While I thought the premise of the finale was good, with the ER team continuing to do their jobs as they always have and us, the viewer,being the ones going away, much of the execution was clumsy or downright boring. On the plus side, seeing more of the original characters back together is always a good thing. Their interactions with each other, and the stories they shared, was a nice reminder of the shows glorious past. Bringing back Rachel Greene as a perspective med student was also a good storyline to bring everything full circle. Unfortunately, instead of an iconic return of a possible new Dr. Greene, we got Rachel walking around unnoticed by anyone, just another face in the crowd. Though Franks facial expression when Rachel told him her name was well done and touching, this was a wasted opportunity to create another timeless moment to remember, but it was not to be. The focus of much of the show was on Gates and Sam, always a downer, and an utter waste of time. Their chemistry together is tepid at best, and using up the precious final minutes of the series on them was time poorly spent. An ongoing heart transplant story of Dr. Brenners, a centerpiece of several of the previous episodes, is dropped stone cold and goes unmentioned and unresolved. The worst part is the inclusion of two characters that up to this point were either rarely seen, or never been on the show at all. Chaz Pratt is treated as if he has been working in the ER forever, though the last time we saw him was at the death of his brother in the season opener, when he was a first year med student. Somehow he is now working in the ER as if he were 3rd year or intern. Worst of all, an until now unknown character, Dr. Wise, is treated as if she too is a long time cast member, though she has never before been seen or mentioned. For some reason the PTB's made two of the regular interns disappear (Grady and Daria)and replaced them with this stranger, with no background story or explanation of where she came from. Characters unseen for years suddenly appear with weak explanations of where they have been (Lydia on the night shift for 7 years???), or no explanation (Malik, gone for months). Angela Basset is seen very little, and goes out with her usual angry black woman act. While paying homage to some of the original ER episodes,notably 'Loves Labor Lost' and '24 Hours'. I could only think how unoriginal this one was, how good it could have been, but how fitting it was for the series to go out on such a mediocre note after so many mediocre episodes over the last 5 or 6 seasons. On one hand terribly disappointing, but on the other, quite a fitting end to a once great show.
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