Season 2 Episode 16

The Healers

Aired Thursday 10:00 PM Feb 22, 1996 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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  • One of the hardest episodes. One of the best episodes.

    What can I say? After watching this, I feel myself just empty. I would like to cry if there wouldn't be anyone around me. Moving.. So so moving. Maybe even too much.

    Simple story - duty first, then self. That's what those men did. They knew there were two kid and they knew that anyone else cannot help them - it was their decision - to risk with their lives to save them. And we saw the result of it.

    It is always hard to take when someone you care is involved. This time it was not one of the main cast but it do not have to be that way to care. This episode well remembered us that there are "little" people who we do not notice every day but who from day to day do what is their duty, do it with heart and self sacrifice for greater cause. It is sad we do not see them because we are so busy with our own affairs - only when something happens we stop to see how much they mattered for us.

    It was amazing episode, hard to take but the emotion I have - it is high and I won't forget this one for long.
  • That's what firefighters do.

    The Healers is an episode that should be dedicated to all fire fighters and paramedics, all over the world. They risk their lives to save others, everyday. And quite often, they lay their own lives on the line. The Healers is an episode that illustrates this unfortunate fact of life. It also illustrates another sad commentary, meth labs.

    The fire that Shep and Raul respond to was caused by a meth lab that exploded. It was in an apartment that was home to several children. Unfortunately, this happens in real life, way too often.

    The heroes of unit #47 are the first on the scene, and they rush into a burning building, because they know there are children inside. They don't have the proper gear, but they go in anyways. Because that's what firefighters do.

    They are able to save the lives of three children, but get trapped inside. The floor gives out on Shep, and he falls 10 feet, holding a child. He breaks the fall of the child, but breaks his ribs. But that's what firefighters do.

    Shep is more worried about the children, and his partner, more than his own condition. The other firefighters gather around the ER, worried about their fallen brethren. But that's what firefighters do.

    This episode also shows the compassion of Carol. I'd argue that Carol is the most compassionate nurse in ER history. She comforts both Shep and Raul. She gently reminds Shep that he needs to see his friend, or he will regret it. That's what nurses do.

    At the end of the episode, the firefighters, medics, doctors and nurses gather at Doc Magoos. They share laughter and tears. Because that's what the healers do.
  • Hard to take, hard to forget

    Well, this is all but a happy episode. Its main focus clearly and strongly lies on the accident of Raul and Shep and the whole episode is built around this event. We see their last happy moment together, the crisis situation itself, their arrival at the ER and the tearful goodbye. Everyone else just watches and feels devastated.

    Ron Eldard delivers a great performance and it is not only heartbreaking to watch him losing it, but also to realize that this is the start of this downfall. Up to then he managed to retain his childlike, somewhat naive innocence for which Carol loves him. He won't be able to live on like this from now on and things will get ugly.

    Carol is great here as kind of an angel, doing as much good as she can, being there for both men without breaking down.

    Everything else just gets minor treatment, but none of the other developments are happy ones.

    Susan faces another blow, seeing Chloe again, just on the day when she finally thought she would get custody for Suzy. But now Chloe is back and her new elegant appearance makes it very clear what will happen soon. It is interesting that we get to see the mother of the kids in the burned house, a woman who mistreats her kids because of drugs. It is a nice and subtle analogy.

    Doug has another fallout with his father and in his scenes Mimi Leder proves her skills, in a great shot that goes from his frozen feet to a closeup of his face. Later on he blames his father for his screwed-up life and to make things worse, his father doesn't even take the blame.

    Carter also goes through some difficult times as he again doubts his decision to become a surgeon after being unable to treat Raul's wounds. Benton tells him that it can't get worse and it's a good thing to say, but I guess both he and Carter know that this is not the point.

    Lydia also gets a small, but effective scene in which she expresses how tough the job as a nurse can be. This scene could have been longer and not cut so abruptly but it nevertheless was nice.

    We also have Marg Helgenberger's first, but very brief appearance, which is nice since we will get to see more of her too pretty soon.

    Altogether this is a great episode, fast-paced, with partially great action music (almost Zimmer-like, which is funny considering it's Mimi Leder) at the beginning and going for the full emotional blast in the end.
  • This is one of the greatest ever

    ER needed and episode to show what heroes the paramedics are and this was it. It had all of the elements of a great ER episode: suspense, surprise twists, and a dramatic ending. I find it kind of ironic that Shep saves three kids but blames himself for Raul's death. I know a few paramedics, and I appreciate what a difficult job they have. The suspense of waiting to see what happened to Raul is amazing, especially seeing Carol's reaction. The ending when Carol has to break the news to Shep is very well done, and reminiscent of Love's Labor Lost. And we can't forget the B story lines with Doug and his dad and with Chloe's return.
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