ER: Season 9
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ER: The Complete Ninth Season (DVD)
Combining the extraordinary talents of best-selling author Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park) with Peabody, Humanitas and Emmy-winning producer John Wells ("The West Wing," "China Beach"), Emmy nominee Jack Orman ("JAG") and Steven Spielberg's Amblin Television, the multiple Emmy Award-winning ER provocatively explores the chaos of an urban, public hospital emergency room and the lives of its devoted doctors and staff. When the difference between life and death rests on split-second decisions, only one thing endures--the power and passion of these dedicated medical professionals in the ER.]]>
Following the tumultuous cast changes of the eighth season, ER's ninth season was still an engaging drama, and began in rousing fashion with what could be called Helicopter Incident #1, which forces one doctor to make big adjustments. Corday (Alex Kingston) returns from England but has difficulties on the job, especially when dealing with a new medical student who suffers from Parkinson's disease (Don Cheadle). Kovac (Goran Visnjic) engages in increasingly risky behavior, especially involving another new med student, Erin Harkins (Leslie Bibb). Pratt (Mekhi Phifer) strikes up a relationship with Chen (Ming-Na), has difficulties with his brother Leon (Marcello Thedford), and along with Gallant (Sharif Atkins) runs into trouble when a violent crime strikes Doc Magoo's diner. Romano (Paul McCrane) proves a nightmare when he takes over the ER, and Weaver (Laura Innes) awaits parenthood and makes a strategic decision when she does a favor for a powerful local politician, Alderman John Bright (Bruce Weitz). Lewis (Sherry Stringfield) befriends a terminal cancer patient (Patrick Fugit) and reveals a surprising relationship with a stranger (Donal Logue). Carter (Noah Wyle) and Abby (Maura Tierney) finally launch into a relationship but have their own difficulties, like her mother (Sally Field) and manic-depressive brother (Tom Everett Scott), before Carter joins Kovac in the season finale for what would become the first of many "ER in Africa" episodes. Other guest stars include Ed Asner as the doctor of a neighborhood clinic, Nina Sablich as Kovacs' Croatian medical colleague, and Katee Sackhoff and Josh Hutcherson as patients. --David Horiuchi
- 22 episodes
- Outpatient outtakes: unaired scenes
- Cutups: gag reel
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Top customer reviews
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The opening episode is as gripping as the season 8 closer, as the ER shutdown finally gets resolved, but with a huge change in the fortunes of several characters with a fluke accident with a helicopter on the roof.
I'm happy that Carter and Lockhart continue to be the focus of the show, in the long run. They are a perfect balance of wealthy, privileged boy who does good in spite of "advantages" versus a poor girl who also succeeds, with exactly the opposite difficulties.
Luka Kovac is the center of many later episodes, which is good because he is an interesting character, but he runs into one of those virtuous character pitted against society rules episodes, which tends to leave a sour taste in my mouth, because it pictures municipal and medical authorities as people with no heart. Carter, on the other hand, challenges authority in the best possible way, and since the authority is Kerry Weaver, we can be sure that the outcome will have some balance and reason to it.
Abby's family problems tend to lower the level a bit, in spite of the brilliant acting by Sally Field. I can never quite be resolved to the notion that a disturbed funeral can be funny, and not tragic.
One routine which starts wearing thin is Kerry Weaver's threats to fire doctors for not showing up on time or going AWOL or all sorts of minor infractions, which tend to add up to major problems in an Emergency Room where time and patients' conditions are balanced on a knife's edge. With Kovac and Pratt, numerous threats come to nothing.