ER: And In The End ... (series finale)
by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 3rd 2009 1:01PM
No, George Clooney did not show up for the series finale of ER.
But it was a pretty good finale anyway. It's impossible to please all fans of a long-running show in a series finale because we expect too much, and what we expect can change depending on whether you've been watching it since the beginning or just started four years ago. Do they focus on the old cast members coming back and focus on the people who have been there for the past few years? Do they tie up all loose ends neatly in a bow or leave things open-ended because that's how life is? ER managed to do both last night.
After the jump, the good and bad about the last episode of ER.
- The return of Sherry Stringfield, Laura Innes, and Eriq LaSalle. We saw LaSalle come back a few weeks ago, but it was good to see him their with his son (played by the same actor, I believe, a nice touch), and it was very satisfying to see him interact with Alex Kingston again. This was easily a plot (that they used to date) they could have just forgotten about, but they actually got their own scene together to show the audience that they're still friends. That was great.
- More time for the nurses and other staff. It was great that they gave longtime cast members like Laura Ceron, Abraham Benrubi, Deezer, D, Ellen Crawford, and Yvette Freeman so much time. Some of these characters I don't even think we've seen much of in the past year or two.
- The original opening! The long theme song and even the classic images of early episodes of the show. Glad to see some TV shows think of things like this for the finale.
- Kem comes back, but she and Carter don't get back together. This felt kinda real and right, didn't it? I would have bet money that she was going to come back for the Carter Center dedication and they would start over again and everything would be OK. But that wasn't the case. She showed up to support him, but not necessarily to get back together with him. And then we saw Carter staying up all night playing basketball so he could call her, but then the big trauma came in at the end and we were left hanging as to whether he actually called her or the job came first.
- Tony and Sam get together. Really satisfying to see this happen.
- The return of Rachel Greene, this time as a medical student. Nice way to bookend the show.
- That final shot of County, showing the entire building, with the giant logo at the top and how the building fits into the Chicago skyline. Not sure if we've ever seen that before. I liked it.
- No one died in an explosion or had a helicopter fall on top of them.
- Too much time taken up by faceless patients and who-the-hell-cares new cast members. ER has always been a show about looking forward and not looking bad, and they've been aggressive with introducing new characters, killing off old characters, not giving closure to certain characters, and trying to be realistic (so-called) about "life goes on." But having a group of new medical people we hardly know sit around and reminisce about their med school history? With 15 minutes left in the show? That was a weird decision. (Though a "Good inside of a Bad" for Alexis Bledel, who somehow made her new character feel like she really belonged there.)
- Angela Bassett. I thought it was odd from the very start that ER would introduce this new, major character in the last season of the show. What happened to her child was heartbreaking, of course, but I always thought she was an odd fit into the show. Maybe if she had another season we'd warm to her and she'd feel right there, but it never happened. We didn't even see her husband or that little baby in this episode. I guess it was good that she was the cast member who had to act like the stern one in this episode, wondering who the hell these people (Susan, Rachel, etc) were and why they were getting in the way in her ER. Of course, I think longtime fans were saying, "no, who are you?"
- It was a half hour too long. I think they could have tightened it up a little bit by cutting out a storyline or two.
- Marilu Henner? Who cares?
- It would have been good to see Dr. Anspaugh one last time. He still works at County!
Overall, a pretty good finale. Check it out here if you missed it.