Comments on "The Visit" : LUSENET : ER Discussions : One Thread

I want to comment while everything is still so fresh. What an amazing episode. I was completely pulled in by everything that happened. The Jesse storyline was so wonderfully done. Just the fact that he is alive when he comes in, it makes all the more difficult to know that he couldn't survive. Jackie was amazing. The way she was mock calm when telling Cleo why she was here, how she screamed for Jesse's girlfriend to leave, her out of sight reaction to a bloody and broken down Peter walking toward her. Khandi Alexander is wonderful.

In the same light, Peter was great. I loved how Cleo ran up to get him, and he just left surgery. By the time he hit the trauma room, he was close to tears. He was shaky, he was teary, he was upset. Everyone saw that, but they knew that he had to try, and they let him try, they let him do everything. THey knew it was over, but they let him keep going. And how he just broke down. Wonderful. And I liked Cleo. She was good, she had emotion, she was there for Peter. It was well done. With Dave, well, he was being Dave. But he felt bad, he felt horrible for saying what he said. It was good he let Peter hit.

Sally Field was beautiful. I didn't like the plotline at first, but it really grew on me. What a revelation. I had no clue how bipolar people act, and if it was accurate, wow. The final scene at the El tracks was so beautiful. Wow.

I wonder if Elizabeth's action will hold any consequences.

The Luka storyline was lost on me. I didn't like it much, maybe because I was so drawn in with the Jesse and Maggie stories. That girl was one old looking seventh grader. Luka was good though.

The father. Could it have been shorter or more blunt. Im pregnant, you're the father, sign the papers, please. It could have used more thought. But again, I was so drawn in, it didn't seem to matter.

Well, those are my comments. Only a little Carter, but everything made up for it. Beautiful, wonderful episode.

-- Joanne (, November 17, 2000


I thought the episode was not as good as I expected. Sally Field was terrific, but I find Abby a tad bit annoying. I don't really like her, but here's a thought: Maybe Abby is also bipolar. She sure shows all the signs. First she said she doesn't know her mom, then she said "hi mom". Secondly, she bounces around from luka to carter to luka to carter. Third, she yells at her mom to get out of there, then she goes to her mom and said everything will be alright.. ??

I too was disappointed with Deb's storyline about the father. It was way too short and blunt.

I think Luka's storyline is an irony... Luka is the one who in fact, needs to get help.

What's with the cold shoulder that Luka is giving Abby? How come nothing was mention about what happen from last time in Luka's hotel room? Please don't put abby and carter together, I can only see them as friends and nothing more. Plus, a triangle would be really ridiculous cuz abby is not exactly a prize catch.

They are really overdoing it with Dave. They are really writing him in as the ignorant clown of the ER, and I just don't think that's his character.

-- anna (, November 17, 2000.

ER has made me cry three times ever. I know that makes me sound like a cold-hearted meanie to some of you, but I'm not one to get that drawn into television, I generally remain outside of it, more of an obeserver than a participant (although a very enthusiastic one!). The first time was the Emmy-nominated heart patient episode in season one. The second was the Doug/Carol reunion (yes, so I'm a sappy observer). The third was tonight. This episode was very powerful on so many levels. First of all, I have never seen such fine acting on Eriq LaSalle's part, and that is saying a lot because I think he is top quality. I have never seen Peter so completely lost, actually unable to find words, bloody and uncomposed, shaken and in tears while at the same time working harder than he ever has. I've noticed something else the directors are doing so VERY well this season is just silence. Several times this season we have not been allowed to SEE or HEAR conversations and they have been all the more powerful for it. Two examples that come to mind now are 1) Abby and Luka's kiss scene last week, and 2)Peter's silent retreat back to Romano's clutches. Tonight we were just allowed to SEE Cleo tell Peter about Jesse, and Peter's long walk to his sister was done in silence, shattered by her scream. And finally, as he washed Jesse's body and Cleo silently joined him, I was moved to tears. How much more they convey through action and expression then by dialogue. The actors are really being given so much more room to work than when every conversation is given to them.

Some other assorted thoughts - how long do we think the Benton/Mallucci tension will last? Sally Field was wonderful. If any of you have seen Sybil, her acting tonight shouldn't have surprised you. Mania is her forte, in my opinion. I honestly expected a little more compassion from Romano. We have seen the kindness in him when it comes down to it, and I expected to see that side of him tonight. His nonchalance at realizing the patient was Benton's nephew was disconcerting and not in character. Wide screen - I actually liked it, which is a first for me... And on a lighter note, for the first time in like 22 episodes I DIDN'T HATE CLEO! She showed some emotion other than snottiness, disdain and self-righeousness tonight. I really admired her role in the episode. Question - is this the first time we have ever seen Elizabeth screw up? Can't remember too many others...

Sorry if I've rambled too long, but there is so much to say, it's times like this I LOVE to be an ER fan!


-- Becky (, November 17, 2000.

One last thing I forgot to comment on...the Deb thing. Without saying who it is (and maybe I was the only one who didn't know from spoilers, but I like to be surprised), my jaw sure dropped! I kind of like that we had no idea that they were ever together, but that we can kind of see how it happened. Obviously they're not in a relationship, it was probably a one-night stand thing, but at least it wasn't a character dropped in out of the blue. There were the tiniest bits of foreshadowing last season, but when they filmed that eppy, she probably wasn't planning on being pregnant, so my theory is that the writers pulled a fast one. Quick, did Deb have an interest in ANYONE last season...uh, yeah there was that one episode, let's write him back in, THAT would be interesting! Better than a tryst with one of the main characters, anyway. So the question now is, will he or won't he sign the rights away? Implications?


-- Becky (, November 17, 2000.

Sally Field was wonderful. She was Gidget and Sister Bertrille again! She did it so well thirty plus years ago and we got to see it again. I had fun. "Maggie" said she enjoyed the manic phases. It was obvious that Sally Field also enjoyed them

-- Zorbo (, November 17, 2000.

Wow....... i'm exhausted. What a roller coaster ride tonight!! Excellent acting, excellent directing. I esp liked when they were working on Jesse and everyone was been kind of standoffish about him. They knew he wouldn't survive, but attitudes sure did change when they found out that it was Benton's nephew. Man is it just me or do you want to just smack Dr. Dave?????? I don't see how in the world they will EVER make him into a Dr. where is his compasion? He had no bedside manner and he treats every trauma like his personal playground to cut and do every procedure that he can think of. They should either smarten him up or ship him off. There is no way that he would be able to continue with his internship. Wonderful epi and three cheers to everyone involved.

-- Heather (, November 17, 2000.

Wow...that does seem to sum it up, doesn't it?! And I'd be one of the last people out there to say it as well, but I agree...Cleo actually surprised me tonight. I enjoyed watching her performance. I was amazed with all the scenes dealing with that storyline. It was honestly heart-wrenching.

Yes, weird short way to get Deb's child's father out in the air, but I found it fairly realistic. I think if TPTB made too much out of it, it would become fairly *soapy.*

I loved that Luka was talking to that girl about being abusive...totally double standard, and he knew it!

Elizabeth's actions bothered me tonight. I like watching her as a good DOCTOR. I was squirming through-out her scene...knowing she'd botch something up, but really hoping she wouldn't rush just for a vacation.

I found Abby's reactions to her mother completely accurate! She had to grow up in that environment, and one way to survive it is to emotionally distance yourself from it. I, as an audience member, found "Maggie's" emotions made me cry, but I realized that Abby's character has probably heard these words from her mother before, and knows she can't emotionally involve she says "I'm not strong enough."

Sally Field. My God, I love her acting. It was so precise and amazing.

Just beautiful tonight...I'm can't wait for next week!

-- Jen (, November 17, 2000.

Becky, in answer to your question about Elizabeth messing up. Yes, in season five, episode "Hazed and Confused," Elizabeth gave a patient medicine that was too strong, causing a heart attack. But then, she was really tired after having worked a 36 hour shift.

-- Jen (, November 17, 2000.

I thought "The Visit" was one of my all-time favorite episodes! Sally Fields did a wonderful job--I really enjoyed watching her. She is quite touching when she gets hysterical. = ) I agree with everyone's comments about how great Benton was. I just have a few questions: How old was Jesse supposed to be? He looked very young in the last episode, but he's probably at least a ninth-grader right? He didn't look big enough to be pushing Walt around! Was the girl who was beaten by her boyfriend really supposed to be in seventh grade? She looked so much older!! Did you all believe the father when he denied Luka's charges? I didn't at first, just because I sided with Luka, but then when I considered Vinnie's character, I changed my mind. It just impressed upon me how difficult it must be for doctors and case workers to discern whether parents are telling the truth. Khandi Alexander was absolutely wonderful. Very moving. One last thing: Did you notice how cynical Carter seemed at the AA meeting? What is going to finally be the support he needs to pull him out from his depression? The AA meetings aren't doing it, obviously. He doesn't seem to have any close friends whom he can rely on. I mean, we only see Gamma and his ER co-workers, but I doubt he's getting much support from anyone else. I can't wait till next week!!

-- Diane (, November 17, 2000.

I was wondering ... Was Sally Field really good? Because I've been on other Websites that say they want Sally to go ... as in she was bad. Now I've read some comments from this message board that says she's good. And Poor Benton!!!! And Jackie of course!

-- Hayley (, November 17, 2000.

Why don't you think about whether you liked her performance, and decide for yourself? This is essentially an unanswerable question, since no one can read your mind, and nobody can tell you whether you thought something was good or not.

-- Mike Sugimoto (, November 17, 2000.

Sorry Mike

-- Hayley (, November 17, 2000.

I have to agree and give Michael Michelle credit for her performance in this episode (along with everyone else, of course!) Cleo really took me by surprise the way she helped comfort and support Jackie and Peter, but did it have to take something like this for the "ice queen" to crack?! I was almost expecting to hear her say, "What about me" :) but I'm so happy she didn't go there because Peter probably would've punched her out too! So, I hope we see more of this side of Cleo in the coming episodes. Who knows, we could all possibly come to like her a lot. As for Benton, words cannot even come close to how great his acting was tonight (or has been since the close of last season for that matter!) Could there be an Emmy for him in the near future? I hope so! :) I was very disappointed in Elizabeth too! What was she thinking!?! Very out of character for her, I thought. Last but not least, Maggie and Abby...Superb acting by both ladies! The only bad thing was that I kept getting flashbacks from "Sybil" and "Steel Magnolias"...Sally Fields did a wonderful job as always anyway. Abby was very believable in the way she dealt with her mother. Sometimes the only way to keep your own sanity is by distancing yourself and Maura Tierney did an excellent job showing the audience how confusing and frustrating a relationship like that can be. That's all I have to say about that! :) Great "Must See T.V" tonight...that's for sure!

-- Joy (, November 17, 2000.

Wow is what someone else said and I want to confirm that. What an amazing ep!

I was sobbing when I saw Peter walking down the hall to see Jackie. Both Eric and Khandi (and Michelle too) were absolutely fantastic during the entire plotline.

Did anyone else get the impression when Frank said "He?" that he may not want to sign the adoption papers? Men do raise their own children nowadays. This could be a continuing plotline for Chen. Think of the angst for her if Frank kept the baby and brought him to the hospital's day care.

So Mark has a headache; gee, wonder why?

I felt for Abby in so many ways. I could see the emotional withdrawal from her mother. And she gets the reverse side when she reaches out time and again to Luka he withdraws from her. Abby, don't you think Luka should have had time to work on is own problems first before you jumped into bed with him? Luka needs a FRIEND. Right now he doesn't need a romantic attachment. And neither does Carter.

Sally Field is a wonderful actress. I never saw any of the "Gidget" movies, but I remember "Sybill" very well and boy can this woman do emotional trauma. A 50 some year old woman walking around in that dress and those shoes. But she looks good doesn't she? And her and Abby actually look like they could be mother and daughter. The traditional El scene when Abby took on the role of "Mother" (and not for the first time I'm sure) and was comforting her "Daughter" was filmed very nicely.

Only one critism: As someone who just had a lumbar lamenectomy diskectomy last Thursday, my neurosurgeon told me (and he's the top guy in Cleveland) that micro endroscopic (sp?) diskectomies aren't very successful. Maybe that's why there were complications with Elizabeth's patient. Also, they don't just schedule this surgery right away. I had the exact same symptoms as the Aussie surfer and it took over three weeks to get the surgery scheduled once we decided that was the form of treatment.

John Wells, you are amazing! Thank you!

-- AmyE (, November 17, 2000.

Eriq LaSalle was so awesome in this epi!! What a heartbroking storyline this was -- I was bawling. The way Peter was crying but trying to hold it in and he couldn't see through his was all so well done. I loved how Mark and Elizabeth let him keep working even though they knew Jesse could not be saved. You could hear the desperation in Peter's voice trying to figure out what to do. He knew he just could not go to his sister and tell her her baby died! When he was walking down the hall all covered in blood I just lost it (but also thought can't he clean himself up a little? Like Jackie wanted to see all that blood). Khandi Alexander was excellent as well. And, like others, I liked Cleo in this epi. When she went in to help Peter clean up Jesse at the end I lost it again! Dave was Dave. I think he should have waited a little while before he tried to apologize to Peter. I can't really blame her for treating this patient as a "case study" or something. I have seen them do that before on this show. I thought it was really pretty sweet how terrible he felt after he found out it was Peter's nephew.

Kudos go to Sally Field. Hayley, I thought Sally Field was excellent. She did a wonderful job of portraying the manic nature of a person with this disease. It was heart-wrenching to see her moods change and to think of poor Abby and Eric as children coping with a mother like this. I don't think Abby is bi-polar at all. I think her response was probably very accurate. She has built in mechanisms over the years that help her deal with her mother's behavior. As someone above said, she can't let herself get too invested in caring for her mother. It was all very well done and I thought Maura Tierney was good as well. And again, Kerry was gentle and comforting to Abby as we have seen her in the past with others who are going through problems.

What is up with Carter and doing the crossword puzzle during AA? I was a little disappointed to see that. He doesn't seem to be taking that part of his rehab seriously. I hope this isn't a sign of something. I did like how Abby confided in him about her childhood.

About Deb...when she went to see Rambo I thought "so is he still at the same hospital"? How would he not know she is pregnant? I thought they put just the right amount of this storyline in. I hope he signs the papers. After she said she wanted to give "him" up for adoption and he said "him" I thought oh no he won't be able to give up his son. I wonder if we will see anything more about this.

I really didn't get the feel that Elizabeth was rushing through that surgery too much. I kept being afraid that something was going to happen, but it seemed that she did what she needed to do. I agree with her choice of surgery...I mean, that is what her patient preferred (although I am no doctor). I too, wonder if there will be any ramifications for her actions. Though people on this show don't seem to be held accountable as they should.

Sorry this is so long. I just loved "The Visit". Can't wait for next week!!

-- amanda (, November 17, 2000.

I realize that many people liked Cleo this week, but compared to Khandi Alexander's portrayal of Jacki I felt that MM looked even worse this week. The only time I liked Cleo this week was when she was going up to the OR to get Peter. All the other times I felt she showed very little expression (or perhaps it was just so subtle that I didn't notice). I guess felt that compared to so many wonder performances MM seemed to be the weak link in episode. Also I liked Dr. Dave this week. Yes he is arrogant (sp?) we knew that. He has yet to learn that the people who come into the ER are people with lives, not just teaching tools (I am disappointed that the writers seemed to have completely ignored the little character development he had in this department last season). However, he was trying to apologize to Benton, but unlike Mark or even Carter he hasn't learnt when to leave well enough alone. I though EP and ELS did a terrific job.

-- Emma (, November 17, 2000.

I liked Cleo a little better this epi. When Jackie found her at the beginning, I was talking to her, (I do that. I'm not sure if I think they can hear me, or what. I acknowlege that it's bizarre...hee hee) saying, "What you need to do now is shut up, and go find Peter. Now. " I thought the direction on the whole Jesse storyline was stunning. I taped it, and will have to watch it again, just to take it all in.

I really think that Malucci will be more sensitive from now on. He means well, he just doesn't think. But I think he's trying.

-- Rubi (, November 17, 2000.

Great episode! But for the second week in a row my local NBC station skipped the credits and went straight to the news instead. I actually like Cleo this episode. Shocking! The Abby/Maggie storyline was good. It reminded me of one of my friends whose mother is like Maggie and my friend is like Abby in pretending that she wasn't her mom. Romano has gone to far IMO. He didn't even care about Benton's nephew. I kept waiting for Elizabeth to smack him one. She looked like she was going too. You know the saying "What goes around, comes around"? Well it came for Dave. He should have just kept his mouth shut. Yes he was apologizing but he should have waited until later and when he did he should have not mention the words gang banger. Will he learn from this? I hope so. Erik and Eriq were great in those scenes. Eriq was great in the whole episode. As for Deb, I was disappointed that more wan't said. It was like "oh, I'm pregnant, he's yours, and I'm giving it up for adoption." Frank said nothing and it went to the next scene. That was pointless. Great episode!

-- Cammie (, November 17, 2000.

Wow I was so impressed with the eppy. It was so dramatic and even it if bordered on "soapy" it was heartwrenching in many aspects. The scene with Peter in the trauma room and then with Jackie just made me lose it. Carter was very cynical yet I'm glad that b/c they couldn't focus a great deal of time on him w/ all the other things going on that they didn't try to squeeze in a storyline for him. Sally Field was great- it is a good insight to Abby. Luka is about to lose it. Overall it was a great eppy and I can't wait to watch it again.

I missed the previews can anyone tell me about next week?

-- diane (, November 17, 2000.

It's too bad that Carter wasn't around to comfort Benton. They keep missing the boat on this potential great friendship. Benton was starting to break down but I don't believe I actually saw him cry in this episode. Has he ever cried on the show? I know Carter has, how about Mark? Did he after his beating or Love's Labor Lost? I don't remember.

I predicted that the person beating up Luka's patient was not her father. I think it is wrong for Luka to automatically assume the father is guilty. He can still call in the police, but Luka has already believed without question that is was the father when it could have been the mother or someone else.

Obviously Chen had not seen Rambo for some time- as he sees her for the first time pregnant. Their relationship apparently wasn't very much, but c'mon, Rambo should have had a much stronger reation to seeing someone he had relations with who all of a sudden shows up pregnant-and very far along. I would think he would have been a LOT more upset then he was. And Chen is basically saying "Remember me? We had sex, I've been pregnant for several months but I'm giving up the child you didn't know about. Here, sign these forms right now....." That is absurd on so many levels. I know she was scared, but really....

Romano was harsh, even for him. If Benton were on the table would he have worked on him with such fervor as he did with Lucy? I doubt it.

Malucci has the worst timing of any man I have ever seen.

-- Jane (, November 17, 2000.

One more quick thing I forgot....if Chen and Rambo still work in the same hospital, how on earth did they never run into each other and him notice her being pregnant? I know it is a big hospital but there are common hallways, cafeterias, etc...

-- Jane (, November 17, 2000.

In response to whether or not we've ever seen Peter cry, there was one other time I can think of, it was actually over a patient. It was the first time we ever saw a crack in his hard, arrogant exterior ever. It was either first or second season, and while I can't remember the details, I remember Peter sitting in a darkened trauma room next to a patient he had lost, while tears ran down his face. It might have had something to do with his mother as well. If someone can add more I'd appreciate it. At any rate, tonight's eppy was 100x more powerful because of the nearness of this patient.

-- Becky (, November 17, 2000.

One more thing...we know Chen has only been obviously showing for about a month or so now. She has avoided her entire family, I'm sure she could be very careful to not go anywhere near ICU or any other community area. She has been very careful about this, I find it plausible that she would make SURE she and Rambo never accidently ran into one another, and she really hasn't had to do it for that long.

-- Becky (, November 17, 2000.

Ok. So we agree that Cleo was a little more likeable in this episode. I really liked when she ran up to the OR to get Peter. Those of us who always wondered how Peter reacted when he heard that Carter was stabbed might have our curiosity satified when we saw Peter move when he heard about Jesse. Very moving. I also liked when Cleo helped Peter at the end of the show.

What drove me nuts though was when Cleo walked into the trauma room as everyone was working on Jesse. She said something like, I hear you have a Pedes case." Or something to that effect. I wanted to scream "Look at his face, you treated this kid last week!" I wonder how it would have been different if she would have recognized him and not run into Jackie in the hall. Hmmm.

Sally Field - Excellent.

Mark - "I have a headache." I was waiting the entire episode for him to say that.

Luka - Still my favorite of the new ones, but to TPTB - Please give that man a smile ASAP!!!!!

Abby - Also excellent.

I enjoyed reading everyone's comments this morning. You all make watching the show more interesting!

-- Lisa (, November 17, 2000.

Peter also cried in "The Peace of Wild of Things" when he is begging Carla to understand that no matter what, he is Reese's father.

Mark did cry after "Love's Labour Lost", he came close to tears in "Home" when Jenn told him about her relationship with Craig, and he cried after his father died, when he talked about selling the house.

The only time I remember Carter crying was in Mayday, though there may have been another time.

-- Joanne (, November 17, 2000.

I was equally drawn in by all the very well done stories in this episode, but was distracted by two things. One, I'm surprised that the ER team let Peter barge in and work on his nephew. I did not think it was appropriate for doctors to work on friends or family members. Didn't the staff have to push Carter away from Chase when Chase had his final overdose? Sure, it made for a good scene, and it's a good thing that it didn't look like Jesse had a chance, because with Peter almost losing it he could have easily further jeopardized his nephew's life. AND I was annoyed by the fact that Peter didn't clean up or at least throw on a new shirt. Yes, I know he was totally overcome, but if I were waiting in an ER I would not want to see bloody doctors walking around and I don't think that's standard procedure. Two, I'm sorry, it seemed pretty obvious to me that the [much older looking] seventh grader a) was pregnant and b) was very likely being hit by someone besides her dad. Aren't doctors supposed to consider all the alternatives before accusing the father? Especially since he knew she was pregnant. I thought Luka was being pretty clueless on that one. By the way, how about the Doug echoes on that case? I half-expected Luke to run and punch the father... Other than that, I enjoyed the episode despite being distracted. I enjoyed Cleo stepping up to the plate in a time of crisis, thought Sally Field was fabulous, and enjoyed Abby's performance as well. I was surprised to see Elizabeth screw up a procedure; she's usually so sharp. Oh well - I hope we see some aftermath of that.

-- Terri (, November 17, 2000.

No, Frank is not at the same hospital. He's at Mercy.

-- JLS (, November 17, 2000.

This was one of the most intense episodes I've seen in a while, at least judging by its effect on me. Eriq LaSalle's acting in this one was world-class, some of the best I've ever seen from anyone. Jackie's reaction to her son's death was spot-on (I speak from experience). She really captured the hysteria that overcomes a mother the moment she finds out the news. The fact that we _heard_ her reaction before we saw it was very effective. I thought it was great that Cleo kept her mouth shut and did her best to help Peter and Jackie, especially when C. & P. were cleaning up the body at the end. Can Romano really be so heartless? Even though I know how much he dislikes Benton, I have a hard time believing that he could be so cruel in his reaction to hearing that it was Benton's nephew on the table. It seems inconsistent with what we saw of him last season, in that with his reaction to Lucy's death he showed that somewhere under all the beastliness he has traces of a human heart. Malucci was very foolish to try to offer his apology to Benton when he did - it was obvious that Benton needed to be alone. When Benton decked him my husband started cheering. Malucci did have it coming for what he said, but it was clear too that part of that fight was Benton's need to find a physical release for his overwhelming emotions, and Malucci was the unlucky target. I haven't yet made up my mind about Sally Field, though I thought she was very effective in the excellently written scene at the el. I thought Maura was great, in all Abby's interactions w/her mother. She does what she has to do to handle her mom, but we saw at the end how much they love each other. I loved the look on Lizzie's face when she got the phone call. During the surgery when someone said he was leaking fluid and she said it was just irrigation fluid, I wondered if it was spinal fluid instead. Worse yet for her will be the fact that Romano accurately predicted that something was wrong even before the surgery. Does this automatically mean paralysis for the patient? I thought it was interesting how Abby and Luka couldn't nail down a lunch time and right after that Carter asked her out for coffee and she accepted. I wonder too if Frank might not agree to sign the papers. I thought it was a nice touch with Mark and his headache, if the spoilers are accurate. Overall I liked it, but what a tough episode.

-- Shannon M. (, November 17, 2000.

I don't mean to be contrary here, but I wanted to say something about Romano. Sure, he is a jerk and did not show much emotion when Elizabeth mentioned that she was working on Peter's nephew, but that look that he gave through the door watching in on what they were doing, clearly showed that he felt something. I don't think he is distraught over this, but I think that looked showed that he really felt bad for Peter. He's not that cold-hearted. Maybe even thoughts of him trying to save Lucy ran through his mind.

-- amanda (, November 17, 2000.

I thought this was a great episode...everything fit in well, except for the whole Deb story. I did not like Rambo's reaction, I thought he'd be a little more interested in the fact that she was pregnant...he seemed like a nice guy before. I was also thinking that you've got to be pretty good at continuity to understand this scene. (of course we all remember, but a lot probably don't). And they just ended it there, I thought there would be more.

Sally Field was great, she looks just right for Abby's mother. I felt bad for poor Abby trying to get Luka to care about her, but then Carter just jumps in. I am hoping, though, that he didn't hear Luka blow Abby off and then step in, but that 'getting coffee' is an ordinary thing for them. However, I still stand firm on my idea that Carter and Abby have MUCH more chemistry than Abby and Luka. They have NO communication, whereas Abby is one of the very few Carter will open up to, and Carter was the one Abby talked to about her mom. Although was Carter's attitude at the AA meeting foreshadowing anything? I REALLY don't see him relapsing, but they need to deal with his emotional issues. Maybe around Valentine's Day?! Anyways, it looks like next week Maggie will favor Carter a lot and he'll become involved. I can totally see Carter handling Maggie really well. I totally understand Abby's frustration, but I would have been disappointed if she had just let her go, but then I knew that the El scene had yet to come. Poor Abby, but I think that she is strong enough for it. I kept expecting her to break down, but she never did.

Benton was wonderful, Jackie was wonderful, and even Cleo was wonderful...these scenes were excellent, but I already commented on this elsewhere so I won't take up more space! I agree that I wish Carter had been around to offer his condolences to Benton...I really thought we'd get more of their friendship this year. Maybe we'll get something great later, hopefully. Romano's comment...typical, but a bit much.

They need to give Malluchi "a powerful turning point" as NBC previews always call it...but it has to be true this time!

Mark has a headache? Pretty big headache I would guess. Still, I really cringed at the idea of what is to happen to him. I am very interested to see how these two handle things in the next few weeks.

Anyways, although lack of Carter usually disappoints me, I loved this episode and it is setting up for even better ones.

-- Elaine (, November 17, 2000.

In response to 2 other questions...

Diane, the preview had the typical voiceover about "every year ER has a tradition of a meaningful Thanksgiving" or something like that, and then first they show Abby and Maggie leaving, smiling, w/ Maggie yelling "Happy THanksgiving Dr. Carter", then (and I'm just posting what I remember, so other's can add what I've missed) Elizabeth telling Mark she has something to tell him, then Carter running through a smoky hallway, then Maggie telling a reluctant Abby she's been evicted and has nowhere to go, then Benton hugging Reese, then Carter and Maggie seeming to be talking (Maggie's in scrubs?) when there's an explosion, then Carter carrying Abby out of a fire, then Mark and Elizabeth hugging, telling each other they love each other, both seemingly very overwhelmed.

As for the men of ER, Benton also cried when Jeannie went to see him after his mother died, and, as mentioned, when he begged Carla not to move Reese away. Carter cried in May Day, Such Sweet Sorrow (in the bathroom after he gave the patient something he was allergic to); with Anna after Chase overdoses; and his voice kind of falters in the ambulance bay with Mark when they're talking about Dennis Gant in Post Mortem and again in Ambush when Mark yells at him after he loses a patient. I think all of the Mark instances have been mentioned. Sorry, but I remember these crying really gets me.

As for Benton treating his nephew, technically I don't think doctors are allowed to work on family, but in the past ER has never really followed this. Anna actually called Carter in to work on Chase and her and Carol let him, even though Chase was practically brain dead after awhile...this was when they tried to stop him. Very similar to Benton w/ Jesse.

-- Elaine (, November 17, 2000.

Just remembered this...after awhile, Benton was not allowed to work on his mother when she was brought in. And Mark did not work on his father after awhile, but that was David's decision.

-- Elaine (, November 17, 2000.

I was pleased with this episode, but I was little disappointed with the storyline of Abby and Maggie. These two nice actors who are so capable of doing wonderful acting, had to go through so poor script. I could've seen better storyline here. I think it was little weak.

And for Carter, geez... Oops... I won't say more.

Everybody please give a warm hand to Erig la Salle. Wasn't he awesome or what?

Just one more. Quote from kerry, "grow up, malucci" He's gotta realize the real

-- K. P. (, November 17, 2000.

Hmmm. Didn't anyone else assume that Elizabeth and Mark's romantic weekend is actually a quiet elopement? This might cause Elizabeth to be a bit distracted ("That's not spinal fluid")... what a look on her face once she had the telephone call though--and the dissolve into Peter and Cleo cleaning Jessie's body was heartbreaking. Oh that silence, more meaningful than words. I didn't believe that Benton would be allowed by hospital policy to work on a close relative, and I found it agonizing when he went to his sister with her son's blood over his body and arms, but I went with it, and her pain was, for that moment, absolutely real to me. I was holding my breath... amazing acting.

Bets that Jessie's girlfriend shows up later pregnant?

The timer on my VCR was off by a couple of minutes, so I missed the Previous and the first few minutes, coming in with Carter blowing off Abby about going to the NA meeting--good touch on the part of the writers, that Carter, with his upper class background, would want to attend a more "respectable" AA meeting rather than hanging with the drug addicts, and a sign, I think, that he may not be taking the process seriously--a sort of Get this over with, comply with the various humiliating conditions of his return to the ER, and that he believes that he can manage on his own afterwards--just a speculation.

I think that Abby is the most nuanced and multi-dimensional female character on the show since Susan Lewis. I liked Carol, though I never understood her (Doug just rubbed me the wrong way), but I find Abby so human, both flawed and admirable all at once. I completely understand why she threw herself at Luka last week in an effort to both comfort him and perhaps salvage what they had begun together, and can feel her hurt now that, as such things usually do, it has backfired. Luka doesn't know what to do with her, everything's changed. I like this pairing. I want to see it work out. Huh? Pretty please?

Interesting that Abby is confiding in Carter, almost as if he was her sponsor. A nice interdependance. I hope they stay friends. It's a good relationship.

One final thought--please, if the writers can't figure out how to introduce some continuity in this season in regard to Carol and Doug, I have some great ideas, that don't involve guest episodes, secret film crews heading to Seattle to the zillion dollar house where Doug (having obviously won the lottery, is apparently living): they're simple:

First episode of the season:

Mark comes in from vacation (no poison ivy): Haleh: Mark, how was the wedding? When do we get to see the pictures? Mark: Great, it was beautiful, I'm going to pick up the pictures at lunch. The twins looked adorable. Carol seems really happy.

See how easy that was? Was that the sound of smacked foreheads I hear on the part of the writers? Feel free to contact me at this email address and I'll tell you where to send the cheque. :)

Sally Field was marvellous. Asking Abby for forgiveness--all that torment. Way to go, everyone.

I've been reading this forum for a couple of years, off and on, but this is the first time I've posted. After last week's Abby and Luka kiss, which made me swoon, I must admit, and after this fine episode I just wanted to blow off steam. Thanks for reading.

-- Juliet (, November 17, 2000.

Elaine wrote that it next weeks preview the voiceover said "every year ER has a tradition of a meaniful Thanksgiving". What do they mean by every year? Last year was the first Thanksgiving episode they've ever had. Did I miss something or is this yet another misleading NBC promo?

-- Cammie (, November 17, 2000.

I think it's a misleading NBC promo because last Thanksgiving Julianna had said that it was the first episode ever on Thanksgiving.

-- Andie (, November 17, 2000.

You mean NBC might have - gasp - overdramatized the promo?? They've never done anything like that before! : )


-- Becky (, November 17, 2000.

This was a great epi but I was bothered by one thing and I'm glad that the lady at the orphanage brought it up. That the father has rights too. AMEN!!! I am so tired of women who are pregnant that do things without dicussing it with the father. So I give Kudos to the father. As for Rambo not knowing because he's at Mercy. Doesn't he have friends at CCH? I still hear juice from where I used to work and I haven't worked there for over a year. I don't think Ramono was being heartless once he found out it was Peter's nephew. he probably saw the mess and had a flash back to Lucy. Or saw the mess and thought it was hopeless. But what bothered me with the Jesse storyline...Didn't the nurses know him from last week. Also I think Cleo's reaction was dead-on when she first went in the trauma room. It shows how much doctors stay seperated from the patients. Over all I thought it was great show. Sally field, M.M., and letter box and all.

-- james (, November 17, 2000.

julie, good insight to the tie-in with D/C. Granted, they couldn't say too much in the beginning of the season b/c that was taped near the finale so it would have been clear that it wasn't a secret. But now, enough time has passed. It just seems cold that they aren't even acknowledged. I know, they are off the show (for good :( but I like the way you thought how to work in their story but I hope that Mark would mention Doug too!

-- diane (, November 17, 2000.

this was a pretty strong eppy. First of all Benton was awesome as was Jackie. cleo I could still live without. I would have liked to see Carter help Benton in the trauma room, either working on Jesse or helping clean him up after he died. They barely see or speak to each other. I loved Sally Field. She was awesome. So was Abby. I'd like to see Carter at more meetings (NA meetings maybe) and be involved, like getting up and speaking instead of doing the crossword. I didn't much care for the abused girl storyline. She looked at least 16 and not in the seventh grade. Kudos to Benton for punching out Dave and to Dave for his sincere effort at apologizing and letting Benton get his licks in. I love how the staff let Benton try anything to save his nephew even tho it was a lost cause.

-- Laura (, November 17, 2000.

I think I liked the "mistake" of Dr. Corday. (I'm not sure how else to put it.) It makes her seem more human and demonstrates that even the best mess up sometimes.

-- Kimberley (, November 18, 2000.

I think this was the best episode this year. Here are some of my thoughts.

-LETTERBOXING. Keep it! I think it's great. I always want to backhand people who complain about "the lines on the top and bottom". Hey dunce you get more picture! If you aren't convinced watch "Conspiracy Theory" in letterbox side by side with a formatted- to-fit-your-screen version. You'll never want to watch anything not in letterbox again.

-NBC. Get rid of the olympic rings already.

-SPOTLIGHT SHOW OF THE WEEK. Since when is there an NBC spotlight show of the week? Although I can understand inventing it for this one.

-CHEN/NURSE RAMBO. Ha ha I knew it! We should have known all along. I guessed right. Chen's scenes were very well done. And did anyone notice that she has picked up on what is going on with Luka. She was the first to pick up on what was going on with Carter too if you remember.

-BENTON. Eric LaSalle earns every cent of his massive paycheck. His best performance ever. The last few moments of trying to save his nephew to him going to tell Jackie rank up there with the finest moments of the entire series. I love everything that is happening with this series.

-JACKIE. K. Alexander is so good here, especially the scene with her yelling at Jesse's girlfriend. The more of her we get the better.

-JESSIE. This storyline...I love how ER does this to us all the time. He appears in one episode talking to Peter and we don't think much of it, maybe just that it's another reason for Peter to stay in Chicago and take the per deim position. Then when this happens we think oh God we should have known something would happen here!

-CARTER. Good in his few scenes. I like this thing they are building up so Abby/Luka/Carter wise.

-LUKA. I think we are building to something amazing for this character. He's got more deep deep inner stuff to deal with than the rest of the staff put together, including Carter! I like not exactly knowing where this is going.

-ABBY/ABBY'S MOM. Good stuff going on here too. Sally Field was perfect casting. It's good they deal with this issue too, I was once engaged to someone who was bipolar and Miss Field most definately was not overacting, trust me.

-DAVE. Good episode for him, because maybe he actually learned something here.

-ELIZABETH/ROMANO. The best little moments sometimes with Romano is when someone has screwed up, and we know that the Rocket s@#$storm is going to come down upon someone. This time he's actually right too! Oh poor Lizzy. I loved how she and Mark kept working so hard on Jesse although they knew it was pretty much futile.

-THE START OF THE EPISODE. Didn't the pre-title scene seem like a weird place to jump to the theme. A little more disjointed than usual.

Well that's about it for now. I can't wait till next week. And next week is letterboxed too!

-- Chris Bragg (, November 18, 2000.

Hey Chris your comment relating the spotlight show of the weeks has been around for a few years now. Its just a ratings grabber for TPTB of NBC to get more veiwers.

-- james (, November 18, 2000.

Early in this thread someone posted a possibility of Rambo wanting to keep the baby (after hearing he'd have a son) and having him at county's day care. It might not be important anyway since someone else said Rambo works at Mercy (I didn't know that), but thought I'd post a bit of continuity here: Peter said to Carla that the day care at County was closing, didn't he? When he went in to tell her he was moving to Philly? I thought I remembered it that way.

-- Diana (, November 19, 2000.

No, it wasn't closing. They were discussing that the daycare was going to allow Reese to stay another month (since at the time of the coversation Peter was no longer employed at the hospital) and that it was going to be hard to find another place Reese enjoys more.

-- JLS (, November 19, 2000.

I watched the ER episode again and still don't know something. How do we know that Rambo works at Mercy? Thank you

-- violet (, November 19, 2000.

I strongly think that its time for Abby and Luka to have sex! I mean what the hell was w/ last week at his hotel room and what exactly happened. They need to let the audience know is it gonna be Luka and Abby or Carter and Abby. Either way she doesn't deserve either.

-- Ebony Watkins (, November 19, 2000.

WRT continuity and mentioning Doug and Carol, the writers certainly could have included a mention if they had wanted to. The scene from "Such Sweet Sorrow" in Seattle was filmed in April and "ER" began filming for the new season in July, so they had plenty of time to include it, as the all knew about the ending by then. The reason we don't hear anything about Doug or Carol is that they're gone and the producers and writers don't want to mention them anymore. The characters have served their purpose and now they need to focus on the current cast and the future. While it would be nice to have some real life continuity, it doesn't bother me because I know it's a deliberate effort to move on.

-- Phyl (, November 20, 2000.

Thanks for the correction, JLS.

-- Diana (, November 20, 2000.

Frank ("Rambo") works at County - up in the ICU - not at Mercy. This was mentioned in his first episode "Under Control" where he was brought down after fainting "upstairs" while on duty.

-- Lynn (, November 21, 2000.

Yes, I know he worked at County in "Under Control". But in the script of this episode it said the scene took place at Mercy. He must have transfered.

-- JLS (, November 21, 2000.

A few small comments:

If the script said that "Rambo" was at Mercy but the episode didn't show it, does that mean that we can get into "canon" arguments like Star Trek fans? (I hope not!) Probably someone is an expert on ER cafeterias and can say definitively whether the one we saw was the one at County. If Rambo is working at a different hospital now, that could explain the change of scrub color. If TPTB wanted us to know that this scene was at Mercy, they could have used two seconds to show Chen walking past a sign.

When Chen was talking with the adoption counselor, I was waiting for her to say, "My family wouldn't accept this baby. His father is black." Then some of the previously unspoiled vewers could have said "Rambo!" and others could have said "Benton???"

Would have been interesting if Frank the ex-cop had been suspicious of Vinny the girlfriend-beater.

-- Driad (, November 22, 2000.

I love the Luka and Abby romance. I really like the character of Abby, she is very interesting. Please don' put her with Carter, I am sick of him and all his troubles.

-- susie grubb (, December 04, 2000.

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