The Golden Girls: Season 1, Episode 4

Transplant (5 Oct. 1985)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 125 users  
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Blanche's sister, Virginia, with whom she has had a tense relationship for years, comes to visit. She reveals that she needs a kidney transplant to save her life.



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Title: Transplant (05 Oct 1985)

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Episode cast overview:
Dorothy Zbornak (as Beatrice Arthur)


Blanche's sister, Virginia, with whom she has had a tense relationship for years, comes to visit. She reveals that she needs a kidney transplant to save her life.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama





Release Date:

5 October 1985 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Rose: Wherever she goes, she always finds a man!
Sophia: So do hookers.
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Featured in The Golden Girls: Their Greatest Moments (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

A matter of life and death
17 November 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Blanche's estranged sister visits and claims she wants to bury the hatchet. Blanche suspects that she wants something from her and she's right but Blanche is caught off guard when her sister reveals just exactly what she needs from her...

Of all the episodes to air so far, "Transplant" is perhaps the heaviest on drama, and this isn't necessarily a bad thing. It has two things going for it that make it succeed.

The first is that show creator, Susan Harris, wrote this episode herself. All you have to do is look to her previous masterpiece, "Soap", to see that she knows how to write scripts and dialogue that can move you. She makes Blanche's feelings come off as genuine. It's just unfortunate that by this time, she was rarely writing episodes anymore.

The second is that this episode really shows Rue McClanahan's range. This is the first episode really devoted to her (even though she has the main plot in the pilot she's still overshadowed by Bea Arthur and Estelle Getty) and she delivers in spite of the fact that there aren't many laughs here. It also helps that the episode doesn't veer off into "Very Special Episode" territory so her performance is believable.

The one problem I had with this episode is the discussion between Dorothy, Rose, and Sophia about what they would do in Blanche's situation. While all of the arguments seemed genuine they, instead, discuss donating organs to their children. Blanche's problem had nothing to do with her children; it was her sister, a sister she didn't get along with. While I could see that Susan Harris wrote the scene to try to get the audience to think, their dialogue came across as irrelevant.

While Rue McClanahan may not have always had the funniest lines, she would prove that drama was her forte and "Transplant" was merely the beginning. Interestingly enough, this episode would later create a slight continuity error as Rose her expresses her disbelief that Blanche hates her sister, but is later visited by a sister that she claims to hate.

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