ST. ELSEWHERE: BARON VON MUNCHAUSEN (TV)

Summary

One in this medical drama series set in St. Eligius hospital in Boston. In this episode, the ER is busy and Fiscus learns that White is "in bad shape." Morrison treats an easygoing man, Mr. Rizzo, who has fluctuating temperatures and inexplicable weight loss and hunger. Auschlander tells Westphall that his chemotherapy is proving effective, and Westphall tells him that he is scheduled to speak to a group of med students and needs a second doctor at the last minute, as his first choice canceled, and Auschlander tells him to ask Craig. Ehrlich inspects Rizzo's scans and offers to examine the man, and Daniels attempts to deal with a mentally ill woman in the waiting room as Martin suggests that they go on a double date with Fiscus and Applegate, her new dermatologist squeeze. Westphall asks Craig to "pinch hit" for him, and he grudgingly agrees, though states that he has "no chemistry" with the inner-city students. White attends a Narcotics Anonymous meeting, but leaves quickly without sharing. Ehrlich inspects Rizzo and notes that he has had many operations over the years, and he suggests performing exploratory surgery to determine the cause of his ailments, though Morrison opts to run more tests first. Fiscus objects to going out with his ex-girlfriend and the nerdy Applegate, and he tries to help the mentally ill woman, Mary Abernathy, who cannot elaborate on her stomach pain when he asks and reacts strongly to being touched.

Westphall talks to the medical students and then introduces Craig, and when someone asks about Craig's large salary and "privilege," he snaps that he has "nothing in common" with them, but urges them to take a meaningful job rather than a high-paying one, and they applaud his candor. Nurse Rosenthal tends to Rizzo, who charms her, but he heats his thermometer against the light when she leaves. Daniels, Fiscus, Martin and Applegate all enjoy an awkward lunch together, and Daniels abruptly calls off the double date idea. Morrison is upset when Ehrlich schedules Rizzo for surgery, telling him that he disagrees and that he, Ehrlich, should do it if he is so sure. Rizzo agrees, citing his experiences in Vietnam, though Ehrlich notices some inconsistencies in his story. Mary convinces a candy striper to loosen her restraints, but then attacks her, also threatening Daniels when she attempts to intervene. Craig and Westphall dine at a pub and Craig asks what it is about his personality that "bugs people," though he seems uncomfortable with Westphall's frank and lengthy answer about his tactless ways.

Ehrlich and Kochar perform Rizzo's surgery, but something goes awry and Rizzo dies on the table. Armstrong meets with Mary, who now seems perfectly calm, and she downplays her earlier violent actions. Morrison yells at Ehrlich for being too "scalpel-happy" and causing Rizzo's death, but Martin then tells him that Rizzo had bovine insulin and other strange chemicals within his body that caused his death during surgery. Daniels is upset upon learning that Armstrong has released Mary, saying that the woman threatened to kill her. She tells Fiscus what happened, adding that he was flirting with Martin over lunch, but he assures her otherwise and promises a nice evening together. Craig and Westphall agree that they are too old to change their ways, and when Morrison explains about Rizzo's case, both doctors immediately realize that the man had Munchausen's Syndrome and deliberately made himself appear ill for attention. Morrison apologizes to Ehrlich, explaining what really happened, and Ehrlich vows to "curb" his mad desire to perform surgery. Craig and Westphall decide to spend more recreational time together, and Craig even offers to set his friend up on a date. Commercials deleted.

Details

  • NETWORK: NBC
  • DATE: April 19, 1983 10:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:00:00
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: B:66252
  • GENRE: Drama, medical
  • SUBJECT HEADING: African-American Collection - Drama
  • SERIES RUN: NBC - TV series, 1982-1988
  • COMMERCIALS:

CREDITS

  • Bruce Paltrow … Executive Producer
  • Mark Tinker … Producer, Developed by
  • John Masius … Producer, Developed by
  • Joshua Brand … Producer, Created by, Writer
  • John Falsey … Producer, Created by, Writer
  • Beth Hillshafer … Associate Producer
  • Victor Hsu … Director
  • David Assael … Writer
  • Paul Schiffer … Writer
  • J.A.C. Redford … Music by
  • Dave Grusin … Theme Music by
  • Ed Flanders … Cast, Dr. Donald Westphall
  • David Birney … Cast, Dr. Ben Samuels
  • G.W. Bailey … Cast, Dr. Hugh Beale
  • Ed Begley Jr. … Cast, Dr. Victor Ehrlich
  • Terence Knox … Cast, Dr. Peter White
  • Howie Mandel … Cast, Dr. Wayne Fiscus
  • David Morse … Cast, Dr. Jack Morrison
  • Christina Pickles … Cast, Nurse Helen Rosenthal
  • Kavi Raz … Cast, Dr. Vijay Kochar
  • Cynthia Sikes … Cast, Dr. Annie Cavanero
  • Denzel Washington … Cast, Dr. Philip Chandler
  • William Daniels … Cast, Dr. Mark Craig
  • Norman Lloyd … Cast, Dr. Daniel Auschlander
  • Kim Miyori … Cast, Dr. Wendy Armstrong
  • Ellen Bry … Cast, Nurse Shirley Daniels
  • Barbara Whinnery … Cast, Dr. Cathy Martin
  • Louis Giambalvo … Cast, Anthony Rizzo
  • Micole Mercurio … Cast, Mary Abernathy
  • Walter Brooke … Cast, Dr. Lunden
  • Eric G. Laneuville … Cast, Luther Hawkins
  • Jennifer Savidge … Cast, Nurse Lucy Papandrao
  • Sagan Lewis … Cast, Dr. Jacqueline Wade
  • James R. Winker … Cast, Dr. Warren Applegate
  • Frank Dent … Cast, Dr. Steven Kiley
  • Jim Scott … Cast, Stuart
  • Jack Heller … Cast, Paul
  • Laurie Kennedy … Cast, Nan
  • Alice Cadogan … Cast, Jenny
  • Leslie Speights … Cast, Student #1
  • Jose Flores … Cast, Student #2
  • Paco Vela … Cast, Nurse Juan Numero
  • Kerry Noonan … Cast, Mother
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