When I first found out that Carter would appear again, I was very happy, even tough it'd be in Africa. And when I found out Pratt'd join him in Africa, all I could think was that ER'd be boring again, like in season 10.
I had no idea how good this episode would be.
Many people hate Pratt, I was always indifferent to him. But when comparing him to the other County doctors in Africa, Kovac and Carter, as characters and as actors, Greg Pratt/Mekhi Phifer, was unbelievably better. He showed the emotion, the fear and the distress the other two never knew how to. He learned in two episodes to be a better person and doctor. Without knowing, Pratt already knew (in a different way) how and why those people are so badly treated, as he himself grew up being bullied for being black. Carter's the rich boy. Kovac's the sucessful doctor. Those little outburts of sadness of their african experiences never touched anyone. But an African-American doctor helping people like him, and knowing exactly what to do or say (even tough he's been arrogant forever) was amazing.
Take Carter, Dakarai and Debbie away, and this episode'd have been perfect. Once upon a time, there was John Carter, who was funny and who all people loved. Now I can't stand my once favorite ER character. He's SO boring. And the whole Debbie-Dakarai romance, and his disease, were completely unnecessary to the episode.
Pratt was the man. He fought for that pregnant lady like he never did for anyone at County. He acted like a man when he tought the Janjaweed had killed Dakarai, and not like a spoiled boy as Carter (when he tought Kovac was dead). Sometimes he didn't understand what was going on, or why they had to let some things happen, but instead of getting used to them (like Carter and Kovac did), he adapted his own ways to these situations. He kept walking with a sick woman in the middle of the desert. He kept working even tough he was tired (and with none of that mouthwasher/vodka left, very Pratt-y, by the way). He was very African.
The episode ends with a little boy holding Pratt's hand and walking with him. In a way, the little boy was thanking those writers for having finally written a good episode in Africa, for finally showing us how the situation is in a true way, for finally giving Pratt a wonderful episode, for finally making us realize that, even tough all of the good old characters left us, they can always make the new ones just as amazing.