Looking back on more recent seasons of ER(though not actually watching them), it seems to me that there has rarely been a time in the later years when there were so many different stories floating around that the audience care about so deeply. Season 13 and 14 arguably relied too much on the Lubby relationship and season 10 and 11 on Carter, without giving all the rest of the characters enough to work with (*COUGH* Dr Lewis *COUGH*). Season 15, however, is loaded with different plot-threads and characters, without being too quickly-paced or forced/insincere, and overall comes accross as a much more balanced affair.
Having spent the last couple of episodes integrating some older ex-castmates back into the series, and then giving Neela her storybook ending, this week's returns to a couple of threads that apparently need to be tied up before the finale next week. The result is a number of juicy little scenes that end in some satisfying conclusions.
Morris and Claudia's scene in the tent was a perfect ending to their character arcs (though that does not necessarily mean it's over for them yet). The faux-proposal was a smart move from the writers, since a real one would have felt a bit rushed. Also on the plus side, Claudia mentioned that she had a scar on her stomach from the bullet-wounds, confirming what I said about last week's episode: that more than a week passed between it and 'Old Times'. My only gripe was that it took going to a camp for children with heart-disease for Morris to have his epiphany about the frailty of life and the need to go for the things that make you happy, when his girlfriend was shot three episodes ago.
I'll admit I've had mixed feelings about the Banfields' story this season. It started with a bang in 'Heal Thyself' (and arguably before that), but I found myself a little bored in 'Love is a Battlefield', despite the gravity of the story and Basset's marvelous acting. This episode brought home what's so great about Dr. Banfield - she is essentially a good, compassionate woman who wants nothing more than to love again, but hides that behind a fierce exterior that built-up when her son died because she let her concerns as a mother get in the way of her medical know-how. At the same time, her husband's equal desire for a second child is also met, and we are left with a sense that the Banfield's can finally be a family again. Again, this story was dealt with appropriately and fairly - it would have been too easy for them to get the baby staright-off, and it's unlikely that anyone (audience included) could dismiss the fear of the mother returning until it happened. Thank goodness she was smart enough to see a better future for her child where there was one.
It was also very satisfying to see Neela and Ray again, and I'm not entirely convinced that's the last of them either. Still, if it is, that's fine. Seeing Ray in the background holding a box of Neela's stuff, it was almost as if they were Roomies again. That said, they probably are.
David Lyons' character also got some meat to chew in this episode, and I was pleased to see elements of his older character, the arrogant womaniser we met in season 14, begin to emerge in response to Neela's departure. Thankfully, he got to misbehave vicariously through the kid who lost his best friend, before this fact was revealed, and he realised that there will always be others who have suffered worse than him. Lucy and Joanie's storyline should arguably have come to a close in 'Old Times', but I'll see where it goes in the finale before I make a judgement about it.
Overall, this was the solid, well-crafted kind of offering that 'ER' has started belting out as standard in the second half of the season, with the Camp del Corazon added to drive the various character plots to their conclusions, and add some variety to the format.
In this episode of ER, the following happens. Morris starts work with a charity, which helps children who have had heart surgery. Banfield takes her husband to meet the baby who was abandoned at the ER a couple of episodes ago. When Morris gets to the centre he sees that Sam is there, also volunteering. We also see Ray and Neela on the webcam, Roomies are still going strong. The woman, Meghan who dropped off the baby comes back into the ER. She says that she made a mistake and that she wants to keep the baby. Soon one of the kids in the camp collapses and is taken to the ER to be checked over. We also learn in this episode that the mother, who had a heart transplant, is back in the ICU, as her body is rejecting the new heart. At the Camp, Morris and Gates perform on stage for the kids, at their dance. As the episode ends we see Banfield and her husband holding the baby which they are hoping to adopt. Earlier in this episode the mother realised that she should give her son up, so that he can have a better life.
I thought I wasn't going to like this episode at first but once it got going it really delivered. ER is a show that will make you smile no matter what, especially the ending of this which was awesome with Gates and Morris singing. I was shocked to see Tom Arnold in the episode that was a cool little role he played. I was a little angered when that girl came back wanting her baby I mean she ditched it and 2 weeks later she wants it back? But I'm glad Banfield got it, it kinda gives her character a happy ending. Speaking of Happy ending I can't believe Morris is getting married, it seems like he just met Claudia but they really love each other so it's all good. Good-bye until next week when with what I'm sure is going to be a very emotional episode.
Banfield want to adopt the little boy that was abandoned at the ER a couple of weeks ago but the mom returns and wants to have it back. At the end they reach a deal and they would have an open adoption so the girl would be able to see the little boy...
Simon gets sad when he sees that Neela is really happy next to Ray and things got worse when he receives the new that his friend is in the ICU rejecting the heart... But anyways he manages to help a kid on the heart camp.
How funny was Morris and Gates singing and dancing at the stage? AWESOME! and I loved that Sam was there too, seems like things are maybe getting better for those 2 to get back together?
And Morris proposing to Claudia was the cutest thing!!
I'm really glad they are together.
Felix and the girl in heart camp were cute too!:P And Morris with kids means a sweet moment for sure!:)
All in all, another great chapter
I really loved this.. I have no words.. the whole thing with Morris and the bunch of kids in that camp. That was just brilliant. The emotion, the feeling, the stories there.. those three kids we got to see more - their little fears and dreams.. like Morris climbing wall with one of them.. And ofcourse it was not only about the kids. We learn that Neela is happy, we see Sam and Gates maybe becoming little closer.. and we have Morris.. weird, but he has come such a big journey from that weird guy who smoke something and would have been sent away by Romano.. and now he is the guy who leads it..
I was very happy with how the writers touched on the true meaning of these doctors and nurses and the lives they encounter. Little kids that have been in and out of hospitals since birth! Camp! Interaction! New love and loss. This is a fine example of what this show was 15 years ago. I wasn't expecting to see Ray and Neela again. Thank you ER for making me very very happy.
Morris is a wonderful surprise this season. His talent and emotions to touch an audience has made this final season bearable. What a singing voice.
There is no good way to end a show, but if you have to end, make it the reason you succeeded for 15 years.
I love happy endings. I really, really do. And this episode was full of 'em. The patient stories were interesting and seamlessly intermingled with the ongoing character stories. I loved the camp, the kids and all the activity. I loved that the ER 'family' was so involved there. I liked how it was tied in with the roulette playing teen. It was a nice, nice idea to have a hard hearted Brenner be the one to finally connect with the hard hearted Logan. Kind of rankled when the teen mother returned for her baby but knew exactly what was happening when she followed Cate around. Heh. And so the Banfields got their baby (adoption should always be so easy!), Brenner's heart begins to thaw, Neela is happy in Louisiana - with Ray, Sam and Gates are patching things up and Morris proposes to Claudia - sort of. So what's left? Oh yeah. Next week.
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