Eriq La Salle
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THE HIGHEST OF STAKES
This episode is beyond great. I would say that this is my favourite episode of the entire series so far, simply because the stakes have never been that high before. We have all rooted for Mark Greene when he was attacked, and the story arc was similar. Mark would be attacked at the end of an episode, with much surprise from the audience. And then we would discover him slowly in the beginning of the next episode.
While the format is the same, the stakes are much higher. Because it is live and death. And because it affects not only one of the major characters, but two.
The directing of Jonathan Kaplan is outstanding. Truly magnificent. At times, he takes the time to calm down the action and focus on true emotions. And in some other moments, the pace is extremely fast. As an example, we can see Benton coming down from the OR and running towards Lucy and Carter. This is just brilliantly crafted. It's the ultimate theater-like episode. Artistically, ER was at times really great and beyond a medical soap.
This episode marks the final appearance of Lucy Knight. While I truly hated her character in the season premiere of season 5, looking back, I think that her character was actually great and even more than this. In the end, I think that she arrived in a place where the stories weren't that great.
A masterpiece of writing, acting, music and especially directing from Jonathan Kaplan. I give it 10 out of 10. A masterpiece.
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