Episode 318--"the other shoe"

Joseph Dougherty
Ken Olin
Air Date
3/20/90, 8/7/90
Guest Star
Jane Alden as Gloria; Robert Levine as Arthur; Katherine Cortez as Beatrice Holt; Laura Owens as group leader
Nancy attends cancer support group and makes friends with a woman there who has a disturbing outlook on life and recovery.
Nancy can't sleep the night before her second round of chemotherapy and Elliot gets up to see if she's all right. He suggests that she and Ethan start working on a new book, but she feels uncertain about taking money on an advance when she doesn't know if she can finish. Minnesota Brands has sent Michael and Elliot a pool table and they start to play, but Elliot is too worried about Nancy. Hope is helping Nancy at home because she's very nauseous and sick, unable to respond to Ethan's suggestion for the new book plot. Hope and Ellyn take Nancy shoe shopping.

Nancy goes to her first meeting of Victory Partners, a support group for cancer victims. While there, another woman, Bea, recognizes her from her book photo, and they have coffee and talk. The next night, Bea invites Nancy over to her house to meet some other friends and she goes, leaving Elliot at something of a loss since he can't come along. The group sits around and tells funny stories with loads of gallows humor, and after everyone leaves Bea and Nancy talk some more. Nancy gets home late that night and starts working on a new idea, which she shows to Bea the next day--the prince is rescuing the galaxy from a spreading plague.

At dinner with Melissa and Elliot at Hope and Michael's, Nancy starts in on a long lecture/tirade about the causes of cancer in nature, all of which makes Elliot and the others very uncomfortable. Bea, Arthur, and Gloria show up unexpectedly to take Nancy out for the evening and Elliot tries to make a stand, pointing out that she's working on the book without Ethan. They take Nancy to a night club where some hilarious women sing a big rendition of "Proud Mary." Ethan discovers that Nancy has finished work on the new book without him and Elliot tries to console him.

In the club, Nancy sees Bea slip away to the bar and not looking well, struggling to put on lipstick. The others wimp out, but Bea and Nancy go to the airport and scream at the incoming planes until Nancy hits some deep wellspring of inner fury, screaming out that the cancer and the experience are hers and no one else's. When she returns home, Elliot is waiting up and he confronts her with having finished the book without Ethan. He points out how much Ethan needs to help her, even if he can't really, at least he needs to try. Elliot takes the kids in to D.A.A. on a Saturday and leaves a note with Nancy. Elliot muses to Michael about the astronauts who went to the moon and experienced something no one else ever could.

Nancy goes to visit Bea, trying to back off from their wild, selfish escapades as of late. Bea finally shows her true colors and starts pushing Nancy's buttons, telling her that cancer is power and it changes everything. Nancy claims that she wants life back and for the cancer to be over, asking Bea to come back with her to Victory Partners but she won't. At home, Nancy asks Ethan to help her throw away the sketches for the second book, suggesting they can work on an idea later.

Elliot takes Nancy out for her birthday that night, renting the bright red sports car she had mentioned earlier and taking her to a pond where he has strung up some fireworks that explode and spell out "Happy Birthday Nancy".

  • Paige the assistant is mentioned
  • Clip from Fantastic Voyage is used
  • Nancy is 36 going on 37
  • Music Quotes
    "My mother was right. You are a bad influence." --Hope to Ellyn

    "I think we'll have a ceremony. Maybe throw an oncologist into a volcano." --Bea


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