"Graduation Day"
Season 13, Episode 2
Air date September 28, 2006
Written by Janine Sherman Barrois
Lisa Zwerling
Directed by Joanna Kerns
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Graduation Day is the second episode of the thirteenth season of ER. It first aired on NBC at September 28, 2006. It was written by Janine Sherman Barrois & Lisa Zwerling and directed by Joanna Kerns. It focuses on Luka Kovač and Abby Lockhart coping with their son's premature birth with help from Abby's mother Maggie Wyczenski, as well as Samantha Taggart fears that she will face criminal charges over her killing her psychotic ex-husband Steve. John Stamos becomes a series regular as ER new intern Tony Gates.


As Luka and Abby's son struggles in the NICU, Abby's mother Maggie visits and provides some unexpected support for Abby and baby Joe.

Sam fears that criminal investigation will be held against her over her murdering her ex-husband, but her former employer helps her out.

The hospital meets regarding Luka's status at County regarding the Clemente fiasco, but Weaver takes the blame.

Pratt becomes an attending and helps Morris getting his job back at County. Paramedic Tony Gates offers some emotional support for the grieving Neela and becomes a new intern.

NBC Description

A MOTHERS LOVE-- JOHN STAMOS ("JAKE IN PROGRESS") JOINS THE CAST AND SALLY FIELD ("LEGALLY BLONDE 2: RED, WHITE & BLONDE") REPRISES HER EMMY AWARD-WINNING GUEST STAR ROLE: Abby's (Maura Tierney) overbearing mother (guest star Sally Field) arrives at the hospital to comfort her and Dr. Kovac (Goran Visnjic) as their son's life hangs in the balance.

Sam (Linda Cardellini) returns to Chicago, but fears that police will arrest her despite her claims of self-defense.

Paramedic Tony Gates (John Stamos) makes a risky decision with an overdosed teen. Later, Gates escorts a very drunk Neela (Parminder Nagra) home after drowning her sorrows at the local bar.

Laura Innes, Mekhi Phifer, Shane West and Scott Grimes also star.

Short summary

While Abby's baby, Joe, struggles in the NICU, Maggie visits and has a more pleasant time than usual with Abby. Sam's former employer, Eliott, helps her forestall any police investigation of Steve's death. Pratt becomes an ER attending. Kovač and Abby clash about trying a risky experimental treatment for Joe; eventually Abby agrees and Joe improves, but develops complications that are noticed at first by Maggie, who insists that the Attending, Dr Rav, be paged, saving baby Joe's life. He requires surgery, but finally recovers. The hospital board meets to fire Kovač over the Clemente fiasco; when Weaver confesses that she, not Kovač, was responsible, she is demoted to an ER attending. Morris is disenchanted as a pharmaceutical representative and wants, and finally gets, the open ER attending slot, with Pratt's help. Paramedic Tony Gates returns and offers emotional support to a still grieving Neela, and it is revealed that he is becoming a new intern at the hospital. At the end of the episode, Abby (for the first time) invites her mother to visit them again as she tends to her infant son.