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Synopsis

"If You're Going to San Francisco"

Teleplay by Mark V. Olsen & Will Scheffer
Directed by Howard Deutch

Dr. James and her residents gather around their Cambodian mystery patient. Dawn explains that they've learned her name is Champey and that she's a diagnosed wanderer who set out looking for her son in San Diego. "It's like those poor pets that walk from Denver to Atlanta," Jenna laments.

A new patient, Varla Pounder, arrives at the ward after suffering a head injury. She proves difficult, exhibiting a penchant for racial slurs and foul language. While DiDi takes her vitals, Varla calls her a "fat dyke."

Supervising Nurse Beverly's replacement, Patsy De la Serda, arrives at the ward in a tizzy. He's upset to have found Champey wandering around the chapel "with her buttocks exposed" and questions why she's not dressed properly for discharge. As Patsy leaves, he scolds Dawn for her choice in footwear. Her boots remind him of a pole dancer's -- "like a Hooters kind of thing," he says.

DiDi works with Donna Hewley, a glamorous elderly woman who is not recovering well from surgery. Meanwhile, Antoine arrives at another patient's room intending to pick up a corpse. He pulls aside the curtain and asks if the patient is packed and ready for heaven but instead finds Dawn sitting with a woman who's very much alive.

Dawn meets with Patsy, who confronts her about the self-criticism portion of her evaluation, which she left blank. Dawn bursts into tears and goes into detail about the rough year she's had, which included a runaway husband who stole her dog. Uncomfortable, Patsy hands her a tissue and Dawn clutches his hand, refusing to let go. After she calms down, Dawn suggests they discuss her evaluation over drinks at a local wine bar.

Patsy is brought in to diffuse the situation with a still-uncooperative Varla. She asks him if he's "a big homo" and berates him with homophobic slurs. Patsy forges on, but he loses it after Varla yells, "Get away from me you fat fairy!" Patsy rushes off, red-faced and sweating.

After refusing to write a prescription to sedate Varla, Jenna badgers Dawn about her missing stool samples at the lab. Dawn insists she sent them as requested, but Jenna doesn't relent. After she leaves, Dawn vents her frustration on Varla, who's finally resting quietly in her bed. Dawn threatens to send her to Psychiatric "on a 5150" if she doesn't behave, but Varla just tells her to "f*** off, you nutcase!" Meanwhile, DiDi catches a glimpse of peace when she spots Donna singing along quietly to If You're Going to San Franscisco' in the ward's rec room.

Later, Patsy chases after Varla as she runs around the ward. She grabs an aerosol can off a nearby cart and whacks Patsy in the nose with it. A little while later, DiDi finds the injured man crying in his office, dabbing at his bloody nose. In an effort to lighten the mood, she tells Patsy not to beat himself up over it and teases that he did just fine -- "for a big, fat, fairy." He doesn't get her joke.

At the nurses' station, Jenna apologizes to DiDi and Dawn for not being herself and for possibly hurting their feelings. She launches into a pep-talk which is more insulting than inspirational just as Dr. Stickley arrives. The two walk off flirting together.

DiDi tells Dawn she Googled Donna and learned that she had a small part in 'White Christmas.'  While they marvel over a photo of her as a younger woman, they're joined by Jenna, whose car has been booted and is waiting for a ride from her husband. An alarm goes off and the trio rush off to Donna, who's coding.

Group at bedside

02: If You're Going To San Francisco

Season 1