Hi friends, welcome to TV Tuesday. Today I’m back with the fifteenth and final season of ER.
Here we are, the final season and it’s gearing up to make me cry.
The season opens with where we left off, the ambulance exploding. We quickly find out that Sam is safe, Abby caught some of the blow, but it’s Pratt who was in the passenger seat. He’s awake but in pain.
They take him to the hospital and they work on him. Everything seems like it’s going well, Pratt is going to be okay… and then it’s just not. He grows a mass on his neck and things just take a turn for the worst. They have no choice but do everything they can, but in the end it just isn’t enough.
That walk through the ER to take him upstairs so he can fully die in peace and not the ER was just SO sad and just SO heartbreaking.
Morris takes his death really hard. He’s throwing everything into his work; ignoring his feelings I feel bad for him. We find out later when Abby tries to get through to him that the last words Pratt said to him were “Morris, don’t screw it up” and Morris is feeling the weight of those words. Abby tells him that he did everything in his power and that if she ever needed help she’d go ask for him. That was really sweet and I like how close those two got.
Speaking of Abby, she breaks her wrist but is otherwise fine. But, her last day approaches and she doesn’t tell anyone. She eventually cracks and tells Neela and she’s furious that she’s just leaving, no real warning. She also tells Dudenko (more on him in a minute), but she otherwise goes on with her shift.
Sam has to go in front of the board, but she’s been kept waiting all day so Abby goes in and tears the place apart yelling at them for their lack of recognition in the ER that the nurses in the ER face the brunt of every situation and are stuck with all the unwanted patients, that Sam is a good nurse. She tells Sam, “us nurses need to stick together”.
I didn’t really care for the Abby biblical voice over as she worked her last shift, but watching her leave was sad. It was nice to see Kovač one last time as he picked her up.
Everyone is leaving! But we still do have new players. Dr. Cate Banfield is the new chief and she is tough. You can tell she doesn’t jive with everyone, but her attitude is good to have in the ER.
We’ve seen bits of her life and there is definitely a story there and I’m wondering if we’re going to find out what it is.
We get a handful of new interns and they’re really new, like they always start off as. On their first shift they get exposed to some biochemical hazard and they have to go into quarantine, hearing that word now just has a whole new meaning.
One intern, Talia is assigned to Gates and you can see she has a thing for him, always wanting to impress him; obviously he just sees it as him teaching her, but Sam knows what’s up. But Talia is also dating one of the surgeons, I believe he was an intern some earlier season so I don’t know what Talia’s deal is.
Sam gets mad at Gates because she treats Talia like a doctor, but Sam like a nurse who can do all the grunt work.
Back to Dubenko, so I was wondering why we seeing so much of him since he quit last season. Like, I don’t care if the man is going to yoga. But in the end he does go back to work at County. This makes Neela happy, since I think she was lobbing to get him to come back.
Speaking of Neela, she hooks up with Brenner, which I thought was dumb. Then she tells him no, and this just makes him try harder to get her. Like he even goes to Dubenko to ask what she likes. At first Dubenko resists, but in the end gives in.
I don’t like the two of them together, probably because I don’t like Brenner as a person.
Then guess who shows up, RAY! I’m telling you, I’m just going to cry the entire season. He’s doing well, he’s got prosthetics now and is in a good place. The two spend most of the day together and they ALMOST get together and then who has to ruin everything… Brenner. He shows up at Neela’s apartment to ask if she wants to celebrate and she’s like UH NO. She gets him to leave, but that’s when Ray says he has to go. At least they get to kiss, but UGH! I was rooting for those two!
It was so good to see Ray though. I’m hoping for some more guest appearances!
Chaz starts his medical internship and Morris is so proud of him and trying to give him all these opportunities… more opportunities than he should be. When Chaz does a procedure that goes wrong, a procedure he never should have been doing, it’s Morris who has to take the blame. Even before he admitted it, I knew that he was pushing Chaz because of Pratt and Morris even tells him, when he sees him he sees his brother. Morris tells Chaz that he’ll get there one day, but he has to start from the bottom like everyone else. Chaz is thankful to have Morris looking out for him because that is what Pratt would have done… AW!
So what is with everyone confiding in Morris all of a sudden? He’s all of a sudden become the go-to guy to lend an ear. I like that for him because he’s actually a good listener. His character arc is probably one of my favourites.
We finally get some backstory into Banfield and her family. So it turns out she had a son but they lost him. We get flashbacks to about three years before when he seizes out and she’s reluctant to bring him to the hospital, in the end she does… and she brings him to county where Mark treated him… I think I scream MARK when he appeared on-screen, but I’ll get to that in a minute.
Banfield always blamed herself for waiting to bring him in and when they found out he had leukemia it was all just too late. They did all they could for him, but it just wasn’t enough. Her demeanour makes sense now. When they bring in a patient, a young girl it brings back all the flashbacks for her and when Morris questions her on it, she cracks and tells him about her son.
I also have to say the bond between Morris and Banfield I really like; they really play off each other well. Morris brings out the more playful side whereas she brings out the more serious side of him.
Now, back to MARK! I really like how they brought him back. Because he died, I was like he won’t get a guest appearance, but bringing him back in a flashback, brilliant! It also had me questioning if this happened in past season because it was so authentic to the time when Mark was in chemo. I also like that we got to see Weaver and Romano too! I wasn’t expecting to see Romano as he died too, but it was a nice little guest spot!
We then get a bit of back story with Brenner… and even though we’re told this I’m like am I supposed to feel sorry for him? Because I still don’t like him.
When a child molester comes into the ER this triggers something in Brenner. He then opens up to Morris about being molested as a child. Morris tells him he needs to talk to someone about it, but Brenner just says he’s dealing with it in his own way. What way? Sleeping with lots of women? Seems really healthy.
Sam has been having a pretty good season, she and Tony decide to move in together and create a little family. All is cozy and cute… until it’s not. In the middle of a snow storm her son Alex and Tony’s daughter Sara go out to a party. Thinking he’s doing the right thing he drives kids who are drunk home, only he gets into an accident.
He’s very touch and go for a while, but he does make it through – I was worried for a bit. Tony then tells Sam that he caved let them go to the party; Sam is livid. So livid that once Alex is okay she breaks up with him. I can’t say that I’m surprised.
Jerry shows up!! I love Jerry, apparently he’s looking for his old job back so maybe we’ll get more of him! Well, we do get more Jerry as he starts his old gig back up!
So, what does Tony do… he drunkenly sleeps with Taila and this just makes everything super awkward. I guess there’s truly no hope for he and Sam to get back together.
Or maybe… when Sam’s mother shows up and she has to take care of her and help her moved into a nursing home, it’s Tony who’s there for her to help. And when Sam’s birthday rolls around and Alex has Tony help him re-model a car for her – that was so sweet. I love that there’s hope for them and that they don’t hate each other.
Speaking of Sam, she’s been doing more rotations in the OR which is really cool. I love watching the nurses blossom into different departments.
Banfield and her husband decide that they’re ready to start a family once more, but given her age it’s posing to be really difficult. She wants to try to have her own baby and so when IVF doesn’t work she’s really disappointed. I was really rooting for it to work for her.
A few episodes later, a girl brings in a baby, her baby she doesn’t want and after a lot of ups and downs with the girl (who’s still in high school) Cate and her husband get to adopt the little guy!
We then get an episode that’s like groundhog day. Neela keeps living the same day over and over with slightly different outcomes. I think the point was to show that no matter how many times you do something different, bad outcomes can still happen with your patients.
By the end I was confused what really had happened. She goes for an interview, who, surprise! Elizabeth Corday was the woman interviewing her. It was really good to see Elizabeth again and when she said that Ella was 8 I was like; it’s been that long!!! I’m loving these character blast from the pasts and I love how they’re spaced out so that we’re not bombarded with them.
So, in one instance Neela totally bombs the interview, but in another she rocks it. The same goes with Brenner in one instance she’s all into him and they hook up and decide to get together. Talk about confused. In the end I think she did okay with the interview because it leads to an interview with Duke in North Carolina and she later gets together with Brenner. I hate to say it, but he’s growing on me. Ugh. What I’m finding though is he’s full of hope, it kind of surprises me how much hope this guy has.
Morris has a tough case where he has to deal with a really aggressive woman… who turns out to be an undercover cop, who he hits it off with. When she comes back to the hospital no longer uncover the two hit it off again. They are SO cute!
We also get an episode where they help an old man who keeps seeing things like it was the 1960s. The flashbacks were really cool, but I don’t know how accurate the facts were. They claimed the old man helped in the creation and invention of the emergency room and the ER as we know it today. It was still interesting, even if it wasn’t real. Plus, Dr. Morgenstern came back for an episode which was nice to see.
I like how they show cops who are women, and not just women, but women of colour, are treated on the job. Morris’ girlfriend, Diaz is a rookie cop and when out on a call she gets shot, multiple times and her partner who is supposed to have her back (old white man, go figure) just doesn’t care.
Morris is livid when he finds out and I love him for that. As much as Diaz doesn’t want Morris to butt in and be involved, I love how much he’s willing to stand up and fight for her. Ugh Morris, you’re killing me.
But then Morris kinda let’s slip to Neela about Brenner’s past and Neela is furious that he didn’t open up to her about it, but she also understands what their last fight was about.
So she goes to confront him, to tell him that they could have something great, but she believes that there is something greater out there for both of them. I think that part of it Brenner needed to hear because he’s never going to have a positive relationship if he keeps going the way that he is, but I also feel like Neela is a little out of line for her to think he needs to tell her everything about his life or his traumatic past.
On Neela’s last day (more on that) I love how the two of them were able to sit down and really talk about everything. We see that this relationship he had with her really opened something in him. He’s finally admitting that he needs and wants help and he’s started to see a therapist and I’m actually really happy for him. As much as I never liked Brenner, this was really big for him and I’m glad to see him on a path to bettering himself for him.
Carter makes a return; in which I have been waiting for it. He just randomly shows up asking if he can start doing some shifts at the hospital because he’ll be in Chicago indefinitely. I was like, hmm? THE END OF THAT EP! We see a room full of chemo patients, and I went, who do we know has cancer… ZOOM IN ON DR. JOHN CARTER, THAT’S WHO!!! I think my brain melted.
We find out he’s on dialysis and is in need of a new kidney. When he gets involved in an altercation and is knocked down, he has to be set up in a bed with IV as he started skipping dialysis. Of course Morris knew, Morris knows everything these days.
He’s then taken to another hospital in Chicago where he was getting his treatment to wait for a kidney. I honestly thought that was the last we would see of him.
OH NO. We get one of the best episodes. It starts off with Neela and Sam flying to Seattle to get a heart for one of their patients. Guess who’s in charge of the patient, none other than Doug Ross himself. When I saw George Clooney’s name in the credits I screamed because I honestly didn’t think he would come back.
A teen was in a bad accident and is on life support but the grandma doesn’t want to let the kid go and it’s Carol who is the counsellor on the job. I love that the two of them are still working together, they are so cute!
In the end they convince her and they can move the organs. They have a kidney that Carol asks Neela if they can deliver to another hospital in Chicago… a kidney that will go to none other than Carter!
You know, I partly wish that Carol and Doug knew it was going to Carter, but I also really like that they didn’t know because it closed things off nicely and didn’t have them worrying about Carter.
We do get to see Carter again at the other hospital. He’s just waiting to go into surgery when who shows up, Dr. Benton! AH! This episode was so nostalgic. Those two from the beginning were really good to each other. I feel like Carter helped Benton be less of an arrogant doctor and really brought out the human in him. It’s good to see Benton having Carter’s back one last time because WOW his surgeon is an ass.
Benton even sits in on his surgery and if it wasn’t for Benton, I think Carter’s surgery would have had a different outcome.
And damn when he told Carter that Reece is 13, woof!
Then we come to Neela’s last day, she’s actually leaving county, after all the indecision, she’s finally making a decision! She’s had such an up and down season, first she’s yelling at interns because she thinks they’re all dumb, then she has Dubenko on her case and when he’s mad at her for leaving, I’m like bro. I get that she was the one who pulled him back to county after he quit, I get that anger, but to say he had better things for her – so not fair to say. He thinks she’s going to a lesser place where her talents won’t be as recognized, yeah okay.
We get flash backs of Gallant and Pratt, talk about teary. But in the end she makes the decision to go and be with RAY! My heart, oh I’m so happy for her. She’s finally getting to be with Ray. When asks her “are you really here?” UH, that was honestly the best ending for her character.
Then the series finale – I have to say I thought I’d cry more, but I didn’t. It was nostalgia mixed with new and old characters and another day in the ER.
I like that they opened the episode playing homage to the opening of the pilot – with Mark trying to sleep but being called to work, this time it’s Morris trying to sleep. The little things were a really nice touch.
I don’t really know why they introduced a new doctor for the final episode; I guess to show how hard the job can really be? But haven’t we already seen that for 15 seasons?
Anyways, Chaz is giving a group tour to fresh med students and who happens to be upon them, Rachel Greene, Mark’s daughter. It took me a second before she said who she was to realize. I like how they looped it back around and brought ‘Dr. Greene’ back in such a lovely way.
I think because Carter learned so much from Mark that he wants nothing but the best for Rachel and he wants her to succeed so he’s showing her the ropes of the ER, showing her procedures (which technically he shouldn’t as she hasn’t done any practical work). At the very end when he calls her Dr. Greene it was so special and heartwarming,
Carter is opening his very own clinic for people who can’t afford medical care. He names it after his late son. Weaver, Benton and Susan plus Elizabeth and Rachel all come out to support him. Like I said it was so good to see the old cast come together one last time.
The episode ends with a large trauma coming in, eight or more people hurt in an explosion. So the team gears up ready to take it on. The camera then pans out to show the whole hospital, which I’ve always been curious about how it all looked and how it all fit together. I was reading and apparently that’s the first (and obviously only) time we’ve ever seen it in all its glory.
And just like that, that is ER.
I’ve written thousands of words over the past three years about how much this show has meant to me and how much I‘ve loved it. This has felt like being a part of a family and now that I’m finished it, I feel empty.
I now know (I probably always did) that I would never make it in a hospital setting, let alone an ER setting, but this show made it feel real and brought me along for the ride and it’s been fun.