“The most basic of messages at the heart of Thursday night’s classy and emotionally satisfying two-hour finale” of ER, said Chuck Barney in the San Jose Mercury News, were that “life—and death—go on.” After 15 years on the air, this outstanding TV hospital drama will be dearly missed. (watch a preview of the ER finale)

“There were some lovely scenes” in the final episode, said Verne Gay in Newsday, and it was “nice to see familiar faces” from seasons past. But although there’s “simply no scientifically proven way to end a classic series,” the ER finale “had enough padding to stock an average Sleepy's for about five months.”

Not only that, said Debra Yeo in the Toronto Star, but watching the finale was “a little like trying on a favorite old dress and deciding that, though it reminds you of good times, it's ready for the charity pile.” ER was once a great show, but that time has passed.