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"The Letter"
Season 8, Episode 20
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Air date May 2, 2002
Written by Jack Orman
Directed by Jack Orman
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"The Letter" is the twentifth episode of the eighth season of ER. It first aired on NBC on May 2, 2002. It was written and directed by Jack Orman


Carter reads the ER staff a faxed letter from Mark in Hawaii and get another letter from Elizabeth that Mark has passed away, causing the ER staff dealing with the unexpected lost in their own way. Carter takes Mark's place in the ER as the letter prompts him to confront Abby about her recent drinking problem. Weaver, bereaved over the lost of Mark, gets her hand to Sandy. Pratt learns where he will be interning at.

NBC Description

E.R. STAFF RECEIVES A LETTER FROM DR. GREENE: Dr. Carter (Noah Wyle) reads a letter from the ailing Dr. Greene (Anthony Edwards) to the E.R. staff. Meanwhile, Dr. Weaver (Laura Innes) lashes out at a mentally challenged patient.

Carter feels helpless when a terminally ill homeless man (guest star Paul Benjamin) continues to ask for Greene's help; and Carter tries to coax a tipsy Abby (Maura Tierney) to attend an Alcoholics' Anonymous meeting with him.

Elsewhere, the obnoxious Dr. Pratt (Mekhi Phifer) learns that he will be assigned to County General for his residency and Dr. Romano (Paul McCrane) struggles to save a young girl's (guest star Kay Panabaker) life after an auto accident reveals a dangerous malignancy.

Goran Visnjic, Ming-Na and Sharif Atkins also star.


. The staff reads the letter from Mark Greene and learn from a sad letter from Elizabeth Corday that Mark had died, sending the grieving ER staff dealing with the lost of one of their beloved staff members in their own way.



  • Although credited, Anthony Edwards and Alex Kingston didn't appear in this episode.
  • The following episode, On the Beach, has a deleted scene in which Mark dictates the end of the letter to Elizabeth as his health deteriorates.