Little House on the Prairie

Season 4 Episode 7

To Run And Hide

Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Oct 31, 1977 on NBC

Episode Recap

A day in the life of Dr. Baker includes treating an aged farmer for the chronic aches and pains of the elderly, humoring Mrs. Oleson who is convinced she has some exotic disease she read about in a romance novel (he diagnoses her with gas) and going out to the Novack farm to visit a pregnant woman.

Bess Novack is seven months pregnant and nervous. She has lost the previous two babies, but her husband Stanley is more optimistic. He is adding a room onto their house and, in his excitement, falls off the roof.

Dr. Baker arrives in time to examine him, but believes Stanley only knocked the wind out of himself. That evening, however, an incredible headache overwhelms him. It appears the fall caused more damage than the doctor expected and Stanley dies.

Shattered by the death of a man who was perfectly healthy, Dr. Baker sinks in to self-pity and decides to retire. He complains to Charles that practicing medicine in Walnut Grove is not profitable, as people regularly pay him in produce and he treats as many animals as people. He has invited a young doctor from Philadelphia - a Dr. Logan - to take over the practice.

Mrs. Novack is undeterred that Dr. Baker is her physician and asks Mary to take her into town to see him. Dr. Logan has arrived and seems more concerned with the social life in town than in his new patients. Baker does mention Mrs. Novack's fragile condition, but Logan remains nonchalant.

On the way out of town, Baker runs into Mary and Mrs. Novack who implores him to treat her until the baby arrives. He tells her that she will have to continue with Dr. Logan.

Dr. Logan spends the examination complaining about the amount of rotten applies and other food stuffs in the office. He briskly tells her that she will be fine and that she's not the first woman to have a baby. She will not need to see him until it's time for the baby to arrive.

Meanwhile, he patronizes Mrs. Oleson. While his initial prognosis is the same as Baker's, she won't accept that so he makes up a serious illness and prescribes an exspensive patent medicine of his own design. It turns out to be highly alchoholic and Nels finds her very drunk that evening and singing uproariously.

Mary is so concerned about Mrs. Novack that she takes Carrie to see Dr. Baker who is struggling to farm. She offers to help him with driving the horses and demonstrates the need to allow them to do most of the work. She tells him that Carrie is sick and hasn't received treatment, but Dr. Baker's concern is quickly turned to irritation when Carrie will not confirm this. He tells Mary that people in town will have to accept that he is now retired.

Dr. Logan isn't making any more friends as he refuses to accept food as payment and spends a great deal of time hunting rather than in his office.

When Bess goes into labor, however, Mary runs to get her mother and the doctor who is not in his office. Caroline does what she can, but Bess insists that Dr. Baker can help her.

Charles goes to get him, but he refuses to come. Charles is insistent that Bess needs him more than his need to hide from losing a patient. Baker finally agrees to go to her bedside and, after a difficult delivery, assists her baby boy into the world.

His faith in himself renewed, he tells Charles he is going to return the harrow he borrowed and throw the new doctor out of his office.