Roots: The Complete Miniseries

Season 1 Episode 4

Part 4

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jan 26, 1977 on ABC

Episode Recap

The story picks up in 1776, 9 years after the tragic whipping that forced Kunta Kinte to publicly accept the name "Toby" as his own. Yet despite that setback, he still seeks his freedom and is ready to run away again to find Fanta at the Calvert plantation some 20 miles away. Using a plantation hoe-down celebration as his cover, Toby quietly slips away and hides in a carriage of tobacco heading off the plantation. When he is alerted to the fact that the carriage was passing through the Calvert plantation, he quickly hops off and hides before beginning his search for Fanta. Meanwhile, with Toby having been declared missing, John Reynolds hires a posse of slave-catchers to find him, simultaneously firing Mr. Ames as plantation overseer due to his failure at managing the slaves.

Toby eventually finds Fanta but discovers that she has been renamed to "Maggie". Their reunion is bittersweet as he tries to convince her to come north with him to freedom. But her refusals escalate to a heated argument between them that is eventually overheard by the posse passing through the Calvert plantation at the time. Toby is discovered, chased, and caught once again. However this time he is given a terrible choice for his punishment that was designed to prevent him from running again -- castration or having his foot chopped off and Toby chooses the latter.

John Reynolds eventually decides to give his physician brother William, both Fiddler and Toby to settle a debt, and both are relocated to William's plantation. Toby, after raging with a fever for days due to the amputation, eventually recovers and meets his caretaker and match -- a strong-willed slave woman named Belle. She cleverly helps him to heal both physically and emotionally by challenging his pride. However once she rekindles his will to live and walk again, she inadvertently rekindles his determination to run away once more.