Happy day three of ER’s 20th anniversary premiere week! Today I a present a carefully selected Top 20* list of ER’s 331 episodes.
Day One: The one where it all begins ;D
Blizzard: This is my favorite episode of all time. The ER staff goofs around because of a low patient load and is caught off guard when a multi-victim car pile up arrives. Elsewhere, Hathaway tries to hide her engagement ring while Ross pretends not to notice.
Love’s Labor Lost: Pretty much the worst day a doctor can have. Prepare to hold your breath and cry in this Emmy award winning episode. The West Wing’s Bradley Whitford guest stars.
Motherhood: Quentin Tarantino directed this one. Enough said.
Hell and High Water: Dr. Ross attempts to save the day outside the ER when a kid gets trapped in a flooded culvert. Epic cinematography on this one.
Baby Shower: Mothers in Labor flood the ER when OB is shut down due to sprinkler system errors. It’s kind of funny.
Long Way Around: Starring the likes of Ewan McGregor, Carol Hathaway finds herself in a real time convenience store hostage situation and tries to save the injured and talk her way out of captivity. It doesn’t end well for Ewan 😦
Ambush: ER’s ambitious, Emmy nominated live episode, which aired once on the east coast and then reset to play out on the west coast hours later. Lisa Edelstein makes an appearance.
Fathers and Sons: Doug and Mark hit the road to bury Ross’ father. Also, bromance.
Day for Knight: Welcome to the ER through the eyes of a idealistic medstudent. Great storytelling in this one!
The Storm Part 1: George Clooney sets up his exit as his character, Dr. Ross, continues to blur the lines of medical ethics and patient care…the plot thickens!
The Storm Part 2: Shit goes down, which makes you question the purpose of inner city healthcare systems and Clooney makes his dramatic exit as Dr. Ross. Hathaway almost makes you cry. “I don’t want to wake up alone Doug.” NNNOOO!
Double Blind: Resident Maggie Doyle takes an administrative complaint to the chief of staff but hospital politics get in the way. Always thought this was what work life would be like, so much drama!
Great Expectations: Hathaway has her twins and “Lizzie” argues the finer points of British history with Greene’s daughter Rachel in this Thanksgiving episode. “It’s a hyphenate actually!” – Corday.
Be Still My Heart: It’s valentine’s day in the ER but an unstable patient waiting for a psych bed upends Carter and Lucy’s plans…
All in the Family: The second part of “Be Still My Heart,” the ER and OR staff fight the clocks and biology to save two of their own. Poor Lucy 😦
A Walk in the Woods: This one probably appeals more to my Catholic sensibilities but James Cromwell stars as, “The Bishop,” and we get insight into Luka’s back story in Croatia.
Rampage: The last seconds of this season finale will leave your jaw on the floor. Dr. Greene did what?!
Secrets and Lies: The ER writers got bored and decided to do a Breakfast Club homage episode? Walt Whitman is discussed. Abby defends her nursing career. Fencing happens. Luka recites Shakespeare in Croation and we find out when everyone lost their viriginity. It’s an amusing episode.
The Letter: Dr. Carter reads a faxed letter from Dr. Corday informing the staff that Dr. Greene has died in Hawaii. “Dear ER Gang…” as Frank notes, Carter is no longer allowed to read out loud.
On the Beach: Prepare to cry your eyes out as we witness Dr. Greene’s final moments on this precious earth. Truly touching storytelling and it was nominated for an Emmy. Somewhere Over the Rainbow gets me every time now.
A Hopeless Wound: Don Cheadle guest stars as a Parkinson’s diagnosed medical student. Corday is not amused. It’s also Halloween.
Hindsight: The ER writers got bored and decided to do a Memento homage episode? The episode plays in reverse chronological order and Luka’s not being a good person. Leslie Bibb is present.
NICU: Abby and Neela spend an episode outside the ER and in their NICU rotations. Tiny babies can be patients too!
The Student: Basically Carter tries to empower his medstudent Neela and then doesn’t supervise properly (um, remember Lucy?) and bad things happen. Also Neela finally seems human. Also, Dr. Romano directed this episode.
The Show Must Go On: One of their many “event” episodes, a balcony collapses at a party, the ER is swamped, and all the attendings are out celebrating Dr. Carter’s last day. Residents and med students rise to the occasion. Oh hey there Shane West.
Human Shield: As an episode, it’s probably not one of the strongest, but it does begin the road back to Luka/Abby that fans missed and John Leguizamo tries to sneak in a chimp as a patient.
21 Guns: Apart from “Rampage,” this was the most shocking finale and I was pissed as hell to have to wait two whole months to find out what happened next. RIP Gallant. People got shot.
That’s right, no episode love for season 13, 14 and 15 but even the greats like ER struggle in the end when it’s gone on for this long. I did enjoy the last line of the series finale though, “Are you coming Dr. Greene?” – Carter.
*Were you counting? I couldn’t narrow it down to 20 after all ;D