TV Review: ER Episode 12.15

Thursday, March 02, 2006

From NBC: Dr. Carter (Noah Wyle) is joined by Dr. Dakarai (Eamonn Walker) in the Sudanese desert as they work to treat hundreds of disease infested, and famine stricken people. Carter and Dr. Dakarai must spring into action to save a woman who was raped by a militant group. Meanwhile, back at County General, Dr. Clemente (John Leguizamo) returns from New Jersey wounded. Pratt (Mekhi Phifer) and Neela (Parminder Nagra) quickly work to save a 14 year-old involved in a hit and run accident, but Pratt is infuriated when he discovers who hit the young teen. Laura Innes, Goran Visnjic, Maura Tierney and Scott Grimes also star.

My Rating: 3 out of 4

ER makes it post-Olympic return to NBC tonight with an all-new episode that also marks the return of one of the most beloved characters of this series long history, Dr. John Carter. However, in my opinion what was supposed to be his triumphant return to the series, really wasn't. I'll explain why. Noah Wyle did wonderful tonight. It was great see Carter again, but I wanted to see him back at County General. I wanted to see him walk through the doors of the ER, and I wanted to see the look on everyone's face when he did so. Even if it was just a visit of some sort. I didn't want to see him in the middle of Sudanese desert with no interaction whatsoever with his former friends and colleagues. That doesn't make a true triumphant return for this wonderful character. His being in Darfur does put light on the situation happening there, and that in itself is good. I just expected him to be in Chicago, and not halfway around the world.

On tonight's episode, we see Carter working at a camp in Darfur with an American woman and a local man. we see the horrible conditions they are all living. We then see a woman attacked and brought in. It is obvious she has been raped, and in this locale this is unforgivable. Her husband goes off to find the men responsible, and Carter and the local doctor go after him. The local doctor is reluctant, but Carter is ever persistent. They do find the group's camp, but they are already too late The husband has also found them. He is being beaten. Carter and the doctor are almost caught as well, but they aren't found. Before the group of militants drive off, they shoot the husband, and he dies of his injuries. Carter and the man do take him back to their camp to his wife and children. The man is then buried.

Back at the ER, a teenage boy is brought in with severe injuries after being hit. Pratt and Abby call in surgical, and Neela comes down. She makes a decision that goes against Pratt, and it nearly costs the boy his life. Pratt does go over her head and calls her boss down. The teenager is taken up to surgery and he does live. The twist here is it is Pratt's friend that is responsible for the accident. He had helped his friend in an earlier episode by switching his blood out, so his friend wouldn't be arrested. Pratt does talk his friend into turning himself in, and after he reveals what he did to Neela she urges Pratt to take his own advice. Will he? We'll have to wait and see what happens.

We also have more on the Clemente front. The cops are still questioning him, but he returns to the hospital this week. He spends most of the episode at Jodie's bedside, and lucky for him she does end up waking up. We assume she also clears his name with the cops, but her husband is still out for blood. Frankly, her husband scares me a bit, but we'll have to keep an eye on this. The episode ends with him driving away from the hospital after calling Clemente.
This episode was really weak to me. I expected more out of the return of John Carter, and I feel a bit let down. This series is still good, but not as good as it used to be. Next week's episode does have my interest based on tonight's previews. My favorite part of tonight's episode was Luka and Abby and the baby naming discussion. As it turns out, her pregnancy secret is out. She wouldn't have been able to hide it for much longer in any case.


Scarlet said...

I totally agree! I wanted to see him back in Chicago.

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