Interesting memory of this episode of the series - a good performance by Leonard Frey
After all these years since I saw this episode, the thing I remember about it is the section dealing with Leonard Frey as a hospital patient who seems to be recovering all the time from his illnesses, only to suffer mysterious relapses. Frey was a highly gifted dramatic and comic actor (just see his performances in the films FIDDLER ON THE ROOF as Motel Kamzoil (the tailor who marries Tevye's daughter), and his cynical and sadistic homosexual birthday boy in THE BOYS IN THE BAND).
In this episode, Frey's character turned out to be suffering from the psychological disease known as "Munchausen Syndrome". It occurs when a person seeks attention, and does it by claiming to have the symptoms of different diseases. Sometimes they will injure themselves in various ways to continue having the medical attention they get.
Such is the case here - and the episode ended with Frey being confronted with suffering from this form of dementia. Instead of giving up, Frey not only rejects this, but in screaming and ranting manages to suddenly age and get sick before our eyes. No doubt this was done with make-up, but it was done in a memorable manner.
Ironically, when one saw Frey's last couple of performances on television in the late 1980s, such as on MURDER SHE WROTE, his appearance was saw enfeebled by the A.I.D.S. that finally killed him, that he looked almost like he did in this television episode. If they ever put TRAPPER JOHN, M.D. back on television again, try to catch this to see Frey's powers as an actor in those last moments on screen.
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