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"A Hopeless Wound"
Season 9, Episode 5
Air date October 31, 2002
Written by Julie Hebert & Joe Sachs
Directed by Laura Innes
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A Hopeless Wound is the 5th episode of the 9th season of "E.R."


On a busy Halloween night, Carter and Abby are the only staffers in costume when victims of an apartment building fire pack the ER.

Corday takes on a new med student for a surgical rotation: Paul Nathan , who suffers from Parkinson's disease and decided to pursue medicine after being diagnosed. Despite a difficult first day, both professionally and medically, Nathan makes a difficult diagnosis.

Romano's rehab lags behind his expectations, and he begins to doubt his role in surgery is no longer an option. In a moment of personal weakness, he tries to express his feelings for Corday.

Weaver continues to display erratic behavior, raising staff suspicions about her menopause.

Luka's burgeoning sex addiction worsens, as an affair with Chuny is revealed, and tensions rise when he treats a patient with a perpetual erection.

NBC Description

HALLOWEEN TURNS DANGEROUS IN E.R. WHILE DOCS RUSH TO STOP FLESH-EATING DISEASE; DON CHEADLE GUEST STARS: A suspicious fire on Halloween floods the E.R. with many bizarrely costumed victim, frustrating Dr. Pratt (Mekhi Phifer) while a frustrated Dr. Romano (Paul McCrane) lets his recent traumatic injury interfere with good judgment when he directs Dr. Corday (Alex Kingston) during surgery on a man with a flesh-eating infection.

Elsewhere, Nurse Marquez (Laura Ceron) threatens to file a grievance against Dr. Kovac (Goran Visnjic), who must also treat an older mother (guest star Ashley Gardner) who won't accept that her newborn baby cannot survive while Abby (Maura Tierney) and Dr. Carter (Noah Wyle) playfully dress up in suggestive seasonal costumes.

In addition, the staff greets an older but wiser surgical intern (guest star Don Cheadle) who tries to overcome a daunting physical handicap. Laura Innes, Ming-Na and Sharif Atkins also star. TV-14




  • The episode is dedicated to Gandhi Bob Arrollo (aka Robert Arrollo). He was the key make-up artist for the series from 1995-2002. He died in October of 2002.
  • This episode marks the first guest appearance by Don Cheadle in a four episode story arc. His portrayal of Paul Nathan garnered him an Emmy Award nomination in the "Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series" category.


Carter: Frank, where's your costume?
Frank: I don't observe pagan holidays that celebrate devil worship.
Abby: (taking the candy away from him) Well, this is only for satanists.
Romano: (to Corday) I know most people don't like me. I don't care. I don't like most people. But I'm good at what I do. I save people's lives, everyday. People who no one else can help. If I can't do that...
Chuny (to Luka): Labs on your baby. (throws them at him as she walks by)
Luka: Thank you!
Abby: Glad to see you've made up!
Luka: Hey, I'm being professional. She's the one having trouble. I warned her.
Abby: Warned her about what?
Luka: Nothing.
Abby: Oh my God. You are such a jerk!
Luka: What?
Abby: You slept with her? That's what this is all about. What's your problem?
Luka: Ey, one time.
Abby: One time? One time with Chuny, one time with a patient's mother in radiology.
Luka: Hey, you never complained!
Abby: Yeah, I never let it affect my work. You two need to figure this out.
Luka: So, what do you want me to do?
Abby: I don't know. Tell her you're sorry. Tell her it was wrong. Just fix it.
Luka: I'm not gonna kiss her ass.
Abby: That's how this whole problem started.
Corday (to Romano): Robert, you're not cleared to do surgery, even on farm animals.