Little House on the Prairie

Four Eyes

Season 2, Ep 2, Aired 9/17/75
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  • Episode Description
  • Mary's normally sparkling grades begin to plummet when she can't see the school blackboard.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Melissa Gilbert

    Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

  • Melissa Sue Anderson

    Mary Amelia Ingalls/Kendall (1974 - 1981)

  • Charlotte Stewart

    Miss Eva Beadle/Mrs. Simms (1974 - 1978)

  • Michael Landon

    Charles Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

  • Karen Grassle

    Caroline Quiner Holbrook Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

  • Fan Reviews (2)
  • The significance of this episode cannot be understated; it it introduces an issue central to the series\' plotline from Season Four on: Mary\'s failing/lost eyesight.

    By ceosmom, Oct 17, 2006

  • Poor Mary is struggling with her schoolwork and needs glasses - and so begin the taunts of her fellow pupils. It seems as though times have not really changed much since then, unfortunately.

    By Lady_Lancaster, Apr 01, 2011

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (10)

    • Caroline: I've never believed in paying children for grades. Grades are a reward in themselves. Harriet: Well, it must be working. Willie got very good grades, and Nellie, well, Nellie got the best grades in the entire school! How did your Mary do this time? Caroline: We're proud of our children, no matter what their grades are. The girls do a lot of work around the farm! That's part of learning, too.

    • Charles: (about Mary's poor eyesight) How did she manage for so long? Dr. Burke: Little tricks. Squinting when the eyes are tired. Did you ever see her push back on the sides of her eyes, like this? Charles: She probably did. I just never realized it. Dr. Burke: Well, with the amount of schoolwork she's had, the tricks just stopped working, that's all. Charles: You'd think her Ma or I would have known. Dr. Burke: No, not so. It's been my experience that parents are the last ones to notice. Maybe someday, they'll have the sense to examine kids before they start school. Then we can avoid the problem.

    • Charles: (looking at Laura's report card) Hey, you improved your reading grade! Laura: Can't take much credit for that. It's mostly review words. Mary gets a lot of harder words. Charles: Well, of course she does. Mary's older. You can always be proud when you move up a grade like that. Laura: You can be proud if you work hard, even if your grades don't show it, can't you Pa? Charles: You bet you can.

    • Caroline: (about Mary's poor grades) I wanted to talk to you before you saw Mary's report. Charles: Why? Did you think I was gonna stomp and raise cane or something? Caroline: No, I was just concerned. I don't know what accounts for it. She's always done so well, and she's really been working harder than ever. Charles: Oh, I don't think we have anything to worry about. She's a smart student--takes after her mother. Caroline: Oh, Charles! You know I'm no smarter than you are. Charles: Yeah, I suppose you're right. I was smart enough to pick you, now, wasn't I?

    • Nellie: What took you so long, Mary? Trying to get Miss Beadle to raise your grades? What did she give you? I got 2 B's and 3 A's! Laura: You'd have another A, Nellie, if they gave out a grade for being nasty! Come on, Mary, we don't have to talk to her.

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    Notes (4)

    • Filming Locations: Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley and Paramount Studios, Hollywood, California.

    • Featured character: Mary Ingalls

    • Dr. Burke remained Mary's eye doctor for the next two and a half years, until she lost her eyesight at the end of Season 4.

    • This preludes the beginning of Mary's eyesight problems which get much worse in season four's season finale.

    Trivia (4)

    • It's pretty interesting that Nellie could immediately determine that she got the best grades in the school. As far as we know, Mrs. Garvey (from Season 5) was the only teacher who ever posted the children's grades on the blackboard publicly, and it's unusual that Miss Beadle would write on Nellie's card, "Oh, you got the best grades in the whole school!" I suppose stranger things have happened, but this still seems unlikely.

    • Even though one of Willie Oleson's most famous character traits involves being a goof-off in class, episodes like this prove that he gets pretty good grades--all B's, to be exact--and yet he doesn't manage to graduate until the tail-end of the final season of the series.

    • Notice the scene where Charles is walking to the house from the barn, and it is all foggy and appears to be very early in the morning. Then notice the very next shot, when Carrie is looking at him through the window, and the sky is all blue and perfect.

    • In this episode, Mary is ridiculed by her classmates when she starts wearing glasses. In real life, Melissa Sue Anderson (Mary)'s son Griffin had to get glasses as a child, although he didn't experience the teasing that his mother's character did on Little House. Still, in a 2005 interview, Anderson said that she wants Griffin to view this episode, because she wants him to understand how getting glasses can be difficult for some kids, and she hopes it will help him see why it is never okay to join in on such teasing.

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    • remigiuszmycer Feb 16, 2014

      The Eyedoctor from this Episode,returned in Season 4 with bad News,he say Charles,that Mary hsd Scarlet and goes blind