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 January 1973.
Mike and Toni enjoyed their time away in New York City. They returned to the record store that Toni visited and were able to get "No Way" on vinyl. (The record originally was a regular full sized album, but suddenly became a single.) John Pleshette played the guy at the store, and is best known for "Knots Landing". Mike had to be happy, he was in the shower singing "Joy to the World" the Three Dog Night song. With the help of the store owner, they met Lauri James at their hotel as she visited them. (In the credits they spelled it Lauri, but that could change.) She had a secret, and didn't want to see Hank again. Hank got through surgery, which was done by Nick and Hendryx. It is up to him and fate whether or not he'll be able to be a surgeon. Matt felt guilty and Hendryx wondered if he could use that to his advantage. Hank admitted to Martha that the song "No Way" was about his relationship with Lauri.
Mr. Baylor was admitted into the hospital for more tests. Althea shared his case history with John. He told her to invite, the man's mother to the hospital for a chat. John completely pegged the situation without meeting either person. The problem was psychological not a physical one. The peace between Althea and John was stopped once Althea got a call from California. She told Maggie that she had to go see Penny. Althea's first ex-husband Dave Davis (Josef Sommer) appeared and we got to meet Julia Duffy's version of Penny. The teen was having a problem that Althea would have never imagine, her daughter was going blind. Penny had been thrown from a horse, and her optic nerve was damaged. Althea vowed to help her child. Since Penny was returning to Madison with her mother, there was no room in Althea's two-bedroom apartment for John. Althea told him that he had to move out, as planned to make space for Penny, and because he now was walking.
Steve and Carolee continued to be happy with their daughter. Mona though plotted by getting Ann to Madison and Steve to be with them. Steve had no idea that Ann was in town, and the three spent time catching up. Mona failed to tell Ann about Stephanie, but Steve proudly boasted about his 1-year-old daughter. We found out that Ann was a widow after her husband died in Africa of a disease that couldn't be cured in such a rustic environment. Ann was no longer practicing medicine, due to missing her husband. He was a OB/GYN, while she was a pediatrician, so they were a great team. Steve invited Ann to join him and Carolee for lunch at Pete's. Steve and Carolee had to leave early, and left Nick with Ann. They chatted, and Ann told Nick an embarrassing story about Steve. John and Althea saw them together, and wondered what was so funny. Steve and Carolee clashed (though not seriously) over what shoes Stephanie should wear. We also found out how Erich is a good big brother to Stephanie, as he tried to help her learn to walk off camera. Althea gave Stephanie a snowsuit, which had a pompom puff. Of course, this was short-lived due to Cathy Riker. Nick and Cathy were to sign off paperwork to make the divorce go quickly, but Cathy manipulated things and was able to steal Stephanie from the hospital. She took advantage of Matt going to the university, but giving fake information to Carolee that she needed to go there also. This wasted time, and Cathy could make her escape. Matt and Steve didn't believe it at first, but had to admit it was true. The second Cadman was there as the police detective investigating. Cathy checked into a hotel, wearing a wig reminiscent of Karen's, and made believe Stephanie was her son, Nicky Norman. She had a very noisy neighbor Dwayne, who seemed way too interested in her and the baby. Nick made an appeal on the news for Cathy to return the kid. Everyone was shocked, stunned, angry or upset over what happened. Steve took to giving Carolee sedatives, though they didn't really work. We actually finally got to see Steve and Carolee's bedroom, and she was in lingerie no less, but for this awful reason, which included a nightmare. There also was a line from Steve about how all babies Stephanie's age look the same, and considering the amount of babies who have played Stephanie somewhat ironic. (At times, I wonder if the show is putting these things in purposely. They willingly "troll" the audience, but I digress.) Mona even was decent to Carolee for a change. Martha's friendship with Carolee was remembered, which was appreciated, as she was acting more like her old self. Carolee was upset that Billy skipped school, but he wanted to take care of her. Billy told Carolee how Mona and Steve spoke that Cathy took Stephanie due to replace her dead baby. Steve had been lying to Carolee, and saying it was revenge-based. In my opinion, Cathy had both those reasons. The night of the kidnapping, Nick made an appeal on television to try and get Cathy to return Stephanie, but it was unsuccessful. John was horrified over what Cathy did, though he knows if she tells everyone everything, he'll be in trouble.
Those were the highlights of January 1973. The January 24, 1973 episode was preempted for Lyndon Johnson's funeral. There were no other preemptions as it even was on January 1, 1973. This month had a lot of drama as we saw Carolee's despair over the disappearance of her baby girl. The focus of the anguish was on her, while I wondered why others weren't allowed to express more shame, regret and anger. It seemed like they were gearing up for new stories for Hank and Althea.