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"Orion in the Sky"
Season 8, Episode 18
Air date April 4, 2002
Written by David Zabel
Directed by Jonathan Kaplan
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"Brothers and Sisters"

Orion in the Sky is the 18th episode of the 8th season of "E.R."


NBC Description

DR. GREENE WONDERS IF HIS OWN FUTURE IS MIRRORED IN HIS PATIENTS' PROGNOSES: While Dr. Greene (Anthony Edwards) tries to immerse himself in his work, he reluctantly discovers that his aggressive illness is hampering his coordination and watching other end-stage patients struggle with their treatments has a sobering effect on him.

Elsewhere, Greene has a poignant reunion with his ex-wife (guest star Christine Harnos) and later mediates between the staff and a stubborn but deluded homeless man (guest star Paul Benjamin).

Dr. Pratt (Mekhi Phifer), a self-confident new intern, gets some advice from Greene about his bedside manner; Abby (Maura Tierney) can move out of Dr. Kovac's (Goran Visnjic) apartment when her abusive neighbor moves away.

Greene treats a family man (guest star Ken Lerner) who receives the worst kind of news; an Egyptologist (guest star Blaire Baron) is hospitalized for a rare disease; confusion over an elderly woman's wishes results in heroic measures to resuscitate her.

Noah Wyle, Laura Innes, Alex Kingston, Ming-Na, Sherry Stringfield and Sharif Atkins also star.


Greene's condition is getting worse as he worries he will meet the same fate as his terminally ill patient. Greene decides that this will be his last day but doesn't tell anyone.



  • As Dr. Greene leaves the hospital, he talks to Dr. Carter and says " You set the tone." Just like Dr. Morgestern said to him.


  • When Greene open his locker for the last time it opens to the left. When Carter is cleaning out the locker it opens to the right.


Mark: You set the tone, Carter.
Carter: What?
Mark: Work on your jump shot.
Weaver: [to Mark] It might be best if you left critical procedures to the rest of us.
Mark: You're pulling me out of the Trauma Room?
Weaver: Anybody else I'd send home. I trust you to recognize your own limitations.
Mark [to a drug-addicted woman who gave birth to a premature baby] Congratulations, you're a mother.
Pratt: Do I seem like a punk to you?
Mark: No.
Pratt: Then stop trying to treat me like one.
Mark: I'm sure that you think you're ready for anything.
Pratt: Wait. Is this the one about the old guy and the young guy? Because, see, I've heard it all before.
Mark: There's a door there that goes outside. If you don't like the way I'm doing this, keep walking.
Pratt [about Mark] I just can't figure out what's going on with this guy.
Susan: A tumor.
Pratt: What?
Susan: He has a brain tumor. An inoperable GBM that's recurred. That's what's going on with him. That's what the IV's for. He's in his second cycle of chemo.
Pratt: And he's still working?
[When Mark decides not undergo anymore chemotherapy]
Mark: I'm finished. I've had enough.
Elizabeth: You can go up now, and I'll drive you home.
Mark: Elizabeth.
Elizabeth: This isn't something that you decide by yourself on the spur of the moment
Mark: This might be the last important decision I get to make.
Elizabeth: You haven't given it time to work, Mark. Please.
Mark: I dropped an ET tube today. I couldn't wrap my thumb around it.
Elizabeth: That doesn't mean the chemo's not working.
Mark: It's a game, Elizabeth. I don't wanna play.
Elizabeth: Look, it's only the second cycle. This treatment could prolong your life.
Mark: Maybe. For a couple of months.
Elizabeth: Well, then give yourself that time. Give it to me and Ella. Give it to Rachel. Who knows what might happen? We see patients here every day who are told that they should have been dead long ago.
Mark: I need to be realistic.
Elizabeth: You mean give up.
Mark: It's not giving up. It's making a choice. I'd rather have two good months than twice that chained to meds and needles and IV stands, stuck in a bed sitting next to other clock-watchers, being prodded and small-talked to by doctors and nurses, all of them with that look in their eye like you're already gone. I don't want to end it like that.
Mark: Thank you, Katie.
Katie: What did I do?
Mark: You just became my very last patient.
Mark: Never let your work become your life, Kerry.