Season 9 Episode 9

Next of Kin

Aired Thursday 10:00 PM Dec 05, 2002 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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  • Family dynamics are explored in every storyline.

    "Next of Kin" lives up to its name. The concept of family is abundant here. In the ER, Deb treats a newborn who was abandoned by her teenaged mother, only to have the family reunited when the baby's grandmother offers to help.

    Pratt and Erin treat a 12 year old whose father is killed in an accident. The child is forced to go back to his mother against his will. The boy is transgendered and the mother refuses to allow the child to live as a girl. Susan believes a woman is being physically abused by her boyfriend, only to learn that it is her son who is beating her.

    Luka treats an older woman who never married and has no children. She gives him $10,000 as a token of appreciation for his care. Luka, in turn, who has lost his own family, is sinking further into depression and destructive behavior. He cashes the check as we see a prostitute waiting in his car.

    But the big family drama centers around Abby, Maggie and Eric. Abby and Maggie argue over the best course of treatment for Eric's bipolar disorder. Although she is his big sister, Abby has essentially raised Eric and feels that she has the right to manage his care. Maggie, who is now medicated and doing well, reminds Abby that she is Eric's mother. Maggie has greater insight into the disease, having suffered with it herself, but Abby can't bring herself to trust Maggie. Abby struggles to relinquish control of the situation, as we're forced to ask ourselves...who really is Eric's "next of kin"? Very well written, with no easy solutions or pat answers.