I have spent a great deal of time since this episode aired....contemplating how to review it. Very much in keeping with ER's 'tradition' of keeping the momentuous occasions like 100th and 200th episodes very low key, this one was outstanding. It brought a number of story lines to a head, introduced some new ones, without being tremendously silly. A camel in the bay? Come on...but it was kind of cute and very realistically done. I heartedly applaud the return of feisty and confident Sam. THIS is the Sam that intrigued me. Jumping on an out of control patient's back and going for the jugular with a hypodermic needle was how she was introduced. Smacking an out of control bystander with a medic's chart brought that Sam back full force. Heh. And I was intrigued with the apparent mutual attration between Sam and Gates. May they happily bond and ride off into the ER horizon with their twin dysfunctional teens. Heh. I was a bit disappointed in Peter Fonda's performance. I am not sure what I expected from him. It was standard Peter Fonda acting, I guess. The quietly understated characterization worked in 'Ulee's Gold' but not so much here. His wife of many years was dying for cripes' sake. Aside from the fact that a perfectly coifed Luka in a black turtleneck (the man is HOT) kept me from truly concentrating on one scene, Abby's story arc continued to rip my heart out. I had been totally spoiled to their scenes, thanks to a friend who clued me in after seeing the epi when it was screened at the Paley Center several days earlier. I knew exactly what was going to happen. I knew every word that was going to be said. I was prepared....not. Maura Tierney is always good. Goran Visnjic is generally good. Together they are an unbeatable team. My heart was in my throat from the moment she slipped to the floor beside him and said she needed help till they were weeping sorrys to one another in front of the rain beating on the window. Dang.... But it was all about the hands tonight. Holding hands with someone you love. Clinging to the hands of someone who is leaving your life. Smashing it for a bit of comic relief. Cleansing your hands as you rededicate them for the work you do. Connecting - even through glass - as you prepare for the hardest separation ever. The closing shot of Abby driving away from the night Chicago skyline as Julia's words about getting back to the business of the living? Double dang. I have long said that I am first and foremost a Maura Tierney fan. Even though I have watched since ER's very first season, when she leaves the show, I will leave as a viewer. There is talk that the WG strike may squeeze a 15th season out of ER. Somehow, I hope it doesn't for Maura. I am tired of the Abby angst. I just want her to be happy. I don't even care if we hear her confession about her night with Moretti. Just show me the three of them - Abby, Luka and Joe - on a beach somewhere...holding hands....happy....together.
Best scene 1: Abby finally asking Luka for help. I like the slow pace of the scene and the strong emotions shown in it. She tells him about her alcoholism, but he knows her well enough to see that there is something more she needs to tell him. He is waiting for her to open up, she doesn't want to say more, they cry, he blames himself, she says it's her fault. Powerful and meaningful scene!
Best scene 2: The hands on the car window...........
Best line: Abby: "This is the way we do it together. You have to help me do it alone."
Bitter-sweet story: Car crash victims, mother & Down's syndrome son. The woman is DNR, and the husband doesn't accept his son, but eventually the he talks to his son and promises to take care of him when the wife dies. Not the best acting I've seen, but a good story nevertheless.
Funniest scene: Morris hitting Frank with a book.
Silliest scene 1: Neela, Harold & Dubenko dressed in oriental costumes, with a camel.
Silliest scene 2: Gates fights a man in the trauma room him and Harold sits on him.
Nostalgic scene: Julia's blessing ceremony with the ER staff, to remember their dead patients:
Gates --- Joshua, the Fazio-Londes boy.
Morris --- Willis Peyton, the DID patient.
Neela --- Teller, the street kid.
Pratt --- Charlie Metcalf. - I love that episode, "Time of death" !!!
Luka --- Curtis Ames.
Abby --- Nate Lennox, the ALS patient and her med school mentor.
Good show! Congrats, ER, on your 300th!!! I wouldn't say no to 300 more!
By far, this episode was tremendous - the best of season fourteen.
Guest star Peter Fonda had an admirable performance as the husband of a dying woman who he learns has been visiting their biological son with Down Syndrome. In fact, all three in that storyline had magnificent scenes, especially the scene in which Peter Fonda's character meets with his son for the first time. It was extremely moving and touching.
Meanwhile, Sam is riding shotgun on an ambulance ride when she and her partner are blind-sided by a drunk driver, who then strikes a little girl. While a crowd of bystanders gather, a few begin jeering and eventually pummeling the incapacitated drunk driver. Sam responds by striking one of them across the face with a piece of medical equipment.
Later, Julia assembles the ER staff in the lounge while presenting a blessing and remembrance of past patients the staff has treated over the years. By this time, us viewers are shown flashbacks from each individual doctor as they (and us) remember the patients who had the greatest impressions on them (and, even us).
Lastly, Abby emotionally confesses to her drinking problem with Luka. Abby then takes the first big step in her healing by agreeing to enroll in rehabilitation.
Through the drama, there were some light moments - who would have guessed there'd ever be a camel in the ambulance bay (with Neela and Dubenko dawning Christmas Nativity attire)?! Or who would have guessed that Frank would be the 300th patient?! ...All thanks to Morris, of course.
To be honest, it was little weird for me. I have so far watched for season 8 and decided to take a little peak forward and watch one of the latest episodes. In this kind of condition, where I only knew some of the characters and not many what was going on - it was confusing but to be honest, really enjoyable. It was a good episode, I think. All the ceremony thing - it was really beautiful and the scenes between Abby and Luka - there is so much troubles, even when they are married and she just seems, not to cope with anything what is more than little stressful, always giving up, always pushing others away.
Will Abby ever get her act straight? Hopefully she will get the help that she needs. Luka has really grown to be able to put up with how Abby has treated their marriage. However, I really feel bad for how Abby was treated by Dr. Moretti.
This was a milestone of an episode, but it would have really been nice to see some older characters return for a visit. I really enjoyed the part in the lounge when previous doctors and patients were remembered. It would have been nice to see flashbacks of Dr. Greene, Dr. Ross, and of nurse Carol Hathaway. I think that they played a big role in the ER and really got the show to where it is today. I can not believe that it has already been on for 300 episodes. I look forward to more episodes, but I doubt we will see another milestone any time soon.
I must agree with a lot of the reviewers, this was the best episode this season. The last installment and this episode put a doubt in mind at least wether Luka and Abby would split. I was glad to see that the writers decided instead to have her ask Luka for help with he alcohol dependency. Dr gates and the Hospital chaplain/wicken is another great duo and I hope that it works out for them, he's been through so many relationships since he joined the er team he deserves a steady. Morris was a cut up when he realized he was going to loose the bet with pratt gates and Frank by slamming the book on Frank's hand in order to win. And then there was the bedside manner for Pratt with the family with the downs syndrome son who gather at the bedside of the dying mother. Way to go Greg.
ER is at episode #300 and still standing strong. So I've noticed that the show ER has some competition Grey's Anatomy. I thought the episode was brilliantly well written. I loved every second of each scene of this episode. Best episode in season #14.
I don't want to sound like a Pervert because I'm not but that was hot when Neela said to that young docter to get her phone because it was ringing out of her back pocket and he got a good view of her rear end getting it. I'm glad that Luca confessed that he should have come home sooner and I'm also glad that Abby confessed to her drinking. But why did Abby not want to come with Joe and Luca back to Russia?. And when Frank announced that something he was counting back from 10 and then Morris banged him on the hand with a book and if I were Frank I would have ringed his neck. So this has to be the best episode in the 14th season.
Abby has to face her demons finally while dealing with Luka's father's death. Morris makes a bet with some of the staff that they can see 300 patients in a 24 hour period; Julia the chaplan has a "blessing & memorial service that brings more of the staff together than expected and was really touching; Sam tries out the ambulance field and has to deal with an irate bystander of an accident. A patient with downs syndrom and his mother are brought in, and as she is dying, the astranged father returns. Everything about this episode was just amazing! This time, it wasn't just Abby that was great either! The patient stories were really sweet and sad. The father finally meeting his son was beautiful, and them getting to talk to the mother before they had to let her die was just heart-wrenching! I was crying like the entire last 30 minuntes of the show! Funniest moment of the show...when Morris slammed the huge phone book on Frank's hand to get his 300th patient! It was great to have a little humor in the midst of the sadness when it came to Abby and Luka! When she finally reaches out for help, I just couldn't help but cry, and when he started blaming himself, that was even more of a tearjerker! I want her to tell him everything and get it all out, but at the same time, I don't want them ruined!! They've just been through so much!
It was also great to see Sam get some good field time too. I loved when she smacked that guy in the head with her kit! He had it coming! If she makes the switch to that, it could be interesting for them to bring the EMT side back into the ER again. Just a great episode! I can't wait till the new year, hopefully the strike will be settled!
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