ER Episodes

1994, TV Show

ER Episode: "Haunted"

Season 15, Episode 5
Episode Synopsis: Neela is surprised by a visit from an old friend, and Brenner treats a school-age stabbing victim. Meanwhile, Sam, whose attention is on her upcoming pharmacology exam, doesn't realize Gates feels neglected. Shane West guest stars.
Original Air Date: Oct 30, 2008

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Season 15, Episode 5
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Length: 43:19
Aired: 10/30/2008
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ER Episode Recap: "Haunted" Season 15, Episode 5

It was a hectic Halloween in the ER in this episode. But for fans of Neela and Ray, the tricks far outweighed the treats. Ghosts were everywhere for these two as their oddly tense reunion was overshadowed by a shared history marred by tragedy and missed opportunities.

As Morris promised in the beginning of the episode, we got knife wounds, vomit and Frankenstein - though in a more figurative sense than the mask suggested. Ray's return was a welcome one and he showed up complete with prosthetic legs, a new specialty in physical medicine and a hard-won sense of accomplishment for having survived his ordeal. Since Neela and Ray never got much in the way of on-screen closure before Shane West's departure last season, I was hoping that this reunion would be cathartic and emotional. What it proved to be, I thought, was awkward and unsatisfying. The continued interruptions by Brenner seemed to be a sign that all would not be right with the former roommates. When they finally got around to attempting to rekindle their flame, they were interrupted yet again and this time, Ray took his leave. I'm guessing that Shane West was willing to do only one guest appearance and so getting Neela and Ray back together was not really an option from a storyline perspective. But honestly, having him return under these circumstances left me feeling a little cheated. I guess we are supposed to assume that Ray's accident would always be between them (despite his assurances to the contrary). It was great to see him, but I was just hoping for something more for these two. (And speaking of our dear Mr. West, was it just me or did the guy look exhausted?)

It does appear, however, that Neela's emotional detachment from her past might pave for the way for something more with Brenner. While I like the more sympathetic turn they are taking with this character, it is somewhat frustrating that it is completely at odds with how the writers set him up last season. It seems like laziness on the part of story-telling to have him redeeming himself so thoroughly - making amends with the intern he slept with and mistreated and watching his thoughtful interaction with the over-burdened teenage son of the horribly irresponsible mother.

Tony's over-anxious intern Daria, coupled with his arrogant and dismissive treatment, did not sit well with Sam. It must be very difficult for highly qualified and tenured nurses to stand by and watch inexperienced interns stumble through simple procedures and still ultimately get more respect from the doctors. That is probably even truer when the offending doctor is said nurse's boyfriend. Sam's ongoing studies seem to be giving her more confidence in her job and also, a sense of independence that is not necessarily sitting well with Tony.

Other things I enjoyed tonight:
• Frank in a toga. 'Nuff said.
• Neela and Ray's conversation about the ever-changing of ER chief.
• Archie and Ray's conversation about Greg's passing.
• Tony's patient not sharing his candy at first, but then giving in later. (That scene took me back to the days when Doug Ross was the ER pediatrician.)
• Banfield's empathetic kindness to the police officer who accidentally shot a party-goer and her response of "Once" when Brenner asked if anyone ever called her Cate.

I have to admit, I absolutely cannot wait for Anthony Edwards appearance in two weeks. I better stock up on my tissues now since I already know how that story is going to end.

Need more ER, STAT? Check out the Online Video Guide for interviews and clips.

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It was a hectic Halloween in the ER in this episode. But for fans of Neela and Ray, the tricks far outweighed the treats. Ghosts were everywhere for these two as their oddly tense reunion was overshadowed by a shared history marred by tragedy and missed opportunities.

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Premiered: September 19, 1994, on NBC
Rating: TV-14
User Rating: (457 ratings)
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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. The all-time champ for Emmy nominations among dramas (108),`ER' topped the ratings charts shortly after its premiere, and has remained a top-rated show (and an anchor of NBC's vaunted Thursday Must-See TV lineup) ever since.

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