Episode 320--"i'm nobody, who are you?"


Winnie Holzman


Richard Kramer

Air Date

4/10/90, 8/14/90

Guest Star

Mary Beth Hurt as Emily Dickinson; Robin Morse as Catherine; Wendy Rhodes as Wendy; Students 1-5 (in order) Carl Anthony Payne III, Lucy Vargas, David Coburn, Ilana Levine, Rusty Cundieff; Nealla Spano as Waitress; Bill Miller as Intern


Gary and Susannah encounter financial difficulties, but find it hard to accept help from their friends.


Gary is offered a job at a city college, but he needs to teach a semester of modern American poetry first, which he finds mortifying. He spends a lot of time debating whether or not to take it. Miles is offering a property deal to some friends and Michael tries to talk Elliot into buying into it, but he's skeptical. Gary stops by to tell Michael and Elliot about the job, but they're most interested in getting him to play basketball for D.A.A. Gary grouses a lot about having to teach Emily Dickinson, declaring that she's incomprehensible.

In the night, Emma becomes extremely sick and it frightens Gary so much that he calls Hope and this leads to a fairly humorous threeway consultation session, culminating in "Is she turning blue yet?". They take Emma to the ER and it's diagnosed as croup, but since they're not covered by insurance, the bills begin mounting. As they try to sort things out in the morning, Susannah is very resistant to calling Hope for any more help or advice. Ironically, Hope shows up a little bit later with a bag of stuff, a humidifier, and helpful advice which Susannah tries hard to take graciously. It finally comes out that she and Gary are having money trouble.

Ellyn comes over to the Steadman's for dinner and Hope shares what happened, but Ellyn doesn't seem to believe that Gary and Susannah are really stretched thin. Michael discusses the real estate idea with Hope since now his salary has been raised so much. Michael suggests that he could invest $20,000 for both himself and Gary, but Hope cautions that Gary might not be willing to accept it. While in the showers after the basketball game, Gary asks Michael to help him work out a business deal to write new, modern lullabies. Michael isn't too enthused about it and counters with his own idea. Gary doesn't react one way or the other, but seems privately frustrated. While Gary is searching for his copy of Emily Dickinson, Susannah tells him that they're supposed to go out for dinner with the gang for dinner on Thursday. Gary is strangely resistant to it, still smarting from Michael's suggestion.

Gary begins teaching on the first day and it comes out as a jumble of babble and he slips into a nightmare/daydream in which the class attacks him for his lack of tenure, lack of status, and the fact that he's never met Charles Barkley. While at dinner, Nancy chatters on about some expensive mountain retreats and some cosmetic treatments, and then everything on the menu is extremely expensive, all of which puts Gary and Susannah on the spot. Everyone fights over the ticket at the end and it's somewhat embarrassing. While walking out, Michael brings up the real estate again and Susannah questions Gary about it. Gary goes to D.A.A. the next day and ends up in an argument with Michael about the real estate deal.

Gary finally finds the Emily Dickinson book at Melissa's, but it doesn't have any of the notes in it that he thought he'd taken. Susannah goes to return the humidifier to Hope and they end up in a discussion about their relationship--they both think that the other is looking down on her. Somehow Susannah ends up getting to take the long hot bath that Hope had drawn while Hope takes care of things. Gary finally admits to Susannah that he's jealous, then falls asleep and has a dream about Emily Dickinson in which he begs her to explain her poetry and confesses that he feels like a failure compared to his friends. He finally comes to understand that Emma is his legacy, his success.

The next day Gary goes to D.A.A. and he apologizes before deciding with Michael that they probably shouldn't go in on the real estate deal together. As Gary waits for Michael to return from a meeting, he answers the ringing phone and the caller hangs up after realizing that Gary is "nobody."

Missing Scene


  • Occurs in April
  • Lee is mentioned at DAA
  • Melissa has owned the loft for 6 years
  • There's a different babysitter named Wendy
  • Opener clip of Michael and Elliot talking to Gary at the office
  • Gary's apartment (duplex?) number is 30
  • For the second time Hope suggests flat ginger ale for an upset stomach
  • The title, "I'm nobody, who are you?", comes from the first line to an Emily Dickinson poem that Gary reads to the class.
  • Quotes

    "Gary can't be poor. Think about what he must spend on conditioner." --Ellyn;

    "Well, maybe I'm introverted, did that ever occur to you? I'm shy!" --Susannah to Hope

    "Every morning it's like, 'Oh! She's still here.'" --Susannah on Emma

    "You really don't want them to dehydrate. Unless of course you're mad at them." --Hope's philosophy on babies with croup