After several episodes to start this season that indicated the show was improving a bit after some off-kilter seasons, they then opened the November sweeps period with this stink-bomb of an episode. And now not only are the ER writers recycling plots, like the much-hyped giant catastrophe coming up this month, but they're also recycling bad plots.
For the love of God, an animal brought to the hospital for medical care once again? It was barely tolerable/believable the first time, but now it stretches all credibility beyond the breaking point. Seeing them work together on a chimpanzee, you actually feel embarassed for Maura Tierney and Parminder Nagra, imagining they were doing their lines while at the same time thinking of frantically calling their agents to find some way off the sinking ship before ER drowns their careers. And then having the chimp-healthcare montage with "Coconut" playing on the soundtrack? That may have been the worst moment in the history of the show.
Again this season, the plotline alluded to by the episode title gets nearly dropped in the final act, never coming to any real, definitive conclusion. Instead, it falls by the wayside as we're expected to believe a medical doctor is too stupid to knowing he's sleeping with a 14-year-old, and see more on Pratt's absentee father, which feels more and more like trying to use Danny Glover's name to get viewers than an effort to create an interesting plot.
Hopefully the show will return to its early season form quickly, because episodes like this are what I fear have already driven many viewers into the arms of Without a Trace.