ER (season 5)

Last updated
Season 5
ER Season 5.jpg
DVD cover
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes22
Original network NBC
Original releaseSeptember 24, 1998 (1998-09-24) 
May 20, 1999 (1999-05-20)
Season chronology
Season 4
Season 6
List of ER episodes

The fifth season of the American fictional drama television series ER first aired on September 24, 1998 and concluded on May 20, 1999. The fifth season consists of 22 episodes.



Medical student Lucy Knight (Kellie Martin) begins her studies in the ER. As she spends time learning the layout and staff of the ER, we learn of Dr. Anna Del Amico's departure. Carter is reminded of himself as he watches Knight learn and practice. The two have a large number of conflicts before they find a way to work together. Elizabeth Corday begins her surgical internship all over again in order to keep her job at the hospital, and ends her relationship with fellow surgeon Peter Benton. Benton finds out that his son is hearing impaired, and he considers a cochlear implant. Eventually, he decides against it. Kerry Weaver applies for a full-time chief of emergency medicine post, but the post goes to an East Coast doctor, Amanda Lee. Dr. Lee soon develops a more-than-professional interest in Mark Greene with Lee being revealed to be a fraudulent psychopath who later leaves under cloudy circumstances.

Greene does a paramedic ride-along, and Doug Ross has at last settled down with Carol Hathaway. While on probation after performing a risky procedure during the fourth season, Ross breaks protocol again by informing a mother how to alter the medication given to her disabled son. She uses this information to kill her son, leaving Ross under fire. He resigns and moves to Seattle.


Original executive producers John Wells and Michael Crichton reprised their roles. Lydia Woodward, Carol Flint, and Christopher Chulack all returned as executive producers. Flint left the crew with the close of the fifth season. Co-executive producer Walon Green returned for the fifth season but left the series mid-season. Fourth season producer Neal Baer and fourth season co-producer Jack Orman were promoted to supervising producers for the fifth season. Fourth season producer Penny Adams and co-producers Wendy Spence Rosato, Richard Thorpe, and Michael Salamunovich all returned to their roles. Spence Rosato was promoted to producer mid-season. Fourth season executive story editor Samantha Howard Corbin was promoted to co-producer for the fifth season but left the crew mid-season. She was replaced as co-producer by regular director Jonathan Kaplan.

Producers Wells, Woodward, Flint, Baer, Orman, Corbin, and Greene continued to write episodes. Wells wrote two episodes, Woodward wrote four episodes, and Flint wrote five episodes. Baer wrote two episodes, Orman wrote three episodes, and Corbin and Greene each contributed to one episode before their departure. Regular writer and previous technical advisor Joe Sachs was promoted to story editor for the fifth season and contributed to two episodes. Former producers David Mills and Paul Manning continued to write for the series, Mills contributed to two further episodes, and Manning scripted one more episode. Fourth season writer Linda Gase returned and contributed to two more episodes. New writer Christopher Mack wrote a single episode.

Producers Chulack and Kaplan served as the seasons regular directors. Chulack helmed five episodes and Kaplan directed four. Cinematographer and co-producer Thorpe directed a further episode. Regular directors Lesli Linka Glatter, Félix Enríquez Alcalá, and Rod Holcomb all returned to direct further episodes. Other returning directors include executive producer John Wells, Christopher Misiano, David Nutter, and T.R. Babu Subramaniam. Cast member Laura Innes made her series directing debut with a fifth-season episode. Other new directors were Steve De Jarnatt and Dave Chameides, each with a single episode.


Main cast

Supporting cast

Notable guest stars


No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
US viewers
921"Day For Knight" Christopher Chulack Lydia Woodward September 24, 1998 (1998-09-24)46755131.86 [1]

New medical student Lucy Knight arrives in the ER and has a trying first shift. Ross and Weaver clash over the terms of Ross' probation after his unauthorized detox work.

NOTE: First appearance of medical student Lucy Knight
932"Split Second" Christopher Misiano Carol Flint October 1, 1998 (1998-10-01)46755230.63 [2]
Lucy is having some problems with the job, but Carter is under the belief she is excelling. Benton goes to a doctor to find out the extent of Reese's hearing loss. Corday restarts her internship despite pressure from her father and Romano after practicing an experimental surgical treatment. Greene helps treat his daughter when she is injured during a soccer game. Weaver tries to embarrass Ross further over his past actions.
943"They Treat Horses, Don't They?" T.R. Babu Subramaniam Walon Green October 8, 1998 (1998-10-08)46755329.34 [3]
Benton performs dangerous surgery on a man strapped to a bomb. Ross receives some good news that Weaver does not embrace. Greene, at his daughter's insistence, tries to help a horse that is in pain. Jeanie returns from her vacation.
954"Vanishing Act" Lesli Linka Glatter Jack Orman October 15, 1998 (1998-10-15)46755427.87 [4]
Carter finds out that Lucy doesn't know how to start an IV. Weaver interviews for a job as the ER Chief. Benton keeps his son's disease a secret. Jeanie intervenes when she finds out a liver transplant candidate is drinking again, and later asks Ross if she can be assigned to work for his pediatric project in the ER. Corday gets stuck as the intern of the smarmy Dr. Dale Edson.
965"Masquerade" Steve De Jarnatt Story by: Joe Sachs & Samantha Howard Corbin
Teleplay by: Samantha Howard Corbin
October 29, 1998 (1998-10-29)46755529.14 [5]
It is Halloween in the ER. Lucy and the other medical students throw a party that takes a turn for the worse, damaging her and Carter's relationship. An impressive candidate for the ER Chief position arrives from New York, much to Weaver's annoyance. Greene makes a potentially harmful mistake when he does not recognize a homeless schizophrenic woman's (Sheila Kelley) pregnancy. Benton treats Corday to a traditional Halloween.
976"Stuck on You" David Nutter Story by: Neal Baer & Linda Gase
Teleplay by: Neal Baer
November 5, 1998 (1998-11-05)46755628.61 [6]
The board decides to extend the search for a new ER Chief, leaving Weaver waiting for a decision. Benton visits a doctor who is deaf-mute who reassures him that there is nothing wrong with having a deaf child. Greene saves the life of a gay prostitute and counsels him on getting his life back on track. Carter loses his Resident Advisor job because of Lucy's party, then clashes with her when he tries to bend the rules regarding a patient's insurance. A 'sticky situation' in the trauma room inadvertently leads to Carter shaving off his beard. Corday saves two lives and impresses Benton enough that he decides to request she be his intern. Hathaway tries to help an elderly Jewish man find a place to live.
987"Hazed and Confused" Jonathan Kaplan Story by: David Mills & Carol Flint
Teleplay by: David Mills
November 12, 1998 (1998-11-12)46755728.97 [7]
Carter and Weaver become unlikely roommates. Lucy is having problems with Carter, and Greene picks up on their squabbling. Corday works long shifts which leads to her exhaustion and a critical medical error, causing a rift with Anspaugh and problems for Benton. Greene has unpleasant flashbacks when he is hazed by his paramedic colleagues. Jeanie and Ross treat a young boy whose mother clearly depends on his 6-year-old sister to make all decisions. Weaver rediscovers her joy of practicing medicine after being overlooked one too many times for the ER Chief position, which goes instead to a Dr. Amanda Lee.
998"The Good Fight"Christopher ChulackJack OrmanNovember 19, 1998 (1998-11-19)46755829.00 [8]
It's a race against time to save the life of a little girl in the ER. While Benton and the surgical team use every extraordinary measure to save her life, Carter and Lucy traverse Chicago in an attempt to track down the girl's father, the only match for her blood type and who had kidnapped her two weeks before. In the process, Carter saves a woman and her son who are infected with tuberculosis and his jeep is destroyed. Finally, Carter and Lucy find the father at Doc Magoo's and though the girl receives his blood, the long delay results in her sustaining significant organ damage. Carter tells a devastated Lucy that in the end, they did all they could to give the girl her only chance of survival, and expresses approval of her work for the first time since their schism over her IV-line fraud. Though the girl's vital signs are getting better, it is unclear if she will come out of her coma and even if she does, is likely to face permanent renal failure.
1009"Good Luck, Ruth Johnson" Rod Holcomb Lydia WoodwardDecember 10, 1998 (1998-12-10)46755929.97 [9]
Corday faces M&M following her crucial mistake in administering an incorrect dosage of drugs to a patient. She believes the mistake was in hospital policy; making the interns work for 36 hours straight. She is cleared and later decides to amicably end her relationship with Benton. Carter chaperones Ruth Johnson around the ER; a woman born 100 years ago in the same hospital. Hathaway is horrified by the true story behind a young boy's fatal shooting. At the end of the episode, Ruth's granddaughter is rushed to the hospital where she gives birth two weeks early to a baby girl who ends up being named Ruth Johnson as well.
10110"The Miracle Worker"Lesli Linka Glatter Paul Manning December 17, 1998 (1998-12-17)46756029.87 [10]
It is Christmas day in the ER. An 18-year-old boy arrives brain-dead, and Carter has to convince his parents to donate his organs, since a 16-year-old girl needs a liver. Benton risks his career by preventing Romano from operating under the influence of alcohol. Ross and Hathaway have a religious dispute over how to deal with a pregnant 13-year-old. Corday is charmed by a musician who is facing surgery for testicular cancer. Dr. Lee flirts with Greene but it seems there is something not quite right with her.
10211"Nobody Doesn't Like Amanda Lee"Richard ThorpeLinda GaseJanuary 7, 1999 (1999-01-07)46756131.60 [11]
When Greene becomes interested in Dr. Lee's past, he discovers a number of worrying things, which Lee confirms when she locks him in a room with a patient. An old friend of Greene's recommends him for a NASA mission. Benton's son is having difficulties in day care. Ross and Hathaway help Joi, the exhausted mother of a little boy named Ricky who has a terminal illness. Carter is jealous when Lucy goes on a date with Dale.
10312"Double Blind" Dave Chameides Carol FlintJanuary 21, 1999 (1999-01-21)46756230.48 [12]
Lucy begins her surgical rotation under Benton and Corday. After complaints by Doyle, Weaver interrogates Corday, asking if Romano ever sexually harassed her. Romano offers to get Corday's fellowship reinstated and asks her to assist him in surgery. Ross jeopardizes a new pain medication study by surreptitiously giving some of the drug to Joi's son Ricky. Greene and Weaver decide not to tell Anspaugh because of the violation of protocol on a federally funded trial.
10413"Choosing Joi"Christopher ChulackLydia WoodwardFebruary 4, 1999 (1999-02-04)46756329.11 [13]
Hathaway and Ross help Joi cope, as Ricky's condition deteriorates. Benton attends a parent/child signing class. Romano blackmails Corday into dropping her support for Doyle's harassment lawsuit, but in retaliation, Weaver forces Romano to rewrite his insulting and inaccurate review of Doyle's job performance. The ER unites to help an injured woman who needs to find temporary homes for her many dogs as she gets treatment. Greene treats the hospital janitor, Mobalage, whose injuries suggest he has been tortured in the past. Carter discovers something odd while working up one of his med students who is subsequently diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma.
10514"The Storm (Part I)" John Wells John WellsFebruary 11, 1999 (1999-02-11)46756431.92 [14]
Joi's son dies, and Ross' role in his death is exposed after the boy's father shows up and starts demanding information. Hathaway's clinic is temporarily closed. Greene and Weaver's cover-up of Ross' earlier actions to help Joi is revealed. Weaver suspends Ross from work and Hathaway chastises him for his selfish actions. The ER responds to a school bus accident. While en route to the scene, Jeanie and Ross crash on an icy road.
10615"The Storm (Part II)"Christopher ChulackJohn WellsFebruary 18, 1999 (1999-02-18)46756535.70 [15]

The ER is flooded with the victims of the school bus accident. Jeanie is not critically injured from the previous episode's crash but gets other bad medical news. Mobalage's wife is having doubts about her husband's surgery and shares a horrifying secret with Hathaway. Carter and Lucy decide not to pursue a relationship despite the kiss shared in a previous episode. Mobalage's wife is brutally stabbed. After one more confrontation with the father of Joi's dead son, Ross makes a decision regarding his status at County—and his future in Chicago.

NOTE: Final regular appearance of Dr. Doug Ross
10716"Middle of Nowhere"Jonathan KaplanCarol Flint & Neal BaerFebruary 25, 1999 (1999-02-25)46756630.26 [16]
Benton travels to a Mississippi clinic during his vacation time to earn some extra money for his son's therapy. Benton has to fight small town closemindedness, racism and a lower standard of medical care than he is used to working with. However, Benton's skills as a surgeon prove vital when a fishing boat accident nearly kills several men whom he saves, turning Benton into a local hero. Struggling with a grandmother's refusal to allow her granddaughter to receive surgery to fix a hole in her heart due to the grandmother distrusting doctors, Benton convinces them to return to Chicago with him so as to personally ensure the girl receives proper treatment. Upon his return, Benton learns of Jeanie's Hepatitis-C diagnosis and comforts her.
10817"Sticks and Stones" Félix Enríquez Alcalá Joe SachsMarch 25, 1999 (1999-03-25)46756726.36 [17]
Carter deals with drama at an apartment tower during a ride-along that later has deadly consequences. Lucy has to hide a cancer diagnosis from an ill woman at the behest of the patient's family. Hathaway finds out she is pregnant. Weaver reflects on her own family issues when an injured wrestler comes to the ER. Greene continues to help Mobalage, who may be deported if he cannot tell the INS about the abuse he suffered in Nigeria as he is in the country illegally. After Mobalage's wife wakes up, he is cleared of attempted murder charges because she admits that it was a suicide attempt on her part.
10918"Point of Origin"Christopher MisianoChristopher MackApril 8, 1999 (1999-04-08)46756826.10 [18]
Greene uses his past trauma to help Mobalage through his own struggles. Carter's interest in becoming Chief Resident leads to him being in charge of the ER for a day, where he misunderstands a case involving the many broken bones of a baby, while Lucy begins her first Psych rotation. Weaver may have found her biological mother, but defies a DNR order to find out for sure, which angers Carol. Benton and Corday clash over a surgical fellowship.
11019"Rites of Spring"Jonathan KaplanDavid MillsApril 29, 1999 (1999-04-29)46756926.56 [19]
Carter mentors a gifted teen from a very rough neighborhood. Romano is upset about Benton's interest in the ER trauma fellowship. Lucy continues impressive work in her Psych rotation, treating a law student with homicidal impulses and an angry young boy who is being severely over-medicated. Jeanie continues to grapple with her hepatitis C but gets a boost from a kindly minister. Hathaway is worried about her pregnancy after a kid kicks her in the stomach, risking her baby. Greene and Corday attempt to go to a conference for trauma physicians but get lost repeatedly while having a lot of fun hanging out together. Mobalage is revealed to have been granted amnesty in the United States and leaves County to pursue a future in civil engineering.
11120"Power" Laura Innes Carol FlintMay 6, 1999 (1999-05-06)46757027.40 [20]
Romano observes the ER, and rubs the staff the wrong way. Lucy finds out that an elderly patient's bedsore is really much more. Carter breaks up with his girlfriend. The power goes out at County General, and the doctors must keep critical patients alive. Corday investigates the rape of a comatose patient.
11221"Responsible Parties"Christopher ChulackJack OrmanMay 13, 1999 (1999-05-13)46757127.53 [21]
The ER has to deal with a stripper and her over-the-top security team. Lucy reveals to Carter that she is still on Ritalin. Hathaway begins to reveal her pregnancy to those closest to her, including a fax to Ross. Anspaugh decides that the trauma fellowship will go to Benton, who then faces anger from Romano and Corday. A car accident involving teenagers may have been alcohol-related and leaves one teenager with grievous third-degree burns.
11322"Getting to Know You"Jonathan KaplanLydia WoodwardMay 20, 1999 (1999-05-20)46757232.60 [22]
The rest of the staff finds out that Hathaway is pregnant, with twins! Benton begins a custody battle for his son when Carla reveals she has married her boyfriend Roger and is moving to Germany. Weaver rescues an abandoned toddler who has been drugged. Carter's protégé is mugged and beaten up, and Lucy has had enough of Carter's attitude and lets him know she's sick of it. Greene and Corday share a kiss.

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