TV Review: ER Episode 12.20

Thursday, May 04, 2006

From NBC: Dr. Pratt (Mekhi Phifer) settles into his new job in Darfur but is troubled by the astounding number of people needing care. A sheik and his pregnant wife come into Ramalah Camp looking for treatment. Carter (Noah Wyle) and Dakarai (Eamonn Walker) work on fixing the man's gunshot wound, but they are quickly interrupted by government officials trying to arrest the man. As Carter works on delivering the wife's baby, it is apparent that the mother is suffering from delivery complications. Pratt and Dakarai are forced to make journey at night to a hospital in El Fashir at the risk of getting stopped by the Janjaweed millitant group. Meanwhile, Debbie (Mary McCormack) tries to convince Dr. Dakarai to seek proper treatment for his medical condition.

My Rating: 4 out of 4

This week's episode of ER titled There are no angels here brings the tragedy in Darfur to the forefront. Last week, we saw Pratt join Carter in Africa as punishment from Luka. This episode starts with Pratt out in the camp checking on a baby. He brings it back to the medical tent, but he also finds one of his own doctor's is also ill. That next day, Pratt is still trying to treat the baby, and he asks Carter for his help.

However, a man is brought in with a gunshot wound. He is one of the people's leaders. When they authorities arrive, they take the man into custody against their wishes. Pratt tries to stop them, but he gets a baton in the eye for his trouble. As for his baby patient, there is no hope, and Carter tells Pratt they must let it die. While one dies, another is born. A woman is brought into the medical tent in labor, and Carter has to help her, but she won't deliver without her husband. They must return her to the Presidential compound.

The African doctor working in the camp is still seriously ill, and no matter how much his girlfriend and fellow doctor tells him he needs to go elsewhere for treatment, he won't leave his patients. As for the pregnant woman, they must keep her hidden from the police, but her delivery isn't going as well as it could. Carter needs to perform a C-section, but that doesn't go well either. Her baby is born, but she begins to bleed out. She tells the doctor's the police can't know who she or her baby are because they will kill him.

Debbie and Carter go to the police, and Pratt stays with the other doctor to take the woman to the hospital. On the road there, they see militants, but instead of stopping, Pratt goes through their blockade. They are followed by a man on horseback, but they come upon an empty village. At the police station, the two American doctor's try to see the man that was first brought to them with a gun shot. After working their way in by bribing the police, they make it inside, and Carter pronounces the man dead. However, he isn't. They bring back to their tent, and begin to work on saving him.

Back at the village, the horsed rider reaches them, and they fight. The man uses his gun to hit the African doctor, and Pratt goes after him. In the scuffle that ensues, Pratt shoots the man. They burn the car, and Pratt proceeds to carry her through the desert. However, a car comes upon them, and takes them into town. Pratt pushes her into the town's hospital, and the woman is taken from him. The child born to her is the daughter of the man Carter saved.

Pratt returns without Steven, and Debbie is immediately upset. Pratt had to leave him behind because he couldn't go on due to his illness. By the time he returned for him, the man appears to have been taken hostage. Debbie wants to go looking for him, but Carter stops her to the next morning. However, Steven makes it back to the camp before that happens.

This episode never once stepped foot in Chicago, but it focused on an area of the world that needs our attention. ER is making this locale a focus even when the news stations will not. I applaud ER for doing this. Standing up and making television that is not only great television but puts the focus on an event in our world that needs our attention. Next week, ER will return to County General.

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