ER

Season 4 Episode 4

When the Bough Breaks

0
Aired Thursday 10:00 PM Oct 16, 1997 on NBC
8.7
out of 10
User Rating
79 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
The ER is flooded with injured children following a school bus accident. Mark turns surly when Jenn refuses to let Rachel visit until he cleans up his act. Jeanie faces a crisis when she's forced to use her hand to stop a patient from bleeding. Carter demands that Benton stop treating him like a student, and start treating him as an equal. Carter and Anna get new students, with Carter getting the short shrift once again. A junkie mother claims that Carol dropped her newborn child. Al Boulet loses his job. Reese is discharged from the hospital.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A episode that really stand out

    9.2
    oh, it was so refreshing to see something different for a while. It had got so calm and little boring lately (never thought I am going to say that about ER), nut this episode - it brought back the old good action, intriguing cases and that kind of character development and conflicts that I enjoy.



    The school bus accident made this episode special. They were flooded with so many patience and the way they handled it, the way it was written, good camera work - I just enjoyed every second, cannot got my eyes of the screen. I have missed that feeling so long.



    But the case was not the only thing - we had also many fantastic character moments. Carter - he is just always such an amazing, Bello - I really start to like that char, and not mentioning Cordey - she starts to fit in and for me it is the place where she belongs.



    The only negative thing - I am tired of Greene's endless bad mood and the way he treats others (Carol and Carter) and somehow Benton's storyline - it has been squeezed everything out already.moreless
  • Enjoyable

    9.0
    This was one of the better-than-average ER episodes, one I would consider to be good in terms of writing and characters. I particularly liked the episode for its various charactrer interactions, and the school bus crash provides a nice episode contrast, between the calmness of triage and the manic trauma rush later on.



    Firstly, I'm already liking the new surgeon, Elizabeth. Her personality is such that she can immediately fit straight into the OR team and communicate with Benton in a fresh way (normally we only see him in a dominating/submissive relationship with Carter, or arguing with the ex).



    I'm also enjoying the conflict between Anna and Doug. ER have written this well, with two strong personalities competing understandably. Plus, it hasn't yet become boring, which is good.



    The confrontation between Benton and Carter was also done really well, with some real philosophy thrown-in for measure. I'm finding Carter bearable so far this season, which is always a good sign.



    The Jeannie and Kerry bit could have been better, I think, but Jeannie's medical decision was done well, and this clearly poses questions for future episodes.



    The Carol plot wasn't that great this episode, but it was ok as a minor story-line away from the trauma.



    I'm beginning to tire of Mark, so it does seem promising that he may be forced to change at some point soon. Although, classic ER foreshadowing in the form of a psychic mad person does suggest a new relationship (and the ending, of course)...

    moreless
Alex Kingston

Alex Kingston

Dr. Elizabeth Corday

Anthony Edwards

Anthony Edwards

Dr. Mark Greene

Eriq La Salle

Eriq La Salle

Dr. Peter Benton

George Clooney

George Clooney

Dr. Doug Ross

Gloria Reuben

Gloria Reuben

P.A. Jeanie Boulet

Julianna Margulies

Julianna Margulies

Nurse Carol Hathaway

Tracy Vilar

Tracy Vilar

Doris

Guest Star

Joel de la Fuente

Joel de la Fuente

Ivan Fu

Guest Star

Adam Nelson

Adam Nelson

Unknown

Guest Star

Lisa Nicole Carson

Lisa Nicole Carson

Carla Reese

Recurring Role

Ellen Crawford

Ellen Crawford

Lydia

Recurring Role

Christine Harnos

Christine Harnos

Jenn Simon

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Benton: What happened?
      Doris: That b*tch dropped my baby!

    • Benton: You know what, Carter? You don't want to be treated like my student? Stop seeking my approval.

    • Corday: You have another surgery?
      Benton: Yeah. An emergency spleenectomy just came in.
      Corday: I thought you'd left.
      Benton: I did.
      Corday: Here, I'll do it. You should go.
      Benton: No, no, no, no. I got it.
      Corday: Don't be so stubborn. It's your baby's first day home. I, on the other hand, have no life.
      Benton: Look, I appreciate it, but it's okay.
      Corday: You should take advantage of my generosity when it comes around. Trust me. You'll see it rarely.

    • Jeanie: I waited as long as I could to put in that chest tube. I didn't have a choice.
      Kerry: He had rib fractures. You could have cut yourself and bled inside his chest.
      Jeanie: But I didn't.
      Kerry: We agreed you wouldn't put your hands into any cavities.
      Jeanie: What was I supposed to do?
      Kerry: Walk away.
      Jeanie: He would have died.
      Kerry: That's the risk you assume for your patients while you continue working here with HIV.

    • Corday: You know, you certainly managed to surprise me this morning, and that doesn't happen often.
      Benton: What do you mean?
      Corday: I like to think I can read people well, but I certainly didn't have you pegged as a family man.
      Benton: Why not?
      Corday: Most surgical residents aren't. And you strike me as ambitious, driven. I wonder how you'll manage it. Lovely wife, though.
      Benton: Actually, she's not my wife.
      Corday: Well, there you go. You surprised me again.

    • Anna: How could you go out with that guy?
      Carol: What guy?
      Anna: Ross. Didn't you use to date him? I mean if he's that patronizing to me, I can't imagine what it's like to go out with him.
      Carol: He's seen that patient before. She's comfortable with him.
      Anna: Yeah, because he's a man.
      Carol: Well, some people are old-fashioned.
      Kerry: Doug has difficulty dealing with strong women.
      Carol: I don't know about that.
      Kerry: If he can't charm or vilify you, he's lost.
      Carol: That's not true.

    • Mark: Doug, have you seen Carol?
      Doug: Yeah; about 5'6", pretty, packs an attitude...

    • (Doug is trying to get on a pair of roller blades)
      Carol: How's it going, Doug? Need some duct tape?
      Doug: So, is that what this is? An ego check?
      Carol: No, no, no, no, no. This is about spending time together.
      Doug: Well, I can think of better activities.
      Carol: I like to keep you a little off balance.
      Doug: Sorry to disappoint you, Carol, but... (he stands up shakily and tries to get his balance) you underestimate me!
      Carol: I don't think so.
      Doug: It's easy. It's like ice skating.
      Carol: Until you have to stop.
      Doug: Ah! That's what lamp posts are for.
      Carol: Doug, your helmet. (she tries to put it on his head)
      Doug: Uh uh, no. No helmet.
      Carol: Safety first.
      Doug: No, no, no! You're not wearing a helmet.
      Carol: I know what I'm doing.
      Doug: No! It'll mess up the 'do!
      Carol: You wear that on purpose?
      Doug: Just skate, Tonya.
      Carol: Alright, Mr. Crash.
      Doug: Crash? I'm not gonna cra- (he falls down)

    • Mark: We can't help people who can't help themselves.
      Carol: No, Mark, those are exactly the people we should be helping.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Though spelled correctly when he is listed as the series creator in the opening credits, Michael Crichton's last name is incorrectly spelled "Chrichton" when he is listed with the other executive producers in the end credits of this episode. This mistake was repeated in most of the Season 4 episodes and in all of the Season 6 episodes.

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • Doug: (to Carol, when they are just about to go roller blading) Just skate, Tonya.
      Tonya Harding iis an American figure skating champion who became quite notorious when she allegedly conspired with her ex-husband and her bodyguard to have competitor Nancy Kerrigan harmed in an attack that took place at a practice session during the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Kerrigan was hit on the knee with a metal pipe. The injury forced her to withdraw from the competition, which Harding then won.

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