My sisters - Roxe from Ottawa and Marge in Iowa City - and I have been fans of "ER" from the beginning of the series, lo these 15 years ago. But in recent years (like, maybe the last 10?), the plots have become increasingly grim, leading us to speculate on just how (apart from bringing back many of the former stars of the show) the producers would end the series. I mean, they started off this last season by adding Dr. Greg Pratt to "ER" docs they've killed - Drs. Mark Greene, Lucy Knight, Robert Romano, Michael Gallant (in Eye-Rack), Dennis Gant among others. (Of course, there was Dr. Ray Barnett - they didn't kill him; they just amputated both of his legs.)
Roxe is not one for idle speculation. No, she has planned out the remaining few episodes, and included dropped characters and plot lines. I'm sure the real thing won't be anywhere near as good as this.
First, a note: "Aunther" is a current character -- she's the aunt/acting mother (hence Aunther) of a little white girl. Aunther is dying and desperately needs a new heart. The Little White Girl (TLWG) is coping remarkably well with her aunt/mother's illness, and is mature beyond her (and the entire ER combined) years. One is led to believe the Banfields (Doctor, played by Angela Bassett, and her husband, played by Courtney B. Vance, Angela's real-life hubby) will adopt the child -- hence little WHITE girl... Big Susie is, of course, Susan Lewis, and Druggie is her ne'er-do-well sister Chloe, birth mother of Little Susie.
Roxe's story line includes key elements like stuff ripped from the headlines, and that all-important Canadian Connection (and to a former Prime Minister no less!!!).
Herewith Roxe's vision of how ER will end:
ER – THE FINAL EPISODES
Starting from the information contained in the last episode (2009-02-19), here’s the way it will end…
• Dr. Carter
John Carter and his French wife have been having marital difficulties – her constant babbling in French has gotten on John’s nerves, giving him headaches. In an effort to work off his frustration with his wife, he has started an intensive work out regimen, causing aching muscles. He’s been taking vast quantities of Advil extra strength gel caps for both the headaches and the muscle pain, and sadly has gone into acute renal failure (hence the dialysis). One of the last arguments John and his wife had before their departure from Darfur was her saying «Dit vous ainsi - c'est échec rénal de ces dragées à la gelée de sucre de rien d'un dieu que vous avez étées décriquage! Maintenant regard - il est permanent. Retournez à vos copains Chicago et voyez s'ils peuvent vous aider. Vous n'écouterez pas MOI! » (or en anglais, “Told you so – it is renal failure from those god damn jelly beans you’ve been scarfing! Now look – it’s permanent. Go back to your buddies in Chicago and see if they can help you. You won’t listen to ME!”) They part company.
• Paging Dr. Benton
John shows up in Chicago, gets a job at County, and seeks out Peter Benton for help with his failing kidney(s). John phones Peter from the County General break room, but gets his answering machine. Peter, who has been learning French in advance of an upcoming holiday to Shawinigan, Que. (which includes a special seminar on choke holds in the martial arts from a local master), has recorded an outgoing message in that language. Carter, on hearing the French, momentarily loses his mind, has a muscle spasm, and inadvertently stabs himself in the arm with a pen. He bandages the wound, but the blood seeps through the bandage, his long-sleeve t-shirt and his scrub top while working on a trauma case in the ER. People notice. How embarassing...
• The end of Drs. Carter and Benton
Peter Benton learns that Carter is trying to contact him, and shows up at County. Sadly, Carter has become septic due to the stab wound, collapses and dies in the ER. Benton enters just after Carter’s collapse, trips over the lifeless body, whacks his head on the corner of the admin desk and dies from head injuries.
• Green ribbon confusion
Meanwhile, County staff are confused by John Carter’s green ribbon, thinking it is promoting organ donation and not kidney disease awareness (or the other myriad causes it represents, including depression (both adults and children), bipolar disorder, mental health or illness, eye injuries, Tourette’s Syndrome, bone marrow transplants and donation, Fanconi’s Syndrome, worker and driving safety, Von Hippel Lindau, glaucoma, missing children, leukemia, environment, fibrodysplasia ossificans, neural tube defects, mitochondrial disease, growth and rebuilding, Progressiva, cerebral palsy, Save Darfur, and stem cell research, but not to be confused with the lime green ribbon which stands for... oh never mind).
• Goodbye Dr. Rasgotra
Miraculously, Aunther has survived the botched heart transplant, is rushed to the OR where Neela transplants Carter’s heart without realizing there was a problem with sepsis. (Hey, he was a doctor and if he was wearing the ribbon it must be OK to transplant his organs…) Alas, after the transplant Aunther buys the farm for real this time, which causes The Little White Girl to completely lose it. TLWG proceeds to beat Neela to death with one of the hearts Aunther had, and is then arrested. Of course, no jury will convict her.
• Archie and the Susies and some others
In the meantime, Druggie Lewis (Chloe) is back in Chicago, running away from her husband. After years of being clean and sober, Druggie is hooked again, and is using Little Susie in assorted plots to get money for her habit. Big Susie (Dr. Susan Lewis) comes after her and they meet up in the ambulance bay at County. A cat fight ensues, with Big Susie and Druggie slugging it out. Archie, Frank and Jerry come out to see what the commotion is, and start laying odds and taking bets on the outcome. Unfortunately Archie’s lady cop buddy (Claudia) comes to break it up, tasering them all repeatedly. She’s still p.o.’d because Archie embarrassed her in front of Salter, her cop mentor. Salter beat an innocent suspect to death and Claudia was trying to stick to The Code - not ratting out your cop buddies, even if they do something heinous. (One wonders if that has anything to do with the "accidental" surprisingly high voltage on the taser.) Archie, Frank, Jerry, Big Susie, and Druggie all die as a result. Which leaves Little Susie all alone.
• Paging Dr. Banfield
Banfield comes to the rescue, comforts Little Susie, and contacts her father. Her father, distraught, crashes his car on the way to catch a flight to Chicago and dies. The Banfields decide to adopt Little Susie – now their family is complete. And bonus -- they can both retire. In addition to their savings, pension, the $15K they didn't have to spend on IVF, and the insurance money from their first kid (who died at County General), they know they can always earn extra pocket money running scams with the experienced Little Susie.
• Paging Dr. Clooney... I mean, Dr. Ross and Nurse Hathaway
The multiple tragedies at County make the national news, even in Seattle. Doug Ross, Carol Hathaway and their twins travel back to Chicago to comfort the remaining people at County. On the same day the Ross/Hathaway clan visit County, Sam and Tony, wanting to keep their kids close given the recent events, bring them to work. The kids (Alex and Sarah) sneak off to a supply closet, set up and light 50 or so candles to enhance the mood, and proceed to make whoopee. The candles are, of course, knocked over, and the room catches fire. County, in debt because of all the insurance payouts from all the recent deaths, has disconnected the sprinklers and removed batteries from the smoke detectors in cost-saving measures. Unfortunately, as the unnoticed fire reaches further into the ER, multiple oxygen tanks explode.
• Holy helicopters!
The fire at County unfortunately occurs at rush hour. Two traffic helicopters hover overhead to report on the fire and resulting traffic delays and detours. The two helicopters get too close, their blades collide, and they plummet. They land in the fire and exploding oxygen tanks, causing the total destruction of the entire hospital.
But all is not lost -- Chicago Hope is now able to reopen!
•Not quite The End...
That’s not quite the end of it -- the publicity of County's demise (the building, staff and patients) becomes front page news. Or at least Section 1 news. In a surprising plot twist, we find Bob the Polish thoracic surgeon working for the Chicago SPCA, unable to resume work as a surgeon because the AMA won't recognize her foreign credentials. (SPCA pays better than cleaning the ER... Remember? Back in Season 1?) Adding insult to injury, Bob lays posthumous charges of animal neglect and abandonment -- Susan's cat and Greene's dog. (Remember? Back in ...)
NOTE: The possibility for spin-offs and/or resurrection still exist as a number of the characters actually survive. Consider “Chicago SPCA” starring Bob; or numerous possibilities for storylines around the Banfields as well – related to Chicago Hope; a “Little Miss Marker” remake starring Little Susie… We can’t rule out an ER franchise either -- “ER: North Carolina” starring Elizabeth Corday; “ER: Paris” starring Carter’s wife. All is not lost.