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Season 8

8.01 The Reincarnation Of Nellie: Part I  (160)

8.02 The Reincarnation Of Nellie: Part II  (161)

8.03 Growin' Pains  (162)

8.04 Dark Sage  (163)

8.05 A Wiser Heart  (164)

8.06 Gambini, The Great  (165)

8.07 The Legend Of Black Jake  (166)

8.08 Chicago  (167)

8.09 For The Love Of Nancy  (168)

8.10 Wave Of The Future  (169)

8.11 A Christmas They Never Forgot  (170)

8.12 No Beast So Fierce  (171)

8.13 Stone Soup  (172)

8.14 The Legacy  (173)

8.15 Uncle Jed  (174)

8.16 Second Chance  (175)

8.17 Days Of Sunshine, Days Of Shadow: Part I  (176 - 1½ hours)

8.18 Days Of Sunshine, Days Of Shadow: Part II  (177)

8.19 A Promise To Keep  (178)

8.20 A Faraway Cry  (179)

8.21 He Was Only Twelve: Part I  (180)

8.22 He Was Only Twelve: Part II  (181)

Season 8 DVD cover

Starring: Michael Landon (1-4,6-8,10-221), Karen Grassle (1-4,6-8,10-221), Melissa Gilbert (1-9,11-13,142,15-19,223,1), Lindsay Sidney Greenbush4 (1-4,55,6,9-19,21,221). Executive Producer: Michael Landon. Produced by Kent McCray (1-9,11-22), [no Producer credit] (10). Developed for Television by Blanche Hanalis. Based Upon the "Little House" Series of Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Katherine MacGregor6 (Mrs. Oleson 1-4,6,7,9,10,13,142,15-17,207), Richard Bull (Mr. Oleson 1,2,4,6-10,13,142,15,16,19,22), Dean Butler (Almanzo Wilder 1-5,7,8,10-13,142,15-19,22), Jonathan Gilbert8 (Willie Oleson 1-4,55,6,7,9,10,12,13,142,15,16), Allison Balson (Nancy 1,2,39,4,55,6,7,9,10,12,13,142,15-18), Jason Bateman (James 1-4,55,6,9-19,21,22), Missy Francis10 (Cassandra 1-4,55,6,9-19,21,22), Wendi & Brenda Turnbaugh (Grace 1,3,4,611,10-12,14-19,21,2212), Linwood Boomer (Adam 1,11), Kevin Hagen (Dr. Baker 1,2,4,7,9,13,142,15-20,22), Dabbs Greer (Reverend Alden 4,6,7,1413,15,16,19,22), Ketty Lester (Hester-Sue 1,2,4,10,11,16,19), Matthew Laborteaux (Albert 1-4,55,6,9-19,21,22).

Don Balluck (Executive Story Consultant), Marvin Coil (Associate Producer), Chris Abbott (Story Editor), David Rose (Music 1-21,2214), Ted Voigtländer A.S.C. (Director of Photography 1,2,4,7,9,10,13,15,17,18,20,22), Brianne Murphy A.S.C. (Director of Photography 3,5,6,14,16,19,21), Haskell Boggs A.S.C. (Director of Photography 8), Harry L. Wolf A.S.C. (Director of Photography 11,12), Walter M. Jefferies (Art Director), George Renne (Art Director 8), Jerry Taylor A.C.E. (Editor 1,5,6,9,11,13,15,17,19,21), John Loeffler (Editor 2-4,7,10,12,14,16,18,20,22), Bob Fish (Editor 8), Susan Sukman15 (Casting), Sam Gross (Set Decoration 8), Don Webb (Set Decoration), Miles S. Middough (Production Manager), Ron Martinez (Assistant Director 1,2,4,7,10,12,14,15,17,18,20,22), Reid Rummage (Assistant Director 3,5,6,9,11,13,16,19,21), Ray De Camp (Assistant Director 8), Brad Yacobian (Second Assistant Director 1-7,9-22), Buck Edwards (Second Assistant Director 8), Allan Snyder S.M.A. (Makeup 1-7,9-22), Hank Edds S.M.A. (Makeup 8), Damion (Hair Stylist 1-7,9-22), Darby Hoppin (Hair Stylist 8), Michael Faeth (Men's Costumer 1-7,9-22), Mike Termini (Men's Costumer 8), Linda Taylor (Women's Costumer), Glen Feldman (Property Master 1-7,9-22), Dean Wilson (Property Master 8), Edward P. Ancona (Color Consultant), Ron Housiaux (Key Grip 1-7,9-22), Clarence Tindell (Key Grip 8), Bob Farmer (Gaffer 1-7,9-22), Lon Massey III (Gaffer 8), Kenneth Hunter (Camera Operator 1-7,9-22), Richard L. Cosko S.O.C. (Camera Operator 8), Duane Toler (Script Supervisor 1-7,9-22), Erika Wernher (Script Supervisor 8), Luke Tillman (Special Effects), Vince Gutierrez (Sound Effects Editor), Fred Prior (Music Editor), Kay Suffern (Negative Cutter), Anthony F. Brissinger (Sound Recording 1-7,9-22), Frank Meadows (Sound Recording 8), M. Curtis Price C.A.S. (Sound Recording), Gary Wohlleben / PMS (Production Controller), Photographed with Panavision Equipment®, An NBC Production In Association with Ed Friendly.

Copyright © MCMLXXXI [1981] by National Broadcasting Company, Inc. (1-13)
Copyright © MCMLXXXII [1982] by National Broadcasting Company, Inc. (14-22)

1 Credited across all episodes, but only appears in those indicated.
2 If this artist indeed appears at all in episode 14, it can only be in extreme long-shot during the brief funeral scene.
3 Voice-over only on episode 22.
4 Carrie is played jointly by twin actresses Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush.
5 Only appears very briefly in episode 5, coming out of school.
6 aka Scottie MacGregor.
7 Uncredited on episode 20.
8 Jonathan Gilbert is the brother of Melissa Gilbert (who plays Laura).
9 Only appears with back to camera in episode 3, possibly a double.
10 aka Melissa Francis
11 Only appears with back to camera in episode 6.
12 Credited on episode 2 but does not appear.
13 Voice-over only on episode 14, also possibly in extreme long-shot during the brief funeral scene.
14 David Rose won an Emmy for his music for episode 22.
15 aka Susan McCray.

The Reincarnation Of Nellie: Part I

Episode# 8.01 (160)
Written by Michael Landon
Directed by Michael Landon
Broadcast October 5, 19811, NBC

Guest Stars: Allison Balson (Nancy)2, Ivan Bonar (Mr. Case). Co-Starring: Elizabeth Hoffman (Miss Mason), Melora Hardin (Belinda Stevens), Melissa Sue Anderson (Mary). Featuring: Dan McBride (Customer #2), Richard Armstrong (Customer #1), Gillian Grant (Cindy), Leroy Sweet (Burly Customer).

1 Sources (e.g. IMDb) which list an airdate of September 5, 1981, for this episode would seem to be incorrect.
2 This is the first episode for Allison Balson as Nancy Oleson.

Adam can find no legal work in Walnut Grove, so Mary and he move to New York where Adam joins his late father's law firm. At the Olesons', Nellie and Percival have also moved away and Harriet is feeling depressed. She is inspired to adopt a daughter from the orphanage to replace Nellie. One girl, Nancy, resembles a younger Nellie, so Harriet plumps for her, despite being warned the girl is a problem case. And just like her predecessor, Nancy quickly starts causing trouble at school.

Mary says goodbye to her folks before moving away
Nancy, straight from the orphanage

The Reincarnation Of Nellie: Part II

Episode# 8.02 (161)
Written by Michael Landon
Directed by Michael Landon
Broadcast October 12, 19811, NBC

Guest Stars: Allison Balson (Nancy), Ivan Bonar (Mr. Case). Co-Starring: Susan Bjurman (Mrs. Stevens), Melora Hardin (Belinda Stevens), Lawrence Bame (Mr. Stevens). Featuring: Gillian Grant (Cindy), Shanee Edwards (Mavis).

1 Sources (e.g. IMDb) which list an airdate of September 12, 1981, for this episode would seem to be incorrect.

Nancy tricks Willie into locking a classroom rival in the ice house all night in order to ruin the girl's voice so she is unable to take part in the school pageant. However, Nancy manages to lie her way out of this (and other) mischief, assisted by her doting new mother, Harriet, who constantly sides with her. Eventually, Charles discovers Nancy's history of troublemaking in all the various institutions she has been through. Learning this, Laura determines to teach Nancy a lesson and sets her up to be the victim of the "dunk tank" attraction at the pageant.

Nancy: the reincarnation of Nellie
Wille, Nancy and Albert in the schoolroom

Growin’ Pains

Episode# 8.03 (162)
Written by Larry Bischof
Directed by Maury Dexter
Broadcast October 19, 19811, NBC

Co-Starring: Aaron Fletcher (Mr. Tibbs). Featuring: Tricia Cast (Jenny), Dan McBride (Bixler), Justin Randi (Danny), Larry Moran (Tom), Carl Pitti (Wagon Driver).

1 Sources (e.g. IMDb, Epguides) which list an airdate of October 9, 1981, for this episode would seem to be incorrect.

While playing with Albert's razor, James accidently breaks it. He then steals a new razor from the mercantile to replace it. When his actions are discovered, afraid of the repercussions, the boy runs away from home. Albert goes after him and, attempting to use some reverse psychology, tells him that he too is fed up with the volatile conditions in the cramped Ingalls cabin. During a thunderstorm, the two take refuge in a mansion belonging to a solitary old man who gives them a bed for the night. The loneliness and isolation of the old man makes the boys reconsider their own situation, and they return home the next morning.

James plays at shaving
Albert and James caught in a storm

Dark Sage

Episode# 8.04 (163)
Written by Vince R. Gutierrez
Directed by Maury Dexter
Broadcast October 26, 1981, NBC

Guest Stars: Don Marshall (Caleb Ledoux), Marlene Warfield (Mattie Ledoux), John Shearin (Nathan Sherman), Anne E. Curry (Jenny Sherman), Kevin Hagen (Dr. Baker). Featuring: Ruth Foster (Mrs. Foster).

Caleb Ledoux, a black doctor, arrives in Walnut Grove. He is viewed with suspicion by Dr. Baker and most of the locals. Dr. Baker finds himself unable to recommend Ledoux to the local residents and will only send him out on trivial calls. That is until Baker is unavailable during a complicated childbirth, and Ledoux rises to the occasion by performing an emergency C-section. Nevertheless, Ledoux still feels he will never be accepted by the white community and prepares to leave town. However, at the next church service, Baker publicly declares his support for Ledoux and asks the community to do the same; Ledoux decides to stay.

Dr. Caleb Ledoux, played by Don Marshall
Drs. Ledoux and Baker do not see eye to eye

A Wiser Heart

Episode# 8.05 (164)
Written by Chris Abbott
Directed by Michael Landon
Broadcast November 2, 1981, NBC

Guest Stars: Patrick Collins (Mortimer Carstairs), Joe Lambie (William Woestehoff). Special Guest Star: Lucy Lee Flippin (Eliza Jane Wilder). Co-Starring: Darlene Conley (Mrs. Pierce), Kathryn Fuller (Miss Ott), George O. Petrie (Ralph Waldo Emerson), Leslie Landon1 (Pam). Featuring: Casey Erickson (Delivery Boy), Warner McKay (Ticket Vendor), Frank Kennedy (Conductor), Brett Miller (Waiter), Kaley Ward (Emily). R. Michael Fierro (Student)2, John Richard Petersen (Student)2.

1 Leslie Landon is the daughter of Michael Landon.
2 Uncredited on episode's titles; these entries have been taken from the Internet Movie Database and have not been verified.

Laura travels to Arizona to attend a summer course on Great American Writers alongside her sister-in-law, Eliza Jane. On the train, she meets Mort Carstairs, an unemployed teacher who is going on the same course. Eliza Jane falls for the course tutor, Prof. William Woestehoff. But he is more interested in Laura and threatens to fail her coursework unless she agrees to date him. Imagining Laura's (non-existent) relationship with Woestehoff to be blocking her own way with the man, Eliza Jane stops talking to Laura until the truth is later made clear. At the end of the course, Woestehoff fails Laura, as he threatened, but Mort teaches him a lesson... with his fists. Eliza Jane offers Mort a position at her school, the two having become fond of each other.

Philandering professor, William Woestehoff
Mort Carstairs with Eliza Jane

Gambini, The Great

Episode# 8.06 (165)
Written by Jeri Taylor
Directed by Michael Landon
Broadcast November 9, 1981, NBC

Guest Stars: Jack Kruschen (Gambini), Stephen Manley (Marco), Gloria Manos (Anna Rosa). Co-Starring: Martha Nix (Amy), Robert Torti (Stefano). Featuring: William Keene (Ringmaster), William Forester (Dr. Abbott), Carl Pitti (1st Townsman), Sean McGaughy1 (2nd Townsman).

1 Spelled as "McGaughey" on credits.

The Great Gambini Family Circus comes to Walnut Grove and begins to rehearse for their big show. This inspires the local kids to emulate some of the acts: Albert performs a daring underwater escape, while Willie attempts to recreate "the human cannonball" using a home-made cannon and the family cat. The aging patriarch of the Gambini family has given up performing his most daring stunt – escaping from a burning coffin – after an earlier attempt in which he nearly lost his life. To prove he's still got what it takes, he reinstates the feat for the Walnut Grove performance. Tragically, the stunt goes wrong and The Great Gambini burns to death.

Gambini, The Great
The results of Willie Oleson setting off his home-made cannon

The Legend Of Black Jake

Episode# 8.07 (166)
Written by Chris Abbott
Directed by Michael Landon
Broadcast November 16, 1981, NBC

Guest Stars: Todd Susman (Max), Royce D. Applegate (Georgie). Co-Starring: Sam Edwards (Anderson). Featuring: Gavin Mooney (Policeman), Ruth Foster (Mrs. Foster), Carl Pitti (Townsman).

Nels is kidnapped by two bumbling bandits, but wife Harriet refuses to pay the $100 ransom. Nels is so incensed, he joins the bandits in their scheme to get at Harriet's money. He poses, in head-to-toe disguise, as their mysterious leader, Black Jake, and orders Harriet kidnapped. But Harriet can't hand over the ransom as the money is in the bank... As the trio's scheme spirals and grows more complicated, further townsfolk are abducted: bank manager Bill Anderson, Dr. Baker and Rev. Alden. A rescue is attempted by Charles and Almanzo, but they too are caught. Still without the ransom money, the bandits give up the scheme as a lost cause and release all their victims. Nels reappears at home without anybody being aware of his role as Black Jake.

Max and Georgie: two bumbling crooks
Nels' "ghost" appears to Harriet


Episode# 8.08 (167)
Written by John Hawkins and B. W. Sandefur
Directed by Michael Landon
Broadcast November 23, 1981, NBC

Guest Stars: M. Emmet Walsh (Callihan1), Gene Ross (Drummond), Chez Lister (B. J. Jackson). Special Guest Star: Victor French (Mr. Edwards). Co-Starring: Lillian Adams (Mrs. Baxter), John C. Becher (Mr. Golden), John Lawrence (Schultz), Frances E. Williams (Mrs. Jackson), Ernie Hudson (Thomas). Featuring: June C. Ellis (Mrs. Harris), Terry Burns (Hill), Herb Mitchell (Workman), Chad Cowgill (Boy), Lorinne Vozoff (Nurse), Will MacMillan (Bartender), Tom Klunis (Webster), Lorrie Blore (Nurse Nelson), Ruth Foster (Mrs. Foster), Jack Lilley (Wagon Driver), Michele Jaimene (Girl), Tony Mendia (Paper Boy).

1 This is a misspelling on the credits as the written name is visible in the episode and is spelled "Callahan".

Charles travels to Chicago to console Isaiah Edwards after the death of his adopted son, John Jr., apparently killed in a routine street accident. The pair find John's watch in a pawn shop and realize things are not as straightforward as they seem. With help from John's newspaper boss, Callahan, the watch eventually leads Charles and Isaiah back to a Mr. Drummond, head of Drummond Construction. It becomes clear that John had uncovered a racket between Drummond and a local alderman, and was killed by Drummond to silence him. When confronted with the evidence, Drummond bolts and, ironically, is killed when he falls down a hole in the road dug by his own company.

Helping to find the truth: newspaper editor, Mr. Callahan
Street kid B. J. is confronted with John Jr.'s watch

For The Love Of Nancy

Episode# 8.09 (168)
Written by Chris Abbott
Directed by Maury Dexter
Broadcast November 30, 1981, NBC

Guest Star: J. Brennan Smith (Elmer Miles). Co-Starring: Elizabeth Rogers (Mrs. Miles), Charles Shull (Mr. Miles). Featuring: Michael P. Alan (Joey), Carl Steven (Jess Miles), Carl Pitti (Stage Driver).1

1 Ruth Foster (Mrs. Foster) is credited but does not appear.

An obese boy, Elmer Miles, joins the school and becomes the butt of jokes. He takes a shine to Nancy and she exploits this to get him to carry out her every whim. Willie and Albert play a joke on Nancy to teach her a lesson, but it backfires at Elmer's expense. This is the last straw and the boy "resigns" from school, feeling he has no friends. Willie, Albert, Nancy and the rest of the class all visit Elmer at home to prove otherwise and encourage him back.

Fat boy Elmer Miles joins the school
Elmer takes a like to Nancy

Wave Of The Future

Episode# 8.10 (169)
Written by Jeri Taylor
Directed by Maury Dexter
Broadcast December 7, 1981, NBC

Guest Star: Laurie Main (Major Guffey). Co-Starring: Roger Bowen (Advertising Man), Margaret Wheeler (Lady), John A. Roberts (Bearded Man). Featuring: Elmore Vincent (Ernest), Anita Keith (Mrs. Matlock), Phil Chambers (Mr. Matlock), Mona Bruns (Customer), Dan McBride (Taylor), Ruth Foster (Mrs. Foster), David Carlile (Photographer), Carl Pitti (Driver), Clyde Harper (Customer).

Everybody is rushed off their feet at Nellie's Restaurant, so Harriet buys a franchise to become a branch of Mrs. Sullivan's Kitchen, with the aim of streamlining the business. Unfortunately, adhering to the conditions in the contract results in the restaurant actually becoming busier. At home, Charles and Nels are fed up of cooking for their families due to the long hours their wives are working, so they temporarily start their own eatery which undercuts Harriet's and steals her business. This leads to the franchise being revoked.

The new branch of Mrs. Sullivan's Kitchen
Caroline, Hester-Sue and Harriet in their new uniforms

A Christmas They Never Forgot

Episode# 8.11 (170)1
Written by Don Balluck
Directed by Michael Landon
Broadcast December 21, 1981, NBC

Guest Stars: Newell Alexander (Mr. Holbrook), Tom Lester (Mr. Wilder). Co-Starring: Eddy C. Dyer (Poppa Terhune), Helbi Ziroe (Momma Terhune), Alene Wilson (Young Hester-Sue), Don Dubbins (Master Hayes), Holly Villaire (Charlotte Holbrook), Melissa Sue Anderson (Mary)1. Featuring: Maggie Gwinn (Mrs. Wilder), Jerry Supiran (Young Almanzo), Kathy Pazoff (Young Eliza Jane), Rebecca Wolfe (Young Alice), Dago Dimster (Young Royal), Sheri Strahl (Young Caroline), Vernon Barnwell (Boy #1), Rodney Booker (Boy #2), Kathleen MacNaughton (Emily), Oliver Aubrey (Santa Claus). Elisha Rapson (Student)2.3

1 This is the last episode for Melissa Sue Anderson as Mary Ingalls/Kendall and Linwood Boomer as Adam Kendall.
2 Uncredited on episode's titles; this entry has been taken from the Internet Movie Database and has not been verified.
3 Victor French (Mr. Edwards) is credited but only appears in footage from the Little House On The Prairie pilot movie, a lengthy section from which forms the Laura's story part of this episode.

Almanzo and Laura, Adam and Mary, and Hester-Sue all join the Ingalls at their cabin for a Christmas meal and some music. They find themselves snowed in, and Caroline, Almanzo, Laura and Hester-Sue all relate stories of their childhood Christmases to pass the night. By morning, the cabin is buried by snow right up to the second floor!

Hester-Sue sings a song
The Ingalls' home is buried in snow

No Beast So Fierce

Episode# 8.12 (171)
Written by Carole and Michael Raschella
Directed by Michael Landon
Broadcast January 4, 1982, NBC

Guest Stars: Peter Billingsley (Gideon), Dennis Howard (Braden Hale). Co-Starring: Jennifer Rhodes (Mrs. Hale), Robert Boon (Sven), Bob Hoy (Morgan). Featuring: Jerry Wills (Sticks), John J. Fox (Bartender), Wayne Hall (Jed), Lori Sparling (Hildy).

A new boy, Gideon, starts at school, but his stutter is mocked by his fellow pupils. Although James befriends Gideon, he also makes fun of the boy in an unguarded moment, and Gideon, feeling betrayed, runs away from home. Later, Charles and James travel to Minneapolis to deliver some furniture. They are followed all along the way by a stray dog, which defends the pair against an attack by thieves and, later, by a bear. Back in Walnut Grove, Caroline has found Gideon and persuades him to return home. James gives the dog to Gideon as a peace offering.

Gideon and James in school
James with the guardian dog

Stone Soup

Episode# 8.13 (172)
Written by Peter Dixon
Directed by Maury Dexter
Broadcast January 18, 1982, NBC

Co-Starring: John Miranda (Farmer #1). Featuring: Donald Elson (Farmer #2), Brandon Goldstein (Jimmy), Ruth Foster (Mrs. Foster), Dick Lilley (Townsperson).

It is the middle of a heat wave in Walnut grove, and Almanzo and Laura have just planted a new orchard. Then, Almanzo and Charles are called away on a job, leaving the pregnant Laura to tend the saplings on her own. The hard work eventually takes its toll on Laura and she collapses with heat exhaustion. In school, Caroline (acting as substitute teacher) tells a story, "Stone Soup", which inspires the kids to rally to Laura's aid.

Laura hard at work watering the trees
Laura recovering from heatstroke

The Legacy

Episode# 8.14 (173)
Written by Vince R. Gutierrez
Directed by Michael Landon
Broadcast January 25, 1982, NBC

Guest Stars: Claude Earl Jones (Jack Prescott), Robert Boon (Sven Johanssen). Co-Starring: J. S. (Joe) Young (Uriah Cooper), Pamela Murphy (Linda Martin), Ken Smolka (Bob Martin), June Whitley Taylor (Dolphia Prescott), Paul Larson (Addison Fisk), Pitt Herbert (Taylor). Featuring: Kurt Smildsin (Josh Bennett), William Patrick O'Hagan (Marvin), Wade Wallace (Matthew Prescott), Pat Destro (Sara Prescott), M. K. Lewis1 (Hastings), George Barclay (Auctioneer), Maggie Brown (Birdie Bennett).

1 aka Maurice Kowalewski.

Charles is selling some of his home-made tables through a store in Minneapolis on a casual basis. Sales are good, so Charles moves to the city to work full-time on production with a view to moving his whole family there if the pilot venture proves successful. However, a bigger outfit copies his design and undercuts him. Sales evaporate and Charles is forced to return home to Walnut Grove. A hundred years later at an auction, a couple buy an old table with a "C.I." monogram and wonder about the man who made it all those years ago.

Charles' monogram on one of his tables
Undercutter, Mr. Addison Fisk

Uncle Jed

Episode# 8.15 (174)
Written by Don Balluck
Directed by Maury Dexter
Broadcast February 1, 1982, NBC

Special Guest Star: E. J. André (Uncle Jed). Co-Starring: Wiley Harker (Judge Barrow), Claude Woolman (Philip Loring). Featuring: Carl Pitti (Stage Driver).

James and Cassandra's prosperous great-uncle Jed comes to visit and invites the two kids to come back and live with him in Minneapolis and enjoy all the trappings that go with wealth. After much deliberation, James and Cassandra decide to stay with the Ingalls. Jed then launches a court case for their custody, which he wins. Meanwhile, Dr. Baker diagnoses Jed's persistent cough as consumption and tells him he will die unless he moves to warmer climes. Given the circumstances, the old man gives up his claim on the children.

Great-Uncle Jed
Jed in court fights for Cassandra and James

Second Chance

Episode# 8.16 (175)
Written by Don Balluck
Directed by Maury Dexter
Broadcast February 8, 1982, NBC

Guest Stars: J. A. Preston (Sam Terhune), Ketty Lester (Hester-Sue). Co-Starring: Marguerite DeLain (Naomi Terhune), William Edward Phipps (Hicks), Jack Perkins (Bartender). Featuring: Norman Rice (Croupier), Ruth Foster (Mrs. Foster), Dan McBride (Customer), Lexie Neal (Saloon Girl), Richard Lilley (Townsman).

Hester-Sue's ex-husband, Sam Terhune, comes to town claiming he has long kicked his drinking and gambling habits. Hester-Sue realizes it was her residual love for Sam that prevented her from marrying Joe Kagan. She and Sam grow close all over again and make arrangements to remarry. On the wedding day, a woman arrives in Walnut Grove and introduces herself as Sam's current wife, complete with two children! It turns out that Sam left her just two months before, having spent everything they had on drink and gambling, and is still married. Hester-Sue and Sam part company but remain on amicable terms.

Sam Terhune and Hester-Sue
Sam and Hester-Sue share a tender moment

Days Of Sunshine, Days Of Shadow: Part I

Episode# 8.17 (176) – 1½ hours
Written by Don Balluck
Directed by Michael Landon
Broadcast February 15, 1982, NBC

Guest Star: Dean Butler (Almanzo Wilder). Special Guest Star: Lucy Lee Flippin (Eliza Jane Wilder). Co-Starring: Eddie Quillan (Old Timer), Sam Edwards (Mr. Anderson). Featuring: Bill McLennan (Mr. Walsh), Ruth Foster (Mrs. Foster).

While weak from a bout of diphtheria, Almanzo makes a futile effort to save his crops from a hailstorm, and suffers a stroke. He and Laura now cannot afford to pay their mortgage, so Charles takes on a job out of town to help out. Meanwhile, Almanzo's sister, Eliza Jane, comes over to stay and act as nurse. She plans for Almanzo and Laura to move back to Minneapolis with her, and starts looking for a desk job there for Almanzo. This brings her info conflict with Laura who wants to stay in Walnut Grove. With others planning and doing everything for him, a sulky Almanzo loses the will to get better. In the middle of all this, Laura gives birth to her baby – a little girl named Rose.

Almanzo can't be bothered to try to walk again
Laura seeks divine guidance

Days Of Sunshine, Days Of Shadow: Part II

Episode# 8.18 (177)
Written by Chris Abbott
Directed by Michael Landon
Broadcast February 22, 1982, NBC

Guest Star: Dean Butler (Almanzo Wilder). Special Guest Star: Lucy Lee Flippin (Eliza Jane Wilder)1. Co-Starring: Dee Croxton (Mrs. Jackson). Featuring: Nathan Adler (Mr. Jackson), Ruth Foster (Mrs. Foster).

1 This is the last episode for Lucy Lee Flippin as Eliza Jane Wilder.

A tornado wrecks Almanzo and Laura's house, so they move in with the Ingalls. This setback finally motivates Almanzo to make some effort to fight his stroke and get out of his wheelchair. With Charles' help, he begins to learn how to walk again and starts secretly building a new house. Laura is delighted with the results when they are presented to her. Eliza Jane, having found Almanzo a desk job in Minneapolis, is initially angry when Almanzo says he won't be moving back with her, but she later realizes she wanted him back for mainly selfish reasons.

A tornado heads towards Laura and Almanzo's farm
The aftermath of the tornado

A Promise To Keep

Episode# 8.19 (178)
Written by Vince R. Gutierrez
Directed by Michael Landon
Broadcast March 1, 1982, NBC

Guest Stars: Corinne Michaels1 (Grace Edwards), Kyle Richards (Alicia Edwards)2, David R. Kaufman (Carl Edwards). Special Guest Star: Victor French (Isaiah Edwards). Co-Starring: Charles W. Young (Cowboy), Jack Perkins (Barkeep). Featuring: Duane Tucker (Workman), Ruth Foster (Mrs. Foster), Richard Lilley (Man #1), Hal Burton (Driver). Jennifer Steffin (Rose Wilder)3, Michelle Steffin (Rose Wilder)3.

1 aka Corinne Camacho.
2 This is the last episode for Kyle Richards as Alicia Edwards.
3 Uncredited on episode's titles; these entries have been taken from the Internet Movie Database and have not been verified.

Grace Edwards is fed up with her husband Isaiah's drinking and kicks him out. He goes to live in Walnut Grove and Charles gives him a job at the mill. However, on a trip to Sleepy Eye, Isaiah's drunkenness causes an accident which almost leads to Albert being crippled. Charles angrily tells Isaiah to keep clear of his family, and Isaiah heads out of town. However, Laura takes pity on the man, takes him to her home and there helps him kick the bottle. Charles and Isaiah eventually make up, though Grace writes indicating she intends to divorce Isaiah.

Grace Edwards mark II
Mr. Edwards wrestles with the demon drink

A Faraway Cry

Episode# 8.20 (179)
Teleplay by Don Balluck, story by Pamela Balluck and Don Balluck
Directed by Maury Dexter
Broadcast March 8, 1982, NBC

Guest Stars: Brion James (Amos), Ruth Silveira (Louisa Beckwith), Calvin Bartlett (Horace Beckwith), James Griffith (Preacher Bob), Dennis Lipscomb (Sherman Andruss), Betty McGuire (Nora Cramer). Co-Starring: Judith Weston (Helen Andruss), Linda Hoy (Katherine), Tom Pletts (Arnie Cramer), Eric Milota (Jeffrey). Featuring: Jack Stryker (1st Man), Tom Rosqui (2nd Man), Will MacMillan (3rd Man), Alex Sharp (Andy), Barbara Beaman (Woman), Lila Waters (Another Woman).

Caroline receives a letter from a childhood friend, Louisa, asking for medical assistance to fight an outbreak of fever in a gold-prospecting camp. She and Dr. Baker travel to the camp, where the doctor tends the fever-struck. Meanwhile, the pregnant and delirious Louisa is nursed by Caroline in lieu of Louisa's uncaring husband. Caroline also cares for another woman, Helen, who is expecting a child at the same time. A few weeks later, Louisa produces a healthy baby, though sadly dies in childbirth. When Helen's baby is stillborn, Caroline and Dr. Baker secretly give Louisa's baby to Helen pretending that it is her own. With the fever now cured, the grateful residents give Dr. Baker as much gold as they can spare.

Caroline brandishes a torch at night
Caroline with Louisa's baby

He Was Only Twelve: Part I

Episode# 8.21 (180)
Written by Paul W. Cooper
Directed by Michael Landon
Broadcast May 3, 1982, NBC

Guest Stars: Chris Hendrie (Coy), John Dennis Johnston (Lawrence), Tom Roy Lowe (Leon), Bill Vint (Escal), R. D. Call (Dwayne). Special Guest Star: Victor French (Isaiah Edwards). Co-Starring: Hal Smith (Trumble), Doug McGrath (Harkness), Lionel Decker (Doctor), Robert Telford (Gun Proprietor), Sam Theard (Spo-De-Odee) (Swamper). Featuring: Eldon Quick (Teller), Nancy Berggren (Aggie), A. Paul Smith (Bartender), John Kelly (Sheriff), Georg Olden (Danny).

While opening a bank account in Sleepy Eye, James is caught up in the middle of a bank robbery and is shot and critically wounded. Charles, Albert and Isaiah Edwards set out to find the five men responsible. A box of matches, found on one of the robbers who has died from gunshot wounds, leads to two more of the men, who are found drinking in a saloon in Hobbs. These in turn lead them to the final two villains, who are hiding in the forsaken town of Sulphur.

Albert, Charles and Isaiah on the hunt for the robbers
One of the outlaws holds Charles at gunpoint

He Was Only Twelve: Part II

Episode# 8.22 (181)1,2,3,4,5
Written by Michael Landon6
Directed by Michael Landon
Broadcast May 10, 1982, NBC

Guest Stars: Don Beddoe (Old Man), Martin Rudy (Dr. Stanfill). Special Guest Star: Victor French (Isaiah Edwards).

1 This is the last regular episode for Karen Grassle as Caroline Ingalls, but she would return for The Last Farewell telemovie in "Season 10".
2 This is the last episode for the Greenbush twins as Carrie Ingalls.
3 This is the last regular episode for Matthew Laborteaux as Albert, but he would return for Home Again in Season 9, and the Look Back to Yesterday telemovie in "Season 10".
4 This is the last episode for Jason Bateman as James Cooper and Missy Francis as Cassandra Cooper.
5 David Rose won an Emmy for his music for this episode.
6 Sources (e.g. IMDb) which list Paul W. Cooper as the writer of this episode would seem to be incorrect.

James hovers between life and death following his gunshot wound. Charles becomes obsessed with seeking a divine intervention to the boy's condition, and he takes the comatose James away into the remote country and builds a shelter and a stone "altar". After many days of prayer, an ethereal old man appears and portends the appearance of a blue light which comes down from heaven and bathes James in energy; the boy is cured.

Dr. Baker examines the comatose James
Charles and James wait for a miracle
The Man From Above
Cured in a blue flash of light
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