Sharif Atkins as Michael Gallant
|First appearance||November 8, 2001
(Season 8, "If I Should Fall from Grace")
|Last appearance||May 11th, 2006
(Season 12, "The Gallant Hero and The Tragic Victor")
|Portrayed by||Sharif Atkins|
|Title||Medical Student (2001-2003)
US Army Physician (2004-2006)
|Spouse(s)||Neela Rasgotra (wife)|
|Relatives||Colonel James Gallant (father)
Gloria Gallant (mother)
Valerie Gallant (twin sister)
Gavin Gallant (brother)
Frank Gallant (brother)
Carol Gallant (sister)
Steve Gallant (brother)
Michael Emory Gallant first appears at County General Hospital in late 2001 as a medical student in his third year. Coming from a family with a military background, he had previously been on active duty as a member of the US Army Reserve, who is paying for his scholarship. During his time as a student there, he was assigned to Dr. John Carter. He initially clashes with Dr. Gregory Pratt, a brash new intern who disparages Gallant's abilities. It comes to a breaking point early on when Pratt cracks a patient's chest without supervision and ropes in Gallant to help. However, over time, the two eventually become firm friends.
Shortly after arriving (season 8), Gallant accompanies Dr. Kerry Weaver to the scene of an ambulance that had been transporting a pregnant woman to hospital and been trapped under fallen power lines. While there, the power lines explode and Gallant saves a fireman from electrocution. He then helps Weaver deliver the pregnant woman's baby. The event gives Weaver a lot of respect for Gallant and his ability to keep his head under pressure; so much so in fact that Weaver is happy to call Gallant by his first name (causing Carter to quip "Oh, so it's Michael now?”).
In the following year (season 9), Gallant becomes close to fellow medical student Erin Harkins, though their relationship remains platonic. Later on in the year, Pratt and Gallant are arrested on suspicion of being the two gunmen at the 'Doc Magoos' shooting. Although they are innocent, and subsequently released, the incident shakes Gallant and his faith in the fairness and equality of the police.
By the end of his time at County as a medical student, Gallant decides to apply as an Emergency Medicine intern and matches to County. Despite being a full-fledged doctor, he doesn't have any easier time. Only a few months in to his internship, a helicopter crashes in the ambulance bay and Gallant is in the thick of the action. Later that year, Gallant's sister, Valerie (played by Joy Bryant), comes to visit. (Valerie's character is the subject of a continuity error. In the Season 8 episode "Secrets and Lies", Gallant says that his twin sister's name is Susan, not Valerie. Gallant had previously stated that she was not a member of the Armed Forces because she had cerebral palsy, but when she visits him it is said she has multiple sclerosis.) During her stay, she spends the night with Pratt, which strains Gallant and Pratt's friendship, although they manage to remain friends.
At the beginning of Season 10, new medical student Neela Rasgotra has started her rotation at County. During this time, Gallant is keen in helping her settle in. Around April, Neela accidentally gives a patient the wrong medication. However, Gallant, who is supervising at the time, takes the blame When he is told he will be investigated, he reveals he has been called up for service, forcing the administrators to drop the investigation. He then soon reveals that he had feelings for her. However, before they can start a relationship, Gallant reveals to Neela that he has been called up to go to Iraq. They argue, but part on good terms. They kiss before Gallant steps into a taxi and drove away.
Although Gallant had now left County as a regular character, he appeared in a few episodes during the following two seasons. In season 11, one episode kept jumping between County and Iraq. Gallant is now working in a military hospital (holding the rank of Captain). At one point, while out working in the field he is wounded by an Iraqi gunman. Gallant manages to shoot and kill his assailant before he can fire again. The incident haunts him, however. As well as treating injured US soldiers, Gallant's unit also treats injured Iraqi civilians. One day, a young girl arrives with severe burns, and Gallant insists that she has to be saved. With his commanding officer's blessing, Gallant organizes for the girl to be treated at County (with Neela's help). He returns to the US with the girl and while on 72 hours leave, he renews his relationship with Neela. He returns to Iraq soon after.
The following season, Gallant returns home to finish his training as a doctor. Overjoyed in seeing each other again, Gallant and Neela make an impulsive decision to get married. They buy a house together and look ready to start a whole new life together. However, Gallant has a few emotional scars from the war; he revealed to Neela that he is going to counseling sessions for veterans, before revealing that he wants to finish his training in Iraq, by volunteering for a second tour of duty. Neela is shocked and angry with Gallant, but realizes that there is nothing she can do or say to stop him from going. For the third time, the two lovers part.
Gallant makes his final appearance in the penultimate episode of Season 12 "The Gallant Hero and the Tragic Victor." He is on a convoy of trucks, when the unit is ambushed by Iraqi insurgents. Gallant goes to the aid of a fallen officer and the convoy manages to escape. Gallant is unable to save the officer, however. Just as he has settled back down, a roadside bomb hits the truck and Gallant and the men on the truck were killed instantly. Gallant's last words are, "My wife Neela's a doc—" before the bomb explodes. Two officers visit the ER later on and informs Neela of his death. The whole ER is shocked, especially Pratt, who takes his death hard. Gallant's belongings are given to Neela and it is revealed that he recorded himself on tape as a message to her just in case he died. On the tape, Michael apologizes to Neela for leaving her for Iraq.
Gallant's parents, Pratt, and a shell-shocked Neela attend his funeral in the season 12 finale, "Twenty One Guns". At his funeral, which has full Military Honors, Neela is presented with an American flag draped over his coffin, as well as his posthumously awarded Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Neela blames Michael's father for his death, saying that he could have stopped Michael from going to Iraq, but Pratt said that after his own travels to the war zone of the Sudan he understands why Gallant felt that he needed to return to Iraq.
During the 15th and final season of ER, at the end of the episode "The Book of Abby", long-serving nurse Haleh Adams shows the departing Abby Lockhart a closet wall where all the past doctors and employees have put their locker name tags. Among them, the tag "Gallant" can be seen.
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (April 2008)|