Little House on the Prairie

Little Lou

Season 9, Ep 5, Aired 10/25/82
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  • Episode Description
  • A kindly dwarf named Lou becomes the single father of a baby girl when his wife dies in childbirth. To honor her dying wish, he abandons his job as a circus performer and looks for something that would allow his daughter to live normally. Lou ends up in Walnut Grove and forms a friendship with John Carter, who nearly lands him a position at the bank...until someone interferes and creates even bigger problems for Lou.moreless

  • Cast & Crew
  • Dean Butler

    Almanzo James Wilder (co-star prior to season 7)

  • Melissa Gilbert

    Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

  • Kevin Hagen

    Dr. Hiram Baker

  • Richard Bull

    Nels Oleson

  • Stan Ivar

    John Carter (1982 - 1983)

  • Fan Reviews (1)
  • The LHOTP writers are clearly out of ideas, so a widowed dwarf raising his infant daughter comes to town.

    By ceosmom, Oct 24, 2006

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (10)

    • Lou: I'm not going on with the circus, John. Alice asked me not to. She said it was because of all the traveling, but I think that was only part of it. I don't think she wanted our daughter to grow up watching people watching me, and laughing. You know, the funny little man in the clown suit. Maybe she was right.

    • Lou: (to his baby girl) As soon as I start my new job, we can get a nice house near town, and you can have your own room, all pink and pretty, with lace curtains on the windows. And you'll have the biggest doll in Walnut Grove, even bigger than me! There will be kids to play with, and school, and that's very important, because if you work really hard, you may even go to college. And if anybody asks you what your daddy does, you can tell them, "He works at a bank, and he's the best teller in the world!"

    • Harriet: (to Lou) You saved my little girl's life, and I don't know how to thank you. I'm so sorry for what I did. If I hadn't interfered, none of this would have happened. (long pause) I, uh.......oh, and I wired the circuit court judge and told him it was all a mistake, so you're free to go anytime you want. Oh, and I spoke to Mr. Anderson over at the bank, and he wants you to start working for him tomorrow. Well, that's about it......(more silence, Lou doesn't say anything, Harriet starts to cry) I don't expect you to accept my apology, but I want you to know that I am truly sorry. I don't know why it is I have such a short temper! Lou: What? Harriet: I have such a short temper. Lou: If anyone has a short temper, it should be me. (chuckles) I'm not a small man. I accept your apology.

    • John: What do you have against Lou Bates? Harriet: Lou Bates? I don't know what you mean. John: Yes, you do. You told Bill Anderson you'd cancel your account if he hired him. Harriet: Oh, that Lou Bates. John: Yes, that Lou Bates! Harriet: Oh, for Heaven's sake, what are you so upset about? John: I'm upset because he's a good man trying to earn a living, and you're stopping him. Why? Harriet: Well, because I don't want his kind around here, in Walnut Grove. You should thank me. John: What is his kind? Harriet: Good Heavens, I shouldn't think I'd have to tell you that. John: Well, you do! Harriet: All right, then. I will. He is deformed. He's not like us. He's a troll, that's what he is! For Heaven's sake, you have eyes. You can see. Why, for Heaven's sake, he's spent his whole life in a sideshow! John: Because people like you made him!

    • John: (about Lou) He has a family, and he's got to earn a living somewhere! Harriet: Fine! Let him make a living somewhere else! John: Why? Harriet: Because he's not like us! I don't trust him. I don't trust him with the children. He's different. John: Mrs. Oleson, cancel my account at the mercantile and the restaurant. Harriet: Well, why, for Heaven's sake? John: Because I can't trust you. Your eyes are too close together.

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    Notes (2)

    • Featured characters: Lou Bates, Harriet Oleson, John Carter

    • Longtime Michael Landon fans may recognize this story. It's similar to the Bonanza episode "It's a Small World."

    Trivia (11)

    • When Harriet sees Lou in the store, she says that she's never seen a midget before. This isn't true. Back in season's 6's Annabelle, she would have seen a midget then. Especially at the scene where they're at the restaurant, the midget opens up the doors and says,"Let us begin. Our leading lady is here." And by the way, the actor that played the midget in that episode was played by Billy Bart, the same one that's in this episode.

    • Apparently, John Carter never told Mr. Anderson that Lou was a little person, because Anderson seemed surprised when he saw Lou for the first time. The 1880's were not as progressive as now (and in fact, even now, in the 21st century, it's unlikely that a person in Lou's position wouldn't be stared at in public and in the workplace). Though John seems like a person who would not judge another person by their outward appearance, it's unrealistic that John would completely omit that information when he recommended Lou to Anderson.

    • In the scene where Sarah and Laura go to invite John to lunch at the restaurant, they walk away at the end of the scene, and there's just a shot of the two women walking from a distance. Pamela Roylance (Sarah) said in a previous interview that during this scene, Melissa Gilbert (Laura) shook her head and said, "This is one of Michael Landon's favorite tricks; he doesn't yell "cut," and he just lets you walk off into the sunset." Sure enough, when the two of them turned around, everyone was standing and laughing. If you watch the two of them in the scene as they are walking away, you may notice Laura shaking her head, and you'll know why.

    • Laura's overvoice at the end of the episode indicates that Lou stuck around Walnut Grove for a long time, working at the bank, and yet we don't see him for the rest of the series.

    • What happened to Nancy in this episode is very similar to what little Carrie Ingalls underwent in Season 3's Little Girl Lost, only this time around, Nancy is rescued a lot more quickly. In both episodes, the child victim could only be saved by a man who was fighting to earn the respect of a Walnut Grove townsperson.

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