Pros: casting remains tight, scripts are complete, continuity
Cons: none for me
The Bottom Line:
Michael Crichton 10/23/42 - 11/4/08
When we left off the gang on season 6, we watched as Benton, unbelievably, is the one to take his personal time to escort Carter to the rehab facility in Atlanta. The opening of ER - Season 7 takes us back and gives us a little look back reminder, just in case we forgot why the devil Carter is in a rehab.
Two new regulars this season: Elizabeth Mitchell as Dr. Kim Legaspi, psychiatrist, and Sally Fields in a reoccurring role as Abby Lockhart’s mother, Maggie. Maggie is bi-polar, living with her son in Florida, and makes it a habit to go off her meds.
Season 7 episodes include: Homecoming: Carter is being released from rehab, making a long and arduous journey back to Chicago and the ER. Arriving on a day when all hell breaks loose in the ER, he promptly turns around and leaves. Chen realizes she is pregnant. Abby has to drop out of medical school because her ex failed to pay her tuition and is forced to go back to nursing. A riot at a football game brings half the high school team and supporters into the ER for treatment.
Sand and Water: Living conditions aren’t the best for Mark and Elizabeth so he surprises her with a new home and a diamond. Chen tells Kerry she is pregnant and Carter runs into Abby at an AA meeting, asking her to be his sponsor. Benton and Romano clash heads again over treatment for a homeless man and Kerry and Kovac wrestle with their own conscience when a woman arrives in a coma and her life partner doesn’t have medical power of attorney for her treatment.
Mars Attacks: Carter’s first patient as he returns to the staff is a young paraplegic. Romano, after their blowup last week, fires Benton. Abby is offered a full time nursing position in the ER. When a SciFi convention hits town the weirdos hit the ER, along with a patient who suffers from spontaneous combustion. Dr. Dave is trying to find out who the father of Chen’s baby is, but he isn’t very successful.
Benton Backwards: Finding a new job isn’t easy for Benton once he discovers Romano has blackballed him all over town. Because Carla won’t agree to visitation schedules, he can’t take a job out of town and is forced to tuck tail and return to Romano. Kovac and Abby go on their first date, interrupted by a mugger who Kovac ends up beating to death. Kerry tries to find VA benefits for a veteran, only to find out he has been AWOL for 50 years.
Flight of Fancy: Mark flies to Indiana for a heart transplant patient, having problems on the return trip. Because no one else is available, Romano puts Benton in charge of the ER. Let’s just say Benton’s people skills rank up there with Romano’s and he has no organizational skills at all.
The Visit: Kovac turns away from Abby, which makes it even more difficult when her mother shows up unexpectedly in the ER for a visit. Elizabeth makes a bad decision during surgery and the patient dies after surgery. Benton’s nephew is brought into the ER, shot several times, and despite Benton’s efforts he doesn’t survive. Chen decides to put her baby up for adoption. Kovac accuses the father of a pregnant girl of beating her but she reveals it is her boyfriend, not her father, attacking her. Sally Fields makes guest appearance.
Rescue Me: Maggie decides to remain in Chicago, screwing up Abby’s life even more. Kerry accepts an innocent dinner invitation from Dr. Legaspi only to discover the doctor has ulterior motives. Chen’s mother makes a surprise visit to the ER and discovers her daughter’s pregnancy, speechless when Chen discloses the father is black. Mark finds out he has a brain tumor and tries to hide the news from Elizabeth, who has a bit of news of her own to disclose. Nancy Kwan makes a guest appearance.
The Dance We Do: Abby wakes up in Kovac’s hotel room while on the other side of town her mother is at a job interview and causes quite a stir when she is accused of shoplifting a scarf. Frightened Abby will be angry at her, she leaves town. Benton takes care of his nephew’s girlfriend Kynesha when she comes to the ER after being attacked after she tells the police who shot Jesse. Elizabeth is facing a disposition on the malpractice lawsuit and after Mark finds out his tumor is inoperable, he has a seizure. He decides to come clean with Elizabeth.
The Greatest of Gifts: Chen goes into labor and has second thoughts about giving her baby up. Carter, in sleep deprivation, returns to the hospital as her coach and urges her to follow through with the adoption. Later, stresses and exhausted, he takes some Vicodin and promptly throws them back up although he confesses to Abby. Dr. Finch and Benton, now living together, take Kynesha in to hide her from the gang but it isn’t working out. Holy moly, Dr. Legaspi plants a solid kiss on Kerry, confusing her even further. Mark and Elizabeth search through New York, trying to find a surgeon for his tumor. Chris Saradon guest stars.
Piece of Mind: New Year’s Eve brings its’ usual problems to the ER while Mark has brain surgery in New York. Jim Belushi guest stars.
Rock, Paper, Scissors: Kovac treats a bishop and discovers he has Lupus. He also begins to question his own faith, or lack thereof. Abby is after Carter to tell Kerry about the Vicodin and Benton and Dr. Finch come home to find their place trashed. Kerry and Legaspi argue over professional matters, letting their personal relationship interfere. James Cromwell guest stars.
Surrender: Kerry and Legaspi do the deed although Kerry is shy about firming up the relationship. When an illegal comes into the ER, Kerry contacts authorities about the conditions of the sweatshop where he was employed resulting in mayhem when the owners decide to torch the place. Mark returns to work although he has problems remembering things and with his speech pattern. Romano forces Benton into the hospital’s Director of Diversity position. Carter is banned from prescribing drugs because of his little Vicodin episode and he finally visits Chase, his cousin, and admits he was in rehab for drug addiction. Tom Poston and Tom Bosley guest star.
Thy Will Be Done: The Bishop returns after more pain medication, throwing Kovac into a tizzy. Abby fills in as Carters date at a family get together. Dr. Dave treats a gay man that tried to get HIV from his partner who is positive. In the wake of his mental status, Kerry schedules a competency review for Mark.
A Walk in the Woods: Kerry spends the evening with Legaspi and her friends, realizing she isn’t anything like them. Chen returns from maternity leave and the Bishop returns in worse condition but begs Kovac to let him attend some services.
The Crossing: After a huge train wreck, Carter and Kovac go to the scene. Elizabeth goes into labor while performing a double leg amputation, leaving Carter to finish the job while she returns to the hospital with an injured patient. Kerry and Legaspi treat a suicidal girl, discovering she caused the train accident. Kovac tells the Bishop he could have saved his wife from dying but would have had to sacrifice his daughter, who died also. The Bishop grants him absolution as his final act. Carter meets a new intern from pediatrics, Rena.
Witch Hunt: Abby leaves the treatment room for a minute to talk to Carter and when she returns the infant she was treating has disappeared. Carter, after spending the night with Rena, discovers she is only 19. Legaspi is accused of sexual harassment by the suicidal train crash patient and Kerry fears their relationship with be discovered.
Survival of the Fittest: It’s April Fool’s Day and Dr. Dave carries the brunt of the joke when Kovac injects him with Haldol. After passing out, they glue his hand to his forehead. Elizabeth, trying to prove she is still as competent as ever, goes through a grueling surgery to show Romano up.
April Showers: It seems Mark is thwarted in every move as he attempts to get to the church to marry Elizabeth. Chen begins missing her son and Dr. Finch refuses to attend the wedding because Elizabeth and Benton were once an item.
Sailing Away: Elizabeth finally has her baby, a girl named Ella. Carter and Abby take a road trip, going to Oklahoma to find Maggie who has holed up in a hotel. On the way back to Chicago, she steals sleeping pills and overdoses. Kovac isn’t happy about the two of them going out of town together and Rena dumps Carter.
Fear of Commitment: Abby is trying to have Maggie committed on a 90 day hold but isn’t successful. Kerry is treating a homeless woman who looks familiar, finally discovering she used to host a popular children’s show with puppets. At the same time, several patients arrive after attending an animal suit fetish convention - this was too funny for words.
Where the Heart Is: Abby is shocked when Maggie tells her she plans to return to her hometown in Minnesota. They have an in-depth discussion about life, and bi-polar disease, which leaves them both in tears. Mark calls in social services to have a boy he believes is being abused removed from his home, causing the father to go ballistic.
Rampage: The father, after sleeping on it overnight, goes on a killing spree throughout the city, targeting the people he thinks took his son away. When Mark is unable to reach Elizabeth by phone or pager, he fears the worse. Romano fires Legaspi and Kerry confronts him, finally disclosing she is a lesbian herself. Kovac and Abby come to heads when he sends in her med school application without her knowing it and Carter begins to hint he has feelings for Abby. When the shooter is finally caught by police and taken to the ER, Mark is left alone with him on the elevator with dire consequences.
Season 7 seemed to be jammed full of trauma and introduces a whole new side of people. Sally Field was a great addition and played an outstanding part in the series [she’ll be back later]. Also, with season 7, it is the first I’ve really noticed how they use music to set a particular scene or close out the episode. They use some really good songs that play perfectly with what is going on before you.
Things are never easy in the ER and it doesn’t look like things are gonna change much in the future.