ER fans, better late than never, right? Thanks for your patience while we got the blog up and running.
Thankfully, the 13th season of our venerable Thursday-night must-see kicked off right where the finale left off, with Jerry, Luka, Abby and Sam all in various states of peril.
When we last saw Sam, she was being tossed into a van by Steve and his fellow prison escapee, Rafe. (For you
Six Feet Under fans, Rafe was played by Michael Weston, the guy who brutalized David in a similarly creepy role a few years back. And Mary, the ER trainee turned gun-toting accomplice, was played by Natasha Gregson Wagner, daughter of the late Natalie Wood.) Their escape resulted in Jerry being shot, and Luka being paralyzed and intubated, helpless to assist a bleeding, unconscious Abby.
As a devoted fan, the sloppiness of some of the writing and character development in recent seasons has been frustrating. This show is at its absolute best, and always has been, when we are watching the day-to-day interactions of the characters we know and love. (It is why the Africa episodes of the past few seasons have been so jarring for longtime viewers, despite the presence of our beloved Dr. Carter.) This brings me to my issue with the illogical (and frankly, unnecessary) progression of the Steve story line. A few seasons back we met Sam's ex (then played by Cole Hauser) as an irresponsible slacker, seemingly introduced to throw up an obstacle to Sam's happiness with Luka. While the guy wasn't winning any father- or boyfriend-of-the-year awards, he certainly didn't seem to be on the road to becoming the homicidal rapist and kidnapper we see today. (I knew we were in trouble when I heard that the character was being revived by Garret Dillahunt, who had recently turned in a chilling portrayal of the murderous, twisted Francis Wolcott on
Deadwood.) How else could this end except for Sam to realize that her only real chance to escape Steve was to make sure he couldn't come after them again, especially once he had proven that the deep end was a distant memory?
Back at County, Luka and Abby were fighting through the turbulent birth of baby Joe. The actual scenes surrounding the C-section were brutal and I just kept waiting for something terrible to happen, not to say that a preterm baby and hysterectomy weren't bad enough. Call me a pessimist, but I have come to expect nothing but unrelenting sadness for these two characters and I was certain that another tragedy was in the works. Goran Visnjic and Maura Tierney have become the heart and soul of this show, and thankfully, for the moment, things seem hopeful for our favorite doctors in love. (By the way, Luka's breakdown in the men's room, heartbreaking as it was, totally took me back to a similar scene with Mark Greene after he had been senselessly attacked.)
Finally, how great was it to see Estelle Harris turn up as Jerry's mother? She has certainly cornered the market on playing grating mothers who henpeck their sons. Jerry seemed to take it all in stride as he recovered from his wounds thanks to the quick thinking of Neela. As one of the only remaining original cast members, I am so relieved that Abraham Benrubi, or rather Jerry, survived. He and all the various nurses, like Helah and Chuny, who have stuck around through the years provide the continuity that I crave from this show.
Up next, a very special visit from Sally Field, and the return of John Stamos to screw things up between Neela and Ray. Hopefully, 13 will be lucky for all of us this time.
Hey ER fans better late than never right Thanks for your patience while we got the blog up and running Thankfully the 13th season of our venerable Thursday-night must-see kicked off right where the finale left off with Jerry Luka Abby and Sam all in various states of peril When we last saw Sam she was being tossed into a van by Steve and his fellow prison escapee Rafe For you Six Feet Under fans Rafe was played by Michael Weston the guy who brutalized David in a similarly creepy role a few years back And Mary the ER trainee turned gun-toting accomplice was played by Natasha Gregson Wagner daughter of the late Natalie Wood Their escape resulted in Jerry being shot and Luka being paralyzed and intubated helpless to assist a bleeding unconscious Abby As a devoted fan the sloppiness of some of the writing and character development in recent seasons has been frustrating This show is at its absolute best and always has been when we are watching the day-to-day