ER Episodes

1994, TV Show

ER Episode: "Oh, Brother"

Season 15, Episode 6
Episode Synopsis: With Pratt gone, Morris takes on the role of mentor to Chaz, but Banfield disapproves of the complicated medical procedures he's teaching him. Meanwhile, Neela feels disrespected by Banfield when dealing with her intern. Courtney B. Vance guest stars.
Original Air Date: Nov 6, 2008
Guest Cast Sam Jones III: Chaz Courtney B. Vance: Russell Banfield
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Season 15, Episode 6
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Length: 43:19
Aired: 11/6/2008
Also available on Amazon Instant Video and VUDU
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ER Episode Recap: "Oh, Brother" Season 15, Episode 6

Before the official recap for this week's episode, I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge the untimely passing of ER creator and executive producer Michael Crichton. It is hard to believe that the same guy who dreamed up the dinosaur escapades of Jurassic Park could also create the distinctively grounded, human drama of County General. But Crichton was a doctor before his wildly successful forays into science fiction and he clearly poured his heart, soul and medical expertise into the Thursday night drama that would turn into a Must-See juggernaut. It's been reported that the tall, unassuming Crichton died after a private battle with cancer. His contribution to television history will live on.

As Pratt's brother Chaz (Sam Jones III) settled into his new role as first year medical student, Morris' struggle to get past Greg's death continued to cloud his judgment. His desire to play the role of surrogate brother and mentor got the better of him and Chaz was put in situations that were well beyond the scope of his experience. It also created additional tension between Morris and Banfield ("How can such a good doctor be such a knucklehead?") However, their brief elevator conversation where Morris opened up about his unresolved feelings and acknowledged his poor decision-making, probably helped to ease the road for these two in the future.

Putting people at ease is clearly not an area where Dr. Cate Banfield excels and this week, even her husband fell victim to her lack of patience. As played by Angela Bassett's real-life husband Courtney B. Vance, Russell Banfield appears to be a pillar of strength for Banfield's tightly-wound and deeply-wounded chief. The intensity that Ms. Bassett brings to this role almost borders on uncomfortable at times, but I do think it makes her quieter, kinder moments more powerful as a result (case in point, her interaction with Frank tonight was very sweet.) As I mentioned previously, it looks like next week is going to pack an emotional wallop on many levels. I honestly haven't been this excited for an upcoming episode in a long time. Crying at the previews is probably not a good sign.

Some notable guest-casting added an interesting layer this week. In addition to the aforementioned pairing of Bassett and Vance, we were also treated to a guest-starring turn by Carl Weathers as the father of the young boxer being treated by Morris. For those of us old enough to remember who Apollo Creed was, it was a treat to see the actor in the role of an aging boxer. (I do wonder how it is that the man doesn't appear to have aged in the last fifteen years.)

While not everyone agreed with my recap of last week's episode and my assessment of the state of Neela and Ray's relationship (and remember, folks, that part of the idea here is that I am expressing opinions), we did continue to see hints of a pairing between Neela and Dr. Brenner tonight. At the very least, they are exploring a relationship as friends which is fine by me since I much prefer a happy Neela to a sad one. Another pair stretching the boundaries of their relationship was Sam and Tony. Despite some tense moments tonight, Sam ended up accepting Tony's invitation to have Sam and Alex move in with him and Sarah. It will be interesting to watch where this all goes, though I think ultimately these two belong together. (Anyone else as shocked as I was to see how little, delinquent Alex has grown into a teenager? Wow.)

I definitely got emotional at the end of this episode when Morris talked to Chaz about Greg and apologized for his over-zealous approach to teaching. I think this relationship with Chaz is another step in Morris' development. I am happy that the writers have opted to keep Pratt's death relevant to the story and that Scott Grimes has been given such great material to work with this season. More than anyone else, Morris demonstrates such humanity and self-awareness, it's hard not to root for him.

In addition to this week's episode, I'm curious to hear what everyone has to say about the homecomings that we know about (Eriq LaSalle directing) and the ones that are churning in the rumor mill (Eriq LaSalle acting and George Clooney). Who would you most like to see in a return engagement?

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

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Before the official recap for this week's episode, I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge the untimely passing of ER creator and executive producer Michael Crichton. It is hard to believe that the same guy who dreamed up the dinosaur escapades of Jurassic Park could also create the distinctively grounded, human drama of County General. But Crichton was a doctor before his wildly successful forays into science fiction and he clearly poured his heart, soul and medical expertise into the Thursday night drama that would turn into a Must-See juggernaut. It's been reported that the tall, unassuming Crichton died after a private battle with cancer. His contribution to television history will live on.

As Pratt's brother Chaz (Sam Jones III) settled into his new role as first year medical student, Morris' struggle to get past Greg's death continued to cloud his judgment. His desire to play the role of surrogate brother and mentor got the better of him and Chaz was put in situations that were well beyond the scope of his experience. It also created additional tension between Morris and Banfield ("How can such a good doctor be such a knucklehead?") However, their brief elevator conversation where Morris opened up about his unresolved feelings and acknowledged his poor decision-making, probably helped to ease the road for these two in the future.
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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. 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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