Graduation Day
Somebody To Love
Ames vs Kovac
Heart of the Matter
Reason to Believe
Scoop and Run
Tell me no Secrets
City of Mercy


Episode 1

September 21st 2006

Screenplay: Stephen Cragg

Director: Joe Sachs


Previously on ER...Season 12 ended with a 'shoot out' at County General. Sam's 'jailbird' ex Steve together with another prisoner and his girlfriend stage an escape by engineering a visit to the hospital. The plan goes awry, Kovac is stabbed in the back and the felons end up having to shoot their way out past the attending prison gaurds. They take Sam and her son Alex hostage.

Jerry at the admittance desk takes a bullet shielding a young boy and Abby, heavily pregnant with Luca's baby, lays collapsed in the corridor.

Pratt and Neela are still in Lincoln Park at the wake for Gallant. Greg receives a call about events at the hospital and they ask the limo driver to get them to County. They arrive and Abby has regained consciousness and is on a gurney being wheeled to the OB for monitoring. Neela talks to her friend, asks about the baby and waves to her as the elevator doors close. She then looks on as Ray and Morris work in trauma on Jerry's injuries. Kovac joins them despite his condition and is struggling to breathe. He is persuaded by Morris to sit down and receive treatment. He does this but continues to instruct the team. Jerry's airway is obstructed but they finally clear it and he is despatched to the OR for surgery.

Neela and Morris watch pensively from the observation gallery as Dubenko and his team operate on Jerry. The bullet has scraped his heart and he is arresting. Things are looking critical and Neela speaks on the intercom and asks if it is possible the suture is tying up the coronary artery. Dubenko concedes "that's a good call". The team act and Morris quizzes Neela "You could see inside the field?" and she replies "I just had a hunch". The suggestion proves successful and with the OR 'short handed' Dubenko asks her to assist with the remainder of the procedure.

Abby is bleeding and is rushed to the other OR. Neela is seen in her surgical scrubs, washing her hands in preparation to assist Dubenko as Dr Coburn is seen doing the same as Abby requires a c-section. Lot's of 'High Definition' surgical activity follows as the scene switches between the two OR's to a soundtrack of 'Life in slow motion' by David Gray.

Abby's baby boy is delivered with Kovac holding her hand and is taken to the NICU. Pratt joins Morris in the observation gallery as Neela completes the surgery on Jerry.

Neela, Morris and Pratt are finally seen visiting Jerry in the recovery unit, and they joke with him as his mother arrives.

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Graduation Day

Episode 2

September 28th 2006

Screenplay: Lisa Zwerling

Director: Joanna Kerns 

Neela wakes up at County General having slept at the hospital following Jerry's operation. Pratt tells her to go home. Abby and Luca are with baby Joseph who is in the NICU on a ventilator. Abby's mother Maggie (Sally Field) makes a surprise appearance. Neela joins them and after asking after the baby she is introduced to Maggie and the group discuss Joe's condition.

Paramedic Tony Gates arrives with a patient on a gurney as Neela leaves the building. He greets her as 'Mayday', the nickname he had coined during their previous encounter (the plane crash episode from Season 12). His casual manner betrays the fact he is unaware of Gallants death.

The scene moves forward two weeks and the condition of baby Joe has improved after undergoing an experimental drug treatment program. Neela walks by as parents Abby and Luca relax outside the coffee house. She tells them that she is going to Ike's diner to eat before going back to the apartment to 'crash'. She is next seen drinking and 'knocking back' chasers with two men at the bar. She is quite drunk and gets up to leave but the guys pester her to stay. They continue to hassle her as she walks outside. Gates and a fellow paramedic have coincidently drawn up outside the bar and he intervenes to rescue the tipsy doctor from her amorous admirers.

Gates is escorting her away when he overhears one of the men say 'bitch' and returns to confront the man. He head butts the one and when the other steps up launches a volley of punches at him. Neela looks on and the other paramedic intervenes to restrain Tony who appears to have 'lost it'.

Gates takes Neela back to Abby's vacant apartment where she is still staying. She hasn't sobered up much and takes another beer from the fridge and offers one to Tony, asking him if he is a boxer and adds. "You have a mean left hook - I like that in a man". She puts some music on and sways around to it unsteadily and Tony comments that she will have a major headache in the morning and he must leave. She stumbles over and as he catches her she implores him not to go and kisses him. She becomes tearful and says she does not want to be alone. He asks if there is anyone she can call but Neela responds that she has no one. They continue to embrace.

Flash forward a further two weeks and Neela sits outside the hospital wearing a pair of shades and holding a coffee. Ray walks by and they discuss a party arranged by Dr Weaver to 'celebrate' losing her position of administrator following the 'Clemente incident' (Season 12). She enters the hospital and Gates is by the admit desk. Neela apologizes for her drunken behaviour at the apartment and is surprised to hear that Tony is joining the team as a new intern.

The shift ends and Neela shares a beer with Ray at Weavers party. Tony joins them and after she introduces the guys to each other leaves them to engage in a little 'verbal sparing'. She joins a group including Pratt, Weaver and Morris (who has been re-employed in the ER as an attending). Kovac arrives and shows the group a photo of Joe who is now out of hospital and back home with Abby.

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Somebody To Love

Episode 3

October 5th 2006

Screenplay: Davis Zabel

Director: Stephen Cragg


Neela carries a cardboard box containing some personal items and looks for her name badge at the ER admit desk. She is about to commence her first shift as a surgical intern. Gates is there and asks her if she is nervous and she replies "no". Ray walks with her and asks if she wants a hand with her stuff but she declines and continues to traverse the usual chaotic activity in the corridor.

Dubenko introduces Neela to her fellow interns and Chief Resident Crenshaw, who is volubly recounting some incident to a member of staff at the desk. He has a condescending and abrasive manner and quizzes Dr Rasgotra about her motivations for joining the surgical team. He than asks for someone to show "our international prodigy here how we do ward rounds".

At lunch time Morris and Neela meet up with Abby and baby Joe who are sitting outside on a bench by the park. The two friends obviously haven't spoken for a while and they catch up on events. Neela tells Abby about her less than favourable first impressions of her new Chief Resident.

The scene returns to County General as Crenshaw and Neela examine a patient in a trauma room who is being prepared for transfer to the OR. Gates has diagnosed that the man, who he knows from his paramedic days, has a ruptured spleen. It is apparent that Crenshaw intends to persist with his 'attitude' toward Neela, asking her to stand back from the table and only follow his specific directions.

Later into the shift, Dubenko talks with Neela about her first day. She expresses her frustrations at being asked to perform 'nursing duties' and tells him that the move feels like a step backwards. He reassures her that it is an adapting process. She asks him, if that is the case, "does it have to be so humiliating?".

Neela finally talks to Gates as he is leaving at the end of his shift. She offers him help if he needs any advice during his adjustment period. He is clearly still 'smitten' with Dr Rasgotra and 'reading' this she looks at him and tells him "things are complicated right now". They hesitantly agree to meet for a coffee sometime and smile as the lights flicker due to some repairs being conducted (or is it just the personal electricity?)'. The two say their goodnights and Gates leaves.

In the final scenes Gates is seen returning to an apartment where he is greeted by a blond woman and a young girl who appears to be her daughter. The girl asks him about his day. Tony and the 'mother' are then seen in bed together. Neela is at the same time shown alone at Abby's place, looking dolefully at old photographs of herself and Gallant….

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Episode 4

October 12th 2006

Screenplay: R. Scott Gemmill

Director: Tawnia Mckiernan 

Katey Alvaro, a medical student, introduces herself to Dr Rasgotra. Chief Resident Crenshaw has instructed Katy to shadow Neela for the day. The two engage in some 'girly gossip' about another med student Katey had dated. They are giggling as Crenshaw confronts them about a patient who has files recording 27 follow up visits to the hospital. He exhibits his usual sarcastic manner (is this Romanov reincarnated?) and tells them that they are to review the case notes for all of the woman's visits and be ready to present at that afternoons ward round.

The two are paged to the ER where Neela attends to a young boy in a trauma room who has been injured in a chain saw accident whilst helping his grandfather. A number of victims of an explosion are rushed in, one with severe burn injuries and resources are stretched. Pratt and Neela have a 'tete-a-tete' about sending one of those admitted straight to the OR but Crenshaw has instructed that the one free bed in the ICU is not to be used. Dr Rasgotra appears to be torn between two masters.

Pratt has failed to diagnose that the patient has a swollen airway and his condition becomes critical. The swelling has progressed to the extent that intubation is not possible and with breathing constricted Neela states that an open tracheostomy is the only option. She has previously only assisted with this procedure but is confident that she can perform one. Pratt recognizes that there is no other option and says "Alright OR girl - please do not make me regret this!".

The procedure is completed successfully but Crenshaw arrives to put a dampener on proceedings with some acerbic comments about Neela refraining from taking supervision from "your little forest friends in the ER". Pratt nonetheless congratulates Dr Rasgotra on her good work.

Neela walks with Katey when Ray intervenes to hand her some mail which is still being delivered to the 'roomies' apartment. He introduces himself to Katey and after he leaves them the student asks her mentor about the doctors' relationship. Neela tells her that they were only room mates and Katey comments that Ray is "smokin' hot" and asks if he has a girlfriend. Neela replies that she is not aware that he has but is distracted by one item amongst the collection of mail and makes an excuse to go and read it in private. She opens the envelope and exhales deeply after seeing that it contains a $12000.00 treasury cheque for Michael's Death Benefit...

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Ames vs Kovac

Episode 5

October 19th 2006

Screenplay: Joe Sachs

Director: Richard Thorpe


Dr Rasgotra, together with Crenshaw and student Katey collect a patient for the OR. The elderly man is suspected of having an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm. Crenshaw fires off about the ER staff putting the man at risk by not arranging an immediate ultrasound scan. He has given Gates, who is also present, the nickname 'Sparky' after an incident from the previous episode.

Abby has returned for her first shift since the birth of baby Joe and together with Gates she assists the OR team in transporting the patient for surgery. She expresses concern at Crenshaw's determination to put the man 'under the knife' before completing an ultrasound. The Chief Surgical resident is as belligerent as ever and proceeds on the assumption that the 'triple A' is ruptured. After he and Neela are in their scrubs they commence the procedure.

Abby and Tony are about to leave the OR and Crenshaw calls for the bovey (an electrical tool used to cut tissue) to be activated. The instrument has not been earthed and creates an instant flash fire, setting alight the drapes around the patient and Katey's scrubs. Panic ensues before the flames are doused, Neela pouring saline solution over the burning linen.

Crenshaw and Neela later return to the ER to collect another candidate for surgery, a woman vomiting blood who is suffering from Crohn's Disease (too much information I know!). Abby is in the trauma Room as they leave, singing to Joe over the phone. He is with his baby sitter who has been unable to settle him.

Ray fixes up the burns to Katey's forearms. They talk and she invites him out to a club that evening. Neela is on a computer at the admit desk when Ray walks up and begins to sound her out about his prospective date with Katey. She is rather dismissive and responds by advising him about the hospital policy on residents dating students. It is clearly not the reaction he was seeking (we know he's still smitten!) and he walks away, ironically thanking his old room mate for her 'help'.

Potential suitor No.2 (Gates) steps up and playfully jibes Neela about the patient torching incident earlier (it has transpired that Abby's concerns were well founded and the patient had a bad heart valve and enlarged liver - the fire incident had actually prevented an unnecessary surgery). She laughs off his comments but appears to be warming further to his roguish charms…

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Heart Of The Matter

Episode 6

November 2nd 2006

Screenplay: Janine Barrois

Director: Andrew Berstein  

Cover your eyes kids! 

The pre-title scene opens with Neela and Tony Gates engaged in some previous steamy bedroom and 'shared shower' activity. The 'Ooh La La' action is set to a soundtrack of Goldfrapp. Just when you think last week wasn't a season break after all and you've missed a crucial development, Neela awakes with a start from her dream!.She has slept on the couch (still at Abby's old apartment) and there is a knocking at the door. She blearily focuses on the wall clock which shows 6:30 am. Ray has called by to fix the cable TV connection on his way to work. After expressing surprise at the timing of his visit, Neela goes to get changed, casting a strange glance at her old room mate as she leaves.

A couple of hours later, Dr Rasgotra walks up to the admit desk and is greeted by Gates. She smiles, but attempts to induce Frank into some rather forced 'small talk', clearly trying to avoid Tony's attention. Gates walks over anyway and asks if they can hook up to help each other out preparing for the pending evaluations.

Neela is next seen doing a consult with Ray and student Katey. Ray continues to be unsettled by Gates attention to Neela and is annoyed when Tony calls her over to look at the ankle injury of a young girl he is treating.

Garrett Palsey, a patient seriously injured after his car collided with a motorcycle, is in a trauma room being prepared for surgery by Pratt and Abby. Neela takes over and impresses all those in attendance by utilizing a new 'bit of kit' which circumvents the need for an ultrasound scan. All, that is, except Crenshaw who has arrived to give new instructions to his 'charge'. He tells Dr Rasgotra to return to the ER to continue consults but Neela insists that she wants to participate in the surgery. He denies her request, but with her developing willful streak to the fore, she is soon seen offering to scrub up and aid Dr Dubenko with the same patient in the OR.

The surgery is in progress when Crenshaw enters the room and questions Neela as to why she has again failed to follow his instructions. Dubenko defends her actions to the Chief and the operation continues. Sadly, Mr Palsey's injuries are too severe and the team are unable to save him. Outside the OR Dubenko confronts Neela about defying Crenshaw's orders. He sternly chastises her and warns that if she 'plays him' again her membership of the surgical elective will be terminated. Still smarting from this, she then has to notify Palsey's wife and daughter of his death.

The widow collapses in the corridor on receiving the news but this is not merely a 'feinting turn'. Her heart is dangerously arrhythmic and once moved to a trauma room Neela commences compressions Mrs Palsey's daughter looks on in shock, fearing that she might lose both her mother and father on the same day. Still attempting resuscitation, Dr Rasgotra shouts that the woman has acute LV dysfunction precipitated by a tragic event -"this is broken heart syndrome". Ten minutes in and Neela desperately persists with compressions, insisting that the condition is reversable, despite the advice of the team who are convinced Mrs Palsey is lost. Pratt instructs her to stop and holds Neela's arm. She desists but after a few seconds the EKG shows a resumed heart beat. The woman is alive and her eyes open.

Later on Neela and Gates run through Q and A's in preparation for their assessments, but when she grabs Tony's notes they appear to be a scrambled mess. He makes excuses but finally admits that he suffers from dyslexia (a fact hinted at in earlier episodes). They are interrupted by Abby and Katey who invite Neela to a 'girls' night out' at Ike's Bar. 

The shifts are over and the scene moves to Ike Ryan's Bar. Those present engage in a game of 'shoot, shag or marry', with candidates suggested from male staff at the hospital. The badinage is interrupted when footage of Dr Weaver, who is also present, appears on the TV. Neela seems distracted and she confides to Abby that she has been dreaming about Gates. She expresses feeling guilty as it has only been six months since Michael's death. Abby encourages her that Gallant would have wanted her to move on. Persauded by the girls prompting and a couple of Tequilas, she calls Tony's cell phone but it is answered by Meg, the woman with whom he shares an apartment. Neela pretends that she has dialled a wrong number and feigns a smile, but this fails to mask her obvious surprise and disappointment…

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Episode 7

November 9th 2006

Screenplay: Virgil Williams

Director: John Wells


Doctors from County General attend a hospital board meeting conducted by Dubenko. Neela, Crenshaw and Katey are amongst those present from the surgical team,together with a number of regulars from the ER. Gates arrives late and Neela looks at him askance, clearly still upset by the mystery woman who answered his cell phone when she had called him. (see previous Diary entry)

Dubenko asks Tony to address those assembled about the 'patient torching' incident (see diary entry for October 19th). Gates commences his recount of the events and Katey leans over to Neela and whispers "He's cute, but I've heard he lives with someone and he has a kid". Dr Ragotra looks on with a certain anger and intensity, mindful of Gate's persistent flirtatious approaches toward her. Tony seems confident in delivering his explanation, but as he pauses Neela challenges him about a specific point. He is fazed and fumbles with his notes but she continues to press him on the matter. She becomes more confrontational in her questioning and they verbally 'lock horns' before Neela shouts that the incident was Gates fault because he shouldn't have been in the 'OR' in the first place. Dubenko calls a halt to the heated exchange and Tony fixes Neela with a quizzical stare as he returns to his seat.

The meeting concludes and as the room clears Gates challenges Neela about her questioning. She defends her position but there is a clear underlying tension. She implores him not to 'take the piss out of her' and he appears confused. The conversation becomes more personal as they are now alone. Gates asks if she likes him and she replies "you're cocky. you're arrogant you're not as smooth as you think you are!" Looking a little crestfallen, Gates answers " I never said I was". The two stare at each other for a moment before Neela steps up and jumps into his arms!. Tony lifts her onto the meeting room table where they engage in some amorous necking. In between kisses she asks Tony about the woman who answered his phone. He replies that he can explain and she suggests that "now would be a good time!".

They continue and being very much 'in the moment' are unaware of a frowning Ray who has walked past the window and is looking on at activities on the lecture bench!

Later on Neela is doing a consult with Katey and Ray walks up and asks if they can speak. Neela looks around but he states he was not talking to her, but to Katey. He takes the student aside and asks if she would like to go out to a hockey match, being careful to make his actions visible to his old room mate. (Ahh - that old trick! - but will it work?)...

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Reason To Believe

Episode 8

November 16th 2006

Screenplay: R. Scott Gemmill
David Zabel

Director: Ernest Dickerson  

Gates wakes Neela who has been sleeping on a couch in the rest room. She tells him that Crenshaw has been "running her ragged" and that "surgery is not for sissies". They discuss their intimate encounter after the board meeting. Tony explains that Meg, the woman with whom he lives, is the widow of his friend from the army. He had promised to look after Meg and Sarah, the couple's daughter, in the event of his death. The two draw closer together and are about to kiss when they are interrupted by the arrival of Abby, who announces that a patient is soon to be admitted with a stab wound and overdose.

Neela and Tony meet the arriving trauma patient in the pouring rain. Two young boys enter the ambulance bay wheeling a third in a shopping trolley. Gates runs over and checks the boy in the trolley who is injured and bleeding profusely around the ear. One youth runs off while the third seems fixated by Neela, who he watches as she accompanies a gurney into the hospital.

In a trauma room, the team treat the injured boy whose name is Pauly. The kids are orphans and have been rough sleeping in a derelict building. His friend, Teller, looks on with his attention still drawn towards Dr Rasgotra. He comforts Pauly by telling him that he will be okay because the 'blue lady' will fix him up. He is referring to the color of Neela's surgical scrubs, but with a subtext that seems to involve a 'street mythology' that the kids have developed between themselves as a coping mechanism. He tells the team that Pauly had fallen after been panicked by bats in the building. The explanation and the boy's seriously altered condition alerts Neela to the possibility of Rabies. A skin biopsy proves her fears to be well founded.

Kovac is brought in and instructs that the only hope is for the boy to be subjected to an induced coma to suppress brain activity while anti-viral drugs are administered. His survival chances are slim. Tony attempts to get Pauly to drink some medication but this condition inhibits his ability to swallow and he begins to choke. Teller runs from the room in a distressed state as the team commence intubation. He boards the elevator and finds his way to the OR where Neela is monitoring a surgical procedure. She escorts him from the room but once outside he implores her to return and assist with Pauly. She is taken aback when he refers to her by her "secret name - Mayday".

Dr Rasgotra joins an increasingly tense team in the ER as Pauly's condition deteriorates. He begins to arrest and Teller is taken from the room by another orphan girl, Ellie, who has arrived and is anxious about his presence at the hospital. Neela gives chase outside and shouts to them that they may also need treatment, but the two disappear into the stormy night. She continues in pursuit to the EL station but to no avail. New intern, Hope Bobeck runs up to Neela as she sits soaking and disconsolate on the steps of the station. She excitedly tells Dr Rasgotra that the team have been able to resuscitate Pauly and they return to County General.

Gates suggests that Neela may be the 'blue lady' after all, given the renewed, if still small hope of Pauly recovering They exchange some thoughts that touch upon their relationship and before he leaves she asks Gates why he call's her 'Mayday'. He smiles but does not reply.

Tony is next seen heading to see a movie with Meg, Sarah and her school friend. The couple discuss their relationship - Meg wishes to move forward with it but Gates announces that he does not. She appears unwilling to accept this and rather ominously asks "what's her name?". She continues "We love you - you love us - I know you don't want to blow that!".

In the trauma room Neela sits drowsing by Pauly's bedside. She is awoken by Hope, who tells her that she prayed for the boy in church earlier. The new intern refers to the stories of urban demons and spirits that the kids had continually recounted and concludes "who are we to judge - we all need something to believe in". She leaves but Neela remains by the unconscious boy's side…

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Scoop and Run

Episode 9

November 23rd 2006

Screenplay: Lisa Zwerling

Director: Stephen Cragg


It is Thanksgiving at County General. The central action in the episode involves Abby and the Medivac Team, who on the scene to attend to the passengers of a bus which has left the road and is left teetering on the edge of a ravine.

Neela arrives in the ER, responding to Gates persistent paging. She is wearing her surgical scrubs and head wear. He details a number of patients who require consults, but she jokingly questions whether he is using this as an excuse to keep her around. He denies this, but as they enter an exam room he closes the door and playfully asks why she must "always look so hot - even in that ridiculous hat!". Neela laughs and says that she has had enough of his harassment and leaves to continue the rounds.

The two are soon together again and examining a young girl called Lulu who is suffering from recurrent vomiting. Her foster mother is not present but she has befriended Sam's son Alex, who is handing out cookies to the patients. Lulu's white blood cell count causes concern and Neela asks for a CT scan to be arranged.

The scan is completed and as they assess the results, Gates informs Neela that Meg and her daughter Sarah are out of town for the holiday. He reiterates that whatever relationship had existed between him and Meg was now over. The scan reveals that Lulu requires immediate surgery.

The scene moves to the rest room and Tony is talking with Alex when Neela enters and informs them that Lulu is doing well. Alex leaves to visit his new friend. Doctors Gates and Rasgotra head to the rooftop helipad to receive patients flown in from the bus crash. The helicopter approaches and Neela asks Tony why he is still there as his shift finished some time ago. He replies "waiting for you dummy- the deal is you're going home with me tonight!"

Later in the evening it appears Neela has accepted Tony's invitation and arrives at his apartment but seems rather nervous. He hands her a glass of wine which she promptly 'downs in one!' He smiles and asks if she is okay. She explains that she has not been in this situation for a long time and continues to ramble on a bit before they kiss and the initial unease soon dissipates.

Cut back a while later and the two are making out on the sofa bed when voices are heard from downstairs, quickly followed by the sound of footsteps approaching. Meg and Sarah have returned unexpectedly and within seconds arrive in the room They both fix Gates with a withering look as Neela pulls up the blanket and stares toward the ceiling…

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Tell me no secrets

Episode 10

November 30th 2006

Screenplay: Karen Maser

Director: Laura Innes  

Gates is attending to a patient with stomach pains and consults with Neela about the X-ray results. His opinion is that the man is suffering from a bowel obstruction but she is not convinced. Her prickly demeanor clearly demonstrates that the recent embarrassing incident at Meg's apartment is still fresh in the mind. Tony attempts to broach the subject and despite her reticence to discuss it reiterates that he has told Meg that he is moving on. Neela refutes this and tells him that Meg clearly does not see it that way. She cuts short any further discourse on the subject and informs him the patient has Ileus, a bowel disorder and spells the word out in a condescending manner (presumably having a little dig at his dyslexia).

Dr Rasgotra later prepares to examine Danielle, the daughter of the Hospital's legal representative. She is thought to have been the victim of a sexual attack. Neela and nurse Haleh are surprised and saddened when Danielle admits that her injuries were self inflicted.

Neela takes a message at the admit desk as Pratt confronts Ray about the potential problem of his relationship with student Katey who has transferred from surgery to the ER. Ray insists that it won't be distraction and causes Neela to look up when he adds "It's not like it's not going on around here all the time".

A short while later Neela prepares to leave at the end of her shift. She catches up with Ray and comments that Pratt had a valid point that dating a med student who worked in the ER might not be such a good idea. He responds sharply, asking what business it is of hers. A little taken aback, she assures him that her concerns were expressed as a friend and that is what friends do. Ray turns the conversation to the subject of Gates and tells her "I'm really not into playing your games anymore. Do you really think I'm gonna hang around waiting for you to find out that he's just jerking you around!". He concludes by adding "you made your choice - you can't have it both ways". (ouch!)

Neela makes her way to the station when Tony catches her up and states that he is looking for a new place to live. She is defensive and continues to ascend the station steps at a pace. Undeterred, Gates continues, telling her that he has spent the best part of ten years avoiding getting close to someone, but she has made him see the way he wants his life to change.

Neela boards the train as Tony remains on the platform looking doleful. The sliding doors are about to close when she grabs his arm and draws him into the carriage…

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City of Mercy

Episode 11

December 6th 2006

Screenplay: David Zabel 
Lisa Zwerling

Director: Stephen Cragg


Yo Ho Ho - It's Christmas Eve at County General and even the usually caustic Crenshaw seems to have warmed to the Yuletide spirit. He greets Neela at the surgery lunchtime party with a hearty "Merry Christmas"!. She asks if he is alright, concluding that he must have succumb to the influence of the 'punch'. Dubenko introduces her to Manish Mata, a new recruit to the surgical team, before Katey arrives accompanied by a Doctor called Rob. He seems immediately impressed by "Dubenko's golden girl" and says that he has heard a lot about her. She smiles and breaks off an unnecessarily extended handshake. Dr Rob rather awkwardly excuses himself, leaving a giggling Neela and Katey bemused at his behaviour.

The party is over and before returning to work Dr Rasgotra waits outside the lavatory, which has been occupied by Dr Rob for 10 minutes. Katey walks by and tells Neela that she intends spending Christmas Eve with Ray and asks if that is okay. Neela assures the student that she is unconcerned about their relationship. Katey goes on to suggest an explanation for Rob's extended toilet break, stating that meeting Neela may have aggravated his 'condition'. "He has an auto-stimulation problem" and for that reason the students have nicknamed him "McCreamy!" The lavatory door opens and Rob emerges, again offering a handshake to Neela, who without hesitation says that she has to be elsewhere and makes a hasty exit!.

Cut to the ER and Dr Rasgotra assists Ray and Tony as they prepare a patient for surgery. Rufus Taylor is bleeding from the abdomen and has a history of drug abuse. He is reticent to agree to the procedure that they have proposed. Mr Taylor is being transported to the OR when Neela hears a young voice calling out "Mayday". She finds Teller (the homeless orphan boy from Episode 8) hiding in the corridor. He tells her that Lizzie, one of his fellow runaways, is sick and needs urgent attention.

Neela interrupts Ray and Tony who are again engaged in a verbal sparring match. She is frustrated by their squabbling and tells them to "either slap each other silly or kiss now and get it over with". She asks Gates to accompany Teller to the derelict building where the kids shelter. Ray has ended his shift but offers to drive them to the scene.

Neela is again with Mr Taylor. Whilst signing the consent to surgery form, he explains that his wife and kids left him because of his drug habit, but he is now clean. He writes down their contact details and implores her to send them a message should he not come through the surgery. He ruminates on the Christmas holidays that he has missed with his family.

The surgery commences and after some complications is completed successfully. Dubenko congratulates Dr Rasgotra on her "strong work" and once out of theatre tells her that he spends Christmas with his older sister. She suffered brain damage after a car accident when she was 17 and resides at an independent living facility.

Ray and Gates return to the ER with Teller and Lizzie. The girl was in fact pregnant and in labour and they have delivered her baby in the squalid conditions where the kids live. The Doctors inform Teller that they had been unable to save Pauly, the boy he had previously bought to the hospital. Neela, Ray and Tony work together to persuade Teller that he and his friends should accept the arrangement they have brokered to enable them to live together in a group home. Ray takes the opportunity, albeit in a veiled manner, to challenge Gates about his commitment to his relationship with Neela and warns him not to make false promises.

Dr Rasgotra returns to Mr Taylor, who has regained consciousness after his operation. She tells him that he will require a few days in hospital due to the blood loss and adds that she has a present, showing him two gift wrapped boxes. She beckons a woman and two children who are standing outside the door and states "These are from them - it was a little touch and go for a while so I called them". The man is reconciled with his family.

Dubenko arrives, dressed up to spend the evening with his sister and gives Neela a present. She opens the box which contains a pair of surgical loupes (high magnification spectacles). Lucien had purchased them for himself while still at medical school. She thanks him and he begins to talk in a manner which suggests he may be making a 'romantic approach', but when she goes to interrupt he persists "It's Christmas - I'm just going to say it - you're a really good surgeon, Neela. In a few more years you're going to be great".She smiles and thanks him, her eyes moistening. The slightly tense moment is broken and they laugh as she tries on the loupes.

In the final montage sequence, Ray arrives with a sprig of mistletoe at Katey's place, while Tony remains in the ER with Teller, Lizzie and her baby. Neela sits alone in the apartment, but after a few moments consideration picks up the phone to call her family as the snow falls outside….

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Click here for Season 13 (Part 2)