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The Kerry and Kim Saga   |   Mars Attacks   |   The Crossing   |   Rock, Paper, Scissors   |   Surrender
Rock, Paper, Scissors
Written by Dee Johnson
Directed by Jonathan Kaplan

Original Airdate: January 11, 2001

Previous Episode: Piece of Mind
Subsequent Episode:  Surrender

Best remembered for:  I'd like you to stay.

The game of Rock, Paper, Scissors is one of chance and power.  The players are trying to win something.  And it’s a childish game, not one based on skill, thought or reason.  Every component in the game has an equal chance of winning, for while the scissors are vulnerable to the rock, they cut the paper and the rock seems so strong, but it’s covered by the paper.  And so, while this episode has rock cocaine, piles of paper and scissors sticking out of someone’s belly, ultimately what we see are incidence after incidence of people struggling for power or at least attempting to get their way.

Several couples struggle throughout this episode: Cleo and Benton, Benton and Kynesha, Luka and Abby, Abby and Carter, Luka and the Bishop, Mr. Innes and Corday, Corday and Romano, Carter and Weaver,  and finally Weaver and Legaspi.  There are a few moments of cooperation in this episode, notably Luka and Mark,  Mark and Lizzie and ultimately Peter and Cleo.

In addition, like the game, the unexpected wins many of the arguments -- Abby wins with Carter by threatening to stop being his sponsor, Kynesha gets the last word with Cleo and Benton by destroying their home, the Bishop wins with Luka through deception that is revealed in a later episode, and Weaver, who was beaten all day by Kim, finally wins through disarming perseverance (again, revealed in a later episode).  

Last Time We Saw Kerry and Kim
The last time we saw Kerry and Kim, they were kissing.  It was Christmas; there was a book and lots of pages.  

The Next Time We See Kerry and Kim
Well, before we see Kim with Kerry, we see Kerry with a patient -- Mr. Pilarski.  Kerry dismisses Connie’s suggestion of a psych consult for the scissor wielding Mr. Pilarski.  In the Kerry saga,  Mr. Pilarski is yet another lonely soul who wanders across Kerry’s path reminding her of the consequences of choosing isolation and career over involvement in a personal life.

The next time we see Kerry and Kim together is in the Drug Lock Up room.  As soon as Kim enters the room, the eyebrows begin arching, the eyeballs rolling -- on both girls.  The audience is the only witness to this clash of estrogen.  Kerry tries to pretend that she hasn’t been avoiding Kim and Kim attempts and quickly fails at the icy facade she masters later in the saga.  

What do we learn from the Drug Lock Up Scene?

   Kerry probably has been avoiding Kim since the kiss
   Kim knows Kerry has been avoiding her
   Kim makes the first move toward communication
   Kerry responds with, "what?" when thrown off-guard
   Serious sexual tension exists between these two women
The next battle for authority occurs over Carter’s drug mule at the Admit Desk.  Kerry happens upon the admission of Carter’s patient into the Psych Department but one gets the feeling that Kim initially enjoys the conflict with Kerry.  She at least smiles upon seeing Kerry.  Once again Kim wins the conflict, she admits the patient against Kerry’s insistence that the case would be best handled by the police.

What do we learn from the Admit Desk Scene?

   Kim smiles first no matter what the scene
   Kerry’s authoritarian tone has no apparent effect on Kim
   Kim doesn’t understand Kerry’s protocols for behavior around subordinates
   Kerry is no match for the arching eyebrow duels

Kerry enters Doc Magoos’s having tracked down Kim’s whereabouts.  The juke box suggestively plays "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You."  And while Kim gives no facial indication that she is uncomfortable with the good Dr. Weaver, her fight or flight mode is definitely set on flight.  

What do we know from the Doc Magoo’s Scene?

   Kerry is the cutest thing when she’s trying to make nice
   Kim has the most unreadable face on the planet
   Kerry wears ALL her emotions on her face
   TPTB know how to frustrate any K/K fan -- cutaway to Cleo/Benton

So, what is the outcome of these childish games?  Maybe those first two fights weren’t won by Kim.  Perhaps they both showed scissors in the Drug Lock Up, perhaps both were rocks at the Admit Desk.  What we do know is Kim attempted to remain stoic, like a rock at Doc Magoo’s.  However, Kerry showed the insistence of a stream of water.  The rock never had a chance.

Memorable Looks

Look Kerry gives Mr. Pularksi when he asks her out
Looks on  Kerry's face before and after she asks Kim to stay

Memorable Line

So, what religion do they practice in your country?
This is my country, Dave.

Rating: (out of five dropped Chalupas)

Kerry and Kim Goodness:                        4 .5               About as good as it gets
Overall Episode:    3.5     Better than average but a little heavy handed

Production Note:  
Dee Johnson describes herself as an agnostic Filipino-caucasian female.  She lives with her partner and has a son.  She began her career as the writers' assistant on I'll Fly Away. Showrunner David Chase (Northern Exposure, The Sopranos) gave her an opportunity to write her first script. From there she moved to Melrose Place for several seasons and then to Profiler for a season. After two seasons on Any Day Now, she moved to ER to write and produce Season 7.  
Ms. Johnson wrote: Benton Backwards, Rock, Paper Scissors, co-wrote April Showers with Tom Garrigus, and co-wrote Where the Heart Is with Meredith Stiehm.

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The Kerry and Kim Saga

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