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ER - The Complete Third Season

1 rating: 5.0
A movie

The highly popular NBC hospital drama series ER returns for a third season, which is presented here in its entirety. George Clooney was still on board at this point, and features prominently alongside a stellar cast that includes Julianna Margulies, … see full wiki

Release Date: 1995-1996
MPAA Rating: Unrated
1 review about ER - The Complete Third Season

ER - Season 3

  • Dec 31, 2009
Pros: casting, attention to detail, engaging and current topics

Cons: none for me

The Bottom Line:
Michael Crichton 10/23/42 - 11/4/08

Before I go any further I want to take time to correct an injustice. Most of the fame and glory of the TV show ER, much like real life, went to the doctors on staff. However, some of those doctors decided to leave the show, replaced by others and other storylines, but a dedicated staff of nurses has attended this show from beginning to end.

Similar to real life, they get little acknowledgement, tend to all the scut jobs, make the doctors look like the heroes they think they are, and truly hold the souls of the patients and their families in their hands everyday. They are the true healers because they connect on a personal level with the patient, realizing they are humans in despair and not just clients or a figure on the bottom line.

With that said, I salute all the real nurses in the world and the acting nurses in this program:

Laura Ceron ... Nurse Chuny Marquez 219 episodes
Deezer D ... Nurse Malik McGrath 188 episodes
Yvette Freeman ... Nurse Haleh Adams 185 episodes
Lily Mariye ... Nurse Lily Jarvik 127 episodes
Linda Cardellini ... Nurse Samantha Taggart 126 episodes
Ellen Crawford ... Nurse Lydia Wright 113 episodes
Conni Marie Brazelton ... Nurse Connie Oligario 113
And suffering at the intake desk: Abraham Benrubi ... Jerry Markovic 141 episodes

The only person to appear in more episodes than the nurses was Noah Wyle, who appeared in 255 episodes.

Season 3 episodes include:
Dr. Carter, I presume
Let the games begin
Don’t ask, don’t tell
Last call
Fear of flying
No brain, no gain
Union Station
Ask me no questions, I’ll tell you no lies
Homeless for the holidays
Post mortem
Fortune’s fools
Who’s Appy now?
Long way around
You bet your life
Calling Dr. Hathaway
Random acts
Make a wish
One more for the road

Season 3 special appearances include:
Omar Epps, Eileen Brennan, Veronica Cartwright, Jami Kertz, Ewan Macgregor, Kirsten Dunst, CCH Pounder, Christine Hornos, Maria Bello, with the reoccurring role for John Aylward as Dr. Donald Anspaugh as chief of staff, and introducing a new doc, Jorja Fox as Dr. Maggie Doyle and new nurse, Maura Tierney as Nurse Abby Lockhart. I didn’t include Nurse Abby in the nursing count, although she appears in 190 episodes, because she soon becomes a doctor, going over to the dark side.

ER Season 3:
Carter starts his surgical internship on the wrong foot when he aggravates the nursing staff, who retaliate. Jeanie must decide how to handle her HIV status on the work front, word is out that with tight budgets one of the Chicago hospitals is closing, Benton runs into an old friend, Carla, at a family barbecue and rekindles the romance.

When news hits that Southside and not County General is closing, they get a new chief of staff, Dr. Anspaugh. Dr. Greene and Susan, who have been making eyes at each other for countless episodes go on a blind double date, with other people. Carter, always late, is sent to cover the ER and gets back at Benton by encouraging a patient to have a local anesthetic and talk to Benton throughout surgery, questioning his every move.

Susan, on a whim, asks Mark to go with her to Hawaii and quickly regrets asking him. In turn, he is unsure of her intent and never answers, so she goes alone and he housesits for her. Carter quickly gets on Dr. Anspaugh’s bad side, mainly because Carter just cares about the patients too much. Not that this is a flaw. To make matters worse, Carter’s apartment building burns down and he practically lives at the hospital now.

Doug, entangled in another one-night-stand, loses colleague backing when he has to rush her to the hospital because of a seizure and can’t even give them her name. Benton and Carter, always at odds anyway, find even more discord when Benton discovers his presentation slides for a lecture were lost in the fire at Carter’s house. Pediatric surgeon, Keaton, takes a liking to Carter, a really big liking, and he starts rooming with fellow intern, Dennis Gant. Nurse Carol Hathaway thinks about entering medical school.

Susan, deathly afraid of flying, must take helicopter flight rotation, bringing an entire family back to the ER from an auto accident. Carter manages to bond with Anspaugh but we know that won’t last long, Benton continuously tries to find his softer side but it is hard to break through that shell. Mark, finally ready to make his move with Susan, learns she is moving to Phoenix.

Carol moves into a nurse manager position to alleviate floating nurses because of the trouble they have had with nurses not trained in emergency room procedures. Al and Jeanie get their divorce, and we meet Charlie, a streetwise 14 year old girl, for the first time and she forms a bond with Doug.

With Mark still reeling from Susan’s departure, he sneaks into Jeanie’s medical files and learns her HIV status. In the meantime, the love affair heats up between Carter and Keaton until she drops a bombshell, she is going to Pakistan. Benton is unrelenting on intern Gant, driving him extra hard because he is also a black man. Charlie shows up in the ER with a small child, seeking Doug’s help and Dr. Doyle, after treating an abused woman, helps her escape her marriage.

It’s holiday time and Carter has invited Gant to his family gala, but blows him off at the last minute to get busy with Keaton. Carol and her mother host a traditional Ukrainian Christmas and Doug shows up with Charlie in tow, asking Carol to let her stay there for the night.

Gant, after another public degrading by Benton, goes to Ansbaugh but gets no help. In the meantime, Carter blows him off again, tired of his whining. Carol is faced with having to cut two RN’s to save money and Charlie shows up again, severely beaten. Doug is surprised to learn she has a mother who lives just a few blocks away. Mark and nurse Chuny discover they have a lot in common and begin a romance.

A traumatic case shows up, pedestrian vs. train, and everyone is trying to find Gant who is supposed to be on duty. Finally disgusted, Benton calls Gant’s beeper, only to discover the body they are working on, the mangled mass on the table, is Dennis Gant, when his beeper goes off. Both Carter and Benton struggle to overcome Gant’s death, for very different reasons.

After receiving a lousy contract, the nurses hold a sick out, leaving the ER understaffed. Carol, working a double shift, makes a tragic error resulting in the death of a patient. Jeanie has started seeing a new man, Dr. Fischer, and everyone knows about Mark and Chuny, even though they think they are keeping it quiet.

Benton runs into Carla, who he hasn’t seen for a while, discovering she is pregnant. Mark and Chuny end their relationship, with no hard feelings. Carter, wanting to do a really interesting surgery, learns he has to do an appendectomy instead. His lip falls until he sees the patient, none other than Dr. Peter Benton. The entire episode surrounding this is quite humorous, even for Benton, and he actually smiles - once.

Doug is forced to treat a cystic fibrosis patient who, at 17, isn’t old enough to sign his own DNR. Carter, since Keaton’s leaving, has been sniffing around new doc Doyle and accompanies her to the pistol range only to discover she is gay when he ex-girlfriend shows up.

In a rather riveting episode, Carol, who is on temporary suspension, is trapped in a convenience store along with several others, while they are being robbed. When one of the men opens fire, shooting the store owner, his accomplice is wounded in crossfire. Carol must rely on her medical skills to save both patients with limited facilities. In the end, she leaves as hostage with one of the robbers.

Carol finally decides to take the MCAT exams for medical school, acing them. In the meantime, the cystic fibrosis patient turns 18 and begs Doug to take him off the respirator, walking out of the hospital to die elsewhere, but free.

Another explosive episode is Tribes, where Mark discovers a rather ugly side of himself as he makes assumptions, which are unfounded, about several patients that arrive in the ER. This continues later in the episode, Random Acts.

Carol must decide whether she wants to continue nursing to join the dark side as a doctor. Benton and Carla become closer as the pregnancy progresses. In Random Acts, Mark is viciously beaten in the ER restroom resulting in an extended period from work. Carla is admitted to the hospital with premature labor, delivery a boy. Mark is back at work but emotionally absent and scarred. Carter begins to doubt his decision to become a surgeon wanting, instead, to return to emergency medicine.

Charlie, again beaten and strung out on drugs, returns to the ER. Benton and Carla’s son strengthens even though 2 months premature, Doug and Carol kiss - again - and Jeanie and Al get back together. A rather lackluster season finale, actually.

DVD extras include: commentary tracks; spotlight on Fear of Flying; interviews with Sherry Springfield, Noah Wyle, Glenne Headley, Yvette Freeman, Abraham Benrubi, Ellen Crawford; bloopers; outtakes.

As always, ER is intense and action packed. They cover relevant issues in the news today and aren’t always nice about how they do it. The cast remains focused and centered, filming has to be incredible to watch. The technical aspects of this show is simply unbeaten.


Related reviews:
ER - Season 1
ER - Season 2
ER - Season 3 - you are here
ER - Season 4
ER - Season 5
ER - Season 6
ER - Season 7
ER - Season 8
ER - Season 9


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