03x06 - Reduced to Eating Boiled Magazines and Book Paste

Episode transcripts for the TV show "Getting On". Aired: November 2013 to December 2015.
"Getting On" follows the lives of the staff of the Billy Barnes Extended Care Unit of the down-and-out Mount Palms Memorial Hospital in Long Beach, California.
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03x06 - Reduced to Eating Boiled Magazines and Book Paste

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Didi: Okay, this is my station... phones, lab reports.

Usually first meds rounds takes about an hour, but since we've gone from 27 patients down to eight, it's more, like, 20 minutes.

Next, I check lab reports, then I would do new admits.

But we haven't had new patients for about a month.

Technically, we're closed, but we got 'em on an injunction for violating Open Meeting Laws.

So, they can't f*re us.

They gotta keep us on the payroll to take care of the lingering patients until they get it resolved.

So, there's not really that much to do.

Dr. James, this is Miriam.

She's gonna cover for me today.

Ah. Welcome to yet another sad, melancholy day on the ward that we all love.

Not quite d*ad, not quite alive.

A little of each.

Like a teen slumber party, with dying.

♪ Morning come and Maria's gone ♪
♪ Morning come and Maria's gone ♪

Didi: Mrs. Belfontaine...

What... what is this? I thought she was discharged.

♪ Morning come ♪
♪ And Maria's gone ♪

Well, her long-term care insurance said that they would pay for another week of rehab.


Just put her back in her bed and just...

(monitor beeping)

♪ ♪

Dawn: Morning.

Well, somebody's got a bounce in their step this morning.

Well, I should.

I lost, like, 14 pounds in dialysis.

Look how loose my ring is.

Looking good, toots.


Dr. James. Good morning.


Well, it's official. We're officially compatible.

I just got the final results today.

Yes. I got the confirmation letter.

It's wonderful news.

Dr. Gladner will see us at 3:00.


I bet we're so compatible, I won't even need any immunosuppressants to not reject your kidney.

(phone rings)

(receiver clicks)

Man on phone: Bengali Transplant Services.

Hi. Hi. Finally.

Uh, I'm glad to speak to you.

Hi. My name is, uh, Helen... Mirren, and I am calling from the United States, and I imagine that you get quite a few calls from the United States.

Anyway, my daughter, Sadie Mirren, is having, uh, kidney failure and needs a transplant.

Yeah. Yes, we would need a donor.

That's... that's right.

Well, we could come, but I wondered, can you ship a kidney?

So, this is feasible?

Okay. Um, and it's absolutely on the up and up?

Oh, have you met Didi's new scab?

Miriam. She'll be with us through Didi's afternoon picketing.

Well, I do give the girl credit.

Didi's like that heroic Dutch boy with his finger in the dike, trying valiantly but vainly to hold off the oceans.

Yes. Um... you know, I just wanted to say, I feel so lucky.

I really need this kidney... you know?

My numbers are crashing despite my rigorous diet and counting every calorie and eating right.

And, you know, there's a thirst, dialysis thirst, Mm. because you cannot drink that much.

It's hell.

But now, I see a light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel.

(phone rings)

Jenna: How you have progressed!

Rosey, it's wonderful to see you doing so well.

You are a success story.

We have a little bit more range of motion exercises, and we can discuss some scar remediation.

Are you drowning in all the extra care and attention, Rose?

Are we k*lling you with kindness here? Yes?

She has nightmares.

Running through the house on f*re, her hair in flames.

Well, we can offer psychological services to assist you and make sure that this is a smooth and safe transition home.

Mrs. Belfontaine: ♪ Holding on ♪
♪ Somehow we go on ♪
♪ Keep each other strong ♪

(louder) ♪ Holding on ♪


♪ Somehow we go on ♪

Am I the only one who cares?

Keeping this place ship-shape, keeping it organized.

Marguerite! Please!

These t*nk have been out here for three days, okay?

Nobody cares. No pride of place.

Until janitorial and plant services is restored, I'm designating this the sling room.

All this auxiliary crap can go in there.

There's no excuse for this chaos.

What are you lookin' at?

I am so glad we're gonna be visiting with Dr. Gladner this afternoon, Dawn, because I have done so much reading in the literature.

There were so many things that I... I... I really want to discuss.

Like, for example... um... should I have a larger discussion with everybody that my decision is gonna affect?

You know, like the fact that I won't be in a position to give my only daughter, Renee, a kidney, should she ever need one.

And then also, the... for example, how long am I gonna be out of work?


Y... y... you see?

Is this really the very best time for me to donate?

Well, yeah. These are very good questions.

I mean, miracles do happen.

Sammy, just when you think it's over and your life is ending, generous people just come forward and... that lady right there, Dr. James, is one such person.

You wanna say thank you?

Wanna give her a hug?

Thank you for saving Dawn's life.

Thank you.

Okay. Sharing circle!

Um, I always had a much higher IQ than all my friends in school, so I dumbed it down.

My IQ is 126... and, you know, to this day, I'm still just terrified to live up to my potential because... you know, I don't want to be rejected.

I suppose my oldest secret... that's what we're... um, revealing?

I was in the back of Jenni Preston's car...

Dawn, Dawn, look at me.

I like when you watch me when I talk.

Anyway, the top was down, and we're driving on Palisades Parkway, and Linda Fiorintino's fall blew off and she d*ed of embarrassment, but I pulled it off because I never liked her.


Okay. Um... Marguerite?

Got anything you wanna share?

Any big secrets? Anything?

I'm transsexual.

Yeah. I was born Martin Macaw and then I transitioned right after high school and took Marguerite.

(clock ticking)

You know, it's... it's so hard to find the right level of being a woman 'cause I don't want to be what men want a woman to be, some corrupted version of femininity.

Mm, yeah.

Marguerite: I just wanna be me, you know?

And I've worked hard to get to this point, and I can be the woman that I wanna be.

Being a woman is partly emotional, partly physical for sure, psychological, cultural... spiritual even.

Oh, man. The spiritual differences between men and women are... whoa... vast.

I did not see that one comin'.

But all that stuff she was saying... what was she saying?

I mean, do she like the way she look, or did she just run out of money?



Didi: Dawn Forchette, what on Earth are you doing?


You shouldn't be eating that!

You're not supposed to be eating like that.

I'm not. Not really.

It's just a little slip is all, Didi.

I'm very upset that we're closing, okay?

And I'm not like you. I'm not perfect.

Dawn, you gotta be strong.

You... you don't wanna suffer a setback or compromise yourself.


Thank you, Didi.

Thank you for caring and making me care better about myself.

♪ ♪

Hello. I'm Sister Lily Claire from St. Edwen Hospital in San Pedro for Dr. James.

I apologize for the mess.

This very strange limbo can't go on much longer.

Uh, I should be free in two weeks, but a good captain never abandons her ship.

Our board would be very pleased to explore a place for you and, uh, your clinical trials.

The diocese has been recently endowed by the Huntington family to improve our, uh, professional profile.

It's the irony, you know?


In a... in a world that devalues science, Mm-hmm? the one guiding light, the breath of sanity, Mm-hmm? is the Catholic Church.

Huh? (laughs)

It... it's the tragedy of our times, Lily Claire.


Nobody cares, no.

Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Geriatrics. Old people. Death.

There's no buzz. There's... it's not sexy.


Uh, we tried social media to get the community to rally.


Hospital press office... Oh!

...promised us they'd get stories out, promised us they'd treat us the same as all the other departments, but no.


Truthfully, old women, germs and C. diff,

I think it made some on the board very uncomfortable.


We did get a couple good tweets out of it.

Yeah. Uh, listen.

We're already feeling the overflow from your slowdown, so we... uh, we definitely need to increase our nursing staff, so why don't you bring a couple of your nurses?

Uh-huh. No. I th... I think that my nurses are very dedicated to Mt. Palms, so I feel certain that they're gonna wanna stay on with... with... with whatever, uh, surviving departments, uh, unfortunately.


Oh, too bad.


Marguerite: Hey, Didi.

Do you have a... an extra union T-shirt?

You bet I do.

I'd like to join you on your picket line.

I don't have a scab to cover me, but I could join you on my lunch hour.

I'm proud of you, Marguerite.

Even though you haven't always been very nice to me.

Well, "The time has come," the walrus said.

Came in to clear out my stuff.

I'm sorry, Ron, that things didn't work out between us, and glad that things didn't work out between us.

Um... I wish you well with everything, and...

I will think of you with some sadness and some fondness.

Thank you, Jenna.

Another time, another place.


Ron Rudd, we hardly knew ye.

Mrs. Belfontaine: ♪ I learned the truth at 17 ♪
♪ That love was meant for beauty queens ♪
♪ High school girls with clear skinned smiles ♪

Didi, really.

You've gotta do something about her.

She is... she's a downer.


Just put her in 109 and close the door.

Stick a canary in there.

It seems there might be a small miracle afoot.

We may all go to St. Edwen Memorial together.

They were all interested after all!

♪ And those of us with ravaged faces lacking in the... ♪

Mrs. Belfontaine and Sister Lily

Claire: ♪ Social graces ♪
♪ Desperately remained at home ♪
♪ Inventing lovers on the phone ♪

(singing along)

♪ That call and say, "Come dance with me" ♪
♪ And murmur vague obscenities ♪


Well, what are we talking about?

Are we talking about Marguerite?

No. Should we be?

I don't know. I just wonder, I mean, do you... do you think she still has her penis?

Pats... I... I don't really know, and it's really none of our business.

Well, don't you wanna know?

And no wonder she was so het up about HIPPA and medical privacy.

Nurse, could I have a word with you please? In private?

I understand you have been talking to patients, inquiring about their "sexual well-being."

Oh, that, sir, is part of our Community Service and Abuse of Women Activism Program.

And what does that have to do with me?

Certain information about your sexual history has come to my attention.

You don't seriously think that I have had sex with these women?

I assume nothing.

Only that you are a sexual compulsive with apparently very little control over your libido.

I am a sex addict, not a sex offender.

Now see, I know nothing about that, and... and I know nothing of the risk you present.

The number of women you've slept with, I've only heard rumor and hearsay.

I don't know if it's hundreds or thousands.



Now, I certainly don't know if there were any men involved.


Yeah. See?

And I don't know if it's a lot of them.

I mean, how many?




Well, see, I don't know what to do with that information, but certainly, you can see it's enough to arouse... a prima facie concern.

If you reference me... in writing or in conversation...

I will make you very sorry, and I will see that you are properly punished.

All chanting: No lo cierren! No lo cierren! No lo cierren! No lo cierren!

(overlapping chatter)

Keep the ward open!

(mocking chant) No special interests!

Protester: Keep the ward open!

Man: Who the hell are you?

Your blood type is compatible, your HLA tissue typing pretty good...

But it could be better.

Never let the perfect get in the way of the good.

I'm just wondering, should we pause for me to get my own nephrologist?


Well, uh, 'cause he's your nephrologist and you have a strong, personal connection with him, and I wouldn't want to upset that or compromise that in any way.

Now that you're a match, we line you up with Trish, our independent living donor advocate, to promote your interests, explain consent, explore your rationale for donation, ensure that you are free of any untoward pressures or inducement, uh, discuss surgical and follow-up procedures.

So, not to worry, full steam ahead.

Mm-hmm. Okay.

Well, this was wonderful.

A match made in heaven.

I think we should all say, once again, how smart it was of you, Dawn.

I mean, it was almost like you had a sixth sense.

Well, you don't need to talk about that.

Dr. Gladner: To get so far out in front of this before any actual imminent need, you went looking for a donor before you even knew you needed a transplant.

Jenna: How so?

Well, without her determination, to find a new kidney before she needed one, would the same opportunity have presented itself for you to have made your sacrifice?

Jenna: Let me get it straight.

Her numbers were quite stable.

So, she was fine?


Until this rather dramatic, anomalous spike.

Uh-huh. And tell me, Happy, how do you think that this might have come to pass?

Uh, sometimes transplant patients get a bit ahead of their skis.


It's called "transplant enthusiasm."

Uh, they, uh, you know, take advantage of the fact, they let off on their regimens when they know a kidney is nigh.

Eat more sweets than we should.

But I'd be hard-pressed to imagine anyone capable of eating this much.


Oh, Dawn. What a tangled web we weave.

You were never even gonna give it in the first place.

I was committed to giving you a kidney, saving your life.

You trying to make this about me?

Yeah. You promised me.

You bragged to everyone about your generosity.

You owe it.

Is this the little girl who cried wolf trying to speak?

Oh, I bet my Donor Rights Advocate would have field day with you.

I deserve to live.

I don't wanna give it anymore.

I don't like being used.

You know, there are huge emotional issues attached to live donation.

They say to not even take an organ from anyone you have issues with.


So, if you are really not giving it, and this may be the last time we see each other, then I'm gonna tell you what I really think.

You are probably the most selfish woman I have ever met.

Oh, nice try, but it's not about me, and you need a psychiatrist.

It is about you!

You're like a monkey throwing your feces at me.

Yeah, you know, I would throw my feces at you for the horrible things that you say about me and my motives.

Okay, fine. Let's let Didi decide who this is about.


They're anti-union thugs paid for by the hospital.

Didi! Didi!

She's been making it all up.

Who are you talking about?

Who do you think I'm talking about?

If somebody says, "She's been making it all up," who out of everybody in the whole world naturally comes to mind? Oh, there she is!

She never needed a transplant at all.

Only at first.

Okay, I got serious shit going on out here.

Dawn: Okay, any kidney patient cannot last long on the numbers I have.

Which is your doing.

She's on some kind of a kamikaze eating binge.

Yeah, yeah. I saw her gorging last week.

She called me a p*ssy and told me to shut up.

You know what? I think you are hardly one to be sharing other's secrets, Marguerite.

You had me out there advocating on your behalf under false pretenses?

But you know what? What we're all missing here is that I need a kidney now!

I could be d*ad in four months.

Which you could reverse if you had any self-respect!

But I don't.

But you can thrive on dialysis.

I hate dialysis. I hate it.

I want a transplant.

Millions of people are on dialysis!

Yeah, I know five- and six-year-old kids who are on, like, their third kidney just 'cause they're cute, and it's not fair!


Hey, you're using ruthless tactics.

No, you're using ruthless tactics!

Hey! You stop taking photographs or you're gonna be carried out!

Oh, really?

Come on!

Hold on! Oh, no, no! Stop.

Now, I'm talking to you.

You let these nurses have their little picket.

It's their right.

Oh, shut up!


Oh, shit!


Didi: Marguerite!

Let me see.

Oh, oh.

Oh... Pretty as a picture.

I can't take much more of this.

I am so desperately ready for this to be over.

This is just t*rture.

This is like death by a thousand bl*ws.

♪ My teachers all laugh ♪
♪ Their smirking stares... ♪

I swear to God, somebody better get her to shut up.
Didi: Get out of my way.

Guard: Nurse, you can't...

I said, "Move it"!



Wait. Stop. What... what... what are you doing?

It's criminal to have unused beds when there's a need.

This is Mr. Webber. We're gonna take care of him. They were sending him all the way to Alhambra for rehab...


You can't just be abducting patients off the street!

And you brought the homeless woman too!

Didi: That's right. She needs a bath.

Yeah, well this is just turning into anarchy.

Ma'am, we're gonna be with you in just a second, okay?

♪ They say I can't see you anymore, baby ♪

Give her a sh*t...

♪ Can't see you anymore ♪

.. of something and knock her out!

(camera clicks)

What are you doing?

I'm documenting your injury for our case against the hospital.

I'm adding this to the lawsuit.

Disrupting lawful union activity in addition to violating Open Meeting Laws...

Oh, my God.

Oh, Didi. These are technicalities.

That's all that they are.

This is like the siege of Leningrad, here, trying to starve us out, we're reduced to eating boiled magazines and book paste.

You're holding us all hostage.

Nobody is running me out of here like an old barn rat.

Didi, let us go.

Let us get on with our lives and find new jobs. Now what are you doing?

I'm getting rid of Christmas, so we can get ready for Valentine's Day.

Miriam, you can go home now.

There is no Valentine's Day! Don't you get it?

We're d*ad. You're just prolonging the agony.

You're prolonging the suffering.

It's time to let go.

Pull the plug.


♪ I can't see you ♪

Oh, my God.

♪ Anymore, baby ♪

How'd she get over there?

♪ Can't see you anymore ♪

When I pull the plug, I want it to be on my terms.

And for... for once, I wanna have a say.

I wanna say, "You didn't ask me what I think.

"You... you didn't ask me how I feel."

Dr. James, don't you care?


When I drive home at night, I drive in the far right lane in case I need to pull over to the shoulder quickly, just in case the panic att*ck becomes a heart att*ck.

Uh, there are some days I feel like I'm suffering cognitive deficits.

The rest of the time, I know that I am.

I don't know what's gonna happen next.

We put up the good fight, Didi, but it's over.

♪ I can't see you anymore ♪

I just can't stand that they're doing this to us.

♪ I don't want to see you ♪

That we don't have a say.

♪ Anymore, baby ♪

It's never on our terms.

Okay. Oh, look at this beautiful scar tissue.

Healthy grafts.

You've healed.



Um... thank you.

I'm comforting Didi over her sense of disempowerment.

No, Dawn. No, it's not that... it's not that kind of a hug.

I'm sad.




Oh, God.




Okay, that's enough.


There's no justice.

There is no justice.

w*r criminals die peacefully in their beds.

The innocent die of infection.

This is the real world.

I'm gonna make us some tea.

Paula: What is the matter with you people?

You just cannot slip quietly off into the blessed good night.

What are you talking about?

You cannot go around talking about whether another employee does or does not have a penis.

I mean, does that really seem like something that is remotely acceptable in any workplace?

Doesn't anyone see the multiple reasons why that might be offensive?

Marguerite, I'm really sorry.

I... I didn't report you.

I did.

You got the nerve to go speculatin' about Marguerite's little penis.


Anybody want any Half-and-Half with their tea?


(clattering, shattering)

Paula: What just happened?

Oh! The microwave blew up!

Is there a f*re?

I need a f*re extinguisher...


(all scream)

Dawn: Shit!


The oxygen t*nk...

Dawn, stay back!


They're all gonna blow!




(alarm wails)

Get the door! h*t the door!


Call 9-1-1.

I am.

Jenna: Remember your drill skills, people.

Nurse, evacuate all patients to triage in North Gate entrance.

Towels for underneath the door.

It's Code Red, Billy Barnes.



(shattering, clattering)


Patsy: The doors are f*cking toast!

Everyone out the back!


Keep moving.

Is there a f*re?

You know what, ma'am?

I don't know, but you hop right up here and we are gonna take you for a little ride down the corridor, okay?

Here we go.

Come on. Come on. Come on.

Boy, I bet this brings back memories, huh, Rosey?

It's okay. We're gonna get you out of here.

f*re department's on its way.

What's going on? Anyone need help?

Over here.

Antoine: Oh.


Three more patients to evacuate All right. Okay. to triage, North Gate center.

Right here. Right here. You got it? Gotcha.

Got? Got?

Yeah. Okay. Good.

Yeah. I got her. I got her.

All right. There you go.

This thing is for shit.

We are still evacuating until further notice!

Rooms will be evacuated in sequential order!


Where the f*ck is the f*re department?


(random piano keys play)






Oh, no! Oh!

Oh, my God! I'm trapped! Aah!


No! Go on! I can't! Save yourself!


Look at me. I will not leave you here to die.

Patsy, I know we can't be together.

I've gotta make Dennis work and you've gotta be gay, but it was destiny that brought us to each other.

We were meant for each other, just not in the way that we thought.

Now, I will not abandon you!


Help! Somebody help me!

Jenna: Dawn?

Dawn: He's having a panic att*ck.

Oh, here. Give me that. Nurse, get on the blanket.

Get on the blanket.

Is everyone okay?

Jenna: We're fine, Ron. The nurse is high-strung.



Show me. Let me see.


No, I'm okay. I'm okay.

What are you doing?

What? No! I will not be wheeled from my own ward.

Sit down!

Don't, Ron. I mean it. Stop!


Get off of me!

Stop it!

Oh, God.

Okay. Let's go. Let's go then.

Patsy: I don't wanna die!


Jenna: Pull with your back, Dawn.


Jenna: That's right. Keep moving.

(Dawn grunts)

Atta girl. Atta girl.

Fireman: Excuse me...

Go, go, go. Okay.

Did you get the main valve to work?


Forget it. We'll find it.


Jenna: Come on, girls!

That's it! Right... right through the door.

All right. Come on.

You've got to... you've got to... Good idea, Dawn.

Push. Push, push, push.

Use your legs, Dawn. Come on.

Through the door. Atta girl.

(shirt tears)


I'm stuck. My shirt's stuck.

Oh, God.

(shirt tears)


Patsy: No, Dawn! No! Listen up! You can't be here!

I'm getting you a bed in cardiology.

You cannot be in here!

Pass 'em, Ron. Go around.

(Patsy groans)

Now we go up to triage.

Do we know how the f*re started?

Those morons in Extended Care.

We'll do our best to contain it.

Fireman: I'm on my way.

Should've turned that place into a food court when we had the chance.

Comin' through!


Down, down, down, down, down.



Can you move your foot?


I think it's all right.


Dawn: Okay, okay. We're here!

Pats, can you get up?

Yeah! I'm fine, okay?

Don't coddle me.

Oh, shit.

I'm totally fine.

Dennis: Honey! Darling!

Oh, I found you. You're safe.

Yeah. I'm okay.

I was scared I lost you.


Fireman: More over here!

Sprinklers didn't work, Paul.

No. No, that's not possible.

I'm... I'm...

You let maintenance fall so low, as if from the moment you set me up running that place, you've been angling to see me go up in flames, so here it is.

You got what you wanted. Billy Barnes is burning!

Dr. James, I'm thinking of going to medical school.

Could I get your recommendation?

Now is not the time, Nurse Jodie.

What's the matter with you people?

We have patients inside to evacuate!

Come on!

Nurse: Let's go!

Man: All right, guys. Come on, come on!

f*re jumpin' up to two!

I just want to make sure this won't affect the deal in any way.

I want you to know that I know you was violating them Open Meeting Laws.

Nurse: I got you, I got you.

Jenna: Come on! We work as a team, people.

Didi: Six patients left to go.

Come on, little mama.


Antoine: Yep?

Get her.

Oh. Okay.

Come right out here.

These are the last two.

Jenna: That's the end of the patients.

It's spreading! Jumped to the hospital.

You burnt the f*ck to the ground, Dawn.

Jenna: Hey, hey, hey. No finger pointing now.

Well, it's true. She did. She b*rned it up good.

Well, I'm glad, 'cause the only good thing about that unloved place was us.

And the patients.

And caring for them.

It falls upon me to say a few words.

We strove to do good, to show compassion by action.

Some of us like touching. Others of us do not.

A patient said to me, "Thank you for making my death worth dying for," and I say to you, "Thank you for making my work worth working for."

(overlapping chatter)

Man: Watch out! Watch out!

♪ When the guests are done ♪
♪ I'll tidy up the room ♪
♪ I'll turn the covers down ♪
♪ And gazing at the moon ♪
♪ I'll pray to go quite mad ♪

Oh, shit!

♪ And live in long ago ♪


♪ Pass the tea and sympathy ♪


Didi: Mrs. Belfontaine.

♪ For the good old days are d*ad ♪

Dawn: You are safe with us, ma'am.

♪ Let's drink a toast to those who best survived ♪
♪ The life they've led ♪



(monitor beeping)

Don't blow it.

I've taken care of my kidneys all my life.

I mean it.


I love him.

I really love them too.

Say what you will, but I sure do love her a lot.

Dawn, sweetie. This is what I want to say.

There is no justice, but there is mercy.

Because that's what we can give to each other.

(heart monitor beeping)

(beeping continuing)
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