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Washita
Season 3, Episode 22
Washita
Takes Place {{{takesplace}}}
Air date 19 Apr 1995
Written by Kathryn Ford, Julie Kirgo
Directed by James Keach
Episode guide
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The Permanence of Change
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Sully's Recovery


Washita is the twenty-second episode of Season 3 of Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman, the sixty-third episode of the series, and the sixth two hour special. This episode was based on a very real massacre along the Washita River in Oklahoma by Custer. More information about the real massacre can be found here and here. It has been considered the most significant "battle" fought in Indian Territory during the time of the very real war on the Indians.

Part 1[]

The episode opens with Dr. Mike checking in on an ill Cheyenne man named Little Thunder. During her visit, she is introduced to a young boy No Harm Comes to Him (or No Harm) whom Cloud Dancing has taken under his care after No Harm's mother is killed. No Harm's mother saved his life by laying on top of him and shielding him. No Harm stays with Dr. Mike while she looks after his medical needs, and he befriends Brian, and they exchange an Indian flute and a pocket knife as tokens of their friendship.

In town, Dr. Mike soon learns that General Custer is back. His presence receives mixed reactions from the townsfolk. Some who, like Custer, wish to see the natives eradicated are excited by his return, while Dr. Mike, Sully, and others are concerned for what this might mean for the Cheyenne people. When the government doesn't make good on their promise to supply the Cheyenne for food provisions, Sully and Dr. Mike take it upon themselves to buy some for the Cheyenne. While delivering the food to the tribe, they inform Cloud Dancing that Custer has returned and tribe members rush in with the body of Little Thunder who was killed by Custer's army while out hunting. Angered, Cloud Dancing joins the Dog Soldiers.

The Dog Soldiers continue to increase their attacks on local farmers, stealing their livestock to feed the Cheyenne people and burning down their barns. When they attack the railroad, Custer calls for his soldiers to put an end to it, stating, "The only good Indian is a dead Indian."

Sensing impeding battles between Custer and the Dog Soldier and feeling the effects of starvation, Black Kettle takes his tribe south to Fort Cobb in Indian Territory (modern day Oklahoma) where they are promised food, supplies, and safety. However, while picking up a package of medical supplies at the post office, Matthew overlooks a telegram Horace has just received ordering Custer's army to head south right toward the area Black Kettle has moved the tribe. Matthew warns Dr. Mike and Sully. Fearing the worst, they along with Cloud Dancing head out as quickly as they can to warn Black Kettle. The tribe had been turned away at Fort Cobb, and they took up camp at a place called Washita.

When Sully, Dr. Mike, and Cloud Dancing arrive at the camp, they find they are too late to prevent the massacre. Snow Bird, Black Kettle, No Harm, and dozens of Cheyenne lay slaughtered, their tepees burned. Sully notes that Custer must have taken prisoners as about 40 to 50 women and children are missing. The only survivor in the camp is a little baby who was saved by No Harm laying on top of him and shielding him from the attack, just as his own mother had done. Part 1 ends with Sully holding the baby and crying out that No Harm hid him.

Part 2[]

Part 2 of the two-part Washita episode deals with the emotional fallout after the massacre for Dr. Mike, Cloud Dancing, and Sully.

Part 2 opens with a band of Arapaho natives arriving at the scene of the massacre and shooting Sully in the arm before Cloud Dancing can intervene. Cloud Dancing leaves with the Arapaho while Dr. Mike and Sully take the baby home with them. Grace and Robert E. step up to care for the child, and they soon form a close attachment to the baby. Brian is distraught at learning No Harm was killed, but with Sully's help he comes to appreciate the sacrifice that his friend made to save the baby.

Both Sully and Dr. Mike have difficulty in processing the emotional trauma of witnessing the massacre of their Cheyenne friends. Sully becomes aggravated with Robert E. who reminds him not everyone in town is enemies with the Cheyenne. Dr. Mike has an emotional breakdown and trashes the barn. She starts avoiding people, especially Sully, the baby, and Cloud Dancing, because they remind her of what happen and she is trying to force herself to forget. She has lost all hope, according to Sully. Sully arranges to have Cloud Dancing teach her the rest of what he knows about Cheyenne remedies as a way to give her new hope and help her heal.

Cloud Dancing arranges for the baby to join a Cheyenne tribe in the north near present day Yellowstone. Robert E., Grace, the Reverend, and Dr. Mike's children meet in the middle of the night with Dr. Mike, Sully, and Cloud Dancing to send the baby off. They give the baby a name, Live with Hopes.

Information[]

  • Dr. Mike is making a buckskin shirt as a wedding present for Sully
  • Cloud Dancing joins the Dog Soldiers
  • Sully talks Dr. Mike into going to Custer's dinner
  • Death of Black Kettle and Snowbird

Patients[]

  • Little Thunder
  • 7 railroad workers after an attack by Dog Soldiers
  • Sully shot by Arapaho at Washita


Dr. Quinn Episodes
Season 1 "Pilot" • "Epidemic" • "The Visitor" • "Law of the Land" • "The Healing" • "Father's Day "• "Bad Water" • "The Great American Medicine Show" • "A Cowboy's Lullaby" • "Running Ghost" • "The Prisoner" • "Happy Birthday" • "Rite of Passage" • "Heroes" • "The Operation" • "The Secret" • "Portraits"
Season 2 "The Race" • "Sanctuary" • "Halloween" • "The Incident" • "Saving Souls" • "Where the Heart Is" • "Giving Thanks" • "Best Friends" • "Sully's Choice" • "Mike's Dream: A Christmas Tale" • "Crossing the Line" • "The Offering" • "The Circus" • "Another Woman" • "Orphan Train" • "Buffalo Soldiers" • "Luck of the Draw" • "Life and Death" • "The First Circle" • "Just One Lullaby" • "The Abduction" • "The Campaign" • "The Man in the Moon" • "Return Engagement"
Season 3 "The Train" • "Fathers and Sons" • "Cattle Drive" • "The Library" • "Halloween II" • "The Washington Affair" • "Money Trouble" • "Thanksgiving" • "Ladies Night" • "The First Christmas" • "Indian Agent" • "The End of the World" • "Pike's Peace" • "Cooper vs. Quinn" • "What Is Love?" • "Things My Father Never Taught Me" • "Baby Outlaws" • "Bone of Contention" • "The Permanence of Change" • "Washita" • "Sully's Recovery" • "Ready or Not" • "For Better or Worse"
Season 4 "A New Life" • "Traveling All-Stars" • "Mothers and Daughters" • "Brother's Keeper" • "Halloween III" • "Dorothy's Book" • "Promises, Promises" • "Expedition" • "One Touch of Nature" • "Hell on Wheels" • "Fifi's First Christmas" • "Change of Heart" • "Tin Star" • "If You Love Someone" • "The Iceman Cometh" • "Dead or Alive" • "Deal with the Devil" • "Eye for an Eye" • "Hearts and Minds" • "Reunion" • "Woman of the Year" • "Last Chance" • "Fear Itself" • "One Nation" • "When a Child Is Born"
Season 5 "Runaway Train" • "Having It All" • "Malpractice" • "All That Glitters..." • "Los Americanos" • "Last Dance" • "Right or Wrong" • "Remember Me" • "Legend" • "The Tempest" • "Separate but Equal" • "A Place to Die" • "Season of Miracles" • "The Dam" • "Farewell Appearance" • "The Most Fatal Disease" • "Colleen's Paper" • "A House Divided" • "Hostage" • "The Body Electric" • "Before the Dawn" • "Starting Over" • "His Father's Son" • "Moment of Truth"
Season 6 "Reason to Believe" • "All That Matters" • "A Matter of Conscience" • "The Comfort of Friends" • "Wave Goodbye" • "A Place Called Home" • "Lead Me Not" • "A Time to Heal" • "Civil Wars" • "Safe Passage" • "Homecoming" • "Point Blank" • "Seeds of Doubt" • "Seven Kinds of Lonely" • "Life in the Balance" • "Happily Ever After" • "Birdman" • "Vengeance" • "To Have and to Hold" • "The Fight" • "A New Beginning "
Movies Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman: The MovieDr. Quinn: Medicine Woman: The Heart Within
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