“My Screw Up” marked the awaited return of season 1 guest star Brendan Fraser as Ben Sullivan, Dr. Cox’s former brother-in-law and one of the few people capable of getting close to John C. McGinley’s irascible physician (because not even Dr. Cox could resist Fraser’s charms). Two years after being treated for leukemia, Ben is back in town to celebrate the first birthday of his sister Jordan and Cox’s son Jack. As much as Cox is troubled to learn Ben hasn’t had a routine screening since his cancer went into remission, he seems to be in good health and agrees to have J.D. check him out while Cox runs an errand. When he comes back, however, Cox is enraged to learn J.D. was unable to resuscitate a patient who went into cardiac arrest during Cox’s absence.
Cut to two days later, and we find out Cox has been working at Sacred Hearth Hospital non-stop since then, stricken with guilt and regret over what happened. “My Screw Up” would have already been a pretty strong episode had it merely stopped there and focused solely on the toll hospitals can take on the mental health of their employees (who know all it takes is a minor slip-up or brief distraction for a patient to die under their care). Except it takes things further by having Cox finally relent to Ben’s good-humored efforts to get him to attend Jack’s party. He also apologizes to J.D. for blaming him for his patient’s sudden death, and, with a little encouragement from Ben, begins to forgive himself for being unable to prevent an event that was beyond his control.