TV Review: ER Episode 12.21

Thursday, May 11, 2006

From NBC: Freshly back from Darfur, Pratt (Mekhi Phifer) struggles to get the real story when two abused boys come into the ER with their injured father. Neela (Parminder Nagra) is nervous when she is urgently called up to Dr. Dubenko's (Leland Orser) office, but is quickly relieved when she gets the good news. Meanwhile, two U.S. Army officers enter the ER, and the staff worries that it might be bad news. Clemente (John Leguizamo) comes into the ER acting very strange and after putting some of his patients in jeopardy, Kovac (Goran Visnjic) forces him to take a break. After bickering for months, Morris (Scott Grimes) and Albright (Dahlia Salem) can't seem to fight the sexual tension between them.

My Rating: 4 out of 4

This week's episode of ER titled The Gallant Hero and the Tragic Victor opens up in Iraq as Gallant and his group make their way through the desert. They come under heavy fire, and one of his men is shot. He fights to save him, but he perishes. While continuing to drive through the desert. a bomb hits his convoy and he his killed just as a fellow soldier asked him about his wife. This has been hinted at for weeks now, so his death is really no surprise.

We then return to the emergency room at Country General for the first time in the last couple of weeks. First though, we see Clemente at home, and he is definitely on edge. Every noise makes him jump. We then go to Morris who is in bed with the surgical attending Albright. That next morning, a man is brought in with his two children that have been victims of a home invasion.

The son is brought in with serious injuries and Luka and Clemente go to work on the boy. As always the two disagree on treatment, and Luka leaves Clemente when two men from the army arrive. A search for Neela goes underway, but she is upstairs in surgery receiving good news from Dubenko. She is the newest surgical resident. However, she quickly answers the pages that have been sent her. When she finally makes it down, she is told that her husband has died. She doesn't deal with it well, and she runs off to work on more patients. The news hits more than just Neela. Everyone knew and was friends with Gallant at the hospital.

Work continues though, and what first looks like a robbery, turns out to be a little boy trying to protect his younger brother from an abusive father. The eldest boy hit their father with a baseball bat several times. The father dies as a result of his injuries, and Pratt loses it just a bit as he tells Luka about the boys that are his patient. Luka asks if the police have been called, and Pratt makes one final comment about prison and war before leaving. Pratt then talks to the eldest boy about what happens next. He needs to go into foster care with his father dead and his mother in rehabilitation. The little boy thinks he will go to hell, but Pratt tries to soothe him.

As for Clemente, he is still a bit unstable as well. He goes to pick up coffee for everyone, and a homeless man sees the blood on his shirt and confronts him on it. This only increases Clemente's unease. When he tries to cross the street, he is almost hit by a taxi cab, and this is the straw that broke the camel's back so to speak. He has what one can only call a psychotic episode, jumping up and down on the man's cab, and then peeing on the road when the man asks him if he is on drugs. Afterwards, he is brought into the ER. Abby and Sam are on his case the moment he comes in, and his condition doesn't improve

Abby goes home to her place where Neela is staying to check on her friend. She brings home dinner and groceries. Abby offers to stay for the night, but Neela would rather stay home alone. After Abby leaves, Neela opens the packet the Army left her. In it, she finds a video from her husband that was made by him in case of his death.

Back at the hospital, Clemente is put on a 72 hour psychiatric hold due to his behavior and recent events in his life. With the lack of sleep it is possible he is suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome. Luka goes in to talk to him after he hears, and this is the first time the two don't disagree or argue. Luka takes him up to the psych ward.

This was a powerful episode of ER, and this show seems to improving as the season nears its end. Word has it that NBC might be moving the series next season from its Thursday night slot to a lighter night of the week. No official word on that yet, but we should know next week hopefully. Don't forget to stop by and visit my Blog of the Week!


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