Season 8 Episode 11

Beyond Repair

Aired Thursday 10:00 PM Jan 10, 2002 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

Write A Review
out of 10
102 votes
  • Abby's birthday

    It was beautiful episode. The way they opened Abby's char for us more and the way her day was so awful. That little boy looking for mom, the woman talking about getting a child and once having one already.. and her ex.. it was all too much, I agree and the way she ended up to the final scenes - getting bear. It won't lead nowhere good.

    But the real pearl of this episode was Carter and his storyline. The way he met that stabber again. Superbly played. It was so real that it was frightening. And that song on the background when he rushes to bathroom and later at home takes it up with her mother who has not been there for him. Brilliant acting. Really!
  • Abby's birthday is anything but a celebration!

    This episode really revolves around Abby, and her dismal birthday. She is awakened by fighting neighbors, but receives a "Happy Birthday" phone call from her mother. She turns out to be the only one who remembers Abby's birthday.

    From every angle, Abby is confronted with the issue of motherhood. She cares for a boy at the hospital who has lost his mother. Abby later learns that his mother died in the hospital the night before. She is eventually able to reach the boy's father, but the child is forced to go into Social Services' custody until his father arrives. The boy pleads to stay with Abby in a heartbreaking scene.

    Abby's ex-husband visits her to announce that he is marrying again, and will become a step-father. Richard confesses that he has always wanted children. We see the conflict and sadness on Abby's face, as she is clearly recalling the abortion she had while married to Richard. It seems to be news to Abby that Richard wanted a child, which underscores the lack of communication these two had while married.

    Abby also cares for a woman who is taking fertility drugs. She confesses to Abby that she had an abortion a few years back, and now that she's trying to get pregnant she can't. The patient fears that she has missed her chance to be a mother. This clearly strikes a nerve with Abby.

    To add insult to injury, Abby walks in on Carter and Susan kissing in the lounge. And Luka informs Abby that he is going to Bosnia for 2 months. The episode ends with Abby drinking a beer with her neighbor, ending over 5 years of sobriety for Abby. If you're an Abby fan, this is definitely the episode for you! Although it deals with tough issues and the storylines are quite depressing, Maura Tierney pulls it off with her phenomenal acting and great comedic timing. We see her hurting, but in her own stoic way. With a lesser actress, the performance could have easily been melodramatic. Maura Tierney gives Abby such dignity, even when she's at her lowest.
  • It is a busy day as usual, but the underlying story for me relates to Abby and her getting older, being childless and single.

    It's Abby's birthday - her Mother remembers, but no-one else. Throughout the day she is reminded of her getting older and not yet being a mother. Luka tells her he has decided to go to Bosnia with Doctors without Borders. Carter and Susan are kissing in the drs lounge when Abby walks in.
    A young boy, Douglas is sitting in chairs waiting for his mother. It turns out she died earlier in the day. Abby gets close to him, but still has to let him go to Social Services at the end of the day
    Richard comes to see her, he is getting married to a teacher, who already has a child, so he is going to be a father. He says he always wanted to be a Dad, which surprises her, and makes her sad, as she had an abortion whilst married to him
    A patient is brought in who has a clot, due to the fertility drugs she is taking. She admits to Abby that she had an abortion a few years ago, because she didn't think she was ready, and now she is scared it will never happen.
    She even sees the man who stabbed Carter and killed Lucy; he is brought in for a fall on the ice. She talks to his wife, who has a young child and says they are still a family. Carter is coping with Gamma being home from hospital and his Mother coming to stay. When he sees his attacker, he finds it very difficult, but retains his composure in public.
  • Abby has a horrible birthday and Weaver and Lopez have a differnce of opinion.

    Abby has quickly become one of my favorite characters on this show. Her character is enerally the lightenng rod for all that can go wrong and this episode is chalk full of fate dumping on Abby.

    The Weaver/ Lopez storyline is interesting because it highlights the issues with being out or not at work.
  • If you want drama, this episode does not dissappoint.

    You can make a strong debate that the most dramatic event in the history of ER was when Carter and Lucy were stabbed. Beyond Repair taps into that drama by bringing back Paul Sobricki. Abby tried unsuccessfully to hide Sobricki from Carter. When Carter heard the voice of his former attacker, you could practically feel the hair on the back of his neck raise. It also led to Carter facing his mother not being there after the attack. Another dramatic story line was a little boy looking for his mother, who had died. Abby was on hand to take the brunt of this emotion, and immediately after was face to face with Sobricki. The reactions of Abby and Carter to Sobricki were genuine. You could feel the anger, fear and anxiety.

    The drama continues with a patient that was worried she lost her best chance to be a mother. She made herself sick with fertility pills. She was previously pregnant, and had an abortion. This hits a little close to home as Abby had an abortion herself. Oh, by the way, her ex-husband earlier announced to her he was getting remarried to a woman who already had a child. “I always wanted children” he says. All of this, on her birthday.

    The only thing that I was not happy with, was Susie going to a hockey game instead of being with Carter after his encounter with Sobricki. But they did need someone else at the game to demonstrate Weaver’s reluctance to be out.

    With so many dramatic story lines in this episode, “Beyond Repair” rates among the best that ER has to offer. If anybody is normally moved to tears when watching TV, then they will be crying buckets during this one.
  • Carter and Abby get a blast from the past as Weaver deals with getting out and Abby has a 'happy' birthday!!! Great installment!

    The whole Abby trying to hide this Sobricki guy who stabbed Carter and Lucy two years ago was really sweet. Showed how painful it still was and I was shocked by Susan's reaction but then again somebody had to stay objective about this situation so I guess you can say that she didn't let personal issues get involved.

    But when Carter heard Sobricki's voice it was really a wonderful piece of acting from Noah Wyle. Really heart breaking at the way he and Abby also looked when John noticed that guy. I expected him to get angry when that guy said "i'm gonna be okay" and then he would say like "But Lucy isn't" but that didn't happen. He stayed cool and walked off. Most likely the best reaction a person could do in a situation like that. And then the confrontation with his mom, you go carter! Tell her how you feel! I loved that scene.

    Also really sad for Abby that she was confronted with many things on her birthday. Caring about a child who just lost his mommy and really sad how that kid called Abby's name when he was taken by social services and then the woman who banted to be a mom so badly and the whole abortion thing and atop of that Richard who told her he was getting married again and wanted to be a dad! Ouch! Though birthday! And then she drank again, I thought she stopped drinking?!

    And the whole Weaver issue wasn't shown that much but her girlfriend (forgot her name) wasn't happy with the fact that she wasn't fully out of the closet yet.

    Overall a great episode, really a must see episode. It has drama but also a great piece of writing! Excellent! :)