Another month's worth of episodes of "The Doctors" has aired on RetroTV. Below are my thoughts on what has aired for the month of December 1971.
Toni still hasn't gone to New York City to see her former neighbor, who was good friends with her mother 12 years ago. She has decided instead of avoiding her past with Vito, she will meet with him on her own terms. Mike wants to go to NYC with Toni, but Hank thinks this is a bad idea. Since Hank is chief resident, he won't give Mike the overtime to allow the young Dr. Powers the vacation time to go with Toni. Later in the month, Billy and Toni hung out at the hospital. He was wearing the green sweater, she gave him for Christmas. Toni told him how she was going to do something to find their mother. Anna Stuart looked outstanding in these scenes, especially considering it was just normal hospital wear, but her hair and make up were on point.
Since Harrigan didn't believe Adam's theory, everyone was upset and tried to find evidence to free Steve. Thankfully that happened, and Steve got out of jail finally. Billy had a nightmare about Dan's threat about letting anyone read his journal. He shared it with Carolee, and then gave her the diary. Carolee, who couldn't reach Adam Reynolds, hurriedly rushed to the jail to be with Steve. They read the journal together and found the proverbial "smoking gun" as Dan said if he could he would separate them with "stone walls and iron bars". Unfortunately, on the way Carolee was nearly hit and caused a placental tear. Eventually Matt and Adam heard the contents of the journal, while Carolee was in distress. An ambulance was called, and Matt carried her out of the jail. Steve was still stuck in jail, overnight as Harrigan heard the evidence he wasn't an expert in handwriting. Harrigan suggested that perhaps Carolee forged the document and Adam had to pull Steve back from attacking the district attorney. Carolee needed a c-section to have little Stephanie, and both she and the baby were in danger. If they had made it to the hospital only a few minutes later, Steve would have lost his family. Dr. Steiner did the c-section, and associated surgery, which may make it impossible for Carolee to have another child. (Originally Steiner wanted to do a hysterectomy, but Matt had an alternative solution. Steiner was missing at first, and Matt had to do the pre-op.) Maggie was off screen looking after Mrs. Simpson at the hospital. Toni was with Billy, and Karen ended up watching Greta. Once Carolee and Stephanie were out of danger, Matt returned to the jail. In an amusing bit, a nurse wondered if Matt was checking in early, and he shared no, he's just leaving. When she heard he was going to the jail, she was very confused. Matt told Steve, that Carolee and the baby were okay and Adam arrived with the news of Steve would be released. He would have to go in front of a judge (off camera) and paperwork would be signed. Matt went ahead to speak with Carolee and they amusingly snarked at each other. Carolee apologized for being so much trouble, and Matt expecting her to be as they've known each other such a long time. Steve, back in the clothes he wore when he was arrested. arrived as Matt was leaving, and Carolee and Steve had a touching reunion. Adam passed a cigar to Matt in the elevator.
On the Christmas episode (December 24), we saw Steve and Carolee with their child. (There was also a funny IMO scene where Matt invited Steve for coffee in his office. Steve took Matt's coffee cup with him, and Matt had to get it back in the hallway. I have to wonder if that was an actor gaffe, but since neither of them broke it was just fun.) Later Steve made fun of Carolee's choice of wrap, which was this seaweed green. Carolee asked Althea to be the baby's godmother. Steve was reinstated as a doctor. There was a paragraph in the newspaper stating that the Steve was exonerated without explaining how Dan died. After Christmas, Billy was told that he would be Stephanie's older brother, though Billy has no idea about the true nature of Carolee's relationship with Steve. (That's a conversation I'm looking forward to, ha!) Nick stopped by Carolee's room and gave her an elephant on wheels for the baby. After their talk, Carolee became upset over having to lie to Billy and Nick discussing the past. She was crying over all the time she lost with Steve, and he came in realized she was upset and suggested that perhaps she needs medication for postpartum depression.
Karen continued to plot to get Matt back for herself. She tried to be nice to Maggie, but Althea wasn't buying it. Maggie won't ask for Karen to be moved out of the clinic, so Althea is stuck. Jennifer Houlton started as Greta this month and is the young actress who plays the role the longest amount of time taking her from childhood to adulthood. Greta and Matt interacted at home, while Maggie was dealing with her nightmares. This meant that we saw Mark Alaimo again in her dreams as the man who abducted her. Karen tried to ingratiate herself by asking Maggie for old furniture to use when Erich was in their new apartment. Thankfully, Erich should be out in the new year living with his mother. Karen knows about Steve and Carolee's relationship, and the baby, but is keeping quiet about it. Why, because she thinks she can use it, but how as Matt already knows and is on their side. If anything Matt would be upset if Karen hurt them. Matt fell into Karen's trap and helped her get a used car so she can commute back and forth to the hospital.
Martha and Mike had a scene of recapping, where Martha found out everything going on in Carolee's life. (They are still friends even if we aren't seeing them interact on screen.) Martha still won't give Cathy information, as Nick is her friend. Cathy and Nick are still spending time together and had sex again. She wants to know everything about him, and Nick has issues with sharing. Thankfully it looks like Cathy doesn't have to wear the wig anymore and just puts her long hair up in hospital scenes.
Althea and John were in Greenville to see Mrs. Hamilton to tell her about her missing two years. They were away from all of the action in Madison as they only returned after Christmas. There was awkwardness between John and Mrs. Hamilton as she worried about Nick. Once released for the hospital, Mrs. Hamilton will be living nearer to Althea. We don't know yet if she will be in Althea's apartment with John or get a place of her own.
Those were the highlights of December 1971. There was only one pre-emption this month for New Year's Eve Day sports. The holiday was kind of tacked on as it went from mid-December to Christmas Eve as it was the same night for days. The show didn't forget to give James Pritchett a holiday speech breaking the fourth wall after he left Steve and Carolee with their newborn. We didn't see Christmas Day, as it took place on the weekend. This month primarily was about Steve regaining his freedom and the birth of little Stephanie, which is not a complaint. I'm so glad the baby is here, adorable and seemingly fascinated with her father. Hopefully 1972 brings some happiness for everyone at Hope Memorial.