by pat howard

THE FRIDAY FIVE | ER episodes I wish I’d watched instead of the series finale

In The Friday Five on April 3, 2009 at 12:20 am

I’m not sure what I was expecting, having hit the highlights of most of the season after previously abandoning ER several years ago like almost everyone else on the planet. But man, was that a disappointing finale. There were some appreciated nods to the pilot episode, and it was nice to see Alexis Bledel and Ernest Borgnine (buddy comedy anyone?), but when my favorite part of the whole two hours was that they trotted out the old theme song…it just made me sad that the good, old ER was shamed by its association with these unfortunate later seasons.

So I compiled five of my favorite ER episodes from years gone by. I certainly make no claims that these were the series’ best. But they could certainly kick the crap out of just about anything season 15 had to offer.

“Hell and High Water”
Season 2 | Episode 7
One would be hard pressed to find a dry eye during the scene when Dr. Ross carries that boy out of the storm drain in his arms during a torrential downpour.

“Nobody Doesn’t Like Amanda Lee”
Season 5 | Episode 11
Before she was Merideth’s stepmom on Grey’s Anatomy (a show I guarantee won’t see a fifteenth season), Mare Winningham was Amanda Lee, the fake doctor who pined for Mark Greene. Once the jig was up, scam artist Lee locked Green and a patient in a CT room and skipped town.

“Leave It to Weaver”
Season 6 | Episode 1
This is definitely one of my favorite episodes. A truck crashes through a coffee shop, narrowly missing a very pregnant Nurse Hathaway. Kellie Martin shows up as Lucy Knight, and it’s too early to tell that her character isn’t really going anywhere. Plus, Randi punches a guy in the face for pulling a fire alarm.

“Be Still My Heart”
Season 6 | Episode 13
In an episode masterfully directed by Laura Innes (Dr. Kerry Weaver), Carter goes looking for Lucy and gets stabbed by a patient waiting for a psych consult. When he falls to the floor, he sees Lucy staring back at him, bleeding out on the floor of a trauma room while a staff Valentine’s Day party goes on nearby.

“The Dance We Do”
Season 7 | Episode 8
Among the second wave of cast members, Maura Tierney as Abby Lockheart was far and away my favorite. And when Sally Field came out to play as Abby’s bipolar mother Maggie, it was worth tuning in for. As Tierney noted in last night’s retrospective, Maggie was quite a window into the character of Abby.

Farewell, ER. Let us never speak of you again.

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