TV Review: ER Episode 12.16

Thursday, March 16, 2006

From NBC: Dr. Weaver (Laura Innes) contemplates hip replacement surgery after she finds it hard to do her labor intensive job. Meanwhile, Dr. Kovac (Goran Visnjic) tries to ease Abby's (Maura Tierney) fears about raising a child together. Neela (Parminder Nagra) decides to attend a support group for military spouses but when she offers her opinions on the war, the meeting turns into a debate. After Sam (Linda Cardellini) treats a fainting victim, named Richard Elliot, (Armand Assante) she finds herself with an intriguing job offer. Mehki Phifer, Shane West and Scott Grimes star. TV-14

My Rating: 3 out of 4

I'm not sure what is happening with ER this season. It just seems like a different series, and NBC also seems to not be treating as the must-see anchor to its Thursday night line-up like they used to. Tonight's episode titled Out on a Limb definitely appeared different than the episode they promoted in the preview's at the end of last episode. I expected a high intensity episode with a medical emergency in the ER surrounding a communicable disease needing quarantine. That story lasted only about ten minutes of the episode, and I know I'm not the only fan that was left scratching their head over the difference between the preview and the episode that actually aired. This isn't the same time this has happened this season either.

Tonight's episode started with Kerry coming into the ER to work, even when she has hip replacement surgery schedule that afternoon. She uses the ER as a way to cancel the surgery, and we follow her throughout the episode as she works. She has difficulties a few times during the episode, and she finally changes her mind and goes ahead with the operation. In this episode, we also see Weaver bond with Abby during the episode, and she even asks the female doctor to be the guardian of her young son, Henry. It was real nice seeing Weaver being the focus of a major story line again, even if it appears the surgery might end up having her disappear again while she recovers from it.

The ER is truly busy once again tonight. we have several cases come in, one of them being the case featured in the preview for tonight's episode. That case involves a motor vehicle accident involving pedestrians. Driving the car was a young teenager. Her friend was in the passenger seat. However, it appears that the car accident is the least of their problems. We soon learn they have a disease that is highly contagious, and everyone in the ER that has come in contact with the young girls needs a treatment to prevent them from contracting the disease.

This is problem for Abby though because of her pregnancy. The treatment could endanger the baby. Luka tries his convince her to take the treatment, but Abby is adamantly opposed to it. She doesn't want to put her baby at risk, even though the danger to her baby isn't a definite with the treatment. Luke pulls her off to take the shot. This causes a problem between the two, and Luka has to help her with her worries.

Sam is also seen a great deal tonight. She is the nurse working with Grimes on a case of a man with a blood disorder that needs constant transfusion. His regular staff misses his treatment, so he faints. This brings him to the ER, and the hospital staff then decides to go ahead and give him his treatment for the day. Sam is with him a great deal during the episode, and by the end we see the patient offering her a job as his new nurse responsible for his treatment. This throws Sam for a loop, she thinks he is only making the offer because he knows she is a single mother living in a bad area. Her son also comes in during the episode after being jumped and beat up on his way home.

Neela also makes a return to the ER. She is still on her surgical rotation, but she spends most of the episode in the ER. After her shift, she has a meeting with military support group. She does show up, and it turns into a debate over the war in the Iraq when she expresses her opinions on the subject. She ends up returning home, and we see a touching scene between Ray and her. Are they leading up to these two ending up together eventually? Possibly. I've seen some spoilers, and it appears that Gallant will no longer be a factor once this season ends.

The next case is an assault victim brought in from a bar fight. Luka takes this case on, and the young man's friends think it is just a simple bar fight, and their friend will be fine. However, the situation is more serious than they thought, and they changed their attitude the more Luka works on the man. It turns out his friend is the one responsible for punching him. The punch caused him to fall and hit his head on the corner of the table.

Once this young man is out of the ER, Pratt approaches Luka about the incident that had occurred a few weeks ago with the switching of the blood for his friend. He confesses what he did to Luka, and Luka tells him he has to report this. However, it appears that Luka simply suspends Pratt for five days. I'm not sure if that is all that will happen, but we will have to wait and see on future episodes.

As I said at the start of this episode, I'm not sure where ER is going. Carter came back on the last episode, but he didn't truly come back to County General. The series has had several weeks during the last two months in which no new episode aired. In fact, I think we've had four, maybe five, in the last two months. Yes, the Olympics did air, but we've had breaks for ER even with no Olympics. I did enjoy the fact we had an episode in which everyone was seen and had a part in the action. This episode of ER was packed, and that made this episode good. It wasn't great though. This is definitely not the same ER.


That is a great review and summary. I used to be into that show, but as you said, NBC started to not do as well with it. It's hard to keep a show like that going for so long. Hopefully it will turn around again. Great post.

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