The most devastating death scene on television? It has to be the murder of shocking murder of medical student, Lucy Knight, on the NBC drama, ER.
Lucy (Kellie Martin) joins the staff of the County General Hospital to work alongside the greats, like Dr. John Carter (Noah Wyle), Doug Ross (George Clooney), and Dr. Kerry Weaver (Laura Innes). However, she became the victim of an accident after only two years at the department.
What happened to Lucy on ER? Buckle up, this is going to get spooky.
The producers originally intended for Lucy and Dr. Carter to fall in love.
Season 5 of ER was supposed to explore the budding romance of the medical student and her mentor, but the actors vehemently disagreed.
"I just thought Carter wouldn’t do it, he wouldn’t do it at work, and he wouldn’t do it with this student, and he wouldn’t do it with her," Noah explained in a previous interview with Entertainment Weekly.
"In the 15 years I was on that show, the 260-some-odd episodes I did, I only wrote [executive producer] John Wells one letter asking him to change something that he had written, and it was about that episode," Noah added.
To replace the storyline, the producers came up with a compromise. Lucy and Dr. Carter were to share a passionate kiss, and their affair was also alluded to during the infamous death scene, during which the doctor stumbles upon a card.
So, how did Lucy die on ER?
The 16th episode in Season 5 titled "Be Still My Heart" chronicles the story of a Valentine's Day party gone wrong. While the rest of the department is busy exchanging gifts and sipping on a fluorescent-colored punch, Dr. Carter decides to check-in on a paranoid schizophrenic patient staying in a dark room at the end of the corridor.
As he walks in, he stumbles on a kitschy, sticker-covered Valentine's card — oh, the '90s! — Lucy wrote her heartfelt confession in.
Unbeknownst to the doctor, the patient is hiding behind the door and is gearing up to launch an attack and stab him in the back. As Carter falls on the floor, he notices he isn't alone and locks eyes with the blood-covered Lucy one last time.
The scene was hailed as the "9th Most Shocking Death in Recent TV History," by E! News, while journalist Natalie Abrahams referred to it as the death scene setting a new standard for popular TV in Entertainment Weekly.
Shakespearean connotations aside, the harrowing scene was among the firsts to portray a murder without portraying actual, physical violence. The stabbing is only alluded to, while the shocking effect is the result of the last image showing two motionless bodies on the floor.
"Sometimes graphic violence depicted is exactly what you need to do, and sometimes implied violence is the way you need to do it. Sometimes, the shadow is far scarier than the monster, and that day, we made good choices," Noah explained to Entertainment Weekly.
Luckily, you can stream every episode of ER on Hulu today!