Sunday, February 10, 2019

"Murder, She Rote"

Description: Axelrod asks Rosenthal's eldest daughter Marcy for a date. Andrea is reluctant to face the world with her new appearance. Daniels is declared able to return to work. Mrs. Hufnagel's stay at St. Eligius finally ends.

  • William Daniels won the 1985 Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his performance in this episode.


Ed Flanders as Dr. Donald Westphall
Norman Lloyd as Dr. Daniel Auschlander

Also Starring (in alphabetical order)
Ed Begley, Jr. as Dr. Victor Ehrlich
Ellen Bry as Nurse Shirley Daniels
Stephen Furst as Dr. Elliott Axelrod
Mark Harmon as Dr. Bobby Caldwell
Eric Laneuville as Luther Hawkins
Howie Mandel as Dr. Wayne Fiscus
David Morse as Dr. Jack Morrison
Christina Pickles as Nurse Helen Rosenthal
Cynthia Sikes as Dr. Annie Cavanero
Denzel Washington as Dr. Philip Chandler

and Starring
William Daniels as Dr. Mark Craig

Watching St. Elsewhere on Hulu or elsewhere? Feel free to comment on this episode below.


  1. In my opinion William Daniels' three-minute speech at the mortality conference is one of St Elsewhere's finest moments. Writing, direction and acting of the finest order. I'm not surprised it won Daniels an Emmy.

    1. Agreed. Daniels'' is brilliant, and so is the writing and direction. Tension builds when Craig realizes his error and destroys the tape recording. This is exactly what we would expect--he's covering his tracks. In the end, he takes responsibility and apologizes before the other doctors. It's the most noble and humanizing moment on the show.

    2. As wonderful as William Daniels' performance is, I don't want to overlook Ellen Bry's as Nurse Shirley Daniels. In an interview somewhere, Bry said she was good at playing "batshit crazy"--and she is--but there's more going on. Shirley has clearly crossed a line, a point of no return, and there is no going back to the way things were. She even lied about her sister living in Nantucket. Is she crazy? Why didn't Weiss pick up on this? Why does she fire Iris as her attorney? Why is she willing to go prison for up five years? Why does she go to the trouble of getting a fake party gun and carrying it around? Why did she send Myra White a baby stocking mask? So many unanswered questions with titillating possibilities.

      I see Shirley as someone who is so consumed with hate and conflicted that she lives in her own warped version of reality. Whereas Craig takes responsibility for the death of Mrs. Hufnagel, Shirley tries to blame Peter White's death on Jack. In the end, she is no better than Peter. Like him, she hurts others through a misguided sense of self-importance. Jack worries about her becoming like a criminal while in prison, but she's already become a criminal. Although Shirley appears at least one more time in the series, her departure in this episode is one of the most disturbing and effective departures in the show.


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