ER checks out

... So I finally watched the big 'ER' finale last night. Yep, three months after it aired and it's long-been forgotten and surpassed by a summer of weird weather, celebrity deaths and our bottomless economy problems ...

Ah, well.

The thing was so old it had been buried at the bottom of our DVR list, and was probably just days from being deleted -- not by the machine, but by Kates and I out of a simple lack of time an interest. In fact, Kates was already there and had no interest in watching it; I was the one still holding on ...

So last night, alone and in desperation for something different and interesting to watch before heading to bed, I flipped it on

Even at three months old, it was still pretty darn entertaining ... I enjoyed the appearances by "ER" alums, although I thought their returns were a little overplayed, based on what I remembered from the promotionals last May. ... I enjoyed the way a lot of the stories that have unfolded over the years sort of came full circle -- Sam connecting with Tony and getting a car as a birthday gift from her formerly troublesome son Alex; and Dr. Greene's daughter showing up at the hospital to begin her career... I also couldn't ignore the feeling that I was watching a new generation of young actors slowly and skillfully making their marks on the TV landscape -- people like "Gilmore Girls" Alexis Bledel and "Brothers & Sisters" Emily Rose.

In the end, I couldn't keep from smiling as the final scene played out with the old, familiar faces rushing to the ambulance dock and a slew of ambulances pouring in with patients from an explosion. Dr. Carter was back at the hospital and seemingly returning home. The classic theme music played in as the shot pulled back on the hospital and an utterly Chicago scene, complete with an el' train passing on a rail line overhead.

A memorable ending for a very memorable show.

I'm sorry I didn't watch it earlier. But I'm glad I saved it just long enough ...

Here's some good reads I collected way back when the finale actually aired ... (I had some others, but the links no longer work. Go figure.)

a The 'ER' finale did what it did best for 15 seasons: It made us laugh and cry
a ‘ER’ Goes the Way of Nurses’ Caps
a A flood of memories comes alive in 'ER's wake
a 'ER' calls its time of death
a 'ER': How It Almost Flatlined At the Start
a 'ER' and the end of Nurse Shirley

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