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 1972.
Barbara left town after destroying Toni's image of her. Both Toni and Billy decided that while they spent some time with Barbara, they would move on with their lives without her. For a time, Toni was suffering due to Barbara's behavior, but Mike got through to her. Toni had the bruise from Vito on more than one episode. At the end of the month, Mike and Toni decided to visit New York City on a pleasure trip though she wanted to cancel due to Hank's hospitalization.
Matt decided he needed to know what it is like to be in service with the mobile unit. Talking about Hank and Mike's reports wasn't enough. He went with Hank, and disaster struck. Matt was being held by a guy named Finney, who was an addict. Finney believed that Matt had drugs, and held him up, while his girlfriend Donna was out of the apartment. Donna moved into where our favorite lead poisoning victim once lived, as he got himself clean. Matt tried to keep Hank safe, but Hank decided to go through the window. Hank got shot in the shoulder. Everyone now is uncertain whether or not Hank will be able to be a neurosurgeon as planned. Nick was broken up after he heard about Hank's injuries, and wants his protege to fight. While in his hospital bed, Hank remembered his former girlfriend Laurie, who gave up nursing to sing. We see their break up in flashback. Mike tried to make Hank feel better as did Matt and Nick.
Mona and Carolee continued to not get along, but Mona decided to give her son and daughter-in-law a present and move out before Christmas. Stephanie was teething keeping everyone up at night, which wasn't good for Mona, who was supposed to be in a stress-free environment. Mona scared Steve when she decided to move to the Fairview, as he feared she was ailing again. To curry favor, Mona decided to buy Carolee a new car with air conditioning. Carolee didn't want to accept it, but couldn't say no. The other argument between Mona and Carolee had to do with private practice, as Carolee staunchly defended Steve's right to work at Hope Memorial. Mona found out that Matt doesn't think there is anything wrong with being out on ones own as a doctor, and it is a personal choice. Emma decided to marry Andrew, and move to Wyndham Falls upon their return from a months long trip. Andrew sold the flower shop at the hospital, and would go into growing plants of his own on a farm. Steve was glad to be part of the wedding though it was off screen. Carolee and Steve both spent most of the month battling colds, as the actors were ill. Once better, baby Stephanie returned with another new child. For Christmas they each wanted to teach their daughter how to walk as a surprise. Carolee nearly walked in on Steve, who saw him dancing with their daughter, though Steve caught Carolee after he went back to the living room as he forgot his bath beads and rubber ducky. (Not kidding, that's what he said. Thank you show for that surprising visual at the holidays.)
Althea has a patient who has a shoulder injury named Mr. Baylor. He didn't get surgery, and is miserable as he is in constant pain. The surgery may have limited his mobility, but due to playing violin, Althea didn't want him to do it. Althea also tried to give advice to Carolee about her situation with Mona. Dr. Davis is still with John, and is uncertain on the next steps in her life, as she recalled why she was attracted to John in the beginning, his looks, charm and accent. Maggie felt that perhaps her best friend should take a man break.
Cathy continued to have issues after Cliff did the DNC. Nick triggered Cathy's behavior as he announced to her once out of the hospital that Adam Reynolds would be helping him end their marriage. She wasn't pregnant at the wedding, so it was a fraud. Cathy decided to put the oven on, as a suicide attempt. She was put into psychiatric, and John was her doctor. Eventually Cathy convinced John to get her out of there. Later since she knew John was faking paralysis for months, she told John he had to get her reinstated at the hospital. Matt agreed to put her back on staff though only allowed her to do administrative work. Actually Matt, had wanted Cathy to go on leave, but Cathy didn't want that. She wants revenge, and the only way that is possible is if she is working at the hospital. Cathy moved back into nurses quarters instead of getting her own place. Nick said he would help her however he could. John doesn't realize Cathy plans on getting back at Steve, through baby Stephanie.
Christmas came to Hope Memorial though sadly we didn't see most of the action. Matt was Santa, the aforementioned wedding occurred so we didn't get a true goodbye scene to Emma, Billy was at Donald's, and Althea was nowhere to be seen. Instead we had Hank in the hospital, Matt, Maggie and Greta (which was holiday themed as the girl has a winter outfit made of fur, now totally politically incorrect), Steve and Carolee cleaning up the rice after the wedding (discussing bread pudding, Erich speaking German and crying missing his mother in his dreams, and Mona coming for a visit.) Mona wanted a kiss under the mistletoe from her son, and she called Ann yet again. (Of course, I wish there had been more scenes with the mistletoe as imagine the look on certain characters faces if they were faced with that.) There wasn't even a breaking of the fourth wall with Matt (James Pritchett) wishing the audience a good holiday season.
Those were the highlights of December 1972. There were preemptions (December 19 & 27 for a splashdown and Harry Truman's death respectively) and lost (December 11) episodes this month. James Lipton was added as the third credited writer, and the opening credits now mention how the show won an Emmy. I'm glad that Barbara is gone, though I felt they went too far with Vito as he never seemed like an abuser. My happy highlight of the month was Matt and Maggie before he went on the mobile unit trip and Hank was accidentally shot. It was fun seeing him in the intern whites, and Maggie's appreciation of his garb.