Last Night’s TV – ER: Shifting Equilibrium

ER Shifting Equilibrium - Neela and Dubenko

As the last ever season of ER is drawing to a rapid close – there being only two more episodes to go – I’m already missing it; even while I was watching it I was missing it…

In last night’s episode, we said goodbye to Neela, well, at least County did, and most of the way through the show, I was trying to remember where it was she was going… then I couldn’t figure out if we’d been told or not, however, near the end, we found out that we’d deliberately not been told so that the title of this episode would make sense…

Neela was headed for Lechatlier medical centre which may not have at first appeared remarkable, but ER geeks such as myself will have discovered a leedle something called LeChatlier’s Principle; it’s all to do with chemistry and it states, “If a system at equilibrium is disturbed, the system will, if possible, shift to partially counteract the change.”

Well, the system did shift and praise be, Neela ended up going to see Ray, FINALLY!

ER Shifting Equilibrium - Ray and Neela

I’m going to miss Neela, in fact, I’m going to miss them all and I really don’t want this season to end but inevitably, in two weeks time, it will and that’ll be it from County. It doesn’t bear thinking about!

Anyway, last night I almost blubbed when Haleh took Neela to view ‘the wall’ where flashbacks to Neela’s love for Gallant and friendship with Pratt had me reaching for the tissues. It was great to see Mekhi Phifer again and Maura Tierney, albeit that it was somewhat brief. It was good though to hear that Abby had sorted herself out and was nicely settled into her new life wasn’t it? Here’s NBC’s promo for the episode that shows some moments from ‘the wall’ scene…

Another near blubbing moment – well, several moments actually – came when the gorgeous Simon Brenner dashed out to the airport to talk one last time with Neela.

ER Shifting Equilibrium - Neela and Brenner

As the pair shared their fears and hopes as the rain poured, delaying Neela’s flight, I don’t know how she didn’t just cancel her plans and leave with Simon immediately, if not sooner. The way he looked at her with those big blue eyes would’ve had me melted into a pool of emotional wretchedness on the floor of that airport bar…

Similarly, her tearful goodbye to Dubenko was very moving, despite the fact that the episode had been interspersed with their sparring and bickering, the final farewell was touching.

But joy of joys, she was about to be reunited with Ray, so that made all the heartache worth it! Here’s the moment they met again after so long apart…

While all Neela’s farewells and hellos were going on though, life at County continued unabated and other storylines included one in which a devoted son-in-law was hiding a terrible secret, Archie came to terms with his new love’s dangerous job and Frank planned a party for Neela, complete with dancers and a Gandhi piñata which possibly ONLY Frank could’ve got away with.

ER Frank

Also, a patient called Rebecca ranted on about the end of the world and the “shifting equilibrium” of it all, so, that combined with the Lechatlier reference and Neela’s own shifting equilibrium – and her secret fear of ever making a mistake – made the title all the more apt.

As always, this was a brilliant episode and again, I’m devastated that we’re now so near the end…

In case you missed it, you can catch it on 4oD here… and I strongly recommend that you do if you’re a fan. It was one of the best episodes of the season!

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.