Season 15 Episode 21

I Feel Good

Aired Thursday 10:00 PM Mar 26, 2009 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

Write A Review
out of 10
126 votes
  • Banfield and Morris feel good. So do the audience.

    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.