Season 10 Episode 5

Out of Africa

Aired Thursday 10:00 PM Oct 30, 2003 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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  • And Sam comes...

    Oh, the "important" episode as we get new char - nurse Sam, and to be honest, I think with Chleo she is one of the most annoying chars at ER all time.

    But the episode is not about her as main attention goes for Susan and Kovac.

    Kovac is back from the hospital and Africa and has some hard times getting in, managing those hopeless students and future-doctors and Romano and in the end makes a fast way to deal with patients. Weird, choice.

    Susan.. she has troubles with one mum, gets social service in and that makes mother to try a suicide - she puts herself into flames and it was rather... very emotional and very well written - how one action meant for good made so much troubles and pain.
  • The first day for Sam Taggart is a "piece of pie". But it's Susan who steals the show

    In the midst of Sherry Stringfield's exit from the show, I feel that I must review what I think is her best episode from the second stint of her time on the show.

    This episode sees the introduction of Samantha Taggart, a feisty new nurse played by Linda Cardellini. When looking back on this episode, Sam shows a lot of promise. She knows how to handle patients (and Morris) and is an allround likable human being (which she slowly turns out not to be). Her first day seems to be a breeze and she also seems like a good mother, blowing off some time getting to know Abby and Corday to spend some time showing her son around the hospital instead.

    But the highlight of the episode is Susan. Her two patients this episode are both very different with fascinating storylines to them both. First is Paula Martin, a woman who dropped her baby out a shopping cart (wtf?). Our Susan notices Paula is drunk and social services pass off the children to their father, Dr. Arzt ... no, sorry, Bill Martin. In despair, the mother sets herself on fire in what I saw as a cry for help. But what made her think that setting her kids on fire would grant her custody? Or maybe she was suicidal. The scenes in the trauma room were quite graphic and very difficult to watch. But I really felt for her when her son refused to see her, the pain that this woman went through. It was interesting also watching Susan deal with the fact that she caused this woman to do such a desperate act and how she coped with this responsibility.

    Bob Newhart is a comedy legend, so it is quite wierd to watch him in a dramatic role (following his recent stint on Desperate Housewives) - especially if he's playing a suicidal contractor. But I could empathise with him as he was slowly growing old and growing blind. The last scene between he and Susan and their promise was a well-written scene. Both these patients allowed Sherry Stringfield to prove what a great actress she is, as well as why Dr. Susan Lewis remains such a fan favourite.

    In subplots, I'm quite happy seeing the back of Dr. Dorset. He was in no way right for Corday (considering that he was married) and Corday deserves something better ... someone who is particularly Greene. But it was good to see Abby on her surgical rotation.

    It's good seeing Romano in these episodes, the episodes leading up to his death. In this episode, he manages to fight with Abby among other people.

    Another important factor in this episode is Luka's return from Africa, only to reveal to Weaver that he'll be returning in 2 months. It's good seeing him interact with the new breed of County General staff (Neela, Coop, Morris), only to know he'll be off again soon.
  • exciting and heartbreaking

    This episode features one of the most shocking scenes in ER history when the mother lights herself on fire in front of her son. I can only imagine how that must have traumatized that boy to see his mother light herself on fire. It was at least fortunate that he had a loving father that could take care of him. Actually when I first saw the episode, I predicted that the dad would be the one that was the problem, but I was wrong. The other important thing in this episode is Luka's return from Africa. He is obviously changed by his experiences in Africa. Romano continues to be a huge jerk as usually and abuses both Pratt and Abby. I thought the way we were introduced to Sam was classic.
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