ER: The Complete Seventh Season (2000) Review
(More customer reviews)Season seven of NBC's long-running medical drama ER was an impressive collection of episodes that featured the introduction of one of the best guest star performances in the history of the show.
While she is not a regular cast member, Sally Field stole the show in season seven, guest starring as Maggie, nurse Abby Lockhart's (Maura Tierney) bipolar mother. Field earned an Emmy for her incredible turn as Maggie, a woman desparately trying to reconnect with her daughter and turn her life around, all the while dealing with a disease that can turn her into a totally different person. Most of Abby's story lines in this season revolved around her mother, and through that, viewers got a chance to learn just where Abby came from and how tough things were for her as a youngster. Abby is the only character in this season that is returning for the 14th season as a regular cast member, so it is nice to see just where the character got her start.
Abby began the year as a med student, but her ex-husband's failure to pay a bill puts her back in nurse scrubs for the season, however, as the year draws to a close she is thinking about heading back to med school again. Viewers also get a chance to see Abby's budding relationship with Dr. Luka Kovac (Goran Visnjic), a relationship that has resulted in them having a baby and getting married in season 13. In this season, the relationship is still in its new stage and viewers got a chance to see just what Luka went through in Croatia, losing his wife and children in a bombing. It is through his relationship with a dying bishop (guest star James Cromwell) that Luka finally learns to deal with his past and move on with his life.
At the end of season six, Dr. John Carter (Noah Wyle) was heading to rehab after becoming addicted to pain pills. Season seven finds him out of rehab and looking for his job back. With conditions, he is accepted back to County General and for the most part, is able to blend back in with his fellow doctors. A close call with some pain medication sends him back to square one in his return to work, however. His close friendship with Abby, herself a recovering alcoholic, helps him through the tough times and we get to see the great side of Dr. Carter when he travels with Abby to bring a messed up Maggie back from a hotel room where she was holed up in Oklahoma.
Dr. Peter Benton (Eriq LaSalle) continues his relationship with pediatrician Cleo Finch (Michael Michele) and also has to deal with the fact that he loses his job in the surgery department after a tiff with Dr. Robert Romano (Paul McCrane). Forced to accept a position with no benefits and no stature, Benton is incredibly disappointed, but stays in Chicago to be near his son Reese, who splits time with he and his ex, Carla (guest star Lisa Nicole Carson). Eventually, Benton is hired as the director of diversity at the hospital in what would be he and Cleo's final full season at County General. Both doctors departed near the end of season eight.
Jing-Mei Chen (Ming Na) opens the season finding out that she is pregnant. She hides her pregnancy well for a while, keeping her parents in the dark until it is almost time to deliver. She agrees to give the baby up for adoption after realizing that the time was not right for her and the fact that her parents couldn't handle the fact that the baby's father was black. The pregnancy was Chen's main story line, though she does apply for chief resident at the end of the season, a position Carter also wants, but can't have because of the conditions placed on him after his rehab stint.
Dr. Dave Mallucci (Erik Palladino) has very few large story lines in the season, serving mainly as a character in other people's story lines. It is obvious in this season that the writers were dealing with a lot of main characters, which gave them almost too many stories to tell in each episode and Dr. Dave was one of the people that seemed to fall by the wayside.
Dr. Kerry Weaver (Laura Innes), the head of the ER, confronts her own sexuality, as she enters a relationship with Dr. Kim Legaspi (guest star Elizabeth Mitchell, Juliet from Lost). She hides their relationship well, but when Dr. Legaspi's career is on the line, Weaver steps up and comes out of the closet to her boss, Dr. Romano. This story line was one of the big stories during the season, one that opened Dr. Weaver up to many relationships, including the one that led to her departure from the show in the middle of the 13th season.
But, the biggest story of the year was that of Dr. Mark Greene (Anthony Edwards). The longtime ER doc finds out that he has a tumor in his brain the same day he finds out that his girlfriend Dr. Elizabeth Corday (Alex Kingston) is pregnant. The two set out on a course to find a way to treat the tumor and the removal is successful, but Greene has a hard time returning to work, still dealing with the effects of the surgery and the tumor. The two doctors get married (after a slight delay) and welcome Ella to the world and in the final episode, Greene fears for the life of his wife and baby when a distraught father goes on a killing spree after Greene places his son in a foster home. This tumor marked the beginning of the end for Dr. Greene, as its return in season eight eventually led to the good doctor's death in the penultimate episode, one of the toughest moments in ER history.
This set features a number of deleted scenes and a great gag reel that shows just how much things can get screwed up on the set of a tense show like ER.
While there could've been more extras, this has been the norm the last few seasons and the episodes themselves make for great television, with or without the extras. If for no other reason, by this set to watch "The Visit," the episode that introduces viewers to Sally Field's Maggie, truly one of the best episodes of the show's 14-year run.
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A busload of fume-sickened school kids...a gunman whose shooting spree claimed 19 victims...a guy in an opossum outfit who bit a man dressed as a kangaroo. They and so many others all converge at ER. The gurneys keep rolling in a superlative Season 7 that includes Abby's reunion with her mother, a turbulent woman who suffers from bipolar disorder. Also making the rounds in the 22 episodes: Carter returns from detox, Abby goes back to square one in med training, Benton struggles to emerge from Romano's doghouse, Kovac confronts a mugger, Weaver reveals her sexual orientation and Chen refuses to reveal the father of her child. Meanwhile, Greene and Corday marry...and live under the shadow of Greene's health crisis. Excitement, drama, suspense - the doctors are on call. DVD Features:Deleted ScenesGag Reel