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"The Fastest Year"
Season 6, Episode 19
The fastest year.jpg
Air date April 27, 2000
Written by Lydia Woodward
Directed by Richard Thorpe
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The Fastest Year is the 19th episode of the 6th season of "E.R."


NBC Description

ABBY WON'T LET FAMILY FEUD END YOUNG GIRL'S CHANCE FOR LIFE: Abby (Maura Tierney) plays with fire when she intercedes on behalf of a sick young girl (guest star Dakota Fanning) who needs a bone marrow transplant, but the most eligible donor is her half-sister (guest star Julie Marie Berman) whose divorced mother (guest star Sydney Walsh) refuses to okay the procedure out of spite for the girl's father (guest star Steven Flynn) who's her ex-husband.

In another family, Dr. Greene (Anthony Edwards) admits his pneumonia-ridden father (guest star John Cullum) into the hospital and shares a rare but memorable father-son moment as the older man's time begins to wind down.

Dr. Kovac (Goran Visnjic) gallantly offers to help Nurse Hathaway (Julianna Margulies) buy a used car and they enjoy their spring day on the town.

Likewise, a day tripping Dr. Benton (Eriq La Salle) takes Dr. Finch (Michael Michele) out to Los Angeles to visit his toddler son and meet his sister Jackie (guest star Khandi Alexander) who can't help but interrogate her guest.

Dr. Carter (Noah Wyle) is tormented by visions of his recent brush with death and draws Dr. Weaver's (Laura Innes) concern upon her return. Alex Kingston, Paul McCrane, Erik Palladino, and Ming-Na also star.


Mark Greene takes his father to the hospital for a chest film because he's feeling under the weather. At the hospital, Elizabeth Corday stops by for a visit and asks how David's doing. David says he's still here so it isn't too bad. Mark and Elizabeth take over for the nurse and help David get comfortable. David is diagnosed with pneumonia. Mark says he's going to keep him in the hospital for a while to see if he has a bad reaction to the antibiotics. Elizabeth asks if there's anything she can do to help. Mark tells her that she can help him steal supplies. While they stock up, Mark ends up getting emotional over his father being sick. Mark listens as David and another patient talk about how David used to be a naval man. David reminisces about being out on the water and how it was the calmest place on Earth. Mark just sits there and listens. Jing-Mei Chen comes in and asks Mark for help. Mark helps her tell a couple that their grandmother is dying and that they need to think carefully about what she'd want. How if they hooked her up to machines she'd die in two weeks but if they leave her alone she could die peacefully in a day or two. The couple asks if that's what Mark thinks they should do. He says that he thinks that they need to spend more time with their grandmother. Mark tells Elizabeth that he's going to take David for an outing outside of the hospital. Mark takes David to the water. There David talks about the time that he watched a man die. How those were the longest and best four minutes of his life. That there was some kind of value in just being there. He thanks Mark for bringing him out to the water. But Mark has a surprise for him and introduces him to Sam, the other patient in his room husband. Sam takes David and Mark out onto the water.

Abby Lockhart has a new trauma patient and it's a little girl who was just in a car accident. They get her test results back and learn that the girl's leukemia has returned. Abby tells the father this news and says that she needs to have chemo again. She mentions that in about two months after she's in remission again that they can look into her having a bone marrow transplant. The dad says that if they can find a match. Abby asks if there are anymore family members. He says she has a half-sister but that she's never been tested. Abby says she'll check the registry and see if they can find a partial match. Abby tells the dad that she talked to their legal department and that there is nothing they can do to get his ex-wife to help them. He gets upset because he hadn't asked her to do that. She insists that he needs to talk with his ex-wife but he says he just wants to be left alone with his daughter. Abby goes to visit the ex-wife. She tells her about the little girl and how if her daughter matched that she'd have a much better chance at survival. The woman refuses to listen and asks Abby to leave. Abby gets a surprise visit from the half-sister. She says that she wants to help the little girl but her mom hasn't given consent. Weaver says they can't do anything without getting permission from her parent first. Abby offers to take her to see her father but she says no she just wanted to help out her sister. Abby secretly takes a blood sample from the half-sister but is caught by Weaver. Weaver can't believe that Abby did this and that what was she thinking. Abby says she was just trying to help. The ex-wife arrives after Abby having called her and told her about the half-sister coming to visit. She takes her to see the two girls and Abby tells her how everybody wants this to happen.

John Carter is asleep at the dinner table when his grandmother wakes him up. She asks if he wants breakfast and he says just toast. He grabs the bread and a knife to start slicing but suddenly the memories of being stabbed distract him. His grandmother tells him that she wished he'd go talk to someone about him not sleeping. Carter and Luka are working on a child who needed a spinal tap when Carter again flashes back to the stabbing. He tries to shake it off and goes to deal with an elderly couple. The wife was brought in because she took her husband's blood pressure pills since her own insurance doesn't cover her medication. Carter says she shouldn't be taking those pills because they could kill her since she has asthma. Carter admits the wife as they have to keep an eye on her for the next 24 hours. They take her up to the ICU. She mentions having been here recently for surgery so Carter goes to the records department to find out for what. The librarian tells Carter that he can't find the record he's looking for but that they did find the file on Paul, the man who stabbed him. He takes a seat to look through it but is interrupted by the psychiatrist. He asks how Carter is and offers him a 3 o'clock appointment for him to come up and talk to him. Carter takes him up on the offer and goes to talk with him. Carter tells him that he should've realized something was wrong with Paul. The psychiatrist says that so should have Lucy. That it would be easier for all of them to think of it as an accident. Carter asks him if he's seen Paul recently and the psychiatrist says no. Carter gets paged and has to leave but the psychiatrist tells him to come back if he needs to. The husband of the elderly woman fell and hit his head while helping his wife settle in the ICU. Carter tries to keep the two together but their different insurances won't allow it so they have to transfer the husband to another hospital. Carter meets up with Paul's wife. She asks what Carter wanted to talk about. He says he doesn't know that he just keeps thinking about what happened. She says he isn't the only one. She asks how she couldn't see what was happening to Paul. He says he doesn't know.

Carol Hathaway is looking for a used car so Luka Kovač offers to take her to the place where he got his car. They take the bus to the car lot. Luka asks if she's excited about buying a used car. Carol says no that her mom wants her to buy a minivan. He jokes that they can put a Porsche engine in it. She asks if he's serious and he says no. She regrets bringing him along. Carol and Luka get lost trying to find the car lot. They decide to get a hot dog instead. They eat their hot dogs at the baseball stadium. They talk about their respective fathers and how Carol must think about Kate and Tess and how they should know their father. Carol asks if they're going to buy a car and Luka says yes. While looking overused cars, Luka accidentally breaks one of the antennas. Carol ends up buying a small used station wagon. Luka says they should celebrate. They get a hamburger and eat it while sitting next to the water. Carol asks him about the war and he talks about how his wife and children died. On the drive back, Carol's car breaks down. Luka gets out and says he can fix it. He starts to push the car but they can't get it to start so they call a tow truck. While they wait for the tow truck to arrive, Carol talks about her childhood. She says that she expected the tow truck to be there by now. Luka says that nothing went as expected today. She leans in and kisses him.

Cleo Finch and Peter Benton are having breakfast with his sister and her children. Peter leaves to go play with the children so his sister bombards Cleo with questions. While Cleo is playing basketball with his nieces and nephews, his sister asks if they're serious. He says that it's a little too early to be serious. She says that Cleo isn't serious about him. Peter asks how she knows this and she says that that girl isn't ready to settle down. Peter tells her that it's not serious and that he isn't ready to settle down either.

Kerry Weaver returns to the hospital. Robert Romano tells her that if she continues to make bad decisions that he can un-appoint her as chief. Weaver goes to check up on a sick boy but he freaks out over her cane and runs away. Dave tells Weaver that the kid is okay and that he found him in the cafeteria eating pudding. Weaver tells Dave to take over the kid's care. Weaver has to call Dave again and tell him that the runaway kid is following her around and to take him back to his room. Weaver is still being followed by the kid so, while looking for Dave, she walks in on Abby taking blood from a patient. Weaver yells at Abby for doing so without parental consent. Later, Weaver waves hi to the little boy that kept following her around as he lays in bed.