Last Night’s TV – Previously on ER & And In the End

ER casts

What a fantastic end to ER this episode was, and it was an extra treat to see the interviews with cast past and present before it on ‘Previously on ER’.

In that show, we saw again many of the ‘old’ cast members such as Anthony Edwards, Alex Kingston, Noah Wyle and Julianna Margulies among several others. We also saw again some of the most classic scenes and heard how the show has evolved over the last 15 years. One of the most touching moments of that show was when Alex Kingston dissolved into tears as she talked about filming the final scenes with Anthony Edwards who of course played her husband Mark Greene who died from a brain tumour. She had me in tears too!

ER John and Kem

So then it was on to the big event, the season finale. I was expecting to blub repeatedly but in fact, managed to only ball like a girl once and that was when John Carter opened his medical centre and dedicated it to his dead son Joshua while his estranged wife Kem listened from the back of the crowd.

ER Kerry, John and Susan

ER the old crowd

But before that, we got to see Kerry Weaver again and Susan Lewis not to mention Peter Benton, Elizabeth Corday and Rachel Greene, now 22 years old – would you believe! – who was last seen as an annoying teenager who’d begun to mellow as her father lay dying in Hawaii. And here she was, attending County as a prospective medical student which was an “ahhhhhhhhhhh” moment as it became clear she was going to follow in her father’s footsteps and become a doctor.

ER John and Rachel

During the course of the show, John Carter took her under his wing – just as Mark had done with him when he was a trembling med student – and showed her around the ER and even how to put in an IV.

There was of course several storylines going on apart from the re-introduction of old cast members; there was a teenager who may be brain damaged from alcoholic poisoning, an elderly man with AIDS who found out he had cancer and a disorientated old lady who wandered off and got knocked over.

ER dying mother

One of the more harrowing stories though was of a mother expecting twins who’d been involved in a car crash. She arrived in the ER already in labour but she herself had injuries. Brenner, Carter and newbie doctor Julia took over her care and she delivered her first baby girl with a lot of screaming but she was basically ok. The second baby however was in distress so while the docs were dealing with the baby, the mother began to haemorrhage, badly. The ER trauma room floor – and Julia’s shoes – were soon covered in blood as it poured out of the mother.

As Carter and Julia fought to save her life and stop the bleeding, OBGYN turned up and whisked her off to the OR. However, Julia later found out the mother died on the table so the new and much longed for twin baby girls, and their older siblings, were left motherless.


Meanwhile, Gates and Alex were doing up an old car for Sam’s birthday; a gorgeous red Mustang. At first, she said she couldn’t accept it since obviously Gates had paid for it but he said he hadn’t contributed much and it was Alex who’d done all the work. By the end of the show, a touching moment showed her thanking Gates for everything he’d done for and with Alex and tenderly placing her hand in his.

ER And In the End

It left me wanting to watch every single episode of ER all over again, right from the beginning which does not seem like it was 15 years ago! I remember watching the pilot show and after that, I was hooked. My kids were toddlers when it began and they’re now all adults and rather bizarrely – given it’s a fictional TV show and not real – I felt a real sense of loss and a sort of painful nostalgia as the final scene had the cameras symbolically panning backwards down the street as the medics dealt with a multiple-case traumas and lots of ambulances rolled into the bay.

It was very sad and most definitely the end of an era although we were left with a glimpse into the future as John donned a gown and invited Rachel to come and watch as he dealt with one of the cases who’d arrived in the many ambulances.

I wonder if anything else will ever truly replace ER? Lots of shows have tried such as Grey’s Anatomy, Chicago Hope and many more but none of them have ever been as good as ER have they?

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.