As we celebrated the landmark 300th outing of
ER tonight with a rare episode directed by series executive producer John Wells, I was thrilled to see the powerhouse acting of
Maura Tierney and
Goran Visnjic as the centerpiece of the episode. For those of us who have been fans since that very first episode 14 years ago (is that even possible?), it is gratifying to see this show still telling compelling, heartfelt stories about characters that we care about. I haven't always liked where the story went, but I've certainly enjoyed the ride.
Thank God Abby finally came clean to Luka. I honestly didn't think I was going to be able to take much more of "relapse Abby" and I was so relieved that all the secrets and lies were out on the table. There are a million things I could say about the unfortunate timing of Abby's disclosure in the wake of Luka's loss, but my complaint would be mostly about the acrobatics that the writers have had to perform to work around the compressed work schedule of Goran Visnjic. As this season has progressed, my true feelings have become clear to me- this series should have ended with the wedding of Luka and Abby last May. There is lots of room to debate that theory, but it still feels to me like Abby's crash-and-burn in Luka's absence was an unnatural diversion in the growth of this complicated character. Having lived through so much sadness and disappointment, Abby's journey really felt complete to me last year as she faced her demons and fears and allowed happiness into her life. Kudos to Maura Tierney for consistently delivering a heartbreaking and spot-on performance that manages to inspire both frustration with and sympathy for her character.
I am a sucker for maudlin stories and those critically-despised montages set to music, and tonight's episodes had tear-jerking moments galore, though I was not a fan of the set up to get there. I am losing patience with Gate's gal pal, Julia. To borrow a phrase from
30 Rocks' Jack Donaghy earlier this evening, her "hippity dippity" approach feels jarringly out of place in the fast-paced ER environment. But I will be the first to admit that watching each of the staffers think back to a patient that changed them had me in tears as I remembered some of the amazing performances we've witnessed from guest actors like
Forest Whitaker and
James Woods. (I just wish Neela would have thought of anyone besides that kid featured in the Blue Angel storyline last year.)
On top of everything else that was going on tonight, we were treated to an understated performance by
Peter Fonda as a husband who was losing his wife and learning about a son he never knew at the same time. The scenes when the young man was talking to his mother about her wishes to avoid resuscitation were beautifully written and acted. How amazing to be holding the hands of the people you love most in the world as you pass from it, knowing that your last act is to bring them together. Geez, I'm getting weepy again just writing about it.
So, from the looks of things, tonight's episode was the last we will see until sometime in 2008. With the writers' strike still in full swing, it is hard to say what that means. I am anxious to hear what you all thought of tonight's events and what you are looking forward to when we come back to County General. We leave with Abby on her way to rehab and Luka and Joe off to Croatia. Here's hoping that the new year brings peace and joy to the Kovac family. And I hope that all of you enjoy happy and healthy holidays. As the old joke goes, see you next year!
Can't stand the thought of no
ER? Here are two options to explore. Check out the
latest book from TV Guide featuring essays about your favorite shows (including one for
ER written by a blogger you all know). Or, check out the
Online Video Guide for interviews and clips
As we celebrated the landmark 300th outing of ER tonight with a rare episode directed by series executive producer John Wells I was thrilled to see the powerhouse acting of Maura Tierney and Goran Visnjic as the centerpiece of the episode For those of us who have been fans since that very first episode 14 years ago is that even possible it is gratifying to see this show still telling compelling heartfelt stories about characters that we care about I havent always liked where the story went but Ive certainly enjoyed the ride Thank God Abby finally came clean to Luka I honestly didnt think I was going to be able to take much more of relapse Abby and I was so relieved that all the secrets and lies were out on the table There are a million things I could say about the unfortunate timing of Abbys disclosure in the wake of Lukas loss but my complaint would be mostly about the acrobatics that the writers have had to perform to work aro