ER (season 15)

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ER (season 15)
DVD Season 15 Cover.jpg
DVD box set
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 22
Original network NBC
Original release September 25, 2008 –
April 2, 2009
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 14
List of ER episodes

The fifteenth and final season of the American fictional drama television series ER premiered on September 25, 2008 and concluded on April 2, 2009, in a two-hour episode preceded by a one-hour retrospective special. The season consists of 22 episodes.


The final season opens up revealing Gregory Pratt is the victim of the ambulance explosion. Despite the rallying efforts of his workplace colleagues, he succumbs to his injuries and dies. The season introduces Cate Banfield as new ER chief, a woman with a seemingly mysterious past with County General. Abby and Kovac leave for a new life in Boston, Brenner must deal with issues surrounding his childhood, Sam and Gates' relationship suffers a setback while Neela is forced to make some tough decisions, both personal and professional.

To mark the end of the series and draw closure, several former cast members make a return to the show. Greene and Romano appear in a flashback episode that explores Banfield's history with County General while Carter returns to work at County although, unbeknownst to his colleagues, he is in desperate need of a kidney transplant while the likes of Benton, Ross, Lewis, Hathaway, Corday, Weaver and Barnett all make surprise returns.


Main cast[edit]

Special appearances[edit]

The final season included special appearances by departed regular and recurring cast members:

Returning recurring characters


Notable guest stars[edit]



  • Christopher Chulack – Executive producer
  • Michael Crichton – Creator/Executive producer
  • John Wells – Executive producer
  • David Zabel – Executive producer
  • Joe Sachs – Executive producer
  • Janine Sherman Barrois – Executive producer
  • Lisa Zwerling – Co-executive producer
  • Tommy Burns – Producer
  • Wendy Spence Rosato – Producer
  • Charles M. Lagola – Production designer
  • Arthur Albert – Director of photography
  • Martin Davich – Music
  • Randy Jon Morgan, A.C.E. – Editor
  • Mimi Leder, a frequent director during ER's first two seasons, returned as a director for the episode "A Long, Strange Trip"
  • Rod Holcomb, the director of the 1994 pilot episode as well as several other early episodes, returned to direct two episodes in this season, among them the series finale


No. in
No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
310 1 "Life After Death" Christopher Misiano Joe Sachs September 25, 2008 (2008-09-25) 15001 7.92[1]

Gates hurries to the scene of the ambulance explosion after learning it was Pratt, not Sam, in the ambulance. Pratt is rushed back to County suffering from blast injuries, where the ER staff work to stabilize him. Eventually, a carotid tear develops, and he dies. Meanwhile, Abby misdiagnoses a patient, and talks about her plans to leave Chicago with Kovač, while Morris must pick up the pieces after Pratt's death.

Note: This is the final appearance of Dr. Greg Pratt.
311 2 "Another Thursday at County" Paul McCrane Lisa Zwerling October 9, 2008 (2008-10-09) 15002 9.35[2]
A new batch of interns as well as the new head of the ER arrive for their first day at County, while adjusting, a bio-terrorist with a bag full of Ricin is admitted with a broken leg.
312 3 "The Book of Abby" Christopher Chulack David Zabel October 16, 2008 (2008-10-16) 15003 8.81[3]

Abby gets a job in Boston and tries to leave County General quietly, but the staff makes it known how much they will miss her. Abby says goodbye and leaves for Boston with Kovač and her son.

Note: This is the last episode to be produced while the series creator, Michael Crichton, was still alive (he died 5 days after the episode aired), the final appearance of Dr. Luka Kovac and the final regular appearance of Dr. Abby Lockhart.
313 4 "Parental Guidance" John Gallagher Janine Sherman Barrois October 23, 2008 (2008-10-23) 15004 8.69[4]
Dissatisfied with the interns' performance, Banfield decides to start a new system. Each intern gets a mentor with daily two-way crits: Daria is paired with Gates, Ryan with Morris, and Tracy with Brenner. Brenner tells Tracy how he wants to proceed, but she insists on doing things her way. A girl comes in with a broken leg which may be caused by a severely mentally ill family member.
314 5 "Haunted" Christopher Chulack Karen Maser October 30, 2008 (2008-10-30) 15005 9.12[5]
Sam's time is taken up by her studies for a pharmacology exam, leaving Gates feeling neglected. A school fight results in a stabbing, with Brenner treating the victim and trying to uncover the truth behind the story. Morris has a surprise for Neela. Gates gets locked in a stairwell with a quiet young boy on Halloween night.
315 6 "Oh, Brother" Stephen Cragg Virgil Williams November 6, 2008 (2008-11-06) 15006 8.64[6]
Banfield is upset when her husband Russell insists on a visit with his parents; Morris favors Chaz over senior interns, resulting in trouble; Gates asks Sam and Alex to move in with him.
316 7 "Heal Thyself" David Zabel David Zabel November 13, 2008 (2008-11-13) 15007 9.80[7]

Banfield must deal with the ghosts of her past when a critically ill child arrives in the ER. A past encounter with Mark Greene helps her diagnose and confront her own problems. Neela's intern loses his first patient, and struggles to cope.

Note: This is the final appearance of Dr. Mark Greene and Dr. Robert Romano.
317 8 "Age of Innocence" Paul McCrane Janine Sherman Barrois November 20, 2008 (2008-11-20) 15008 9.15[8]
A man acquitted of child molestation comes into the ER with his wife, who was injured when their house was set on fire, drawing Brenner's hostility. Later, the man's interest in a young girl leads his brother-in-law to beat him, nearly blinding him. When Brenner becomes emotional while the man is treated, Morris confronts him, leading to an emotional revelation about Brenner's past. Neela's frustration with her intern reaches the boiling point, and Dubenko teaches her a lesson in the importance of teaching and mentorship. Gates continues his search for the missing veteran.
318 9 "Let it Snow" Charles Haid Joe Sachs December 4, 2008 (2008-12-04) 15009 8.22[9]
While snow strands Banfield and Morris at a doctors' conference in Omaha, Gates is left in charge of the kids. He allows Sam's son Alex and Sarah to walk through the blizzard to a nearby party. Driving a friend's car after the party, Alex is gravely injured as he crashes in the storm. Sam goes ballistic.
319 10 "The High Holiday" Lesli Linka Glatter Shannon Goss December 11, 2008 (2008-12-11) 15010 8.92[10]
Morris receives an unwanted package from his father at the ER doorstep. Sam is anxious about getting Alex off of the ventilator after his accident. Meanwhile, a pregnant woman with a high-risk pregnancy is in danger of getting deported. Sam tells Gates that she and Alex are moving out.
320 11 "Separation Anxiety" Terence Nightingall Virgil Williams January 8, 2009 (2009-01-08) 15011 7.32[11]
The ER treats two brothers who are shot during a drug deal. Banfield and her husband continue their quest to restart their family. Sam and Gates argue while treating patients.
321 12 "Dream Runner" Andrew Bernstein Lisa Zwerling January 15, 2009 (2009-01-15) 15012 6.98[12]
Neela has a series of three dreams where the outcome of the lives of two patients depend on her decisions. In the first two dreams, she makes either of two choices, but each one kills the patients. The third dream, she makes a new choice, saving the lives of two patients as well as sleeping with Brenner. In the end, it is revealed they were all dreams.
322 13 "Love Is a Battlefield" Richard Thorpe Karen Maser January 22, 2009 (2009-01-22) 15013 7.69[13]
Morris treats a youngster who was hit while riding her bike. Meanwhile, Gates has trouble distancing himself from Sam; and Neela's nerves take over when she learns Brenner has returned from Australia.
323 14 "A Long, Strange Trip" Mimi Leder Joe Sachs February 5, 2009 (2009-02-05) 15014 7.30[14]
Dr. Morgenstern visits County General upon learning a former mentor is seriously ill. Meanwhile, Sam's sister (Shannon Woodward) drops by unexpectedly; Gates and Morris treat an elderly man who was assaulted on the street; and Brenner is shocked by a patient's diagnosis.
324 15 "The Family Man" Eriq La Salle Andrew Fash February 12, 2009 (2009-02-12) 15015 7.25[15]
A mother is severely injured by a car accident in the ambulance bay; an insurance company frustrates Morris; Neela tells Brenner about her offer in North Carolina.
325 16 "The Beginning of the End" Jonathan Kaplan David Zabel & Lisa Zwerling February 19, 2009 (2009-02-19) 15016 7.44[16]
Valentine's Day in the ER sees Neela and Brenner growing closer. Banfield tries to convince her husband to go along with her new plan to have a baby. Gates treats a patient who may have ingested a toxin while "mushroom hunting" while Neela performs surgery on a young girl's mother. Morris and his girlfriend clash when he suspects her fellow officers physically assaulted a badly injured patient. Carter returns to the ER for a visit, gets the OK from Banfield to do some shift work at County, and is seen on hemo-dialysis in the final scene.
326 17 "T-Minus-6" Rod Holcomb David Zabel & Lisa Zwerling February 26, 2009 (2009-02-26) 15017 8.73[17]
The Banfields explore their options with an adoption agency. Carter struggles with the new procedural and technological advances made to emergency medicine since he has been gone. Brenner confronts Lucy's foster family about his concerns. Morris treats a couple who takes his advice too far. Sam is shocked when her mother is brought into the ER. Neela makes a decision about her future at County. Banfield discovers Carter's medical condition.
327 18 "What We Do" David Zabel David Zabel March 5, 2009 (2009-03-05) 15018 8.80[18]
A camera crew shooting footage for a documentary descends upon the ER. Detective Claudia Diaz is brought in with life-threatening gunshot wounds. Neela is perplexed by the lack of communication between her and Brenner. Sam struggles to reconcile with her mother. Carter's condition suddenly worsens.
328 19 "Old Times" John Wells John Wells March 12, 2009 (2009-03-12) 15019 10.71[19]

As Carter awaits his kidney transplant, he gets a surprise visit from Benton. Meanwhile, Ross and Hathaway must receive consent for organ donation from a woman who is grief-stricken over the sudden death of her grandson, but Sam and Neela are stuck at the airport with the transplant organs in hand. Banfield bonds with an abandoned baby. Brenner continues to care for a little girl whose mother is awaiting a heart transplant.

Note: This is the final appearance of Dr. Doug Ross and Nurse Carol Hathaway.
329 20 "Shifting Equilibrium" Andrew Bernstein Lisa Zwerling March 19, 2009 (2009-03-19) 15020 9.28[20]

Neela clashes with Dubenko on two surgical cases and looks to prove her worth as attending material before she leaves County for good. Brenner looks to gain some insight into his abusive childhood.

Note: This is the final appearance of Dr. Lucien Dubenko and Dr. Abby Lockhart.
330 21 "I Feel Good"[21] Stephen Cragg Joe Sachs March 26, 2009 (2009-03-26) 15021 10.57[22]

A woman returns to County to claim the baby she had abandoned there. The ER doctors and nurses assist at a camp for children recovering from open heart surgeries where Morris proposes to Claudia and Brenner befriends a kid who does not want to join in with the activities.

Note: This is the final appearance of Dr. Ray Barnett.
331 22 "And in the End..."[23] Rod Holcomb John Wells April 2, 2009 (2009-04-02) 15022 16.24[24]

Series finale. A new medical facility for the underprivileged funded by Carter is opened and old colleagues return to show their support. Gates treats a teenager with alcohol poisoning after she and her friends play a drinking game. Sam is surprised when she receives a special gift for her birthday. This two-hour episode was preceded by a one-hour retrospective special.

Note: According to an April 3, 2009 report on Entertainment Tonight, the episode attracted 16.4 million viewers, the highest rating of any drama series finale since Murder, She Wrote in 1996.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Cancel Bear, The (September 26, 2008). "Thursday, September 25: A Paler Shade of Grey's Boosts ABC". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 24, 2015. 
  2. ^ Cancel Bear, The (October 10, 2008). "UPDATED Thursday: CSI Opens Large, Life on Mars & Eleventh Hour Battle". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 24, 2015. 
  3. ^ Seidman, Robert (October 17, 2008). "UPDATED Thursday: CSI Has Most Total Viewers, Grey's Anatomy Wins With Youth". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 24, 2015. 
  4. ^ Seidman, Robert (October 24, 2008). "Thursday Ratings: CBS Dominates With CSI; World Series and Life on Mars Drop". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 24, 2015. 
  5. ^ Seidman, Robert (October 31, 2008). "Updated: Thursday Ratings, CSI Most-Watched, Best Ratings Ever for 30 Rock". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 24, 2015. 
  6. ^ Seidman, Robert (November 7, 2008). "Thursday Ratings: CSI Wins Viewers, Grey's Anatomy Demo; Plus Oprah". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 24, 2015. 
  7. ^ Seidman, Robert (November 14, 2008). "UPDATED Thursday: CSI Most Viewers, Grey's Anatomy Higher Demos; Plus ER". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 24, 2015. 
  8. ^ Seidman, Robert (November 21, 2008). "Thursday Ratings: '30 Rock' and 'ER' hold up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 24, 2015. 
  9. ^ Seidman, Robert (December 5, 2008). "Thursday Ratings: Barbara Walters is still a hit with the "youth"". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 24, 2015. 
  10. ^ Seidman, Robert (December 12, 2008). "Thursday Ratings: With ABC in repeats, CBS' 'CSI' dominates in Fishburne debut". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 24, 2015. 
  11. ^ Seidman, Robert (January 9, 2009). "Updated Thursday Ratings: BCS Championship dominates". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 24, 2015. 
  12. ^ Cancel Bear, The (January 16, 2009). "Updated Thursday Ratings: CSI's Petersen Farewell Draws 23 Million". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 24, 2015. 
  13. ^ Cancel Bear, The (January 23, 2009). "Thursday Ratings: CSI Captures Viewers, Grey's Anatomy Wins Demos". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 24, 2015. 
  14. ^ Cancel Bear, The (February 6, 2009). "Thursday Ratings: With CBS Away, Grey's And Practice Come Out To Play". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 24, 2015. 
  15. ^ Cancel Bear, The (February 13, 2009). "Thursday Ratings: Survivor Returns Well, Grey's Boosts Practice To Demo Beatdown". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 24, 2015. 
  16. ^ Seidman, Robert (February 20, 2009). "Thursday Ratings: Grey's Anatomy still the demo king, Survivor stays strong". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 24, 2015. 
  17. ^ Cancel Bear, The (February 27, 2009). "Overnight Ratings: Fox Wins With American Idol Thursday Visit". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 24, 2015. 
  18. ^ Cancel Bear, The (March 6, 2009). "Ratings: Thursday Competition Glad American Idol Is Leaving". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 24, 2015. 
  19. ^ Cancel Bear, The (March 13, 2009). "Thursday Ratings: "Surprise" Clooney Return Provides Little Boost To E.R.". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 24, 2015. 
  20. ^ Cancel Bear, The (March 20, 2009). "Thursday Ratings: Down To The Wire". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 24, 2015. 
  21. ^ James Brown's song "I Feel Good" is performed during the episode.
  22. ^ Cancel Bear, The (March 27, 2009). "Thursday Ratings: Idol Dominates, In the Motherhood Near Ugly Betty Levels". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 24, 2015. 
  23. ^ Cf. the lyric "And in the end ..." from the Beatles' song "The End", the last song on their last recorded album, Abbey Road.
  24. ^ Seidman, Robert (April 3, 2009). "Updated Thursday Ratings: ER finale draws 16.2 million viewers". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 24, 2015. 

External links[edit]