Sunday, February 10, 2019

"Close Encounters"

Description: Craig arranges to take Yvonne home to her parents. Ehrlich advises a plastic surgery patient behind Caldwell's back. Captain Gloria Neal arrives to evaluate the astronaut's condition and supervise his transfer to Walter Reed, despite Westphall and Morrison's objections. Chandler and Turner plan a vacation together. John Doe #6 decides he's Mary Richards and plans a part to celebrate.

  • In my analysis, this episode proves that the Tommy Westphall Universe hypothesis doesn't work. John Doe #6 and Mr. Carlin are watching television in the psych ward when The White Shadow comes on, about which Carlin opines, "whoever came up with that one was a real smoothie", a reference to Executive Producer Bruce Paltrow. However, The White Shadow has already crossed over with St. Elsewhere at this point, as Warren Coolidge has begun working at the hospital. TWS can't be a fictional TV show within the St. Eligius snow globe while its fictional world is also a "real" part of the St. Eligius snow globe "universe" in the form of Warren Coolidge. The same contradiction happens to a lesser degree when Dr. Auschlander tells Dr. Weiss that if he could be any TV character, he'd be Trapper John of Trapper John, M.D. It's already been established that Mark Craig was war buddies with B.J. Hunnicutt, presumably of the M*A*S*H fictional universe. While it's fun to trace all the shows that crossed over with St. Elsewhere over the years, the logic doesn't really pan out.
Watching St. Elsewhere on Hulu or elsewhere? Feel free to comment on this episode below.

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