Nick Davis's affair with Kitty Shea was brief, and he wanted to forget it as soon as possible. Kitty felt differently. The more he pulled away, the harder she held on, which only convinced Nick what a mistake their affair had been. But it wouldn’t be easy to walk away, because Kitty was pregnant. When she told Nick, he realized that if he wasn’t sterile, as he’d believed, he had given up the love of his life for nothing. Nick was through with Kitty, and she was stung by his flagrant rejection.

View Complete Summary for "All My Children" 1973

Meanwhile, convincing herself she could learn to love Paul Martin, Anne married him. His kindhearted plan to raise Nick’s baby as his own proved to her how much he loved her. When she had a miscarriage, Paul gave her the sympathy and support she needed. Paul knew he could never block her thoughts of Nick, but he was steadfast and loyal. Despite her feelings, Anne vowed to make her new marriage work.

When Nick learned of Anne’s pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage, he ran to her. He confessed his love and told her the real reason he’d pressured her to divorce him. Anne was angry at him for his lack of trust in her love and for what it had cost them. But she couldn’t deny she loved him. When they began seeing each other behind Paul’s back, Anne knew her marriage to Paul was doomed. When Kitty realized she was losing Nick, she told Anne she was carrying his baby. This news hurt Anne deeply, but she knew Nick couldn’t walk away from another child, not after he’d missed most of Phillip’s brief life. Anne went to Nick and insisted that he marry Kitty. It was the right thing to do. Nick protested but eventually gave in.

Shortly after the wedding, Kitty had a miscarriage. She slid into a deep depression that prevented Nick from ending this sham of a marriage. The baby had been their only connection. With her low selfesteem and total dependence on Nick, she couldn’t live without him. Kitty attempted suicide, and after failing at it, she lost all sense of reality.

In her delusional state, Kitty was convinced she was still pregnant. Her psychiatrist encouraged Nick to humor her until she could deal with her loss. Nick stood by her while he watched Anne, the woman he loved, make another attempt at her marriage to Paul Martin.

While Kitty wouldn’t accept she was no longer pregnant, Erica Martin was dealing with the fact that she was. Erica begged Doctor Clader not to mention it to her husband, to let her tell him first. A baby was the last thing in the world she and Jeff needed, she rationalized. They barely had enough money for themselves. Jeff was so busy at the hospital that he would have no time for a child anyway. More important, Erica was on the verge of making it as a high-fashion model. Pregnancy would surely put an end to that. And she wasn’t prepared to give a baby the love and attention it needed. The Supreme Court had just declared that women had a constitutional freedom to choose whether or not to have a baby. Erica decided to have an abortion. Because she knew Jeff and his family would never understand her decision, she decided they would never find out.

At the clinic, a doctor explained he would need her husband’s signed consent as well as her own. He wanted to speak to both of them together to describe the procedure and discuss the choice. He wanted them to have time to reevaluate their decision. In her most persuasive manner, Erica explained her husband was a very busy doctor and already knew all about the procedure. She lied when she told the doctor they had discussed the issue. She claimed they had come to the conclusion that having a baby so early in their marriage would not be a wise move for them or for the baby. She promised to have Jeff’s signature on the consent forms when she came back. Returning with the “signed” form, Erica had the abortion without telling her husband. When she was supposed to have a follow-up appointment, Erica had more important things to do. She began to feel ill but chose to ignore it as long as she could. Jeff was sick with worry when she was hospitalized. He blamed himself for not anticipating this collapse from overwork.

Doctor Clader and Joe diagnosed Erica’s condition as an infection resulting from an abortion. It was the first Joe knew that his daughter-inlaw had been pregnant. He felt compelled to tell his son what had happened. Jeff was in shock over what Erica had done. When she recovered, he demanded an explanation. She insisted the abortion was done to preserve their marriage; Jeff exploded. He knew better. She had done it for herself and her precious career. Throughout the ordeal, Mary Kennicott stood by Jeff in silent support. She hated seeing what Erica was putting him through. It was incomprehensible to Mary that Erica could abort Jeff’s baby.

Erica felt abandoned. Nobody was on her side, not even her mother. Mona had been heartsick when it looked as if Erica might die, but she was furious when she learned the truth. Still, Mona knew Erica was too much of a child to become a parent. If anyone could make Jeff listen to reason, it was Mona, and Charles encouraged her to speak to Jeff. Perhaps Mona could help him understand what had motivated Erica to have the abortion. Mona worried that Jeff might never forgive her daughter, but she followed Charles’s advice. She told Jeff she didn’t approve of what her daughter had done or the way she had gone about it, but hoped Jeff would consider Erica’s age. He knew she was young when he married her, and she was likely to make foolish mistakes. Jeff eventually forgave Erica. He had married her, and he still loved her. As he reminded himself of that fact, he wondered how he was going to explain to Mary Kennicott that he was giving Erica a second chance.

There were no second chances for Nick and Kitty. As far as Nick was concerned, their marriage would last only until Kitty got well and not a minute longer. As she began making progress, Nick tried again to pick up with his ex-wife. But Anne Tyler Davis Martin was torn between Nick and her husband, the wonderfully kind and loving Paul.

Then came the best news of Nick Davis’s life: his son Phillip was no longer missing and was coming home from Vietnam. Joe had never been so happy for his wife Ruth. Her tears of joy flowed with many prayers of thanks.

Phil’s only thoughts upon returning home were of Tara. He had dreamed of coming back to Pine Valley, to his mom and Nick and all his friends, but mostly he dreamed of coming back to his bride. Phil’s memory of their candlelight “wedding” in the middle of a snowstorm was all that had sustained him in Vietnam.

Tara’s world was rocked by Phillip’s return. She wanted to run to him, but she couldn’t. She was Chuck’s wife, and to the world Chuck was little Phillip’s father. He was a good father, too, and Tara had grown to love her husband. But in her heart, she knew Phil was the love of her life. While Chuck was delighted over Phil’s miraculous return from the dead, he prayed that his happy home with Tara and their son wouldn’t be destroyed. Ruth, meanwhile, tried to talk with Joe about the unresolved feelings between Phil and Tara. While Joe sympathized with Phil’s unhappiness over Tara’s marriage to Chuck, he felt Phil would have to move on just as Tara had. Feeling deep guilt, Ruth decided not to tell her son he was little Phillip’s father.

Phil was surprised by all the changes in Pine Valley while he was away. One change in particular was his father’s marriage to Kitty Shea, which was nearing its end. When memories of her miscarriage returned, Kitty began to deal with the loss and agreed to a divorce. Without hesitation, Nick turned to Anne, who had since grown to care deeply for her husband Paul. She loved them both. When Anne agreed to meet Nick in New York City, he was certain he would be her choice. But Anne chose Paul, and Nick was brokenhearted.

Driving her back to Pine Valley in a blinding snowstorm, Nick was quiet, sullen, preoccupied with thoughts of losing Anne rather than the icy road they were on. The car skidded and they crashed. Nick suffered a scratch or two, but Anne was critically injured. Paul rushed to the hospital to be with his wife, as did her parents, Charles and Phoebe. While they all waited for Anne to rally, the others wondered what Anne was doing on the road with Nick Davis in the middle of a snowstorm. With their eyes coldly upon him, Nick admitted Anne had considered divorcing Paul to remarry him, and that she’d made her decision.

But Nick didn’t tell them what her decision was. He knew they assumed Anne had chosen him. Nick saw the betrayed look on Paul’s face. Nick knew exactly how Paul felt but he didn’t care. After her recovery, Anne was confused by Paul’s coldness. After all, he surely knew how much she loved him. Feeling rejected, Paul had stopped listening to Anne. Heartbroken, she slipped quietly out of the hospital and disappeared from Pine Valley.

No one was happier to leave Pine Valley than Erica, and her trips to New York City became more frequent. She found the city intoxicating. She loved modeling and the attention her boss Jason Maxwell showered on her. While she had never lacked for male attention, Jason was different. He was older and more sophisticated than the “boys” back home. Even her husband Jeff seemed so young in comparison. Erica enjoyed her time with Jason and kept him dangling, always promising him a little more than she intended to deliver. It amused him that she thought she could manipulate him.

Playing her game was fun, but Jason held all the cards. When he tired of her teasing, he’d hold back an assignment or two. When it was clear who was in control, Erica would wind up in his bed. In the meantime, if Erica was unavailable, he had other models to amuse him. Of course, there was always Margo Flax, the old flame who watched and waited for Jason to call on her again. The more Erica saw of Jason in New York City, the less interested she was in being Jeff Martin’s wife. Although she flared with jealousy whenever Jeff mentioned his favorite nurse, Mary Kennicott, Erica finally convinced herself she and Jason were in love. After months of arguing with Erica over both Jason and her career, Jeff stopped caring.

He had grown even closer to Mary while the two of them administered to a little boy who had been hospitalized after his parents had abandoned him. Ten-year-old Tad Gardner charmed everyone at Pine Valley Hospital, and no one could believe Tad’s father had just pushed him out of a car and driven off. As Tad cried out for his mother and his little sister Jenny, Mary and Jeff’s hearts went out to him. While every attempt to find Tad’s mother and sister failed, Joe and Ruth helped Jeff and Mary care for Tad.

Jeff barely remembered that he had a wife. When Erica finally told him she wanted a divorce, he didn’t fight her. He had begun to wonder if he’d ever loved Erica. What he'd come to feel for Mary seemed so much more real. Erica had flattered and built up his male ego, but Mary had entered his soul, and he loved her deeply. When she told him she felt the same way, he welcomed the divorce.

Mona was terrified Erica was falling under the spell of the despicable Jason Maxwell. As always, her daughter turned a deaf ear to her warning. Even Margo Flax tried to warn Erica that Jason was only toying with her. Erica thought she knew better and pursued him in earnest. To make it more interesting, she led Jason to believe that her husband Jeff was very jealous of him.

Jason traveled to Pine valley to set things straight with Jeff. From his room at the Valley Inn, he phoned Jeff to come over and waited for him. Jeff wondered what business Jason had with him. He'd already agreed to give Erica a divorce. When he arrived at Jason’s door and knocked, there was no answer. He knocked again. Still no response. Testing the knob, Jeff found the door unlocked. He walked in to find Jason Maxwell on the floor, dead from a bullet wound. Jeff was arrested fpr murder.

Source: All My Children: The Complete Family Scrapbook

1973 Episodes / Clips: