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One of the better "last third" seasons.
on January 20, 2014
There are six major milestones that make this season stand out. The first is that Dr. Susan Lewis leaves the show in the first episode. Her role was never strong. Her two best episodes are the two where she leaves. The second is the season long guest appearance of John Leguizamo as Dr. Victor Clemente as a hot shot resident. The third is the episode devoted exclusively to a patient played by James Woods, as a leading researcher who arrives in the final stages of Lou Gerhig's disease (ALS), with lots of flashbacks covering the time when the disease first appeared, and as it progressed. The fourth is the appearance of Kristen Johnston as Nurse Manager Eve Peyton (Kristen Johnston was a regular, and Emmy award winner for "Third Rock from the Sun"). The fifth was the appearance of John Stamos (He becomes a regular next season.). The sixth is the arc with Linda Cardel.ini and guest star Armand Assante.
I also enjoy the episodes where Laura Innes has a major role. She always seems like a more realistic Chief of Staff than Lisa Edelstein's role as Dr. House's boss on "House". She goes through a life changing arc in this season.
This season is a turning point for Dr. Archie Morris, who began on the show as a lazy and not very sharp intern. He is now part of the main cast, and will remain there for the remaining seasons.
There are more cases of musical chairs in romantic attachments between members of the ER staff. With some exceptions, this may be my least favorite part of "ER" from the first season. It seems that practically every major character deals with some kind of romantic or professional crisis this season. There are some episodes where scenes take place in Darfur, with Dr. Carter, but thankfully, they are brief.