Season 8 Episode 11

Beyond Repair

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

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

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  • 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.