Episode 9.3 - Oct. 10, 2002
In this guest-starring appearance, Lee Tergesen is credited
simply as "Demerol junkie" (although he was called
"Mr. Mullen" by Dr. Pratt).
The episode has a lot to do
with the need for better security at the hospital, and Lee's character
He shows up at the emergency room, begging for a shot of pain
killers for a slipped disc in his back. But he's been there once too
often -- 15 times in two months -- and Dr. Pratt (Mekhi Phifer) brushes him off.
But Demerol junkie's pain isn't going away, and neither is he. He
rages at the doctors about his pain and how long he's been waiting.
Dr. Pratt relents and gives him a prescription for Vicodin. But it's
not the dose of Demerol the junkie needs, and when he objects, Pratt
tells him to try playing another hospital.
That enrages Demerol junkie further. "Think you're a bunch
of heroes, or something? Look around! You're not doing anything,
you're not helping anyone!" As he storms off, he kicks over a
row of chairs, knocking a patient on crutches to the floor.
But he comes back, and the next time we see him, he has grabbed Dr. Chen
(Ming-Na) and has a gun to her head. This begins
tense three-minute scene.
He demands to Dr. Pratt: "Give me the shot now. ... I am in
pain. I need Demerol and you're going to give it to me." Pratt
sends Abby (Maura Tierney) to get the drugs, and meanwhile Demerol junkie rails
against the uncaring doctors. "You care now 'cause I'm making
you care; because I've got this gun!"
Abby returns, prepping a syringe. The
junkie turns the gun on her, demanding proof that she has Demerol.
She shows it to him, then asks where he wants it. He shrugs his
shirt off one shoulder, and she injects him.
she does this, he asks Pratt: "Why'd you want to be a doctor?
Was it the money?" Pratt replies, "That's part of
junkie demands to know more. "What's the other part? ... I
mean, you can't tell me you actually wanted to help people.
Or maybe you did, right? Maybe you all wanted to help people, but
then little by little, you realized that there's just too many
people to help."
to feel a little calm, he finally releases Chen. He goes over to
Abby and gives her a sweet kiss on the temple and thanks her.
As he leaves, he gives one last burst of rage, brandishing the
and warning them all to "Remember this."
He doesn't get far, however. He collapses in the parking lot
because Abby injected him with 400 milligrams -- rather than the 150
mg dose he asked for.
The last we see of Lee, he is being carted away for treatment and
a psych consult.