I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I liked last week's episode better than this one. Although this episode was still very good and answered that big question that we had at the end of last week's episode. As it turns out, Carter needs a kidney and he has come back to the states to get on the waiting list. I'm loving carter's character and his sense of humor. When he was talking with Banfield I thought he was serious, but that's probably why I like the character as much as I do. I didn't think he was out of line with Neela either, I mean he's got 15 years experience I'm pretty sure he knows what he's talking about. Anyway there's only 5 episodes left I think we're in for a treat.
In this episode of ER, the following happens. Banfield and her husband go to an adoption agency meeting, in order of fulfilling their dreams of having a child. The couple end up having a bit of a dispute with another couple there, and as they leave Kate's husband punches the guy. Back in the ER Carter sees how things have changed in the ER since he has left. We also see in this episode that Gates and Carter are going to bump heads on a case sooner or later. The little girl Lucy is still ion this episode and she tells Simon that her foster father is strange and walks around the house without any clothes on. Banfield questions Carter, to see if he can cope, and Carter says that he is fine. Sam's mother is coming to Chicago for a couple of months and after her flight she is brought into the ER. When she comes round, she doesn't remember that Sam is her daughter (she had a stroke a while back). Simon goes to see Lucy's foster mother and then he goes to see her foster father. Banfield soon sees blood on Carter sleeve and when she sees him cleaning up his shirt, he tells her about the fact that he is on dialyses. His kidneys are failing, one when he got stabbed in the ER ( when both he and Lucy were attacked and she was killed) and the other one got injured and started failing whilst he was in Africa. Simon learns from the foster father that he doesn't walk around the house naked and it only happened once when he took a shower and Lucy came home early from school. We also learn that Neela is not staying at County. Although Sam's mother still doesn't know who she is, they share beautiful scene together at the end of the episode.
BEST moment: Angela Bassett's face when Carter tells her that he was back to meet her so he could convince her to donate one of her kidneys to him...followed by 'I am kidding. I have no idea what your blood type is. SO serious Cate...' and he walks away. Hee. BEST guest: HelllLLLooooo Norman!! You were one of my favorite patients from last season!! Good to see you out rescuing people again.
Most CLOYING moment : Sam and her mother. Even thought I was looking forward to seeing Amy Madigan the moment sort of fell apart. Most interesting hookup: Archie and his cop girl. Go for it Archie. Just GO for it. You are cute together.
Clemente Award: Simon Brenner. Wish I cared more about him so I oould care about his meltdown. He is WAY creepier than the foster father. (Again, ER has given us a damaged character with too little time to build affection for him. Go away Brenner.)
It was a good episode all in all. We learned more about Carter and his health issues. I have liked Bassett only in her scenes with Courtney Vance thus far. But I am going to enjoy watching her spar with Carter....especially if we keep getting moments like the one we saw in this one. It is WONDERFUL to see Scott Grimes getting something meatier and not so silly. Interesting how his relationship with Claudia seems more developed than anything they have given us with Gates and/or Sam. And in such a short time!
This episode has time to everyone, that kind of multi functional char development.. There was moments for Sam as he mother is brought to Chicago and it does not go as well as planned.. but there is that beautiful scene in the end, they singing that song and that really makes this episode so beautiful.
And there are moments for Carter.. he still has his humor like the moment with Bandfield.. and he back makes me feel so much like the ER in old good days and I love it.
And then ofcourse Neela and Brenner.. it looks like they are hitting hard times and so my hopes are still up as I have always thought Ray is perfect for Neela.. and the fact that she is not staying in county.. :S
All in all well written episode. Carter is reintroduced into the ER in a nice realistic way. It's not all about him. And actually, it's not enough about him. We learn what is his "painful secret", and the scene with Banfield where he explains how he got in renal failure, and later asks her to donate a kidney to him is the highlight of the episode! But there is still so much unexplained about Carter. Where is his wife? Did he ask relatives to donate a kidney, is the waiting list his only possibility? For how long has he been sick? His story arc now is big, really big, and it feels like the writers are not giving it enough time.
Morris and the 'mattress tag cutters': a bit pointless and boring (I would have preferred to see that screen time dedicated to Carter).
Brenner: all the turmoil of his childhood abuse is boiling inside of him and with each new episode it looks like it gets closer to the surface. David Lyons is amazing in the role.
But Brenner needs to get far away from Neela. She is not the one who can help. I dislike her more and more. Love the Banfields. And I love the interaction Carter/Banfield. Here are two doctors who implicitly have a lot in common (loss of a son, worked for NGO, lives "on hold" while waiting for something (him a kidney, her a kid)). I love how you can feel that these two are understanding and respecting each other, but it's very subtle. I'm hoping for more interactions between them in the future!
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