Written by Hombre Divertido
Even with the absence of George Clooney and Julianna Marguilies, this is a fine season of ER, though it may be considered the beginning of the end. Strewn with storylines that will eventually lead to the departure of several key members of the ER staff, this season still contains enough of the original cast being vulnerable, strong, humorous, and serious to keep any fan of the series or of episodic television happy.
Where this season fails is a general loss of focus on the patients and their stories. This season is about the development of the characters on staff. Though not necessarily a bad thing, it does stray from the foundation on which the show was built i.e.: the patient’s stories. Luckily the writing is strong enough that we don’t mind the departure. We don’t mind it in season seven. Eventually, any true fan of the show will grow tired of the focus shift, but not here.
Noah Wiley as Dr. Carter really comes into his own in this season as we begin to see him take more of a leadership role in preparation for…well, that’s not to be discussed in a review of this season. Developments in the lives of Dr. Benton (Eriq La Salle), Dr. Weaver (Laura Innes) and Dr. Greene (Anthony Edwards) are at the forefront of this season and definitely keep the audience intrigued.
As previously mentioned, there is a good amount of humor this season. Paul McCrane as Rocket Roman is at his antagonizing best, but it is Greene and Corday dealing with Poison Ivy in the first episode that creates some of the funniest moments in the season and possibly the series.
Season seven is highlighted with guest appearances by Sally Field playing the mother of Abby Lockhart (Maura Tierney) and James Cromwell as a terminally ill Bishop. Their respective storylines run through several episodes and are well written and brilliantly acted.
As in previous season releases, the extras are few, the gag reels seem forced, and the packaging is bland. What stands out in season seven is the writing. You would not have to be a fan of the show to enjoy these episodes. They stand strongly on their own.
Recommendation: Get two and give one away as a gift. It’s a great season to get someone hooked on the show.