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TV Recap: ER Begins Season with a Loss

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(Damn Big Spoiler Alert)

Lately, when I write about a TV show, most likely it’s a formal or formal-ish review. But I figure whoever reads this already knows who plays who, and if I don’t and you don’t – well we both have IMdB don’t we.

So, here’s the thing. Greg died. The hype told us that we might lose Abby, Pratt, or Sam in that ambulance explosion that ended last season. (Are we really going into the 15th season? Un-frickin’-real) See that’s my point, I’m not going to go fact check. I’m not Googling. I’m not choosing words that carefully. Greg died and I have to figure this out.

I need a minute.

So, Gates and Sam hop an ambulance to the scene on Michigan where the trauma is happening. Pratt is not bad, coughing, injured jaw, and what looks like a compound fracture in his leg. It was actually someone else’s bone sticking into him. The ambulance driver had a metal pipe sticking out of his belly. Nasty.

But Pratt died.

I don’t know what happened; I left the TV for 15 minutes or so, and he was doing a lot worse. Morris does some tricky technique and it seems to help him. I leave again and he’s surrounded by his friends and they’re offering up desperate ideas, plans, trying to stay calm and rational, but the veneers are cracking. Even grumpy and brusque Frank is a few degrees below stunned, and like the rest, he can’t wrap his head around Pratt’s mortality.

There’s some side stuff about Neela sniping at her fellow doctor and that afternoon’s bed-mate, Dr. What’s-his-name with the accent and curly hair. He’s being quite polite and helpful with his attractive intern, and Neela seems to be jealous. Whatever.

But hey, a dear friend of hers is losing his life in Trauma 2; I’d be fucking sniping too. Staff members are going in and out of his room, and his brother…oh, his brother. Man, I forgot about his brother. Chaz. Is that it?

I haven’t watched ER religiously in years. But I catch at least half an hour a month, and I read up. Anyway, I had some clue that Pratt had a new step/half/adopted family floating around. So, he’s got this brother who is at his side right this minute, refusing to leave, taking a long dip in the River DeNial. The rest of the crew also want’s badly to deny that Greg has basically a blown heart and an empty brain. But they can’t. This is what they live to do, to heal, and to accept when someone is past that. They also know that others can still be healed.

Gage tries to confirm Pratt’s organ donor status. Chaz doesn’t want to know…doesn’t want to acknowledge…does not want to accept…

And neither do I.

Now, yeah, this is fiction. They take liberties. Directors, actors, producers, advertisers, they all have a story to sell. I get that. I’m down with that. I see the pathos writing on the wall and I’m ready, I’m strong. I’ve been writing about TV for a few years now. I’m not an intern any longer; I’m a pretty good resident. But for fuck sakes, these guys, they nailed it.

They got to me. Pratt died and I felt it deep. We all felt it.

I mean, really. Frank. Did you see him? Now, I told you…not going to look stuff up. The actor that plays him. Bravo, Mr. Actor. I don’t know your name, and if this were a nice pretty review I’d have your name and your credits handy. But man, you know who you are and you blew me away.

Morris, hey dude, you’ve really grown up. Been meaning to tell you that. That is, if you were a real person, and I actually knew you. This looked like it was pretty tough for you, yet you took charge when you needed to, let people alone when they needed it, and broke Bettina’s heart all over again, and you did it with love. I was speechless.

In the whole ER, the grief was staggering, but it was restrained. Like a miasma of sadness that you feel behind your eyes, and in the back of your throat, when tears are held back because time has passed too quickly to process these last sad hours and you’re just stuck with this cold lump of shock in your gut.

They’ll recover, I’ll recover. It’s just TV. But damn, damn good TV.

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About MaryKay

  • http://www.personalloanszone.com Tom Bro-KAW

    Great synopsis of what happened too. I can’t believe this has been going on for 15 seasons, either. My wife and I have a bet going to see if we loose a character every week until the finally when the hospital is hit with an atomic weapon.

  • M. Evans

    Great recap on tonights episode. You captured exactly how I felt about Pratt being the first casuality of this last season of ER.

    And you are right about the actor who plays Frank (Troy Evans). When Frank touched Greg before they took him up in the elevator to harvest his organs that really got to me. To see this gruff character stripped bare down to his real emotions was heart wrenching.

    I will miss ER.

  • http://dracutweblog.blogspot.com Mary K. Williams

    Tom – Thank you. I think I can safely say that we won’t loose a character a week, unless you count perhaps any patients. : )

    I don’t think little emotional self could handle it!

    And M. Evans – thank you too. My approach to covering this episode was entirely different from my usual work here on BC, but this is the way I needed to handle it.

    Troy Evans (Frank) was great. I did not mention some of the other secondary characters, mostly the unsung support staff. I think their reactions were handled with grace as well.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    very nice job conveying your “loss” in words.

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    dang, i haven’t watched this show in several years, proof being that the only name that made sense to me was ‘abby’.

    nice writeup tho…not your fault that i can’t handle medical drama anymore.

  • http://notesfromnancy.blogspot.com NancyGail

    Accent Guy sounds like David Lyons, who Aussie. He plays Dr. Simon Brenner? Bremer? who is nephew of Anspaugh. Easy to guess it would be Pratt if you saw finale last season. It WOULD be Buscemi blown up inside a ‘bus’.