It seemed especially fitting in this last season that attention was paid to a part of the rich history of the ER we hadn't seen before. When we first met Oliver in tonight's episode, he appeared to be another homeless casualty, confused and injured, who found his way to the doors of the County General. Little did we know that this particular patient was in fact one of the founding fathers of the ER, an esteemed physician who had been a pioneer of emergency medicine at County.
Luckily for the woman who came in misdiagnosed with lung cancer, the doctor's diagnostic ability was still in tact. Noticing the swelling behind her ear, he quickly alerted Gates and Brenner to the fact that her cancer was actually tuberculosis, "the great imitator." It was truly a treat to see William H. Macy return as Dr. David Morgenstern, one of my all-time ER favorites and Oliver's de facto caretaker. Dr. Morgenstern was always a great character - warm, earnest, forthright and often a little eclectic in his approach. (Anyone else remember how he used to mentor Mark with his calm, confident advice or the episode when he found renewed purpose after suffering a mild heart attack?) Morgenstern's return was a nice piece of storytelling all around. Throughout the episode, we saw the perspective of the dementia-stricken doctor as he viewed current events through an altered point of view. (It was great fun to see Tony, Morris, Neela, Sam, Brenner and Chuny playing 1960s versions of themselves.) No surprise that tonight's well-crafted episode was directed by Mimi Leder, who brought us some of the most memorable and beloved early season episodes such as the unforgettable "Love's Labor Lost" and the Season 1 finale (and one of my personal favorites) "Everything Old is New Again." It is nice to see that the actors aren't the only ones coming back for a final farewell.
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