"Back in the World"
Season 11, Episode 17
Air date March 24, 2005
Written by David Zabel
Lisa Zwerling
Directed by Jonathan Kaplan
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"Back in the World" is the seventeenth episode of the eleventh season of ER. It first aired on NBC on March 24, 2005. It was written by David Zabel & Lisa Zwerling and directed by Jonathan Kaplan. It has Neela Rasgotra and Michael Gallant re-connect as he delivered the young Iraqi burn victim to the ER. When Sam's ex-husband Steve returns, Luka Kovač learns that he is wanted and tries to handle him before Steve takes Alex with him.


Neela is surprised that Gallant delivers the young burnt girl from Iraq to the ER, but he later returns and they re-connect on a personal level.

When Sam's ex-husband, Steve, returns, Frank informs Luka that Steve is wanted in Colorado. With that, Luka tries to stop Steve from taking Alex with him as he is a fugitive.

Pratt hits on a woman who works for the anti-violence organization and winds up asking her help on a young boy whose gun went off in his pocket and discovers that he received the gun from his mother.

NBC Description

GALLANT IS BACK IN CHICAGO WITH AN IRAQI BOMBING VICTIM: Neela (Parminder Nagra) is surprised when she hears that Gallant (Sharif Atkins) came to the ER with the young Iraqi burn victim.

Sam (Linda Cardellini) is troubled by a visit from her ex-husband. Pratt (Mekhi Phifer) treats a child whose gun went off in his pocket and learns that he received the gun from an unusual source.

Also starring Noah Wyle, Sherry Stringfield.


To be added.



  • Although credited, Laura Innes does not appear in this episode.
  • Beginning with this episode, Garret Dillahunt replaced Cole Hauser as Steve Curtis.
  • CeaseFire is a real organization that emerged in 2000 after the Chicago Project for Violence Prevention's steering committee developed an 8-Point Plan for reducing violence in the city. CeaseFire's focus is street violence, particularly shootings and killings.


Abby: (to Neela) I was ready to bestow my sage wisdom, but I think you got it covered.
Abby: (to Neela) Should I continue being oblivious or do you want to explain why you're bleeding from your cuticles?
(About Steve being back in town)
Luka: What do you wanna do?
Sam: I'm not gonna run away again. Especially not now. I don't want you to have to worry, it's my problem.
Luka: I kinda think it's our problem.
(Steve and Luka are fighting; Alex comes out with his bags packed)
Alex: Luka!
Steve: It's nothing, kiddo. Just a little disagreement.
Luka (to Alex): What's all that for?
Alex: We're going to Florida. My dad's got a place by the beach where we can watch the whales migrate. Mom said it was OK.
Luka: Alex, go back up!
Alex: No!
Luka: Alex, now!
Steve: Easy, Hoss. Not your kid!
Luka: Listen, you can take what you want, I don't care, but he's not going anywhere with you.