The handful of "all-Africa" episodes, while "very special," have had the weakness of no Chicago-set action. This episode, featuring the return of Dr. Carter, actually made it worse by having about a third of the episode take place in Chicago. The end result is that having action set in Chicago only serves to highlight all the more how little we care what Carter's up to in Africa. We're not seeing him act and react with the rest of the cast, just dealing with things like intense poverty, civil unrest, and drought in Africa that most people have read about on CNN.com, and have already been touched upon in the other Africa-set episodes, to the point that it feels like most of the episode is a rerun.
The end result is a waste of one of Noah Wyle's handful of appearances this year in a stand-alone storyline that advances no plot, or even reveals what is going on with his marriage. Even the expected good performance by Oz's Eamonn Walker does little to save the episode. Hopefully, we'll see Dr. Carter back in Chicago at some point this season, because otherwise it's just a waste of money, and the viewers' time, to bring him back.