Spoiler from TV Guide Returning Favorites

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This was copied from the TVGuide.com site in its returning favorites section.

Starts: October 12

"Where we left off: Carol Hathaway (Julianna Margulies) left the E.R. to join Doug Ross (George Clooney) in Seattle, while a troubled Carter (Noah Wyle) was en route to a drug rehab facility in Atlanta.

The big news: Last season, says executive producer Jack Orman, "We had so many exits and entrances that most episodes were devoted to explaining all that." Orman predicts a more stable year focusing on "high-pathos hospital stories." First on the list: Carters return to the E.R., where he faces supportiveand some not-so-supportive colleagues after his treatment for drug addiction. "He really needs to regain everyones trust," says Orman.

Whos in: Resident Abby (Maura Tierney) will take on a much larger role following the departure of Marguliess character.

Guest stars: Sally Field will appear in six episodes as Abbys estranged mom. And Lola Glaudini (Blow, Groove) will appear in at least four episodes as psychiatrist Kim Legaspi.

Love-o-meter: Doctors Mark Greene (Anthony Edwards) and Elizabeth Corday (Alex Kingston) stay hot and heavy, while Luka Kovac (Goran Visnjic) keeps looking for true love.

Oh, grow up: Dr. Peter Benton (Eriq La Salle) gains some much-needed maturity. "Now hes going to champion causes other than himself," says Orman.

Matt says: Still TVs No. 1 dramatic series, ER seems to be operating this year under the theory "If it aint broke, dont fix it."

-- N Wilson (nwilson@wko.com), September 05, 2000


I didn't want to post my opinions with what I copied from the TV Guide site, in case the two were confused. Who needs two guesses on who the not-so-supportive colleagues of Carter's will be?

-- N Wilson (nwilson@wko.com), September 05, 2000.

My guess is the unsupportive will be Romano and maybe even Cleo since she seems to be a tad self rightous, which could be interesting since she is Peter's robot, er, I mean girlfriend.


-- Kristen (kdarganin@hotmail.com), September 05, 2000.

I guess it'll be Ramano because that's the kind of person he is, and Cleo because she's so stuck-up. I think everyone else will support him.

-- Cammie (rmaelhorn@home.com), September 05, 2000.

I would really like to see what would happen with Peter and Cleo's relationship if Cleo is not supportive of Carter. Since Peter is going to (hopefully) be very supportive, it might be interesting if she was quite cold to him (in him, I mean Carter). Maybe they would break up and Cleo could finally get a personality of her own! One can only hope...


-- KittyCatKisses (lightmycandle30@hotmail.com), September 05, 2000.

I think Malucci will be less than supportive. Since there's some competition between the two of them, and he's got problems getting respect from the others, I think this will make him feel a little superior.

(back to quietly lurking)

-- Bonny (bonnyv@netzero.net), September 05, 2000.

I'm betting on Romano (partly because he was left out of the loop when the intervention took place) and Malucci (because Carter has always been a little "superior" in his attitude toward Dave, and Dave can boost his own tarnished self esteem by bashing Carter).

-- Beth (bsmith@internet-95.com), September 05, 2000.

That's true, Beth--after the dressing-down that he got from Elizabeth, Dave might have an attitude of "This guy uses drugs and gets everyone's support? He gets to keep his job, but I'm in the doghouse?" He's demonstrated that sort of attitude before, such as when Carol was taking lots of breaks, and he was saying, "Hey, it was HER choice to have kids." Dave is still very young, and hasn't developed a lot of compassion for his patients yet (though we started to see some in his reaching out to the little girl who'd been molested). Maybe having this sort of thing happen to a co-worker will help Dave see what it's like, what kind of pain people go through, though I'd expect him to be a bit of a jerk about it to begin with.

-- Cecelia (evilstoat@hotmail.com), September 06, 2000.

I'm not a big Cleo fan, but I was just thinking of the time that she and Peter were to go out to the jazz club (as Carter had predicted) and she insisted that they go for coffee instead as it was obvious to her that Peter needed to talk about Carter (as he kept mentioning him in their conversation and such). I thought that was cool - very supportive and understanding of her. I think that she might be supportive of Carter for Peter's sake (does she know Carter well enough to be supportive for his own sake?). I'm trying to think of others who might not be supportive, but I guess I'm blinded with my love for Carter in that I'm outraged that anyone would not be supportive of his return...Kerry is always good in situations like this, as is Mark...and though I see that Dave could be insensitive, I thought he'd try to help Carter in his awkward but well-meant way...perhaps Carter will be harder on himself than anyone else, in terms of working hard to earn trust that he has lost...

-- vicki (vickim_47@hotmail.com), September 06, 2000.

We also need to remember that the TV Guide isn't always right about things. I remember it said for the season finale that Carter's shocking ultimatum will change the ER forever. Carter didn't give an the ultimatum. Mark did. In one of the episodes of "The Practice" it said after tonight I do may become I don't. Bobby and Lindsey weren't even in the episode at all. So maybe it's wrong about some of Carter's colleagues not being supportive.

-- Cammie (rmaelhorn@home.com), September 06, 2000.

I think that the person who is not going to be supportive is Romano. He probably is going to be annoyed by the fact that he was not invited to the intervention. I don't think his ego will be able to stand the fact that Dr. Anspaugh was brought in but he wasn't. Besides, it really isn't in his nature to be supportive. By the way, Abby is not a resident, so that part of the article is definitely wrong. I wonder what Peter's causes will be? Will he become the hospital's official "Just say no to drugs" leader? Will he become an advocate for deaf people in the community? It should be interesting.

-- Katrina (cattrek2000@hotmail.com), September 06, 2000.

TV Guide didn't say "Carter gives a shocking ultimatum"... NBC did. NBC bought the ad space for the advertisement that said that. TV Guide did not have control over the content of that ad. Blame NBC, not TV Guide. NBC, if you recall, is the network that puts together the stupid previews that always mislead us each week.

-- Tracy (bankybooda@aol.com), September 06, 2000.

Still, I can understand the position of the people who aren't "totally supportive," whoever they are. Carter was putting people other than himself in jeopardy with his actions. There are the patients to consider, and their welfare should always come first. I would be a liar if I said it didn't change the way I think about the character now that I know he was shooting up and then going out to treat people, perform procedures, give orders about medicines, etc. The thought of that gives me the willies, and I'm just watching on TV, not working with him in an ER. And it's something the writers put in the story and can't take back now. I'm glad they aren't sweeping it under the rug and making it some fake, totally joyous homecoming for the prince of the ER.

To answer somebody's question, on BET I think it was, they had a little blurb on Eriq LaSalle, that said that Benton would have a larger role on the show, and he will get really concerned and involved in African-American health care issues, battling with insurance companies for his patients, and also will mentor a black teen who has a bad attitude.

-- Chris (peppermill@anet.com), September 06, 2000.

Well, I think if the same people who are not going to be totally supportive of Carter when he returns were around when Mark was going through his PTSD phase should have treated Mark in a similar fashion. Mark was mistreating patients , making medical mis-diagnosis over and over again over a three-four month period. We saw around a half dozen patients during the first part of season four who returned to county general later on in worse shape than they should of because Mark Greene either misdiagnosed or blew off their condition. I'm glad Carter got help for his painkiller abuse/PTSD and other related problems before started making medical mistakes left and right like Mark did. While, I do think they dragged on Mark's beating storyline way too long, I do think we should have seen a few people need a bit of time after Mark started acting better before they fully trusted him again. The staff was starting to complain about Mark while he was acting up, but nothing after he finally started getting over his attack. I think the staff should not be much more harsh on Carter than Mark because Carter was a victim of a much harsher attack and more severe injuries than Mark as well as having to deal with guilt over Lucy's death. Mark should also feel lucky that Doug refused to give him more pain killers when Mark with his minor injuries wanted to pop more pills. Mark could have very well had been dealing with painkiller addiction as well as PTSD.

I don't think Carter should be treated mean or like he is some awful person because of the problems that happened to him. I don't think he should be treated like a med student or someone that is no longer capable of being a good dr. I think Carter should be treated profesionally and just like any other senior resident when he returns. I do think that he should be made to take drug test the first six months back. I do think that Carter should be watched a bit more carefully the first couple of months back as he adjusts to returning back to the place where he was attacked at and he can back into the swings of things. However, I don't think he should be babied or made to feel inferior. I think once Carter has shown he is okay and functioning well again that he should no longer be watched anymore than any other resident. Personally, I feel that they should have watched Mark more closely when he was in his PTSD phase and made him get counselling until he was well enough. . Carter should be made to see a counselor until the counselor says that he know longer requires any help.

-- Cathy (Katsfam@yahoo.com), September 06, 2000.

Cathy - your comments about Carter are interesting. I did a little research on the issue of "how will the hospital deal with Carter" for another site. I came across a few points:

(1) States vary in their statutory requirements as to whether or not a doctor's addiction/alcoholism must be reported to a disciplinary committee of the state medical society. Some states allow the matter to be handled "in house" confidentially, and some treatment programs even provide a "front" for the doctor (e.g. he's away at a ten week long medical training program).

The premise is that impaired doctors are unlike many other addicts, who tend to get hooked after "partying" on recreational drugs with friends. In contrast, many impaired health care workers get hooked on prescription drugs because they self-medicate for problems related to pain or stress. Their addiction is secretive and not supported by friends. They begin to recognize their problem, but fear that they will lose their hard-earned careers if they seek help. Anonymity and a chance to recover without losing their livelihood provides them with a way out, and addicted health care workers appear to have a higher success rate in kicking their addiction then addicts who started out as "recreational" users and who might encounter their partying friends after rehab.

(2) most states recognize a doctor's addiction/alcoholism as a health issue, and will not suspend an M.D.'s license to practice if he/she is in rehab or has succesfully completed rehab. However, a common requirement is that the recovering doctor: a.) submit to random drug screens; b.) attend therapy and/or AA or NA meetings; and c.)have a supervisor (probably Carrie Weaver in Carter's case) who acts as mentor/monitor to ensure that the doctor is staying clean and seeking appropriate therapy.

(3) It may be a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act,the Rehabilitation Act, or state laws for Cook County to make decisions relating to Carter's career (e.g., whether he can be chief resident) based on his prior addiction. The Federal Acts generally recognize a rehabilitated addict as a person with a disability, and accord him protection against discrimination. Note that the Acts DO NOT provide protection to current, non-rehabilitated addicts.

I wonder if Peter Benton will champion Carter's cause with the 'less supportive" staff members. That would be particularly interesting if Luka Kovac turns out to be one of those "less supportive" folks.

I also wonder if Luka will start out being unsupportive, but will be more understanding after his predicted PTSD-related incident with the mugger in EPI #4.

-- Beth (bsmith@internet-95.com), September 06, 2000.

Thanks for the info. I think in Carter case that his was handled internally and will not appear on his official record . I don't think the medical board will know. I doubt once carter finishes his residency and carter stays clean during that time while finishing it that it will be an issue at all in Carter getting employment outside of county. I doubt that any other hospital will ever know about Carter adiction to pain killers. Whether or not Carter will be required to see a therapist and/or NA I guess we will find out. If he is , I doubt that they can force him to see a therapist for the rest of his professional career. I imagine there are time limits in such cases. I'm sure after certain periods of times has gone by and the health care worker has remained cleaned and the therapist no longer feels that they need to see them that they will be no longer be required to mandatory treatment. I also imagine that a person being assigned to them would be dropped after a certain period of time as well as for the drug testing. I imagine the length of time would depend on the severity of the problem and whether this was the first offense or not. In Carter case, I doubt he would be placed on a mandatory drug testing/counselling for more than a year. The only way carter would be tested past that time if he test positive or if county goes to mandatory drug testing fo r all employees and he would then just follow under the rules of all hospital employees.

I also think that Carter should not be treated differently from other residents other than having drug screening for awhile and having to see an outpatient therapist for awhile. He should be allowed to treat patients and have responsibilities that other residents do. While he might have a person assigned to him to ensure that he is going to therapy sessions etc., he should not be treated any different than any other resident in the ER. Any conversations about his drug testing or his therapy sessions should be discussed privatly . The staff should not be privy to them or any other temporary restrictions placed on him.

-- Brenda (jckwfan@aol.com), September 06, 2000.

Thanks for the information about what happens to doctors when they are addicts....it's very interesting. When I think about the support issue. I think that Carrie, Deb and probably Benton will be very supportive. The others who were part of the intervention will probably be supportive (because I think they have a better understanding of the disorder). However, I think that most of the rest of the staff will not know how to act. I get the feeling that they would like to be supportive, but they don't trust Carter any more. Do remember Carter's response to Max? And he didn't even know him well.

-- Emma (webbef@hotmail.com), September 07, 2000.

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