TV Review: ER Episode 12.05

Friday, October 21, 2005

From NBC: Pratt (Mekhi Phifer) gets a wake-up call when the new attending (John Leguizamo) poses as a patient to test the knowledge of doctors in the ER. Meanwhile, Kovac (Goran Visnjic) bonds with the former coma patient and contemplates bending the rules for her. A breast cancer patient convinces Abby (Maura Tierney) to get her first mammogram. Pratt's father Charlie (Danny Glover) tries to convince his son that he has turned his life around. Kristen Johnson, Laura Innes, Parminder Nagra, Scott Grimes, and Shane West also star.

My rating:

I'll start this review of tonight's episode of ER titled "wake up" the best episode of this season so far. Tonight we had total and complete chaos in the ER, and it was great. This episode reminded me of what ER used to be like at the very beginning. Everyone had something to do whether it be in the ER or out. Tonight, we also had the addition of another cast member - Attending Dr. Clemente played by John Leguizamo. Is he enough to heat things up in the ER?

Tonight's ER episode didn't really have any new cases that stood out. The ER was full of activity as always, but instead we saw our residents and interns work under the new leadership of arriving attending Dr. Clemente. He starts his first day with a bang by coming in as a patient complaining of pain in his chest. He's testing the ER to see how efficient it is. Well, when Pratt diagnoses him wrong, Clemente announces who he is and that Pratt just killed him. Why oh why does this doctor remind me of Dr. Doug Ross? I could picture this character doing this.

Instead of new patients, we had the continuation of story lines with patients from previous episodes. We saw the return of both Abby's breast cancer patient and Luka's coma case from last week's episode. Let's first discusses Abby's case. This week, the woman has had her surgery, and there is a problem with the reconstruction needed. This angers the woman, and she places the blame on Abby for talking her into having the double mastectomy in the first place.

The woman also lies to Abby about her boyfriend. She tells Abby that the man left her side, and when the man returns to the hospital to see her Abby learns the truth. Her dealings with the patient lead Abby to have her first mammogram. During the commercials for tonight's episode, a PSA was aired about breast cancer awareness as well.

This was not all Abby did on this episode. We also see her talk to Dr. Dubenko briefly on this episode, and we're updated on his condition. Appears he has had his surgery, and he also thanks her for sending her little gift his way. If we recall last week, she had started to talk to the call girl in the ER with another patient. Seems the woman did work her magic on Dubenko after all. We weren't sure of this following last week's episode.

Now what about Luka's coma case? She is in her own room in the hospital and her condition seems to improving since last week. She knows of her condition, and she has many questions about what happened. With her questions, Luka goes to her doctor and learns of the events surrounding the accident that sent her into a coma. Apparently, the events were quite gruesome - a car jacking where her mother was raped and shot, and she would have suffered the same fate if someone else hadn't showed up.

Luka spends the day with the young girl, breaking a few rules in the process. He takes her out of the room and through the hospital, their day ending on the roof so she can see Lake Michigan. While on the roof, the girl begins to talk about the accident, and something clicks inside her that sends her back into her comatose state. He rushes her back down to the ER, and starts to furiously work to save her from the state - using the experienmental treatment her doctor said they had been using. However, she ends up seizing, and it doesn't bring her out of her coma. The episode fades to black with Luka at her bedside explaining to her about the events surrounding the accident. The scene brought tears to my eyes.

Not only were things hopping in the ER, but things were happening outside of it as well. This week we saw the return of Danny Glover as Pratt's father. Pratt is still distant when it comes to the man, and it looks like he won't budge. However, in an outburst outside the bar with his girlfriend we learn the reason why he is so bothered by the man. This man is too good for him to hate. Pratt also has his relationship with the woman he has been seeing move to the next level on this episode.

What I loved about this episode is that we saw everyone doing something. Sam was the only nurse with limited airtime, but she's been seen a lot this season. The only character absent this week was Eve. A bit surprising, but maybe they wanted the focus on one new cast member, and not both. Clemente and Eve should be an interesting match up to watch. Both are controlling and in charge. Will they end up butting heads?

Ray even found a way to escape his toxicity elective and make it back down to the ER, and he even had a band gig that night in which he invited everyone too. They all show up, but late for the show. Ray is already heading home with his groupie of the night. Neela makes her faces as usual, and I'm really starting to wonder here. Yes, she has Gallant, but like Neela said on tonight's episode he's off at war and so are her hormones. Is there something going on inside her head about her roommate? Even if just a fling took place, I could see it happening.

Over the past few weeks, I'd been becoming increasingly unhappy with the way things were going with this season of ER. After twelve years, I was beginning to think that the show had lost its spark. Recent cast changes - both the departures of Susan and Carter and the addition of Eve - hadn't done much for me. As for Susan, it has finally been said she is gone for good. That was mentioned on tonight's episode briefly. I think the addition of Clemente might be just what this show needs. Only time will tell. Due to the lack of preview's for next week, this leads me to believe we have no ER next week. The show should return for November sweeps.


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