27 September 2004

ER 10.08 (bis)

The ER episode where Romano dies was just shown on French TV yesterday, and Television Without Pity sums it up so much better than I ever could:

Ding! The elevator doors slide open, and Romano comes face to face with the whirring rotor of his old and aptly named nemesis, Chopper. Of course, he looks a lot less imposing when there’s a really fake green screen in the background and some manufactured wind, but nonetheless, Chopper’s back and he’s still a carnivore. “WE MEET AGAIN, MY OLD FRIEND,” it sneers. Romano stares at it. “I REALLY LIKE WHAT YOU’VE DONE WITH YOUR STUMP, BUT THE FACIAL HAIR HAS GOT TO GO – PERHAPS I COULD GIVE YOU A SHAVE?” Chopper whirs. Romano starts to sweat a little. “YOU’RE AWFULLY QUIET TODAY. ROTOR GOT YOUR TONGUE?” Chopper cackles. “Dr. Romano?” Neela asks, having dashed out onto the roof. Romano has a flashback to the night the Chop-o-dile ripped off his arm and made him Dr. Hook. “I DIDN’T EVEN GET A CLOCK OUT OF IT, YOU RUDE BASTARD,” Chopper intones, ripping Romano out of his frightened reverie. “Here, take it,” Romano trembles, throwing Neela the Rolex and frantically trying to close the elevator doors. “YOU MAY HAVE BESTED ME WITH SILENCE AND A DIFFERENT SCRIPT THIS TIME, ROMANO, BUT YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE LAST OF ME,” Chopper sneers. […]

Chopper gets sick of flailing around on the roof and decides to heave himself off the roof in a convulsive fit of obvious and painful CGI. Inside the ICU, Sam and Luka are arguing about the merits of cuffing Judy to a support beam; Chopper chooses this moment to explode with wrath, which blows in the windows. Luka, Sam, and everyone but the incapacitated duck for cover. […]

Outside, still getting a breath of fresh air in the ambulance bay, Romano notices a commotion overhead and peers up at the air as bits of fiery debris rain down upon him. He sees a roiling fireball, the sum of this show’s respect for his character bearing down upon him with the fatal quickness of a paper shredder making love to his contract. “SINCE YOU’VE NEVER GOTTEN ANY ACTION ON THIS SHOW, I’M GOING TO DO YOU A FAVOR AND TAKE YOU ROUGHLY,” roars Chopper. Romano’s eyes widen and he turns around, terrified, figuring that if he puts his back to his mortal enemy, it will get bored and go bother someone else. He doesn’t even try to run. But Chopper won’t be denied. “AND THE BEST PART IS, YOU WON’T EVEN GET YOUR NAME ON THE SPECIAL-EFFECTS EMMY!” Chopper spits. “NOOOOOOOOO!” Romano shouts, because God forbid his last line on the show should be original when he’s been a thinly drawn cartoon for a year now. Also, he totally knows they’re not going to win an Emmy. “YEEEEEES! I THINK YOUR ARM WAS MADE FROM SOME OF MY OLD PARTS AND I WANT THEM BACK!” Chopper replies, crashing down on his old nemesis with a plume of smoke and golden flame. We fade to black alternating between horror, regret at losing Paul McCrane, and totally hysterical laughter at the horrible and embarrassing farce of a death scene that just got handed to a very fine actor who did an underpraised job.

Oddly, I didn’t find the special effets and green screen so bad — but then, they watch the show three or four times in order to recap it, so they should see the flaws. The script, however… maybe they should have painted shark teeth on the helicopter?