Fiscus visits Cathy Martin in order to collect an autopsy report on a man named Nielsen who died on the couch while watching television. This is a reference to the Nielsen television ratings system which records the volume of viewership for TV programs by monitoring the viewing habits of selected families. The death, of course, alludes to the show's then-weak ratings and the possibility of imminent cancellation.
Beale: Castody killed himself a couple of hours ago.
Beale: He left a note.
Morrison: What did it say?
Beale: " I hope the next world is better than this. "
Roberts: The only reason I ever got involved with you is because we had great sex but ever since you started going heavy into drugs, you're damaged goods.
White: You're all the same!
Roberts: It took you no time to move in, Peter. It'll take you even less to move out!
Westphall: Peter, I'm well aware that you've had more problems this year than anybody deserves but I have to tell you the truth. Every time I look at your evaluation, one thing becomes more and more clear to me. You don't seem to be a very good doctor.
White: Are you telling me you're thinking of dropping me from the residency program?
Westphall: It's crossed my mind.
Craig: Ehrlich, I want to talk to you.
Ehrlich: I'm sorry.
Craig: What for?
Ehrlich: I don't know. Just a conditioned response.
Westphall: You know, we spend so much time in this place dealing with all kinds of sadness that when we get a chance like this to celebrate a new life, it becomes even more cherished. And now that you're all here I want to thank you for your skill, your dedication and your compassion.
Auschlander: A toast. To life!
Everyone: To life!
Ed Begley Jr. was the only actor to appear in all episodes of the first season.
When a nurse discovers a dead body, we are treated to a rare use of the "Vertigo shot". Invented by Alfred Hitchcock for his movie Vertigo, it has also been used to good effect in other movies including Jaws and Goodfellas, but it is hardly ever used on television. By adjusting the lens as the camera dollies forward, the subject in the shot retains the same proportions as the background distorts
First appearance of Mark and Ellen Craig's wayward son Stephen.
Due to creative differences, John Falsey and Joshua Brand departed after the first season of the series.
Due to anemic ratings, St. Elsewhere was cancelled by NBC. As the cast and crew began searching for new jobs, NBC had a last-minute change of heart and renewed for a second season.
This was GW Bailey/Hugh Beale's last episode. Beale subsequently vanished without a trace.
Westphall: "Rage, rage, against the dying of the light."
Discussing life and death, Westphall quotes Dylan Thomas' poem Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night (1952) whose theme is that death must be resisted at all costs and that life is too precious not to fight for.