ER: NBC Medical Drama Says Farewell in a Fitting Last Episode

ER says goodbyeAs the title of the episode says… “And in the End…” the long-running ER went out as it came in, with bright lights, sirens blaring, and doctors scrambling to save patients.

For those who can remember that far back, or who’ve caught the early episodes on DVD or in syndication, there were many homages to the pilot and early episodes.

Back in the ER for the first time since she was laid off in 2003, nurse Lydia (Ellen Crawford) wakes Archie (Scott Grimes) from sneaking forty winks in a darkened exam room, just as she had done to the late Mark Greene (Anthony Edwards) in the memorable first few moments of the series. Newbie Julia (Alexis Bledel) delivers bad news to a patient in a similar way that Susan (Sherry Stringfield) had done to a good-guy patient played by Miguel Ferrer. The ever-excellent Ernest Borgnine says farewell to his elderly wife, in a tip of the hat to another early tear-jerking storyline.

There are other nods to the past as well such as reappearances by old friends like Peter Benton (Eriq La Salle), Kerry Weaver (Laura Innes), Susan Lewis, John Carter (Noah Wyle), and Mark’s widow, Elizabeth Corday (Alex Kingston). Peter’s son Reese, who we last saw as a young child, has grown into a teenager and is doing well, in spite of being hearing impaired. Carter is seen working on his jump shots, just as Mark had suggested that he do in their last talk together.

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Mark is also well represented by his now-adult daughter, Rachel. The product of a broken home, she’s certainly gone through her share of changes and problems. In some ways, it seemed like a big leap of logic to think that she’d want to work at the same place that robbed her of so much daddy-daughter time. Still, the job was so important to him that her being there worked and had just the right amount of sentimentality.

Though the series has definitely gone past its prime, the producers and cast (past and present) did a very admirable job in giving the show a fitting final season and last episode. In these days of quick cancellations, few other shows are as lucky. If NBC’s schedule was in better shape, you have to wonder if the series would have been given the same opportunity to say farewell.

What did you think? Was the series finale all that you hoped for? Could it possibly measure up?

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7 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Asmaa says

    hi all,

    i know that is a late comment, but the series are delayed i publishing in Egypt, my comment is concerning the episode where dr. Mark case is a pregnant woman who had a pregnancy poision , and had to delevier her himself in the ER , i really cried in this episode it pained by heart so much, i cant beleive what he made to this mother by getting the baby out ,then putting him inside again, then cutting her uteries then she had bleeding then finally she died.
    i am a mother too, so i keep thinking that this might had happened to me, it makes me shake a lot.

    please conisder the audience feeling more than , i like the series so much, and i wait for it everyday, but today i was shocked.

    despite that i want to send my greeting to dr. mark he is a very clever actor, hope to see him in other series or movies.


  2. ChrisR says

    Please bring back ER or a ER spinoff as there is nothing of TV that compares to it
    at least gives us as ER Miniseries or something !!! I hope that John Wells is reading this

  3. Lois Churchill says

    I taped the series finale of ER, but unfortunately someone erased the episode on me. As I live in Canada, can you tell me which website I can go onto to watch it?

    Thank you,

    • Ann Morgan says

      Dear Lois, did you ever find out what you can do to find the last episode? My elderly father accidentally deleted it on the tv, so I’m trying to find it for her. Can you help?

      • says

        @Ann: We had it on this site but it’s since expired. If you can’t catch ii in reruns, the DVD set should be out soon. They just released season 13.

  4. Kristina says

    I think there were even more reminders. Julia reminded me a lot of Dr. Carter on his first day. Some of the advise she received was the same that was given to Dr. Carter so many years ago.
    I think this was a great ending to a great show. It brought back many memories and I cried many tears. I grew as a person as much as all the characters did over the years. The end of the show is like a loosing a good friend that was with me for most of my adult life. As much as I wanted the show to go on I can see why the show ended while it was still on top.

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