Combining the extraordinary talents of multiple award-winning producer John Wells, best-selling author Michael Crichton and Steven Spielberg's Amblin Television, ER explores the inner workings of an urban teaching hospital and the critical issues faced by the dedicated physicians and staff of its overburdened emergency room.
These medical professionals remain determined to save lives in a place where nothing is taken for granted, and nothing is certain... nothing except that another desperate person will be rushed through the emergency room doors in the next moment, in need of their help.
01 - Cañon City
At Chicago's County General Hospital, an inner-city teaching hospital, the new term begins, and second-year residents Dr. Abby Lockhart (series star MAURA TIERNEY), Dr. Neela Rasgotra (series star PARMINDER NAGRA) and Dr. Ray Barnett (series star SHANE WEST) quickly discover they must now teach the unskilled first-year interns. Abby loves the medical field and builds on her long nursing career as she pursues her dream of becoming a board-certified physician. British-Indian Neela overcame serious career doubts last year and returned to medicine after briefly leaving the field. And Ray's superiors worry that his passion for music might eclipse his dedication to medicine.
Chief of Staff Dr. Kerry Weaver (series star LAURA INNES), a single mother, remains a tough administrator who progressed through the ranks with less-than-gracious social skills and a penchant for overmanagement. Attending Physician Dr. Luka Kovac (series star GORAN VISNJIC) is involved in a complicated romance with streetwise, seasoned nurse Samantha Taggart (series star LINDA CARDELLINI), whose son looks up to Kovac as a role model, friend and, sometimes, substitute father.
Stalwart Dr. Susan Lewis (series star SHERRY STRINGFIELD) has her hands full--both at home and at work--as she juggles the rigors of motherhood, her ongoing relationship with the child's father and her job as chief of emergency medicine. Brash and ambitious Dr. Gregory Pratt (series star MEKHI PHIFER) continues to learn the ropes with his characteristic swagger including the valuable lesson that no one--not even himself--is perfect. And Dr. Archie Morris (series star SCOTT GRIMES), the emergency room's chief resident, proves he makes a better manager than doctor.
In the 12th season premiere, Sam and Kovac report to the police that her diabetic son, Alex (recurring guest star DOMINIC JANES), is missing and is possibly trying to find his father. The boy mistakenly thinks his dad is in Colorado, but the man is actually incarcerated. Unfortunately, Alex left without his insulin. And Neela, Ray and Abby struggle with their first shifts in charge of the new interns.
02 - Nobody's Baby
Ray attends to Claire (ERIN COTTRELL), a surrogate mother who goes into premature labor after being involved in a car accident. Claire refuses a cesarean section even though the unborn baby is in fetal distress, forcing the doctors to make an emotional decision. Pratt deals with his feelings from the past and the possibility of embracing the family of his future after he encounters his estranged father, Charlie (recurring guest star DANNY GLOVER - "Lethal Weapon" films, "The Royal Tenenbaums"). Despite Kovac's objections, Sam finds a new apartment and starts to pack. SAM JONES III ("Smallville") guest stars as Pratt's half-brother, Chas.
03 - Man With No Name
The emergency room is jolted when a new nurse manager, Eve Spellman (recurring guest star Emmy Award winner KRISTEN JOHNSTON - "3rd Rock from the Sun"), enforces her strict and efficient new procedures. Kovac and Sam are uncomfortable working together on the same shift. Meanwhile, Abby treats a breast cancer patient who is having a hard time accepting her condition.
04 - Blame it on the Rain
A patient who has been in a coma for nine years suddenly awakens in the emergency room, and Kovac struggles with whether he should reveal to her the truth about her past. Abby comforts Dr. Otis Dubenko (recurring guest star LELAND ORSER - "The Bone Collector," "Daredevil") after he finds out some troubling news. New Nurse Manager Eve (recurring guest star KRISTEN JOHNSTON) disturbs the work environment when she implements her strict methods. Former series star PAUL McCRANE directed the episode.
05 - Wake Up
Pratt gets a surprise when the new attending doctor, Victor Clemente (recurring guest star JOHN LEGUIZAMO - "Spawn," "Moulin Rouge!"), poses as a patient to test the knowledge of doctors in the emergency room. Meanwhile, Kovac bonds with his former coma patient and contemplates bending the rules for her. A breast cancer patient convinces Abby to get her first mammogram. And Pratt's father, Charlie (recurring guest star DANNY GLOVER), tries to convince his son that he has become a responsible family man.
06 - Dream House
Clemente (recurring guest star JOHN LEGUIZAMO), Abby and Neela secretly care for a very important patient while Dubenko (recurring guest star LELAND ORSER) tortures the emergency room staff via a robotic television camera from his home. Sam is coerced into accepting a management role and is given a dreadful task. Meanwhile, Pratt is visited by his half-brother, Chaz (recurring guest star SAM JONES III), and emotions from the past remind Pratt of how his father, Charlie (recurring guest star DANNY GLOVER), abandoned him.
07 - The Human Shield
Neela prepares for Gallant's (SHARIF ATKINS, not appearing in this episode) homecoming from the war, but her plans change when she receives a call from Iraq. Meanwhile, when Kovac and Clemente (recurring guest star JOHN LEGUIZAMO) disagree on how to save a patient's life, Abby gets caught in the middle. A police officer and a little girl are victims of a shootout, and Neela is conflicted about whether or not she should save the gunman's life. Recurring guest star JOHN STAMOS appears as paramedic Gates.
08 - Two Ships
Neela rides along with ambulance driver Gates (recurring guest star JOHN STAMOS). They respond to a huge emergency after two commuter planes crash in midair and land on a densely populated area of Chicago. Many passengers and pedestrians are injured, and other victims are trapped inside a burning building. Meanwhile, County General treats trauma victims of the plane crash, and Sam struggles with an executive decision that could have serious repercussions to her employment. Neela's bravery wins the respect of her co-workers--especially Gates--but her day is not over when she receives a surprise.
09 - I Do
After returning from Iraq, Gallant (recurring guest star SHARIF ATKINS - "Eve," "The Big Time") surprises Neela by telling her he wants to take their relationship to the next level. Kovac and Clemente (recurring guest star JOHN LEGUIZAMO) vie for the same job--increasing the obvious tension between them. Meanwhile, Sam convinces a patient's mother to get her son the medical attention he desperately needs. Morris shocks everyone when he stands up to Weaver during a medical procedure.
10 - All About Christmas Eve
After a little girl is mistakenly shot, Pratt and Weaver desperately try to revive her. Meanwhile, Haleh (recurring guest star YVETTE FREEMAN) holds her annual choir tryouts, and everyone is surprised by who is chosen to sing the solo. Eve's (recurring guest star KRISTEN JOHNSTON) treatment of a patient causes management to get involved. Abby and Kovac exchange Christmas gifts, but Abby's gift to him is bigger than expected.
11 - If Not Now
Abby struggles with the decision of whether or not she is ready to become a mother. Meanwhile, Neela and Kovac help a religious teenager weigh all of her pregnancy options. Ray gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with his band, and everyone is shocked at the outcome. Clemente's (recurring guest star JOHN LEGUIZAMO) past catches up with him when the police search for him in the emergency room.
12 - Split Decisions
Clemente (recurring guest star JOHN LEGUIZAMO) is missing, and Dr. Dubenko (recurring guest star LELAND ORSER) volunteers to take the dayshift but ends up feeling overwhelmed. Ray is put in a very awkward situation when his young former girlfriend comes into the emergency room with serious abuse-related injuries. With a child in their future, Kovac and Abby venture out for some baby shopping. Meanwhile, Neela receives word that she has been selected for the surgery elective she had been hoping for.
13 - Body & Soul
When an abandoned patient with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease) arrives at the emergency room, many of the doctors are shocked to recognize former medical school professor Dr. Nate Lennox (JAMES WOODS - "Salvador," "Ghost of Mississippi," "Be Cool"). Abby and Kovac try to understand Nate's wishes after the professor is struck with pneumonia in addition to the nerve degenerating disease. As the malady continues to cripple Nate, Abby struggles with the prospect of losing the man who made her a doctor. After a controversial decision to help Nate breathe, Abby and Nate's caretaker, Fran (ALLY WALKER - "Profiler"), wonder if they made the right decision.
14 - Quintessence of Dust
Clemente (recurring guest star JOHN LEGUIZAMO) and his girlfriend, Jodie (CALLIE THORNE), have a great time together until they are suddenly interrupted by Jodie's husband, Bobby (SHEA WHIGHAM). When Jodie threatens divorce, Bobby takes matters into his own hands. Meanwhile, Abby and Kovac anxiously await the test results indicating the health of their unborn baby. And after Pratt is put on the auction block for a bachelor charity event, everyone is surprised when a man wins the bid.
15 - Darfur
Dr. John Carter (former series star NOAH WYLE) is joined by Dr. Dakarai (recurring guest star EAMONN WALKER - "Oz") in the Sudanese desert as they treat hundreds of disease-infested and famine-stricken people. Carter and Dakarai spring into action to save a woman who was raped by a militant group. Meanwhile, back at County General, Clemente (recurring guest star JOHN LEGUIZAMO) returns from New Jersey with wounds. Pratt and Neela quickly save a 14-year-old involved in a hit and run accident, but Pratt becomes infuriated when he discovers who hit the teen. MARY McCORMACK ("The West Wing") recurs as Debbie, one of Carter's fellow aid workers.
16 - Out on a Limb
Weaver contemplates hip replacement surgery after she finds it hard to do her labor-intensive job. Meanwhile, Kovac tries to ease Abby's fears about raising a child together. Neela decides to attend a support group for military spouses, but when she offers her opinions on the war, the meeting turns into a debate. After Sam treats a wealthy fainting victim, Richard Elliot (recurring guest star Emmy Award winner ARMAND ASSANTE - "Gotti," "The Mambo Kings"), she finds herself with an intriguing job offer.
17 - Lost in America
When a 21-year-old woman is brought into the emergency room with stab wounds to the neck, Abby and Kovac desperately try to keep her alive while they wait for a surgeon to operate. As the victim's condition begins to deteriorate, Clemente (recurring guest star JOHN LEGUIZAMO) steps in and attempts a risky procedure in order to save her life. Meanwhile, Neela prepares all night long for a speech at a surgeons convention, but she is disappointed when her discourse goes awry. Ray treats a suicidal man claiming to have swallowed a bottle of pills. And Sam decides to take a part-time job with wealthy Richard Elliot (recurring guest star ARMAND ASSANTE) to help pay for her childcare. SHOHREH AGHDASHLOO ("House of Sand and Fog") guest stars as Riza Kardatay.
18 - Strange Bedfellows
When police bring in two teenagers involved in a car accident, Abby and Morris struggle to figure out what is wrong with the unconscious girl, while police try to interrogate the other teen. Meanwhile, Neela gets a visit from her in-laws, Colonel James Gallant (recurring guest star ERNIE HUDSON - "Ghostbusters") and Mrs. Gloria Gallant (recurring guest star SHERYL LEE RALPH - "Barbershop"), and receives some troubling news. Kovac tells Abby that he plans to go to Africa, but when he realizes she is not pleased by the idea, he decides to send someone else in his place. Sam starts her new job with Elliot (recurring guest star ARMAND ASSANTE)--and begins enjoying the perks.
19 - No Place to Hide
Abby becomes suspicious when a woman, Mrs. Pooler (DIANE LADD), and her 12-year-old granddaughter arrive at the hospital. When Sam's imprisoned ex-husband is brought into the emergency room, the doctors assume he is faking his condition, but further tests prove otherwise. Meanwhile, tensions run high as Morris and the chief surgical resident clash over a patient. Also, Pratt heads to Africa to help Carter (former series star NOAH WYLE) and quickly realizes how difficult life will be.
20 - There Are No Angels Here
Pratt settles into his new job in Darfur but is troubled by the astounding number of people needing care. When a sheik and his pregnant wife come into the camp, Carter (former series star NOAH WYLE) and Dakarai (recurring guest star EAMONN WALKER) operate on the man's gunshot wound--but they are quickly interrupted by government officials trying to arrest the patient. As Carter works on delivering the woman's baby, it becomes apparent that the mother is suffering from delivery complications. Pratt and Dakarai are forced to journey at night to a nearby hospital at the risk of being stopped by armed militants. Meanwhile, Debbie (recurring guest star MARY McCORMACK) tries to convince Dakarai to seek proper treatment for his medical condition.
21 - The Gallant Hero & The Tragic Victor
Having just returned from Darfur, Pratt struggles to get the real story from two abused boys who came into the emergency room with their injured father. Neela becomes nervous when she is urgently called up to Dr. Dubenko's (recurring guest star LELAND ORSER) office, but she is quickly relieved to hear what he has to say. When two U.S. Army officers arrive, the staffers worry that there is bad news. Behaving strangely, Clemente (recurring guest star JOHN LEGUIZAMO) puts his patients in jeopardy, and Kovac forces him to take a break.
22 - Twenty-One Guns
Chaos strikes when two injured convicts come into the emergency room and try to escape the authorities. With the help of an accomplice posing as an emergency medical technician, the fugitives involve one of the nurses in the melee. As the gunmen get more and more desperate to make it out of the hospital, they resort to extreme measures, putting Kovac in harm's way. Gunshots ring out in the lobby, and Abby slips to the ground. Meanwhile, Pratt tries to comfort Neela as she copes with Gallant's grieving parents.