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"Welcome Back, Carter!"
Season 2, Episode 1 (#26)
Air date September 21, 1995
US viewers 37.5 M
Written by John Wells
Directed by Mimi Leder
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Welcome Back, Carter! is the first episode of the second season of the NBC medical drama series ER. It premiered on September 21, 1995.


The ER treats victims of a gang shootout. Carter arrives late and unprepared for his new position. Mark learns all about being an attending, including senior staff's habit of bad-mouthing the residents, particularly Doug Ross . Mark hires a new Chief Resident, Kerry Weaver . Third year med students arrive to complete their ER rotation.

NBC Description

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: Carter arrives two-hours late to his new surgical sub-internship with Benton. Later, he is introduced to an attractive new med student, Harper Tracy (Christine Elise).

Jeanie and Benton become intimately involved. One of Greene's first and most unpopular decisions as attending physician is naming Dr. Kerry Weaver (Laura Innes) as Chief Resident.

Hathaway starts a paramedic rotation and is partnered with Shep (Ron Eldard).

Cast and Characters


Anthony Edwards as Dr. Mark Greene 

George Clooney as Dr. Doug Ross

Sherry Stringfield as Dr. Susan Lewis

Noah Wyle as John Carter

Julianna Margulies as Nurse Carol Hathaway

Eriq La Salle as Dr. Peter Benton


Abraham Benrubi as Jerry Markovic

Amy Aquino as Dr. Janet Coburn

Mary Mara as Loretta Sweet

Carlos Gomez as Raul

Ellen Crawford as Lydia Wright

Yvette Freeman as Haleh Adams

Conni Marie Brazelton as Conni Oligario

Lily Mariye as Lily Jarvik

Vanessa Marquez as Wendy Goldman

Gloria Reuben as Jeanie Boulet

Ron Eldard as Shep

Laura Innes as Dr. Kerry Weaver

Kathleen Wilhoite as Chloe Lewis

Laura Cerón as Chuny Marquez

Emily Wagner as Pickman

William H. Macy as Dr. David Morgenstern

Christine Elise McCarthy as Harper Tracy

Deezer D as Malik McGrath


  • Morgenstern left in Season 1 for a job in Boston and was replaced by Dr. Swift. In this episode, Morgenstern is back, as if he never left. His return is not explained until the next episode, "Summer Run ."
  • This episode marks the first appearance of Ron Eldard as Paramedic Ray "Shep" Shepard, a character that would recur throughout the season.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of Laura Innes as Dr. Kerry Weaver. She would guest star regularly throughout the season, and join the main cast in the Season 3 premiere, "Dr. Carter, I Presume ."
  • Both Carol and Malik say "Welcome Back, Carter!" in this episode. This is one of several times an episode title is incorporated into the show's dialogue.
  • Penny Fuller (Mrs. Constantine) was nominated for an Emmy Award in the Outstanding Guest Actress category for her work in this episode.
  • The episode title is a play on Welcome Back, Kotter, a 1970s television series starring Gabe Kaplan and John Travolta.


[During a trauma involving a burn victim]
Malik: Kinda smells like a barbecue in here.
Carter: Oh, God. (passes out on the floor)
Malik: Ha, ha, ha! Welcome back, Carter!
Mark (to Doug): You did some of your residency with Kerry Weaver?
Doug: Yeah. When we crossed paths.
Mark: Morgenstern wants me to consider her for chief.
Doug: Really?
Mark: That bad?
Doug: Did you ever see "Cuckoo's Nest"?
Benton: What do you know about the arteries in the neck?
Carter: Uh, there's a lot of them?


  1. "Nielsen Ratings: September-November 1995 " (PDF). USA Today. (May 22, 2015).