January 15th, 1994 :: episode #30

The Circus

A ragtag circus, consisting only of Heart and Atlantis, a mother-and-daughter team, arrives in Colorado Springs. Heart, the mother, enlists the townsfolk to participate as performers. Everyone accepts but Mike, whom Heart tries to engage as a trapeze performer.

Later, in the homestead, Colleen reveals her fear of being in the limelight, and Brian asks Sully if he'll perform on the trapeze, per Heart's request. Sully says to Mike, "I will, if you will," upon which Mike says she'll perform if Colleen will. Colleen reluctantly accepts the challenge. Heart engages the Reverend to be a magician, with Miss Dorothy as his lovely magician's assistant. Brian and Loren are the designated clowns. Colleen, Atlantis and Matthew do a tightrope act together, and Jake is pressed into service as the ring announcer.

The town happily embraces their various roles in the circus, but friction occurs between Mike and Heart when Mike discovers that Atlantis, Heart's daughter, has webbed fingers. Mike wants to fix them, but Heart, so-named because of a heart-shaped birthmark on her face, thinks Mike shouldn't meddle with God's creations.

Meanwhile, Colleen is working on the tightrope with Atlantis and Matthew, albeit reluctantly. As Atlantis strives to bolster Colleen's courage on the rope, Colleen engages in a campaign to boost Atlantis' self-esteem by remaking a dress for her, and by suggesting the family, including Matthew, compliment her. As a result, Atlantis develops a crush on Matthew, which makes her more and more self-conscious about her hands. When Ingrid shows up and Atlantis sees her and Matthew kiss each other, she becomes very upset and in a frenzy of self-hatred, takes a knife to the webbing between her fingers on one hand. Mike does emergency surgery, successfully (with Heart's blessing) separating both hands from their webbing.

Later, Colleen screws her courage to the sticking and overcomes her fear of making mistakes and/or performing in front of crowds as she, with all the other townsfolk/entertainers, performs her act in front of a sell-out Colorado Springs crowd.

This episode has a cute scene between Mike and Sully, where Mike asks, "Sully, do you think I'm...." and he interrupts her with, "bossy? Not for me!" Another scene has Mike wishing Sully good luck before they perform, to which he replies, "You're my luck."