Episode 313--"post-op"

Susan Shilliday
Peter Horton
Air Date
1/23/90, 7/24/90
Guest Stars
Tess Harper as Nancy's sister Deb
Patricia Heaton as Dr. Silverman; Chip Zien as Dr. Verney; Tess Harper as Deb; Elizabeth Hoffman as Eleanor Krieger; David Clennon as Miles Drentell
Nancy recovers from her hysterectomy and her sister, Deb, is the only one who truly understands.
Nancy Is Okay: Elliot calls Hope to say that Nancy's surgery went well, reassuring Ethan on the phone. When Nancy wakes up, she groggily asks to go home.

Friends and Relations: Nancy passes the time in the hospital by making cranky remarks and pestering her mother. Her doctor is extremely efficient. Hope comes to visit and it becomes apparent that not everyone in the circle knows that she's had surgery. Hope tells Melissa later, saying that there will probably be chemotherapy later.

A Strange Bird: Nancy asks about chemotherapy while everyone distributes raspberry candy.

A Sister: Nancy's sister Debbie arrives and Eleanor tries to relate to her, but it's obvious that things are tense.

Banana Bread: Ellyn arrives at the hospital with a plant and some banana bread. As usual, the visit rapidly disintegrates, but Ellyn tries hard, even offering to babysit. Nancy arrives home to ecstatic children and a bevy of concerned people. Ethan has made a huge welcome home sign.

A Quiet Morning: Susannah has called to ask how things are as Elliot gets the kids ready for school. Nancy gets out of bed even though she shouldn't. Deb comes over and they mull through the usual stresses with their mother. Elliot drops by, bantering with Deb, and carrying a huge load of banana bread. Nancy begins to murmur that she would like the kids to be around more instead of shuffled off to everyone else. At work, Elliot starts calling around, looking for more information and books about ovarian cancer.

Nancy Misses Her Kids: Nancy asks Deb to stay over, but she passes again. Melissa and Gary come over to Hope and Michael's and they discuss Nancy's condition.

The Colors Look Different: Hope comes over with more banana bread and Nancy reacts, finally insisting that she wants to be with her kids. Nancy tries to work with her art, but something is holding her back. Elliot keeps blindly insisting that he'll take care of her while Nancy tries to tell him that the colors just look different now. In the midst of a family morning, Nancy tries to go to the art center while Deb and Eleanor bicker about the doctor's instructions and Elliot hovers. After Nancy leaves, Eleanor finally blows up about her fears for Nancy.

Hope and Michael throw one of their huge dinner parties which seems to be going pretty well until Elliot realizes that Nancy has fallen asleep in her chair (quite naturally, like hibernating bears, she becomes irritable when roused). Getting ready for bed, Nancy finally vents to Elliot, saying that she doesn't want to be gracious and cheerful about what's happening. Deb is finally sleeping over at their house, so early the next morning, Deb, Nancy, and Eleanor, finally have some sort of resolution. Deb leaves for the airport to return to Indiana and they part tearfully as Nancy sees her best source of support leaving.

Taking a short walk, Hope finally manages to connect with Nancy by sharing her own fears in giving birth to Janey. Nancy is most scared that Britty won't remember because she's so young, afraid that Britty will feel she's been abandoned. Elliot and Nancy are finally alone at the house, Elliot finds it difficult to listen to her talk honestly about the despair that she feels, finally facing his fears at losing her when he's just gotten her back again.

That night, they order pizza in and watch The Adventures of Robin Hood with Errol Flynn with the kids in the bedroom.

  • There's a running joke with banana bread
  • Grendel appears by name, barking at a squirrel
  • Deb's husband is Paul, kids Jack, Allison, Lily
  • Deb has been a nurse for 15 years and dropped out of Ohio State
  • Opener clip of Nancy in a tweed overcoat hugging Ethan and Britty
  • Deb and Eleanor haven't seen each other for two years
  • Deb and Elliot call each other Jules
  • Michael plays with a crossbow at DAA
  • Nancy had a complete hysterectomy
  • Nicholas has destroyed three of Ethan's lunchboxes
  • The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle is mentioned
  • The Nancy's book illustrations are created by Michael Hague
  • Quotes
    "I can't drive without ovaries?" --Nancy

    "Britty hates Coco Mitchell. She bites!" --Nancy

    "Oh, for heaven's sakes--I had a hysterectomy, not a lobotomy!" --Nancy

    "Gives new meaning to the words publish or perish, doesn't it?" --Nancy

    Analysis - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    The dashed line marks the point where the original version of Lisa's page ended. Here is information added by Bob Fahey: