The lesson we were presented with in this week's episode was a simple one: appearances can be deceiving. An emotionally-detached, steely ER chief can be secretly longing for motherhood. A thrice-divorced couple can share a deep, abiding love. A quiet teenager can be harboring a dark secret. And two very different couples can derail their own happiness and ignore their best instincts in the face of fear, confusion and doubt.
Archie's case seemed to be a straightforward biking accident involving a teenage girl. But as the story unfolded, we learned that the strain between her overbearing, abusive boyfriend and her clueless parents had driven her to a point of desperation. Sadly, despite Archie's best efforts to get to the truth, tragedy ensued. (One positive side note was the continuance of Archie's flirtation with the female police officer. It would be great to see him finally get what he really wants - a chance to create a family of his own.)
As Gates and Sam continued to struggle with their break-up, they were confronted with an older couple who, on the surface, appeared to be similarly mismatched. As Sam learned of Tony's indiscretion with Daria, her jealously bubbled to the surface, but I honestly don't know how she can blame him considering the numerous times she has rebuffed him. The writers really have gone out of their way to make Sam come off as selfish, erratic and a little bipolar. Can't we just move things along with these two and let them get on with it already? Are we going to have to endure some sort of psychotic breakdown with Daria or will she accept that Tony is meant to be with Sam?
Meanwhile, despite my hope that Ray comes back and he and Neela end up together, I do really like her with Dr. Brenner and was happy to see they finally got out of their own way. Clearly, Neela is torn between her feelings for a far-away Ray and a here-and-now Brenner. But who will ultimately win her heart remains to be seen.
* Frank's mention of Neela's former career as a convenience store clerk made me smile. Nice nod to ER history
* Banfield referring to Frank as Crocodile Dundee and his incessant, paranoid itching after exposure to the guy with lice
* The return of Chuny (good to see you, girl!) and Dr. Coburn's ongoing work with Banfield
* A sneak peek at another homecoming in two weeks