Hell and High Water (ER)

"Hell and High Water" is the seventh episode of the second season of the medical drama series ER. It first aired on NBC in the United States on November 9, 1995. It was written by Neal Baer and directed by Christopher Chulack. The episode attracted 42 million viewers on its initial broadcast, making it the highest-rated show of the week.[1]

"Hell and High Water"
ER episode
Episode no.Season 2
Episode 7
Directed byChristopher Chulack
Written byNeal Baer
Editing byJacque Toberen
Production code457207
Original air dateNovember 9, 1995
Guest appearance(s)

Abraham Benrubi as Jerry
Robert Cicchini as News Reporter
Erik von Detten as Ben
Luis Avalos as Pediatrician
Christine Elise as Harper
Andrea Parker as Linda
William H. Macy as Dr. Morgenstern

Episode chronology
← Previous
"Days Like This"
Next →
"The Secret Sharer"
ER (season 2)
List of ER episodes


Doug Ross (George Clooney) attends an interview for a new job at a private pediatric practice, after he is told his contract at County General will not be renewed. The head of the practice (Luis Avalos) offers him the job, and Ross accepts. Back at the ER, a 10-year-old victim of a hit-and-run, Molly Phillips (J. Madison Wright) is brought in with severe injuries. She is examined by Peter Benton (Eriq La Salle) and his interns John Carter (Noah Wyle) and Harper Tracy (Christine Elise). They stabilize her, and then newly-appointed physician assistant Jeanie Boulet (Gloria Reuben) impresses ER chief David Morgenstern (William H. Macy) by identifying Molly's injuries from her X-rays, much to the chagrin of Benton.

Ross returns to the ER for his final shift, greeted by Mark Greene (Anthony Edwards) and Carol Hathaway (Julianna Margulies), but he seems strangely annoyed considering his successful interview. Harper and Carter extubate Molly and reassure her that they are taking care of her. Jerry (Abraham Benrubi) struggles with a new computer and thinks he may have accidentally deleted all the radiology data. Linda Farrell (Andrea Parker) arrives, reminding Ross that he is meant to accompany her to an opera performance that evening. She also manages to fix the computer, which Carol then uses to play Doom II. Benton orders Jeanie to write a summary of all the discharge notes for a patient that has been admitted many times over the past few years.

Molly's parents (Peter Gregory and Chase Masterson) arrive, and it is revealed that they are separated. Mr. Phillips blames Mrs. Phillips for Molly's injuries. Harper asks them for a photograph of their daughter to help the plastic surgeon repair her cheek laceration. As Ross drives in heavy rain to pick up Linda, he gets a puncture. A young boy, Joey Larkin (Zachary Charles), runs up to his car, screaming that his brother needs help. Ross gets out of the car and hurriedly follows him.

Joey leads Ross on the storm drain where his brother Ben (Erik von Detten) was trapped in it with his leg pinned by the grate of it.