ST. ELSEWHERE: ONCE UPON A MATTRESS (TV)

Summary

One in this medical drama series set in St. Eligius hospital in Boston. In this episode, Westphall grapples with a sense of guilt over Fiscus' shooting and wonders if he and Novino are merely "going through the motions" of their relationship. Craig, having returned to the hospital, performs rounds, and Westphall tells him that he has decided to delegate his educational duties to another doctor while remaining Director of Medicine. Auschlande, preparing to celebrate his fortieth wedding anniversary, advises Westphall to make certain changes to his home to accommodate his new life with Novino. Victor Bevine, Fiscus' former cancer patient, returns for a penile implant surgery and chats jovially with Novino, and Craig is annoyed by a hypertensive patient, Rabbi Tolkien, whose Orthodox practices are interfering with his treatment. Fiscus regains consciousness and seems to be recovering well, though he is consumed with depression and the idea that he is still "dying every day." Craig accidentally learns that Auschlander's cancer is neither spreading nor receding, and he complains to him about Katherine's involvement with the rabbi, feeling that the Women's Auxiliary volunteers are getting in the way.

Dr. Barton describes Bevine's complex surgery to Novino, and Bevine offers his two cents on Novino and Westphall's workplace romance. As the other doctors worry about Fiscus' condition, Craig attempts to move back into his office and finds that Dr. Kiem, his temporary replacement, has not vacated it, as she still has a contract with the hospital. Morrison attempts to cheer Fiscus up with jokes as Fiscus' father arrives for a visit, and Barton explains that Bevine is undergoing the risky surgery as a surprise for his wife. Katherine joins Auschlander for an anniversary lunch, but they soon begin arguing about Craig's complaints about the volunteers, with Auschlander feeling that personal touches should not impede medical treatment. Fiscus notes his mother's absence and is unmoved by his father's kind words, and Craig complains to Rosenthal about Kiem's ongoing presence. Westphall visits Andrea and asks if Novino is genuinely happy, and Andrea assures him that she looks up to him "like a god." Rosenthal finds that Kiem intends to leave after all, wanting to avoid further clashes with Craig, though Rosenthal urges her to stay and stand up to him.

Auschlander tells Tolkien that they cannot necessarily accommodate all of his "special needs," but the rabbi explains that he is dying and merely wishes to have a few spiritual comforts. Auschlander admits that he lost his own Jewish faith after a heartbreaking experience with a Gentile girl and now wonders if he has "deprived himself of strength," and he questions Westphall about his own break with religion. Fiscus accuses his father of never genuinely liking or relating to him, and Westphall takes Auschlander's advice and purchases a new bed, but soon finds that he cannot entirely let go of Maureen and ends things with Novino, much to her surprise. Mr. Fiscus departs, assuring his son that he loves him despite their dissimilarities, and Fiscus' spirits are finally lifted by Bevine and his jokes about his implant. Westphall, clearly upset about the breakup, decides to split his duties with Kiem, who is staying after all, and Auschlander patches things up with Katherine by playfully reminding her of their first date. Commercials deleted.

Details

  • NETWORK: NBC
  • DATE: December 3, 1986 10:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:48:57
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: B:66536
  • GENRE: Drama, medical
  • SUBJECT HEADING: African-American Collection - Drama
  • SERIES RUN: NBC - TV series, 1982-1988
  • COMMERCIALS:

CREDITS

  • Bruce Paltrow … Executive Producer
  • Abby Singer … Coordinating Producer
  • Mark Tinker … Supervising Producer, Developed by
  • John Masius … Producer, Developed by, Writer
  • Tom Fontana … Producer, Writer
  • Beth Hillshafer … Associate Producer
  • Helaine Head … Director
  • Joshua Brand … Created by
  • John Falsey … Created by
  • Channing Gibson … Writer
  • J.A.C. Redford … Music by
  • Dave Grusin … Theme Music by
  • Ed Flanders … Cast, Dr. Donald Westphall
  • Norman Lloyd … Cast, Dr. Daniel Auschlander
  • Bonnie Bartlett … Cast, Ellen Craig
  • Ed Begley, Jr. … Cast, Dr. Victor Ehrlich
  • Steven Furst … Cast, Dr. Elliot Axelrod
  • Bruce Greenwood … Cast, Dr. Seth Griffin
  • Eric Laneuville … Cast, Luther Hawkins
  • Howie Mandel … Cast, Dr. Wayne Fiscus
  • David Morse … Cast, Dr. Jack Morrison
  • Cindy Pickett … Cast, Dr. Carol Novino
  • Christina Pickles … Cast, Nurse Helen Rosenthal
  • Denzel Washington … Cast, Dr. Phillip Chandler
  • William Daniels … Cast, Dr. Mark Craig
  • Bill Dana … Cast, Mr. Fiscus
  • Jane Wyatt … Cast, Katherine Auschlander
  • Melinda Culea … Cast, McPhail
  • France Nuyen … Cast, Dr. Paulette Kiem
  • Reid Shelton … Cast, Dr. Isaac Barton
  • Sagan Lewis … Cast, Dr. Jacqueline Wade
  • Todd Susman … Cast, Victor Bevine
  • Rhoda Gemignani … Cast, Andrea Novino
  • Milton Selzer … Cast, Rabbi Tolkien
  • Michael Pniewski … Cast, Delivery Man
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