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Scott Grimes as Archie Morris
October 9, 2003|
(10x03, "Dear Abby")
April 2, 2009|
(15x22, "And In the End...")
|Portrayed by||Scott Grimes|
|Aliases||Ginger (by Jessica Albright)|
ER Resident (2003-2005)|
Chief Resident (2005-2006)
ER Attending (2006-2009)
|Children||Hana, Michael, Max, Melia|
The character of Dr. Morris debuts in late 2003, in the drama's 10th season, and is initially notable for providing comic relief. Morris is initially an inept second-year resident who avoids work whenever possible. Luckily, he is frequently bailed out by another resident named Nick Cooper. In the episode "Freefall", Morris is caught smoking confiscated marijuana by Dr. Robert Romano, but avoids punishment when Romano is killed by a falling helicopter in the ambulance bay. Unaware of the doctor's demise, Morris, stoned, waits at the admit desk to be disciplined, doing nothing to assist the other doctors as they deal with the fiery crash.
Morris's lack of commitment and slacking have already been well-established when his neglect costs a patient's life. The patient waits for hours to be seen by a doctor before she has a stroke and dies. Morris abruptly quits, 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 is made Chief Resident in season 11, allowing his character to further antagonize other characters (Grimes became a series regular at this time). He achieves this coveted position because of a lack of competition (the more capable Greg Pratt turns down the post), an eleventh hour push of publications, and an elaborate presentation for the interview. As Chief Resident, Morris's inflated ego often leads to clashes with colleagues, though he often acts as if he were beloved by his residents and medical students. Although Luka Kovac never has any disagreements with him, Ray Barnett, Neela Rasgotra and especially Abby Lockhart tend to mock and insult him for his pompous attitude, although in later years they regard him with grudging affection. Greg Pratt is initially also contemptuous of Morris, but by season 12 they are good friends. Kerry Weaver, on the other hand, although never openly rude to Morris, never views him as having much potential and does not support him as much as other ER doctors; she only gave him support as Chief Resident because he was, in her words, "a paperwork hound". Morris's leadership style swings wildly from delegation to micro-management. At the end of season 11, when Dr. Carter leaves the hospital, he tells Morris to "set the tone" just as Mark Greene had told him at the end of season 8. Morris is drunk at the time and doesn't recall the phrase when Carter asks him years later.
In season 12, it is revealed that Morris donated sperm many times earlier in his life. Four red-headed children, one of whom is African American, show up at the hospital and declare that Morris is their father. Although shocked by this, his comical attempts to be a "good dad" become a recurring theme for the character in subsequent episodes; the kids do love him, however. Later in the season, we learn that Morris has been 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 marks something of a professional turning point for him.
During season 13, Morris is hired as one of the ER's attending physicians (the slot left open by Dr. Clemente's departure). Morris begins a serious effort to win respect. Though other doctors still do not always take him seriously, he shows 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 laugh at Morris's diagnosis and refused to authorize critical care, and he privately admits to Sam Taggart that he knows "most of the other ER staff think I'm a joke." Sam speaks kindly to him and then uses 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 come to the ER, Morris's attention is caught by Hope Bobeck. Morris asks her out for dinner but she instead invites him to her Bible study group, as she is a born-again Christian (often praying while taking care of patients). Morris pretends to be as devout as she is, and Hope and Morris grow close to each other. In the Christmas episode City of Mercy, he gets through a difficult shift as the only ER attending, and at the end of the day Hope tells him how much she has learned watching him. She then asks him out for drinks, with the implication of intimacy to follow. Morris declines, much to his own surprise, recognising that she is lonely and he would be jeopardising a longer term relationship by taking advantage of that. Morris and Hope later get involved with each other while helping to plan Luka and Abby's wedding. The two take advantage of a honeymoon suite that Luka and Abby are not able to use and begin pursuing a relationship. Morris was saddened when Hope leaves for a long volunteer stint in Venezuela, and they subsequently break 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 undergoes 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 comes when his friend Dr. Gregory Pratt is critically injured in an ambulance explosion and the ER staff are unable to save him. Morris takes Dr. Pratt's death harder than anyone else in the ER. In the following weeks, he clashes numerous times with the new chief Catherine Banfield whom Morris resents upon her arrival, seeing that she holds the position his deceased friend had earned. In the following weeks, Morris gets in trouble 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 progresses, 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, although he retains his slightly comical personality. 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. Additionally, upon returning to the ER, John Carter notes that Morris took his advice on setting the tone. 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.
| Chief Resident
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