Little House on the Prairie

Season 4 Episode 7

To Run And Hide

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

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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out of 10
70 votes
  • A patient given a clean bill of health dies, causing Doctor Baker to abandon his practice.

    A middle-aged woman has experienced a number of stillbirths and miscarriages in the past, but under Doc Baker's care, it seems as though she's going to finally have a successful pregnancy. She and her husband are thrilled. Shortly before the big day, her husband falls off the roof at home. Doc Baker checks him over and gives him a clean bill of health. The farmer himself says that he feels just fine. That night, though, he begins experiencing severe abdominal pain. By the next afternoon, he's dead, due to undiagnosed internal bleeding. Doc Baker goes into a tailspin over his limited capabilities as a "country doctor", and decides to hang up his bag. The new doctor who comes to town to replace him is everything Doc Baker wasn't: cold, shallow, and uncaring. When the woman goes into labor, she begs Charles and Caroline to fetch Doc Baker (his replacement has abandoned his new patient, anyway, leaving town to go on a hunting trip). Doc Baker tells Charles that he "can't face her". Charles tells him that she's begging for him and only him to come, adding, "if you're not a doctor anymore, then what are you? Certainly not a farmer. This is the most important day of her life. You started with her, and you're going to finish". Doc Baker goes, and ends up saving the life of mother and child when the labor turns out to be breech. Doc Baker decides to hang his shingle back up, and the new doctor is dismissed from duty.

    I love this episode. If you want a good look at what it was like to practice medicine and bear a child in the mid-1800's, than this one is for you. It's too intense for the younger set, in my opinion...there's a lot of discussion about labor and birth (plus a sweaty, guttural and drawn-out childbirth scene that made this two-time mother squirm). Unless you're prepared to answer a lot of questions afterwards, watch it without the kids.

    One pet peeve: I wish they would have featured the good doctor (Kevin Hagen) in more positive episodes that didn't just have him covering people with the white sheet or misdiagnosing people who eventually died (see "The Lord is my Shepherd" and "A Child with No Name", to name two). I would like to have seen him get married, have children, etc. The one time the writers let him fall in love, that love was denied. With all the liberties the writers took with the characters, I never understood why Doc Baker was almost always left stuck in a somber second-gear. I know "he's the doctor", but the few times they actually gave him sunny, funny lines, the character played out very well. Too bad the writers didn't pursue that angle.
  • A great episode, which showcases the importance of Kevin Hagen's "Doc Baker" to the fabric of the show.

    Mrs. Novak is expecting a baby and so far so good, in spite of two previous, heartbreaking miscarriages. Her husband, Stanley, is as delighted as she is but things turn sour and then tragic very quickly as Stanley takes a fall from the roof of their house and Dr. Baker can find no serious injury. Within 24 hours, Beth Novak is a widow as Stanley dies from internal injuries. A devastated Dr. Baker cannot cope with what he sees as his own part in the tragedy and gives up his practice to a newcomer from the city.

    Dr. Logan is young, conceited and a most unlikely country practitioner. He won't work out of hours and is almost impossible to find when needed. Meanwhile, Doc Baker sets himself up as a farmer and finds that he is definitely NOT suited to life on the land but in spite of people entreating him to do so, he will not return to his practice as his guilt is weighing him down too heavily.

    When Beth Novak goes into labour and things begin to get complicated, she begs someone to bring Doc Baker to her. After a LOT of convincing, he goes to her farm and helps in the successful delivery of her son, making him realise that medicine, and not farming, is his true calling.

    I always really liked the character of Doc Baker and Kevin Hagen played him superbly. Unfortunately, there were too many episodes when we didn't see enough of this fine actor so this was a special treat.
  • Doc baker takes a man's word that he's fine after falling from the roof, when called later he is unable to save him and decides to retire because of it. Then a new doctor takes over who is complete different from the old one. And not in a better way.

    Hear is one of are regular characters stories for a change, this one revolves around doc baker. on a routine visit to see one of his patients mrs beth novac she informs doc baker her husband Stanley has just fallen off a roof ,Stanley tells doc that he feels ok and no need to look him over but to check on his wife whose seven months pregnant. , beth is worried as she has lost two babies already. Later that evening Stanley complains of feeling unwell and collapses ,beth runs to the ingles to tell them to get doc baker, Charles goes and Caroline tells beth to stay at there place and shell go to stay with her husband. when doc baker arrives he realises Stanley is worse than he thought , and before he can do any thing Stanley dies.doc baker leaves in shock feeling It's his felt .some days later Charles visits the doc on behalf of beth who was wondering why he had not gone to see her or attended the funeral. The doc informs Charles he's been to busy and feels being a doctor does not pay and has decided to retire and take up farming and that a new doctor a doctor Logan will be taking over. What follows is how the townsfolk take to the new doctor and how doc baker takes to farming, is this the last time we see doc baker or will something happen to bring him back you'll just have to watch and see. Kevin hagan gives a fine performance before the event happy and caring and after of a broken man trying to get by in field he does not belong. As always a good family story told in the only the way the little house on the prairie could tell it's .Not as in-depth as the other review which is more thoughtful and thought out than mine but I just wanted to write one as I like doc baker as a character and I have only just watched this after many years.
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