Season 8

Episode 812: “The Last Chapter”

Episode 812: “The Last Chapter”
Original Air Date:January 12, 2002
Written by::Martha Williamson
Directed by:Ricardo Mendez Matta
Produced by:

Martha Williamson
Jon Andersen
R.J. Visciglia, Jr.

Guest Cast:


Elizabeth Phylicia Rashad
Sydney Erica Gimpel
Beth Lauren Robinson


Monica revisits the home of Elizabeth Jessup, a retired reporter who she once helped cope with alcoholism.  Tess insists that Monica is there as the answer to someone’s prayer.  Monica hurries up the steps to offer Elizabeth whatever help she may need, only to discover that her help is not only unwanted, but resented.  Elizabeth wants nothing to do with the angel that once helped her out.  Monica shows up at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, where Elizabeth is celebrating seven years of sobriety.  In the midst of her speech, she begins to slur her words, insisting that she hasn’t been drinking, it’s just a headache.

After the meeting, Monica meets up with her and her daughter, Sydney and granddaughter, Beth.  Monica expresses her concern and Elizabeth says that she’s developed a tendency for transient cognitive episodes of undetermined origin.  Sydney explains that the doctors suspect a brain tumor.  Later on, Monica reads Elizabeth’s memoirs, and asks why there is no mention of the fire Elizabeth started at the peak of her problem, or why she doesn’t say anything about angels.  Elizabeth tells Monica she’d be laughed out of the news business if she wrote about meeting an angel.

That evening, Elizabeth passes out and is taken to the hospital.  Once she comes to, she is eager to get out, but Sydney won’t let her, and neither will Monica, nor Tess who is working as a nurse.  As the night goes by and Elizabeth waits for the results of her test, Monica tells her of some of her favorite and most challenging assignments.  Finally, Andrew enters with the news, it’s a brain tumor.  She schedules the surgery and sits down with Gloria to finish her memoirs, “before it’s too late.”  The next day, while Elizabeth is in surgery, Monica reads the last chapter to Sydney and Beth.  This time Elizabeth tells the truth about the fire, and of how she beat alcoholism.  When the story ends, so does the surgery, and Elizabeth is going to be all right.

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