|"I'll Be Home For Christmas"|
|Season 8, Episode 10|
|Air date||December 13, 2001|
|Written by||Dee Johnson|
|Directed by||Jonathan Kaplan|
"I'll Be Home For Christmas" is a tenth episode of the eighth season of ER. That episode first aired on December 13, 2001 on NBC. It was written by Dee Johnson & Meredith Stiehm and directed by Jonathan Kaplan. It was the final regular episode of Eriq La Salle as Dr. Peter Benton and Michael Michele as Dr. Cleo Finch as Benton's custody trial for Reese reaches its climax and makes a decision regarding his status at Country while Carter copes with a holiday bombshell regarding his parents.
As the custody battle for Reese reaches its climax, Benton makes a decision about his future at County in order to gain custody of Reese. Carter's father arrives in Chicago for the holidays and tells Carter that he's getting a divorce. Abby learns yet another secret about Luka's former flame. The hospital staff hopes for a Christmas miracle after a mother accidentally shot her son.
HOLIDAYS BRING NO ASSURANCE OF PEACE AS ORIGINAL CAST MEMBER ERIQ LA SALLE DEPARTS: As December 25 nears, Dr. Benton (original cast member Eriq La Salle, in his final "ER" episode) boils over with rage and frustration as his custody trial for his son Reese hits a critical stage and he must choose between his ER job and the child unless the cranky Dr. Romano (Paul McCrane) agrees to custom-tailor his work schedule.
Elsewhere, a busy Dr. Carter (Noah Wyle) finds romance, receives some jolting news from his father (guest star Michael Gross, "Family Ties") who's visiting for the holidays and then ministers to a boy (guest star Lee Perri) whose fall from a tree causes great concern among his tight-knit family; Dr. Weaver (Laura Innes) is perplexed by a pregnant woman (guest star Ananda Banc) who's ready to deliver her baby despite remaining in a coma for a year.
A sobbing young mother (guest star Anne Dudek) accidentally shoots her son near the Christmas tree, and a curious Abby (Maura Tierney) spies Dr. Kovac's (Goran Visnjic) elusive French girlfriend (guest star Julie Delpy) sneaking through the hospital.
Anthony Edwards, Alex Kingston, Michael Michele and Sherry Stringfield star. Lisa Vidal (NBC's "Third Watch") guest-stars.
To be added.
- Peter Benton (Final regular appearance)
- John Carter
- Cleo Finch (Final regular appearance)
- Susan Lewis
- Abby Lockhart
- Luka Kovač
- Robert Romano
- Elizabeth Corday
- Kerry Weaver
- Mark Greene
- Ming-Na never appeared in the episode, despite the fact that she is credited in the opening credits.
- Romano: (to Benton) Are you really going to do this? Throw away your career so you can play Mr. Mom? What a waste!
- Carter (to Benton after giving him an El Train token as a goodbye present): Second week of my surgical internship, we got 11 traumas in one night. A girl that had been dragged under a car. I was so tired, I couldn't see straight. I asked you if I could take a break and you kicked me out of the O.R. I couldn't drive home, I was so exhausted. I started crying in the hallway. You came out of surgery and you gave me that. You said I could use it to go home or I could commit to what I was doing and use it to come back the morning.
- Carter: Hey, Peter. I'm a good doctor because of you.
- Benton: No, you're not, but keep trying.
- Romano (when Benton wants a written agreement to reduce his work schedule): To Whom It May Concern: No frigging way!