TV Review: ER Episode 12.11

Thursday, January 05, 2006

From NBC: Abby (Maura Tierney) continues to struggle with the decision of whether or not she is ready to become a mother. Meanwhile, Neela (Parminder Nagra) and Kovac (Goran Visnjic) help a religious teenager weigh all her pregnancy options. Ray (Shane West) has an opportunity of a lifetime with his band and everyone is shocked at the outcome. Clemente's (John Leguizamo) past is starting to catch up with him when the cops come looking for him in the ER. Laura Innes, Linda Cardellini, Mekhi Phifer, Scott Grimes also star.

My Rating: 4 out of 4

ER returns from its holiday hiatus with an intense episode titled "If not now." Before the holidays two story lines came to the forefront. One of those story lines becomes of the focus of this week's episode. On Christmas Eve, Abby tells Luka she is pregnant with his baby. They had a bit of a fling, and this pregnancy resulted from it.

On this week's episode, we learn that Abby isn't all too sure she wants to carry this baby to term. In fact, there is a chance she might abort it. She even makes an appointment in order to do just that. Luka wants her to keep the baby, and he wants them to raise it together. Throughout the episode, we see flashbacks of them both talking about the baby over the holidays.

Abby knows at her age, thirty-seven, a baby might be harder to come by as time goes on. However, she worries about the type of mother she will make. Timing is ideal, but also not ideal enough. She is just beginning her career, and a pregnancy will only throw things out of whack.

In the end, she decides to keep the baby. This episode handled her decision process realistically and well. Maura Tierney really shined here in her performance, and she has always been one of my favorite actresses in the show. She was calm and collected, but she also made known all her worries. Luka was ever supportive, but he also made known he wanted this baby. Most men would leave it all up to the woman to handle, but he helped her as much as she allowed him too.

Abby's decision wasn't the only story line in this episode. We also had another young woman's pregnancy come into play. A teenage girl comes in, and it is found she is seven weeks pregnant. Her family is quite religious, and they decide to keep the baby because it is God's Will. However, as it turns out, the baby is the product of a rape, and the young girl doesn't want to carry the baby to term. Neela discovers this, and she tries going to the family, and even ends up in a tense showdown with Luka over his Catholicism.

After he throws Neela off the case, he goes to the girl and finds a way to help her with her parents being none of the riser. It'll appear she just miscarried. This case helped him see the other side of the issue when it came to his own life and Abby's pregnancy. It made him a bit more understanding of why she would want to abort the baby. We know she ends up not doing so, but ER did truly wonderful here showing both sides of a very heart wrenching issue.

Another minor subplot to tonight's episode has to deal with Ray. His band has landed a record deal, and he wants time off to go to California. He goes to Kerry, and she is immediately against any time off. She has her own issues this episode though. She fell, and it looks like the fall is the case of some more problems for her in regards to her hip. Also, in one of the scenes with Ray and Kerry, am I the only one that heard Ray call her Aunt Kerry? I'm trying go back in my head and think if this has been brought to light before. I'm not entirely sure.

However, when he goes to Kerry a second time, he makes the mistake of saying he'd quit if he wasn't able to go, and Kerry quickly accepts his resignation. When he meets with one of his band mates later on though, it really looks like he made the wrong decision. Has Ray been dropped by his band? Wow, what a way to have it be medicine he chooses. He has no other choice!

Not only do we have Ray's issue with Kerry, but Clemente has his own problems with the woman that showed up on his doorstep around Christmas. Her husband has filed a missing person's report, and now the police are questioning Clemente. I'm not sure what they are doing here, but I really hope they don't waste John Leguizamo as they did in this episode. I had been truly enjoying his addition to the cast, and now I'm not sure what they are planning on doing with him.

All in all, this episode was a great return for ER. It had intensity and emotion on all fronts, and the acting in this episode was some of the best I've seen from this cast all season.

Now, we have the big secret for next week. What do we think Gallant has to tell Neela to have her react in such an upset manner? My opinion is one of two things. He is either going back to Iraq, which is horrible, but probable. I don't know if Neela would react so upset to this though. Another thought is he is already married or he had some kind of fling while in Iraq. Possible, but we'll have to wait til next Thursday night to find out! Weirder things have happened!


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