Although St. Elsewhere is famous for its cast turnover, a large number of characters appeared on the first episode and right through to the last. They are Dr. Daniel Auschlander (Norman Lloyd), Dr. Mark Craig (William Daniels), Dr. Victor Ehrlich (Ed Begley Jr.), Dr. Wayne Fiscus (Howie Mandel), Luther Hawkins (Eric Laneuville), Dr. Jack Morrison (David Morse), Nurse Lucy Papandrao (Jennifer Savidge) and Nurse Helen Rosenthal (Christina Pickles). Dr. Donald Westphall (Ed Flanders) also appeared in the first and last episodes, but he was not a regular cast member in the sixth season.
The end of the episode has Westphall pointing out that the town clock shows it's 11pm and it is getting late. At the time the episode was being made, St. Elsewhere was still in a 9pm slot (and it would have been a good inside joke). However, it was moved to the 10pm timeslot before this episode (and therefore ended at 11pm!)
In this episode, we learn that Ellen Craig's maiden name is Harper.
Mark and Ellen Craig are in Vermont mourning the death of Ellen's mother during the time of this episode.
This episode features the unexpected return of characters who died while at St. Eligius, but are encountered by Fiscus in different parts of the afterlife. The saintly Eve Leighton is not surprisingly found in Heaven. Ralph, who died while insane and therefore lacking understanding of Good and Evil, is trapped in Limbo. Meanwhile rapist Peter White has been consigned to Hell.
While the 1940s sequences feature another actor playing Dr. Auschlander, the 1950s sequences attempt to 'age down' Norman Lloyd, perhaps because William Daniels and Ed Flanders are also attempting to play twentysomething versions of their characters in the 1950s sequences.
One of the main jokes of this episode is that in his youth Dr. Craig was an egotistical jerk much like Ehrlich. Indeed, his relationship with Dr. Domedion is more or less like Ehrlich's and Craig's.
When Dr. Domedion appeared as a wizened old man in the season 3 finale ("Cheers"), he was played by Dean Jagger. In this episode, Jackie Cooper takes over the role, which would certainly age Dr. Domedion at a slow rate.
Both parts of "Times Heals" were ranked by TV Guide as part of the "100 Greatest TV Episodes of All Time" (number 44).
The first names of Mr. Cantanzio, the Filipino patient, and his uncle are the same as then-dictator of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos.
In Jack Morrison's dream, Peter White mentions that he has seen Wendy Armstrong, Eve Leighton, and Jack's wife Nina, characters who died during season two.
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.
Chandler mentions to Ehrlich that he had an older brother named Russ who died serving in the Vietnam conflict.
Going by McGrath's remarks to Ehrlich, this episode takes place around mid-March, which is very close to the original airdate.
At the beginning of the episode, Fiscus is treating a patient dressed in a homemade spacesuit with J. Masius written on the outfit. John Masius was a writer for many of the series' episodes as well as producer. Masius says one word of dialogue but is uncredited for the episode.
At Dr. Craig's party, Shirley Daniels (from the bottom of her heart) calls Victor Ehrlich "a pig". This remark will become a running gag throughout the rest of the series as a variety people in a variety of circumstances enjoy the pleasure of calling Ehrlich "a pig".
Ralph mentions in a conversation with Dr. Beale that he attended MIT as a freshman at the age of fourteen.
In keeping with his bird fixation, Ralph mentions to a patient that his favorite baseball teams are the Cardinals (St. Louis), Orioles (Baltimore) and Blue Jays (Toronto).
This episode marks the first appearance of Elizabeth "Lizzie" Westphall, Donald Westphall's patiently self sacrificing eldest child. Played by Dana Short, Lizzie will eventually emerge as autistic Tommy Westphall's primary caregiver and the person most responsible for keeping the potentially chaotic Westphall household on an even keel.
At one point, a hospital worker is remarking about a bullet hole he is patching up. Given the location, this is probably referencing the event seen in Cora and Arnie.