*Spoilers* episode 13

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~title and plotlines always subject to change~


episode #13


- Luka gets into a tiff with the Bishop's regular doctor who is angry that Luka is treating the Bishop without informing him.

- Carter and Malucci treat a gay man who is trying to contract the HIV virus from his partner because they want to be together "through everything."

- Abby attends a fancy affair with Carter where she runs into her ex-husband and his fiancee.

- Weaver covers for Mark's behavior when grilled by Romano.

-- JLS (ewwhatevr@aol.com), December 22, 2000


- Abby attends a fancy affair with Carter where she runs into her ex- husband and his fiancee.

My comment: !!!!!!!!!

When is this due to air JLS? Jan. 18?

-- S. Trelles (trelles@ix.netcom.com), December 22, 2000.

This sounds very interesting. Thanks JLS!

-- Cammie (rmaelhorn@home.com), December 22, 2000.

No way. Are you serious? I am listening to Britney Spears song "Stronger" on the radio right now. I've seen this video for this song. The song (for those who may not know) is about a girl who sees her boyfriend with another girl and is stronger than she was before and can move on from this. That song would be good for Abby right now. Yes, I'm in a weird mood again today. But it's almost Christmas so I have a good excuse.

-- Andie (non@no.com), December 22, 2000.

Thank you for the spoilers JLS. Now, is it just me or the Carter&Malucci storyline sounds lame? Kerry covering for Mark, now that's a surprise, nice change.

-- jules (jsheldon@operamail.com), December 22, 2000.

Well, according to NBC Media Village, the episode on 18th January is a repeat - "Homecoming." I looked at last year's episode guide, and I think the last two episodes in January were repeats... i dunno bout this year..

Now, with Mark and Kerry... from what I understood, Romano doesn't know about Mark's problems and is sniffing around trying to figure out what's wrong with him but Kerry tries to keep the news from reaching Romano??? Is that right? Or did I misread this?

-- *lucky* (theedge@epix.net), December 22, 2000.

Ooh! Carter and Abby, oh yes.

Traditionally, ER has aired only two new episodes per January. This year, these are "Piece of Mind" and "Rock Paper Scissors." So I'm assuming that Episodes 12 and 13 will be the first two episodes of February sweeps.

-- Ellen (eedgert1@twcny.rr.com), December 22, 2000.

Oh, and if these are the first two of February sweeps, if there is a Valentine's Day episode, that would most likely be Episode 13. The air date would be February 9.

But I doubt it will be a Valentine's themed episode though. It doesn't air close enough to V-day.

-- Ellen (eedgert1@twcny.rr.com), December 22, 2000.

Oops, make that February 8.

-- Ellen (eedgert1@twcny.rr.com), December 22, 2000.

I think if ER does a ValentineDay themed episode it will episode # 14 which I think will air on 2/15/01. This will be the one year anniversary of Lucy's death. I wonder if we will see this episode deal with what happened a year ago.

-- Brenda (jckwfan@aol.com), December 22, 2000.

over at the other boards, people are speculating that abby attending the fancy affair w/ carter is the beginning of a relationship thing but i think that perhaps abby and carter are jsut attending a "end of that AA party thing" .. won't carter be finish his twelve steps by then? this is what i think cuz the title is thy will be done perhaps meaning carter finally closing his bout w/ drugs?

-- anna (nc3@postmark.net), December 22, 2000.

If I had to guess, I would say it has something to do with Carter's family (since, after all, he does visit Chase in the previous episode). Maybe the Carter family is having some sort of fancy public get- together and Carter needs a date.

-- Ellen (eedgert1@twcny.rr.com), December 22, 2000.

I read this too at the newsgroup anna. I thought there were a bunch of people who wanted them to get together. What happened?

-- Andie (non@no.com), December 22, 2000.

I would guess that the title would have something to do with the Bishop/Luka storyline, as this is part of a prayer and spoilers I have seen suggest the Bishop is going to be counseling Luka. And since Carter and Abby are supposed to be running into her ex and his fiancee (AKA the whore?) I somehow doubt they are going to an AA event. Ex-Husband didn't strike me as a twelve-stepper, somehow. Seems more likely to me that Carter is being dragged to one of his grandmother's charity events and needs a date.

-- Melinda (mross@value.net), December 22, 2000.

Gee, do you think Carter will bash someone's head in on the way home? :-)

-- Ellen (eedgert1@twcny.rr.com), December 22, 2000.

This episode sounds great! I'm looking forward to Abby and Carter going out on a "date." It sounds like a date anyway. But I wonder if Luka knows what's going on...

-- Karen (kmmatran@ingr.com), December 22, 2000.

my previous post about carter and abby at an AA party, i was thinking along the line of the party being at a restarant or hotel and abby seeing his ex there, not neccessarily his ex being at the party also.. anyways jsut wanted to clear that up...

-- anna (nc3@postmark.net), December 22, 2000.

Finally! Dr.Luka"Kold Hearted"Kovak out! And the real man Abby should be with Dr.John"Cuty"Carter In!

-- Brianne (MossChick84@AOL.com), December 23, 2000.

I tried so hard not to read spoilers anymore, but now that I have there's a lot of anticipation now! A fancy affair would seem most like a "Carter family foundation" dinner, but why his ex and fiancee would be there doesn't make any sense. Unless he's got some connection in withthe foundation that's going to cause even more trouble! Anyways, I'm confused now about who I want him to be with, because I almost felt regret that Deb isn't in this, but Ming Na Wen would still be on leave of absence I guess. Anyways, I'm excited to see these two out in a social setting, all dressed up (Carter in a tux maybe!?), whether it's a date or not, and how Abby handles seeing her despised ex w/ someone, considering she's not in med school anymore because of him. Maybe Carter will kick his ass! j/k. either way, it'll be some great bonding, so I certainly hope they don't change this storyline.

Romano's gonna start getting really pissed that he's being kept out of all the drama in the ER (Carter, well at least not until after he left for rehab, and now Mark), though I cannot wait to see his reaction when he finds out about Mark...he'd better not be a horrible prick. Maybe Elizabeth will kick *his* ass. Lots of that in this show!

Yeah, Malluchi and Carter in a storyline together! Two things to look foward to! I'm sure Carter will have to lecture Malluchi on how to deal with this at some point. It sounds like a reasonable storyline; interesting, and one they haven't tried before.

-- Elaine (mrsclooney78@hotmail.com), December 23, 2000.

About the timing of episodes, remember that ER started a month later than usual, so they may have more episodes in January than usual, which is fine with me, I can't get enough of watching Carter trudge through the snow in his hat and coat. :) Just a prediction. Also, (sort of spoiler)

Sally Field returns for February doesn't she? She's not even mentioned so hopefully this is still in January, or the very beginning of February, before she returns for sweeps (I'm hoping for a Valentine's episode too, in reference to last year)

-- Elaine (mrsclooney78@hotmail.com), December 23, 2000.

We got seven new episodes in a row at the start of the season, which isn't usual, so I'm sure that the late season start has already been "caught up with."

-- Ellen (eedgert1@twcny.rr.com), December 23, 2000.

Abby and Carter out together? Does this mean she and Luka break up in a previous episode? aargh!

-- why? (tkjjd@yahoo.com), December 23, 2000.

In regards to Sally Field in February sweeps... I read in various interviews that she said she'd be returning in the Spring... i dunno if February counts as spring though. We'll just have to wait and see! Although, I can't decide if we should get Maggie Wezenski done and over with in Feb. or keep her away for a few weeks longer... sorry, I'm just a little sick of that plotline.

-- *lucky* (theedge@epix.net), December 23, 2000.

Sally Field has stated in several interviews that she'll return in May. Ming-Na returns to work in January, presumably after the holiday break. So she should be in the next episode, #14. Altho it could be #15, if she starts back mid-January.

-- JLS (ewwhatevr@aol.com), December 23, 2000.

I'm just happy that Malucci will be in an episode, hopefully it will be for more than a minute. But I would really like him to carry a story on his own!!!! He is more than capable and it is time that his character grows up. Hopefully they don't make Dave out to be insensitive in this episode, and Carter out to be the voice of reason. Does anyone remember that in the first season Carter had to treat a cross dresser and he was less than nice about it and the patient jumped off the roof. So hopefully Carter won't act like his is about being insensitive. Erik Palladino is a fine and capable actor and if they don't start using him more they run the risk of loosing him, which would be terrible. If I've said it once I've said it a hundred times: there is so much room and potential for this character (and actor), we know nothing about Dr. Malucci so the possibilities are endless.

-- Kelley (takel@earthlink.net), December 23, 2000.


How many people think Abby's ex will try to humiliate her in public? (Bring up her mother, 12 step etc.) He seems like the sort of prick to do it. (No money for tuition, my a**. He can attend a fancy dress ball...)

PS- my hand is raised.

-- S. Trelles (trelles@ix.netcom.com), December 26, 2000.

S. Trelles I think that he will too. Maybe Carter will deck him one for Abby:)

-- Cammie (rmaelhorn@Home.com), December 26, 2000.

LOL Cammie! I can just picture Carter doing that! Can't you? Then he would say something like "And that's for treating Abby like shi* you pathetic jerk!" I wonder if that would really happen. Oh, I also think her ex will try to humiliate her.

-- Andie (non@no.com), December 26, 2000.

Maybe Abby's ex will try to humiliate her, but based on Abby's performance in Homecoming, I think there's at least a chance she'll be the one to go on the attack first. If he's got the money to take "the Whore" to a fancy event but still hasn't met the terms of their divorce agreement by paying her tuition, she may do some humiliating of her own. I'd love to see that. Hey, I always love it when a female character gets to step out from the "victim" role, and Abby hasn't done that for too long.

-- Melinda (mross@value.net), December 26, 2000.

Maybe Richard's a gigolo, and it's "the Whore" who is footing the bill for attending the fancy party. Wouldn't surprise me if Richard lets "his women" support him. But what I wanted to comment on was Carter and Malucci's HIV patient plot. It sounds melodramatic, perhaps, but I've heard of people doing such things. I think a good potential storyline would be to explore what would happen if a patient came in who had knowingly been spreading the virus to unsuspecting partners. There was a big story in the news a while back about a drug-using HIV-infected man who was having unprotected sex with girls as young as thirteen, giving them drugs (not to mention HIV!) in exchange for sexual favors. Last I heard, it was estimated that he may have infected around fifty girls. I know that there's some sort of AIDS disclosure law (I don't know if it applies nationwide, or just at the state level in certain states) that mandates, at least in some places, that if an individual knows that he or she is HIV positive, he or she must inform sex partners of that fact before any sort of sexual activity takes place. If "ER" were to feature a story like that, at least NBC would have an excuse to use the ever-popular "RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES!" tagline. :)

-- Jaime (jaimej78@hotmail.com), December 26, 2000.

If you make a scene at a fancy dress ball, you only humiliate yourself. I think Abby has more class and self restraint than that. I was thinking more that Richard would get to talking with a group of high class hobnobbers and start telling Abby stories, like "remember when you got drunk and fell down the stairs?" or "Remember when your looney tunes mother stripped off her clothes and ran naked through the streets? Or just plain bad mouthing her all over the party, so she gets a lot of funny looks and cold shoulders. Of course all of this is said in the sweetest of tones, with loving remembrance. Some people are vicious in a passive-aggressive way. Richard strikes me as that type of person.

I would think that this is a Carter family thing. Wouldn't it be funny, after Richard makes a few snide remarks about Abby, were to make a few snide remarks about Carter (maybe to his Gamma!), not realizing who he is? And getting the shock of his life when he figures it out? Wouldn't Gamma take him down a peg or two!! I hope Abby plays this for all it's worth.

-- S. Trelles (trelles@ix.netcom.com), December 26, 2000.

Oh, I'm sure Abby will play it for all it's worth. "Look at *me*! I'm here at a fancy shindig with a rich guy! I have *status*!" If I were Luka or Carter, I'd dump her.

And as for her marriage, I'm fairly certain that she had a hand in it's disintegration-what, do we think she was just this sweet, cheery little thing that Richard just *loved* coming home to every day? Sure he cheated, and he alone is responsible for that. But I don't believe for one moment that Abby didn't do her fair share of damage to the relationship.

-- Miesque (miesque48@hotmail.com), December 26, 2000.

I doubt very highly that Abby is going to get off on being there with a "rich guy." She's Carter's friend and sponsor, and I don't imagine his wealth is important to her at all.

Perhaps she's with Carter at this function because of that friendship, or maybe it's just because she's finally (!) realized that Luka isn't treating her as well as Carter is. She and Carter seem to be inching toward having a wonderful friendship, and he's been very sweet and supportive of her. I like their friendship and don't want to lose it in favor of a romantic relationship between them, but if she had to choose between the two, I can't see that Luka, with all the things he's going through right now, is able or willing to give her much of anything. He seems to have forgotten how to be a friend, much less a romantic partner.

-- Phyl (erfan@flash.net), December 26, 2000.

Phyl, I could not agree with you more! Carter and Abby have the perfect friendship, and it should not be immediately lost in romance. There are enough couples on "ER" at the moment, and a friendship would be a nice change. I am not against a relationship between them in the long run, but for now, they should take it slow.

-- Heather (heathabear@hotmail.com), December 27, 2000.

Right on Phyl! I've gone to my share of functions with men just as their friend/escort. They needed someone to go with and I didn't mind helping out. Not to mention free food, dancing, and a chance to get gussied up. That's probably all this is with Abby and Carter. Though explaining to Luka might be interesting... Maybe he's just not the jealous type. (I've had men friends in the past literally ask my current S.O. if they could "borrow me for the evening." Fortunately, my S.O.'s knew me well enough to say, "you'll have to ask HER!")

And Miesque, I have no doubt that Abby was at least halfway to blame for the breakup of her marriage. It takes two to tango, and two to pull apart. My objection to Richard is how he's treated her since we've known Abby, especially with regard to her desire to go to med school. He's the sole reason (as far as we know) that she's not in school now, and probably won't be for a few years. He SPENT HER STUDENT LOAN MONEY ON STOCKS FOR GOD'S SAKE! And then he reneged on their divorce agreement that said he was to pay her college tuition, because he "didn't have the cash". Not to mention the affairs. I don't know if it's obvious to you, but it certainly is to me, this is for spite. It's called being passive-agressive, and I've seen it to many times to count. Instead of coming out and airing your grievances, and telling whoever you're mad at what a horrible person they are, to their face, you do everything you can to screw them behind their back. It's sneaky, and dishonest and worst of all, cowardly, and I HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT!!!

Sorry, I get really steamed when I talk about Abby's ex. Someone close to me got really reamed this way by one of the biggest cowards on the planet during an ugly divorce. (He talked trash all around town about her behind her back and tried to sabotage some of her business dealings.) She got the last laugh though. She got a big chunk of the money. All he got was his retirement and one of the houses. You go, girl!

Like it or not, Miesque, money and status TALK, even in these modern times. What I meant by Abby "playing it for what it's worth" isn't so much Carter's money & status as the protection it offers her from Richard at this party. Someone in her situation is wise to use any advantage she can. (People in ALL situations are wise to use ANY advantage they can.) If she met up with her ex at a fancy dress ball on Luka's arm, it wouldn't have the same effect. Although Luka could take Richard out back and kick his ass, which would be gratifying, I admit. That's not to say that Carter *couldn't* kick Richard's ass; he's a real scrapper when he wants to be. I've always admired Carter's versatility. But I digress. I find violence far more satisfying when it is directed at what really hurts - The reputation, or the pocketbook. If Richard insults Abby, and/or by extension Carter, if this party is indeed hosted by the Carter family, then Richard is insulting his hosts. And he is the one with egg on his face. I doubt he would do this knowingly. But unknowingly...Oh that would be rich! I'm sure Carter wouldn't mind playing battlement for Abby. He's always happy to have the family money do some good. (Susan's car anyone?) And he likes a good joke. And this would be such a fine one!

In a nutshell, I don't think Abby will start a fight, but I sure hope she finishes it, with Carter's help if necessary.

-- S. Trelles (trelles@ix.netcom.com), December 27, 2000.

This is kind of on topic, but I have been here, and the newsgrwoup, and the ER club over at gist.com the past few days and I am amazed by what I am seeing. I went to gist.com for the first time ever and noticed that some people don't want Abby and Carter together and have even called Abby an ugly (yes that's the word they used) bitc*. Some over at the newsgroup are saying this too. What happened? I thought there were people who wanted them to get together. Did I miss something. Also, if I didn't know any better I'd say that no one wants Carter with anyone. Every girlfriend he's had no one has liked. Abby would be the first non-blonde he'd date and now I'm reading that no one wants them togther now after they did. I'm confused about this. Will someone please fill me in on what the heck caused this change all of a sudden?

-- Andie (non@no.com), December 27, 2000.

Andie, on one of the threads on this board I brought up the fact that on "Party Of Five" Bailey attended AA meetings and met someone (I still can't remember her name) and lived with her. She was his sponser. It turned out bad. I mention that the same thing may happen on "ER" with Carter and Abby. I'm thinking that might have made some people change their minds from wanting them to get together to hating the idea. This is just a guess. I honestly don't know why some people may have changed their minds.

-- Cammie (rmaelhorn@home.com), December 27, 2000.

I'm sort of in a funny position about a possible romantic relationship between Carter and Abby. First of all, I personally still think that the Season 7 fadeout is going to be Carter and Abby's first kiss (a la Carol and Doug, season 3), so I don't think there's a reason to get all hot and bothered about it just yet.

One of my personal areas of interest happens to be the issue of sexual misconduct/impropriety by people in positions of trust and authority (doctors, therapists, clergy, police, teachers, coaches and so on). My friends know that I'm death on the subject. I have strong feelings about it and concerns that people don't brush off such misconduct as "affairs" or "no big deal" when vulnerable people (patients, people seeking therapy, teenagers being taught or coached) are subjected to this sort of abuse. (and even worse, the coverups that can ensue)

So, recovery issues and the potential for harmful, exploitative relationships are on my mind, and I don't like it when the media glosses them over. I think it is responsible that ER originally raised the issue of a sponsor not getting romantically involved with an addict. If the writers pursue the Carter-Abby relationship, I think it's probably a given that they will have Abby recuse herself from being Carter's sponsor -- or they may even make it a major issue in the progress of the relationship ("I can't be your sponsor any more", "Can we still be friends" "Maybe" blah blah).

My particular area of concern involves Olympic or college-track sports coaching and coaches who sexually abuse their athletes or "have affairs" with them. One time some friends and I were discussing what makes one relationship "wrong" (aside from it breaking any laws, such as child abuse or statutory rape) while another type of relationship, such as a star athlete marrying his or her coach, might not be considered "as wrong" or "wrong" at all. A Carter-Abby romance might be "iffy" ethically -- but how "iffy"? Especially if Abby recuses herself from her official position as sponsor? How unhealthy would it be?

In considering athletes marrying coaches, for example, there are some good questions a friend of the athlete can ask about any particular situation: How isolated is the athlete from others? Do they just rely on the coach for every bit of career and financial advice, or is the relationship more open where others (friends, family) are allowed into the decision-making circle? Another question: Is the relationship secretive? (Obviously, if the athlete hasn't married the coach, this is a more applicable question) Or is it more public? Another question: Is the relationship totally centered around the continued career or financial success of the athlete? Another question: Are drugs or alcohol used in this relationship? Another question: How great is the age/status difference between the two?

No single one of these questions determines "unhealthiness" obviously, but there can be a pattern of particular answers to these questions which points to an unhealthy, potentially destructive one. I think you can apply some of these questions to Carter and Abby's relationship as well. (And let's not just assume it might be unhealthy for Carter; it could be unhealthy for Abby too.)

What's the age/status difference between Abby and Carter? Age-wise they are apparently fairly close, since Abby is a nontraditional med student, she's probably closer to Carter's age than Lucy was. Status- wise, Abby's a nurse and Carter's a resident. In their work environment, though, is this a problem? Based on what we've seen in the past (nurses dating doctors), probably not a serious one. In the context of recovery, of course, Abby's status is higher than Carter's: she's five years sober, and he's still relapsing. She's more experienced in the recovery game. Is this a potential problem?

Question 2: Does Carter rely on her for all of his recovery info and advice? Well, we see her advising him and supporting him a lot, but we're also aware that Kerry and Mark are looking out for him, and that he goes to diversion meetings that are not part of AA/NA, and that Gamma cares about him, and that his colleagues have shown themselves to be generally warm and supportive. Is Carter all alone with his addiction, with Abby as his only support? It would seem not. Abby is his closest support, but Carter's recovery circle is not closed. He has several alternative forms of rehab/support (diversion meetings, his peers at work, and at least one member of his family). Carter is not isolated in his recovery.

Question 3: Is Abby and Carter's relationship secretive in nature? Yes, they have discreet conversations on park benches and in the drug lockup sometimes, but would anyone in the ER be surprised to know they're friends and confidantes? Probably not. They're often seen talking together in the ER, they met openly at Doc Magoo's (and one can imagine that they still do), so people probably know they're friends. Would people guess that Abby is Carter's closest confidante when it comes to his addiction? That's a little less clear -- maybe, maybe not. Would Carter admit this to anyone if they asked (Kerry, or Mark)? Would Abby? Unless the writers show us, we can't really tell, but it seems to me that Carter wouldn't hide it. As for Abby, we just don't know how many people in the ER know she had a drinking problem. Hopefully we will learn more about Abby's own attitude toward revealing her own addiction to her co-workers. But as for whether this friendship is highly secretive in nature -- I don't think it is.

As for the question of what the relationship is centered around, that's a bit tougher. Is it centered only around keeping Carter on an even keel? Or covering up any of his relapses (so that he continues to have an appearance of "success" in his rehab)? Future spoilers hint that Abby, at least, will not have it so (see the spoiler for "Rock Paper Scissors"). That's a healthy sign. But is there anything between Carter and Abby that doesn't center on his addiction and staying sober? Hard to tell right now. If they can have fun together outside of sharing deep heart-to-heart talks about their mutual addiction-related problems, that would make the relationship seem more healthy than it might currently.

Of course, to turn this question on its head, what if Carter's family money came into play re Abby's med school aspirations? That would be a potentially unhealthy thing -- however, Abby's been there before with Richard, her ex, where apparently their entire relationship revolved around "I'll make you a success in med school, and then you do the same for me." Not healthy.

In conclusion of this long screed, I just don't get an overwhelming feeling of Carter and Abby's current relationship being fundamentally unhealthy. There are some gray areas, but if it turned romantic, and if the writers had Abby recuse herself from sponsorship, and Carter's recovery continued to be open in nature (w/support from others) and they actually talked, laughed and had fun in scenes not involving recovery issues... for me, I just don't have a sense of "ickiness" ethically about the relationship.

Real life is rarely cut and dried. Having studied issues surrounding truly unhealthy and abusive so-called "affairs," naturally my radar is going when TV shows present complicated situations. Shows like BOSTON PUBLIC treat these issues in appallingly irresponsible ways. I've never sensed that attitude from "ER" - it's an issue that TV shows never really do take seriously, but "ER" has taken them more seriously than most (Doug getting in trouble for sleeping with Harper; Carol breaking confidentiality to report a teacher having an "affair" with a young student, etc; and thumbs up to Noah Wyle for also taking it seriously enough to raise a stink when the producers forgot to, re Lucy).

I'll watch the storyline with interest and hope that the writers take the necessary steps to provide a minimum of healthiness for the relationship, but in general, Carter and Abby seem to me to be a healthy relationship that happens to be evolving under less-than- perfect conditions. I currently don't have a problem with it.

-- Ellen (eedgert1@twcny.rr.com), December 27, 2000.

Well, I've never wanted an Abby/Carter romance. And since we've found out she's also a recovering addict, I'm against it twice as much. One of the biggest complaints prior to Season 7 was the lack of friendships and I think Abby & Carter fill that void nicely. Why mess up a good thing?

-- anne (sapphire_172@hotmail.com), December 27, 2000.

Well, my dad was a recovering alcoholic when he met my mom. Sure glad he decided to have such an "unhealthy" relationship, or else I wouldn't be here.

-- Beth (beekster@aol.com), December 27, 2000.

Im glad to hear that it worked for the three of you Beth, but ask yourself, how many times it doesnt. I think that's why some people is worrying about it. My parents married when they were young and it worked for us, but it doesnt work for others, by example. Relationships are weird that way, some couples you could bet wont last a year end up living "till death take us apart" and viceversa. And there are dysfunctional relationships that last "till one of us kills the other". Weve seen both kinds in ER among the patients.

-- jules (jsheldon@operamail.com), December 28, 2000.

I'm sure there's always going to be some folks that think addicts should never get together, that there is always a danger of things getting addictive and squirrelly again. And yes, there is always a danger of that. Even if a recovering person winds up with a "non- addict", a so-called "healthy person" (but really, is anyone truly healthy"? Or is it all just degrees of illusion? What is "healthy really? ) there is still some concern that the addict will fall off the wagon again. That is why they call them "recovering" as opposed to "recovered".

Some recovering addicts really practice what they preach and work together on their recovery every day. They do just fine. (Remember Chloe and her husband?) And sometimes, when an addict begins recovery, their relationship with their non-addict partner falls apart. Ironic? Yes, but it happens more often than you think. I think that would be an interesting twist to Abby's story, to find out that her marriage started falling apart when she got sober. The timeline seems to sort of support it.

-- S. Trelles (trelles@ix.netcom.com), December 28, 2000.

Do we have statistics on how many marriages involving recovering alcoholics don't work? (Hey, that reminds me, we have a recovering alcoholic going to become president next month. Should he not be president because he's a recovering alcoholic?)

-- Beth (beekster@aol.com), December 28, 2000.

Good point Beth! I'm not saying anything else because I don't want to start any trouble again.

-- Andie (non@no.com), December 28, 2000.

The divorce rate in general is too high no matter what type of background, problems, strength, weakness etc., each person bring to the relationship. Couples with no dependency or mental illness issue still have high failure rates in marriages. Marriages fails for many reason. Marriages suceed for many reason even the ones that some people think should not have happened in the first place. I think a few people are predudiced against recovering addicts/alcoholics and think that they should neverget involved with anyone. However, many recovering addicts either continue on with a already established relationship or find someone and go on and lead a happy,productive life that they share with a spouse/children. They learn to deal sucessivly with what life throws at them. Their partners may or may not have issues themselves. I personally think that many people have emotional and/physical issues to deal with than those who don't. Very few people would get married and have relationships at all if only people who had no baggage got together or people with problems could only get together with people who don't have problems . We would quickly run out of potential partners if that was the criteria. I think whether a particular couple would be compatible and conducive for a long term relationship should be judged on an individual basis. We need to look at the whole picture , not just bits and pieces of it and notimmediatly throw it out of consideration based on a few bits.

-- (jckwfan@aol.com), December 28, 2000.

Didn't know Carter and Abby were contemplating marriage already :)

I think one of the reason's that it appears that so many more people are against a Carter/Abby pairing is that it now seems like a possibility. I have never wanted Carter/Abby to be paired romantically, however I do enjoy their friendship. Also I think that so many viewers are Abby weary, and the idea that two characters who both get large chunk of time as it is would become involved makes me believe that the other members of the cast would be completely sacrficed. I agree with you Ellen, I have no problem with Carter and Abby being friends, but I think there would be problem if they are paired romantically because she is her sponsor. If Noah Wyle thought dating a med student would be out of Carter's character (which I agree on), then I hope he has a serious problem with Carter moving in on his sponsor. As I have said before, I want Carter to given a happy ending, and presuming Wyle doesn't renew his contract (and I don't see what else they can do with his character at this point) pairing him romantically with Abby will destroy any chance of a happy ending.

-- Emma (webbef@hotmail.com), December 28, 2000.

I was just speaking in general terms of marriage/long term relationships.I was commenting more on people prejudging Carter dating so and so as a failure on the basis of only taking his painkiller dependency in consideration and ignoring almost everything else. I was pointing out that there are failure and all sucess among all the different combination of relationships . I personally don't want to see Carter have anything more than friendship with abby either. I think Abby is a bit too dull for Carter. I also think they should have given hera different first name since he was already involved with one Abby.

I think there is still plenty of things that they could do with Carter character and I am sure that TPTB will try very hard to convince Noah to renew. I think there is just as much potential for things they could do with Carter as with any other long term character on ER ( more in fact). I would love to see Carter become involved in a long term relationship and balance career, relationship , and eventually a family with that. I think it would be very interesting to watch this unfold for the next few years myself. I hope that we saw Carter until the very end of ER and think he would remain an interesting and multi faceted character.

-- Brenda (jckwfan@aol.com), December 28, 2000.

Noah Wyle was against Carter and Lucy because he felt Carter would have been exploiting Lucy's youth and inexperience. Quite a different situation than Carter/Abby. If anything, Carter would be the potential exploitee in such a relationship. Besides, Wyle spoke up because he didn't want Carter to act out of character, or to look bad by doing something unethical. He was just trying to protect his character (ie his job, his livelihood, his $30 million meal ticket).

As for Wyle's future on the show, I wonder if he will do a Duchovny: agree to stay on for a limited number of episodes beyond his current contract, which would conveniently be shown during sweeps months. I could see them doing something like that. Carter could decide to switch specialties again, maybe go into general practice, and he'd have to do an extra year or two in a residency somewhere else in Chicago, showing up during November, February and May to interact with his old friends and colleagues at County General.

-- Ellen (eedgert1@twcny.rr.com), December 28, 2000.

I wonder if the suggestion you made about Noah only doing a certain number of episodes a year is something that could be a possibility with Anthony Edwards as well. I would much rather see Noah for all 22 episodes starting in season nine, but I would rather see him for 12-16 episodes a season than none. If they went that route as a compromise with Noah and/or Anthony, I could see Carter finish his ER residency this season. We could see Carter decide to double board in either geriatrics or pediatrics along with emergency medecine. This way in the episodes where Noah is not available Carter could be upstairs either in geriatrics or pediatrics. When we see him he could either be working as an attending or some type of fellow in the ER. As for Mark, we could see Mark decide to work part time in the ER and take care of little Mark and lighten his work load to extend his life expectancy with his brain tumor.

-- Brenda (jckwfan@aol.com), December 28, 2000.

Well, this thread has certainly gone all over the place on topics! About Carter and Abby...I think this little "fancy affair" could be done very well...comical, cute, but also maybe alittle devious, on the ex's part. I am assuming he will still be coming across as the jerk ex and I am hoping he will pick a fight that Abby will win, with some of Carter's supportive help. I hope they can both kick a little ass, without making Abby look like she needs a ton of rescuing, because the way I see her, she can handle this guy ok. Though Carter can step in if it gets ugly :)

As for Carter and Abby...I love who's ever idea it was to have a season ending kiss between these two...though it could be either them or Carter/Deb. I understand the whole sponsor thing--it makes absolute sense, but you know, when you're in love, there's really nothing to help it! There are so many things that can go wrong with relationships, you've just got to chance it when you've found someone you could potentially fall in love with.

-- Elaine (mrsclooney78@hotmail.com), December 28, 2000.

Hey Brenda..."Little Mark?" Hehehe...maybe we should start a new thread with a list of names...I'm against "Junior" with all of my heart. Back to topic, I oppose Carter getting in a relationship (with anybody) because I think he should give himself a little more time. I think that on TV people is always jumping into relationships too soon: they are not even divorced and bang! they fall for someone and go to bed; they are just moving into a new city or town or job and bang! they do the same; they are just getting over a bad relationship (other than marriage) or an illness or an accident and...yeah, you guessed it. Gee, would it kill them to get to know each other a little? =)

-- jules (jsheldon@operamail.com), December 28, 2000.

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