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Season 6

6.01 Back To School: Part I  (114)

6.02 Back To School: Part II  (115)

6.03 The Family Tree  (116)

6.04 The Third Miracle  (117)

6.05 Annabelle  (118)

6.06 The Preacher Takes A Wife  (119)

6.07 The Halloween Dream  (120)

6.08 The Return Of Mr. Edwards  (121)

6.09 The King Is Dead  (122)

6.10 The Little House Years  (123 - 3‑hour special)

6.11 The Faith Healer  (124)

6.12 Author! Author!  (125)

6.13 Crossed Connections  (126)

6.14 The Angry Heart  (127)

6.15 The Werewolf Of Walnut Grove  (128)

6.16 Whatever Happened To The Class Of '56  (129)

6.17 Darkness Is My Friend  (130)

6.18 Silent Promises  (131)

6.19 May We Make Them Proud  (132 - 2 hours)

6.20 Wilder And Wilder  (133)

6.21 Second Spring  (134)

6.22 Sweet Sixteen  (135)

6.23 He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not: Part I  (136)

6.24 He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not: Part II  (137)

Season 6 DVD cover

Starring: Michael Landon, Karen Grassle (1-8,10-241), Melissa Gilbert (1-8,10-241), Melissa Sue Anderson (3-6,8,10,12,17,19,22-241), Lindsay Sidney Greenbush2 (1-7,10-12,14-241). Executive Producer: Michael Landon. Produced by Kent McCray (1,2,4,6-11,13,16-20,22-24), William F. Claxton (3,5,12,14,15,21). Developed for Television by Blanche Hanalis. Based Upon the "Little House" Series of Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Richard Bull (Mr. Oleson 1,3,5,6,9,11-15,17-243,4), Katherine MacGregor5 (Mrs. Oleson 1-6,9,11-244), Alison Arngrim (Nellie Oleson 1-6,11-15,17,19-21,23,244), Jonathan Gilbert6 (Willie Oleson 1-3,5-7,11,14,15,18-244), Merlin Olsen (Jonathan Garvey 1,2,4-7,9,11,13,16,19,20,23), Hersha Parady (Alice Garvey 5,6,9,11,13,19), Patrick Laborteaux7 (Andy Garvey 1-3,5,6,9,11,13,15,18-20,22,248), Matthew Laborteaux7 (Albert 1-7,9-24), Kevin Hagen (Dr. Baker 1,4,69,11-13,15,17-20,23,244), Dabbs Greer (Reverend Alden 6,11,12,14,19,204), Linwood Boomer (Adam 4-6,8,10,12,17,19,22-24), Dean Butler (Almanzo Wilder 1,2,5,11,14,15,18,20,22-24), Lucy Lee Flippin (Eliza Jane Wilder 1-3,5,11,12,14,15,18-20,22).

John T. Dugan (Executive Story Consultant), David Rose (Music), Kent McCray (Associate Producer 3,5,12,14,15,21), Ted Voigtländer A.S.C. (Director of Photography 1-3,8-10,13,14,17,19,21,23), Haskell Boggs A.S.C. (Director of Photography 4-7,11,12,15,16,18,20,22,24), Walter M. Jefferies (Art Director), John Loeffler (Editor 1,2,16,18,20,22,24), Clay Bartels (Editor 3,5,9,13,14), Jerry Taylor A.C.E. (Editor 4,6-8,11,12,15,17,19,21,23), Don Webb (Set Decoration), Miles S. Middough (Assistant Director 1-3,8,9,13-15,17,19,21,23), Maury Dexter (Assistant Director 4,5,7,12,16,22,24), Reid Rummage (Assistant Director 6,11,18,20), Susan Sukman10 (Casting), Marvin Coil A.C.E. (Supervising Editor), Allan Snyder S.M.A. (Makeup), Larry Germain C.H.S. (Hair Stylist), Mike Termini (Men's Costumer), Richalene Kelsay (Women's Costumer), Dean Wilson (Property Master), Edward P. Ancona (Color Consultant), Ron Cardarelli (Key Grip 1-9,11-14), Ron Housiaux (Key Grip 15-24), Lon Massey III (Gaffer), Kenneth Hunter (Camera Operator), Erika Wernher (Script Supervisor), Reid Rummage (Second Assistant Director 1-5,7-9,12,14-16,21-24), John C. Breschard (Second Assistant Director 6), James B. Greer (Second Assistant Director 11,13,17-20), Vince Gutierrez (Sound Effects Editor), Fred Prior (Music Editor), Kay Suffern (Negative Cutter), Frank Meadows (Sound Recording), M. Curtis Price C.A.S. (Sound Recording 7,9,11,12,14-24), Gary Wohlleben / PMS (Production Controller), Photographed with Panavision Equipment®, An NBC Production In Association with Ed Friendly.

Interiors shot at MGM Studios, Culver City (now Sony Pictures Studios).

Copyright © MCMLXXIX [1979] by National Broadcasting Company, Inc. (1-16)
Copyright © MCMLXXX [1980] by National Broadcasting Company, Inc. (17-24)

1 Credited across all episodes, but only appears in those indicated.
2 Carrie is played jointly by twin actresses Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush.
3 Credited for episode 2 but only appears in the reprise from the first episode.
4 Credited for episode 10 but only appears in old footage.
5 aka Scottie MacGregor.
6 Jonathan Gilbert is the brother of Melissa Gilbert (who plays Laura).
7 Matthew and Patrick Laborteaux are brothers.
8 Only appears briefly in episode 24, back to camera.
9 Uncredited on episode 6.
10 aka Susan McCray.

Overall Nielsen rating for season: 21.8 (16th).

Back To School (Part I)

Newspaper listingEpisode# 6.01 (114)
Written by Michael Landon
Directed by Michael Landon
Broadcast September 17, 1979, NBC / Production #6001

Guest Stars: Dean Butler (Almanzo Wilder)1, Lucy Lee Flippin (Eliza Jane Wilder)1, Katherine MacGregor2 (Mrs. Oleson), Alison Arngrim (Nellie Oleson). Featuring: Dan McBride (Customer #1), David Murdock (Customer #2), Sunshine Parker (Workman), Rod McGaughy (Jack). Maggie Munro (Student)3, Brenda Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)3, Wendi Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)3.

1 This is the first episode for Dean Butler as Almanzo Wilder, and Lucy Lee Flippin as Eliza Jane Wilder.
2 aka Scottie MacGregor.
3 Uncredited on episode's titles; these entries have been taken from the Internet Movie Database and have not been verified.

Mr. and Mrs. Oleson give their daughter Nellie her own restaurant-cum-hotel. But Nellie is incompetent in the kitchen, so Caroline Ingalls takes on the job of cook. Meanwhile, a new teacher, Miss Wilder, starts at the school. Laura is immediately smitten when she meets Miss Wilder's brother, Almanzo, a man several years her senior. At Mrs. Oleson's invitation, Almanzo reluctantly agrees to a dinner date with Nellie, but Laura has mischievously laced the food with a liberal dose of cayenne pepper!

Whenever I watch Eliza Jane I notice how calculated and methodical her movements are; when she walks, sits, picks things up or puts things down, everything. Has anyone ever noticed that? She moves like she is in a ballet all the time, slow and very gentle. She acts like she is afraid she might break something if she moves around in a natural manner. (sassmcgregor)

New teacher, Miss Wilder, played by Lucy Lee Flippin
Eliza Jane Wilder with her brother, Almanzo
Back To School (Part II)

Newspaper listingEpisode# 6.02 (115)
Written by Michael Landon
Directed by Michael Landon
Broadcast September 24, 1979, NBC / Production #6002

Guest Stars: Dean Butler (Almanzo Wilder), Lucy Lee Flippin (Eliza Jane Wilder), Katherine MacGregor1 (Mrs. Oleson), Alison Arngrim (Nellie Oleson). Maggie Munro (Student)2, Brenda Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)2, Wendi Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)2, Ruth Foster (Mrs. Foster)3.

1 aka Scottie MacGregor.
2 Uncredited on episode's titles; these entries have been taken from the Internet Movie Database and have not been verified.
3 Uncredited on episode's titles.

Laura starts to study for an exam, required for her to enter her desired career of teaching. Nellie – vengeful after the pepper prank – lends her some books to help, but they are for the wrong topics, so Laura does poorly. The two angry girls fight each other in the mud of the local river. Riding by, Almanzo breaks up the brawl and takes the soaking-wet Laura to his house to change clothes. Charles barges in on the situation and instinctively punches Almanzo, although he then realizes he has misread things and apologizes.

A lightweight soap-style brace of episodes designed simply to develop the characters without delivering a heavy message: Nellie into running her own business, and Laura into adulthood, and both girls ultimately into romance and marriage.
The mud fight scene between Laura and Nellie has become a fan favorite.

In this episode, Eliza Jane says there is no minimum age to be a teacher. However, in Sweet Sixteen, 16 is said to be the required age.

Why did Almanzo rescue Laura and leave Nellie stranded there in the mud? That just doesn't seem like the gentlemanly thing to do from a detached passerby who was a friendly acquaintance with both young ladies and DID NOT feel "that way" about Laura yet. (coffeemom)

When Harriet brings Nellie back to the restaurant after the mud fight, Nellie is actually quite a bit dirtier (especially her face) than she was at the end of the fight.

At the end of Back To School II, Pa and Mr. Garvey go flying at warp speed to beat up Zaldamo for dressing up Laura in his bath robe. Then after about 3 minutes at the Wilder farm, Pa begins taking the Walk of Shame home and who does he run into? Ma carrying Grace (guess she unglued her from the high chair for this scene). How in the world did she get there so quickly? (Shakespearette)

Almanzo Wilder, played by Dean Butler
Nellie after her mud fight with Laura
The Family Tree

Newspaper listingEpisode# 6.03 (116)
Written by Vince R. Gutierrez
Directed by William F. Claxton
Broadcast October 1, 1979, NBC / Production #6006

Guest Stars: Michael Pataki (Quinn), John Zaremba (Judge Adams). Co-Starring: Ketty Lester (Hester-Sue), Richard Lockmiller (Jacob), Tiger Williams (Simon). Featuring: Orville Sherman (Headmaster), Dolores Mann (Mrs. Tilley), Ken Letner (Mr. Tilley), Naomi White (Receptionist). Brenda Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)1, Wendi Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)1.

1 Uncredited on episode's titles; these entries have been taken from the Internet Movie Database and have not been verified.

At school, the kids are looking into their family trees – this causes Albert to remember his own dark past. He has become so attached to the Ingalls that he asks Charles to adopt him officially. First, they must face Albert's real father, Jeremiah Quinn, who wants his son back to help on his farm. When all attend the court offices, Albert meets Mr. Quinn alone and feigns blindness in front of him; Quinn tells him he can stay with the Ingalls. This confirms to Albert that his father does not love him as Charles does. Elsewhere, the Olesons are having trouble with their new inside toilet.

Rather slow. An attempt to liven things up with a bit of toilet-related slapstick chez Oleson doesn't amount to much. It also has much in common with The Sound Of Children from just the season before.

Near the start, Eliza Jane shows the class her (rather oddly formatted) family tree. Her brother's name is spelled "Parley", but the credits of Wilder And Wilder spell it "Perley". (Steve)

Near the end, how does Albert know his father won't mention his son's (faked) "blindness" to Charles and/or the judge and thus blow the deception? This is more likely than not, to be honest. (Steve)

Dreaming of his past: Albert
Albert feigns blindness to test his father
The Third Miracle

Newspaper listingEpisode# 6.04 (117)
Teleplay by John T. Dugan, story by Kenneth Hunter
Directed by Michael Landon
Broadcast October 8, 1979, NBC / Production #6005

Co-Starring: Leslie Landon1 (Marge), Ketty Lester (Hester-Sue). Featuring: James Jeter (Blacksmith), Ruth Foster (Mrs. Foster), Troy Melton (Stage Driver), Alex Sharp (Rider #1), Carl Pitti (Rider #2). Brenda Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)2, Wendi Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)2.

1 Leslie Landon is the daughter of Michael Landon.
2 Uncredited on episode's titles.

A coach in which Mary and Adam are traveling leaves the road and overturns. As the only member of the coach party left mobile, Mary tries to find her way back to the road to summon help. When Mary and Adam fail to arrive at their destination, Charles and Jonathan set out to find them. They eventually find Mary, having been alerted to her location by a fire started by her dropped glasses. Meanwhile, back in Walnut Grove, Mrs. Oleson reneges on a deal to buy some honey from Laura and Albert at a given price. To get revenge, Albert also sells Mrs. Oleson the bees' nest but doesn't tell her that she's transporting it back home at the the time of day when the bees are most active; Mrs. Oleson and Nellie are attacked by the angry swarm.

A worthwhile (and quite exciting) plot involving Mary, which were getting increasingly rare as time went on. The stagecoach crash is spectacular! The (strange) bee plot feels like it is there to fill up time, though.

Was anyone else bothered that the letter Adam was sent telling him that he had received this award wasn't written in Braille? The award was for excellence in teaching blind children, given by an institute that is devoted to teaching the blind and they're giving the award to a blind teacher. (jkt1219)

The idea of a blind person using a pair of glasses as a "prop" during a speech struck me as such a weak plot device that I began to doubt my memory. (xii)

First, there were the Bees of Doom, which all on their own were scary enough. That bee log was a horror fest. I'm still not clear on why Albert was so keen on selling the bee log to Mrs. Oleson in order to get the honey money. Yeah, she was trying to cheat him, but weren't they going to continue using the log in the future? Did he expect her to drop the log and run away as soon as the bees started appearing? Or was it worth taking a loss on their "hive" just to see the bees swarm her? Okay, I need to stop expecting the show to make sense. (plk)

One huge issue: When Mrs. Foster runs to Pa telling him the stagecoach is late, Pa is like oh well no big deal let's just ride out there pick them up and drive them to Sleepy Eye. If this isn't a problem why didn't they take them in the first place? Isn't the whole first half of this episode about how no one has any money to afford this trip? (becky14624)

Before Mary heads off to save Adam and pregnant lady, she says she is going to leave the canteen there for both of them. But he was trapped outside the stagecoach and he was trapped inside. Just how were they supposed to share the water? (camom)

I couldn't take my eyes off her hands when she was holding Adam's face – did all the womenfolk go to the Little Manicurist on the Prairie? (Cross Eyed Mary)

According to the Internet Movie Database: "In this story, Mary's old glasses cause a fire, which is how Charles and Jonathan find the wrecked stagecoach. In reality, her glasses could not start a fire. They were used to correct Mary's nearsightedness, and the shape of the lenses is not the kind that will start a fire under the circumstances shown in this story."

Daddy was very confused by tonight's episode. He wanted to know what a pair of sunglasses had to do with anything. I said no Dad those are Mary's glasses that got charred in the fire so they kinda look like a pair of Calvin Klein's as a result. Then he wanted to know what a mline person needed glasses for. (becky14624)

Mary frantically searches for help after the crash
Pregnant coach passenger, Marge, played by Leslie Landon

Newspaper listingEpisode# 6.05 (118)
Written by Del Reisman
Directed by William F. Claxton
Broadcast October 15, 1979, NBC / Production #6003

Guest Stars: Harriett Gibson (Annabelle), Billy Barty (Owen). Special Guest Star: Ken Berry (London). Co-Starring: Wendy Schaal (Christie), Ketty Lester (Hester-Sue). Featuring: D. White1 (Roscue), Michelle Downey (Susan), The Great John L (Strong Man). Circus Acts: John Hayes (Stilt Clown), Robert Wexler (Clown #1), Carl Carlsson (Clown #2), Danny Rees (Clown #3), Nate Stein2 (Rope Walker), Dorothea Sabina Nock (Rope Walker), Tara The Elephant, Carol Buckley (Elephant Trainer), Moore's Mongrels (Dog Act), Bob Yerkes (Tumbler), Russ Saunders (Tumbler), Paula Crist (Tumbler), Sandy Gross (Tumbler). Brenda Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)3, Wendi Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)3, Ruth Foster (Mrs. Foster)4.

1 aka De'voreaux White.
2 aka Nathan Stein.
3 Uncredited on episode's titles; these entries have been taken from the Internet Movie Database and have not been verified.
4 Uncredited on episode's titles.

A circus comes to town. Nels Oleson discovers that the circus' "fat lady" is his estranged sister Annabelle, of whom Nels has always been ashamed because of her weight. Meanwhile, Laura finds out Almanzo is escorting another girl, Christie, to the circus – the same girl who has underpaid her for some dressmaking. Nels takes part in the circus performance as the ringmaster and takes the opportunity to publicly announce how proud he is of his sister, and the pair are reconciled. In the same performance, Laura gets revenge on Christie by coming on as a clown and soaking the girl.

I caught the ep in which Nels discovers the fat woman at a lame traveling circus is his sister. I always laugh at the ridiculousness of them taking the kids from the mlind school and giving them front row seats, only to have Charles having to narrate what's going on ("There's clown chasing another with a bucket! There's a strongman lifting weights!") right in front of them while they're just staring off into space like, "Where the hell are we and what smells so bad?" They didn't look happy at ALL to be there. In fact, Grace appears to be crying hysterically as Caroline is desperately trying to shut her up or calm her down while pretending nothing is wrong. I don't blame them, tho. That was a lame circus and Laura disguising herself as a clown in order to lock lips with Almanzo and sabotage his date's dress to fall apart shortly after isn't very funny if you had to explain it to a mlind kid. (ubi)

Did anyone else get the impression that the Blind School was essentially segregated from the rest of Walnut Grove once they finished moving in? I mean, I can't recall any of the students, Hester-Sue, Adam or even Mary (born an Ingalls) attending a church service beyond Adam, Jr.'s Christening. Did they all just sit out Sundays and read aloud a Braille Bible or sleep in? Also, they never showed Mary or Hester-Sue going to Oleson's Mercantile for supplies so does that mean Nels just delivered them all the time ... as though they were plague victims? (Xuewi)

Annabelle, Nels' estranged sister
Nels Oleson as the ringmaster
The Preacher Takes A Wife

Newspaper listingEpisode# 6.06 (119)
Written by John T. Dugan
Directed by Maury Dexter
Broadcast October 22, 1979, NBC / Production #6007

Guest Stars: William Schallert (Dean Harmon), Iris Korn (Anna), Dabbs Greer (Reverend Alden). Co-Starring: Jon Lormer (Jeremy Tyler). Featuring: Ketty Lester (Hester-Sue)1, Ruth Foster (Mrs. Foster). Brenda Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)2, Wendi Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)2.

1 Only appears in long-shot.
2 Uncredited on episode's titles; these entries have been taken from the Internet Movie Database and have not been verified.

Reverend Alden creates a stir when he falls in love with elderly widow Anna Craig. Mrs. Oleson disapproves and manages to talk Anna out of marriage. The whole saga makes the reverend ill, but Anna nurses him back to health and their romance is rekindled. Mrs. Oleson then writes to the church authorities and they send Dean Harmon to investigate. Harmon turns out to be an ex-fiancé of Mrs. Oleson who, ironically, had broken off their own relationship as he found it difficult to serve both God and a woman. After a heart-to-heart with Harmon, Mrs. Oleson drops her objections to the marriage.

To me, rather slow (but maybe it's more of a story for the ladies?)
Rev. Alden's wife was never seen in the show again.

One of my favorite Mrs Oleson moments is in The Preacher Takes A Wife, where she's been spreading gossip about Rev Alden and his intended, until her former fiancé and a bigwig in the church, William Schallert, shows up. They have a bittersweet talk about what might have been and he tells her Nels seems like a good man, and she says, "He is, I'm very proud of my family." Harriet, especially in the later years, often slid dangerously close to buffoonery, but that scene allowed her to show her human side. Great performance by KMcG, and also by Mr Schallert. (prairiegal)

Late-life romance: Robert Alden and Anna Craig
Rev. Alden and Dean Harmon
The Halloween Dream

Newspaper listingEpisode# 6.07 (120)
Written by Michael Landon
Directed by Michael Landon
Broadcast October 29, 1979, NBC / Production #6011

Guest Stars: Philip1 Carey (Commander Kaiser), Frank de Kova (Chief Kilowatt), Henry K. Bal (Chief Sly Fox). Featuring: Dick Alexander (Sergeant), George Aguilar (Brave #1), Bryson G. Liberty (Brave #2), Ramon Chavez (Brave #3), Rosa Hamilton (Tiny Pebbles), Dawn Biglay (Tana), Clint Lilley (Son of Running Bull), Hiawatha Hood (Chief Big Wolf). Brenda Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)2, Wendi Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)2.

1 Misspelled as "Phillip" on credits.
2 Uncredited on episode's titles.

Albert dreams he and Laura – in Red Indian Halloween costumes – are taken captive by an Indian tribe who are expecting a cache of guns ready for their upcoming battle with the army. Under cover of night, Laura and Albert escape but, at the army's request, they agree to go back and deceive the Indians into believing the guns have been intercepted. However, the guns have already arrived safely, so the returning pair of kids are staked out. Once again, they escape, this time with Albert taking the reins of a speeding wagon!

Oh dear. Aside from the odd premise that an Indian outfit is a good scary Halloween costume, this episode is so full of niggles that I don't know where to start (see the Other Comments, below). LHOP entering fantasy land was invariably a very bad idea.

Watched the episode on Hallmark yesterday where Albert dreamed that he and Laura were running with the Indians and I would like to know (and I really am curious, not being snarky):
1. Was this episode supposed to make us sympathetic to the plight of the Native Americans, or make us hate them?
2. Does every episode dealing with a minority group display this many offensive stereotypes?
3. When the actor playing Albert says the lines, "Me no go. Me no understand," does he realize how embarrassed he should be? Did the actor need therapy in his later years?
4. Was this episode a drama, or an after-school special, or a parody of an after-school special?
I'm just so confused... (Lastkidpicked)

Why does one of the Indians have a "funny" name (Chief Kilowatt) but not the others? And would the word "kilowatt" have been in anybody's vocabulary back then except scientists? (Steve)

Is there some significance to the tortoise that appears to be roaming round the creek near the Ingalls' house (about half-an-hour in)? (Steve)

Y'all can tie me to a stake and try to burn me on it if you want, but I LIKE this episode. Yes, I realize it is probably the result of an acid trip gone horribly wrong, but I still love to watch it. There is so much inexplicable hilarity in it – Ma making two teenagers take a midday nap since they were obviously going to party like it was 1899 at the Olesons'; Albert screaming like a little girl when he realizes he was leaning on a human scalp; Laura's Indian name being "Nodhead"; Pa's awkward conversation with the chiefs; the incompetent Army commander sending children back to the tribe to face certain death; the getaway with exploding barrels of gunpowder; Albert fainting (and probably crapping his pants); and of course – my favorite – Willie dressed up as a chief with a head-dress as big as his entire body! (Shakespearette)

When they start chasing Laura and Albert in the wagon, it's charming how the Indians on horseback weave their course to follow the exact path the wagon took, rather than just take the shortest route. (Steve)

Several times during the chase, we can glimpse somebody within the wagon who is the hidden person actually driving it. The positioning of the reins also changes numerous times during this sequence. (Steve)

Why, Shakespearette, ML was ALWAYS historically accurate. Why else would he have chosen to end The Halloween Dream with that ancient Indian spiritual number, "Hava Nagila"? (charlieboo)

So that's why a few bars of "Hava Nagila" was played as Albert TARA [Turns And Runs Away] on his horse at the end of the show. Obviously, ML wanted to subtly (as is his style) point out to us that "Injuns" aren't the only people who were oppressed and was hinting at future episodes were anti-Semitism would be a key plot point. Or he just took one too many bong hits. (jkt1219)

Near the end, where is Willie going (the Halloween party is at his house)? (Steve)

Albert as an Indian
Laura as an Indian
The Return Of Mr. Edwards

Newspaper listingEpisode# 6.08 (121)
Written by Arthur Heinemann
Directed by Michael Landon
Broadcast November 5, 1979, NBC / Production #6004

Guest Stars: Bonnie Bartlett (Grace Edwards)1, Kyle Richards (Alicia Edwards). Special Guest Star: Victor French (Mr. Edwards). Co-Starring: Eddie Quillan (Shorty).

1 This is the last episode for Bonnie Bartlett as Grace Snider/Edwards, although the character would return in Season 8's A Promise To Keep though played by Corinne Michaels.

Trying to save his daughter from an accident, Mr. Edwards badly injures his legs. Fearing he is crippled for life and will be a burden to his family, he falls into severe depression. His wife, Grace, writes to the Ingalls for help. Charles and Laura travel over and, after Laura seems to revive Edwards' spirit, he suggests a hunting trip. But, it soon transpires that Edwards has other plans, and twice Charles has to stop him from trying to commit suicide. In desperation, Charles pretends to have been injured in a gun accident, and Edwards is forced to hobble out for help, shocking him back to his old, irascible self.

There has been no previous indication that Edwards was the depressive type but the episode is well played enough to just about pull it off. Some people have seen a metaphor for (sexual) impotence in the storyline, but that aspect passed me by!

Am watching Pa miraculously cure Mr Edwards of bad attitude by faking his own "hunting accident". I do love how Michael Landon prays to have god send him a sign, a poor deaf deer shows up, and after he realizes it's deaf, Pa shoots it for his own means. I'm sure that's exactly what God wanted you to do Pa. Hit a deer when it was down. Exactly why he sent it in your path. (EllenOlenska)

Alicia Edwards: saved from injury by her pa
Mr. Edwards tries to shoot himself
The King Is Dead

Newspaper listingEpisode# 6.09 (122)
Written by Michael Landon
Directed by Michael Landon
Broadcast November 12, 1979, NBC / Production #6010

Guest Stars [sic]: Leo Gordon (Milo Stavroupolis). Special Guest Star: Ray Walston (Hart). Co-Starring: Nora Meerbaum (Anna Stavroupolis), John Robert Yates1 (Hans Mueller). Featuring: Jennifer Rhodes (Nurse), Charles Julian (Bookie), Lee Generaux (N. D. Man), Frank X. Alten (Swamper), Roy Gaintner (Farmer #1), Warner McKay (Postal Clerk), Jack Lilley (Jack), Carl Pitti (Carl).

1 aka Jack Yates.

A wrestling promoter persuades Jonathan Garvey to compete in his competition in Mankato. Garvey easily wins the preliminary bout, but the man he beats, Milo Stavroupolis, tells him the fight was rigged and designed to lengthen the odds on his opposition – a champ – in the final. Stavroupolis offers to take Garvey's place in the final if Garvey will feign an injury. Many of the residents of Walnut Grove have bet on Garvey to win, including Mrs. Oleson, who has risked the money entrusted to her as church treasurer. Stavroupolis – who was only taking part in the scam to support his sick wife – ends up winning, but dies right after the fight.

This Landon-penned episode has something of a The Sting feel to it and is a bit more involved than most stories; in fact it feels more like a Bonanza entry than LHOP. If you follow what's happening, it's engaging enough and the wrestling scenes don't outstay their welcome. But the rule by which a participant can apparently choose another to take part in his stead at the last moment (as happens in the final in this story) is ludicrous.
Jonathan Garvey hits the canvas
Milo Stavroupolis, after winning, with Jonathan and Charles
The Little House Years

Newspaper listingEpisode# 6.10 (123)1 – 3 hours
Written by Michael Landon [new footage]
Directed by Michael Landon [new footage]
Broadcast November 18, 19792, NBC

Starring: Michael Landon, Karen Grassle, Melissa Gilbert, Melissa Sue Anderson, Lindsay Sidney Greenbush, Brenda / Wendi Turnbaugh, Matthew Laborteaux, Linwood Boomer. Shawna Landon3 (Young Girl In The Library)4.1

1 This is a special episode wrapping a selection of (very lengthy) old clips in new footage of the Ingalls family reminiscing over Laura's diary entries. The new footage features Charles, Caroline, Laura, Mary, Carrie, Grace, Albert and Adam. All other roles credited (apart from "Young Girl In The Library") are only in the old clips. Thus, on the front of the episode – The Town in alphabetical order: Alison Arngrim, Richard Bull, Jonathan Gilbert, Dabbs Greer, Kevin Hagen, Katherine MacGregor, Charlotte Stewart, Karl Swenson. Guest Stars in alphabetical order: Ernest Borgnine, Walter Brooke, Victor French, Arthur Hill, Richard Hurst, Don Knight, Jan Sterling. Credits on the end of the episode include – Bonnie Bartlett, Ted Gehring, Jim Jeter.
2 I can find no original evidence that this episode was aired on November 15, 1979, as suggested by e.g. Wikipedia, IMDb and Epguides.
3 Shawna Landon is the daughter of Michael Landon.
4 Uncredited on episode's titles; this entry has been taken from the Internet Movie Database and has not been verified.

The Ingalls look through Laura's journal and this prompts them to remember past events, such as their arrival in Walnut Grove; Pa leaving home to take on dangerous work in a quarry; Laura's "discovery" of gold; the birth and death of Laura's little brother; Laura's argument with Nellie Oleson over Bunny the horse; and the visit of Laura's grandpa.

I just saw the beginning of The Little House Years, and noted that Laura is suddenly reading from her remembrance book (which is the whole basis of the episode), despite saying all those times, "If I had a remembrance book..." Then the very first entry she reads from is the day they leave Kansas and head to Minnesota, even though when they get to Minnesota, she explicitly tells Miss Beadle she can't read. I guess she could write, but not read. Yay for more LHOTP continuity! (jird)

As excited as I'd been to see The Little House Years for the first time last night, I ended up falling asleep after the one where Bunny runs into a fence and Laura blames her grandpa. It was kind of weird how, as they were reminiscing, they were all sitting around the table and Mary and Adam were sort of forced into the background, almost in a dark corner behind Laura and Pa (Mary on Adam's lap, of course, because that's just how it was done in ML's Little House). They've done shows before where the WHOLE family crowds into that room and it never ended up looking so bad. (coffeemom)

I don't really care for The Little House Years either, and I agree about clip shows being a lazy way to fill a few episodes. Also because some of what they were "reminiscing" about was so damn depressing. Dead parents, children, horses... didn't they have any happier memories to discuss? (DoxieMama)

The Little House Years title card
Laura peruses her journal
Caroline remembers
Shawna Landon at the library reads... guess what?
The Faith Healer

Newspaper listingEpisode# 6.11 (124)
Written by Don Balluck
Directed by Maury Dexter
Broadcast November 19, 1979, NBC / Production #6009

Guest Star: Tom Rosqui (Matthew). Special Guest Star: James Olson (Reverend Danforth). Co-Starring: Francesca Jarvis1 (Hilda), Joey Seifers (Timothy), Roy Gunzberg (Stablemaster), Marian O. Gibson (Mrs. Adams). Featuring: James Jarnagin (Boy #2), Mike T. Powert (Boy #1), Hank Kendrick (Crippled Man), Jim Wiers (1st Man), Carol Norton (Near-Blind Woman), Fred Ashley (N. D. Man). Brenda Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)2, Wendi Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)2.

1 Misspelled as "Jarvin" on credits.
2 Uncredited on episode's titles; these entries have been taken from the Internet Movie Database and have not been verified.

A traveling minister, Jacob Danforth, comes to Walnut Grove on a "healing" crusade and attracts a large attendance at his meetings where some people appear to make miraculous recoveries. Despite the death of a young boy treated by Danforth, Reverend Alden's flock remains reduced and so he prepares to leave town. Then, on a trip to Sleepy Eye, Charles discovers Danforth "curing" the same people as in Walnut Grove. Charles exposes Danforth in front one of his meetings. The Reverend Alden stays on.

Doc Baker seems unable to perform an emergency appendectomy in this episode, referring it to a hospital in Mankato, but he did one on Mrs Oleson in The Circus Man in the first season.

We see that only the great and the good of Walnut Grove (viz.: the Ingalls, Garveys and Dr. Baker) are now attending Rev. Alden's church; other citizens who are not so upright have defected. So where are Mary, Adam and the occupants of the blind school? (Steve)

The Reverend Danforth will heal you!
Danforth with the boy he failed to cure of appendicitis
Author! Author!

Newspaper listingEpisode# 6.12 (125)
Written by Carole and Michael Raschella
Directed by William F. Claxton
Broadcast November 26, 1979, NBC / Production #6013

Guest Star: Barry Sullivan (Frederick Holbrook). Featuring: Ketty Lester (Hester-Sue), Dan Priest (Station Master)1, Babs Bram (Dowager), Ruth Foster (Mrs. Foster), Ron Chapman (Bates). Brenda Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)2, Wendi Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)2.

1 Not credited on some copies of the episode.
2 Uncredited on episode's titles; these entries have been taken from the Internet Movie Database and have not been verified.

Caroline hears that her parents are coming for a visit, but her mother dies during the long train journey and arrives in a coffin. Caroline's father, Frederick, is devastated, until the family – enjoying his tales of when Caroline was young – persuade him to write his autobiography. Charles gets the manuscript accepted, but the deal turns out to be with a paid vanity press. But, to keep Frederick happy, the whole family secretly chips in to have the book printed. Meanwhile, heavily pregnant Mary gives birth to Charles' and Caroline's first grandson: Adam Charles Holbrook Kendall.

Initially, this episode seems to be heading in the direction of a rerun of the third season's Journey In The Spring, given the presence of a depressed, widowed grandparent. Meanwhile, the "vanity" press facet seems to have echoes of a The Waltons story (The Book) from a few years earlier.
Just when you think you've seen it all before, the revelation of the death of Caroline's mother en route to the Ingalls is a surprising bombshell moment.

I HATE the scene where Charles brings the coffin home and Caroline is all "Ma, Ma" and runs to the back of the wagon, only to find her coffin in the back. All kinds of wrong. Real compassionate there, Charles, way to break it to her gently. (prairiegirl)

Caroline's father, Frederick Holbrook
Frederick reads the first copy of his book
Crossed Connections

Newspaper listingEpisode# 6.13 (126)
Written by Don Balluck
Directed by Michael Landon
Broadcast December 10, 1979, NBC / Production #6008

Guest Stars: Royal Dano (Harold), Sam Edwards (Bill Anderson), Marie Denn (Alice's Mother). Featuring: Dave Morick (1st Technician), Tom Pletts (Customer), Sandy Gibbons1 (Gregory), John Flynn (2nd Technician), Todd Keller (Lineman).

1 aka Sanford Gibbons.

The telephone comes to Walnut Grove, and, as the switchboard operator, Harriet Oleson listens in on all the conversations. Jonathan Garvey has inherited some money and has a phone installed as a surprise for his wife, Alice. Harriet overhears a secret from Alice's past about a previous marriage and broadcasts it. This sends Jonathan to Minneapolis to meet the man, whom he finds to be a rather sad figure. Albert and Laura, with the help of the local bank manager, teach Harriet an expensive lesson when they make sure she overhears a phony share tip.

I was watching the scene where Jonathan "confronts" her ex, and it seemed to me that if I were a guy just out of prison and a stranger starts to buy me drinks and talk about how lonely he was I would think that he was making some sort of "indecent proposal". (EllieJ)

Did anyone else notice, during episode Jonathan and Alice split because she had been married before, when Nellie was playing piano?? She was playing the "Little House" theme song. (Halfpint Ingals)

Yes! I laughed when Nels told her to quit playing that awful song. Hee! (ubi)

At the end, when Jonathan goes to push over the telephone pole, his collar is half turned up at the back. Moments later, it is fine.

Harriet Oleson hard at work on the switchboard
Alice Garvey's first husband, Harold
The Angry Heart

Newspaper listingEpisode# 6.14 (127)
Written by Del Reisman
Directed by William F. Claxton
Broadcast December 17, 1979, NBC / Production #6012

Guest Stars: Timothy Wead (Tod Dortmunder), Susan French (Virginia Davenport). Special Guest Star: Malcolm Atterbury (Brewster Davenport). Co-Starring: Richard Donat (Joe Dortmunder), Mary Hamill (Edna Dortmunder), Ricky Segal (Young Tod). Featuring: Gene Dynarski (Jebediah), John Furlong (Cop), Clyde A. Harper (Gambler), Richard Kennedy (Sheriff), Rod McGaughy (Driver). Brenda Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)1, Wendi Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)1.

1 Uncredited on episode's titles; these entries have been taken from the Internet Movie Database and have not been verified.

A tearaway teen, Tod Dortmunder, is sent to live with his grandparents in Walnut Grove when his mother can no longer cope with him. After stealing a watch and twice lashing out at his grandfather, he is taken on by Charles Ingalls for hard work on his farm until Charles considers the boy has paid his debt. Charles discovers that a large part of the Tod's attitude has been caused by the abusive nature of his father when the boy was young.

A virtual rerun of the fourth season's The Stranger but this time the tearaway is a far nastier piece of work. Does Charles manage to turn him around? Well, what do you think?

Near the start, when the old boy is walking away from Charles and says his last sentence ("When Virginia hears this, oh my!"), the dubbing starts while the actor still has his mouth closed. (Steve)

The kid who beat up his grandparents is Tod Dortmunder in season 6's The Angry Heart. The last name alone would be enough to piss me off for life, but he's really mad cause his Dad was killed when he was a little boy. It takes Pa giving him a Plaid Shirt Of A Job Well Done to release his anger. (prairiegirl)

Without question, the single most contrived moment in the history of television. "Nice job helping me out on the farm. Have a shirt." (Tim McD)

Tod Dortmunder being taught a lesson by Charles
Tod in jail
The Werewolf Of Walnut Grove

Newspaper listingEpisode# 6.15 (128)
Written by John T. Dugan
Directed by William F. Claxton
Broadcast January 7, 1980, NBC / Production #6014

Guest Stars: Sandy Ward (Bart Slater), Patricia Donahue (Mrs. Slater), Tod Thompson (Bartholomew Slater). Co-Starring: Alan R. Peterson (Clarence), Elmore Vincent (Old Man), Harry Pugh (Jenkins). Maggie Munro (Student)1, Brenda Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)1, Wendi Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)1.

1 Uncredited on episode's titles; these entries have been taken from the Internet Movie Database and have not been verified.

At school, pupil Bart Slater begins to bully not only the other kids but also the teacher, Miss Wilder, who is reduced to tears and is on the verge of leaving. Albert and Laura try to scare Slater into submission using a werewolf costume, although Carrie gives the game away. Albert and Laura's next plan is to get all the kids to stand together and jointly give Slater a beating. This time the idea works – Slater apologizes to Miss Wilder and starts to behave himself.

This episode is a sort of hybrid of the schoolroom bits of the earlier The Bully Boys coupled with Troublemaker. So nothing original here, but nevertheless the episode is OK in its own right. Fortunately, there's very little of the titular werewolf.
Miss Wilder reduced to tears in class
Werewolf, or Albert?
Whatever Happened To The Class Of ’56

Newspaper listingEpisode# 6.16 (129)
Written by John T. Dugan
Directed by Michael Landon
Broadcast January 14, 1980, NBC / Production #6015

Guest Stars: Liam Sullivan (Dillon Hyde), Lynn Benesch (Amy Sawyer), James Gallery (Arnie Cupps), Phillip Pine (Winthrop Morgan). Co-Starring: Mary Elizabeth Corrigan (Clementina Hyde), Lynn Cartwright (Florence Platz), John Lawrence (Jacob Platz), Jean Howell (Hattie Cupps), Damian London (Waiter), Conrad Bachmann (Farmer), Colin Drake (Senator), John Wyler (Clerk), Lynn Seibel (Bellboy), Woody Tracy (Bellboy), Ken Norris (Thaddeus Sawyer), J. Edward McKinley (Conductor). Ruth Foster (Mrs. Foster)1, The Lowpriest (Child)2, Brenda Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)2, Wendi Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)2.

1 Uncredited on episode's titles.
2 Uncredited on episode's titles; these entries have been taken from the Internet Movie Database and have not been verified.

Both Charles and Caroline have business in Milwaukee: Charles to attend a Grange meeting, and Caroline to attend a school reunion. Both enjoy a rare taste of city high life, but feel like fish out of water with their old friends who seem to have been more financially successful than they have but nevertheless have rocky marriages and attitude issues. Charles and Caroline come to the conclusion that it's they, the Ingalls, who are really the successful ones – with their loving family.

Aside from the fact that I doubt many people bothered with school reunions in the 1880s, this episode is basically a rehash of a The Waltons episode from 1975, The Prophecy, with the Grange element lifted from the previous LHOP story, Times Of Change.
None of the guest characters are remotely interesting or likeable and the whole result is very meh.

While kids from 6 months to thirty attend the very quaint Walnut Grove schoolhouse, somehow by smoke signals or tom toms, Pa and Ma are summoned to their Class of 1860 Prairie Hi (GO SODBUSTERS!) 25th reunion. Right. Pa was of course captain of the pigbladderball team and Ma was head cheerleader and Yearslate Editor. And I am amazed at all their wealthy and well-heeled classmates who have managed to escape plague, drought, crop failure, rape by mimes and poverty by adopting too many kids. To say nothing of having to live near the Olesons.
But actually the worst part of this episode is not the absurd premise of the 25th Reunion, but the subplot of the rich unhappy woman (she didn't make student council) with the alcoholic husband and who is hot for Pa. The husband is evidently an alcoholic because he never achieved fame in life as he had as the hero quarterback of the pigsbladderball team. He just married Student Council Flunkie because of her family's money.
In the end, Pa cures the drunk husband and he and Ma head for home with the reunion goodie bags for the kids. As you can tell, this is my favorite ep. (Kleinhaus)

Seriously. Did high schools even exist back then, especially in that area? I always assumed that when you'd gone as far as you could in the one-room school, you were done. (smittykins)

A few more things I noticed in the sheer ridiculousness that was "Did Wisconsin even have high schools in 1856?" was how Caroline mentioned that Arnie was voted Most Likely to Succeed. In addition to high schools, apparently they also had awards like Most Likely to Succeed and Class Clown and such. (becky14624)

By the way, has anyone noticed that ML uses the exact same cityscape camera shot – the one of the fountain with buildings in the background – not only on every set-in-Chicago ep but also in the set-in-Milwaukee ep where Charles and Caro-linn went to their high school reunion? I guess all Evil Big Cities of Doom have identical fountains? (bringthesnark)

Violence is A-OK as long as it is justified in Pa's world. In fact, many problems are solved on the Prairie by a hearty punch. This brings to mind the whole "Pa's a fighter, wait, no, he isn't" paradox. Let's don't forget that Pa also punched Dillon Hyde at the class reunion. In fact, Pa is usually a one-man dynamo, bent on punching out the evildoers he selects for destruction, except when the plotline directs otherwise. (MsLawDawg)

Caroline dressed for the city
Charles and Caroline in their hotel room
Darkness Is My Friend

Newspaper listingEpisode# 6.17 (130)
Written by Vince R. Gutierrez
Directed by Michael Landon
Broadcast January 21, 1980, NBC / Production #6016

Guest Stars: James McIntire (Jake), Jonathan Banks (Jed), Larry Golden (Abel). Co-Starring: J. S. (Joe) Young (Head Guard), J. Edward McKinley (Conductor), Wayne Grace (Guard), Ketty Lester (Hester-Sue), Toni Mele (Kim). Brenda Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)1, Wendi Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)1.

1 Uncredited on episode's titles; these entries have been taken from the Internet Movie Database and have not been verified.

Adam is out of town, so Laura goes to keep Mary company overnight at the blind school. During the night, Laura and Mary are taken hostage by a trio of escaped convicts. One of the convicts has a gunshot wound, so Laura is sent to fetch a doctor, but instead goes and tells her father, Charles, what has happened. Charles poses as Dr. Baker to gain entry to the school, and then manages to overcome the villains.

All the creeping about in the dark goes on too long for my tastes and becomes a bit tedious.

After the stove has exploded, those (remains of) potatoes that Albert picks up with his bare hands would be red hot!

Okay, so I don't know any blind people personally, but it seems to me that common courtesy would demand that when you enter a room where there is a blind person, or you approach a blind person, you announce yourself in some way rather than sneak up on them and grab them.
I just caught the end of Darkness Is My Friend. In the last 5 minutes alone there are two cases: Mary is in a corner thinking she is about to be attacked by some convict. Pa jumps in to save the day, but never thinks to call out to Mary. No, he decides it's much better to quietly approach and grab her in both hands, then act surprised when she screams.
But not 2 minutes later, Mary goes up to see the kids, who are huddled in a room wondering why the hell they ever signed up for this crazy school. Does she call to them from the hall? Or say hello as she opens the door? No – she quietly goes in and, without saying anything, goes over and hugs them.
And really, I just have to say WTF was up with that bandage on Pa's face???? Did Mary patch him up? Did they run out tape budget on the set? That is the craziest bandage look since Andy Garvey bashed his head in. (charlieboo)

When the blind-school cat knocks a jug to the ground from the cabinet, the convict turns and immediately fires his gun. But the cat has vanished, and it didn't really have time to jump down.

Mary and one of the escapees in the blind school
Mary is taken hostage by one of the criminals
Silent Promises

Newspaper listingEpisode# 6.18 (131)
Written by Carole and Michael Raschella
Directed by Maury Dexter
Broadcast January 28, 1980, NBC / Production #6017

Guest Stars: Lou Fant (Nathan Page), Alban Branton (Daniel Page). Featuring: Gaye Nelson (Sara). Brenda Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)1, Wendi Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)1.

1 Uncredited on episode's titles; these entries have been taken from the Internet Movie Database and have not been verified.

Laura starts to teach sign language to a deaf and dumb boy, Daniel. During the teaching, Daniel plants a kiss on Laura and expresses his love for the girl. Laura then faces the difficult task of explaining to the boy that she only wants a teacher-pupil relationship. Meanwhile, Albert builds a doghouse for Bandit although the dog isn't interested in using it.

Now I feel the need to vent about something that has always annoyed me. Laura could NEVER have taught Sign Language to that boy with the really bad hair. First of all, the first ASL Dictionary wasn't even in print until the 1960's, but that's neither here nor there. You can't learn fluent ASL from a book like that in a week. Or a year. I know. I'm an interpreter. And he would probably never have acquired a full language starting at his age. (shmeep)

What was up with Daniel's hair? My God, he was deaf, not blind! I guess it was his mirror hanging in the blind school. (murphsully)

Daniel Page, played by Alban Branton, who was deaf in real life
Laura teaches Daniel sign language
May We Make Them Proud

Newspaper listingEpisode# 6.19 (132)1 – 2 hours
Written by Michael Landon
Directed by Michael Landon
Broadcast February 4, 1980, NBC / Production #6018

Guest Stars: John Zaremba (Judge Adams), Merlin Olsen (Jonathan Garvey), Hersha Parady (Alice Garvey)2, Kevin Hagen (Dr. Baker). Co-Starring: Tobias Andersen (Hank Mays), Bill Calvert (Clay Mays), Paul Barselou (Herb Gooder), Ketty Lester (Hester-Sue). Featuring: D. White3 (James), Dago Dimster (Tim), Naomi White (Secretary), Gil Lamb (Harlan Potts), Tom Kindle (Jason), Dan McBride (Henry), Ken Hill (Lawyer), Michelle Downey (Susan). Brenda Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)4, Wendi Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)4.

1 The c.2014 HD remaster of this episode, as used for the most recent set of US DVDs (and probably the Blu-rays and downloads), is missing a sequence running 26s at 32:23 (in Part II of the DVD presentation) with Judge Adams listening to a case in his courtroom.
It has also been suggested that another sequence is missing from most/all current copies of this story (not just the remastered version). I haven't been able to confirm this and the proposed content seems very incongruous but, for the record, the absent sequence was described like this:
Nellie serves some chicken to her usual befuddled customer [Dan McBride], who calls it burned. She gets mad and takes it away. This is when Albert shows up to give Mary the music box. He runs into Laura in the dining room... she's been staying with Mary and making her soup. Albert takes a glass from Laura and says he'll stay with Mary, so Laura goes back to the kitchen. Meanwhile, Nellie returns to serve her customer a raw chicken, finally plunking it on his head.
This material would presumably occur at 10:42 (in Part II of the DVD presentation) sandwiched between the establishing shot of the restaurant and Albert entering Mary's room (carrying the aforementioned glass).
2 This is the last episode for Hersha Parady as Alice Garvey.
3 aka De'voreaux White.
4 Uncredited on episode's titles.

Albert and a friend experiment with smoking a pipe in the basement of the blind school. This causes a fire which tragically destroys the building and claims the lives of Alice Garvey and Mary's and Adam's baby. Mary becomes catatonic, Jonathan Garvey hits the bottle, and Albert wrestles with his guilty secret. Mary snaps out of her shock when she hears the lullaby from a music box Albert has given her as a gift. Meanwhile, Albert's friend confesses to Charles about the pipe-smoking. However, Albert himself has run off to his birth-father's house, not aware that the man died some time ago. Charles and Jonathan eventually catch up with the boy and persuade him it was all an unfortunate accident and he shouldn't blame himself.

Tragedy strikes Mary yet again in this well-remembered episode. This story is well played by all but does have some strange quirks (see Other Comments, below). The one which irks me the most is the way everybody forgives Albert rather too easily both in this episode and the ones immediately following (where Albert and Andy are friends again as if nothing has happened).

The opening shot has the camera zooming back from the action and shows just Willie's feet coming into shot (he is sitting up a tree). The way the shot is composed, it looks a bit like Willie has hanged himself! (Steve)

First of all, even though she's [Mary's] right next to the baby when Adam runs into the room with news of the fire, she runs out of the room without the baby. Granted, they were concerned about getting the other children out, but she could have picked up the baby and carried him with her while she was alerting the other children. Then, when they were outside she seemed to forget about the baby for a while. Even though Alice had said she would get the baby, one would think Mary would be anxiously waiting until the baby was in her arms. The punchline came the morning after the fire; when Ma was trying to get her to go to the hotel and get some rest, she refused to leave until she had her baby. NOW the maternal instinct kicks in! (midwestmusician)

Famously, when Alice Garvey is trying to break the window in the blind school to escape the flames, it rather looks like she is using Mary's baby (which she is holding) to smash the glass. Hence references to "Baby Battering Ram". (Steve)

Ok, I finally got this – "May We Bake Them Brown". That is so, so wrong (but so right!) I'll never forget when Pa brings out what's left of the baby and he's standing there with the ashes from the school blowing around him, holding a dead baby. And I'll never understand how all was forgiven in the end. Even in Landon's "Little House" universe, it's odd. Mr. Garvey spends the whole episode drinking and crying and neglecting his kid and cursing God and Pa and whoever. Then at the end he catches up with Albert and is all, "Hey... it's not your fault, it's NBD!" WTH?! And it was like, never mentioned ever again! Come on! (coffeemom)

Pa could have found another baby from some tertiary slut on the prairie and given it to Mary and she wouldn't even know the difference. (BetyBee)

Why didn't Charles find Alice's remains near the remains of the baby? (robinette)

I do like how Doc Baker (that lovely orange man) finds the pipe and get all "C.S.I.: The Prairie" about it. "THIS is what caused the fire." And you know that... exactly how... oh, Man of Science? (Bubbacat)

Okay, if Mary's so out of it, in shock, whatever, why does she need the ten pounds of Maybelline Prairie Brown Mascara and the 5 pounds of Cover Girl Mourning Blue eyeshadow? And the Bonnie Bell Toasted Firstborn LipSmacker? (prairiegal)

Just a few episodes earlier in Crossed Connections Jonathan and Charles find out the gist of Alice's first marriage from her mother who runs a boarding house in Minneapolis (neither first nor last name of Alice's widowed mother is given). She seemed to have a close maternal bond with her daughter (and was friendly to her son-in-law) yet she does NOT attend her only child's funeral and no reason is ever given for her absence. Nor does she ever take any interest in her now-motherless grandson Andy's welfare as she is NEVER mentioned after Crossed Connections. (Leon H)

When Jonathan is looking at his photo album and talking to Charles, we see his glass of whiskey is empty, or nearly so. However, just before he gets up from the table, the glass is now half full, and we didn't seem him pour himself any more drink.

Charles and Caroline in the ruins of the blind school
Mary cradles her dead baby
Charles tries to snap Jonathan Garvey out of his depression
Charles with Albert: a boy with a secret
Wilder And Wilder

Newspaper listingEpisode# 6.20 (133)
Written by John T. Dugan
Directed by Maury Dexter
Broadcast February 11, 1980, NBC / Production #6020

Guest Star: Charles Bloom (Perley Day Wilder). Co-Starring: Stacy Sipes (Penelope Parker), Kay Howell (Mrs. Parker), Bill Cross (Mr. Parker), James Jeter (Blacksmith). Brenda Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)1, Wendi Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)1.

1 Uncredited on episode's titles; these entries have been taken from the Internet Movie Database and have not been verified.

Almanzo's brother, Perley Day, comes to town. Worried about the age gap between Laura and Almanzo, Charles hopes Laura's feelings will shift to the younger Perley Day. However, Perley Day recklessly races an injured horse just to win a bet, and Almanzo has to act urgently to prevent the horse being permanently crippled. Charles comes to realize that Almanzo is the better man for Laura after all. Meanwhile, Albert falls for a girl at school, but she has eyes only for Andy Garvey.

How long after the fire was this? Because everyone seems to have perked up and moved on. And Andy Garvey is not only Albert's best friend, he's telling the girl (I think) that he wishes he could be like Albert. I understand about forgiveness and love ... but unless quite a bit of time had passed, it's a stretch for me that a young boy could so quickly be so completely devoted to a friend who had caused a fire that caused his mother's death. I'm not saying there shouldn't be forgiveness. But to be joking around and expressing admiration ... I think that might take a young boy a little longer to get to that point in real life. (ljw948)

When Miss Wilder rings the school bell, take a look at the cord/ribbon she hangs her watch from. It is (literally) down to her knees! Why does it need to be this long? It has me laughing every time. (Steve)

I found it strange that a horse race, which is usually the premier event at these country fairs, went on during the arm-rassling contest and was attended by what, 3 spectators? (miz liz)

Almanzo and Laura
Perley Day Wilder
Second Spring

Newspaper listingEpisode# 6.21 (134)
Written by John T. Dugan
Directed by William F. Claxton
Broadcast February 18, 1980, NBC / Production #6021

Guest Stars: Suzanne Rogers (Molly Reardon), Tom Clancy (Dan Reardon), Richard Bull (Mr. Oleson). Brenda Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)1, Wendi Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)1.

1 Uncredited on episode's titles; these entries have been taken from the Internet Movie Database and have not been verified.

Nels Oleson finally loses patience with his wife, and, to get out of the house as much as possible, begins a solo traveling sales business operating from a wagon. During a stopover, he finds himself falling in love with his attractive young Irish landlady, Molly Reardon. Eventually, Nels' conscience catches up with him and he confesses to Molly that he is already married. Nels returns home, and he and Harriet make up.

Competition time – guess the ethnicity of Molly from the phrases she uses: "Top of the evening to you", "begorra", "The Wearing of the Green", "Sure as Patrick is a saint", "Business is slower than Paddy's pig farm in the Mountains of Mourne", "Sure as the Pope's a Catholic", " be buried in a Protestant graveyard", "It's easier than falling in a bog", "Glory be to the shamrocks"...
The portrayal of ethnic groups on LHOP was never subtle, but it's laid on so thick here I was laughing in places; a shame because the plot is actually OK (this would have earned 3½ cartwheels otherwise).

Molly uses the phrase, "Tripping the light fantastic." This wasn't really in use until the 1894 song "Sidewalks of New York".

At about 18 minutes in, one of the ceilings of Molly's place seems to be made of fabric or gauze or something. (Steve)

Harriet and Nels Oleson have yet another argument
Molly Reardon
Sweet Sixteen

Newspaper listingEpisode# 6.22 (135)
Written by John T. Dugan
Directed by Michael Landon
Broadcast February 25, 1980, NBC / Production #6022

Guest Stars: Lucille Benson (Miss Trimble), Parley Baer (Mr. Williams), Tim Maier (Chad Brewster), Dean Butler (Almanzo Wilder). Co-Starring: Jonathan Woodward (Tommy Dobkins), Kimberly Woodward (Ruby Dobkins), Elizabeth Howell (Martha). Maggie Munro (Student)1.

1 Uncredited on episode's titles; this entry has been taken from the Internet Movie Database and has not been verified.

Laura gets a temporary teaching job out of town. With Almanzo ferrying the girl to and fro each weekend, the pair have the opportunity to get to know each other better. Later, misreading a situation between Laura and one of her male students, Almanzo lashes out, sending the student flying across the room. Acting on Almanzo's behalf, Charles explains to Laura that Almanzo was simply jealous and not to hold his actions against him. Subsequently, at the local church dance, Almanzo apologizes in person about the incident and he and Laura share their first kiss.

In this episode, 16 is said to be the required age to be a teacher (although things can be bent by a few weeks). However, in Back To School, Eliza Jane says there is no minimum age.

[Laura and Almanzo's] age difference was common in Laura's era. The difference was, MG was wearing braids in the beginning of Sweet Sixteen and looked 15. Five minutes into the show, she put her hair up, bought a Red Diarrhea Dress Of NewFound Maturity, and BAM! Almanzo saw her in a "new light", according to the "TV Guide" summary at the time. ML just failed miserably in the transition with MG from HalfPint to young woman. (prairiegal)

It might have been easier if her transition had happened between seasons instead of one episode to the next. (smiley13)

One of the problems that Laura gives to a pupil: divide 347,264 by 16 in your head. Additionally, she seems to verify the answer in her head, too. Ludicrous. (Steve)

Today I caught the tail end of an ep ... that ends with Laura and Almanzo dancing and Ma and Pa dancing. This ep appears to be set after the recent burning of the blind school, right? I was kind of disgusted because while dancing, Pa says it looks like he's about to lose a daughter, and Ma says she hopes so because she wants to call Pa "Grandpa". This seems incredibly tone deaf at the very least, I mean they just lost an actual grandson, so he already was Grandpa! I just can't imagine referencing grandchildren so jovially, so quickly. (Ellanora)

Schoolmarm Laura Ingalls
Almanzo and Laura kiss for the first time
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (Part I)

Newspaper listingEpisode# 6.23 (136)
Written by Michael Landon
Directed by Michael Landon
Broadcast May 5, 1980, NBC / Production #6023

Guest Stars: Steve Tracy (Percival Dalton)1, Alison Arngrim (Nellie Oleson). Special Guest Star: Dub Taylor (Houston). Co-Starring: Michael Prince (Mr. Carter). Featuring: Dan McBride (Customer #1), Dee Croxton (Secretary), Dean D'Annibale (Butcher Boy). Brenda Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)2, Wendi Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)2.

1 This is the first episode for Steve Tracy as Percival Dalton.
2 Uncredited on episode's titles; these entries have been taken from the Internet Movie Database and have not been verified.

Almanzo proposes to Laura, but Charles thinks she is too young and asks her to wait until she is 18. Almanzo suggests the pair elope, but Laura won't leave Walnut Grove. Feeling rejected, Almanzo uproots to Sleepy Eye. Meanwhile, Adam's father has died insolvent and this cuts off the funding for the rebuilding of the blind school. However, Laura finds a disused courthouse in Sleepy Eye which fits the bill, but the rent seems prohibitive. Elsewhere, a consultant, Percival Dalton, arrives to sort out the business mess at Nellie's restaurant. As a first step, he suggests bringing Caroline into the business more and temporarily renaming the place to "Caroline's".

What I love about the ep is the Percival/Nellie relationship. Oddly enough, that one seems realistic to me, although it probably shouldn't. But it has this whole "Taming of the Shrew" vibe that really works. Seems Nellie really was just looking for someone who would stand up to her instead of always giving in to her. (RhondaGC)

Percival Dalton, the man faced with teaching Nellie to cook
Nellie gets eggsperience in the kitchen
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (Part II)

Newspaper listingEpisode# 6.24 (137)
Written by Michael Landon
Directed by Michael Landon
Broadcast May 12, 1980, NBC / Production #6024

Guest Stars: Steve Tracy (Percival Dalton), Alison Arngrim (Nellie Oleson), Dean Butler (Almanzo Wilder). Special Guest Star: Dub Taylor (Houston). Co-Starring: Alvy Moore (Mr. Crowley), Robert Wexler (Mr. Pims), Ketty Lester (Hester-Sue), Nancy Grahn (Saloon Girl). Featuring: Michelle Downey (Susan Goodspeed), Dan McBride (Customer #1), Bob Ulrich (Customer #2). Rafael Moscatel (Little Boy)1, Brenda Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)1, Wendi Turnbaugh (Grace Ingalls)1.

1 Uncredited on episode's titles; these entries have been taken from the Internet Movie Database and have not been verified.

In Sleepy Eye, Almanzo finds out about the large bill for the new blind school, and he begins to work in all weathers to secretly help pay it off. The toil takes its toll and Almanzo develops pneumonia. Laura visits him on his sickbed; the pair sort out their differences, and Almanzo eventually recovers. Meanwhile, at the restaurant, Nellie and her coach, Percival, begin to fall for each other; this culminates in Nellie proposing marriage. The two marry in an open-air ceremony with Dr. Baker officiating. At the wedding, Charles tells Almanzo and Laura that he is reducing the waiting time before they can marry to one year.

The plot of this two-parter moves along swiftly and doesn't leave one time to get bored. There is a good turn from Dub Taylor (as Houston Lamb), and his "Talk to his heart, little lady" scene is particularly nicely done.

When Laura is fawning over Almanzo packed in ice ("Talk to his heart, little lady... talk to his heart") she has a lovely manicure as well. To heck with kneading bread and tending the garden! (BetsyRay)

Almanzo, sick with pneumonia, is visited by Laura
Nellie and Percival decide to get married
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6.01 Back To School: Part I  (114)

6.02 Back To School: Part II  (115)

6.03 The Family Tree  (116)

6.04 The Third Miracle  (117)

6.05 Annabelle  (118)

6.06 The Preacher Takes A Wife  (119)

6.07 The Halloween Dream  (120)

6.08 The Return Of Mr. Edwards  (121)

6.09 The King Is Dead  (122)

6.10 The Little House Years  (123 - 3‑hour special)

6.11 The Faith Healer  (124)

6.12 Author! Author!  (125)

6.13 Crossed Connections  (126)

6.14 The Angry Heart  (127)

6.15 The Werewolf Of Walnut Grove  (128)

6.16 Whatever Happened To The Class Of '56  (129)

6.17 Darkness Is My Friend  (130)

6.18 Silent Promises  (131)

6.19 May We Make Them Proud  (132 - 2 hours)

6.20 Wilder And Wilder  (133)

6.21 Second Spring  (134)

6.22 Sweet Sixteen  (135)

6.23 He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not: Part I  (136)

6.24 He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not: Part II  (137)

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