ER (season 9)

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ER (season 9)
ER Season 9.jpg
DVD cover
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes22
Original networkNBC
Original releaseSeptember 26, 2002 –

May 15, 2003
Season chronology
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Season 8
Next →
Season 10
List of ER episodes

The ninth season of the American fictional drama television series ER first aired on September 26, 2002 and concluded on May 15, 2003. The ninth season consists of 22 episodes.


For the first time John Carter becomes the central character and Noah Wyle receives star billing. The death of Mark Greene continues to affect his colleagues while a grieving Corday has left Chicago for England. Elsewhere Romano suffers a horrific injury which has consequences throughout the season, Weaver finds herself promoted, Abby's family troubles resurface, Pratt continues to get on the wrong side of his colleagues, and Kovac and Carter join a relief mission in Africa, setting up a continuing story thread for following seasons.


Main cast[edit]

Supporting cast[edit]

Doctors and Medical students
Staff and Paramedics

Notable guest stars[edit]


Original executive producers John Wells and Michael Crichton reprised their roles. Long-time crew member Jack Orman returned as executive producer and show runner. Previous executive producer Christopher Chulack remained a consulting producer while working on Wells' Third Watch. R. Scott Gemmill and Dee Johnson continued to act as co-executive producers. Medical expert Joe Sachs remained a supervising producer. Richard Thorpe, Joe Sachs, and Wendy Spence Rosato returned as producers. They were joined by new producer Bruce Miller. Eighth season executive story editor David Zabel and unit production manager Tommy Burns joined the production team as co-producers for the ninth season. New crew member Julie Hébert began the season as a co-producer. Zabel and Hebert were promoted to producers mid-season. Hebert left the crew with the close of the season. Teresa Salamunovich returned to the crew as an associate producer for the ninth season. She was joined by new associate producers Erin Mitchell (for the entire season) and Shelagh O'Brien (after the mid-season break).

Wells wrote a further episode for the season. Gemmill was the season's most prolific writer with five episodes. Johnson and Orman each wrote four episodes. Zabel and Hebert each wrote three episodes. Sachs and Miller each wrote two episodes. Yahlin Chang joined the writing staff as a story editor in 2002 and contributed to four episodes as a writer and twelve episodes as an executive story editor and one episode as a co-producer between 2002 and 2005. Wells was promoted to executive story editor mid-season but left the staff with the close of the season. New writer Arthur Albert wrote a single episode.

Producers Kaplan and Thorpe served as the season's regular directors. Kaplan helmed five episodes while Thorpe directed four. Chulack directed a further episode. Show runner Orman helmed a further two episodes. New producer Hebert directed a single episode. Returning director Charles Haid directed two episodes. Cast members Laura Innes and Paul McCrane each directed an episode, McCrane making his series debut. Returning directors were Félix Enríquez Alcalá, David Nutter, Nelson McCormick, TR Babu Subramaniam, and Alan J. Levi. Peggy Rajski was the season's only new director.


No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
US viewers
1801"Chaos Theory"Jonathan KaplanJack Orman & R. Scott GemmillSeptember 26, 2002 (2002-09-26)17515126.72[7]
As the smallpox crisis continues, the disease is identified as a variant of monkeypox originating in the Congo. While treatment with the smallpox vaccine begins, the CDC orders the entire evacuation of the hospital and Carter, Abby, Chen, and Pratt are placed under quarantine. As the evacuation goes awry Romano and Kovac argue over the use of the last helicopter (Romano wants to airlift out a very old man suffering from liver failure), Romano's arm is severed when he backs into the chopper's tail rotor. As Kovac battles to keep him alive in a deserted ER, Lewis is left stuck on the roof with Romano's dying patient. Meanwhile, a grieving Corday has returned to London where her Americanized ways raise eyebrows among her British colleagues and drive home how she will no longer accept or adapt to their archaic, sexist practices. Abby and Carter's relationship becomes intimate and continues when the quarantine ends. The young boy who initially presented with the virus survives while his little sister ends up being the only casualty of the outbreak.
1812"Dead Again"Richard ThorpeDee JohnsonOctober 3, 2002 (2002-10-03)17515225.13[8]
Local ER closings wreak havoc at County, as Carter tries to keep the peace. Weaver steps on a still-grieving Corday's toes, and a med student awaits her overdue orientation. Meanwhile, Pratt's inability to follow orders results in tragedy for a family when he resuscitates a brain dead father. Gallant drives everyone crazy during his psych rotation.
1823"Insurrection"Charles HaidYahlin Chang & Jack OrmanOctober 10, 2002 (2002-10-10)17515324.74[9]
Carter takes drastic steps to improve security conditions at County after a frustrated patient takes matters into his own hands - violently, leading to a split amongst the ER staff with Kovac supporting him and Susan sticking to doing her job. Meanwhile, Gallant tends to a hypochondriac who refuses to leave any symptom unchecked; Pratt is keeping a secret about his home situation but takes time to console a badly shaken Chen; and Kovač has an unhappy ex-lover to contend with. Kerry agrees to permit installing new security measures but announces major service cuts and layoffs in order to pay for it giving Carter the choice of who gets fired, as Carter shrugs off her attempts to punish him for doing the right thing.
1834"Walk Like A Man"Félix Enríquez AlcaláDavid ZabelOctober 17, 2002 (2002-10-17)17515425.65[10]
Tensions between meek med student Gallant and arrogant intern Pratt reach a fever pitch as they battle over two troubled patients, the hypochondriac from the week before and a troubled Army veteran. Abby tries to set the record straight with Carter about her drinking and Weaver makes a disastrous television appearance before revealing the reason behind her muddled behavior. Kerry makes Abby nurse manager, despite Abby being unwilling to take the job. Kovac sleeps with a patient's mom and earns Susan's visible disgust, not that he cares.
1845"A Hopeless Wound"Laura InnesJulie Hébert & Joe SachsOctober 31, 2002 (2002-10-31)17515523.53[11]
A suspicious fire on Halloween floods the ER with many bizarrely costumed victims. Marquez threatens to file a grievance against an increasingly gross Kovač as he offends Abby and treats a single mom whose newborn baby is very ill, Romano's rehab lags behind his expectations as he begins to doubt that his role in surgery is still an option, and the staff greets an older but wiser surgical intern, Paul Nathan, who tries to overcome a daunting physical handicap and Corday's disapproval but impresses the staff by diagnosing a case of flesh-eating bacteria.
1856"One Can Only Hope"Jonathan KaplanBruce MillerNovember 7, 2002 (2002-11-07)17515624.39[12]
Corday clashes with the new surgical resident, Paul Nathan, over his intervention in the treatment of a sickly young woman who signs a "Do Not Resuscitate" agreement. Abby's brother Eric returns with some all-too-familiar manic tendencies, Chen gives in to Pratt's sort-of-tender loving care after a violent patient gets under her skin, and tensions between the nurses and doctors hit a fever pitch as a petition against Kovač leaves the ER short-staffed.
1867"Tell Me Where It Hurts"Richard ThorpeR. Scott GemmillNovember 14, 2002 (2002-11-14)17515724.28[13]
Kovač hits a new low in his search for a sexual high, Corday and Nathan reach an impasse regarding his future in medicine, Chen helps Carter treat a Chinese immigrant being exploited by her employer, and Abby fears the worst when her brother Eric disappears.
1878"First Snowfall"Jack OrmanJack OrmanNovember 21, 2002 (2002-11-21)17515825.85[14]
Abby's family nightmare continues when she and her mother, Maggie, go in search of her AWOL brother, Eric and find him locked up on a military base in Nebraska. Meanwhile, back in Chicago, a blizzard entangles the city and Nathan and Corday desperately attempt to save a family torn apart by a drunk driver.
1889"Next of Kin"Paul McCraneDee JohnsonDecember 5, 2002 (2002-12-05)17515923.92[15]
Abby races to stop Maggie from taking manic-depressive Eric out of treatment, and Kovač hits a new low when he accepts a $10,000 tip from an elderly woman for his medical services. Meanwhile, an abandoned baby dredges up painful memories for Chen, Pratt goes to bat for Leon after he is fired for allegedly stealing from his job, a father's death leads to a revelation about his son, and Lewis helps a woman who's being beaten up by her son.
18910"Hindsight"David NutterDavid ZabelDecember 12, 2002 (2002-12-12)17516022.75[16]
After a late-night car accident involving the increasingly self-destructive Kovač and med student Harkins, the hour unfolds backwards to recount the troubling events leading up to the crash. A boozy holiday party, rumors of an illicit tryst and a run-in with his ex, Abby, all plague Kovač, but it is his tragic misdiagnosis of a patient that ultimately sends him racing off on a reckless ride. Meanwhile, the ER is awash in Christmas casualties, including a case that resonates with Kovac as it involves a Croatian war criminal and the survivor from the family he killed.
19011"A Little Help From My Friends"Alan J. LeviJulie HébertJanuary 9, 2003 (2003-01-09)17516121.52[17]
Kovač pays the price for his misdiagnosis that left a patient with brain damage. Pratt is caught bringing a gun into the emergency room and Carter realizes he is protecting Leon, Weaver hopes to keep her pregnancy a secret but physical complications might compromise her plans, Lewis keeps a wary eye on a self-destructive patient who admits to wanting to molest young boys, and a family clash involving an elderly patriarch and his pregnancy-questing trophy wife keep everyone else busy.
19112"A Saint in the City"Peggy RajskiBruce MillerJanuary 16, 2003 (2003-01-16)17516221.80[18]
Ethical crises abound after Weaver agrees to hide a politician's sexually transmitted disease. Kovač plays God to get a critical patient into surgery and Pratt ignores a dying mother's wishes in hopes of keeping her kids out of foster care, while also dealing with more problems with Leon. Meanwhile, Carter's family fortunes fail to pay off for an ailing doctor running a local clinic.
19213"No Good Deed Goes Unpunished"Nelson McCormickR. Scott GemmillJanuary 30, 2003 (2003-01-30)17516321.90[19]
Carter's plan to help an ailing doctor leads to a dead-end — and a decision about his own career path. Pratt intervenes after a burglary lands Leon's pal in the ER, along with the cop his so-called friends shot. Weaver's ethics are tested even further while setting up a photo-op for a politician hiding a severe condition, and she sees Kovač go AWOL from his job after she is unsympathetic to his depressive spiral. Corday is caught off guard by hot-shot new surgeon, Dr. Dorset, and Romano risks his standing at County by overseeing an operation he is incapable of completing. Abby's brother Eric, now on his bipolar meds, visits and reconciles with her.
19314"No Strings Attached"Jonathan KaplanDee JohnsonFebruary 6, 2003 (2003-02-06)17516420.91[20]
A downed plane over the Great Lakes sends Abby's world into a tailspin. Romano's surgical career is altered forever, Weaver gets a promotion from a grateful alderman, and a terminal patient helps Lewis weigh the pros and cons of a blind date while she handles a case where an unpopular student either mistakenly or deliberately ran down her classmates. Meanwhile, Pratt has an unexpected reaction to Chen's revelation about her baby, while Chen disgusts Abby with her hardline response to a case where a single mother is supporting her kids through prostitution.
19415"A Boy Falling Out of the Sky"Charles HaidR. Scott Gemmill & Yahlin ChangFebruary 13, 2003 (2003-02-13)17516520.59[21]
Carter comes to the rescue when the stalled search for Abby's brother, Eric — and the arrival of her mother, Maggie — pushes the nurse to her limit. Meanwhile, Kovač comes back to work just before Weaver's final deadline and saves an overdose case from frying his own brain. Pratt digs himself into a deeper hole with Chen during his stint with the EMTs and Lewis is also flattered by her teenaged admirer but gets an earful from his protective mother.
19516"A Thousand Cranes"Jonathan KaplanDavid ZabelFebruary 20, 2003 (2003-02-20)17516622.37[22]
Three persons are murdered during a holdup at Doc Magoo's, and Chen's partial description of one of the perps leads to an unpleasant morning for Pratt and Gallant. Kovač works hard to avoid attending mandatory Psych counseling. Lewis befriends a teenage cancer patient, despite his mother's disapproval, and Carter decides to propose to Abby, who is having difficulty finding someone to give her mother a ride to the bus station for her trip back to Wisconsin.
19617"The Advocate"Julie HébertJoe SachsMarch 13, 2003 (2003-03-13)17516720.92[23]
A favor for a popular but closeted politician has dire results for Weaver — and a patient (Josh Radnor). Carter and Abby come to terms with their ailing romance. Kovač finds an unusual outlet for his inner demons and Romano's days as Chief of Staff end abruptly when Anspaugh assigns Weaver to replace him.
19718"Finders Keepers"T.R. Babu SubramaniamDee JohnsonApril 3, 2003 (2003-04-03)17516818.93[24]
Heads roll and hearts break after Romano is demoted to the ER, where a mom-to-be hears grim news about her own health. Pratt's faux pas spoils Chen's birthday and Kovač implores Weaver and Corday to help him arrange a pro-bono operation for a dying Croatian child. Meanwhile, a patient's broken wrist leads to tragic complications — and a change of perspective for a County newlywed.
19819"Things Change"Richard ThorpeR. Scott GemmillApril 24, 2003 (2003-04-24)17516920.88[25]
Lewis works with a mentally ill man who took too much of his anti-psychotic medication, Kovač welcomes an old friend - a fellow Croatian doctor - to observe the chaos of an American inner-city hospital, Romano discusses grave options about his arm with Corday, and Carter receives some emotional news from home.
19920"Foreign Affairs"Jonathan KaplanDavid ZabelMay 1, 2003 (2003-05-01)17517019.55[26]
Kovač breaks every rule in the book to get a dying Croatian boy to Chicago in a race to save his life. Weaver manages to reach a compromise with the board to allow the operation and Kovač pulls together a team including Chuck, Elizabeth and Dorset that successfully performs the operation. Lewis waffles on whether she wants to end things with her "husband" Chuck, ultimately annulling their marriage but choosing to continue the relationship. Carter's sad family gathering is interrupted by Abby's mentally troubled brother Eric causing further damage to Carter and Abby's relationship. A minor league baseball player with a serious heart ailment is treated on the eve of his pitching debut with the Chicago Cubs, and Romano decides to have his mangled arm amputated after setting it on fire, causing severe burns. Also, Kovač departs for the Congo after saying goodbye to Abby. A family of three are rushed in after a drive-by shooting that leaves the young daughter crippled. The oldest brother Curtis, a former gang member, rejoins his gang for a gang retaliation despite Carter's attempts to dissuade him, leading to multiple gun shot victims arriving at the ER.
20021"When Night Meets Day"Jack OrmanJack OrmanMay 8, 2003 (2003-05-08)17517121.90[27]
As a solar eclipse approaches, the early shift sees a weary Carter fielding a slew of casualties from a cult's suicide pact, forcing Carter to make a decision that saves a child's life but possibly costs the child's mother hers. The hospital is slammed with victims of the gang war resulting from the drive-by shooting the week before. Amongst the victims is Turner, the young boy who survived the initial shooting and has joined the gang to get revenge for the death of his brother Curtis. Carter treats Turner who attacks a rival gang member with a scalpel before fleeing the hospital; Turner returns later that night and dies of his injuries under Pratt's care. Carter treats a drowning victim with an apparently grim prognosis but who improves that night while being treated by Pratt. During the eclipse Carter and Weaver treat a construction worker impaled on rebar while Carter also attends to a Buddhist nun dying of cancer and a man who dies of a heart attack after asking Carter to get him a pen and paper which he fails to do. At night, Pratt successfully treats a man having heart issues and a woman who had her baby cut out of her. The mother survives and the baby is found alive by Pratt, Abby and Lewis. Pratt ultimately decides to remain at County instead of going to a different hospital as he'd originally planned. Meanwhile, Corday offers support as Romano undergoes surgery to amputate his arm, and Kovač calls from Africa for backup and Carter decides to go to help him.
20122"Kisangani"Christopher ChulackJohn WellsMay 15, 2003 (2003-05-15)17517221.61[28]

After weeks of professional and personal setbacks, Carter leaves the ER — and Abby — behind to join the equally troubled Kovač on a relief mission in the war-torn Congo. But upon arrival, the hellish conditions, lack of supplies, and rampant disease soon have him clamoring for the comforts (and even the chaos) of Chicago. In time, these unlikely allies realize they are exactly where they are needed most, especially after a skirmish between local rebels and the government Army triggers the docs' bloody battle to save a child caught in the crossfire. Ultimately, Kovač's clinic comes under threat from the Mai Mai before most of his patients can be transported, but a young Mai Mai soldier recognizes Carter as the doctor that tried desperately to save his brother's life; out of respect to Carter, the militiamen allow the patients to leave unharmed. Carter returns to America while Kovač chooses to remain at his clinic with his most critical patients.

Features music by Youssou N'Dour, Willie Nelson, the Tin Hat Trio and Jamshied Sharifi.

Note: Nielsen Ratings: 21.6 million viewers


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External links[edit]