Touched by an Angel

Episode 401: “Great Expectations”

Episode 401: “Great Expectations”
Original Air Date: September 28, 1997

Written by: Rita Russell
Directed by: Tim Van Patten
Produced by:

Martha Williamson
Jon Andersen
R.J. Visciglia, Jr.

Guest Cast:
Taylor Chris Burke
Bill McNabb Bill Smitrovitch
Joann McNabb Betsy Brantley
Dr. Michaels Mary Parker Williamson
Ron J. Scott Bronson
Marge Janice Power
Karen Kim Landry
Debby Melissa Pace
Matt Michael Tanner
Carson Andrew Fugate
Olivia’s Mom Gail Williamson
Olivia Olivia Porcaro
Nurse at Clinic Melinda Haynes
Ultrasound Woman Cristie Briggs
Lamaze Woman Molly Labrum
Craig Tim Shoemaker
Paramedic #1 Dallen Gettling
Paramedic #2 Scott Ditty
Admitting Clerk Christy Summerhays
Head Nurse Tayva Patch
Dr. Drauer Tim Threlfall

Bill McNabb, a cappuccino machine salesman, arrives with his pregnant wife, Joann at Juliano’s Coffee Shop where Andrew is acting as temporary manager. While Bill tries to sell the “newest and best” machine to Andrew, Joann comfirms their plans to give a baby shower for friends at the coffee shop later that evening. Having overheard the discussion of babies, Monica introduces herself as a Lamaze teacher and invites Joann to attend a class.

Bill and Joann then go to a Doctor’s appointment and learn that their baby is going to be born with Down Syndrome. Bill immediately mentions “alternatives” to having the baby and tells Joann not to tell anyone about the diagnosis until they decide what to do. At the baby shower, a busboy with Down Syndrome, Taylor, breaks dishes while avoiding a small child and this prompts Bill to tell Joann that their baby “is not a miracle” but rather “a mistake.” Joann temporarily gives in, going to a community clinic but is unable to go through with an abortion, saying “I’m pro-choice and I’ve made my choice. I’m going to have this baby.” She then continues her pregnancy alone while the angels try to convince Bill to come to reason. At Andrews urging, Bill begins to reconcile with Joann but is unable to accept the child. Tess tells him that perfect souls do not come in perfect bodies and that “it’s not the packaging but the parenting” that will make the difference in a childs life.

As Bill is servicing a cappuccino machine, Andrew continues to try and reason with him. Bill says he wants a “normal” kid, tall and healthy, perhaps one who could be captain of the football team. An all American kid then walks in, pulls a gun and begins robbing the store. As he is exiting, Joann enters and Bill tries to take the gun from the all-star thief. The gun explodes and Joann is hit. At the hospital, the doctor tells Bill that Joann may not make it and asks him to give consent to operate to save the baby. Bill is torn when Taylor reveals himself as an angel. He tells Bill that fear is worse than Down Syndrome and that he should not be afraid of ruining his life by having the child or of not having enough love to give. “The child was born of love” and “what we do in love is never lost.” Bill signs the consent form and prays for his wife and son. Tess soon brings his healthy son into his arms. Joann continues to fight, eventually stabilizing and the family are united in love.

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