Top positive review
Final season roundup
on January 25, 2014
I must tread lightly here, in order to not let any spoilers out of the bag.
The first thing for which I give the writers credit is how they finish a series premise which does not have a natural ending, such as the end of Jeb Bartlett's term as president, and the election of a new president on "The West Wing." I will say that it ends with one great arc traceable to the early seasons and to Noah Wyle's career and family.
By the time the season is over, virtually all the lead characters return in some way or other, and are seen in one or more episodes, even those who died or were killed in the course of the show, such as Mark Green and Robert Romano.
One aspect of ER to which I never quite adapted was the large number of major cast roles who either died, were seriously injured, left under a cloud, or were fired for some reason or other. To be sure, when the whole show is based on what walks in the main entrance on the spur of the moment, being either a seriously ill patient or an irascible new boss, you need a lot of things going on among the principle characters to maintain an interesting show. And, in a long running show, sooner or later, cast members must move on.
This season is no different, but it is balanced by a really rewarding finale.
The major in-season arc involves Catherine Banfield, the new head of the ER, played by Angela Basset and Courtney B. Vance as Russell Banfield, her husband. Both are strong, and hold up their end, but perhaps not as strong in the role as head of the ER as William H. Macy and Stanley Tucci, each in their own way.
In all, the show certainly goes out with a bang. I'm surprised no one has created a spin-off; however, I suspect most cast members have probably had their fill of the ER.