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ER: Season 13 - Review

ER: Season 13

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 5 out of 5

SEASON 13 was far from an unlucky season for ER enthusiasts and – if anything – emerged as one of the best yet.

Picking up in the minutes following the shocking season 12 finale, season 13 finds multiple departments rushing to assist a bound and intubated Luka (Goran Visnjic), a bleeding Abby (Maura Tierney) and a seriously injured Jerry. They must then rally to save Abby’s baby, while Sam and Alex battle to outwit their captors, who abducted them from the hospital.

In 45 adrenaline-charged minutes, lives had been saved and changed and the seeds had been sewn for another brilliant series.

Thereafter, the highlights kept on coming – with regular cast members getting their moments to shine, as well as guest appearances from some of the best in the business.

Primary among Season 13’s guests was Oscar winner Forest Whitaker, who appeared for six episodes as a carpenter who suffers a stroke under Luka’s care and then sues him for malpractice.

His storyline was frought with moral ambiguity (as only ER knows how) and culminated in a tense stand-off between himself and Luka in an episode entitled Murmurs of the Heart

Memorable, too, was a guest appearance from Six Feet Under‘s Freddy Rodriguez as a dying stand-up comic in an episode entitled Dying Is Easy

Of the regulars, John Stamos proved an engaging, if hot-headed, presence as Gates, while his love triangle with Shane West’s series favourite Ray over the affections of Parminder Nagra’s Neela eventually gave rise to a truly shocking consequence for one of the three characters.

Neela, too, found herself in the thick of the season cliffhanger after attending a war rally that spilled out of control, while the presence of new series regular Stanley Tucci as the new head of the ER laid the foundations for his future good work for the first half of season 14.

Honourable mention must also go to funnyman Scott Grimes’ Archie Morris, who had his own “save-the-day” special in the mid-season classic Jigsaw

Throughout Season 13, however, award-winning producer John Wells and best-selling [late] author Michael Crichton continued to showcase their talent for combining involving medical cases with top-notch characterisation – and striking a perfect balance between both.

Unlike the characters in rival medical series Grey’s Anatomy, the characters in ER are genuinely worth caring about – whether it’s sharing in their successes or shedding a tear at their woes. And the personal dramas are always expertly balanced with the medical dilemmas that unfold.

It’s for those reasons and more that ER continues to set the standard for this kind of show… and why – come the end of its 15th and final season – it will be one of the most fondly remembered and sorely missed television shows in history.

Savour it while you can…

Certificate: 15
Release DVD Release: November 24, 2008