Scott Grimes as Archie Morris
|First appearance||October 9, 2003
(Season 10, "Dear Abby")
|Last appearance||April 2, 2009
(Season 15, "And In the End...")
|Portrayed by||Scott Grimes|
|Title||ER Resident (2003-2005)
Chief Resident (2005-2006)
ER Attending (2006-2009)
|Spouse(s)||Claudia Diaz (girlfriend)|
|Children||Hana, Michael, Max, Melia|
The character of Dr. Morris debuted in late 2003, in the drama's 10th season, and was notable for providing comic relief. Morris was an inept second-year resident who avoided work whenever possible. Luckily he was frequently bailed out by another resident named Coop. In the episode "Freefall" he was caught smoking confiscated marijuana by Dr. Robert Romano, but avoided punishment when Romano was killed by a falling helicopter in the ambulance bay. Unaware of the doctor's demise, Morris, stoned, waited at the admit desk to be disciplined, doing nothing to assist the other doctors as they dealt with the fiery crash.
Morris's lack of commitment and slacking were already well-established when his neglect cost a patient's life. The patient waited for hours to be seen by a doctor before she had a stroke and died. Morris abruptly quit, storming out of the ER, only to return the next day claiming his father would deny him financial support if he didn't see this "thing" through.
Morris was made Chief Resident in Season 11, allowing his character to further antagonize other characters (Grimes became a series regular at this time). He achieved this coveted position due to a lack of competition (the more capable Greg Pratt turned down the post), an eleventh hour push of publications, and an elaborate presentation for the interview. As Chief Resident, Morris's inflated ego often led to clashes with colleagues, though he often acted as if he were beloved by his residents and medical students. Although Luka Kovac never had any disagreements with him, Ray Barnett, Neela Rasgotra and especially Abby Lockhart tended to mock and insult him for his pompous attitude- although in later years they regarded him with grudging affection. Greg Pratt was initially also contemptuous of Morris, but by Season 12 they are good friends. Kerry Weaver, on the other hand, was never openly rude to Morris, but she never viewed him as having much potential and did not support him as much as other ER doctors. Morris's leadership style swung wildly from delegation to micro-management. At the end of Season 11, when Dr. Carter left the show, he told Morris to "set the tone" just as Mark Greene had told him at the end of Season 8. Morris was drunk and didn't recall the phrase when Carter asked him years later.
In Season 12, it was revealed that Morris had donated sperm many times earlier in his life. Three red-headed children and one African American child showed up at the hospital and declared that Morris was their father. Although shocked by this, his comical attempts to be a "good dad" became a recurring theme for the character in subsequent episodes. Later in the season, we learn that Morris was hired by a pharmacy laboratory. In the season finale, "21 Guns," he is preparing to leave the hospital when a shooting occurs in the ER. Morris's quick and competent response to this crisis marked something of a professional turning point for him.
During season 13, Morris was hired as one of the ER's attending physicians (the slot left open by Dr. Clemente's departure). Morris began a serious effort to win respect. Though other doctors still did not always take him seriously, he showed a moment of both care and skill when he correctly interpreted a young man's alternating demands to be admitted and discharged as symptoms of dissociative identity disorder. However, other doctors laughed at Morris's diagnosis and refused to authorize critical care, and he privately admitted to Sam Taggart that he knew "most of the other ER staff think I'm a joke." Sam spoke kindly to him and used her communications skills to convince the patient to consent to life-saving treatment. This is where Morris slowly starts to become a much better doctor.
When new medical interns came to the ER, Morris's attention was caught by Hope Bobeck. Morris asked her out for dinner but she instead invited him to her Bible study group, as she was a born-again Christian (often praying while taking care of patients). Morris pretended to be as devout as she was, and Hope and Morris grew close to each other. In the Christmas episode City of Mercy, he got through a difficult shift as the only ER attending, and at the end of the day Hope told him how much she'd learned watching him. She then asked him out for drinks, with the implication of intimacy to follow. Morris declined, much to his own surprise, and Hope was left confused and disappointed. Morris and Hope later got involved with each other while helping to plan Luka and Abby's wedding. The two took advantage of a free honeymoon suite that Luka and Abby were not able to use and began pursuing a relationship. Morris was saddened when Hope left for a long volunteer stint in Venezuela, and they subsequently broke up. In Season 14, Morris discovers that his father has died, and laments to Abby that he and his dad never mended their long-broken relationship. He also fails his medical boards while Dr. Pratt passes them. Morris lies about his failure and asks Pratt to cover for him until he can take and pass his boards. Morris also underwent brief therapy sessions after a hostage situation he was involved in, where the armed man was gunned down right after he gave himself up. Another hard hit came when his friend Dr. Gregory Pratt was critically injured in an ambulance explosion and the ER staff was unable to save him. Morris took Dr. Pratt's death harder than anyone else in the ER. In the following weeks, he clashed numerous times with the new chief Catherine Banfield whom Morris resented upon her arrival, seeing that she holds the position his deceased friend had earned. In the following weeks, Morris got in trouble again, with Dr. Banfield for teaching new med student Chaz Pratt risky medical procedures that not even first year residents are qualified to perform. Morris admits that whenever he sees Chaz he sees his brother Greg, and only wants to do the best for him.
As Season 15 continues, Morris is shown to have matured a great deal following Pratt's death, becoming the senior figure for the doctors in the ER, much like Mark Greene and John Carter before him. In many instances, his co-workers come to him for both personal and professional advice. Specifically, Dr. Cate Banfield shares with him the fact that her young son died in the County ER, and Dr. Brenner admits to Morris that he was sexually abused as a child. In the episode Separation Anxiety, Morris becomes attracted to a female patient whom he later learns is an undercover narcotics cop (Claudia Diaz, played by Justina Machado). In the episode "I Feel Good", Morris tells Claudia that he plans to one day propose to her, which she says she would accept. Also, during this season, Morris is the first to whom new chief of the ER Catherine Banfield begins to open and, after a time of hostility between them, they develop a mutual respect for one another's skills. The depth of this respect was shown in Episode 7 when Banfield revealed to Morris that she had lost her son in County's ER.
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (April 2008)|