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 October 1973.
The majority of the month was spent dealing with Penny's health. She had a headache, which was evidence of something more extreme. Her eyesight problem was neurological, not optical as it was caused by a pituitary tumor. Nick figured it out, and Penny got upset. Penny ran away, and everyone feared if she didn't have surgery she would be blind for good. She ended up at a hotel, and the clerk didn't want her to stay even when she offered to pay as she had no luggage. Tennessee Eddie (who was recast and not longer having a Southern accent) worked at the motel, as a handyman at night. He knew she wasn't drunk or on drugs. Eventually Penny was in a room, and Eddie called Matt, who brought Nick along. They brought her to the hospital, Nick did the surgery. Hank couldn't hack all of it, so Gil stepped in to help Nick with the surgery under the microscope. Hank was forlorn, over the idea of never being a neurosurgeon and rebuffing Lauri. In some ways, this was good for her, as she didn't want to say yes and marry him. Martha provided support for all including Lauri who tried to sing for her. Nick was short with Ann, and Ann also had to deal with grief from Mona.
John wasn't on this month during Penny's woes. Penny's father Dave was in Tokyo, so he didn't appear either. John sent a positive note about Penny's health, and still wants to fight for the marriage with Althea. (One thing we can say for John Morrison is he is persistent.) Due to the tumor, Penny was supposedly not acting herself, and that's why she was irrational and thought certain things about Mike. She also probably was mean to Althea for that reason. That said, when Penny woke up she wasn't really excited to see Althea, and Althea being herself was more upset over her daughter not being loving, then relieved her daughter was awake. Thankfully, Penny got into surgery in time, so she won't be blind in either of her eyes, but it will be a somewhat gradual recovery. Penny's hair had to be shaved, we'll see what they do there with her hair.
Toni wasn't feeling well, and discovered that Mike took half of their savings with him, which was $1,000. Maggie discussed Mike leaving town with Greta, but Greta understood more than Maggie was willing to say.
Steve finally found out the truth about his mother Mona. He had driven his mother to Boston for dinner with Winston Croft. While Mona was in the bathroom, Win explained all of his reasons why Steve was an idiot for saying no to his offer. The reasons Win gave were directly from Mona and garbage. Steve was downright livid that his mother interfered so much with his life and his wife. Unfortunately Steve got sick from having lobster, and couldn't drive the entire way home. Mona drove, hit someone or something and drove on. Steve told Carolee the truth, and he continued to feel nothing but hate for his mother. Carolee felt that Steve only had one parent, and shouldn't end that relationship as they survived what Mona did. Steve felt that he had every right to not forgive his mother for hurting his family. (I wonder how much of Steve's reaction is guilt for being awful to Carolee for not getting along with Mona, due to feeling targeted, when that was exactly what was happening.) Mona told Win their engagement was over in a phone conversation, Win came to Madison, and spoke to Steve again, as he wanted to stay with Mona even if in her own words she was a "horrible person".
Those were the highlights of October 1973. There were four preemptions (October 8, 9, 10 & 11), and one missing episode on October 19. Unfortunately the episode from October 19, 1973 had two major story highlights. Steve told Carolee what Mona had done to try and ruin their marriage and family, a thing I'd wanted to see for months. Also Penny was rescued by Nick and Matt and brought to the hospital. We're finally past the writers' strike and the transition period between producers, so maybe things will be more stable. Though that said stable doesn't necessarily mean good.