How long to do think it will take Carter to fully recover? : LUSENET : ER Discussions : One Thread

We know Noah has at least two more years on ER. Carter is one of the most popular characters on ER so we know his character is going to stick around as long as Noah wants to remain on ER. Noah seems happy on ER so I think he will re-sign again. I doubt the TPTB will want a messed up carter for very long. I think the worst happened in the finale and Carter will get back to normal pretty soon. Next season Carter is in his last year of residency at county. Carter won't have a future at county or will be given either a fellowship/attending slot if the staff does not have complete confidence in his abilities and totally trust him.

My question is that how long to do you think it will take Carter to recover from his ordeal. I know that the staff cares about Carter. I know that they will watch carter very carefully at first. I think that they still believe Carter is good guy and a great Dr., but just got mixed up by the knifing and subsequent problems. How long do you think it will take the staff to regain their complete confidence in Carter's ability and believe that Carter is really okay and able to function on his own again without much supervision. After they realise that , they will treat him like a senior resident again with no extra supervision. I don't see this taking longer than the first half of season seven. I expect Carter to have full responsibilities back by then and fully recovered. I think people will get tired of it if they drag it out too long. I don't see how Carter will get asked to stay at county once he completes his residency if he his not back to full duties and responsibilities for a good amount of time beforehand. I think we need to see a period of time after he fully recovers where he experience more growth and maturation professionally and personally as a result of him making improvement in weakness he had before the attack. I think Carter will wind up a better person. I believe Carter is going to do a lot of soul searching and will make positive changes in his life and personality.

I would like to see Carter really shine the last half of the season where people hold more respect and confidence in his abilities than they did before the attack. I don't see how carter will get a fellowship or attending slot if anyone has any reeservations about his recovery and abilities to handle things. I think there will probably be some positive event that causes people to longer worry about him and Carter to regain that trust in himself. I think it will be very awkward and tough the first several months, but I think something positive will happen during November sweeps.Afterwards , I think the soul searching and re evaluation Carter does will really take off and we will start seeing him become a better leader/teacher making great stides in becoming a better person.

When I say Carter will be back to normal and fully recovered , I don't mean he will be the exact same person he was before. I don't anyone is ever trully the same after such an event. I think niave Carter is gone. However, I think the sweet, caring , compassionate, and competent carter will come back. I think we will see a more serious and realistic Carter instead of the niave one. That does not mean that humorous and fun loving Carter will be gone. It will just different as well. I think this is the Carter we will have by the time he is fully recovered. However, I don't think the changes will stop there. I think that is when Carter will reakky start working on weaknesses. I think he has to find himself and who he is.I think it will be around Nov. when he knows who he is again. When he has a good idea of who he is then he will beginto grow and mature at a faster rate than before. I know I want to see Carter have a positive year after a initial awkward/bumpy start the first few episodes.

-- Brenda (, May 22, 2000


Do you think that they will introduce a love interest for Carter? I know that it would not magically "fix" him , but after 6 years he hasn't really had a relationship which is a little ususual for a guy in his mid twenties (how old is he supposed to be anyway??) He seems to get some every season, but it quickly fizzles out. I think it would be nice to see Carter (in the second half of the next season) maybe heading toward a relationship....but please NOT with Abby!!

-- maria (, May 22, 2000.

Wow! This was such a well thought out post, and I whole-heartedly agree that Carter will never be what he was before. I don't think he'll become like Mark; I think he'll retain his compassionate side, that he'll still be a good doctor and a good diagnostician, but something in him will have changed. Definately the loss of innocence. I think he'll surely be very humbled. I think his first day back from rehab would kind of be like torture... I mean, here are his co- workers who probably know a very painful and shameful side of him that has been exposed. I'm sure he'll be nervous and shy, a little shaky, and a little unsure of himself now, but in time that too he will overcome. I think the first quarter of the season should be devoted to his comeback, the later part should work on his finishing his residency with a bang. (One ot thing that I did have to say was, after re-watching the confrontation scenes, that some part of me admired him for being so strong as to be able to keep all his pain and hurt concealed. Even though we saw his wall break towards the last few weeks, you have to be a very strong person to keep that inside.) So anyways, when he does come back, I think that his coworkers should admire and respect the fact that he was able to overcome his addiction; that in itself should show his co-workers and supervisors that he's in control of himself and able to resume responsibilities. OVercoming an addiction (I had a chocolate addiction once, and in order to shape up for swim team I had to cut down... now if that was painful, imagine what overcoming a drug addiction would be no easy thing, and I have a feeling that Carter would be feeling very good about himself when he does overcome it. That in itself, too, should give him back some of his confidence.

-- samira (, May 22, 2000.

Just a quick Question: what is wrong w/ Abby?

-- Kim (, May 22, 2000.

We don't like her. :)

-- Cecelia (, May 22, 2000.

OBVIOUSLY he won't get together with Abby.....she's not blonde!

-- Maria (, May 22, 2000.

I'm going to respond to Kim's question first...I'm assuming, Kim, that you're defending her right? And I have to say, this may sound odd, but after last week, she redeemed herself to me. For a long while, she seemed too confident, too assured that she didn't need help. But on May Day, she was shy and careful; although she didn't need to, she respectfully apologized to Carter, even though it should be the other way around sometime next season. I don't know if I would like them to get together, but after the fact that she's the one that reported him, a slow relationship could be interesting. But anyways, I really hope that they give him a love interest that he can really confide in and help him through this...someone who can be there when he's up at 2am, as I've said before.

I am wondering how long he will be in rehab. I know it was a good touch to have him get on a plane for rehab (dramatic effect), but I wish he weren't so alone...he doesn't know anyone in Atlanta who can visit him, and Benton will eventually have to leave of course. I can't wait to see his return, his reluctance, his awkwardness (because NW is so good at it) and I want everyone to pull together to support him, as Mark promised. I hope he opens up to some of his coworkers, those would be some good moments. I agree this shouldn't go on forever, but it is a great storyline and the writers woudl be smart to keep going with giving Carter some big stories.

-- Elaine (, May 22, 2000.

I have to agree with you, Elaine, about Abby. Somehow we saw a different side of her, a side I liked. And I think it would be kind of nice to see her helping Carter out in someway, helping him get back on his feet. I know we didn't like her at first, right after Lucy died, because I know I didn't, but I don't seem to not dislike her as much as I used to. And about the statement that "Abby is not blonde, therefore Carter will not go for her", well, maybe he should go for a brunette, he had nothing but bad luck with the blondes. :o) Sorry for getting off the track, of the real reason this thread was created.

-- Paula (, May 23, 2000.

I wonder if they will do something for the season premiere kind of like what they did with Susan Lewis in "Take These Broken Wings" where they showed a regular episode story but intercut it with scenes of her talking to a therapist (we did not see the therapist, just her talking). Maybe they will have scenes of Carter telling about his first day back at work to a therapist he is seeing for follow-up visits in Chicago now that he's returned from rehab in Atlanta. I think that would work.

-- debbie (, May 23, 2000.

I hope they don't do that, debbie. I really didn't find all that very interesting watching, BUT then again, it is Noah Wyle. I guess I can watch him with whatever he does!!

-- Paula (, May 23, 2000.

"Take These Broken Wings" *wasn't* interesting watching, mainly because Susan's "therapy" monologue was written so stiltedly, and Sherry Stringfield wasn't exactly the greatest actress in the world iMHO. Not to mention I always find it boring to listen to women waxing lyrical about babies.

-- debbie (, May 23, 2000.

I can see a "Take these broken wings" episode for Carter because I think Noah Wyle can handle it. I didn't think Sherry Stringfield was a strong enough actress for that kind of scene. For one, it looked rehearsed because she didn't stutter or anything.. it looked very unnatural. And her pasted smile... And the camera was right on her, it was as if she was giving a public message to the viewers when it was actually supposed to be a private session with her therapist. Well, that was then... Anyway, if they are going to try this technique, I would suggest that they do some side profiling; not have the camera right on Carter's face. And insert the uhs, and likes, etc. that people use when they're talking on the street. JMO.

-- Samira (, May 23, 2000.

Well I think I maybe was too hard on Sherry Stringfield. The episode was poorly directed. She was just following the script - people don't TALK like that to their therapists, giving these beautiful speeches. However... I think we already did see something like this with Mark in "Ambush" where he was talking to the cameramen about his own attack. Perhaps it would just be the writers repeating themselves if they did it with Carter.

-- debbie (, May 23, 2000.

In general time from the moment he comes back to work. How long9 months or episodes) will it take Carter to get fully recoverd? When do you think the staff will believe that Carter is trully recovered from everything and no longer need special supervision or restrictions?

-- Brenda (, May 23, 2000.

I, for one, hope they don't go with him being "fully recovered." In the recovery community (12-steps), a person is "recovering" not "recovered." It is considered to be an ongoing, life-long PROCESS.

-- Diana (, May 24, 2000.

Well, they are evidently not going to show Carter at twelve steps meetings for the next 2-4 years. The fans would get tired of it. I think they are going to tie up this storyline quickly and emphasis other things in regards to Carter.Whether you want to call it "fully recovered " or not, there is going to be some point where Carter is going to have recovered enough where he is over his PTSD/survivors guilt/drug dependency and is now able to function normally and live his life and do his job fully without supervision or restrictions placed upon him. Carter won't complete his residency if he does not recover enough to where carter is fully and competently functional. The staff has to no longer worry about Carter and regain their confidence in his abilities. Carter has to get back to normal and regain his confidence and trust in himself. Once he is healed from his PTSD/survivor's guilt/drug abuse, I consider him fully revcovered from the event from the standpoint that he has now sucessfully dealt with the trauma and is doing fine and able to deal with things going on in his life.

-- Brenda (, May 24, 2000.

I think that the "Take these Broken Wings" idea was okay, and Sherry Stringfield did a good job, but it wasn't totally interesting. It was a good change from the regular ER though. However, like some have said, I think that NW could pull it off well. If anyone watched Family Ties, they had Michael J. Fox do an therapist session and it was done very well...although if anyone has seen this, ER probably wouldn't do it this way, it was done almost dreamlike. Anyways, I wouldn't mind seeing this done with Carter. I was actually thinking how I would ahve liked to see everyone involved kind of "interviewed" as to how Carter was acting and what they wished they hadn't missed...does anyone know what I'm talking about? Like a one person thing, where characters (Deb, Mark, Kerry, Doc Dave, Peter, etc.) are talking to someone, but they don't show the other person? Anyways, I thought this would be a nice way to show how they feel, but I know, they'd never do it, it's not the style of ER. I was just kind of thinking of this in case they outlandishly decided to end it with a suicide scare (where they don't know where he is), which they fortunately didn't do. Just a weird idea.

I kind of hope that they keep this storyline going in the background, not as dominant, but somethign they go back to throughout the obviously got people watching!

-- Elaine (, May 24, 2000.

Why can't they let it be an ongoing, though not overwhelming, thing? I've written here before how I didn't like what they did with Doug, making his drinking such an important thing early on, and then just dropping it. To me it was one of the most unrealistic things I've seen on ER ever. TPTB could keep it part of his character and bring it up in passing or more as needed. After all, Kerry has her disability and that doesn't distract from her character.

-- Diana (, May 24, 2000.

I guess some of you may be missing my main point. Carter is in his last year of residency. That means for him to be on the show during season eight and beyond , he has to get either a fellowship or attending slot. He can't do that if he has not overcome his PTSD/Survivor's guilt/drug use problems. Carter has to have learn to deal with any physical pain that still exists. Carter has to regain the trust and confidence of the staff in his abilities. He has to believe in himself again. Carter has to have sucessfully dealt with the knifing and the effects it had on him. Carter has to be fully functional and back to full responsibilties. Carter won't get hired after his residency is finished if they have any doubts about his abilities to perform his duties and cope with the pressures.Carter must get to a stage where he has full responsibilities and no longer being watched carefully. He needs to get to that stage where he is treated like any other senior resident. He can't be on any probation or not allowed to do certain things. Sometime next season Carter has to be back to full and normal duties with no restrictions and the staff confidence in him. To achieve that Carter has to have sucessfully overcome everything now. I don;t think it would be realistic for it too take Carter most of the season to reach this stage. If it did, it would be unrealistic for him to be hired as an attending or fellow. He needs to get to that stage relatibvly quickly so he has plenty of time to become an even better Dr. . He has to proff that not only he is as good as he was before , but is even better. He has to show continued growth as a Dr. He has to become even more competent as before. It can't happen if he is not working with full responsibiltiesand no restrictions.

That does not mean that after Carter overcomes his problems that we don't see him making improventys in his life by improving on his weaknesses. We could see that has an extension of the soul searching he did as a result of his problems and him deciding and making improvements in his life. We could see him later on down the road help people who are victums of crimes. We could see him help people with chronic pain/PTSD. However, I think that ER can't spend the whole saeason concentrating on the recovery process. They could starty out the season seeing carter in outpatient therapy, group meetings etc. We could see Carter awkward at first and the staff hesitant etc, around him. however, we have to Carter make great strides that by the end of Nov sweeps that Carter has recovered from his ordeal that he does have full responsibities with no restrictions placed on him and the staff no longer keeping a special eye on him. Carter has to have sucessfully dealt with the PTSD/survivor's guilt/chronic pain/drug use. He has to have regained complete confidence/trust in himself . The staff has to tatally believe that Carter is okay. The second half of the season no longer emphasizes his recovery, but emphasizes Carter's growth and maturity as a dr. and a person. I think we have to see Carter improve on his weaknesse that he had before his attack and become even better. I think he will become a better dr./teacher as a result. I think Carter has to be performing well with the staff noticing it in order for him to have a job after he completes his residency. The staff has to notice the gradual maturity and growth carter is expereincing. It can't happen just a few days before he completes his residency. They have to start noticing it long before that. I would love to see Carter get involved in community projects such as bis brothers/school mentoring program. What about using the carter foundation money to help the needy. What about taking over running Carol's free clinic while still being an resident.the possibilty are endless. All of this can be a direct result of Carter's soul searching and him wanting to improve himself and help others.r him to get that attending or fellowship slot the next season. If the drag out the recovery process too long it will not be very believable and fans will get tired. That's why I don't think that they should spend more than the first 4-6 episodes showing the recovering process and having Carter overcome his problems.

-- Brenda (, May 24, 2000.

Elaine, I love that episode of Family Ties, and I think your idea would be wonderful on ER. Yeah, it is not in its usual style, but it would be a change and they have four years left. A little (not too much) change could be good. Noah would do such a good job. Hearing the other doctors talking about what happened would be very insightful. I think it would make a really incredible episode.

-- Colleen (, May 24, 2000.

Thanks Colleen! It's probably too much for ER, but wouldn't it be great to have everyone kind of expressing their feelings about that day (of the stabbing)...about Carter, (and a chance to talk about Lucy), about their regrets, worries about Carter now, how they never thought this could happen to him (or Lucy), and what it will be like to have him back (after rehab). Then Carter could say what he's really feeling about everything.

-- Elaine (, May 25, 2000.

I don't have a problem with them showing a therapy session or a group discussion as mentioned above as long as it occurs very early in the season. I think since the knifing ocurred in February the soon the better. Also, this type of episode could be a springboard to show where Carter's been , where he is at now and that he is trully opening up and at starting to be at peace with himself and well on the road to recovery. I see this as an early season episode (first couple)that not only gives the staff, Carter some closure to the event and that Carter is now dealing with everything, but to let the fans know that Carter is going to completly overcome everything very soon. After that we could see the next several episodes showing Carter getting , better and better and reaches that stage where he has accepted everything and moved on. The staff realizes it and they move on because they know Carter is trully going to be alright. After they realise that any restrictions or special supervision he may have had put on him will get lifted. I don't want this phase to last longer than Nov sweeps. after that I want to see Carter make improvements in his weaknesses that he realised while he was doing a lot of soul searching during the recovery process. They will have to be careful not to make the group therapy thing soap operish. I never really cared for the Susan one, but that does not mean they could not do a better job with a Carter one if they decide to go that route.

-- Brenda (, May 25, 2000.

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