Sports Night: Eli's Coming
(S01E19) It must be hard as hell to do an episode of a show where something bad happens to one of the characters that actually happened to the actor in real life. In this episode, we find out that Isaac had a stroke after returning from a vacation. Actor Robert Guillaume had a stroke in real-life too. It's a tricky thing for a show to write in a real-life incident into a show, but because of the way this show is structured - a seamless blend of comedy and drama - it actually works.
Before they find out about Isaac, the staff is getting ready for special March Madness coverage. They're working on a Saturday, Bobbi Berstein is coming in to co-anchor (which thrills Dan, since she still thinks they slept together in Spain), and Dan is wondering why Rebecca's ex-husband Steve is in her office. On a Saturday. He thinks it's like "Eli's Coming," the classic Three Dog Night song, that something bad is about to happen. But as Casey reminds him, the song isn't about that, it's about a womanizer. No matter, Dan still thinks it's going to be a bad day.
Dana has a huge banner put up in Isaac's office that says "Welcome Back." This strikes me as odd. Why would a staff put up a banner for someone who was just coming back from a vacation, even if it was the boss? It just seems like a dramatic way to lead into the fact that Isaac's plane landed four hours earlier and he hasn't shown up yet or called.
Bobbis shows up to anchor (not sure why they have three anchors during the day - Dan and Bobbi in one update, then Dan and Casey in the next one 15 minutes later?), and Dan reminds her that they didn't sleep together in Spain. He's never even been to Spain, and unless she produces a picture, he'll never believe it. Bobbi produces a picture. Dan remembers now. He didn't realize that particular hotel was in Spain, and that Bobbi was the girl he slept with. She was right all along!
Rebecca tells Dan why she was talking to Steve...they aren't divorced, only separated, and Steve wants to try couples counseling! Dan doesn't like this. He thinks she's being too cute with the difference between "divorced" and "separated." But after doing an update, he comes back to his office and tells Rebecca that if she wants to do counseling with Steve, he'll support her 100%. I have to say, he's being a lot nicer about it than I would be about my girlfriend.
Dan apologizes to Bobbi and she accepts.
Casey tells Dana he's angry with her because she turned over the show to Sally (a couple of episodes ago), all becaus Gordon was mad they couldn't go to dinner. Dana later tells Natalie that Casey is a fine one to talk about relationships after he got divorced after 10 years. She's about to tell him off when he drops the bombshell.
Isaac had a stroke and is in the hospital.
"I'm particular about cake. And I have to say it's been my experience that men buy better cake than women. I find that women tend to get these yogurt-frosted, low cal things laced with a rum and fruit concoction that makes eating cake something you did to be polite. So that's why I was asking what kind of cake you were getting to celebrate Isaac returning from his vacation." - Casey, on Dana's cake choice.
"The second 'M' was with a capital 'M'. - Casey, pumping up the troops for March Madness.
"I'm not saying 'I'm fine' in that dramatic way that obviously meant that I'm not fine. That' not what I meant when I said 'I'm fine.' - Dan, telling Casey he's fine about Steve Cisco talking to Rebecca.
"He'll think he just cleared customs." - Jeremy, on Dana taking the 'Back' out of her "Welcome Back' banner to Isaac.
"No, no...I know this girl...it's...Roberta." - Dan, suddenly remembering that he was in Spain and he did sleep with a girl, and that Bobbi is short with Roberta.