Don’t have time to really analyze last night’s two-hour ER finale. I’d love to pull out the moments from the pilot and first season that we got to see echoed here. So here’s my gut reaction…
As mentioned the other day, I’ve been watching ER for the past several years. I watched it in the beginning of course. Who didn’t? But I drifted off about the time that Doug and Carol left although I think it was Carter’s drug dependency that really drove me away. I’d catch an episode here and there and sometimes I’d watch a complete story arc but, for the most part, I wasn’t invested in the show for a long period there in the middle. Then I was staying with my sister after she had her fourth baby and she got me back into the show. Damn her!
I’ve not always loved these past few years. There were times when I’d watch the show while doing other things but I still watched. I’m invested in more than just the characters from the show’s heyday. Which is exactly why the two-hour finale was a little disappointing. The stories were good. Being the continuity freak that I am, I can definitely appreciate all the call-backs to the pilot and earlier stories. However, there was way too little in it for the folks who have been watching right up until the end.
As much as I love Alexis Bledel, I am baffled as to why they felt they had to bring in a new character to play that role. I get that she was supposed to echo Carter’s role in the pilot but that’s kind of a cheat given that we had plenty of people that could have mirrored what he was going through already in the ER. Especially since it was obvious we’re supposed to buy that she’d already been there for a bit. Why exactly couldn’t have Shiri Appleby’s character have filled this position? She’s still new enough that it would have felt the same and I wouldn’t have been annoyed at having to accept this random person suddenly showing up and knowing everyone.
But then, other than Sam and Tony, none of our current doctors got any face time in the final TWO HOURS of the show. No offense to all of you that tuned in just to see the older doctors return, I actually like and care about the current characters. I wanted a little more of them than we got. Maybe if I had known the last few episodes were really the last time I was going to spend with them, I’d have felt a little less cheated. Instead I kept wondering why the finale felt like a completely different show with occasional appearances by people I knew. Annoying.
I enjoyed the storylines we got. I cried more than once. I liked seeing Weaver, Corday, Lewis, and Benton all together again. I even liked the inclusion of Rachel Greene. Teared up when she first said her name to Frank. Who knew such a brat could grow into a young woman who would be interested in County? And even though the show effectively killed my love for both Sam and Tony last season, I’m happy Sam finally broke down and thanked him for all he does for her and Alex (speaking of reformed bratty kids). I LOVED the final scene. Everyone standing there waiting for the ambulances and then snapping into action is the very essence of this show.
There was a lot to like in these final two hours but, as someone who has been invested in the storylines from this season and the doctors from the last few years, I felt short-changed. Happily the one-hour ER retrospective left me with lots of warm and fuzzy feelings. It helped ease the discontent I felt during those last two hours. At least I did get to spend an hour with some of my favorites, recalling moments from ER-past.
Despite my feelings on the finale, saying goodbye to County General was harder than I expected. I’ll miss it.