"When The Bough Breaks"
Season 4, Episode 4
Air date October 16, 1997
Written by Jack Orman
Directed by Richard Thorpe
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When The Bough Breaks is the 4th episode of the 4th season of "E.R." It was first aired on October, 16 in 1997. It was written by Jack Orman and directed by Richard Thorpe.


Injured junior high students fill the E.R. after a bus accident; a crack addict gives birth in the hospital bathroom & accuses Carol of dropping her baby; Jeanie is forced to treat a critical patient on her own when no doctors are available.

NBC DescriptionEdit

DANGEROUS CROSSROADS: Dr. Ross (George Clooney) and Dr. Del Amico's (Maria Bello) disagreement over a pediatric asthma patient (guest star Ulysses Cuadra) is overshadowed by a school bus accident which floods the ER with severely injured children.

Dr. Greene's (Anthony Edwards) mental state begins to affect his relationship with his daughter and he receives some unwelcome spiritual advice from a 19-year-old patient (guest star David Denman).

A crack addict (guest star Tracy Vilar) accuses Nurse Hathaway (Julianna Margulies) of injuring her newborn. Still on a cost-cutting rampage, Dr. Weaver (Laura Innes) tells Ross to find a research grant or look into private practice, then questions Jeanie's (Gloria Reuben) actions to save a patient.

While Dr. Benton (Eriq La Salle) and Carla (Lisa Nicole Carson) adjust to their new baby, the strained relationship between Benton and Dr. Carter (Noah Wyle) erupts into an ugly confrontation. Noah Wyle and Alex Kingston also star.

Short summaryEdit

Mark Greene's ex-wife Jen takes him to task for his mixed-up life and tells him he can't see their daughter until he gets some help. Kerry Weaver tries to get Doug Ross to complete his fellowship research proposal. She also tells him he has to find research grants to cover his salary or he's out of a job. Baby Reece Benton finally gets to go home. Now that his HIV status is known, Al Boulet finds himself out of a job and unable to find work. The ER has to deal with a mass casualty alert when a school bus is involved in a highway accident. A crack addict gives birth while waiting for a doctor to treat her.




[a patient is annoying Dr. Weaver]

Dr. Kerry Weaver: Carter! Take our friend here. I'm afraid I might stick an IV pole up his ass.


Dr. Mark Greene: We can't help people who can't help themselves.

Nurse Carol Hathaway: No, Mark. Those are *exactly* the people we should be helping.


Dr. Mark Greene: Doug, have you seen Carol?

Dr. Doug Ross: Yeah, about 5'6", pretty, packs an attitude.

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