In the Season 5 finale, a two-parter aptly titled “Sick and Tired,” Dorothy is afflicted by the sudden onset of several alarming ailments. Her first instinct is to visit the doctor, who tells her that she’s perfectly healthy. Despite his condescension, Dorothy demands another opinion. She travels all the way to New York City, where another, even more patronizing physician named Dr. Budd (Michael McGuire) tells her that the illness is all in her head. Budd’s assessment leaves Dorothy feeling hopeless. Seeing her reduced to tears is heartbreaking to watch, as Dorothy is typically portrayed as the most stoic of the main characters.
Thankfully, a third doctor diagnoses Dorothy with chronic fatigue syndrome, finally granting her the validation she’d been so cruelly denied. The girls all go out to dinner to celebrate, but Dorothy is struck with inspiration when she notices Dr. Budd eating with his wife at a nearby table. She confronts him and delivers an empowering monologue about being forced to advocate for her own well-being in the face of apathetic medical professionals. It’s a masterfully written scene that conveys the depths of her pain and resilience. The storyline is so poignant that it still hits home decades after it first aired. “As someone struggling with health issues and fighting for a diagnosis, this resonates with me to this day,” wrote Reddit u/illuminaughtyxox. The scene is undoubtedly inspirational, though it might surprise you to learn that this particular plotline was no coincidence.