ER Episodes

1994, TV Show

ER Episode: "Another Thursday at County"

Season 15, Episode 2
Episode Synopsis: The ER is on guard as Gates marshals the new interns to treat a terrorist, but it's the new doctor (Angela Bassett) and her tough disposition that has everyone on the defensive. Meanwhile, Neela is on a mission to get Dubenko back on the surgery staff.
Original Air Date: Oct 9, 2008
Guest Cast Leland Orser: Lucien Dubenko
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Season 15, Episode 2
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Length: 43:19
Aired: 10/9/2008
Also available on Amazon Instant Video and VUDU
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ER Episode Recap: "Another Thursday in County" Season 15, Episode 2

"Welcome to internship; the dream starts now." Gates' words of wisdom to the newest batch of interns after their traumatic first day took me back to those early episodes as Carter stumbled through the halls of County under the exasperated tutelage of Drs. Benton and Greene. I'm sure there will be many similar moments tying past to present as we make our way through this final season.

Tonight's frenzied pace was a welcome diversion after the drama and tears of the season premiere. (I was actually relieved to have the unintentional comic relief of last week's vice presidential debate since I needed the extra time to fully process Pratt's death.) Chronic understaffing, biotoxins and the new interns combined to add to the chaotic atmosphere into which Angela Bassett made her entrance as the new chief. Ms. Bassett has made a career out of playing formidable women and her Dr. Cate Banfield promises to be no exception. What do we know about her so far? Her no-nonsense approach has already ruffled some feathers; she has worked in far more harrowing locales than a Chicago ER (specifically in a post-tsunami Indonesia); and, at some point, it seems she had a family that included a young boy. Her conversation with the mother waiting for her son to come through surgery seemed to signal that she has some experience with loss. I'm curious to see where her story goes and I hope that unlike last season's ill-fated Stanley Tucci debacle, this chief sticks around and makes a positive impact.

While Mekhi Phifer set the bar pretty high in his final scenes, Scott Grimes gave an equally stellar performance in tonight's episode as he tried to maintain order and deal with a critical new boss while still reeling from the loss of his friend and mentor. It is so amazing to think how far this character has come, from his early days as an incompetent, stoned intern to his current role as an elder statesman of the ER. His emotional confrontation with Dr. Banfield was powerful and in that one scene, he conveyed a compelling mix of anger, frustration and loss that showed a different side of Archie than we have seen in the past. Pratt's untimely death has changed him and this newfound maturity will be an interesting development for a character that has frequently provided little more than comic relief.

What I am not enjoying is the weirdly tense interplay between Dr. Brenner and Neela. It appears that they are attempting to soften his abrasive character while at the same time giving Neela more of an edge. Neither is a very appealing development and frankly, I am again exasperated by the endless array of men who seem to fall at Neela's feet. (Don't get me wrong - Parminder Nagra is a gorgeous, talented actress, but seriously? Practically every doctor in that hospital has either dated her or tried to. I was waiting for Anspagh to hit on her tonight.) I am also frustrated by the writer's ongoing teasing of a potential relationship between Neela and Lucien. In light of the fact that it has been widely reported that Ray will be making his return in the coming weeks, I don't like that they seem to be building up to another romantic triangle.

A romance I am happy to see is Tony and Sam. These are two people who just seem to fit. (And may I remind you that I was talking about the two of them getting together ages ago.) I'd like to see these two go the distance and maybe even be on the receiving end of one of those rare ER happy endings. Hey, a girl can hope.

Next week's episode looks like a can't-miss. I'll see you then.

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"Welcome to internship; the dream starts now." Gates' words of wisdom to the newest batch of interns after their traumatic first day took me back to those early episodes as Carter stumbled through the halls of County under the exasperated tutelage of Drs. Benton and Greene. I'm sure there will be many similar moments tying past to present as we make our way through this final season.

Read and discuss the rest of this recap after the jump. read more

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Premiered: September 19, 1994, on NBC
Rating: TV-14
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Premise: The riveting medical drama that redefined the genre for the 1990s and into the 21st century. Created by author Michael Crichton and set in a Chicago ER, the series chronicles the lives of its harried staff in staccato, realistic scenes of lives saved and lost.

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