Sugar and Spice begins with a young model collapsing and dying of a heart attack during a photo shoot. Quincy (Jack Klugman) conducts the autopsy and has difficulty pinpointing how exactly this happened in a healthy young woman, but through further investigation he learns that she was on a fad diet which significantly reduces fluid intake. Quincy is convinced that this along with her taking a prescription for an amphetamine meant to bolster her energy was the cause which puts him at odds with the creator of the diet, Corrine O'Connor (Kathleen Nolan). During a joint talk show appearance, Quincy accuses Corrine of causing the death of the model and also endangering the life of others on the diet which places him and the office of the medical examiner in a precarious legal situation.
While this episode does a good job of addressing the problems associated with fad diets and the potentially dangerous consequences if they are not balanced with proper nutrition, I found parts of it to be so far-fetched and flawed that it really brought it down from a quality standpoint. First off, Quincy identifies the diet as being the cause of death and then low and behold, he and the creator of the diet are coincidentally scheduled to be on the same talk show together! How convenient to set up the legal conflict and what were the odds of this happening accidentally?? It also didn't make sense to me that Quincy was on to discuss plastic surgery, when exactly did he become a plastic surgeon??
I also thought Quincy's defamation of the diet creator on the talk show was so over the top and ridiculous. While we all know he can fly off the handle sometimes and put his foot in his mouth, this was out there even for him especially after he was coached by Dr. Asten (John S. Ragin) before the appearance not to say anything inflammatory. While Quincy can be temperamental sometimes, he is still a very intelligent man and I wasn't buying that he would subject himself to a multi-million dollar lawsuit and potentially losing his job in such a stupid manner.
On the positive side, this episode does address an important topic, but since the death was accidental there is no crime whatsoever and it becomes a campaign to prevent further negligence and misinformation that will cause harm to others on the diet. If you enjoy these types of episodes then you will appreciate this one, but there were just too many flawed aspects to make it a good one for me.
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