First off, the biggest of all possible big love to Heathen, to whom I handed off the ER baton at the end of Season Seven. Her recaps of Seasons Eight and Nine never failed to crack me up and I couldn't have asked for a better writer to carry on my legacy (such as it is). Heathen, you're the greatest.
Second, this is the recap of the pilot. The various episode guides I consulted differed as to whether the pilot --which aired as a two-hour "movie" -- should be considered one two-hour episode, or two related episodes that happened to be aired back to back. The majority (including the official ER site from Warner Bros.) treated it as one, so I'm going to go by that, too. Also, I'm recapping it from a commercially available VHS tape that Sars bought for me, which -- since it doesn't include commercials -- would make it hard for me to guess where the halfway mark is, and where hour one of the broadcast version ended and hour two began.
Uh. It's been a while since I wrote a recap, so I am probably a little rusty, but I promise the whole thing won't be as boring as that last paragraph was.
The now familiar greenish background and synth music appear as "er" in copper-coloured Courier glides into the centre of the screen. Then we cut to a black screen, over which we hear the sound of gentle snoring. A door opens, illuminating the room; we get our first shot of Mark "Sisyphus" Greene, and a flattering shot it is not: he's lying on a bed, his feet in our faces, and the camera is unfortunately positioned right at crotch level, so that Mark's garbage is dead-centre in the frame. We see Lydia's silhouette on the wall and hear her voice as she calls Mark's name -- quietly at first, and then more sharply when he doesn't respond. Finally, he starts with a snort, and she tells him there's a patient for him. Cut to an overhead shot of Mark's head as he whines at her to make an intern take it; Lydia tells him the patient asked for Mark, and exposits that it's 5 AM. She looks completely unimpressed by his sleeping ass. Mark puts on his glasses -- which are similar to the National Health-style round-lensed specs he wore toward the end of the series, though these have black rims and make his head look less penis-like; I approve -- and asks again, "Can't the intern take it?" Lydia flatly replies, "It's Dr. Ross." Mark nods in a resigned, unsurprised way, and says he'll be right there. Lydia full-body whatevers out of the doorway. Mark groans, like, you'd think he'd have learned by now that a short, fitful, interrupted nap makes you sleepier afterward than if you hadn't slept at all.