Though it feels like the finale started weeks ago given the way NBC has been hyping it, the official end to ER finally aired last night. After 15 years, County General closed its doors with no lack of pomp and circumstance. First, NBC aired an hour long retrospective of the show’s run with several of its stars, past and present, reminiscing about the it’s influence on the world and thier lives.
Following the retrospective, the 2 hour finale aired. It was a solid episode, with a great guest performance by Gilmore Girls’ Alexis Bledel as an intern, that left viewers in a satisfying place. They worked in the old school cast pretty well too, like in the Clooney episode that aired a couple weeks ago, there was a purpose for each of the character’s return, they didn’t just randomly appear like is often the in series finales. The premise of the episode is that Dr. Carter (Noah Wyle) is opening a clinic that will help hundreds of people and Susan Lewis (Sherry Stringfield), Peter Benton (Eriq La Salle) and Kerry Weaver (Laura Innes), who are all still in Chicago, come to the opening to support his latest venture. Rachel Greene (Hallee Hirsh), daughter of the late Dr. Green, comes back to apply for the medical program at the hospital as she is entering medical school, of course, Alex Kingston (Elizabeth Corday), her stepmother, was escorting her. They all get together after the opening for an emotional reunion, a nice moment for long time fans of the show.
The new cast wrapped up their story lines nicely too as Archie proves he is a leader and Sam proves she can handle the work/family balance after all. The final scene was reminiscent of the very first episode of the show (original theme music and all) as ambulances pulled in and the staff prepared to treat the victims of an explosion, showing life goes on. Dr. Carter was there as well, pulling on scrubs, ready to help another trauma victim. A fitting end considering when the show began, Carter was an inexperienced intern, now we see him as a confident doctor.
If you missed the episode, you can check it out at Hulu.com.
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