry, "and you can get me a breakfast burrito, extra cheese, hold the salsa."  "Please?" Jerry snarks.  Romano glares up at him.  "Get your love at home."  I love Raging Rocket.

Patient flies in on the Medivac. Romano does a surgical consult.  Jerry follows him out, telling him he can't fire Haleh, so Romano decides he wants bullet points on who he can fire and why.  He wanders over to Curtain 1 where Susan is examining a man who was shot in the chest by his seven-year-old with a nail gun.  Elizabeth appears, asking, "this the nail gun injury?"  Romano glances at Elizabeth, then backs off quickly and says, "Well, Dr. Corday's got this now."  Her eyes follow him as he turns and leaves, and she pronounces the man "fine".  Elizabeth and Susan walk back toward the desk and Elizabeth inquires how everything's going.  "Wanna hear something scary?" Susan replies.  "I miss Weaver."  Elizabeth smiles knowingly.

ER Lounge.  Coffee brewing.  Romano staring at coffee.  Elizabeth walks in and he glances over at her.  "Fresh pot.  Enjoy it while you can," he dryly remarks.  She smiles and places her hands in her pockets.  "How are you doing?"  "Very well, thanks," he stoically replies.  "New digs, new challenges, crappy coffee.  Interest you in a cup?" he asks, holding out an empty paper cup.  "I'll pass," she smiles.  "Smart woman," he says as he pours himself a cup.  The mood quickly changes from faux-casual to serious as Elizabeth offers her condolences.  "Look, I think its awful, just to let you know.  A waste, really, of your...of your skills, your talents.  But, uh...I'm sure it'll be temporary."  "Yep," he sadly replies.  "Anything I can help?" she asks as he walks over to the refrigerator.  The door opens and the contents spill everywhere.  He licks his lips in dismay, turns his head toward her, and sadly replies, "You could shoot me now."

Back to ranting, Romano insults Gallant! and Carter, and Carter talks back, saying, "with all due respect, you don't have a background in emergency medicine."  What?  Does Carter not remember that Romano was the temporary ER Chief back in Season 5?  Idiot.  I hate Pissy!Carter. 

A pregnant and cancerous young woman rolls in with her husband, and Romano proceeds to do a surgical consult, then balks when the new surgical resident comes down to do her own.  Dr. Wu is all rude to him, and Abby offers to page Elizabeth.

Elizabeth's pager goes off as she's talking to Luka about a Croatian boy who will die without a procedure that can only be done in the US.  Elevator.  Step back, both of you -- you're standing too close for my comfort!  She agrees to talk to Kerry about it, but comments that they aren't on good terms.  That's because Kerry is a bad-word-I-won't-say.  Elizabeth steps into a very dark Trauma Green to finish the surgical consult on PregnantCancerWoman, asking where Dr. Wu is.  Carter comments, "she...left," and Romano adds, "You need to teach your residents to have thicker skin, Lizzie."  Hee!  He called her Lizzie.  Abby adds that "Dr. Wu only cried a little," and that "Pratt's consoling her."  Hee!  Romano made her cry!  The doc trio discusses her diagnosis, and Romano leaves, saying, "I've been down here less than a day, and already, Im beginning to hate surgeons."  Awwww, dont say that, sweetie!  We know you still love Elizabeth, who seems amused by his comment, but doesn't have time to reply because PregnantCancerWoman starts griping.

Gallant! stops Romano in the hall and points out that he ordered the wrong treatment for Gallants! HBP patient earlier.  Romano calls him Goofus (Wha?  Romano reads Highlights?) and an "Affirmative Action Imbecile", before walking off and badgering Jerry for his bullet points on who he can fire.  The first orderly he sees, Tim, gets the brunt of the Rocket's Red Glare.  Poor guy.

"All right, you.  Where are you parents?" he asks a little boy.  "I don't have any," the boy replies breathlessly.  That would explain the oxygen tube in his nose.  "They died in a car crash last year."  Romano tries to keep his grinchy little heart intact, and says, "Bummer.  So what's your problem?"  The boy coughs.  Later, we cut back to the boy talking and coughing while Romano tries to listen to his chest.  He tells Romano that the hospital kept him last time he was in, and then asked what happened to his arm.  "Are you physically incapable of keeping your mouth shut?" is the reply.  "I mean, were you born that way or something?" the boy presses.  "None of your beeswax.  Breathe deep," Romano commands.  He gives Abby an order to put the boy on a nebulizer and prednisone, then hops up, declaring to the ER that it took all of eight minutes to treat this patient.

Snarks about therapy making Luka soft.  You know what, sweetie?  You probably need a little therapy yourself.  And defacing Chen's cake doesnt make the non-Rockettes like you any more than they did before.  Eats huge piece of cake.  Frosting on lip.  Mmmmm...  I don't remember the rest of this scene.

Elizabeth tells PregnantCancerWoman that she needs a nephrectomy (kidney removal), and PregnantCancerWoman tells her to take everything out -- meaning the baby as well.  Elizabeth clarifies that PregnantCancerWoman wants an abortion, and she repeats to "take it all."  I don't know what to think of this storyline.  Is PregnantCancerWoman selfish?  Is she only protecting her elderly husband from further heartbreak after she dies?  We don't know, and I can't imagine we'll find out.  Oh, well, I'm not losing sleep over it or anything.

Elizabeth visits Kerry's office, asking the favor for Luka.  Kerry says no, and Elizabeth gets up answer her page.  She pauses, and turns to ask, "Hey Kerry, can I ask you something?  Are you as concerned about Robert as I am?  Uh...more precisely...his mental health?  He seems...broken by this assignment."  "He's a cockroach," Kerry snipes.  "He'll refuse to evolve and yet survive us all."  Elizabeths face washes over with irritated disbelief as she leaves the office wordlessly.  Have I mentioned lately that I hate Kerry?  Well, I do.  Especially if she's fostering enmity between Elizabeth and Romano.

Romano's hanging out with Jerry again, who is telling him how he can make the lives of the attendings horrendous.  He notices that the boy from earlier is still hanging out, and asks why he's still there.  Carter tells him that Eddie can't walk yet, and he has to be holding normal sats and walking before he can leave.  "Uh screwed up!" Eddie snarks.  I like this kid.  Romano gets pissy, and ends up screaming at Carter, "This is MY ER now!  That stands for one thing -- everyone's replaceable.  Even you."  He storms off.

Elizabeth operates on PregnantCancerWoman and discovers that she has less than a 2% chance of survival.  Eh.  I still don't care.

Romano strolls up to Gallant!, who is suturing a man's arm.  "I love watching med students suture," Romano grins.  "Reminds me how good I am."  Gallant! thinks for a second, then says, "Was..." under his breath.  The lovely bullet head looks amused, and asks, "What did you say?"  "He said was," the suturee replies.  Romano tosses a chart into Gallants! lap! and walks away.  Have I mentioned that I Love Gallant! today?  Well, I do.  :)

Elizabeth.  Surgery.  Old Husband appears in theater window, and she tries to convince him to override the abortion, since his wife will die anyway.  He refuses.  Elizabeth pleads.  He really refuses.  She slams her bloody gloves into the floor and quickly exits the OR while the OB team takes over.

Romano.  Bar.  Not a gay bar, despite what some idiots at TWoP have hinted at.  There are women there.  See?  I saw two.  So shut up.  He's not gay.  Anyway, he's slurring his words a little, and as the bartender pours him another drink, he asks to watch something besides the Strong Man competition, saying, "it only appeals to dolts making less than 20 grand a year."  "30 grand," the copier tech beside him corrects.  They argue, and Romano calls it "some sort of homoerotic thing for you," which gets him a solid fist in the face.  Another guy jumps up and throws a punch, and an unseen man pushes Romano to the floor, followed by three more punches to the face.  Seriously, the guy's arm is in a sling.  And aren't bar fights illegal?  Unreality ER at its finest, I suppose.  The episode fades to black with Romano staring to his right, probably thinking "what a perfect end to a perfect day" (tm Whitty).  The music squalls in the background, "and now I'm goin' doooooowwwwwnnn".  Shut up, soundtrack.

"Things Change"  (formerly Episode 19)
Season 9 ~ Episode 19
Airdate:  April 26, 2003
So much snark!  Oh, and dont tell me she doesn't care about him. 


I was out of town when this eppy aired, so I need to throw out special props to Whitty, for her brilliantly verbose episode description after the show, and Justine, for the transcript of the suture room scene that was sitting in my inbox when I got home.  Rocket Hugs, Ladies!

Romano snarks at Carter, dumps some med students on him, snarks at Abby, treats a patient with Pratt...then sees a short, cute woman with blonde curls at the admit desk and makes a beeline for her.  She's not lost, sweetie, she's there to see Luka -- and if she's not available to go for coffee with you, I'll go.  Except I don't drink coffee.  I'll sit there and make pleasant conversation with you, though!  And I'll try really hard not to stare at your lips.  Or jaw.  Or eyes.  Or shiny, freckly, bald head.  Really.


Okay, so The Short Curly-Haired Woman Who Is Not Me tells him that her name is Dr. Horvat, and she's visiting from Croatia.  Romano tells her that he's a visiting surgeon as well, while Luka comes up interrupting The Asking Out Of Gordana.  They chat in Croatian (Luka tells her to steer clear of my Rocket.  Good boy, Luka -- we have enough Rockettes after him as it is.) and Romano smiles insincerely, "What a beautiful language."  Not as beautiful as yours, honey.  Seriously, have you heard the man sing?  Anyway, I wish Elizabeth had seen all this go down.  Think she'd have been jealous?


Trauma Green.  Dying guy.  Susan asks where Elizabeth is, and Luka replies, "She's still next door."  "What, does she need a personal invite?" Romano asks.  He bolts through the doors to the suture room, where Elizabeth, Chen, and Gallant! work on a woman with belly pain.  "Is there a problem here?" he asks.  The woman's belly pain disappeared after she passed gas, so Elizabeth moves to leave.  Gallant! claims that the woman's still sick.  "So admit her to service and work her up," Romano says to the departing surgeon.  "Sorry," Elizabeth calls over her shoulder as she steps out into the hall.  "Elizabeth!" he yells.  "Hey!  HEY!" he calls again, chasing her down the hall.  She spins on her heel.  "Don't you HEY! me," she spits.  Romano looks shocked that she would talk back to him like that, while Elizabeth proceeds to tell him that if he wants a CT scan and a re-consult, thats fine -- but she refuses to take the woman upstairs just so he can "clear ER beds in thirty minutes".  She knows him so well. 


Abby interrupts this hilarious scene to call Elizabeth into Trauma Green.  "Let me guess," she snarks at Romano, "infectious gangrene from a paper cut?"  He follows her into the trauma room, mimicking her like a two-year-old.  It sounds immature, but its totally hilarious and reminiscent of Season 7 Cordano.  She holds the door open as he walks in behind her, turning to look at him one last time before hopping over to the table.  He doesn't notice, though, because he's busy looping his stethoscope around his neck.  The weirdo with the blue eye shadow obviously needs to go upstairs, and Romano passes stuff across the patient to the staff on the other side.  "What's your excuse for not taking this one up, Lizzie?  No exposed bowel?"  She stares, just inches from his face.  "Give it a rest, Robert."  If you didnt know these two, you'd think they really couldn't stand each other.  (*pssst* -- Wanna know a secret?  This is their version of flirting.  Don't tell.)  More trauma...Elizabeth moves to the other side of the patient and does a cut-down on his ankle...stares at Romano...who pays her no mind.  One last set of barbs for each other:  "I'm glad to see your morale boosting and leadership skills are rubbing off down here, Robert."  "How do you say 'bite my big one' in Croatian?"  Hee!  And Noooo!  Don't go to commercial!  This was so fun!  More Snarky Cordano, stat!  :P  (see the videos here:  Snark 1 & Snark 2)



Back in the suture room, Gassy Girl pukes on Romano and my beautiful Gallant! hops around the bed to help him take his lab coat off.  He's such a good boy.  (You know what?  I miss the blue scrub coat.  I'm just saying.)  Gallant! asks if Romano wants him to page Dr. Corday.  "Screw that!" Romano spouts.  "If she can't diagnose a subphrenic abscess, she sure as [heck] can't fix one."  Chen gives Benton's Patented Eye Roll of Discomfort, then almost pukes herself when Romano tears a big gauze pad off his scar, revealing a huge abscess.  Eww.  Oh, and the stuff that looks like worms in the hole of the abscess?  That's medicated packing gauze.  I'm all proud because I knew that before the suture room scene later in the eppy.  I'm not proud of the scar I have to show for that knowledge.  So Romano's ulcer is gross, isn't it?  Oh, and the gauze burns, too; so for once, I'm kinda glad he can't feel anything.  Anyway, the woman is septic, and Stubborn!Romano won't let Chen call Elizabeth -- he tells them to set up the ultrasound in an empty trauma room.  Baaaaaad idea, Rocket.  (The procedure doesn't go as planned, but at least the woman finally gets to go up to the surgical ICU.)


Rocket sits alone in the suture room, debriding his own ulcer.  Elizabeth enters, clutching her cup of coffee.  She didn't stumble upon him this time -- it's pretty obvious that she came looking for him.  "Don't tell me your HMO doesn't cover somebody to do that for you," she says all motherly as she opens the door.  Romano is still working on his arm, and doesnt even look up.  "Well, you know what they say, you want something done right..."  He keeps going with the little suction thingy on his arm as she approaches and peeks over to see how far along he is.  "Is that why you thought you could perform a surgical procedure in the ER?"  "It worked, didn't it?" he says, looking up at her briefly.  She nods, then walks back across the room to the supply shelf, sets down her cup of coffee, and they discuss the patient.  "She's on dopamine and still febrile," Elizabeth says as she rolls a chair across from him.  "The good news is we haven't had to intubate."  [About this part, Justine said, "C'mon, Robert, it's pretty clear that Lizzie's coming to help you with it. Why so stubborn?"  Hee!]  He glances up and replies in hushed but sincere tones, "She could have died."  Elizabeth meets his gaze for a split second, then goes to get a pair of gloves.  "I still hadn't ruled that out.  It was a good call, Robert.  Unfortunately the drainage was still incomplete.  There were loculations that you couldn't reach, which means I'll have to do an open laparotomy."  To the anti-Cordanos, this is another scene would look like they can't stand each other.  Keep watching.  Robert keeps snipping on his arm and softly replies, "[Darn] shame you didn't catch it the first time.  Subphrenic abscess is a surgical disease; they don't see it much down here."


Elizabeth is sitting across from him now, and reaches over to take the scissors from him, calling him "Robert".  He resigns his arm to her care, pulling his bicep towards the inside of his arm so she can reach the wound better as she continues: "I would have caught it if you'd let me.  She'd be cooling down with Zosyn before surgery.  Now she's more of a mess then if you'd done nothing."  His gaze floats around the room, then back to his ulcer.  Elizabeth's scissor-snipping is very loud (Eww!) and with one big cut, he sucks a breath of air in through his teeth and makes a little grimace.  Her face jerks up.  "Did that hurt?"  "Nah...but I wish it had," he sadly replies.  Elizabeth's expression is full of horror, but she looks back at his arm and continues the cleanup.  "How long's it been like this?" she softly exposits.  Romano looks at her, then back down before almost whispering, "A few days."  "More than a few, I'd guess.  I'm going to pack the cavity with Iodiform gauze. Is Gunn following this?"  He cuts his gaze to the side and answers, "Yeah, Gunn, plastics, ortho, hand, and ID. Hyperbarics want me to try them next."  His gaze falls back on Elizabeth as she makes a little joke, "And what's after that?  Witchcraft? Magnets?"  He chuckles for a split second.  "Try anything at this point."  Elizabeth's voice grows concerned again.  "You know, at some point, maybe..."  They stare at each other, and she notices that his eyes are a gorgeous glossy black-green.  How does he do that?  He looks totally adorable!  You can even see his freckles.  (Okay, maybe that was just me that noticed his new eyes.)  Elizabeth breaks the gaze and looks down.  "What?" he asks, still adorable.  "It's nothing," she whispers, shaking her head.  "Say it." he insists.  Elizabeth refuses to say a word.  It's obvious that he's given the upcoming speech to patients...but never though it would apply to himself.  "At the point when the wound becomes life-threatening, because of gangrene, or may be in the patient's best interest to consider...a definitive surgical cure."  Her head nods, almost imperceptibly, as their eye contact holds until Romano looks down at her lips.  Or, just down.  It's sad.  This scene totally makes me want to cry.



"Foreign Affairs"
Season 9 ~ Episode 20
Airdate:  May 1, 2003

Elizabeth and Dorsett are walking on the street above the river; Dorsett tries to give Elizabeth a ride home, but Elizabeth is reluctant.  Oh look!  Down there!  There's the best excuse EVER not to go with him!  Romano is standing by a railing, overlooking the water below them.  Elizabeth asks for a rain check from Dorsett, and there's a swift directors cut to Romanos side.  For this entire scene, Romano is stoic, guarded, and determined.  Elizabeth begins the conversation by smiling lovely at him, and ends upset, near tears.

Elizabeth:  Nice evening for a stroll.
Romano:  Lizzie.
Elizabeth:  How'd it go with plastics?
Romano:  What'd Gallant do, post it on the bulletin board?
Elizabeth:  No, no.  Plastics consulted me.  They knew I'd examined your other infection.

Romano:  Well, he wants to admit me for wound care, daily debridements, and, uh, pulse monitoring, and in about a week, do skin grafts on the dorsum and the volar aspect.

Elizabeth:  That seems reasonable.

Romano:  Does it?  I was making tea; I put the pot on...I got distracted.  My sling got caught on the burner, and my arm was on fire.  And I didn't realize it until I saw the flames.  It's ridiculous.

Elizabeth:  Unfortunately, things like that can happen during sensory recovery.
Romano:  Yeah, but I'm not recovering.  I'll never get the feeling back.
Elizabeth:  Robert, listen to me.  Just because you're discouraged, dont do anything that might cause a delay.

Romano:  It's just going to keep going like this...

Elizabeth:  You cant afford to have another reaction.

Romano:  It's over.

Elizabeth:  Compartment syndrome, vascularism...
Romano:  Lizzie, you're not hearing me.  It's over.
[Elizabeth looks shocked, and her eyes fill with tears]

Romano:  It's time for me to cut my losses.

Elizabeth:  Robert...

Romano:  Nah, we both know I'll be better off without it.  You as much as said so.

Elizabeth:  No, what I said was that amputation is always a possibility down the line.
Romano:  I'm very, very glad we had this chat.  [chokes up a little]  Will you, uh, check the OR schedule and set it up?  As soon as possible.  I just want to get rid of the [darn] thing.

Romano walks away, leaving Elizabeth standing by the river, looking more vulnerable than we've ever seen her.  I don't know who I should feel worse for...Elizabeth or Romano.


"When Night Meets Day"
Season 9 ~ Episode 21
Airdate:  May 8, 2003

Worst. Episode. Ever.

Honestly, the short Romano scenes were the only decent part of the show -- the whole split-screen/day-and-night thing was horrid. 

Really, I'd rather watch Mahk die again.


The words "Day Shift" flash at the bottom of the screen as we see Elizabeth walking down a brilliantly well-lit hall towards an adorable little bald man in a hospital gown.  "Lizzie!" he greets her brightly, "Come to take a 'before' picture?"  "Shouldn't you be in pre-op?" she queries.   Romano's gurney has been pushed into the hall, courtesy of a "man-hating bovine" and a coding patient in the same room.  She approaches his bedside as he asks, "Hand me that, will you?"  "What?  The chart?"  "No, the black marker."  In typical Romano fashion, he gripes a little more about the patient he was stuck in the room with while he draws a big X on his left bicep (out of view, of course.  TPTB really seem to hate the Rockettes sometimes.). 

He holds the marker out to Elizabeth and says, "Do me a favor.  Write 'not this one, idiot' on my arm."  Elizabeth gives one of Benton's Patented Eye Rolls Of Discomfort with a little smile and Romano responds immediately, "Oh, like it doesn't happen!"  Don't freak us out like that, Rocket.  We don't want to imagine you without use of either arm.  Elizabeth makes an amused face and takes the marker from him as he continues, "I'll be lucky to get out of there without getting both my legs amputated.  I should have you come in with me -- stand guard over those gargoyles."  Elizabeth concentrates on the task at hand, which in this case is cradling his arm while she writes on it with the black marker.  Romano makes a very Monty face, sort of pouty, and says, "You can if you want to, you know -- if you're bored, or curious."  Elizabeth gives an uncharacteristically cold reply.  "I'm covering the ER."  Oh, whoop-dee-freakin-doo.  I can't believe she just said that!  Romano gives a conceding nod, "They need you more than I do."  "I'll scrub in if I can," Elizabeth nods back, on her way to returning to Caring Elizabeth. 

Romano looks all cute as he watches her finish writing on his arm, then notices something.  "You forgot 'idiot'."  "I'll be there, Robert," she smiles.  He knows better.  He knows how the ER will suck her away from everything lovely and good.  It always does.  "Well, just in case you're not -- 'IDIOT'..." he reiterates, nodding at his arm.  She makes a funny little face, a little smile, and writes the last word on his arm.  His eyes go all black again.  "Do you think I'm doing the right thing?"  Elizabeth shakes her head and gives a very Dr. Corday response: "It doesn't matter what I think."  He sounds close to tears.  "Well, that is a position I would usually advocate...but now I'm asking."  She nods as pleasantly as possible while maintaining her grave, somber voice.  "You're doing the right thing."  "Yeah," he whispers.


Theres a commercial for diamonds right before the next scene.  Coincidence?  I think not.  He'll be buying one for Elizabeth soon.  (Okay, that statement is not based on fact.  Yet.  But I'm STILL keeping my hopes up.)

So we get the Aerial-Cam view of Romano being wheeled down the hall.  The voices around him are dampened -- its almost as if were hearing what hes hearing.  Noises swirl all around, and everyone is looking at him as he rolls by.  He looks back, not with his usual withering stare, but with those emotion-filled black eyes.  He just looks sad and helpless.  We hear Klein mention something about Valium, then Romano snaps out of his reverie and we see Klein's face from Robert's point of view:  "Dr. Romano?  Would you like some Valium?  It'll help you relax."  "I don't want to relax," he states firmly.  The swirl of voices and whooshing of doors envelop the scene, and the camera goes back to Romano's POV again. 

Shirley!  I love Shirley.  Look, she's smiling at him!  "How we doing, Dr. Romano?"  "Never better," he lies.  Shirley raises her eyebrows -- she knows better -- and asks, "Can you scootch over for us?"  Of course he can, because this gives the Rockettes an opportunity to *sigh* at the sight of Bare Romano Legs.  As he "scootches" over to the operating table, he eyes the near-empty scrub room and doesn't recognize the only man inside.  "Who's that scrubbing in?" he asks.  "Dr. Starkman, third year," Klein replies.  "Oh, no way.  No residents.His left arm is hanging off the side of the table, and a nurse lays it back across his chest as he gripes, "Geez, has this table been in the freezer?"  Shirley comments that "it can get a little cold" while Klein reassures Romano that he'll be doing the procedure.  He tries to begin to explain the procedure, but Romano doesn't want to hear it -- he's probably done a few of these himself.  Romano cranes his neck to peek into the scrub room again, but the woman inside isn't his lovely Lizzie.  "Where's Corday?  I thought she was scrubbing in," he asks with a slight panic in his voice.  "What for?" is the cold reply by Klein, and Romano declines an answer.  Shirley puts the pulse ox monitor on his left index finger and sweetly tells him, "she was with an ER patient.  You want me to page her?"  "No," he replies, clearly disappointed. 

Klein continues to call out medical stuff in the background as Romano lifts his head, sees where Shirley placed the pulse ox monitor, rolls his tongue over his lips, and snarks, "Uh, you may want to put that on the other hand."  We can't see Shirley's face, but her voice sounds a little flustered and a little embarrassed as she apologizes and moves the monitor.  He tosses his head back on the table, shaking it from side to side before the anesthesiologist tells him to count backwards from 10.  Good night, Rocket -- and don't worry, she'll be here soon.


Elizabeth rushes into the OR.  "Is he under?"  The surgeon hopes so; he's already started the procedure.  "He was asking for you," he tells her as a nurse helps her with a mask, gown, and gloves.  "I was detained with an unstable pulseless tib-fib," she gripes.  Poor Rocket, lying there all naked and intubated.  No wonder Elizabeth can't keep her eyes off him.


Buddhist monks chant in the background as the scenes switch very quickly between Pratt/Abby, Carter/Gallant, Kerry/Chen and Elizabeth/Romano.  The Cordano scenes go like this:

Scene One:  Elizabeth is assisting on the surgery now, and we see the arm all chopped up.  Elizabeth asks for the bone saw and hands it over to Klein, who buzzes through Romano's arm.

Scene Two:  The team is almost finished, and Klein asks if she wants the final honors (finishing the amputation).  Elizabeth refuses with tears in her voice, "No."

Scene Three:  "Arm's free," Klein says.  Elizabeth picks up the detached arm, stands, walks away from the table, and places it gently in a plastic bag held by a nurse.  She takes a deep breath and still looks as if she's about to cry.  Me too, Elizabeth.  Me too.


Recovery room?  OR?  I can't tell.  Romano's still bleeding a little, and Elizabeth's fixing him up.  Oh, and its worth mentioning that he's still under the anesthesia.  "There it is," she says softly, "it's just a sub-q bleeder."  Romano calls out operating orders in his delirium, "Clamp that off."  A nurse asks if Elizabeth wants cautery, and she refuses, preferring silver nitrite sticks.  "Don't contaminate the field," he slurs.  "Robert?"  "Bovie that bleeder," he replies.  "Pickups..."

The camera swirls around, so we don't see Elizabeth's face again -- just a ceiling shot of Romano during the next little interchange, probably the most monumental in their relationship.  "Robert?  It's Elizabeth."  He takes a deep breath.  "Lizzie...she's one [heck] of a surgeon.  So beautiful..."  "Done," she snips, finished taking care of his little bleeder, and we get one nasty shot of what's left of his arm.  It stops right below his nipple.  Eww.  Elizabeth explains the procedure she just completed, and he wakes up a little more and turns his head toward her.  "You're taking good care of me."  "I'm trying, yes," she nods lightheartedly. 

"I love you, Elizabeth."  Her head jerks to face him when he starts speaking again, and she doesn't move or breathe for a second after his little revelation...then breathes out with an almost-laugh.  "You need to get some rest."  She says she'll have a nurse put the dressing on, and she'll come back and check on him later.  Then she takes off.  Quickly.  Because that's what Elizabeth Corday does -- she runs from uncomfortable emotional situations.  TPTB better make season 10 worth the torture they've put us through this season.

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