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Season 3
Season three.jpg
No. of episodes 22
Original network NBC
Original run September 26, 1996 – May 15, 1997
DVD release April 26, 2005
Season chronology
Season 2
Season 4

The third season of the medical drama series ER which originally aired from NBC on September 26, 1996 and concluded on May 15, 1997. The season consists of 22 episodes. This is the last season to feature Sherry Stringfield before leaving the show. It was released on Region 1 DVD on April 26, 2005.



Main article: Season 3 crew

Cast and characters

Main article: Season 3 characters
See also: Season 3 cast
Actor/actress Character Role
Anthony Edwards Dr. Mark Greene Emergency Medicine Attending
George Clooney Dr. Doug Ross Emergency Pediatric Fellow
Sherry Stringfield Dr. Susan Lewis Emergency Medicine Resident (Year 4)
Noah Wyle Dr. John Carter Surgical Intern
Julianna Margulies Nurse Carol Hathaway ER Nurse
Gloria Reuben Jeanie Boulet Physician Assistant
Laura Innes Dr. Kerry Weaver Emergency Medicine Attending
Eriq La Salle Dr. Peter Benton Surgical Resident (Year 4)

Plot synopsis

Early in the third season, Susan Lewis leaves for Phoenix to live with her sister and niece. Before she leaves, Greene realizes his feelings for her and races against time to declare them. He makes it to Union Station just as she is boarding the train. He stops her and declares his love, begging her to stay. Susan leaves anyway, but not before kissing Mark and declaring (as the train pulls out of the station) that she loves him too.

In the aftermath of her departure, Mark falls into depression, develops a meaner attitude, and starts sleeping with County General nurse Chuny Marquez, although they soon break up. Towards the end of the season, he is attacked in the ER bathroom and his assailant is never caught.

Although some suspicions arise over former patients and families, Mark's beating was no more than a random act of violence. He becomes increasingly paranoid about his personal safety and distances himself from his friends & family.

Meanwhile, Doug and Carol draw closer, culminating in a kiss at the end of the season. Doug is said to be attending therapy throughout the season, although this is never shown on-screen (possibly due to one of his one night stand's dying in the hospital just after they were together) and Doug questioning his actions.

Carol considers going to medical school, but she eventually decides that she loves her work as a nurse too much to change her career.

Carter (now an intern) continues to lock horns with Benton, especially over Benton's treatment of surgical intern Dennis Gant.

This eventually results in Gant committing suicide by throwing himself in front of a train and despite the ER staff's best efforts, Gant eventually dies from his injuries, devastating Carter who begins blaming himself and Benton for not doing more to prevent what he believes was Gant's suicide.

Benton also starts dating Carla Reese, who becomes pregnant and gives premature birth to his son at the end of the season.

Weaver supports Jeanie, who is forced to reveal her HIV-status early in the season, when Mark gains unauthorized access to her medical records. While Jeanie struggles with her condition, she becomes involved with a doctor from the Infectious Diseases department before reuniting with her ex-husband, Al.


Main article: Episodes
Season # Series # Title Writer Director Original airdate
1 48 Doctor Carter, I Presume John Wells Christopher Chulack September 26, 1996
Jeanie discovers she is HIV positive but refuses to disclose her status to the hospital. Her former lover, Dr. Peter Benton, tests negative. Having recently graduated from medical school, Carter now works as a surgical intern under Benton. Another intern, Dr. Dennis Gant, befriends Carter. Hathaway sees her former lover, Shep, with his new girlfriend.
2 49 Let The Games Begin Lydia Woodward Tom Moore October 3, 1996
While undergoing aggressive treatment for HIV, Jeanie gets dismissed from a bloody trauma by Benton. Greene and Lewis' mutual attraction increases. County General gets a new Chief of Staff, Dr. Donald Anspaugh. Hathaway has money woes.
3 50 Don't Ask, Don't Tell Jason Cahill and Paul Manning Perry Lang October 10, 1996
Carter has a problem with Anspaugh when Carter pretends that his patient's condition is worse than it is so he can operate. Noticing Jeanie's behavior during a bloody trauma, Weaver realizes that Jeanie is HIV-positive. Mark wonders about his relationship with Susan when she asks him to go on vacation with her in Hawaii. Anspaugh's strict rules annoy everyone.
4 51 Last Call Samantha Howard Corbin Rod Holcomb October 17, 1996
Ross' personal life results in tragedy. Hathaway considers enrolling in medical school. Carter annoys Benton by impressing Dr. Keaton. Carter botches Benton's lecture when he loses part of Benton's presentation. Benton visits his former lover at her restaurant.
5 52 Ghosts Neal Baer Richard Thorpe October 31, 1996
On a stormy Halloween, Hathaway and Ross ride in a health mobile dispensing free medical care in poor neighborhoods. Greene and Lewis enjoy the ER Halloween party together. Hathaway enrolls in a pre-medical school physics class. Jeanie clashes with Doyle.
6 53 Fear of Flying Lance Gentile Christopher Chulack November 7, 1996
Lewis confronts her fear of flying to travel in a rescue helicopter with Greene and assist a family of accident victims. Jeanie and Doyle keep a dead man on ice for cryogenic storage. Benton makes a grave error in Dr. Keaton's absence. Hathaway clashes with an incompetent temporary nurse from another department.
7 54 No Brain, No Gain Paul Manning David Nutter November 14, 1996
Benton keeps vigil on a critically ill baby whose condition is the result of Benton's surgical error. Greene worries that Lewis is dating Morgenstern, but Lewis confides that Morgenstern is helping her transfer to a hospital in Arizona so she can be near her niece. Anspaugh compliments Carter after Carter discovers an overlooked medical problem on another intern's patient. Carter and Keaton begin a clandestine relationship. Ross seeks therapy for his sexual addiction.
8 55 Union Station Carol Flint Tom Moore November 21, 1996
Nurse Lydia Wright and police officer Al Grabarsky get married. Jeanie's husband finally signs the divorce papers. After complaining about nursing assignments, Carol gets appointed to serve on a hospital committee. Following Ross' advice, Greene declares his love to Susan before she boards the train to Phoenix.
9 56 Ask Me No Questions, I'll Tell You No Lies Neal Baer, Barbara Hall, and Lydia Woodward Paris Barclay December 12, 1996
Greene snoops into Jeanie's confidential files and learns her secret after he discovers that Al is HIV-positive. Keaton implies to Carter that their relationship is strictly for fun, and she will soon leave for Pakistan to teach. Carter and Keaton spend quality time together as they go off in search of a Christmas tree. Hathaway scores well on her pre-med school physics midterm.
10 57 Homeless for the Holidays Samantha Howard Corbin Davis Guggenheim December 19, 1996
Jeanie finally divulges her HIV status to her co-workers. Ross befriends Charlie, a homeless 14-year-old girl. He brings her to Hathaway's house where her family is celebrating a Ukranian Christmas. Hathaway agrees to let Charlie spend the night. Keaton refuses to recommed Benton for the next pediatric surgery rotation because of his remote manner. After inviting Gant to attend a family holiday party with him, Carter reneges to be with Keaton. Gant is depressed because his girlfriend ended their relationship.
11 58 Night Shift Paul Manning Jonathan Kaplan January 16, 1997
Gant feels intense pressure from Benton who Gant feels is too tough on him. Carter ignores Gant because he's tired of listening to his constant complaints. Greene and Nurse Chuny flirt with each other and then consummate their attraction. Charlie returns to the ER after being raped and beaten. Benton, Carter and Doyle work on a victim who either tripped or jumped in front of an oncoming subway. Later, they realize the victim is Gant who doesn't survive his injuries.
12 59 Post Mortem Carol Flint Jacque Elaine Toberen January 23, 1997
Carter feels sorrow and guilt about Gant's death even though the police rule it an accident. Carter rebukes Benton for his seeming lack of concern. Ross refuses to be Charlie's guardian. Greene overzealously courts Marquez. Jeanie begins to date a doctor who specializes in infectious diseases. Hathaway feels responsible for a patient's death.
13 60 Fortune's Fools Jason Cahill Michael Katleman January 30, 1997
Carol admits to a newspaper reporter that she made a fatal mistake and, consequently, the hospital suspends her. Benton learns that Carla, his girlfriend, is pregnant. Weaver and Greene take on a group of prospective students. Carter decides to transfer to Hick's team to the chagrin of Peter Benton. Before Greene gets the chance to end his relationship with Marquez, she amicably ends it first.
14 61 Whose Appy Now Neal Baer Felix Enriquez Alcala February 6, 1997
Jeanie and Fischer's relationship continues to grow, and they share their first kiss. Ross treats a 17-year-old patient with cystic fibrosis who wants to die but is too young to sign a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order. Carter enjoys the task of removing Benton's appendix. Greene schedules too many dates on the same night. Nurse Haleh Adams unsuccessfully takes over the suspended Hathaway's duties.
15 62 The Long Way Around Lydia Woodward Christopher Chulack February 13, 1997
Although she is suspended from work, Hathaway experiences a busy day when she and a store full of customers are taken hostage. While hostage, Hathaway uses her medical skills and crude implements from the store to help the victims.
16 63 Faith John Wells Jonathan Kaplan February 20, 1997
Hathaway gets reinstated. She leaves work early to take the medical school admissions test. Carter disagrees with Anspaugh's diagnosis and is proven correct, impressing Anspaugh. Benton reassures Carla he wants to be a supportive father, but she believes he's too self absorbed and wants nothing from him. Fischer takes Jeanie on a picnic in very cold weather.
17 64 Tribes Lance Gentile Richard Thorpe April 10, 1997
Jeanie treats a pregnant Carla who is experiencing premature labor as the result of a car accident. Jeanie discovers that Benton is the father. Greene treats a 17-year-old white gunshot victim before treating a black gunshot victim who is the same age. The black victim later dies, and his furious brother, Kenny, accuses Greene of racism. Greene cares for his daughter while Jennifer goes out of town.
18 65 You Bet Your Life Paul Manning Christopher Chulack April 17, 1997
Greene competes with Weaver for a teaching position. Carter undermines Anspaugh's judgment by asking Hicks to perform delicate surgery on a patient Anspaugh refuses to operate on. When the deception is exposed, Carter gets placed on probation. Benton lies to get Carla's confidential files and finds out that she has gestational diabetes. After treating a woman who dies of AIDS, Jeanie finds comfort with her ex-husband, Al.
19 66 Calling Dr. Hathaway Neal Baer, Jason Cahill, and Samantha Howard Corbin Paris Barclay April 24, 1997
Hathaway finds out that she had a high score on her medical-school admissions test; however, she realizes she loves being a nurse and really does not want a career change. Carter fails to report a serious mistake made by another intern, fearing that Anspaugh wouldn't believe him. Carter confesses his attraction to Doyle, who is a lesbian. Benton uncharacteristically takes a day off work to care for Carla. Pomerantz and Greene take their daughters bowling.
20 67 Random Acts Carol Flint Jonathan Kaplan May 1, 1997
Greene is severely beaten by an unknown assailant in a hospital bathroom. Jeanie and Al rekindle their relationship. Ross transfers his obsession with sex to golf. Carla develops complications in her pregnancy. A new emergency pediatrics intern, Anna Del Amico, joins the staff.
21 68 Make A Wish Joe Sachs and Lydia Woodward Richard Thorpe May 8, 1997
A battered and bruised Greene returns to work. Carla delivers her baby two months prematurely and in critical condition. Carter begins to think that maybe he does not want to be a surgeon after all — he feels better utilized in the ER. Al and Jeanie are a happy couple. And Ross gives Hathaway a surprise birthday party — at her house.
22 69 One More For The Road Paul Manning Christopher Chulack May 15, 1997
Unable to sleep, Greene destroys the hospital lounge, throwing furniture and other items around. He refuses to acknowledge that he has a problem and buys a gun. Later, he points the weapon at some teenage thugs who try to rob him. Dr. Anspaugh is infuriated when he learns that Carter wants to practice ER medicine and plans to leave the surgical residency program. Charlie returns to the ER with a multiple drug overdose. Ross and Hathaway share a kiss.