Who is the "heart" of ER?

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ooh this one should generate debate... I'm stealing this topic idea from the "Will ER..." thread. Which character, past or present do you think is "the heart of the ER"? and why?

Being a big Carter fan, I'm going to surprise even myself and say: I vote for Mark Greene. I guess because John Wells himself has said that he regards Mark as being THE core character of the ER. I think if I was writing the last episode of ER, I would have all the characters say their goodbyes and move on to new futures but I would definitely have the very last, final scene of the show be on Mark, working into the night... and have that be the last image.

That said, I definitely agree with the idea that Carter is up there in importance - he's sort of been our "tour guide" to all the different stages of becoming a doctor.

-- Tracy (bankybooda@aol.com), July 19, 2000


Greene has always been the most important character on the show, but Carter's probably second. I think the very last scene of er should have the two of them in it(or Benton and Carter). I couldn't imagine er without either of them. You're right about Carter showing us the different stages of becoming a doctor, and he's my favorite, but I still say Greene is the central figure. later

-- Ryan Mulligan (pxpres@idt.net), July 19, 2000.

I agree with both of you: defintly Mark or Carter. I can't really decide myself. Mark has always thought of the ER as a family and as the hospital as a second home. Whenever his real home got too much to handle, he came to the ER. We see that in one of the episodes in the second season (I forget the name and I'm too lazy to look it up), its Mark's day off, but he still comes in (he's in the middle of his prolems with his wife). So, yes Mark is the core of the show. But so is Carter. Everything the viewers of the show learned about the ER was through Carter. Michael Crichton himself even says that Carter is loosely based on himself as a med student. So, both are the cores. I can't decide between them!

I think the final scene of ER should be of the magnificent six (that is Carter, Mark, Peter, Doug, Carol, and Susan). I don't know what they'd be doing, but since they started the show, I think it only right they end the show! :)

-- Adorra (er_chick24@hotmail.com), July 19, 2000.

Dr. Greene is the heart, definately. He's the rock that everyone goes to when they're in trouble. Carter is more of an important character than he was in the past, but Greene is still #1.

-- Carin Haseltine (cdenisehaze@usa.net), July 19, 2000.

First, I have to say how surprised I am at everyone so far picking Mark as the heart of the show. On some other groups I see him lambasted and bashed heavily as being more boring than dirt. Nice to see that not everyone feels that way!

I think of Mark as the anchor and Carter as the heart of the show. Mark is the rock, the glue that holds them all together. He's the mature, fairly stable one, the adult figure who has always been there and (pretty much) always reliable. He's had the occasional foray into irresponsibility, but for the most part, our Mark has been the anchor that keeps the show from sailing over the edge.

Carter, as I've mentioned in the other thread, is the one we've watched grow up. We've grown with him, seen him mature from a young, ambitious, somewhat bumbling med student to a competent doctor, though he still has much to learn. He's the one we have so much invested in, we can't bear to see him in the pain of drug addiction, and so on. His stories can wrench us. Mark's stories can ground us. I don't know if I'm making sense at all...LOL, I just think the two of them are vital to the show.

For the record, mu favorite is Mark. I have such a crush on him, he's such a sweetie. :)

-- Cecelia (evilstoat@hotmail.com), July 19, 2000.

Mark of course. Cecelia, I'm suprised that there are Mark bashers. Well nothing will surprise me anymore. On another thread somone saod that there are alot of Carol bashers.

-- Cammie (rmaelhorn@home.com), July 19, 2000.

ok.. mark is the heart of the er,but what about a woman also. carol *was* a heart on the show. who now? kerry or liz?

-- rachel (thehilfigergirl@aol.com), July 20, 2000.

Yes I agree that Mark is the heart of the ER... I would say Carter is the spirit of the ER... And Kerry is the brains of the ER... And Doug... well, Doug was the gonads of the ER... And Carol, since she was so ever protective of mothers and babies, was the breasts of the ER... :-)

-- Beth (beekster@aol.com), July 20, 2000.

If everyone had stayed on ER from the beginning, the "heart" would be Mark, Carter, Benton, Doug, Carol, and Susan. Seeing all of them together again would be a great ending for the show someday. But since half of these have moved on, we don't have such a group-like connection anymore. I mean (former cast members excluded) we still have the Benton/Carter relationship, Mark/Carter, Mark/Elizabeth, Mark/Kerry, Carter/Deb/Malucchi, Romano/Elizabeth, Benton/Cleo, but that's kind of it...no Mark/Susan/Doug/Carol thing anymore. I would give anything to see a nice scene again like the end of Everything Old is New Again.

ANyways, as for my answer to the question, the "heart" right now would be Mark as a leader, and Carter working up to be one.

-- Elaine (mrsclooney78@hotmail.com), July 20, 2000.

No question about it. Mark Greene is absolutely the heart & soul of the show. That's the way the show was originally designed. The other characters were supposed to operate in his periphery and relate to him. And I think the show was at its best when TPTB remembered and respected that.

In the beginning, I would have considered Carter the blood of the show. Blood transports oxygen, necessary for life. Tour guide is another good way of putting it. He sort of functions that way still. He's bright, quick and still is willing to learn. And coming from the background he does, he's still a little bit of an outsider. An outsider is always necessary to play tour guide.

Another thing, I never read that Michael Crichton had based Carter on himself, but I did know that the ER pilot was based on his experiences as a med student in Boston. So I kind of figured thats where Carter came from. A role like Carter's, even though it's supporting, is often pivotal. I think the guy who wrote the screenplay for MASH did something similar.

-- S. Trelles (trelles@ix.netcom.com), July 20, 2000.

I agree with those who think Mark Greene is the heart of the show, the father of the family, kind of. He's the kind of doctor a med student would want to be. I've always thought of Carter as the baby of the show/family; everyone sort of nurtures him and cares for him, but it's Mark that everyone looks up to, and always will.

-- samira (matb_west@chickmail.com), July 20, 2000.

If you look into the ER's past there are many things that pop up in your minds. When Susan left it gave Mark a chance to grow, but we also saw some of that old ER humor leave. When Doug left the comedy totally left and the show definetly lost the family feeling. Now that Carol is gone is will be interesting to see how the show is affected. I think that Carter is the blood of the show. He brings life to the stories. But Mark is definetly the "heart" of the show. If the "heart" isn't working then the blood can not move and bring oxygen to the show. I just hope that they can get some of the old ER humor and family feeling back.

-- Jill (Huckabe5@bellsouth.net), July 20, 2000.

While I have to agree with everyone that the heart of the e.r. is Mark, Carter is the SOUL of the e.r. Everything that goes on is reflected in his eyes, face, mannerisms. If Mark left the show it would die physically. If Carter left the show, it would go on, but there would be no life left in it, i.e. die emotionally.

Which is why it's amazing that Noah Wyle didn't get nominated this year for his portrayal of John Carter this year.

-- AmyE (roamyn@aol.com), July 20, 2000.

This question is very interesting, and hard to answer! My first instinct would be to say Carter, just because he always manages to impress me, he's my favorite character and he is a great doctor who cares for his patients. But when I think about it, I would have to say Kerry Weaver. I have come to like her more and more. Sure, she may be annoying, but the ER has really come to rely on Kerry. Remember that week when we see the ER during her suspension? It was almost in shambles. Kerry is vital to the control in the ER, she has wonderful talents as a doctor, she cares about her colleagues and she does (contrary to popular belief) have a heart. Kerry Weaver is crucial to the ER.

-- Joanne (bucklind@hotmail.com), July 20, 2000.

As much as I hate to admit it (Kerry fan that I am), I think it is Mark, although I think of Mark and Kerry as the "Mother and Father" of ER as demonstrated in All In The Family. Kerry and Mark are the oldest (I think, maybe Romano is older) and most experienced doctors in the ER and protect and teach the other doctors; demonstrated after Carter's injury when he was kicked off the gurney and Kerry said "Sit down, Carter, I don't want you to aggrivate your injury." Mark and Jeanie have both reffered to the ER as their "family" as well.

-- Teddy (richarr@earthlink.net), September 02, 2001.

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