Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Season nine of ER begins ten minutes after season eight left off, with the County General ER still in lockdown in the face of a possible smallpox epidemic. Though most of the patients and staffers have been evacuated, a handful are quarantined at the ER for two weeks, among them Carter (Noah Wyle), Abby (Maura Tierney), Chen (Ming-Na), and Pratt (Mekhi Phifer), now a full-fledged series regular. In the midst of the chaos and confusion, Carter and Abby have managed to find the opportunity to lock lips, thereby inaugurating a whole new phase in their relationship. Meanwhile, on the roof of the hospital, Romano (Paul McCrane) throws another temper tantrum, with disastrous consequences when, in mid-rant, he backs into the tail rotor of a helicopter. And in faraway London, the newly widowed Elizabeth Corday (Alex Kingston) has joined her father's business -- but may now be too "Americanized" for her family's tastes.