Season 7

Episode 702: “The Grudge”

Episode 702: “The Grudge”
Original Air Date:December 10, 2000
Written by::Arnold Margolin
Directed by:Peter H. Hunt
Produced by:

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

Guest Cast:



Robert Harrigan Robert Prosky
Lucy Scribner Bonnie Bartlett
Brian Harrigan Martin Spanjers
Teenage Robert Taran Killam
Teenage Lucy Lindsay Pulsipher
Dr. Kate Marlens Victoria Mallory


Monica and Tess are driving through North Carolina in search of their next assignment when they get pulled over by a traffic cop and hauled into court.  The presiding Judge turns out to be Andrew, who shows no special treatment and sentences them to “community service.”  He assigns them to assist two members of the community whose feud (dating back forty years) has become a nuisance to the court, in the hopes that the extra assistance will enable them to work out their differences out of court.  Tess assists Pastor Robert Harrigan who is preparing for the arrival of his twelve-year-old grand-nephew, Brian.

Meanwhile, Monica assists Harrigan’s neighbor and chief nemesis, Dr. Lucy Scribner, who submits a written critique of his weekly sermon.  Monica and Tess ultimately realize the purpose of their assignment has more to do with Brian than the two feuding adults.  Lucy strikes a rapport with Brian and explains the reason she became a doctor had to do with her having polio as a child.  She was told by doctors that she would never walk again.  Tess proceeds to tell Monica the story behind Robert and Lucy’s feud which began as a tale of teen romance.  But when Robert told his parents of his plans to marry Lucy, they objected, fearful that polio was somehow contagious.  Robert’s parents saw to it that their marriage plans were thwarted and sent him away to live with relatives, leaving Lucy with a broken heart.  In time, a vaccine was developed and Lucy went on to medical school.

Meanwhile, back in the present, Lucy and Robert square off on opposite sides of a local issue over the placement of a stop sign at a busy intersection.  Lucy is vehemently opposed to the stop sign which she feels would open the floodgates to developers and would encroach on their city’s small town charm.  Lucy and Robert go at it, using the public forum as a means to vent their personal agenda until Brian finally cries out against these two adults behaving like children.  He then runs off and is struck by a car at the very intersection they’ve been debating.  At the hospital, Robert and Lucy learn that Brian suffered damage to his spinal cord and will be paralyzed from the waist down.  Lucy starts to feel hopeless, but Monica reminds Lucy how she proved the doctors wrong when they told her she would never walk again.  Lucy goes on the internet and locates a new drug that could reverse the effects of paralysis — with the caveat that it be administered within 72 hours of the injury.  Unable to convince Robert and the attending physician that this is Brian’s best option, Lucy goes to Judge Andrew to obtain a court order granting her permission to go over Robert’s head to administer the drug, but Andrew denies the request.

With time running out, Tess finds a way to get through to Robert by showing him how his feud with Lucy flies in the face of the very gospel he preaches, reminding him of the Biblical passage of coming to the altar having been reconciled to those you have wronged.  With moments to spare, Monica and Tess act as referees, showing them how their feud is holding a little boy hostage and how this grudge grew out of silence and lack of communication.  With the key to the past finally unlocked, Robert and Lucy make their peace in time to administer the drug — and begin to heal the wounds of the past.

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