Combining the extraordinary talents of best-selling author Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park) with Peabody, Humanitas and Emmy-winning producer John Wells (The West Wing, China Beach) and Steven Spielberg's Amblin Television, the multiple Emmy Award-winning ER provocatively explores the chaos of an urban, public hospital emergency room and the lives of its devoted doctors and staff.
Attending Physician Dr. Mark Greene forms the emotional backbone of the emergency room, joined by highly talented but less-than-gracious Dr. Kerry Weaver. Greene's wife, gifted British surgeon Dr. Elizabeth Corday, ably serves as associate chief of surgery, and Senior Resident Dr. John Carter strives to prove his skills every day, alongside intensely brilliant surgical resident Dr. Peter Benton. When the difference between life and death rests on split-second decisions, only one thing endures-the power and passion of these dedicated medical personnel in the ER.
01 - Four Corners
In an episode featuring different points of view on the same events from each character, Weaver returns to the emergency room after a self-imposed sabbatical of three weeks, wondering how her newfound lesbian identity will affect her workplace relationships. Having purposely allowed a mass murderer to die, Greene must keep the secret amidst the scrutiny of his superiors. Carter attends his grandfather's funeral, along with his wealthy parents, Jack (recurring guest star MICHAEL GROSS) and Eleanor (recurring guest star MARY McDONNELL), and Abby. While attending to Cleo, who may have infected herself with AIDS-tainted blood, Benton tries to comfort his sister, Jackie (recurring guest star KHANDI ALEXANDER), whose yearlong grief over the death of her son threatens her marriage.
02 - The Longer You Stay
Carter is overwhelmed by patients from a rock concert riot. Benton's former girlfriend is killed in a car accident. Newly promoted to chief resident, Chen panics and misdiagnoses a patient. Kovac angers Abby by flirting with a waitress (JULIE DELPY).
03 - Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magic
Greene's daughter comes to live with him and Corday. Carter and Abby become more intimate. Chen must prove her skills while saving a baby. Weaver terminates Malucci after witnessing him having sex in an ambulance.
04 - Never Say Never
Dr. Susan Lewis (returning series star SHERRY STRINGFIELD) arrives, looking for work in the Chicago area again. Greene hires her, over Weaver's objection. Chen nervously attends a risk management review, accompanied by the unforgiving Weaver, to discuss a patient who recently died under Chen's supervision. Upset that Weaver, who was unreachable at a crucial moment in Chen's unsuccessful surgery, supports demoting her from chief resident, Chen quits. Meanwhile, busy with a lifesaving surgery, Benton must ask Roger to take care of Reese after school. Corday struggles with the desperate case of a young, abandoned boy with a rare and chronic disease. And Kovac is surprised when Nicole (recurring series star JULIE DELPY), the beautiful French waitress with whom he flirted, comes to the emergency room looking for him.
05 - Start All Over Again
Lewis faces a hectic first day back at County General. Benton and Roger become frantic when they can't locate Reese. Carter's grandmother is brought to the emergency room. Carter and Abby deal with inept medical students.
06 - Supplies And Demands
Corday's ordeal, caused by the recent infection-related deaths of several of her patients, worsens when she is closely observed by a stern taskmaster. Corday is outraged when a county investigator accuses her of deliberately euthanizing the patients, who all happened to be elderly. Upon arriving home, the stressed-out Corday yells at Rachel (recurring guest star HALLEE HIRSH). Lewis treats two college-age patients with flu-like symptoms. She later finds out that they were attacked by a fast-acting and lethal virus, and they have spread it to other students. Kovac arranges for the emergency room to hire Nicole (recurring guest star JULIE DELPY), to help with minor tasks--with near-disastrous results. Benton clashes with Roger over visitation rights for Reese. And Abby flirts with a wounded fireman but tells an unreceptive Carter that she would rather date him than the fireman.
07 - If I Should Fall From Grace
Corday desperately searches for whoever is secretly murdering her elderly patients, implicating her. Greene must deal with overstressed Corday and unruly Rachel (recurring guest star HALLEE HIRSH), who is in trouble at school. Benton reluctantly agrees to a paternity test to prove he's really Reese's father. Carter copes with disappointing news regarding his ailing but headstrong grandmother, Millicent (recurring guest star FRANCES STERNHAGEN), who still intends to live an active life--even if it kills her. Carter and Lewis treat a young, self-abusing woman, Grace (BELLAMY YOUNG), who has been cutting herself. A brilliant and inquisitive new fourth-year medical student, Michael Gallant (recurring guest star SHARIF ATKINS), impresses the curious staff. Although resentful, Abby comforts new staffer Nicole (recurring guest star JULIE DELPY) after a traumatic event. Series star LAURA INNES (Dr. Kerry Weaver) directs.
08 - Partly Cloudy, Chance of Rain
When a torrential rainstorm pounds Chicago, patients deluge the emergency room while Weaver speeds to an accident site. There, she finds a pregnant woman, Vicki (NINA LANDEY), lying injured inside a wrecked ambulance while live power lines spark. Fourth-year student Michael Gallant (recurring guest star SHARIF ATKINS) makes a dangerous decision in order to help. Meanwhile, a nervous Benton receives the lab reports that indicate whether or not he is Reese's father; Kovac's new girlfriend, Nicole (recurring guest star JULIE DELPY), gets into trouble and gives Kovac some unexpected news; Carter's grandmother, Millicent (recurring guest star FRANCES STERNHAGEN), is wheeled in after she breaks her hip in a hit-and-run car accident that injured a young woman, Jill (AMY JO JOHNSON - "Felicity"); and Greene tends to a guilt-ridden boy, Daniel Pendy (JACK JOHNSON), who feels responsible for the disappearance of his younger brother in a flooded river in which they were playing. Recurring guest star LISA VIDAL ("Third Watch") appears as Sandy Lopez.
09 - Quo Vadis
Benton and his attorney, Janice Prager (recurring guest star ROMA MAFFIA - "Profiler"), begin an arduous court fight for Benton to take custody of his son from Roger (recurring guest star VONDIE CURTIS-HALL). Corday waits for a distraught husband to decide if surgeons can remove his fatally injured wife's organs for transplant before it's too late. Greene and Lewis treat a brain-damaged teenage boxer whose guilt-ridden brother hurt him while sparring. Weaver treats Sandy Lopez (recurring guest star LISA VIDAL), the firefighter with whom she has worked before, and hesitantly asks her on a date. Carter tries to aid a young woman complaining of a recurring allergic reaction. Greene becomes suspicious of his rambunctious daughter when her boyfriend tests positive for marijuana use.
10 - I'll Be Home for Christmas
As Christmas nears, Benton endures bouts of rage and frustration when the custody trial for his son, Reese (recurring guest star MATTHEW WATKINS), reaches a critical stage. Benton must choose between his job and his child unless cranky Romano agrees to tailor Benton's work schedule. Benton finally quits County General, along with his girlfriend, Cleo, to work at a clinic that will allow him the hours necessary to care for Reese properly. Meanwhile, a busy Carter finds romance and receives some upsetting news from his father, Jack (recurring guest star MICHAEL GROSS), who is visiting for the holidays. Carter also ministers to a boy, Ben (LEE PERRI), whose fall from a tree causes great concern amongst his tight-knit family. A sobbing young mother, Paula Gamble (ANNE DUDEK), accidentally shoots her son. Abby curiously spies on Kovac's elusive French girlfriend, Nicole (recurring guest star JULIE DELPY), as she sneaks through the hospital. Recurring guest star LISA VIDAL appears as Sandy Lopez.
11 - Beyond Repair
On her birthday, Abby receives a few unwelcome surprises, including the news that Kovac plans to leave town for two months to work in Bosnia. She also finds out that her ex-husband is engaged to remarry. Despite Abby's efforts to prevent it, Carter has an uncomfortable encounter with the patient, Paul Sobriki (recurring guest star DAVID KRUMHOLTZ), who stabbed him and killed a fellow doctor two years ago. Abby cares for a young boy, Douglas Leeman (MATT WEINBERG), after his mother dies in the hospital. And she shares a drink with her neighbor Joyce (recurring guest star CHRISTINA HENDRICKS) one of the few people who acknowledge Abby's birthday.
Meanwhile, Carter questions the motives of his mother, Eleanor (recurring guest star MARY McDONNELL), who arrives in Chicago to care for his grandmother, Millicent (recurring guest star FRANCES STERNHAGEN). Firefighter Sandy Lopez (recurring guest star LISA VIDAL), now dating Weaver, discovers that Weaver is not always forthright at work about her sexual identity. Greene confronts Rachel (recurring guest star HALLEE HIRSH) after finding cigarettes and condoms in her book bag. Chen schemes to use information against Weaver to become fully reinstated.
12 - A River in Egypt
Lewis clashes with Weaver over the treatment of an injured condemned murderer, Mike Kinney (CYRIL O'REILLY), who wants to die in the emergency room rather than wait for his execution. Abby urges her battered next-door neighbor, Joyce (recurring guest star CHRISTINA HENDRICKS), to seek shelter from Joyce's abusive husband, Brian (recurring guest star MATTHEW SETTLE). A weary Carter must endure the warring of his parents, Jack (recurring guest star MICHAEL GROSS) and Eleanor (recurring guest star MARY McDONNELL), as they plan their divorce. Carter also diagnoses an aspiring rapper who tests positive for HIV but refuses to tell his naïve girlfriend.
Meanwhile, Weaver is embarrassed in front of her colleagues by her uninhibited firefighter girlfriend, Sandy Lopez (recurring guest star LISA VIDAL). Weaver is also forced to rehire an indignant Chen after evidence is revealed that could implicate Weaver in the death of Chen's patient. Greene tries to help a guilt-stricken father, Julio Echeverria (EFRAIN FIGUEROA), who suffers a heart attack on the day his estranged daughter is to be married. At home, Greene struggles to rein in his wayward 14-year-old daughter, Rachel (recurring guest star HALLEE HIRSH).
13 - Damage Is Done
Greene and Corday are terrified when their helpless baby daughter is brought in, suffering from an accidental overdose. Lewis treats a father and daughter who were injured after opening a letter bomb. Weaver seethes when Romano gives some of her numerous duties to Lewis. Carter meets a dying 12-year-old leukemia patient, Mickey (COLTON JAMES), brought in by Carter's charitable mother, Eleanor (recurring guest star MARY McDONNELL). The doctors marvel at a 13-year-old girl, Stacy (JEANETTE BROX), who crashed her mother's car while trying to drive the inebriated woman home. Fourth-year medical student Michael Gallant (new series star SHARIF ATKINS) sympathizes with a sickly homeless man, Manny (DANA ELCAR), and Manny's friendly mutt, Stinky. And Abby gets a desperate, late-night visit from her next-door neighbor Joyce (recurring guest star CHRISTINA HENDRICKS).
14 - A Simple Twist of Fate
With their baby daughter still fighting for her life, Greene and Corday argue after she orders Rachel (recurring guest star HALLEE HIRSH) out of their home. Abby regrets championing her battered neighbor, Joyce (recurring guest star CHRISTINA HENDRICKS), who refuses to charge her husband, Brian (recurring guest star MATTHEW SETTLE), with abuse. Tainted snacks cause food poisoning among several staffers. Carter confronts his mother, Eleanor (recurring guest star MARY McDONNELL), over issues of emotional abandonment and gets a surprise visit from his father, Jack (recurring guest star MICHAEL GROSS). The emergency room team treats an elderly swimmer with heart problems, a fearful 15-year-old girl with vaginal bleeding, a recent lottery winner who was unlucky enough to have been stabbed by a falling icicle and a diminutive stripper, Ginger (DEBBIE LEE CARRINGTON), who accidentally swallowed a customer's wedding ring.
15 - It's All in Your Head
As Greene's medical problems reappear, Corday lives in a hotel room with the baby, angry at Greene for the way he dealt with Rachel (recurring guest star HALLEE HIRSH) following the infant's overdose. Greene treats a father, Ian Nevinger (BRANT COTTON), who severely burned himself while experimenting with illegal drugs. With the patient's life in immediate jeopardy, Greene is further tormented by Ian's refusal to let his family see him in his horrific condition. Meanwhile, Chen copes with a teenager, Theresa Matthews (LINDSAY HOLLISTER), who has been comatose for over a year yet is inexplicably pregnant. A young girl, Brianna (HOLLISTON COLEMAN), arrives in the emergency room with her father, who suffers from critical gunshot wounds. A teenager, Aaron James (REILEY McCLENDON), is injured after his father gets careless with a snowmobile. Abby becomes furious when Brian (recurring guest star MATTHEW SETTLE), the neighbor who beat her, is released from custody and moves back in next door to her. Former front desk clerk Jerry (recurring guest star ABRAHAM BEN RUBI) returns and clashes with his replacement, Frank (recurring guest star TROY EVANS). And while surreptitiously meeting with Benton to give him some paperwork to finalize, Corday confesses that she fears her marriage is over. CHRIS SARANDON guest stars as Dr. Keith Burke.
16 - Secrets and Lies
After a dominatrix, Medusa (PATRICIA THIELEMANN), inadvertently leaves a bag of sex toys in the emergency room, causing a few moments of hilarious but inappropriate behavior amongst the overworked staff, Weaver angrily orders Abby, Carter, Lewis, Kovac and Gallant to attend a day-long sexual harassment seminar. Waiting for the tardy instructor, the five share intimate details about their relationships while alternately mocking and challenging one another. Abby and Lewis frankly discuss their problems with Carter and Kovac, and the two men have a fencing match--literally and figuratively--that reveals much about their respective attraction to Abby.
17 - Bygones
Still living apart from each other, Corday and Greene find it awkward to work together in the emergency room. Corday suspects that Greene is romantically involved with Lewis. Greene is confused by the reaction of Terry (MEGALYN ECHIKUNWOKE), the sister of a severely ill woman, Joanne (KLEA SCOTT), after he asks her to donate part of her liver to save Joanne's life. Greene also chastises the uncaring adoptive parents of a young boy who almost dies after experimental therapy. Weaver treats victims of a raging inferno, not knowing whether or not the fire has killed her intimate friend, firefighter Sandy Lopez (recurring guest star LISA VIDAL). Chen is followed by a deranged man, Martin (KYLE COLERIDER-KRUGH), the victim of severe psychological trauma. The doctors treat two college students after one claims that they were attacked by a maniac on campus. And two elderly adulterers cause trouble in the emergency room.
18 - Orion in the Sky
While Greene tries to distract himself from his worsening brain tumor by working hard, he reluctantly recognizes that his debilitating illness is hampering his ability to perform the job. Watching other terminally ill patients struggle with their treatments also has a sobering effect on him. Greene has a poignant reunion with his ex-wife, Jenn (recurring guest star CHRISTINE HARNOS), and mediates between the staff and a stubborn but deluded homeless man, Al Ervin (PAUL BENJAMIN). Confident, young first-year intern Gregory Pratt (recurring guest star MEKHI PHIFER), who has transferred from another hospital, hopes to become a resident at County General soon--but first he must heed advice from Greene about his bedside manner as they treat a family man, Stan Seidel (KEN LERNER), who receives the terrible news that he has advanced prostate cancer. Meanwhile, Abby moves out of Kovac's apartment when her abusive neighbor leaves her building. An Egyptologist, Willa Goldman (BLAIRE BARON), is hospitalized for a rare disease. And confusion over an elderly woman's wishes results in heroic measures to resuscitate her.
19 - Brothers and Sisters
Extremely disturbed after receiving a traumatic call for help from her 6-year-old niece, Lewis rushes from Chicago to New York to search for the child. Lewis tracks down her trouble-prone sister, Chloe (recurring guest star KATHLEEN WILHOITE), and enlists the aid of police officers Faith Yokas (""Third Watch"" series star MOLLY PRICE) and Maurice "Bosco"" Boscorelli ("Third Watch" series star JASON WILES) and paramedics Kim Zambrano (""Third Watch"" series star KIM RAVER) and Alex Taylor ("Third Watch"" series star AMY CARLSON). Sergeant Swersky ("Third Watch" recurring guest star JOE LISI) also helps with the situation.
Meanwhile, Corday fears the worst when Rachel (recurring guest star HALLEE HIRSH) telephones her from Hawaii, where Rachel and Greene are vacationing. Arrogant newcomer Pratt (recurring guest star MEKHI PHIFER) causes trouble and clashes with the staff when he tries a dangerous, unauthorized procedure on a dying patient. Carter chastises Kovac for allowing Abby to respond to her stress by drinking alcohol. Weaver contends with a devastated couple who must decide whether or not to disconnect their brain-dead son from life support. Weaver also copes with a delusional man, Reverend Ed (HAROLD J. SURRATT), who claims to be able to heal people with the power of God.
20 - The Letter
Carter reads a letter from the ailing Greene to the emergency room staff and feels helpless when a terminally ill homeless man, Al Ervin (PAUL BENJAMIN), keeps requesting Greene's help. Carter also tries to coax a drunken Abby to attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting with him. Meanwhile, Weaver berates a psychiatric patient. Obnoxious Pratt learns that he will be assigned to County General for his residency. And Romano struggles to save the life of a young girl, Melissa Rue (KAY PANABAKER), after a dangerous malignancy is discovered during her treatment for injuries sustained in an auto accident. MEKHI PHIFER and LISA VIDAL guest star.
21 - On the Beach
As Greene lives his final days, he takes the reluctant Rachel (recurring guest star HALLEE HIRSH) to his childhood home in Hawaii, along with Corday. There, he indulges in life's simple pleasures and tries to impart memories, some of which are bittersweet, and family history to his distant daughter. But their arguments escalate as Greene's health deteriorates. Finally, Greene and Rachel reconcile before he dies. Greene's colleagues and loved ones attend his funeral in Chicago.
22 - Lockdown
In the season finale, Chicago residents become fearful of an epidemic. When Carter and Abby treat two children with ominous symptoms, the emergency room is placed under quarantine until disease experts from the federal government can arrive. As Carter fights to save the youths, the staff is trapped with the suffering patients and a busload of injured and irritable senior citizens. Reporters surround the hospital, and police block the exits, prompting the restless victims to stage a minor riot in an attempt to escape the dangerous and stifling conditions inside. Meanwhile, Pratt (recurring guest star MEKHI PHIFER) and Chen--who may have contracted the disease--ignore their own symptoms as they labor to save the life of a homeless man, Stan the Can (recurring guest star HARRISON PAGE), who is a frequent patient at the hospital.