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"A Simple Twist of Fate"
Season 8, Episode 14
Air date February 28, 2002
Written by R. Scott Gemmill
Directed by Vondie Curtis-Hall
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A Simple Twist of Fate is the 14th episode of the 8th season of "E.R."


NBC Description

WILL DR. GREENE'S FAMILY FALL APART? CAN ABBY PROTECT BATTERED NEIGHBOR? MARY MCDONNELL AND MICHAEL GROSS GUEST-STAR: While their baby daughter continues to fight for her life, Dr. Greene (Anthony Edwards) has sharp words with his wife, Dr. Corday (Alex Kingston), after she orders Rachel (Hallee Hirsh) out of their home while Abby (Maura Tierney) might regret championing a battered female neighbor (guest star Christina Hendricks) who refuses to press charges against her abusive husband (guest star Matthew Settle).

Elsewhere, some bad munchies soon have everyone scurrying for the bathroom as Kovac (Goran Visjnic) returns to help out a short-handed staff.

In addition, Dr. Carter (Noah Wyle) confronts his mother (guest star Mary McDonnell, "Dances with Wolves") over issues of emotional abandonment and gets a surprise visit from his father (guest star Michael Gross, "Family Ties").

The ER team treats an elderly "polar bear" swimmer with heart problems; a fearful 15-year-old girl with vaginal bleeding, and a recent lottery winner who's unlucky enough to have been stabbed by a falling icicle; a diminutive lap dancer (guest star Debbie Lee Carrington) who accidentally swallows a customer's wedding ring.

Laura Innes, Paul McCrane, Ming-Na and Sherry Stringfield also star.


The ER faces a staff shortage when several employees are sent home with food poisoning, including Weaver. Mark and Elizabeth's marriage is in crisis following Ella's hospital admission. Adding to his woes, Mark fears his brain tumor may have returned. Eleanor Carter nearly abandons Mickey after realizing how bad his condition is. Abby pays the price to protect Joyce from her violent husband, Brian, when she is punched by him. Luka later tracks down Brian and threatens to kill him.


Guest Starring

=Special Guest Stars

  • Christina Hendricks as Joyce Westlake
  • Mary McDonnell as Eleanor Carter
  • Matthew Settle as Brian Westlake


  • Devlon Alan as Kyle
  • Amy Bruckner as Ariel
  • Mark Chaet as Tim
  • Kathleen Darcy as Judy
  • Yvonne Jung as X-Ray Tech
  • Laura Putney as Patricia Cox
  • Eric Morgan Stuart as Tucker
  • Glenn Taranto as O'Mally
  • Jacky Torres as the Mother
  • Emily Wagner as Pickman
  • Time Winters as Emil Savka
  • Whitney Young as Valerie
  • Greg Zerkle as Neiser


  • Though listed in the credits Paul McCrane didn't make an appearance in this episode
  • This is Abraham Benrubi's first episode since the Season 5 finale, and the first time Frank and Jerry share desk duties.
  • Abby's black eye shifts from the left eye to the right eye


Brian: I don't have a problem with you, man. Okay?

Luka: I have a problem with you.

Brian: I got angry it was a mistake

Luka: You hit woman by mistake? Huh?

Brian: I screwed up.

(Bottle shatters)

Luka: Let's see you hit me, huh? Come on!

Brian: I didn't mean to. I lost my temper.

Luka: Lose your temper with me!

Brian: Okay, I'm gonna go to the cops right now and turn myself in.

(Luka punches Brian)

Brian: Wait! Just Wait!

Luka: Better start swinging back.

Brian: Hold on! Wait! I was wrong. I got angry. She took away my wife!

(Luka punches Brian more)

Luka: You took away your wife.

Brian: I know, I know I know. But I loved her. She's everything to me and I lost her.

(Luka gets ready to punch Brian again)

Brian: I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I won't mess with Abby again. I won't even talk to her. I'll move. I'll move out of the building. Please, I'm sorry. Please.

(Luka lets go of Brian then violently picks him back up)

Luka: You touch her again! I'll kill you.

(Luka throws Brian back down)