|Season 4, Episode 6|
|Air date||November 6, 1997|
|Written by||Samantha Howard Corbin|
|Directed by||Darnell Martin|
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"Good Touch, Bad Touch"
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"Fathers and Sons"
"Ground Zero" is the sixth episode of the fourth season of ER. It first aired on NBC on November 6, 1997. It was written by Samantha Howard Corbin and directed by Darnell Martin. It has Mark Greene's mood worsens due to his traumatic beating. Kerry Weaver meets up with a firm called Synergix and makes a hard decision regarding financial reasons. Peter Benton clashes with Elizabeth Corday over procedures .
Mark's attitude gets worse as his life cotinues to go downhill and confides in Desk Clerk Cynthia. Benton clashes with Corday over procedures and Anspaugh asks Benton to work with Dr. Romano. As Weaver confers with an ER management group that helps streamline hospital operating costs, she makes a difficult staff decision for financial reasons. Carol meet up with Carter's rich grandmother, Millicent "Gamma" Carter, about Carol's proposal about funding her clinic. Carter's family fortune doesn't bold well for Anna. Doug learns that his father died in California.
Al Boulet wants to move to Atlanta when an old friend offers him a job, but Jeanie isn't keen on relocating. Carol Hathaway applies to the Carter family foundation for a grant to finance her clinic. Anna Del Amico is furious when she learns how rich Carter's family is and feels that he has just been slumming. Jeanie is reluctant to treat a patient who has a prominent Ku Klux Klan tattoo on his chest. Although the hospital settles the malpractice suit against Mark Greene, he finds that the family in question is now suing him personally. At Dr. Anspaugh's insistence, Kerry Weaver attends a presentation from a private company that specializes in running ERs. She decides to fire Jeanie Boulet to meet budget cuts. Elizabeth Corday gets into trouble when Peter Benton fails to warn her she is about to break hospital policy. Doug Ross gets bad news and he and Mark set off for California.
- Mark Greene
- Peter Benton
- Doug Ross
- John Carter
- Carol Hathaway
- Anna Del Amico
- Jeanie Boulet
- Kerry Weaver
- Elizabeth Corday
- Robert Romano
- First appearance of Clancy Brown playing Dr. Ellis West.
- The title refers to the point on ground level below where an above ground explosion occurred from a nuclear explosion or the center point of an earthquake, epidemic or other disasters such as the 9/11 collapse of the World Trade Center in 2001.
Nurse Carol Hathaway: Hey, how many patients do you think we see in the hospital every year?
Dr. Doug Ross: Too many.
Nurse Carol Hathaway: How many patients do you think we see in the hospital every year?
Dr. Mark Greene: Would that be real patients, or turkeys?
Nurse Carol Hathaway: Forget I asked.
Dr. Mark Greene: Your count will be about 95 percent higher if you count all the wackos.
Millicent Carter: I looked him dead in the eye and I said, "That might fly with your Hollywood chippies, Mr. President, but I am a lady."
Nurse Carol Hathaway: What did he do?
Millicent Carter: He took his hand off my rear and apologized.
Nurse Carol Hathaway: And that was it?
Millicent Carter: Then I slept with him.