Now What?

  Episode 1

  September 25th 2003

  Screenplay: John Wells

  Director: Jonathan Kaplan


Neela Rasgotra arrives at County General for the first time as a third year medical student. She does not receive the warmest of receptions from Frank on the front desk or Dr Lewis who aludes to her choice of clothing.

The new arrival soon attracts the attention of Dr Pratt, to the consternation of girlfriend Jing-Mei.

Neela's first 'call to duty' in the ER see's her prompt actions and awareness assist in saving the life of a mother involved in a car accident.

Dr Gallant introduces himself to the new medical student who tells him that she was originally from the Punjab in India but her family moved to London when she was eleven. She continues to explain that she attended Yale for molecular biology and biophysics and then Chicago Medical School.

Gallant leaves Neela attending an elderly woman patient who he advises should be regularly monitored pending referral to the Operating Room.

Neela picks up a phone which has been left ringing at the front desk. The caller is from Africa and informs her of the 'death' of Dr Kovac. She leaves the shocked staff at the desk to check her patient but finds the room empty. The alert is raised as the same patient is reported to be bleeding in another room. The woman has no pulse. Neela explains that she thought the patient had been taken for surgery. It transpires that Malik had moved the lady for privacy and moved the board.

Neela remains with the elderly patient and asks Prattwhat was meant when she heard 'the guy at the front desk' refer to her as a "TWA". "Third World Assassin" he replies. He than gives her assurance by showing her the mother whose life had been saved by her actions earlier in the day.

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The Lost

Episode 2
October 2nd 2003
Screenplay: John Wells
Director: Christopher Chulack

Neela takes a break this week - doubtless needed after her first exposure to all this mayhem!

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Dear Abby

Episode 3
October 9th 2003
Screenplay: R. Scott Gemmill
Director: Christopher Chulack

Dr Pratt's interest in Neela continues to annoy Jing-Mei. The new recruit then assists in administering Albuteral treatment to Dr Cooper. He has suffered an asthma attack, triggered by fibreglass dust on the clothing of a patient. She is next seen with a teenage girl whose parents have instructed the hospital not to inform their daughter that she has a terminal condition. Neela is shocked that the information is being withheld from the girl. Dr Gallant arrives at the front desk to commence his shift and rescues Neela from the attentions of Frank and Jerry.

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Shifts Happen

Episode 4
October 23rd 2003
Screenplay: Dee Johnson
Director: Julie Hébert

Neela accuses Jing-Mei of treating her unfairly because of Pratt's flirting, a charge which DrChen denies. Later in the episode she is instructed by hospital manager Dr Weaver to stop treating a patient in the absence of a resident. Neela's final scenes in this episode sees her explaining 'DNR' (Do Not Resucitate) to a girl who has accompanied her dying grandmother to the ER. She consoles the girl after the elderly woman dies.

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Out Of Africa

Episode 5
October 30th 2003
Screenplay: David Zabel
Director: Jonathan Kaplan

Neela is first seen presenting to Dr Kovac,who instructs her to discharge her patient. She then talks with the brother of a baby who is suspected of being injured by his alcoholic mother. The children's father arrives to take temporary custody of them. (The mother later returns to the hospital after setting herself alight with gasoline).

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The Greater Good 

Episode 5
November 6th 2003
Screenplay: R. Scott Gemmill
Director: Richard Thorpe

Miss Rasgotra is caught between the conflicting instructions of Doctors Kovac and Pratt about how to treat her patient. Kovac cancels the various tests she has ordered and Pratt tells her to re-book them. She approachs Dr Lewis about this dilemma who advises that as the attending, Kovac's opinion takes precedence.

Neela takes a woman to see her husband who has suffered critical injuries after his car was hit by a vehicle involved in a police chase. The woman says that she is not prepared to have her husbands organs donated. (a decision she later changes after Abby sensitively explains the numerous life giving ways in which the organs may be used).

Kovac gives Neela a lesson in the economic realities of health care when he calculates the cost of the tests/treatments that she has ordered for one patient totals $4000.00!. He suggests the patient could have been treated with a single dose of Ibuprofen.

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Death and Taxes 

Episode 7
November 13th 2003
Screenplay: Dee Johnson
Director: Felix Enriquez Alcala

Neela, Abby and Lester examine a family involved in a vehicle accident. She is next seen attending to a young prisoner who has sustained an injury in a fight. He flirts with her a little.
Later, with Kovac also present the same patient stands up and the bed sheets show he is bleeding from his rectum. The man is distressed and embarrassed and demands that Neela leave the room. Although the prisoner is reticent, Pratt persuades him to have some tests before returning to jail.

Neela returns to give the results of the man's tests to Dr Romano who calls her "one of his favourites". His rare display of levity is short lived as the results show the prisoner has AIDS - news that that he rather bluntly imparts to the young man. "Thanks" replies the man, displaying little emotion "Now at least I know it's not going to be forever".

The episode ends with an early 'bonding moment' for Neela who asks Abby if they could study together, suggesting that she might be able to assist with the academic stuff whilst Abby could help her improve the deficiencies in her 'bedside manner'.

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Episode 8
November 20th 2003
Screenplay: Joe Sachs
Director: Christopher Chulack

This is one of those 'strap yourselves in' episodes for those unfamiliar with ER folklore!. Here we go...

The pre-titles action kicks off with Abby'killing' a practice dummy in front of the observing and characteristically sarcastic Dr Romano. Neela is in attendance and she has previously completed her test successfully. Afterwards the two chat and appear to be developing a friendship. Arriving at the admittance desk she picks up one of a number of coffee's, assuming they are for general consumption. Abby points out that there is a coffee club and you have to pay each month. Neela apologises and asks "how much?" Sam interjects in a rather offish manner telling her "it's a nurses coffee club".

"Our Gal" is next seen escorting DrRomano in the elevator to the Helipad. He has arranged for a 'VIP' (aka wealthy) patient to be flown to receive treatment at another hospital and the 'high flyer' has left his watch in the ER. Romano is clearly ruminating on a comment made by Frank moments earlier about "not wanting to lose another limb" (he has recently lost a hand and has a prosthetic replacement).

The elevator doors open to reveal the rooftophelipad and Neela steps out but Romanov is frozen and transfixed by the already rotating blades of the chopper. She takes the patient's watch and hands it to the flight nurse. Romano has suffered a panic attack and runs down the stairs and outside to the ambulance bay. The helicopter takes off but as Neela and the nurse wave to the occupants the strong cross wind causes it to turn and rotate - the pilot has lost control. Whilst the two are wheeling the gurney back into the elevator the chopper lunges back into the helipad.

Neela and the nurse cower as the blades fragment and shower debris into the elevator entrance. A large chunk of blade screams past Neela's head just before she manages to close the bay doors. The nurse has been hit in the back by a piece of the shrapnel. The helicopter is propelled to the roof edge and then falls,creating a huge explosion as it slams into the walls of the ER on its descent. Romano has remained in the ambulance bay and is standing directly beneath the chopper as it hits the ground and he is killed instantly.

Neela runs into the ER,which is showered with debris and broken glass. She appears to be uninjured and is attempting to treat the nurse from the helipad who is in a bad way. Pratt instructs Neela to attend to the patients in triage. The frantic activity continues and she is next called to help a male nurse who has collapsed after sustaining an apparently minor injury. Unknown to her it is Dr Lewis's boyfriend, Chuck, who was believed to have been aboard and perished with the crew of the chopper.

The episode ends later in the day. Abbyand Neela are walking through the ambulance bay where the wreckage of the helicopter is being attended by firefighters. Neela seems strangely energized by the day's traumatic events "Today was pretty amazing - I've never seen anything like it - but we saved lives!. It was like a rollercoaster and I've always hated rollercoasters - but I sort of can't wait for the next ride (don't' worry-you won't have to on this show!).

In a reference to the opening scene, Abby offers Neela a coffee from a tray she is carrying. "Nah, I'm not in the club". "I have an extra" replies Abby. (you're 'in the fold' young 'un!).

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Episode 9
December 4th 2003
Screenplay: David Zabel
Director: Jonathan Kaplan

A bit of a 'quiet after the storm' episode

Neela, Abby and Lester are each completing theory tests on a laptop. Miss Ragotra is top of the class with the academic stuff and finishes some time ahead of the other two. Abby struggles with the test.

Neela appears to be in a minority of those mourning Romano's death. She takes a phone call and is heard speaking in Punjabi but before hanging up says "No! I said I can't come". In a conversation with Gallant she later explains that her family have asked that she attends a naming ceremony for her sisters baby which is to take place in India. She continues to tell him that her family run a restaurant in Southall (London) and that she is the first professional in the family and indeed the first to live anywhere other than India or the UK.

She is next seen speaking with Johanna, a teenager whose boyfriend has been admitted with a bullet wound to the leg. The girl is reticent to have either of their parents contacted. It transpires that they are Amish and have taken time out from their community to consider whether they wish to remain a part of it.

A little later in the episode she approaches Kovacfor a second opinion on a patient she has been treating with Dr Lewis but he has just argued with Sam and dismisses her angrily. Susan is also annoyed at Neela for feeling it necessary to query her judgement.

The shift is over and Neelacontinues discussing her families attitude towards her with Abby, Gallant, his sister and Pratt in the Lounge Bar. She soon becomes tipsy and opens up about her struggle with issues of identity. The others prepare to leave and realizing she has been doing a bit of alchohol induced soul bearing she slurs "sorry - I completely monopolized the intercourse......(they smile and she corrects herself)... "discourse". Neela and Abby remain in the bar.

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Episode 10
December 11th 2003
Screenplay: John Wells
Director: Christopher Chulack

Neela took a break for Christmas! - In other words this episode is mostly 'flashback' stuff featuring Doctors Carter and Kovac in the Congo.

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Touch and Go 

Episode 11
January 8th 2004
Screenplay: Mark Morocco
Director: Richard Thorpe

In her first appearance Neela meets the returned Dr Carter before being called with Pratt and Morris to assist with a father and son who are trauma victims. Martin, the son, has a spinal weakness and develops hypoxia. Despite Neela's reservations Pratt decides to intubate the boy but in the process accidentally breaks his neck. (Doh!!) 

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Episode 12
January 15th 2004
Screenplay: Lisa Zwerling
Director: Laura Innes

Medical jargon note: NICUstands for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the area of the hospital for sick and premature newborns who need specialized treatment.

The episode charts Neela and Abby's experiences over 22 days in the NICU. Initially Miss Rasgotra impresses with her redoubtable knowledge of the theory but is soon called to help a Chinese woman who is delivering twins. One of the babies is not breathing. Flash forward eight days and the twin has survived but is seriously underweight and still in danger. Neela's confidence has grown sufficiently for her to suggest a radical treatment which is supported by the attending specialist. She explains the treatment to the child's parents, but once underway things do not go well and she feels guilty. The baby's condition worsens and Abby realizes that Neela is becoming stressed and fatigued and advises her to go home.

A further week on and the baby has eventually responded to the treatment but must remain in the NICUfor further analysis. The parents thank Neela and leave the hospital with the healthy twin. The next part of the episode focuses mostly on Abby and the emotional highs and lows of working in the unit.

Days later Miss Rasgotra trys to contact the twins mother only to discover that the family have returned to China and abandoned the baby she has being treating. The story concludes with Neela and abby taking to the hospital rooftop to celebrate the end of their time in the NICU with champagne and a cigar. Neither are anxious to repeat the experience.

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Get Carter 

Episode 13
February 5th 2004
Screenplay: R. Scott Gemmill
Director: Lesli Linka Blatter

Carter's girlfriend, Kem, tours the hospital and seems concerned when Neela recounts some of her experiences of practices in the ER.

Pratt hands over responsibility for intubating a patient to Neela. He is still troubled by the recent incident when he inadvertently paralyzed a young patient while carrying out the procedure.

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Impulse Control 

Episode 14
February 19th 2004
Screenplay: Yahlin Chang
Director: Jonathan Kaplan

Dr Kovac instructs Neela on conducting a PAP (smear) test on a young woman. She then treats a child involved in a RTA. That's about if for this week folks!

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Blood Relations 

Episode 15
February 12th 2004
Screenplay: Dee Johnson
Director: Nelson McCormick

Ah - much more Mindi this week!

Neela assists at the birth of a baby who has carbon monoxidepoisoning. The mother and other family members have suffered exposure due to a problem with the heating system at their home in the hours prior to her going into labour. Miss Rasgotra is charged with responsibility for accompanying the sick baby to the hyperbaric chamber. (Medical jargon note: A 'walk in' chamber designed to provide a controlled environment to increase the concentration of oxygen to a patient)

Neela enters the chamber with a technician and the baby but fails to inform him that she has claustrophobia and soon begins to suffer. She complains of being unable to breath but the chamber is now pressurised. Finally she insists that she has to leave and ascends but is advised the baby requires her urgent attention. Things get worse as on re-entering the chamber the pressure change causes Neela's ear drum to blow and start bleeding!. Despite this she continues to attend to the baby.

The medstudent is finally ready to leave but she is struggling to breathe. The attending doctor is concerned about her lungs and asks her to wait while the pressure is lowered. The door of the chamber is opened but instead of waiting to be examined she runs out to the nearest balcony and takes several deep breaths in the fresh air. Pheeew!!

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Forgive and Forget 

Episode 16
February 26th 2004
Screenplay: Bruce Miller
Director: Christopher Chulack

Frank on the front desk does his regular job of getting on Neela's wrong side with some flippant comments about one of her patients. She accuses him of being a bigot. He soon becomes the centre of attention again when she discovers him slumped on the floor after collapsing with a heart attack. His wife and daughter arrive and she takes them to him. Her concern increases as his condition worsens and she engages in conversation with his family whilst waiting with them. His wife tells Neela that Frank always comes home with stories about work and often speaks of her and how well she is doing in medical school. She is beginning to see him in an entirely different light.

Frank undergoes surgery which appears to have been successful and his family join him. 

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The Student 

Episode 17
April 1st 2004
Screenplay: David Zabel
Director: Paul McCrane

The student's placements are under discussion and Neela's indecisiveness has been raised as an issue. Dr Carter stands up for her, saying that she is the smartest person on the floor. He later speaks with her about being more assertive. Dr Gallant also discusses the subject with Neela before she commences work with the resident of a nursing home who has being admitted after falling from the roof. The home fail to send a fax of the man's medical history and she only has the discharge summary from a previous visit to the hospital. She has taken on board the Doctors' earlier comments and takes a decision to administer Demerol to the patient rather than morphine as instructed by Gallant. His condition appears to have improved as she presents to Carter.

Things take a serious turn as Neela patient is seizing and unconscious. The Demerol has triggered Serotonin Syndrome, a potentially fatal reaction. Gallant (not for the first or last time) lives up to his name and says he gave the direction to administer Demerol to the man and falsifies the patients chart to this effect.

The man's wife arrives at the ER and after discussing his chances with her Neela confides to Carter that it was she who had decided the treatment and not Gallant. The man dies and Neela is in tears. The post mortem on the case takes place and the Doctor and student contradict each other which angers Kerry.

Carter tells her not to let the incident discourage her from pursuing emergency medicine she talks with Gallant. He tells her that he was thinking of asking her out that morning. Neela confirms that she had entertained the same idea about him…

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Where There's Smoke 

Episode 18
April 8th 2004
Screenplay: Jacy Young
Director: Tawnia McTiernan

Neela is interviewed by the hospital's 'Risk Management' Team about the death of the Nursing Home patient. Susan has suggested that she might consider a research position instead of pursuing emegancy medicine. Gallant is also interviewed and when presented with the possibility of a deposition states that he may be unavailable to attend as he has received a call up to Iraq. The interview is concluded and he later imparts this news to Neela who becomes very emotional and reacts by accusing him of lying and cowardice.

The episode concludes as Gallant has said his goodbyes to the ER staff and is about to depart in a taxi. Neela arrives to wish him farewell - they kiss and the taxi drives away.

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Just A Touch 

Episode 19
April 22nd 2004
Screenplay: R. Scott Gemmill
Director: Richard Thorpe

In this episode 'our gal' treats Denise, a teenage girl suffering from ventricular arrhythmia, a condition which gives her skin a bluish hue. She says that because of this she gets called 'smurf'. Denise has been admitted for an unrelated condition. Pratt then quizzes Neela as they examine another woman and is far from supportive of her diagnosis. Meanwhile Denise has passed out on the floor and Pratt intervenes to resuscitate her.

Neela's lab rotation does not start well either. After being introduced to the lab's research associate she accidentally spills coffee on a sample he has been working on for six weeks!

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Abby Normal 

Episode 20
April 29th 2004
Screenplay: David Zabel
Director: Jonathan Kaplan

The unfortunate start aside, Neela seems to have settled in the lab and has impressed the associates. The only problem is they are conducting illegal tests using Ketamine and one of the research associates has taken the hallucinogen whilst another is monitoring him. Neela expresses her objection to what they are doing and is vindicated when the 'guinea pig' has to be rushed to the ER after suffering dangerously increased heart rate.

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Episode 21
May 6th 2004
Screenplay: John Wells
Director: Julie Hébert

Abby and Neela discuss graduation at the admittance board while Pratt and Morris make mocking comments. Neela has 19 relatives flying in to attend. She expresses concerns about a young man (treated in the previous episode for burns) because he had unusually high blood pressure. The teenager has been discharged and she persuades Pratt to accompany her on a home visit to follow up. He assures them he will return for a checkup.

The Rasgotra family arrive for the graduation ceremony and Neela gives them the full tour of the hospital. The graduation is taking place and young man from earlier is admitted to the ER with congestive heart failure, the condition Neela had earlier suggested his symptoms indicated but which Pratt had dismissed.

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Drive (Season Finale) 

Episode 22
May 13th 2004
Screenplay: Dee Johnson
Director: Jonathan Kaplan

Miss Rasgotra is preparing to travel to the University of Michigan to commence her residency. A patient asks her if she is a doctor. She responds "no" but is advised by Corday that she should now start using the title. Neela visits the teenager from the previous episode to check his progress before she leaves.

Neela is shown driving to Michigan at intervals throughout the episode. She seems deep in thought and stops at one point to reflect on her circumstances. On arriving at the university she completes orientation and a tour of the campus but then asks to talk privately with the dean.

She tells him she has decided that she does not want to pursue with the residency…

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Click here for Season 11 Diary