Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Mrs. Hufnagel Chronicles, Part 3

St. Elsewhere's most memorable patient makes her third appearance to report a stolen pair of slippers.
Mrs. Hufnagel (Florence Halop) wants to know who
took her slippers.

In her third appearance on St. Elsewhere, in "Strikeout", patient Florence Hufnagel (Florence Halop) pesters Nurse Shirley Daniels (Ellen Bry) and Dr. Elliott Axelrod (Stephen Furst) at the nurses' station. Elliott is trying to locate a patient, and while Mrs. Hufnagel complains about her missing pair of slippers, Shirley tells Elliott that the patient was transferred to Boston General for surgery.

This encounter is particularly significant because this is the first time we see Mrs. Hufnagel with Elliott, and it's where she first refers to him as "Chubs". Of all the staff at St. Eligius, Elliott is the only one with whom she will develop a bond.

I decided to leave in the entire final shot of the scene, which, in classic St. Elsewhere style, is a handheld shot that starts on the conversation between Shirley and Elliott, follows him as he tries to catch the elevator, tracks Mrs. Hufnagel as she spots the Mr. Cranston who she thinks took her slippers, settles on the characters in the next scene, firefighters Manny Schecter (Stephen Elliott) and Michael Duffy (John Hammond), as we see Mrs. Hufnagel frantically trying to reclaim her footwear from the other patient in the background, and follows Manny and Michael into the elevator as it goes down. The shot is 34 seconds long.

Here's Mrs. Hufnagel, out for justice:

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