Season 11 Episode 6

Time of Death

Aired Thursday 10:00 PM Nov 11, 2004 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (13)

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out of 10
159 votes
  • This episode takes the experience of dying through the patient's eyes. An alcoholic in the end stages of his disease shows up in the ER with no idea this was to be his last day. This episode is absolutely one of the best written of all ER history.

    This episode has been with me since it first aired in November 2004. Truly the most haunting episode of ER and it's through the viewpoint of a patient you don't expect to care about. "Charlie" is in the end stages of alcoholism and he is literally experiencing what I imagine dying would be like in a strange hospital setting with no family to give comfort. I love how this episode starts with an old Rolling Stones song..."baby, baby, baby you're out of time"......
    As already thoroughly reviewed, how this particular patient touches off emotions in the staff that treats him is incredibly brilliant. I will never forget the last scenes as Charlie is slipping into his last moments of life and he starts into a dream like sequence where he sees his son as a little boy he can't get to. Even how the writers placed him and his old house in the middle of a hot desert in his dream makes the viewer feel the "dehydration" and discomfort Charlie is feeling. And then there is this horrifying sound of a loud ringing tone in the background as Charlie is having all these flashbacks and hallucinations. The realism of this episode was incredible. I cried for Charlie in the end and could not sleep that night. I saw the episode again in a rerun and it got to me again.
    As a footnote, my ex husband just died of the end stages of alcoholism. I thought of this episode all over again when he died. Like Charlie, he died alone and most probably experienced all the sensations Charlie did, both physically and mentally. He would have turned 50 next week.
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