er: the end of an era.

Wow. I guess I hadn’t realized just how long er had been on as a show, until the retrospective and final episode. I was still a teenager, still in my parents’ house–Thursday nights through high school and college. Episodes that made me laugh my head off or bawl my eyes out.

Just watching the retrospective is enough to make me tear up. When Dr. Greene dies. When Carter gets stabbed and Lucy dies. Doug and Carol. “Love’s Labor Lost” *sniff* And it’s all leading into the last episode ever, and it wouldn’t be er if it didn’t involve tears and tragedy and that sort of… laughing through the crying that rips your lungs right out of your chest cavity.

  • Awww, that’s the first scene from the first episode. They’re re-doing it. Back then it was Anthony Edwards. I bet it will end with a big trauma, scene out.
  • And the credits, they put everybody back in it. or maybe i hadn’t noticed this year. but awww. except Anthony Edwards. who’s still dead.
  • I really didn’t like Archie in the beginning. Like, hated him on the same level I hated Romano. (I totally rewound to watch that helicopter smush him to bits. Several times.)

I had to stop listing, I just … watched. And I made it through, all the way to the end. Laughing at Lizzy and Benton, and rolling my eyes at Kerry, at interns. I caught myself thinking I was going to like Lorelei’s daughter taking up as in intern next season–only there won’t really be a next season. Awww.

But I made it through–even though the distressed babies and the dead birthmother and the reminisces with Carter and his wife (I hate that that plotline wasn’t wrapped up–I so want Carter to find happiness… somehow…). I managed not to go beyond the occasional sniffle and tightness of throat. Until the last line.

And this is based on recollection–I can’t find a scripts archive–but I’m pretty certain. If it wasn’t in the first episode, it was in the first season, a moment I remember, so very clearly.

Carter, fresh out of med school, full of doubt, has the kind of day that fuels the doubt. He doesn’t see how he’ll have the knowledge or the confidence, and no matter what good thing he does, people die. And it never stops coming. A major trauma rolls in, and everyone jumps into action, a smooth and well-oiled machine, doing what it does best. A long camera shot follows the seeming chaos but really–it is order. Orders are being barked, patients triaged, lives saved. Carter is in a reverie, watching it unfold from the outside, until he is invited in. By Mark Green. “Dr. Carter, are you coming?” He springs into action, sure now. And, credits.

And at the end… Lorelei’s daughter, fresh out of med school. Med students. One of them Rachel Green, Mark’s daughter. The kind of day in the er … it has always been. Life, death, tragedy, finality. And it never stops coming. A major trauma rolls in, and everyone jumps into action, a smooth and well-oiled machine, doing what it does best. A long camera shot follows the seeming chaos, but really–it is order. Orders are being barked, patients triaged, lives saved. Rachel Greene is in a reverie, watching it unfold from the outside, until she is invited in. By John Carter. “Dr. Greene, are you coming?” She springs into action, sure now. And, credits.

Ah, symmetry.

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