Season 5, Episode 7: Young Doctor Weinstein


Original Air Date: November 13, 1986.

Written By:  Phoef Sutton

Plot: Diane's high society date scores a reservation at an über-exclusive restaurant.  When Sam tries and fails to get a reservation, he cancels Diane's date's booking and secures one for himself under the alias of Dr. Julian Weinstein, rock star heart surgeon.  Diane ultimately gets her meal and the last laugh.

Thoughts: Another episode that is a whole bunch of stall.  No progress whatsoever here, at a time when Sam and Diane desperately need some forward movement.  I can only guess that maybe this was around the time Shelley announced her departure and they had no idea what to do next with their story.  I'm obviously no expert, and don't know the timeline of production events, but these last two episodes feel like vamping.  I'm sick and tired of Sam and Diane in snark mode.  It's empty and unsatisfying, not because they aren't together, but because of the utter lack of substance.

Anyway, it's more dueling dates for our duo, and it's getting ridiculous, considering how obvious it is that they really want each other.  Either firmly move them away from each other a la season 4 or put them back together, just stop the sniping and competition.  But I digress again-- back to the episode.  Diane flaunts her date's social standing and Sam is hurt, especially when the name Sam Malone fails to impress the restaurant reservation desk.  Diane rubs it in, and Sam strikes back like a child.  These two are too grown for this nonsense.

Of course, Diane and her date show up at the restaurant and are turned away, much to Diane's horror, which is trebled by Sam's entrance and prompt seating at said restaurant.  Sam is way out of his element, and Diane makes sure he knows it, prompting Sam to try and prove his mettle as a gourmand, to Diane's amusement.  These two can really be so cruel to each other sometmes, exploiting insecurities with gleeful abandon.  Thankfully, they manage to get some apologies from each other midway through Sam's meal, however short-lived the impact is.

I don't know whether it's her need to best Sam or her need to eat at this restaurant, but Diane spends the rest of the night waiting in the lobby alone, hoping to be seated to no avail.  At long last, and adding insult to injury, Sam gets them to feed her (the poor wretch) as a personal favor to Dr. Julian Weinstein.  It was nice of Sam to think of her and come back to make sure she was okay, but he took the whole thing too far.

They end up having a nice meal together, for which Diane is grateful, but not so grateful that she can resist sticking it to Sam one last time when the check comes.  Sam's out of cash and with only a credit card bearing the name Sam Malone, he's finally caught and has to ditch on the bill.  Of course, you'd think the restaurant would just take the credit card payment and acknowledge they'd been duped, but we're already overlooking so much in this episode, what's one more bit of nonsense?  Blurgh.

Random: The guy's rug in the opener is epic.  Woody is just now finding out Sam's an alcoholic?

 "It's a glass of Windex, Woody." "They have not built the restaurant that can scare me." "You open a few thoraxes, you forget who your friends are." "Ask him for his I.D. Ask him to spell I.D." "Dr. Weinstein… you swine." "Good, Sam. That was your busboy." "You look much better. And taller." "Traction..." "How 'bout gin, vermouth and black coffee?" "That's paint remover." "Telephone for Dr. Weinstein. It's a Dr. Woody." "I'm a doctor." "Sit down." "You're not a nobody." "Woody, please. You promised you'd stop after the rum and trail mix." "Ah, Paul-- memorable." "Great, I'm in a fricadel mood." "Goodnight, Dr. Weinstein. See you in surgery."