TV Review: ER Episode 12.04

Thursday, October 13, 2005

From NBC: A patient who has been in a coma for nine years suddenly awakens in the ER and Kovac (Goran Visnjic) struggles with whether he should reveal her the truth about her past. Abby (Maura Tierney) comforts Dr. Dubenko (Leland Orser) after he finds out some troubling news. New Nurse Manager Eve (Kristen Johnston "3rd Rock from the Sun") makes waves in the ER as she implements her strict methods.

My Rating:

An ER episode titled "Blame it on the Rain" came at us tonight full of twists and humor. There seemed to be one twist after another on this rainy day in the ER. The ER is full of cases due to the rain. Several car accidents, a man complaining of chest pain and a comatose woman make up the main roster of patients on tonight's episode. There is also some surprising developments that in my mind made this episode one of the best of this season so far. However, I've seen this show do far better.

In the opening minutes of tonight's episode, we saw Eve and Morris go head to head, Abby get a bit steamed when a driver almost hits her, and Kerry take charge of the ER. After some moments seeing the ER in work with Eve once again taking charge of the nurses as she did last week, we see our first case rolled into the ER - a woman that has been comatose for six years from a nursing home. The paramedics drop her off leaving her in Luka's care. After Eve comes in between Luka and Sam working together on the case, Luka goes to Kerry, but she states it is Eve's call when it comes to the nursing staff.

We then see Ray off on an toxicology elective. Not sure what the purpose of him doing this now was. He is sent off to work with the poison control center manning the phones. He tries to inject a bit of humor into the position, but that goes over as big as a scorpion bite in the middle of the desert. We don't see much of him this episode.

Our next case into the ER is one of the motor vehicle accidents. A young mother drives into a cinder block wall with her three month old baby in the car with her. Seems the car seat wasn't attached to the car properly and the baby's car seat seemed to have been ejected or jarred during the accident. The woman's original story upon entering the ER is that someone tried to car jack her. She suffers very little injury - broken breast bone and facial lacerations.

While Neela is treating her, the woman makes references that make it seem like it was not a simple car accident, but instead intentional. Neela tries to get psych to look at her and admit her for dealing with postpartum depression, but after a brief visit psych sees nothing wrong with the woman and she is allowed to go home. At the end of the episode, we see Neela watching as she is driven away by her husband. I think there is a good chance of seeing this family in the ER again.

Abby's case tonight was a man coming in complaining of chest pain. He is accompanied by someone that looks to be his wife, but we soon learn she is a therapist - and we use that term loosely here if you know what I mean. She is his satisfaction facilitator. Call girl sounds politically incorrect these days doesn't it? Abby treats the man, but the woman seems to have more of a purpose in this episode as we later learn.

During the episode, Abby goes to Dr. Dubenko to ask about why she saw him last week up being seen by a doctor. He confides in her that he has developed prostrate cancer. He further confides to her over coffee about his treatment options, and in a totally humorous exchange about a highly serious matter he asks her to have sex with him. She doesn't say yes, but you can tell she felt bad for him. By the end of the episode, she has an idea to ask the satisfaction facilitator for assistance, but we don't know the result of this because the episode ends soon after.

One final case comes in near the end of the episode. Another MVA where a man has a broken pelvis. His son gets a bit heated and goes after the man responsible. During this case, Sam and Luka work together flawlessly - unlike their interaction last week. Sam goes to Eve and gives her a piece of her mind about her schedule, but Eve had also seen the interaction between the former couple and reinstated Sam's former schedule.

Another humorous side plot on tonight's episode is Kerry sending Jerry out into the storm to pick up a present for her son's birthday. She sends off after a King Funshine Care Bear early on in the episode. We don't see him until the end of the episode, and he has been hit by lightning. Poor Jerry.

Now what about the comatose woman brought in at the beginning of the episode? Near the end the woman wakes up with no memory of the events that have her in the hospital other than her having been in some type of accident. Luka has no idea to deal with this, and we really don't see the result of this. For something that is mentioned as a major plot point for this show, this story line really did nothing, and in fact with an already crowded ER it could have been left out without hurting the episode.

This happened last week as well with the fight Luka got into with the patient's husband. It had been hyped as Luka having some type of break down, but this wasn't the case. False advertising? Possibly. I know I don't like being told something is going to play a major part of the episode's story line and then it clearly isn't. Also the show even made an error in the episode description. They say nine, and it was mentioned as six years throughout the episode.

This show does have a lot of good in it. Some highlights for me were the scenes between Abby and Dubenko and Luka's obvious frustration with the new nurse manager. I'm still not all too thrilled with her character, but I liked Eve more this week. She can stop being a total bitch for .3 seconds because she did switch Sam back to her schedule. I think this episode was good, but I'm starting to get the feeling that the show is searching for its momentum.

The focus in recent weeks has fallen to Abby, and she is a wonderful character played by a good actress, but there is more to this show than her character. Some characters are getting the short end of the stick time wise. Morris hasn't been seen much at all this season. He mostly comes in at moments where comic relief is needed. Same with Pratt and Ray this episode. Susan just disappeared. Fans knew her actress was once again leaving the show, but there was no real explanation for her leaving the ER. She just stopped appearing. So many problems. This show is still one of the good ones on television, but after twelve years on there is only so much you can do that hasn't been done already.

On next week's episode, we have the introduction of another new addition, John Leguizamo's Dr. Clemente. Just from the teaser at the end of tonight's episode, he looks to also come in and shake things up. Will he shake them up enough to bring this show back to its former stature?


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