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Dr. Quinn Medicine Mondays: Germs don't honor promises

Season 1 | Episode 2 | “The Epidemic” | Aired Jan 1, 1993

Oh, here we are—back in the Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman wild again. That first episode was quite a journey. The biggest reason for that is because someone thought it was a great idea to make the pilot a feature-length movie. But it was important. We got the opportunity to meet the whole gang, and even had a major character die in the first episode. #RIPCharlotte; we miss you, girl. And now, Dr. Michaela Quinn is in charge of the kids. Sully seems to help, too. And the lady doctor is here to stay. So let’s just dive in to episode two.

In “Epidemic,” we open up to the introduction of a new character: Ms. Ollie. She seems like fun, and if Reba McEntire’s career weren’t so exciting at the time, I’d imagine she would have been a GREAT choice to play her. To be frank, Ms. Ollie is not feeling Dr. Mike’s vibes. She was Charlotte’s original BFF and she seems hella upset that Charlotte left Matthew, Colleen #1, and Brian to Michaela instead of her. Sorry, girl—you snooze, you lose.

Ollie, being everyone’s favorite “special aunt,” steals the kids away for a day of fun. In the absence of the kids, Dr. Quinn decides that she needs to learn to cook. To be a doctor, she, like, really struggles with simple domestic duties, like using a spoon responsibly and keeping any flour in a bowl and off her dress. Ollie buys the kids gifts and somehow thinks it’s okay to give Matthew/Chad Allen a gold-plated gun. He’s the man of the family, after all.

Sully and Dr. Mike get to hang out again, and they make small talk about her wagon and the president (because #politics always matter), but it’s short-lived—a townswoman brings her baby up in a panic because it has a fever. Dr. Quinn’s response is to douse the baby in water. It turns out that it’s the flu, and it’s an … EPIDEMIC. In an even bigger shocker, Dr. Quinn concludes that it’s Ollie’s cows that brought it to town. In a few words, Ollie is the worst. Optimistic Brian keeps his spirits up, but Dr. Quinn says, “Unfortunately, germs don’t honor promises.”

In typical Dr. Quinn fashion, no one thinks that she is capable of treating people, so she goes and checks on Emily, who brought her baby to Dr. Quinn. Ollie is staying with her, and finally stops being nice and starts getting real. She tells Michaela that the children should have been left to her, and then Michaela says, “Your name is not the one she spoke on her deathbed.” #shade

To make the town better, Michaela decides that she needs a hospital, or at least a makeshift hospital. Ollie tells her that there’s no place like that here, as if Ollie has been in the picture for more than like, three minutes. She runs to Charlotte’s boarding house and attempts to pull off the boards, but she can’t—so Sully comes and does it because he cares about the town, but most of all, he cares about Michaela.

As irony would have it, Brian comes down with influenza, and Colleen #1 is super-pissed about it because Michaela isn’t doing anything to help “the family.” Michaela has some unspoken personal reflection. We see the makeshift hospital start to come together, but it’s still too late for a lot of people—the flu is super-serious in 1867. As Michaela and Sully work to cure Brian of his flu, Sully offers up some alternative medicine used by the Native Americans, but it makes Michaela nervous. I have a feeling this is not the last time that Indian world vs. Colorado Springs world will come between them.

Myra comes to ask if Michaela needs any help, and she’s super-grateful. Ollie steps in, though, and tries to shut Myra down by saying, “She’s a whore.” Michaela is over Ollie because she’s all about social justice. Myra stays to help, regardless of her indecencies. In a total turn of events, after everyone has gotten better, Dr. Quinn falls ill. They’ve used all the medicine on others, so it pretty much looks like Michaela will die—but that’s nuts, because this is episode two. Then again, they did kill Charlotte, so who knows? Sully, of course, falls back on what he knows and sends Matthew to get Cloud Dancing and some Cheyenne medicine. Typical.

Scandalously, they strip Michaela down to keep her cool. Ollie and Sully fight for her, until Sully tries to take her away for some Cheyenne medicine. Ollie loses her cool and yells, “WHAT THE DEUCE ARE YOU DOING?” which is something we all need to incorporate into our vocabulary. Anyway, they take her and put her in a circle of rocks by a fire, and Cloud Dancing makes some CRAZY noises for a bit. They deliver Michaela back to Ollie’s place, and then GENERAL CUSTER stops by to see if there are any Indians around because they found Indian tracks (??). Ollie says no, as Cloud Dancing is hanging out in the back room. Super-close. Magically, Michaela recovers because life is funny like that.

As the episode ends, Sully, trying to seem totally aloof, waits until Michaela is asleep and gives her a kiss on the forehead, which is presumably still super-germy. Jesus, guys, hygiene.

The Colorado Springs Gossip Mill

  • I know y’all probably love Michaela and Sully, but I’m totally shipping Robert E. and the other black lady. When your man promises you that he won’t let you get the flu, you know it’s real.
  • Ollie is pretty awful, but honestly, her style is so on point for 1867. I love her ankle-length fierceness.
  • Who gives a 16-year-old a gun? I mean, I’d give Chad Allen almost anything he wanted, but a gun? Too much, Ollie. Too much.
  • Someone needs to get General Custer’s mustache in check, like, stat.

And that’s it for this week’s Dr. Quinn Medicine Mondays (#DQMM). I’m loving Sully and Michaela’s relationship, but I want something besides a run-of-the-mill epidemic to cause more drama. Then again, maybe I’m asking for too much. A major character has either died or almost died like seven times already. Maybe I just need to calm down. The one thing that is clear is that Colorado Springs has so much more for us. Bring it on.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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