As the very last season of ER winds down to a close it’s time to reflect on what has happened over the last 330 episodes. The one thing that comes to mind is death. Lots and lots of death. Not just the deaths of patients, nurses, helicopter pilots, ambulance drivers, tank drivers, convenience store owners, and anyone else that came within 100 feet of the ambulance bay. No, I speak of the many deaths that have befallen the diagnosticians of County General.
More doctors have perished inside and outside of this hospital than in a normal, real-life, emergency room. Some have been dignified, others have been surprising, and there has been one that people are still mouthing ‘WTF?’ about everytime they see a repeat of it on TNT. Let us now take a moment of silent reflection to remember these fine physicians.
Mark Greene – Mark’s death was the most prolonged and the one we knew was coming. Surviving a brain tumor back in season 7, Dr. Greene succumbed to a relapse towards the end of season 8, leaving the ER shocked and, to be honest, forever changed. I will say this for Mark’s passing — being that he died in his sleep in a beach house in Hawaii it was one of the most peaceful in the history of the show.
Dennis Gant - Before he became the anti-House on House, Omar Epps was a young surgical intern named Dennis Gant during the show’s third season. Becoming quick friends with Carter, Gant quickly fell behind the curve of Peter Benton’s harsh rotation regulations. With no encouragement coming from Peter or Carter, Gant decided to end it all by jumping in front of a speeding elevated train. Obviously, being reincarnated as a senior fellow at Princeton-Plainsboro has done wonders for his self-confidence.
Lucy Knight - While many of us found third-year medical student Lucy Knight to be a royal pain in the ass (Carter included), her death at the hands of a patient was downright shocking. Sure, we all knew Kellie Martin, the actress who played Knight, wanted to leave the show. The way it was done, though, was just unnerving. It was probably the most gruesome death to take place within the confines of the hospital.
Robert “Rocket” Romano - While I don’t like to see anyone die under any circumstance I will say that Rocket Romano deserved it the most. By the time he died Rocket had become the biggest wanker on ER, before Simon Brenner came along and took his spot. It was an ironic death since it involved a helicopter falling from the hospital’s roof into the ambulance bay where Romano was standing at the time. If you can all recall, Romano lost an arm to a pissed off helicopter blade at the beginning of season 9.
Michael Gallant – The poor bastard. Dr. Gallant ended up dying in the opening sequence of the next-to-last episode of season 12. This, after marrying Neela in a fit of military leave giddiness, then going back to Iraq after saying that he felt he needed to be there. In a five minute time span he was no longer. The result: Neela went into a relationship tailspin.
Greg Pratt -The most recent death in the emergency room, Greg’s demise at the beginning of season 15 seemed too fast too soon. We knew actor Mekhi Phifer wanted to leave ER, but we thought we’d have some more time to say goodbye. One minute he was giving out commands to his team and the next he was no longer of this Earth. The saddest thing was that Greg’s life was coming together so well at the very end with an impending engagement and promotion to Chief of emergency medicine. Well, that’s when the show’s producers like to muck everything up anyway. So, I guess it shouldn’t have been a surprise.
I actually liked Lucy. Her death was so useless…
Elizabeth’s goodbye letter to the ER and how it was waved off the pinboard in the entryway was the best scene of ER of all time. I cried like a baby…
It was Dennis Gant not Grant.
Ditto Sebastian’s comment on Corday/Greene’s letter.
Thanks for the information. I corrected the name.
I liked Romano. A lot actually, I think he had a heart that few rarely saw.
And, as much as I like The Letter, the first act of All In The Family is still the best 15 minutes of television to me, ever.
All in the Family was an excellent yet heartbreaking episode! It also showcased Romano’s tender side as he tried to save Lucy. (Not to mention Benton’s sensitivity for Carter).
Of all these deaths the only ones I didnt find realistic were Romano (hated but nevertheless…) and Pratt. I mean honestly Romano already lost an arm to a helicopter and then the whole things drops on top of HIM? and no one even bothers to look under the pieces for him? Too much and not ER style. Pratt had been evolving to this person who was going to be Chief, married and working with his little brother… honestly, did he have to die just like that? Gallant’s best friend, dead as well? Neela might as well checked into a depressive-rehab clinic after losing so many people close to her (not to mention Ray losing his legs) – some things are just too much