Season 8 Episode 18

Orion in the Sky

Aired Thursday 10:00 PM Apr 04, 2002 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
145 votes

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Episode Summary

Mark serves his final day in the ER overseeing the first day of Gregory Pratt, a cocky yet eager new intern. Through observing his patients, he decides to forego chemotherapy, and spend his remaining days in peace. He also meets with his ex-wife, tells Weaver to live a little and leaves, never to return. Meanwhile, Abby plans to move back into her apartment when her landlord lets her know that Brian's moved out.moreless

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  • And now Carter sets the tune

    I have no words.. It was brilliant.. Not that the last episode was not but - I still have no words even if I took brake after the episode and let those feelings settle. Mark has been there from the beginning and the way he is going to leave and the way.. all those old patients he used to work and now back and the traumas, and Pratt (if I am not wrong, he will be the one who Carter later tells to set the tune). So it is so many ways so symbolical episode. But to be honest - it was just too much. All those emotion, all the feelings. It really made me cry so much... and like that boy who was not able to let her mom go, I feel I am not able to let Greene go.

    Super episode. And that little girl, his last patient and Carter, all those slow motion frames.. Supermoreless
  • Dr. Greene spends his final day in the ER after he realizes that with his ongoing tumor he won't be able to give the best treatment for his patients and instead realizes that Carter and a new generation of Doctors will take take his place.moreless

    If you ask me Orion In the Sky is an ER episode good enough to be a series finale, it shows Greene passing the torch to Carter and really shows how the ER keeps moving on but beside the point it's still an amazing episode. In the beginning Greene plays basketball making some shots and missing (Probably an Ode to Doug Ross) anyway after Carter plays a game of horse with him, they discuss the death of a patient called Blue Bertha before Dr. Greg Pratt appears and introduces himself to Greene. As Greene treats two trauma patients including a muscular guy who knocked himself out and a pregnant woman who took drugs lying to Greene and the ER, after Greene yells at the woman for lying about taking drugs and ruining the potential life of her baby (We never really see him express himself this way) he goes to help Carter with a difficult patient before Weaver catches him and realizes that the tumor may have taken it's toll on Greene as he is unable to steadily move his hands and tells Weaver to "Pick a poison." Weaver realizes Greene can't do much in his current physical condition and tells him actually to work with Pratt and his orientation. So Greene babysits Pratt and after Hal (The Old Guy From the first episode appears) Greene tells Pratt to take a history before he goes up to get his chemotherapy. In a sad scene Greene gets has an IVY tube linked up to him as he talks with the woman giving him the IVY about the Chicago Bulls. Pretty sad to see Doctor Greene so sick and weak just practically becoming a slave to cancer but after Hal gets in trouble, Greene manages to save his life and tells Pratt to take a better History leading to confrontation between the Doctor and Patient. As Pratt complains to Carter about Greene, Lewis tells him about the tumor and how he only has a few months to live. At this point Greene is having his IV watching Hal complains about not having his cart, this is when Greene realizes that this is going to be his last day because he can't treat patients anymore now that he is so sick. He gets rid of the IV and helps Hal out. After telling Corday that he would rather have 2 really good months then 4 months as a trapped patient, Greene goes back to his orientation with Pratt as Pratt apologizes and tries to contact the Doctor of a patient, who didn't tell his patient that he had cancer. After Greene tells the man who has cancer he knows what he's going through, Greene tells Pratt that he what he said to the man, "He didn't learn from Medical School." So after Greene treats a little girl who has a splinter in her arm and she tells him in an inspiring scene about Orion, and how he got in the sky where he couldn't be hurt. As the music plays we realizes this it for Greene as Haleh, and Chen stare at him one final time before Pratt tells him he learned alot and Greene tells him to come back for more, soon Greene goes the lunchroom and empties out his locker as Weaver asks him about Pratt and how many shifts she should put him down for next month. Greene replies by saying "Kerry live a little." Before saying goodbye and catching Carter snoozing. After a conversation on the patients being treated and Kovac and Abby enter the ER to take care of a patient, Carter and Greene share one final moment outside after Greene throws Carter a deflated ball and tells him "You set the tone Carter" before leaving the ER for the final time. The music is perfect and the scene is great even Carter's surprise when Greene tells him the famous line, and the episode nicely ties together the previous patients including the "Hang Nail Lady" and the "Homeless Guy." Great sad episode, that really ends Doctor Greene's legacy as a Doctor working in the ER.moreless
  • Dr Greene's last episode one of the best of this season..!

    This episode really showed how the tumour has started to affect greene and his views on life. His decision to stop chemo was obviously hard for him and elizabeth but i think he made a good point about rather spending the time he had left doing as he wished than hooked up to machines.

    I liked the fact they gave him a chance to pass on some wisdom to pratt and make that final difference to the E.R.

    Anthony edwards has made a huge difference to the show and had some amazing storylines over the years.!His acting ability is awesome and i admire the fact he left the show with some dignity.

    The writers used his patient to show some understanding in him and the realisation that sometimes in life things aren't always simple.

    You got the impression that nobody knew he was leaving but i liked the fact that Abby said goodbye and gave him that smile as if deep down she knew he was going... the final scene with him and carter and the basketball were quite revealing and it was a shame to see him leave for the last time...!moreless
  • Mark decides that there is no point to continuing treatment and feeling bad. He also leaves work for the last time.

    The day is full of indicators for Mark. He treats a woman whos son doesn't want her to die even though she in DNR. He also treats Al, who also decides that he's rather die on the street than in a hospital.

    Elizabeth struggles with the reality of his decision to stop having treatment, but has to accept the logic of it, even if it very painful.

    We meet Pratt for the first time, as an intern. He is cocky, until he has to tell a man he has advanced prostate cancer, and then he realises that Greene's humanity is as important as his clinical skills.

    Mark, leaving the hospital says to Carter, "You set the tone". This is another tearjerking episode, with a stalwart of ER coming to the end of his Watch.moreless
  • A fitting tribute to Mark Greene

    The ER loses it's leader, and he could not possibly have been given a better send off. There is no way to tell how much Mark Greene meant to the ER and what Anthony Edwards meant to the show. The episode takes us through Mark's final shift and has some nostalgia with some old patients. We see Mrs Raskin and Mr Ervin again who we haven't seen since the pilot, which I think is pretty cool. We also see Mr Seidell who is diagnosed with prostate cancer. I think this is very interesting because Dr Greene can relate to him. I love the end of this episode as Dr Greene treats Katie his last patient, then leaves. His final scene with Kerry is great, but not like his final scene with Carter where he delivers the imfamous line, "You set the tone, Carter."moreless
Alex Kingston

Alex Kingston

Dr. Elizabeth Corday

Anthony Edwards (I)

Anthony Edwards (I)

Dr. Mark Greene

Goran Visnjic

Goran Visnjic

Dr. Luka Kovac

Laura Innes

Laura Innes

Dr. Kerry Weaver

Maura Tierney

Maura Tierney

Nurse Abby Lockhart



Dr. Jing-Mei "Deb" Chen

Paul Benjamin

Paul Benjamin

Al Ervin

Guest Star

Wilson Cruz

Wilson Cruz

Jeffrey Cruz

Guest Star

Lori Petty

Lori Petty


Guest Star

Laura Cerón

Laura Cerón


Recurring Role

Yvette Freeman

Yvette Freeman


Recurring Role

Troy Evans

Troy Evans


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Mark leaves without officially saying goodbye to anyone.

    • (upon leaving the ER for the last time)
      Mark: (to Carter) You set the tone.
      With this episode, this phrase becomes symbolic of a point at which leadership passes to the Chief Resident. It was first said by Dr. Morgenstern to Mark in the pilot episode, "24 Hours," following Carol's attempted suicide. It would later be said by Carter to Morris in the Season 11 finale "The Show Must Go On."

    • Title: "Orion in the Sky"
      The title of this episode comes from Katie, Dr. Greene's last patient. He tells her to close her eyes and tell him what she sees. In response, Katie says she sees Orion in the sky.

    • Mrs. Raskin and Al Ervin are two characters that also appeared in the pilot episode, "24 Hours," and were treated by Dr. Greene.

  • QUOTES (22)

    • Mark: Never let your work become your life, Kerry.

    • Luka: So you have your place back?
      Abby: He offered it to me, yeah.
      Luka: Good good.
      Abby: I mean, all my stuff's there so...
      Luka: It'll be nice to sleep in a bed agian.
      Abby: Yeah. But, uhm... thanks for the hospitality. Exept of course for that Croatian lamb-groul... stuff. (laughs)
      Luka: It's not groul. It's called (says the name in Croatian)
      Abby: It's a gastro-intestinal adventure.
      Luka: Take your time. I mean, if you wanna make sure that he's gone for good.
      Abby: Eh, I think I've mooched off you long enough.

    • (Pratt is going to check on a patient with penile fracture)
      Chuny: Carter. He's going in the wrong room.
      Carter: He'll figure it out.
      (in the next room, Pratt sees a guy with loss of hearing)
      Pratt: Let me take a look. You wanna unbuckle your belt and pull your pants down please?
      Patient: My pants? What?!
      Pratt: It's o.k. I'm a doctor.
      Patient: I'm still waiting for some drops!!!
      Pratt: That's not gonna do it. The pants, please.
      Patient: (Takes down his pants) Are you sure this is necessary?
      Pratt: Could you lean back a little?
      Patient: Ow! Easy there.
      Pratt: Hm-mm.. Were you having vigorous sex?
      Patient: What?!!! No, I was hit in the head!
      Pratt: Most sprains happen along the shaft, but your seems to be pretty minor. Nothing personal.
      Patient: Dude! I have an ear-ache!
      (Pratt looks through the window and sees Carter and Chuny laughing)

    • Greene: You do the learning, I'll do the teaching.
      Pratt: Do I seem like a punk to you?
      Greene: No.
      Pratt: Then how about you stop trying to treat me like one.
      Greene: I'm sure that you think you're ready for anything.
      Pratt: Wait a minute. Is this the one about the old guy and the young guy? Cause you see I've heard it all before.

    • Greene: Close your eyes, o.k?
      Katie: O.k.
      Greene: What do you see?
      Katie: The sky.
      Greene: What's up there?
      Katie: Orion's belt.
      Greene: Orion's?
      Katie: He couldn't beat the scorpions, so he jumped into the sea.
      Greene: Really?
      Katie: Artemus put him the sky where the scorpions never gets him.
      Greene: I didn't know that. There. That didn't hurt did it?
      Katie: Is it over?
      Greene: It's all done. Thank you Katie.
      Katie: What did I do?
      Greene: You just became my very last patient.
      Katie's dad: Your shift over?
      Greene: Yes.

    • Greene: Clear sky. I'm outta here.
      Carter: You on tomorrow?
      Greene: Your ball needs air.
      Carter: It's not my ball.
      Greene: You set the tone, Carter.
      Carter: What?
      Greene: Work on your jump-shot.
      (leaves the ER for the last time)

    • Greene: (to Carter, who is nodding off) No rest for the weary, Carter.

    • Carter: Is anybody actually sick?
      Greene: Just the doctor.

    • Pratt: What did you say to him?
      Greene: It wasn't anything I learned from being a doctor.

    • Greene: I know what a shock this is and what must be going through your mind right now.
      Mr. Sidell: (after being diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer) You can't.
      Greene: Yeah, I can.

    • Greene: No alternative. Just dying the way I've lived.

    • Pratt: I didn't mean any disrespect earlier.
      Greene: Someone told you I'm dying.

    • Pratt: I just can't figure out what's going on with this guy.
      Lewis: A tumor.

    • Carter: (about Greene) He's a good doctor.
      Pratt: He's a burnout if I ever saw one.
      Carter: I learned a lot from him.

    • Greene: There's a door over there that goes outside. If you don't like the way I'm doing this, keep walking.

    • Pratt: (about Greene's IV) What's that for?
      Greene: To reduce my blood alcohol.

    • Greene: (to Pratt) It's not a good idea to openly show disdain for our frequent flyers.

    • Jenn: (to Mark, referring to the end of August) I'll see you in St. Louis.

    • Greene: (to Weaver) A side effect of the treatment or a progression of the disease. Pick your poison.

    • Frank: (introducing himself) Frank.
      Pratt: Pratt.
      Frank: You got a first name?
      Pratt: Well at the VA they called me Doctor.
      Frank: Well here we'll call you Junior.

    • Greene: (to Carter) As hard as it was to treat Blue Bertha, it was harder to be Blue Bertha.

    • Mark: Mrs. Raskin. It's been a long time.
      Mrs. Raskin: The service isn't what it used to be.
      Mark: What seems to be the matter?
      Mrs. Raskin: I have this hangnail, and it's very painful.
      Mark: I have a brain tumor, and it's inoperable.
      Mrs. Raskin: What?
      Mark: I win.

  • NOTES (3)