Over the edge or not? It's all in how it's scripted and produced

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I watched the Thursday night episode as I always do, and like others on this message board, I was completely stunned by the dramatic ending that left Carter and Lucy dying on the floor.

I thought long and hard about why it was so disturbing -- disturbing not in a bad way -- but in a good way. It was because it was so REAL. There wasn't any spooky music or tell-tale hints that left the viewer anticipating trouble at the end of the show. Afterall, our hearts had already been torn out as we learned what it was like to be a pre-adolescent child facing the prospect of growing up without parents.

Carter and Lucy's attack happened without a lot of drama. It just happened in a way that people are attacked each day - just going on with their daily activities/routines. If anything, I don't think it glamorized violence - the physical act of killing, which is what most killers looking for attention are after. Instead, it focused on the aftermath. Here are two people whom we've come to care for, quietly clutching to life while it slowly drains away. We often don't see that part of the violent act.

The scene could have been really tasteless and tacky, but ER did a great job of making it REALISTIC. Kellie Martin and Noah Wylie were superb, the make-up was excellent as was the production and camera work. ER's handling of this issue is what made the difference.

Does anyone else share my thoughts? If not, I'd like to hear from you, too.

-- Jennifer Gilmore (Jennifergi@aol.com), February 12, 2000


I think Noah Wyle and Kellie Martin did an awesome job acting, and Laura Innes was incredible as the director of this episode. Maybe she needs to step aside as Dr. Weaver and direct the show full-time. I was totally absorbed the whole way through and the ending left me feeling emotionally drained. It's the last thing I thought of before I went to sleep, and the first thing on my mind when I woke up. I told my husband that I didn't know why it affected me so much, that it was just a t.v. show. But I guess when you've watched a show like this for so long you feel kind of an attachment to the characters and when something happens to them you feel as if it had happened to someone in your family. By the looks of the message board, a lot of other people feel the same way!

-- Angie Cooper (Giecoop83@cs.com), February 12, 2000.

What made the last scene so great was that a lot was left up to the viewer's imagination. You didn't see Lucy get stabbed, and with Carter's stabbing you didn't see the stabbing itself. Also, the blood was mininal. It was all in the expressions, the lighting (or the lack of), and the music.

And here are two other factors that made the scene disturbing:

1. Paul, the attacker, is still in the room when the credits roll,

2. With the party going on and the load music blaring, no one may find them for a while.

-- Tom (tparsonst5@hotmail.com), February 12, 2000.

Jennifer, <>

What you wrote above is exactly why this episode disturbs me. And the fact that what you wrote about is not disturbing others disturbs me.

What I mean by that is can you think of a more vulnerable, personal, and sacred part of life as when life is draining out of you because of a violent act (be it from a person or even a car crash)? You're right, we don't often see that part of the violent act and maybe for good reason. It's too vulnerable, too personal, and watching that moment in someone's life in such a realistic manner is the worst kind of voyeurism.

This is by no means a criticism of you or what you wrote, it is a criticism of the people who put this scene together. Some things in life just shouldn't be in the realm of entertainment.

I'm still just shaking my head as I read so many comments about how well done everything was. Yes, it was "well-done." The question in my mind is should it have been done at all?

-- (bubb101@hotmail.com), February 12, 2000.

Considering the classic off camera implications of violence used in this episode, and unlike the visual gore of a Sam Peckinpah movie, I found myself more worried and disturbed at the end of this episode, with its life-draining cliff hanger ending, than I have from many previous episodes. With the ending and the high volume of deaths on this particular show should have been titled "St.Valentine's Day Massacre".

-- Sheridan Malone (smalone@saber.net), February 12, 2000.

this was a WELL done episoe. I reallyliked it. Yes it did effect me,It hink the thing that got to me was the fact that Carter realized that it was kind of his fault Lucy was stabbed. He left her alone there, and spent time with other patients, talking to Lisa on the roof etc... basically because he was infuriated with her. Then to be stabbed and to see her lying there and knowing that possibly if he'd gotten there quicker he could have saved her(prob not since the guy was waiting for him, but there are still the unanswered ques of what if) Also I get so tired of people saying that if you watcha horror movie or violence on tv you are desensictied or will turn into a crimminal. Excuse me but I AM NOT desensitzed and I am not now nor will I ever be a crimminal. I happen to be a very caring person and I have accomplished much in life and hope to accomplish even more and I was never told I could not watch something on tv. I grew up in a family where we ate dinner together every day, where we discussed issues and talked to each other. Heck I can remember watching Knots Landing with my grandma even when I was real little like 4-5 yrs old(my grandparents raised me) oh and dont' even think of making any remarks about how they raised me because they were the best parents I could have ever asked for. Yeah there are a small amount of kids who will see a movie or video game etc and decide, "Oh gee let's go act this out or go do this" but most of them also have other issues,. but you can't just blame tv or video games, because what about those of us who viewed those mediums and are not violent. What about kids from so called good homes who become violent, and what about those who you expect to(poor family, abuse etc..) who end up being able to pull themselves above their upbringing?? To say that anyone who watches horror movies or whatnot will turn out to be a killer is just wrong.

-- Alex (rfamily45@hotmail.com), February 13, 2000.

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