I say what I am about to say as a huge fan of television and, in particular,
ER. I am ready for a break. I am actually relieved that this television season is coming to an end, because I really don't think I can take any more. I am officially emotionally spent. Tonight alone, I endured the highs of Jim asking Pam out for a real date on
The Office and the lows of Burke breaking Christina's impenetrable heart on
Grey's Anatomy. By the time 10 pm rolled around, I was primed and ready. Or so I thought. The shock of seeing Ray roll back in that wheelchair was naturally mitigated by the relentless promos that had shown him rolling back in a wheelchair. But, what I was
not prepared for was a bitter, angry double amputee. In a million years it never occurred to me that he had sustained that sort of life-altering injury. When I tell you that I literally gasped in disbelief, well, my friends,
that is the understatement of the year.
Overall, I thought this was a fantastic capper to a wonderful season that helped me remember why I love
ER. Much was made early in the season about the "resurgence" of this long-running series. Apparently shocked that a 13-year-old show could eat into
James Woods' fan base, a lot of people gave credit to the star power of
John Stamos. (Needless to say, those people must have missed
Jake in Progress.) Me? I am not one to blindly follow network promotional tactics. I am not easily lured by guest stars (something that the show leveraged heavily this season) or by big "event" episodes. My feeling is that the diehards came back because we always do. And the latecomers probably dropped by to see what all the Stamos-inspired fuss was about, and stuck around for the solid storytelling. This year, we didn't take any trips to Africa or endure any protracted adventure arcs like the kidnapping at the end of last year. Instead,
ER attempted something really interesting - it reinvented itself by looking back. It worked. Bravo.
I was surprised that they dispensed with Luka's departure so early in the episode, but actually, it felt appropriate. Getting that out of the way early enabled me to fully focus on the other stories. However, the look on Luka's face as he drove away, without once looking back at his family, gave me pause. It seems to me that there is more to the story than he has divulged. (Side note: Was it just me or did they manage to find a baby who really looks like
The scenes with Tony and Sarah were pretty tough to watch, even though we had to know that a custody fight with her grandparents was a foregone conclusion. While I've not been a fan of that entire story line, in the past few weeks, they've gone a long way toward making that character more sympathetic. Tonight, I really felt the connection between them, due in large part to the excellent work of the actors.
Back at the hospital, the new chief, Dr. Moretti, certainly made his presence felt. I am glad that they are giving this guy some dimension. He doesn't appear to be a one-note villain, the way Romano was, but he certainly has an edge. That was clear in the staff meeting for sure. At first, I was hoping that he and Abby were going to play nice, but the comment he made to her about not getting to sleep with the chief anymore definitely packed a punch. Yes, it will indeed take a while to get used to his "management style."
Getting back to Ray and Neela, the awkwardness of those hospital scenes was jarring. With this story, it appears that they are leaving the door open for
Shane West to make his exit or to possibly return later next season. (It has been widely reported that the actor is committed to a fall pilot.) You really never know with those things, but I do hope for fans of "Reela" (including me) that tonight's episode is not the last we get to see of those two together. While the final scenes at the rally made for some compelling TV in the traditional cliff-hanger sense, the stories that they have begun to craft for next season are really what are going to bring me back.
Can you believe we are done for the summer? Where did this season go? I have had the best time writing about this show and reading all of your comments. It is reassuring to know that there are other passionate fans out there who invest themselves in these characters and enjoy going along for the ride with them as much as I do. I'm already looking forward to September, but if any interesting news pops up between now and then, I will post away. In the meantime, I am also blogging
Entourage and the upcoming season of
Big Love. I'd love to hear from you if you are fans of those shows. Have an amazing summer!
For video of ER, visit our Online Video Guide.
I say what I am about to say as a huge fan of television and in particular ER I am ready for a break I am actually relieved that this television season is coming to an end because I really dont think I can take any more I am officially emotionally spent Tonight alone I endured the highs of Jim asking Pam out for a real date on The Office and the lows of Burke breaking Christinas impenetrable heart on Greys Anatomy By the time 10 pm rolled around I was primed and ready Or so I thought The shock of seeing Ray roll back in that wheelchair was naturally mitigated by the relentless promos that had shown him rolling back in a wheelchair But what I was not prepared for was a bitter angry double amputee In a million years it never occurred to me that he had sustained that sort of life-altering injury When I tell you that I literally gasped in disbelief well my friends that is the understatement of the year Overall I thought this was a fantastic capper to