St. Elsewhere 1.3
Third episode is the best so far. Packs real emotional punch.
- The main story here is about a couple who are told that the child they are expecting will have Down’s Syndrome. News that causes them to debate about whether or not to have an abortion.
- Maureen Anderman and Tony Bill are simply superb as the couple.
- Dr. Peter White is the focus of several strong scenes. Running theme: he is volatile, under pressure and making mistakes.
- The sharp contrast between him and Morrison is pointing out - in dialogue - near the end of the episode.
- Auschlander gets a good storyline, too. Ostensibly about the care of a dying patient, we see in the closing scenes that his own mortality is ever-present in his mind.
- The last scene of the hour - a wonderful scene - is a card game between him and the patient.
- Before that, there is a chat between him and Westphall, who is calling in (on his way home) to chat with his buddy. He has no reason to be there, no purpose, really… just friendship. A short exchange that speaks volumes.
- The episode’s biggest emotion punch caught me unawares. In retrospect it is obvious where the storyline was going and the scene that delivered it was set up so that the revelation was inescapable, yet - somehow - I was so absorbed the drama that I never thought ahead and found myself giving a short audible gasp. That’s great storytelling.