ER (season 15)
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|ER (season 15)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||22|
|Original release||September 25, 2008 –|
April 2, 2009
The fifteenth and final season of the American fictional drama television series ER premiered on September 25, 2008 and concluded on April 2, 2009, in a two-hour episode preceded by a one-hour retrospective special. The season consists of 22 episodes.
The final season opens up revealing Gregory Pratt is the victim of the ambulance explosion. Despite the rallying efforts of his workplace colleagues, he succumbs to his injuries and dies. The season introduces Cate Banfield as new ER chief, a woman with a seemingly mysterious past with County General. Luka Kovac and Abby Lockhart leave for a new life in Boston, Brenner must deal with issues surrounding his childhood, Samantha Taggart and Tony Gates' relationship suffers a major setback after an accident involving Alex Taggart while Neela Rasgotra is forced to make some tough decisions, both personal and professional.
To mark the end of the series after 15 years, several former cast members make a return to the show. Mark Greene and Robert Romano appear in a flashback episode that explores Banfield's history with County General while John Carter returns to work at County although, unbeknown to his colleagues, he is in desperate need of a kidney transplant. Peter Benton, Doug Ross and Carol Hathaway, Susan Lewis, Elizabeth Corday, Kerry Weaver and Ray Barnett return in various episodes. The series ends with one final multiple casualty incident that brings multiple patients to the ER, and shows that life goes on at County General.
- Parminder Nagra as Dr. Neela Rasgotra, Third Year Surgical Resident
- John Stamos as Dr. Tony Gates, Third Year Resident
- Linda Cardellini as Nurse Samantha Taggart
- Scott Grimes as Dr. Archie Morris, Attending Physician
- David Lyons as Dr. Simon Brenner, Attending Physician
- Angela Bassett as Dr. Catherine Banfield, Chief of Emergency Medicine
The final season included special appearances by departed regular and recurring cast members for the following episodes:
- Anthony Edwards as Dr. Mark Greene (episode 7)
- George Clooney as Dr. Doug Ross (episode 19)
- Sherry Stringfield as Dr. Susan Lewis (episode 22)
- Noah Wyle as Dr. John Carter (episodes: 16–19, 22)
- Julianna Margulies as Nurse Carol Hathaway (episode 19)
- Eriq La Salle as Dr. Peter Benton (episodes: 19, 22)
- Laura Innes as Dr. Kerry Weaver (episodes: 7, 22)
- Alex Kingston as Dr. Elizabeth Corday (episodes: 12, 22)
- Paul McCrane as Dr. Robert Romano (episode 7)
- Goran Visnjic as Dr. Luka Kovač (episode 3)
- Maura Tierney as Dr. Abby Lockhart (episodes: 1, 3, 20)
- Mekhi Phifer as Dr. Greg Pratt (Episode 1)
- Shane West as Dr. Ray Barnett (episodes: 5, 20, 21)
- Returning recurring characters
- Abraham Benrubi as Jerry Markovic (multiple episodes)
- Ellen Crawford as Nurse Lydia Wright (finale)
- Hallee Hirsh as Rachel Greene (finale)
- William H. Macy as Dr. David Morgenstern (episode 14)
- Thandie Newton as Makemba "Kem" Likasu (finale)
- Matthew Watkins as Reese Benton (finale)
Notable guest stars
- Tom Arnold (episode 21)
- Ernest Borgnine (finale)
- Louis Gossett Jr. (episode 15)
- Rooney Mara (episodes 19 & 21)
- Susan Sarandon (episode 19)
- Carl Weathers (episode 6)
- Chadwick Boseman (episode 6)
- Christopher Chulack – Executive producer
- Michael Crichton – Creator/Executive producer
- John Wells – Executive producer
- David Zabel – Executive producer
- Joe Sachs – Executive producer
- Janine Sherman Barrois – Executive producer
- Lisa Zwerling – Co-executive producer
- Tommy Burns – Producer
- Wendy Spence Rosato – Producer
- Charles M. Lagola – Production designer
- Arthur Albert – Director of photography
- Martin Davich – Music
- Randy Jon Morgan, A.C.E. – Editor
- Mimi Leder, a frequent director during ER's first two seasons, returned as a director for the episode "A Long, Strange Trip"
- Rod Holcomb, the director of the 1994 pilot episode as well as several other early episodes, returned to direct two episodes in this season, among them the series finale
- Paul McCrane, recurring cast member seasons 4 and 5, and series regular seasons 6-10, continues his affiliation with the show as director of two episodes this season
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.|
|310||1||"Life After Death"||Christopher Misiano||Joe Sachs||September 25, 2008||15001||7.92|
Gates hurries to the scene of the ambulance explosion after learning it was Pratt, not Sam, in the ambulance. Pratt is rushed back to County suffering from blast injuries, where the ER staff work to stabilize him. Eventually, a carotid tear develops, and he dies. Meanwhile, Abby misdiagnoses a patient, and talks about her plans to leave Chicago with Kovač, while Morris must pick up the pieces after Pratt's death.
NOTE: This is the final appearance of Dr. Greg Pratt.
|311||2||"Another Thursday at County"||Paul McCrane||Lisa Zwerling||October 9, 2008||15002||9.35|
A new batch of interns as well as the new head of the ER arrive for their first day at County. While adjusting, a bio-terrorist with a bag full of Ricin is admitted with a broken leg.
NOTE: This is the first appearance of Dr. Catherine Banfield.
|312||3||"The Book of Abby"||Christopher Chulack||David Zabel||October 16, 2008||15003||8.81|
Abby gets a job in Boston and tries to leave County General quietly, but the staff makes it known how much they will miss her. Abby says goodbye and leaves for Boston with Kovač and her son.
NOTE: This is the last episode to be produced while the series creator, Michael Crichton, was still alive (he died two weeks after the episode aired), the final appearance of Dr. Luka Kovac and the final regular appearance of Dr. Abby Lockhart.
|313||4||"Parental Guidance"||John Gallagher||Janine Sherman Barrois||October 23, 2008||15004||8.69|
|Dissatisfied with the interns' performance, Banfield decides to start a new system. Each intern gets a mentor with daily two-way crits: Daria is paired with Gates, Ryan with Morris, and Tracy with Brenner. Brenner tells Tracy how he wants to proceed, but she insists on doing things her way. A girl comes in with a broken leg which may be caused by a severely mentally ill family member.|
|314||5||"Haunted"||Christopher Chulack||Karen Maser||October 30, 2008||15005||9.12|
|Sam's time is taken up by her studies for a pharmacology exam, leaving Gates feeling neglected. A school fight results in a stabbing, with Brenner treating the victim and trying to uncover the truth behind the story. Morris has a surprise for Neela. Gates gets locked in a stairwell with a quiet young boy on Halloween night.|
|315||6||"Oh, Brother"||Stephen Cragg||Virgil Williams||November 6, 2008||15006||8.64|
|Banfield is upset when her husband Russell insists on a visit with his parents; Morris favors Chaz over senior interns, resulting in trouble; Gates asks Sam and Alex to move in with him.|
|316||7||"Heal Thyself"||David Zabel||David Zabel||November 13, 2008||15007||9.80|
Banfield must deal with the ghosts of her past when a critically ill child arrives in the ER. A past encounter with Mark Greene helps her diagnose and confront her own problems. Neela's intern loses his first patient, and struggles to cope.
NOTE: This is the final appearance of Dr. Mark Greene and Dr. Robert Romano.
|317||8||"Age of Innocence"||Paul McCrane||Janine Sherman Barrois||November 20, 2008||15008||9.15|
|A man acquitted of child molestation comes into the ER with his wife, who was injured when their house was set on fire, drawing Brenner's hostility. Later, the man's interest in a young girl leads his brother-in-law to beat him, nearly blinding him. When Brenner becomes emotional while the man is treated, Morris confronts him, leading to an emotional revelation about Brenner's past. Neela's frustration with her intern reaches the boiling point, and Dubenko teaches her a lesson in the importance of teaching and mentorship. Gates continues his search for the missing veteran.|
|318||9||"Let it Snow"||Charles Haid||Joe Sachs||December 4, 2008||15009||8.22|
|While snow strands Banfield and Morris at a doctors' conference in Omaha, Gates is left in charge of the kids. He allows Sam's son Alex and Sarah to walk through the blizzard to a nearby party. Driving a friend's car after the party, Alex is gravely injured as he crashes in the storm. Sam goes ballistic.|
|319||10||"The High Holiday"||Lesli Linka Glatter||Shannon Goss||December 11, 2008||15010||8.92|
|Morris receives an unwanted package from his father at the ER doorstep. Sam is anxious about getting Alex off of the ventilator after his accident. Meanwhile, a pregnant woman with a high-risk pregnancy is in danger of getting deported. Sam tells Gates that she and Alex are moving out.|
|320||11||"Separation Anxiety"||Terence Nightingall||Virgil Williams||January 8, 2009||15011||7.32|
|The ER treats two brothers who are shot during a drug deal. Banfield and her husband continue their quest to restart their family. Sam and Gates argue while treating patients.|
|321||12||"Dream Runner"||Andrew Bernstein||Lisa Zwerling||January 15, 2009||15012||6.98|
|Neela has a series of three dreams where the outcome of the lives of two patients depend on her decisions. In the first two dreams, she makes either of two choices, but each one kills the patients. The third dream, she makes a new choice, saving the lives of two patients as well as sleeping with Brenner. In the end, it is revealed they were all dreams.|
|322||13||"Love Is a Battlefield"||Richard Thorpe||Karen Maser||January 22, 2009||15013||7.69|
|Morris treats a youngster who was hit while riding her bike. Meanwhile, Gates has trouble distancing himself from Sam; and Neela's nerves take over when she learns Brenner has returned from Australia.|
|323||14||"A Long, Strange Trip"||Mimi Leder||Joe Sachs||February 5, 2009||15014||7.30|
|Dr. Morgenstern visits County General upon learning a former mentor is seriously ill. Meanwhile, Sam's sister (Shannon Woodward) drops by unexpectedly; Gates and Morris treat an elderly man who was assaulted on the street; and Brenner is shocked by a patient's diagnosis.|
|324||15||"The Family Man"||Eriq La Salle||Andrew Fash||February 12, 2009||15015||7.25|
|A mother is severely injured by a car accident in the ambulance bay; an insurance company frustrates Morris; Neela tells Brenner about her offer in North Carolina.|
|325||16||"The Beginning of the End"||Jonathan Kaplan||David Zabel & Lisa Zwerling||February 19, 2009||15016||7.44|
|Valentine's Day in the ER sees Neela and Brenner growing closer. Banfield tries to convince her husband to go along with her new plan to have a baby. Gates treats a patient who may have ingested a toxin while "mushroom hunting" while Neela performs surgery on a young girl's mother. Morris and his girlfriend clash when he suspects her fellow officers physically assaulted a badly injured patient. Carter returns to the ER for a visit, gets the OK from Banfield to do some shift work at County, and is seen on hemo-dialysis in the final scene.|
|326||17||"T-Minus-6"||Rod Holcomb||David Zabel & Lisa Zwerling||February 26, 2009||15017||8.73|
|The Banfields explore their options with an adoption agency. Carter struggles with the new procedural and technological advances made to emergency medicine since he has been gone. Brenner confronts Lucy's foster family about his concerns. Morris treats a couple who takes his advice too far. Sam is shocked when her mother is brought into the ER. Neela makes a decision about her future at County. Banfield discovers Carter's medical condition.|
|327||18||"What We Do"||David Zabel||David Zabel||March 5, 2009||15018||8.80|
|A camera crew shooting footage for a documentary descends upon the ER. Detective Claudia Diaz is brought in with life-threatening gunshot wounds. Neela is perplexed by the lack of communication between her and Brenner. Sam struggles to reconcile with her mother. Carter's condition suddenly worsens.|
|328||19||"Old Times"||John Wells||John Wells||March 12, 2009||15019||10.71|
As Carter awaits his kidney transplant, he gets a surprise visit from Benton. Meanwhile, Ross and Hathaway must receive consent for organ donation from a woman who is grief-stricken over the sudden death of her grandson, but Sam and Neela are stuck at the airport with the transplant organs in hand. Banfield bonds with an abandoned baby. Brenner continues to care for a little girl whose mother is awaiting a heart transplant.
NOTE: This is the final appearance of Dr. Doug Ross and Nurse Carol Hathaway.
|329||20||"Shifting Equilibrium"||Andrew Bernstein||Lisa Zwerling||March 19, 2009||15020||9.28|
Neela clashes with Dubenko on two surgical cases and looks to prove her worth as attending material before she leaves County for good. Brenner looks to gain some insight into his abusive childhood.
NOTE: This is the final appearance of Dr. Lucien Dubenko and Dr. Abby Lockhart.
|330||21||"I Feel Good"||Stephen Cragg||Joe Sachs||March 26, 2009||15021||10.57|
A woman returns to County to claim the baby she had abandoned there. The ER doctors and nurses assist at a camp for children recovering from open heart surgeries where Morris proposes to Claudia and Brenner befriends a kid who does not want to join in with the activities.
NOTE: This is the final appearance of Dr. Ray Barnett.
|331||22||"And in the End... ER Series Finale"||Rod Holcomb||John Wells||April 2, 2009||15022||16.24|
Series finale. A new medical facility for the underprivileged funded by Carter is opened and old colleagues return to show their support. Gates treats a teenager with alcohol poisoning after she and her friends play a drinking game. Sam is surprised when she receives a special gift for her birthday. This two-hour episode was preceded by a one-hour retrospective special.
NOTE: According to an April 3, 2009 report on Entertainment Tonight, the episode attracted 16.4 million viewers, the highest rating of any drama series finale since Murder, She Wrote in 1996.This is the final appearance of Dr. John Carter, Dr. Kerry Weaver, Dr. Susan Lewis, Dr. Elizabeth Corday, Dr. Peter Benton, Dr. Neela Rasgotra, Nurse Sam Taggart, Dr. Archie Morris, Dr. Tony Gates, Dr. Simon Brenner and Dr. Catherine Banfield.
- Cancel Bear, The (September 26, 2008). "Thursday, September 25: A Paler Shade of Grey's Boosts ABC". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on September 23, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2015.
- Cancel Bear, The (October 10, 2008). "UPDATED Thursday: CSI Opens Large, Life on Mars & Eleventh Hour Battle". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on October 12, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2015.
- Seidman, Robert (October 17, 2008). "UPDATED Thursday: CSI Has Most Total Viewers, Grey's Anatomy Wins With Youth". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on August 26, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2015.
- Seidman, Robert (October 24, 2008). "Thursday Ratings: CBS Dominates With CSI; World Series and Life on Mars Drop". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on August 26, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2015.
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- Seidman, Robert (December 5, 2008). "Thursday Ratings: Barbara Walters is still a hit with the "youth"". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on August 26, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2015.
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- Seidman, Robert (January 9, 2009). "Updated Thursday Ratings: BCS Championship dominates". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 24, 2015.
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- James Brown's song "I Feel Good" is performed during the episode.
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- Cf. the lyric "And in the end ..." from the Beatles' song "The End", the last song on their last recorded album, Abbey Road.
- Seidman, Robert (April 3, 2009). "Updated Thursday Ratings: ER finale draws 16.2 million viewers". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 24, 2015.