Worst episodes of the best TV shows
When '24,' 'Battlestar Galactica' 'ER,' 'Buffy,' and other series slipped up
Episode: "Freefall" (Season 10, episode 8)
AKA: "The One With the Helicopter Vs. Romano... No, the Other One with the Helicopter vs. Romano"
There are some good moments in "Freefall," as there always were in any of the impeccably-produced "ER" disaster episodes. (I'm partial to the surprise reunion of Susan Lewis and her presumed-dead paramedic boyfriend Chuck.) But the death of Paul McCrane's Dr. Romano — a once-nuanced antagonist who turned into a two-dimensional goon whose arm was cut off by a stray helicopter rotor — from the fall of another helicopter is one of the few moments in "ER" history that played instantly as self-parody. As the chopper fell towards him, Romano wasn't a character anymore; he was Wile E. Coyote, waiting for the boulder.