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523/The Birth, Part I


Show Outline

Jamie's about to burst, literally. The baby's due and everyone's put on alert, especially after several false alarms. The signs are there that the baby is ready to be born, with one notable exception (according to Joan) - "the baby will actually come out". It would also be less embarrassing if everyone in the family didn't show up at the hospital with each alarm. Along the way, Paul and Jamie discover they have some anxieties about, well, everything. Unfortunately, not only doesn't anyone help, but they're both so distracted that they have trouble dealing with each other. They seek Sheila's (their psychiatrist) help, but she, too is dealing with a kid of her own. Just about the time they've decided that maybe the baby's not coming, Jamie's water breaks and it's off to the hospital - this time for real.



Commentary

I almost hate to say this, but this episode, which was the first half of the one hour 5th season finale, just reeks of filler material. It's warm enough, and funny in most places, but so much of the sentiment seems forced. We, the viewer, all know that the baby won't be born until near the end of the second half of this 2 parter, so the numerous false alarms aren't a good sell. I can say I'd almost rather have seen a tight, well written single episode, than a forced one hour, which this definately is. The scene with Sheila is pretty amusing, and Eric Stolz - playing Jamie's ex-boyfriend, Alan (who's now the cab driver who takes Jamie to the hospital the first time) - gives a solid performance. Yet the rest of this episode is hard to sit through. There's just enough of this that's funny to salvage a 5.5 rating.