Monday, April 29, 2013

Video: Victor's Wife Airs their Dirty Laundry on the P.A.

A funny clip from season two: Roberta's marital issues with Victor accidentally get broadcast on the hospital's P.A. system.

Victor's wife Roberta (Jean Bruce Scott) spills the beans
about her failing marriage to her friend, St. Eligius's operator.
There seems to be a market for St. Elsewhere clips on YouTube, so as I'm researching other pieces, I'll be watching out for scenes that work well as stand-alone video clips.

This scene is one of my favorite gags, from the season two episode "Attack". Dr. Victor Ehrlich (Ed Begley, Jr.) has rather impulsively married his new girlfriend, Roberta Sloan (Jean Bruce Scott), who is a patient of the hospital's psychiatrist, Dr. Weiss (Philip Sterling), and a candy striper in the hospital. After an absence of a few episodes, Victor and Roberta return to work, but without the glow of connubial bliss you'd expect from returning honeymooners.

Turns out Roberta has a list of grievances, but she's not sure if she can confide in her friend, St. Eligius's operator. The operator assures Roberta that she can be trusted, and that she wouldn't breathe a word of Roberta and Victor's marital problems to anyone.

A call interrupts their conversation, and when Roberta fetches a pen so the operator can take a message, she accidentally switches on the microphone of the hospital's public address system. Unbeknownst to them, the remainder of their conversation is broadcast throughout the hospital. The gossip has everyone in the hospital spellbound until Nurse Shirley Daniels (Ellen Bry) calls the operator to inform her of the mishap.


I've been watching this stretch of episodes, and if you remember, the two young lovebirds both have issues with commitment and relationships that they discuss with the hospital's psychiatrists, Dr. Weiss and Dr. Michael Ridley (Paul Sand). It seems really strange to me that two mental health professionals would recommend that two people who barely know each other should get married (Weiss himself facilitated the proposal). Of course, that makes for better TV, so I'll willingly suspend my disbelief here.

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