Dr. John Stephens
Jim Reardon's return to Springfield was shrouded in secrecy. Masquerading as his deceased friend, Dr. John Stephens, he started working at Cedars Hospital for the Spaulding pharmaceutical division. Jim had assisted Dr. Stephens in San Rios and before Stephens died, he told Jim to take his identity because the Spauldings might cease to fund their research if they learned that Stephens was dead. After the doctor died, a medicine man (Zamana) gave Jim an ancient necklace with a heavy talisman. Later, in Springfield, Jim met Nurse Hillary Bauer and the pair became involved. Still disguising his identity, Jim asked his brother-in-law Quint Chamberlain (an archeologist) to look at the ancient necklace that could contain a crucial clue to his search for a cure for the dreaded Dreaming Death disease. Quint took the necklace back to his lab for tests but hospital administrator, Warren Andrews, overhead the conversation and realized that Jim would make a fortune if he discovered the cure for the Xtabay virus. Warren confronted Jim about the significance of the necklace but Jim denied everything. Warren then went to the wealthy Alan Spaulding to become partners but Alan refused. Later, Warren went to the Chamberlain house, distracted Henry and Quint, and stole the necklace. When he learned that the necklace was gone, Jim felt as if all hope was gone but, Zamana, a medicine man from San Rios, reassured Jim that the necklace would do good, only if it was used for good. Meanwhile, Jim decided to go back to San Rios. Hillary broke up with Jim. But then she changed her mind and went to the airport but his plane had already taken off. Hillary set out to San Rios to meet Jim, not knowing that he changed his mind and decided to stay in town. At Cedars,
Jim kept narrowly missing Cedars vice administrator, Maureen Reardon Bauer, Chief of Staff Ed Bauer's wife, and Jim’s sister. When the pair finally came face to face Maureen, was shocked to see that Dr. Stephens was actually her older brother, Jim! Earlier, their younger brother, Tony, had collapsed at a party and Jim was forced to reveal himself in order to come to Tony’s aid. Jim rightly suspected that Tony had a brain tumor, which was later removed through risky surgery. Meanwhile, one day, an accident occurred at Jim’s lab and a test rat escaped. The infected rat bit Warren’s wife, Lesley Ann. Not long after, a penitent and guilty and very upset Warren returned the necklace to Jim in hopes that Jim could save Lesley Ann. Jim locked himself in his lab to do research. Meanwhile, Dr. Claire Ramsey volunteered to help Jim in the lab. Quint examined the necklace and found a secret compartment that contained some white powder - the root of an ocean herb. This could be the answer to the cure. Jim went back to the lab. Meanwhile, Hillary became ill in San Rios. Desperate, Jim injected himself with the virus and used the antidote made from the ocean herb. Luckily, it worked! Thanks to reporter Fletcher Reade, Hillary was smuggled into the States. In Springfield, Jim’s cure saved Hillary but too late for Lesley Ann - she died.
Almost losing Hillary made Jim see how important she was to him and he proposed marriage. Around this time, Tony and his new wife, Annabelle moved into a cottage that was sold to them by Piper Realty. Unbeknownst to Tony and Annabelle, the owner of Piper Realty, Susan Piper, did not want the cottage sold to anyone, because of the house's secret and because Susan's mysterious anonymous benefactor had told her not to sell it.Soon after they moved in, Annabelle began having psychic visions and started to feel cold spots in the house. She told Tony she thought the cottage was haunted. Tony just thought his new wife was nuts but, Jim believed Annabelle's tales. Jim and Annabelle began a close friendship that left Tony feeling excluded and angry. Soon, Jim Hillary, as well as Claire and journalist Fletcher Reade were caught up in the investigation of the cottage. They were particularly struck by a picture of a woman, whom an elderly librarian, Miss Emma Witherspoon, identified as Victoria. The librarian added that the dress Victoria was wearing in a portrait at the cottage was the same one Victoria had worn some 40 years earlier at a Founders' Day Picnic. Then things got really bizarre. Annabelle started having dreams about a black man and a little girl who were screaming and te painting started to cry real tears. Annabelle and her friends found secret rooms hidden behind paneling and strange Caribbean voodoo artifacts. Soon, Annabelle had more bizarre dreams about a young black woman named, Sharina Tamerlaine. Later, Miss Emma was brutally assaulted by Jim Young, a lover and henchman working for Susan Piper. On her deathbed, Miss Emma eerily posed a riddle, "What's thicker than water and runs uphill, straight to the heart of a rich man's well?" Shortly thereafter, Hillary was staring out the front window of the cottage, thinking, when she saw the Spaulding mansion on Skyline Drive and figured out the answer to the riddle -- only to have a music box sent to the Reardons by Susan Piper blow up in her face, killing her instantly! For a while, Jim couldn't work through his grief over Hillary, until Annabelle seemed to be able to comfort him, making Tony even more jealous. Eventually, Jim and Fletcher were able to work through their grief and investigated to find that Alan Spaulding had been born on Founder's Day, and that Victoria was Alan and Alexandra Spaulding’s half-sister.
The situation grew more dangerous as Annabelle explored a secret passageway, where she found a skeleton clinging to a doll! Later, Quinton discovered that Brandon Spaulding's shipping business had been based in Barbados, where Susan Piper had connections. Meanwhile, Annabelle discovered in the doll some hidden papers that had writings about Sharina and Victoria. .Annabelle convinced Jim, Fletcher, Claire and, even Tony, to go to Barbados to finish the investigation. Unfortunately, they were followed by the chain smoking, Susan Piper and her henchman/lover John Young. Susan set Fletcher and Claire adrift in a boat in the middle of a storm, but they survived after several harrowing nights. Piper kidnapped and tied up Jim and Annabelle and tried to drown then in quicksand. Fortunately, Tony came and rescued them! Susan Piper followed, by John Young, tried to chase them all around the island with a gun but ended up falling to her presumed death into a lava pit! Fletcher then ended up calling Alex to come down to Barbados, where Fletcher, Claire, Annabelle, Jim, Tony and John Young would have a huge surprise for Alex! It was then revealed that Susan Piper had wanted the cottage so she could sell it to the Spaulding family for millions. The mystery ended with the revelation that the apparetnly deceased fBrandon Spaulding was very much alive!
Brandon explained that he had an affair with Sharina, and they had a child, Victoria. Knowing that society would never accept their mixed-race marriage, Brandon planned to move Sharina and Victoria from the cottage to Barbados. But Brandon's wife, Penelope Spaulding found out about the affair, and came to the cottage with a gun. Penelope had just given birth to her second child, Alan, and she was very weak. Penelope tried to shoot Sharina, but Sharina's brother Conrad Tamerlaine took the bullet as little Victoria screamed. Conrad died on the floor of the cottage, while Penelope collapsed after the shooting and died shortly thereafter. Brandon whisked Sharina and Victoria away to Barbados, promising to join them when he could. Later, when Lucille Wexler tried to kill him in his nursing home, he faked his own death. He later hired Susan Piper to look after the cottage. After the bizarre nightmarish events in Barbados and Brandon's confession, Annabelle, Tony, Jim, Claire, Fletcher and Alex went back to Springfield to go on with their lives. In town, Jim thought about making a play for Annabelle, but decided not out of respect for his brother. Jim soon began a relationship with Claire, however, it soon became apparent that she had unresolved feelings for Fletcher so Jim bowed at. Soon after, Jim left Springfield to conduct research at a think tank in Aspen.
In 1993, the entire Reardon family returned to Springfield to attend Maureen's funeral. After the funeral, instead of going to Ed Bauer's, they gathered at their old home, the Reardon Boarding house.