Episode Reviews (1)
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A beautiful episode
I have not seen this episode since it first aired in 1987, but it has stuck with me all of these years. What a brief plot description fails to reveal is that this episode was structured differently than any of the others of this series, which each wove several plots together throughout the episode. Instead, this episode consisted of four acts, each of which presented just one of the plots. And the overall structure was that of the circle of life.
In Act 1, a couple hopes that their child will receive the benefits of being the 100,000th child born in St. Eligius, but another woman is in labor in the next room. By the end, however, both they and the medical staff are too caught up in the miracle of birth to worry about the competition.
In Act 2, Fiscus is preparing to greet the maturity that he feels must come with his 30th birthday. Before that happens, he wants to pull one last great prank, and who would be a better victim than the hated Dr. Gideon?
In Act 3, Craig faces his mortality by sparring in the boxing ring. He is joined by his wife, even though the two of them are not getting along very well at that time, because she knows that this is the day that her husband reaches the age that his father was when he died.
In Act 4, a nurse and an orderly comfort an elderly, dying man whose memories are returning to his childhood. In the end, the orderly cradles the patient like a child as his life ebbs away.
Well-conceived, written, directed, and acted, this episode is simply beautiful.moreless