May 11th, 1996 :: episode #99
When a Child is Born - parts 1& 2
Mike's family arrives for the impending birth of Mike and Sully's baby, bringing along a new young doctor to help deliver the baby. Michaela, always one who likes to be in control, questions this new doctor's skills, worried that he will be unable to come through in the event of an emergency. Dr. Cook tries to assure them all he is more than capable, but there are still doubts. At a baby shower, Elizabeth declares her certainty of the baby being a girl, noting how Michaela is carrying the child. Sully's problems with the army continue. O'Connor comes to announce he's moving several of the tribes to another reservation, Cloud Dancing included. Sully sets out to stop him, thanks to a telegram from his superior agreeing to the halt on progress. O'Connor says he takes his orders only from his own superior and makes to proceed. Sully stops him, and he is physically wounded by O'Connor in a scuffle. Cloud Dancing stays behind to help him, despite Sully's protestations of him being caught and the higher price he'll pay for it.
Preston prepares for the opening of his new hotel and resort, and Marjories is accompanied by both Preston and Hank to the celebration. However, the celebration quickly turns into a tussle, and Preston, Hank and Horace get into a fight. Meanwhile, Michaela's family is fussing over her and trying to convince her to not worry so much, for fear it would cause complications with her baby. They town dispatches a search party for Sully, but they don't return soon enough to cease Michaela's worries. When Cloud Dancing comes to her in the middle of the night, she leaves a note and accompanies Cloud Dancing to her husband.
With the men gone to look for Sully, that leaves no one to go in search of Michaela, so the women band together to do the job. Rebecca, Marjorie, Grace, Dorothy and Myra decide to go, despite protests from their family members. Horace forbids Myra to go, but she defies him, wanting to help her friend and resenting his attempts to keep her from doing what she wants, adding even more tension to an already strained marriage. Elizabeth protests her daughters going, but Rebecca points out it's their sister out there, and they aren't going to sit idly by and wait for something to happen. Meanwhile, Michaela finds Sully and tends to his wounds. Before they can get moving, however, O'Connor tracks them down and captures Cloud Dancing again. He steps on Sully's injured leg to halt him from pursuing them, leaving them there in the wilderness and saying a wagon will be brought back to get them.
Realizing the army most likely won't be back for them any time soon, Michaela tells Sully she brought the wagon, so together they make their way back to it. They make slow progress, though, with Michaela nearly nine months pregnant and Sully injured. By the time they get up into the wagon, Michaela feels pains in her abdomen and her water breaks. She informs Sully the baby won't wait, and he helps her down to rest against the trunk of a tree. Fear about their circumstances as well as memories of the baby and wife he lost years ago compound and nearly keep Sully from helping. Michaela assures him her pains are normal, forcing herself to keep a level head about everything. Fighting her own pains and Sully's fear, she tries hard to make Sully see how much she needs his assistance. Overcoming his fears and a slight complication in the detelegraph, Sully manages to ensure his daughter's safe arrival into the world, wrap her in a soft blanket and present her to his wife.
Back in town, Horace suffers from a pain in his abdomen. He had his appendix removed in "End of the World," so Dr. Cool deduces it's a gall bladder attack. With Dr. Mike gone, Dr. Cook must perform the operation. With Colleen assisting, the operation is a success. The men and women search parties return empty-handed. Worried over where Sully and Michaela are, they gather in the street to discuss what to do next, but they soon see the missing family riding towards them. The town and her new family welcome Katherine (Katie) Elizabeth Sully. Amidst the celebrations, O'Connor arrives in town to inform Sully that he has been terminated from his position as Indian Agent. Myra, having heard about Horace's operation, runs to him, but he is so hurt by her desertion, he lashes out at her. Myra decides they need some time apart, and Horace agrees, so she leaves with Samantha for St. Louis. Michaela's family departs for Boston and congratulates the proud parents on the birth of their new daughter. Dr. Cook, seeing the need for his services and enjoying the atmosphere around Colorado Springs, decides to stay and help Michaela.
Mike and Sully welcome Katie to her new home, proudly showing her off to her brothers and sisters. The rest of Colorado Springs returns to their normal lives, and the episode/season ends with a beautiful panning of the town's inhabitants at work.