Vague-ish Recap: The aftermath of the shootout from last season’s finale. Newly hip Carrie comes into Cook County to discover Ray, Duvenko and eventually Neela working frantically to save Jerry’s life. Frank is freaked by the carnage. Morris shows his human side by showing deep concern for Jerry’s fate. Carrie then discovers the unconscious Abby and cuffed-up Luka. Abby suffers an abrupted placenta and the baby has to be delivered early, but not without further cost to Abby than just a premature baby. Sam and Alex are held hostage by her ex-husband and their accomplices, but Sam finds a way out at the end of the episode.
Comments: For those of you that didn’t know because you didn’t watch the show last season, ER responded to the swift kick in the pants that the raging success of Grey’s Anatomy gave them by producing the best season of the series since Clooney’s last, kinda middling season. ER took the best lesson it could from Grey’s, which was to inject humor and hope into the series. Gone is the turgid, ponderous, relentless feeling of tragedy. Now, the tragic moments are earned by being leavened with character-revealing humor and an overall brisker pace, helped not in the least by confining most of the storylines to the ER itself. Morris is a great, lovable weasel, Pratt has come into his own as a heroic doctor, Ray’s being torn between careers becomes believable and even Neela’s career identity crisis came to a head. Plus, when you go to Darfur for four episodes, grinding the rest of the show to a screeching halt and it doesn’t kill the momentum as Carter’s previous digression to Africa in season 11 did, you know that ER is definitely back.
With that preface, what is there left to say about this episode? Scott Grimes presents a sweet example of comic relief in the way that he roots for Jerry to survive his wounds in the OR. Abby and Luka have such a great, quiet, humorous rapport that the news of Abby’s emergency hysterectomy hurts all the more without being so overwhelmingly tragic, so overcooked and obvious, as the way Carter’s stillborn baby was handled two and a half years ago. And I did NOT see the last moment of the episode coming. Bravo for Sam! It can all be chalked to self-defense, can’t it?
Episode Grade: A+
Maintenance: I’ve just discovered that I write pro-active reviews better and more often in the morning than I do in the late evening. The problem is, I have insomnia. See the Catch-22? I’ll be experimenting with waking up in the morning no matter what so that I can get that one-review a day format up and running. This also means that I’ll likely be responding to comments later in the day and at night. Thanks for your continuing patience and support in helping me get this blog going just by reading it.