thoughts on The Greatest of Gifts : LUSENET : ER Discussions : One Thread

I have to admit when I first saw the last scene of this episode I was disappointed, thinking it was just another depressing episode (and like the Thankgiving one, didn't have the typical "magical, holiday spirit that the older ones used to, namely season 2, 3, and 4 and Blizzard, which wasn't the Christmas episode, but close enough...I know, it's cheesy, but when it's Christmas, I don't mind). The only thing that wasn't sad was Mark's new hope, which I have to admit, I was happy about, although it was very predictable. Maybe they'll cure him in the next year and give up on this hellish story.

However, it did have some good quality, and the Carter focus was great. So maybe I underestimated it at first. Plus I taped it because I knew I'd go out in the middle of it, so I didn't exactly watch it all together.

Just some random comments, from the beginning...

I love how much the nurses appreciate Carter...he's one of the few they don't complain about. Haleh's comment and Carter's thank you was sweet. *Kerry seems to be too short for the new board though, what a problem! Carter had to reach up for it for her. Funny. Also loved the cute "First Noel" guitar music playing in the background.

Poor Deb took a cab! I guess Carter wasn't her coach from the beginning, but he did seem to know about lamaz or that other thing he mentioned. Even though we know he's her friend, I bet someone who hadn't been watching ER could tune in and think he was the father. He had that supportive attitude.

Loved Randi's thinking to send Deb flowers. Apparently Deb has talked with Kerry about her decision. But poor Randi was just trying to be nice. Another Randi comment: telling Malluchi at the end of his shift that making up for others was "part of being a resident"...sounds like Randi's gotten used to his attitude, maybe from spending a little extra time with him? All I have to say about Malluchi is I wish they'd give him more than insensitive comments (maybe he's jealous he didn't get to see Deb through labor and Carter did!) pretty soon Eric Pallidino's gonna want to quit, and that wouldn't be good.

Did Carter say he "kind of knew" to who the father was? Did he even know she had a thing for super nurse Frank? He was kind of preoccupied that day. Or do they talk more than we think?

Elizabeth was exactly how I thought she'd be, and I liked it. She did her own "Patch Adams" bit later with him, quoting what they could call the "tumor board" (sorry to those who haven't seen the movie) Both of these stories were more touching than many others from this season...Mark's somber reaction to having bided himself some time (loved Elizabeth's questioning Mark about them already feeling like they're married) and Deb's whole story was very moving. Her "well I"m not a mother" comment was very sad. Though I loved to see Deb's dependence on Carter, and how sweetly she asked him to take care of things. Carter did a great job of being supportive of every decision she could make. He blantly said "keep the baby" if she wanted to. She needed that possiblilty in her head to make the decision. His reassuring smiles while Deb watched the adoptive parents take the baby was priceless. Watching Carter w/ Deb and Abby brings back the old Carter.

Are Benton and Cleo ever not fighting? It's a bit much. Benton has also improved his people skills with children somewhat, and his concern for other patients. Notice the mother said something like that she was tired of people saying that to I guess Peter wasn't the first. * I still really wish they'd have these two interact more with the others though. They always separate Benton from the rest. Remember when Mark played basketball with Cleo? Remember the whole bonding thing Benton and Carter had (I know, everyone basically does)

Abby smiling at the idea of Carter coaching Deb was cute. It's great that she was ready to go up and check on her. More friendship, too bad we never see it.

Nice use of total inappropriatness w/ Kerry hiccuping while Kim seriously talks to the boy. BB Christmas Story-ish! I've already commented on their relationship though, so I won't again.

Carter's semi-relapse was done well, which I thought it wouldn't be. And Abby's response didn't disappoint me either, though I hope we get the "shared story of abuse" from her soon that we were supposed to get. Loved her "It's okay" to his panic. She was probably surprised, but didn't flinch. And Carter listened to her "go convince her" (Weaver). He apparently did, though Dave never could! It's nice she can drop everything to do this, I just hope she'd do it again while Luka was in town! * How many times did we see Carter asleep just to see his beeper go off? Very season oneish, as someone already said.

Since this wasn't Christmas Eve like it usually is for the Christmas shows I think (and I'm glad, because that would be pretty depressing then), I love to think of what they're doing. Abby's alone w/ Luka gone, maybe her, Carter, and Deb will get together. How 'bout Malluchi too? Anyways, the ending was far too similar to last year's Thanksgiving show, with a lonely Carol staring across the room. It must be terrible for someone like Deb to go through the whole event of labor, just to have nothing to look forward to in the end.

Anyways, I guess I liked it more than I thought I did. Once again, sorry for the length of this!

-- Elaine (, December 16, 2000


I got the impression Elaine that you thought Deb's storyline was depressing. I disagree. Try to put yourself in the place of the adoptive parents. It was a joyful experience. True, not one you would want to go through; but I think for Deb after watching the adoptive parents with Michael, it was a more positive experience. At first I disagreed with the social worker that she should see the baby and his parents, but afterwards I realized that it probably eases her mind and conscience about placing him in a loving home. And Carter's lines about "creating a family" and "greatest of gifts" were beautiful.

-- AmyE (, December 16, 2000.

Elaine, I agree with your thoughts on Dr. Malucci's character. I too think that Dave and Randi have been spending some time together, now they should show it. I also agree that if they don't start giving Erik Palladino something to sink his teeth into as far as a story line they may loose him. He is very talented (not to mention hot)and I think he could carry a front burner storyline. They need to develop his character. I heard that he signed a four year contract and I also heard that this year would not be his year for character development, hopefully next year will be. We have 2 1/2 years to see what they do with him, unless he askes to be let out of his contract, but from what I've read and heard he likes where he is and is thankful to be there. This job lets him do other things.

-- Kelley (, December 16, 2000.

I totally agree with Elaine on all her comments. This was a much better and *happier* episode than *the dance we do*. First off, Carter and Deb's scenes were terrific and right on. They have that chemistry, that bond that is so effortless. Carter's reactions were dead-on to everything Deb needed--comfort, friendship, space, running interference with the anxious adoptive parents, lamaz coach. There was even a little humour, like the kidding around with each other they did in season one. Mina-na was terrific. She was strong and vulnerable, scared while trying to act independent. Noah was great as always. He never complained about his exhaustion whenever he was beeped. He just did what had to be done, whether it was holding Deb's hand and helping her deliver the baby or explaining to the couple that Deb needed privacy. He listened to her and gave her advice but ultimately let her have enough space to make her final decision. His words about creating a family and giving a great gift were sincere and beautiful, not schlocky and cliched at all. I was shocked when he took the Vicodin, I didn't really see that coming even when they were examining the biker's pills (nice to see Dori again). He just took them without thought and minutes later panic set in. It wasn't overdone, just that quiet panic setting in. I can't believe he gave the puked up pills to Abby and she didn't even blink at them! That little scene between them was a gem. Wonder if he'll tell Kerry or Mark? I liked the New York scenes with Mark and Elizabeth. The little gruesome humour scene where they were trying to rename the tumour board (what a name!) was a macabre touch. *Poor bastard* board and *let's take him out back and shoot him* board are a bit of an improvement! I coudn't believe how callous those docs were though, when they were discussing Mark's case. I wish Elizabeth would have said or done something to them. Insults sounds better with an English accent wrapped around them. I liked that Haleh acknowledge poor Carter had to run the board due to Mark's absence and the temp attending being incompetent. I'd like to see more of Carter being sort of in charge. I was definitely surprised to see Kim kiss Kerry. I thought it was too soon, although the scene played well. Now the question is will she or won't she? I don't know about anyone else but Kerry didn't look too thrilled.

-- Laura (, December 16, 2000.

I gotta disagree: I think Kerry kissed Kim back and enjoyed it, then realized she was enjoying it and got freaked out and pulled away. It was totally realistic. I have seen that reaction from more than one girl I've kissed for the first time...

And incidentally, you can be a straight woman and enjoy kissing another woman. For one thing, women kiss better than men. So just because Kerry found it a pleasurable experience doesn't mean she's a le

-- Regina (, December 17, 2000.

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