I strongly disagree with the review of this episode that classifies it as "bottom of the Barrel." In fact, this episode is far from the bottom of the barrel. The story told here is classic ER. The acting is superb (especially by Angela Bassett and Scott Grimes), and the scenario is in fact new---not recreated. The staff of the ER is still dealing with the death of doctor Pratt, while quickly being forced to adjust to the new (and altogether different) leadership style of Dr. Cate Banfield (Bassett). Dr. Banfield's personality ranges from compassionate to utterly blunt and downright rude. At various times throughout the episode, viewers could get the impression that something from Banfield's past is affecting her present emotional instability. At the end of the episode, a little foreshadowing about Banfield's family leaves lots to the imagination. Ultimately, well Banfield is not immediately embraced, she is a strong character who will bring much change to the ER. Her story is intriguing, and her commanding attitude is a force to be reckoned with. Undoubtedly, she will set high expectations for her staff, leaving no room for error---accidental or not.
The main issue in this episode involves an accidental bio-terrorism incident that leaves several new interns, along with Dr. Gates, quarantined in the ER. Exposure to weaponized ricin leaves Gates and the interns at the mercy of a Hazmat team, which evacuates the ER of all patients and personnel. The discovery of an additional patient in the quarantined room poses additional challenges for Gates, and the inexperienced interns.
Additionally, Sam makes a deadly mistake with her patient, and Neela is hellbent on getting Lucien (Dr. Dubenko) reinstated. Overall, a great episode to watch.
I think anyone who dislikes this episode enough to only rate it a 1.0 is missing the point. After 15 seasons, this series is coming to an end. We all need to accept that--no matter how much we don't want to. We are not the writers, and things don't always turn out as we would like. This season promises to be a very powerful ending to an incredible series which paved the way for many modern dramas (hospital focused or not) that reside in primetime. Abby's departure will prove to be a difficult and sad event for faithful ER viewers, but the season is not over yet, SO DON'T STOP WATCHING NOW!!!