Strong Medicine

Season 1 Episode 1

Pilot

7
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jul 23, 2000 on Lifetime
9.6
out of 10
User Rating
26 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Pilot
AIRED:
Dr. Lu Delgado is running out of money to run her free clinic by herself. When Lu goes to prestigious Rittenhouse Hospital to ask for assistance, famous O.B.G.Y.N./surgeon Dr. Dana Stowe blames Lu for ruining her breast cancer study to find a cure for cancer after Lu tells a woman her opinion about test studies. Dana later is asked by Chief of Staff Dr. Bob Jackson to tour Lu's clinic and see if the clinic should get funded by Rittenhouse . Dana tells one of her patients that she has ovarian cancer and that she will not be able to have any children even though she has the desire to. In the end, Dr. Lydia Emerson comes up with the perfect solution to Lu's problem.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Love the Show

    10
    This show is great. I wish free clincs for women who need them were a reality but unfortunately in most places they aren't. Maybe certain politicians should watch the show and take a hint from it. I have seen this episode maybe 20 times and never gotten sick of it. It's the greatest show put out by lifetime that has lasted as long as it has. I can definately see this show lasting as long if not longer than E R did. I think this show is well thought out and informative. All women should watch this show. I'm glad I didmoreless
  • An absolutely fantastic dramatic start to an absolutely fantastic dramatic show. One of the very best episodes of the series.

    10
    In this, the pilot of Strong Medicine, we viewers get introduced to a protagonist, an antagonist, and some forgettable supporting characters. After this episode, the antagonist becomes another protagonist and the supporting characters get labeled as "great" or "horrible". In this episode, however, the sole protagonist, Dr. Lu Delgado (played by the extremely talented Rosa Blasi who is well on her way to becoming a famous movie star), runs a free clinic in ghetto-like South Philly. The antagonist, Dr. Dana Stowe (played by the fabulous Janine Turner who hasn't starred on a TV Show since "Northern Exposure" in the early '90s), is a somewhat famous doctor actively involved in finding a cure for breast cancer. She is an important part of prestigious Rittenhouse Hospital. The other main characters are Lana Hawkins, Lu's nice middle-aged African American secretary (we really don't see much of her in this episode), Peter Riggs, a young male nurse and midwife who works at Lu's clinic (strange how we still call him a male nurse despite the fact that his name gives it away), and Dr. Robert Jackson, the Chief of Staff at Rittenhouse. Also, Executive Producer Whoopi Goldberg makes a memorable guest appearance as Dr. Lydia Emerson, a very famous OB-GYN who is a much-heard voice in the area of women's rights, that she reprises in three more episodes.

    The episode begins with the fantastic main title sequence. Strong Medicine’s main title sequence is one of my favorite main title sequences ever (Yes, I just managed to say “main title sequence” three times!). A great theme song (that is partially sung by Strong Medicine’s own Jenifer Lewis). An outstanding theme song + great scenes of Philadelphia + breathtaking (okay, I’m exaggerating a tiny bit here) action shots of the characters = a fantastic main title sequence! Here’s a shocker that’ll floor you: This is the only Strong Medicine episode to date to begin with the main title sequence.

    But the episode itself actually begins with Lu doing a “chat room” with other South Philligonian women in which they can talk about “anything”. In case you haven’t figured it out yet from my tone, I really don’t like these chat rooms that begin the vast majority of Strong Medicine episodes. Not only do my eyebrows rise at some of the topics they discuss but with some exceptions, they’re just boring. This chat room is one of those boring ones.

    Then we learn that Lu is going to have to close the clinic due to financial difficulties. She goes to Rittenhouse Hospital to beg for financial help and while sitting in the waiting room, she convinces one of Dr. Stowe’s patients that perhaps she shouldn’t be in a study group Dr. Stowe is putting together. When Dana finds out that Lu did this, she’s understandably angry. So when Dr. Jackson forces Dana to inspect Lu’s clinic and see if it’s worth saving, she goes expecting it to be a disaster and not expecting to improve it. She must be psychic. Lu seems to break a rule with every single patient she treats. Dana tells Dr. Jackson about the clinic and he agrees not to help it.

    Dana meanwhile has been treating a patient who wants to have a baby. Dana is heartbroken to learn that the woman has ovarian cancer and her tubes must be tied.

    Lu angrily goes back to Rittenhouse and confronts Dana. Dr. Lydia Emerson witnesses their argument and asks them what the problem is. Lu explains the situation and Dr. Emerson agrees to give the clinic a look-see.

    Lu, meanwhile, has been treating an abused baby. The mother tells Lu that her ex has been beating the child and Lu is determined to land him in jail.

    As Lu, Peter, and Lana begin to pack up and close the clinic for good, a pregnant woman about to give birth runs in. Just then, Dr. Emerson shows up and she watches the trio work together to successfully deliver the baby. She’s quite impressed and invites Lu to meet her at a fancy hotel in the evening.

    Whens she goes to visit the abused baby’s father, Lu finds out that the baby is actually being beaten by his own mother. This was a pretty good storyline and the first time around I was impressed. I must admit that watching it the third time and knowing exactly what’s going to happen it’s not quite as good but then how many people watch an episode three times? I guess just me!

    Dana finds out that her ovarian cancer patient is pregnant. She’s bittersweet about this because the baby has a chance of getting the cancer herself if it’s a girl. This was one of the most powerful storylines of the show. Debbi Morgan of the short-lived “For the People” does some fantastic acting as does Janine Turner herself.

    Lu shows up at the hotel only to find Dr. Emerson talking to Dana. Dr. Emerson explains that she has an idea: Lu could join Rittenhouse’s staff and become half of a new wing of the hospital: The Rittenhouse Women’s Health Center (affectionately called the RWHC). She’s pretty happy about it until Lydia says that Dana would also join the RWHC as her partner. Neither one is looking forward to it but both reluctantly agree.

    What a fantastic pilot! This is exactly why I like pilots. I was disappointed with the way Dana was portrayed in this episode (only a real-life doctor would understand that she was just doing her job) but the overall greatness of it outshines this. A delightful start to a delightful series.moreless
Rosa Blasi

Rosa Blasi

Dr. Luisa "Lu" Delgado

Janine Turner

Janine Turner

Dr. Dana Stowe (Season 1-Season 3 episode 6)

Jenifer Lewis

Jenifer Lewis

Lana Hawkins

Joshua Cox

Joshua Cox

Nurse Peter Riggs

Philip Casnoff

Philip Casnoff

Dr. Robert "Bob" Jackson

Brennan Elliott

Brennan Elliott

Dr. Nicholas "Nick" Biancavilla (Seasons 2-4; recurring previously)

Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg

Dr. Lydia Emerson

Guest Star

Kevin Jubinville

Kevin Jubinville

 

Guest Star

Wayne Lam

Wayne Lam

Administrative asst.

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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