Tuesday, October 29, 2019

"Graveyard"

Description: Unable to save a dying boy, a frustrated Morrison lets the boy's parents perform a Chinese folk ritual. Samuels leaves a late-night poker game to perform emergency surgery on a gunshot victim. Paxton rejects Samuels's advances. Ralph's manic stage reaches a crescendo.

"Graveyard" is the 11th episode of season 1 of St. Elsewhere.
Originally aired January 18, 1983.
Teleplay by Joshua Brand, John Falsey, John Masius, Tom Fontana
Story by Joshua Brand, John Falsey
Directed by Victor Lobl

Monday, October 28, 2019

"Hearts"

Description: A 'Dr. Bullfinch' impersonates a doctor and makes the rounds. A woman who didn't know she was pregnant finds herself in surprise labor, and is ambivalent about the prospect of motherhood. Ehrlich passes out during surgery. White moves in with the Morrisons when he and his wife separate. Dr. Paxton, Samuels' ex, begins work at St. Eligius.

"Hearts" is the 10th episode of season 1 of St. Elsewhere.
Originally aired January 11, 1983.
Teleplay by John Masius
Story by Joshua Brand & John Falsey and John Masius
Directed by Mark Tinker

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Website update, October 26, 2019

I don't know if there are any people left who check back in on this website who aren't just here to leave fake SEO blog comments (or robots, as the analytics indicates), but if anyone is wondering...

I've re-started doing episode recaps. I did the first two episode recaps back in 2012, the year I created this website. Now, I'm giving the series a good, thorough re-watch, and my intention is to finally document all the good stuff that St. Elsewhere's writers/producers did to make this series something special in the first place. You should be able to access these posts from the links in the Episode Guide page.

It's going to take a while. If I'm on my game, I can do one recap per day. There are 137 episodes. This should keep me busy for a while, but I'd like to get all of this down as a matter of personal aspiration. This is what I intended, back in 2012, and I'd like to finish what I started. I'll also be looking to complete capturing photos for the cast page.

In addition to recounting what happens in each episode, I'll be including screen shots, trivia and commentary, cast lists, and video clips. In particular, I'd like to tease out the inside jokes, cultural references (particularly the references to other TV shows), character development, and the recurring elements that rewarded sharp-eyed viewers.

As far as recurring elements go, I'm looking at (so far):
  • "You're a pig, Ehrlich" -- Someone out there did a YouTube video of this, but they just included the punchlines. I want to do clips of the full scenes, so you can appreciate this side of Victor Ehrlich's personality.
  • Ehrlich & Caldwell -- There was a running gag of Victor saying insensitive things that offended Bobby Caldwell in particular.
  • B.J. Hunnicutt -- Several times, Mark Craig makes comments about his Korean War buddy, B.J. Hunnicutt, presumably the same character from M*A*S*H.
  • The Gerbode Mitral Valvulatone -- Craig's first surgical instrument, which he claims was a gift from his mentor, Dr. David Domedion.
  • Dr. David Domedion -- I'll be compiling all the mentions of Craig's mentor, including the episodes where we actually see him. They did a bit of retconning with the character, and then they referenced the retconning.
  • The Cushing Left Anterior Descending Artery Award -- There's a running joke where this award statue is mentioned and also multiple instances where it is broken and replaced.
  • "I have the valve. You got the murmur?" Jack tells this story in "Legionnaires (Part 1)", and it gets repeated at least three more times during the series.
  • Dr. Oliver Lunden -- This character, a surgeon at the hospital, is mostly unseen, but frequently referenced.
If anything else comes up, I'll be sure to mention it.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

"Rain"

Description: Morrison regrets making an unheard-of house call when the caller guilts him into repeat visits. White's relationship with his wife is strained when their daughter is admitted to ER after swallowing mothballs. Fiscus has an encounter with another gang member in the ER. Ralph starts eating garbage. Aspiring surgeon Ehrlich lands in trouble with Craig after injuring a finger playing handball.

"Rain" is the 9th episode of season 1 of St. Elsewhere.
Originally aired January 4, 1983.
Teleplay by Tom Fontana
Story by Joshua Brand & John Falsey and Tom Fontana
Directed by Victor Hsu

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

"Tweety and Ralph"

Description: Beale must decide if Ralph, the "Birdman of St. Eligius", is fit to be released along with his mate Tweety. The search for the source of Legionnaires' continues. Fiscus, traumatized by his recent assault, starts carrying a handgun in the ER. Cavanero befriends a young woman facing a hysterectomy. Ellen Craig deals with the elusive Dr. Barnum.

"Tweety and Ralph" is the 8th episode of season 1 of St. Elsewhere.
Originally aired December 21, 1982.
Teleplay by Elizabeth Diggs
Story by Joshua Brand & John Falsey and Elizabeth Diggs
Directed by Mark Tinker

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

"Legionnaires (Part 2)"

Description: Westphall orders the closure of a ward due to a Legionnaires outbreak, leaving the hospital vulnerable to a loss of funding. Beale discovers that a psychiatric patient was impregnated during her hospital stay. Fiscus gets mugged in the ER. Cavanero dates the fisherman who helped her deliver the baby by phone. Samuels pretends to be a buyer interested in Mark's classic car.

"Legionnaires (Part 2)" is the 7th episode of season 1 of St. Elsewhere.
Originally aired December 14, 1982.
Teleplay by Charles Rosin
Story by Joshua Brand & John Falsey and Charles Rosin
Directed by Mark Tinker

Monday, October 21, 2019

"Legionnaires (Part 1)"

Description: After a series of deaths, Westphall and administrator Cummings clash over the decision to close a ward that could be home to an outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease. White finds himself in dire financial straits when he loses his beeper. Martin breaks up with Fiscus when he starts to get too serious. Cavanero clashes with a hostile nurse.

"Legionnaires (Part 1)" is the 6th episode of season 1 of St. Elsewhere.
Originally aired December 7, 1982.
Teleplay by Joel Surnow
Story by Joshua Brand & John Falsey and Joel Surnow
Directed by Thomas Carter

Sunday, October 20, 2019

"Samuels and the Kid"

Description: Samuels operates on a precocious and likable boy admitted for surgery, and is reminded of his painful past. When his patient dies suddenly, Chandler tries to get Nurse Skilling fired for incompetence. Fiscus surprises Martin with a romantic dinner for their one-month anniversary. Cavanero, while vacationing for a weekend, delivers a baby by telephone. Craig receives the Cushing Left Anterior Descending Artery Award for Surgeon of the Year.

"Samuels and the Kid" is the 5th episode of season 1 of St. Elsewhere.
Originally aired November 30, 1982.
Teleplay by John Masius
Story by Joshua Brand & John Falsey and John Masius
Directed by Thomas Carter

Saturday, October 19, 2019

"Cora and Arnie"

Description: A homeless couple face separation when the woman's impending amputation means show won't be able to care for her mentally challenged husband. A vacationing middle-class couple get a crash course in medical costs after a series of routine tests for an unexplained fainting. Beale tells Rhinehardt that he is fit for trial, and will be sent to prison. Fiscus treats a parolee whose back pains turn out to be a gunshot wound. Kochar feels homesick. Katherine McAllister dies, and her husband's grief turns deadly.

"Cora and Arnie" is the 4th episode of season 1 of St. Elsewhere.
Originally aired November 23, 1982.
Teleplay by Neil Cuthbert
Story by Joshua Brand & John Falsey and Neil Cuthbert
Directed by Mark Tinker 

Friday, October 18, 2019

"Down's Syndrome"

Summary: A couple learns their baby will be born with Down's Syndrome, and the husband pushes for an abortion. Beale assesses the bomber to determine his fitness for trial. Westphall shows members of the board around the hospital. Fiscus and Martin get trapped in an elevator; Fiscus worries that their relationship is only physical. White, fending off persistent phone calls from his wife in the E.R., nearly kills a patient. Morrison learns his wife is pregnant.

"Down's Syndrome" is the 3rd episode of season 1 of St. Elsewhere.
Originally aired November 16, 1982.
Teleplay by Tom Fontana
Story by Joshua Brand & John Falsey and Tom Fontana
Directed by Mark Tinker

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Interview with Kim Miyori

An interview with Kim Miyori, who played Dr. Wendy Armstrong on seasons one and two of St. Elsewhere.

Kim Miyori on People Now with Bill Tush in 1983.
I found this clip on YouTube the other day. It's an interview with Kim Miyori from a talk show called People Now, hosted by former TBS and CNN entertainment reporter Bill Tush. The interview took place in between seasons one and two, after the show had been saved from cancellation. Miyori also discusses her guest appearance with Tom Selleck on an episode of Magnum P.I.

The YouTube clip, from a VHS tape, fast forwards through the clip from "Family History", which was the first episode that featured Wendy. I presume it was because clips from season one aren't allowed on YouTube due to copyright restrictions.

Some interesting tidbits from the interview:
  • The producers thought Kim Miyori was "too pretty" for the part, so she attended her final reading without makeup and wearing glasses.
  • Miyori aspired to become a doctor, but pursued acting instead.
  • Wendy's story in "Family History" involved her diagnosing a patient with Gaucher's Disease, a rare genetic disorder mostly found among Ashkenazi Jews. This led to a viewer discovering the cause of her grandson's undiagnosed bleeding disorder.

Here's the clip: