|Season 7, Episode 3|
|Air date||October 26, 2000|
|Written by||R. Scott Gemmill|
|Directed by||Paris Barclay|
"Sand and Water"
Mars Attacks is the 3rd episode of the 7th season of "E.R."
Carter treats a young paraplegic on his first day back at County. Corday and Greene try to work around a surgeon shortage.
Benton discovers that Romano has fired him for his actions last week. Weaver offers Abby a position in the ER as a full-time nurse. Abby later plants an impromptu smooch on Kovac.
Various weird patients arrive at the ER following a beam collapse at a sci-fi convention. Malucci goes out of his way to discover who the father of Chen's baby is. A patient with "spontaneous human combustion" catches fire.
DR. BENTON SUFFERS ER CHIEF'S WRATH; DR. CARTER RETURNS TO WORK IN LIMITED ROLE: Dr. Benton (Eriq La Salle) learns the sobering price of a previous challenge to the authority of tyrannical chief Dr. Romano (Paul McCrane) while a recovering Dr. Carter (Noah Wyle) chafes under the restrictions imposed on his role during his first day back in the emergency room after his drug treatment.
Likewise, obstetrics nurse Abby (Maura Tierney) is peeved when she is beset by nagging hassles and is asked by Dr. Weaver (Laura Innes) to fill in as an ER nurse until she can re-enroll in medical school.
The collapse of an elevated walkway in a sci-fi convention floods the ER with out-of-this world costumed patients while Dr. Corday (Alex Kingston) must talk Dr. Greene (Anthony Edwards) through a complicated procedure via an intercom while she too performs surgery.
Ambitious desk clerk Frank (guest star Troy Evans), a former cop, causes chaos when he keeps running computer security checks on suspicious patients with surprising results.
Another patient (guest star Jamie Marsh) checks in claiming to suffer from spontaneous combustion. Ming-Na, Goran Visjnic, Michael Michele and Erik Palladino also star.
It’s John Carters first day back at the hospital. He’s given low-priority patients and is told that he can’t have any traumas until he gets back into the swing of things. Carter has to rely on other people to do some tasks because he can’t use any instruments. He has multiple patients throughout the day but he spends the most time with a paralyzed little boy who may have a UTI. The little boy tells Carter about his life and how he’s living at an old folks home. He makes paper airplanes and tells Carter how he’d dreamed of being a pilot. At the end of his shift, Carter takes the little boy up to the roof where they throw the paper airplanes over the ledge. As Carter is leaving to go home, Mark tells him he has to pee into a cup first. He walks Carter to the bathroom as he must witness the whole process. While they wait for him to pee, Mark tries to make conversation.
Peter Benton is having trouble entering the employee garage. This is because his name isn’t on the entry list. When he finally does park and goes into the hospital, he has trouble logging into the computer system. He finds Robert Romano and asks him why his privileges have been revoked. Romano tells him that it’s because he got a fine of $50,000 dollars over the Fletcher case and that the hospital also received a fine. He says that it’s all in the letter he sent him. Peter can’t believe that Romano fired him. Romano tells him that he didn’t fire him, that Peter fired himself. Peter leaves the hospital and heads over to his sisters house to be with his son. His little boy tells him that he wants to be a doctor when he grows up too. Cleo Finch visits Peter at his house later on. She asks him where he’s been and Peter tells her that he got fired. That Romano is taking his anger out on Peter for the fine. She tells him that he’s an excellent surgeon and a good man.
Abby Lockhart is called down to the ER by Kerry Weaver and offered a position there as a nurse. She says that if she accepts she’ll be way ahead of the game next semester. Abby is pulled in different directions by different doctors. She tells them to bring it on. During one trauma, Luka Kovač asks Abby to put in a chest tube. Abby says she can’t because she’s no longer a medical student but Luka needs the help so she does. Weaver walks in just as she’s finishing up and tells Abby to stop because she is no longer covered by insurance. Carter and Abby check in with each other throughout the day to see how the other is doing. Abby and Luka talk outside after a long day. He says that she was very popular today. She says that she is everyone’s favorite nurse. Luka says she's a good nurse but she could be a great doctor. She leans over and kisses Luka. She pulls back because she can't believe she did that. She tells Luka she's sorry and that she has to go.
Jing-Mei Chen asks Romano to please not say anything about her pregnancy to her parents if he runs into them at the conference. He says that mums the word. Jing-Mei deals with multiple patients including a kid who got hit with a skate board, a man who cut his ears to look like a Vulcan, and another man who thinks he can combust into flames. The man who supposedly could combust into flames actually does catch on fire and Weaver has to put it out with a fire extinguisher. Dave Malucci asks Jing-Mei who the father of her baby is. This upsets her so as payback she leaves one of her patients in his care since they must be watched for a certain time.
Weaver helps a mom skip out on the cops after having treated her kid, who had gotten bit by his adolescent uncle. Mark Greene performs a procedure with the help of Elizabeth Corday who walks him through it step by step. Cleo helps a teen with gonorrhea and promises not to tell her mom as long as she promises to perform safe sex.
- John Carter
- Mark Greene
- Elizabeth Corday
- Kerry Weaver
- Peter Benton
- Abby Lockhart
- Luka Kovač
- Dave Malucci
- Cleo Finch
- Robert Romano
- Jing-Mei Chen
- Benton (to Romano): So, what is my position here?
- Romano: You have no position here.
- Benton: So, you're firing me?
- Romano: No, no, no, Peter. You fired yourself.
- Weaver (to Romano): Did you even take the Hippocratic oath?
- Romano: I had my fingers crossed.
- Carter (to Mark): I'm gone for a couple of weeks, you're engaged, Chen's pregnant, Malucci's blonde and I can't seem to remember my locker combination.