"Only Connect"
Season 11, Episode 11
Air date January 20, 2005
Written by Yahlin Chang
Directed by Jonathan Kaplan
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Only Connect is the 11th episode of the 11th season of "E.R."


It's Abby's first day back at work since her abduction and it may be too soon for her to return.

ER patient satisfaction scores are very low, so Susan enlists Luka to teach the residents how to communicate more effectively with their patients.

Two teens, both suffering from gunshot wounds, are brought to the ER and Neela fumbles badly when informing a family member of their relative's condition.

Abby tells Neela that she needs to find a new living arrangement. Attorney Herb Spivak returns to the ER, trolling for clients.

NBC DescriptionEdit

THE INTERNS MUST LEARN COMPASSION AND FOCUS BEFORE MORE MISTAKES ARE MADE: Lewis (Sherry Stringfield) assigns Kovac (Goran Visjnic) to teach the residents how to communicate more effectively with their patients in hopes of raising their patient satisfaction scores, which have plummeted.

They are put to the test when two teenagers are brought to the ER with gunshot wounds. Kovac, Neela (Parminder Nagra) and Sam (Linda Cardellini) handle one patient while Lewis, Pratt (Mekhi Phifer) and Ray (Shane West) deal with another.

When a patient dies, Neela does a poor job of informing the deceased's grandmother, who becomes hysterical in the middle of the ER.

A personal injury lawyer sets up a mobile office outside the ER, infuriating Lewis as he tries to turn dissatisfied patients into clients.

Abby (Maura Tierney) returns to the ER, still dealing with the trauma of her abduction. Also starring Noah Wyle and Laura Innes.


  • In this episode, Dan Hedaya reprises his Season 4 role of attorney Herb Spivak.


Susan: Well, this week we suck a little less than we did last week and maybe next week, we'll suck a little less than we do this week.
Sam (to Luka): You know what, I managed to support me and Alex for ten years all on my own. I think I can handle it.
Luka: You know, this isn't about money at all. You're worried about losing your independence or something.
Sam: Aha.
Luka: And about my role in Alex' life. What? You're worried about losing control over him or...?
Sam: You know what? You always do this!
Luka: Do what?
Sam: This! Telling me what I'm really mad about!
Luka: Most of the time you don't know what you're really mad about! (Sam moves to the door) Sam, this isn't our stop!
Susan: They can't even communicate with each other. Have you ever seen Neela and Pratt work together? Or Ray and Morris?
Luka: Well, we can teach them to make eye-contact, introduce themselves, you know? Act like normal human beings in front of the patients.
Susan: Ah, but that would be changing their basic personality structure, which would be a great strategy if you could turn back time and make their parents love them more.
Luka (to Sam): It's a teaching hospital!
Sam: Yeah. It's also a real hospital with live patients who didn't get antibiotics and insulin 'cause I was in here doing compressions for 30 minutes!
Luka: OK, so you did some extra compressions. What you really mad about?
Sam: Are you in all seriousness telling me for the second time today that I am not mad about what I'm really mad about!?
Luka: I have no idea what you just said!
Susan (to Abby): So how are you doing?
Abby: Good.
Susan: Really?
Abby: Um, never better.
Susan: Really...?
Abby: Yes, yes, yes. I've processed all of my feelings of anger, shame and guilt in an emotionally stable environment. I have addressed the urge to use alcohol. Oh and I've consulted both a shaman and a guru. So really I'm all good.

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