Episode 312--"another country"

Richard Kramer
Ron Lagormarsino
Air Date
1/16/90, 7/17/90
Guest Stars
Scary research
Elizabeth Hoffman as Elaine Krieger; Patricia Heaton as Dr. Silverman
Nancy's book is published as she is diagnosed with an ovarian growth.
Nancy's book comes out, dedicated "To Melissa who was always a light in the forest" and there's a lot going on while her back is spasming and she doesn't feel quite well. Waiting in the car for Ethan after school, she has a dizzy spell, throws up, is interrogated by two very odd twin children, and blames the nervousness on her sudden success. Nancy sees Dr. Silverman the next day and gets an ultrasound to check for a possible fibroid tumor. The doctor decides they should do a laparoscopy. Elliot is naturally a little panicked and concerned.

Nancy discusses doing a second book with Ethan. Michael and Hope have Nancy, Elliot, Susannah, Gary, and Emma over for dinner during which everyone makes nice. The next morning, while Nancy is in the hospital, Elliot makes breakfast and tries to get the kids off to school. While under anaesthesia she dreams of her kids.

Dr. Silverman reports that there is some sort of a growth in the ovary and they have to wait until Monday to know. Returning home, Nancy and Elliot continue to dodge the issue with the kids. Nancy wakes up in the middle of the night and finds Elliot sleeping on the couch. She wants to discuss what would happen if something happened to her, which he is understandably not too keen on. Nancy exacts the promise that nobody should find out about what's going on.

Nancy is a little late picking Ethan up from practice and Nancy finally loses patience with him, overwhelmed by her own stress. Later, she apologizes for yelling at him. The Westons get ready for the party Melissa is throwing for the book and everyone has a great time, completely unaware that Nancy might be sick.

The results come back and Nancy has ovarian cancer. She goes to the library to do research and becomes overwhelmed by the literature. At home, she makes enough meals (and freezes them) to feed Ft. Bragg, all as a way to deal with her feelings of helplessness.

Something at work goes very well and Michael wants to take Elliot and Nancy out to celebrate. Elliot tries to get out of it politely, but ends up having to tell him the truth. Nancy finally tells Ethan what's been going on and he takes it pretty factually. Hope is playing with Janey and Britty under the table, when Nancy shows up and it doesn't take long for her to figure out that Hope knows what's going on.

When Elliot gets home, she's quite angry with him for telling Michael, all the stress of it coming out in her reaction. As she's crying and trying to push him away, Elliot insists that he won't leave her and they can fight the cancer together.

  • Michael's secretary is Katherine--what happened to Paige?
  • The book costs $12.95 and they misspelled Melissa's name on the jacket
  • Nancy's sister Susan has been engaged four times
  • The Westons have Blue Cross & Blue Shield insurance
  • Melissa took Britty and Ethan to see The Bear
  • Fashion
    Elliot wears 2 jacket pins
    --"I thought you didn't like pop culture."--Gary

    --"[I love...] Lucy isn't pop culture. Lucy's God." --Susannah

    --"Mom, if you leave turtles on the radiator, do they fry and get dead?" --Ethan

    --"Well...it depends. Why?" --Nancy

    --"Just curious." --Ethan

    "You can touch me. I won't break or anything." --Nancy, coming out from anaesthesia

    Analysis - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    The dashed line marks the point where Lisa Stevenson Blackwell's original version of this page ended, and where Bob Fahey began adding material.
    Bob observations, 1-20-2007:

    Here is a screencapture of Nancy and the twins in Another Country, alongside the Diane Arbus photo:
    Nancy in Arbus Land Arbus' Twin Girls

    The "twin sisters" motif is in another scene. Before the restroom scene, Nancy is telling Melissa about the back pain she's experiencing. Melissa suggests it's a reaction to the book being published:

    Nancy: Do you think that's what this is? Success anxiety?
    Melissa: I don't know. How are your toes? Do you have trouble uncurling them?
    Nancy: Yeh I do. What do you think that is? Does it mean I've gone nuts?
    Melissa: No. It means you're my twin sister from whom I was separated at birth."