"Come on, son, let's wash our hands" - The last
words spoken on the finale episode No. 137 "The
Last One," on the medical drama ST
During the life of the series Dr. Donald
Westphall (Ed Flanders) worked at St. Eligius
Hospital in Boston and had to juggle a busy
schedule that included tending to the needs of
his hospital patients and Tommy, his
physically-challenged autistic son (Chad Allen).
In the final surreal scene of the series Ed
Flanders is shown as a blue-collar construction
worker retuning home to his autistic son and his
father (Norman Lloyd - who played Dr.
Auschlander on the series).
Sitting in the comfort of his home's living
room, Tommy stares into a small crystal globe --
the kind you turn upside down to make it snow
That "scene", considered by many to be obscure,
anti-climatic and unsatisfying, unceremoniously
ended the show's six year run.
Sadly, the show's writers wanted viewers to
believe that the entire world of St. Eligius
(with all its storylines of doctors, nurses, and
traumas) was just the idle product of Tommy's
So, as tiny flakes of shimmering snow fell
inside the snow globe, we get a close-up of the
building inside...a likeness of St. Eligius
Transcript of the final scene of "St.
[Dr. Auschlander (Norman Lloyd) and Tommy
(Chad Allen) in Westphall's Apartment.
Westphall (Ed Flanders) arrives home.]
you doing, Pop?
Good. And your day up on the building?
Finally topped off the 22nd story. I'm
beat... Tommy give you any trouble?
Been sitting that way since you left this
morning. Just like every day. In a world
of his own.
crosses, crouches beside TOMMY, who gazes
at object in his hand.]
Remember son, be careful with that...
(stares at Tommy; beat; to Auschlander,
without looking). I don't understand this
autism. I talk to my boy, but...I'm not
even sure if he ever hears me...Tommy's
locked inside his own world. Staring at
that toy all day long. What does he think
[Tommy shakes the object in hand, then
stares at it. REVEAL GLASS SNOWBALL with
snow eddying inside.]
Come on, son, let's wash our hands.
snowball again. Westphall takes snowball
from Tommy, places it on mantelpiece. All
C.U. of SNOWBALL, model of St. Eligius
inside, snow swirling about]
Note: C.U. = "Close Up"
Transcript excerpt courtesy of
George Abbott from the
Elsewhere" archives at the Syracuse
University Library, Syracuse, NY 13244
Each week, the series featured a closing tagline
of the MTM kitty in a surgical mask. On the last
episode, the MTM cat dies ("flatlines") as the
final credit rolls. Earlier on the final scene
of the episode "Moon for the Misbegotten"
(9/30/1987) on ST. ELSEWHERE staff physician Dr.
Donald Westphall (Ed Flanders) became frustrated
with the new administration that had taken over
St. Eligius Hospital.
In a final act of defiance, he pulled down his
trousers and mooned Dr. John Gideon (Ronny Cox)
saying "You can kiss my ass, pal." He then
retired to his home in Peterborough, New
This was Ed Flanders' last appearance as a
regular. He would make two guest appearances,
first on episode No. 132 when his friends travel
to his home for a visit and on the last scene of
the series finale as mentioned above.
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