Sunday, February 10, 2019

"The Ties That Bind"

Description: A pushy, abrasive man drives his car into the ER to help his wife, who has had a stroke. Ehrlich meets an unusual young woman at the launrdromat. Craig clashes with Joan Halloran, the new city budget advisor, over his proposed heart transplant for schoolteacher Eve Leighton. Fiscus continues to see both Martin and Daniels. Luther gets attacked in the medication closet.


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
Mark Harmon as Dr. Bobby Caldwell
Terence Knox as Dr. Peter White
Eric Laneuville as Luther Hawkins
Howie Mandel as Dr. Wayne Fiscus
Kim Miyori as Dr. Wendy Armstrong
David Morse as Dr. Jack Morrison
Christina Pickles as Nurse Helen Rosenthal
Kavi Raz as Dr. Vijay Kochar
Cynthia Sikes as Dr. Annie Cavanero
Nancy Stafford as Joan Halloran
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. This episode features the first glimpse of the new set for the hospital's main entrance, including the admissions desk, gift shop and part of the exterior facade, closely modelled on the Franklin Square House in Boston.

  2. Critique time: While I enjoyed the Singleton storyline, I find it a bit problematic and too easily resolved. Jerry Singleton drives his car into the ER, showing a wanton disregard for anyone else's life or property--and he apparently gets away with it! There may be a mention of consequences somewhere, but why isn't this man in jail? He put a lot of people in danger. Also, I get it that he comes to see his own behavior as a probable cause of his wife's stroke, but how he gets there is unclear to me. Jack Morrison performs an enormous feat of reverse psychology by telling Jerry he did the right thing, and Jerry comes to realize he did not do the right thing. Jack must have learned a lot from Hugh Beale or whomever the interim psychiatrist was. (Not that Beale was portrayed as all that competent.) I love the idea of the story--that a man comes to realize his own bullish behavior has had devastating effects on his family--but the story gets there in a ham-handed and clumsy way. I'm not buying it that Fran's rejection of her husband causes him to see the error in his ways. Good performances from Piper Laurie and Alan Arkin, though.

  3. While "The Ties That Bind" is somewhat generic popular phrase, I have to think it's a reference to the song that opens Bruce Springsteen's "The River" album. There are several nods to Bruce throughout the show, he was at the peak of his popularity in the early to mid-80s, and Boston is known as one of his strongholds outside of New Jersey.


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