Caroline receives a letter from an old friend, living in a miner's camp where there's been an outbreak of influenza, who is summoning her for help.
Mr. Edwards has returned to alcohol to soothe the pain of his deceased son, and his wife takes the other children and leaves him. Laura wants Mr. Edwards to be godfather to her baby, but the alcoholism threatens to ruin this as well.moreless
Sam Terhune arrives in Walnut Grove looking for work, and finds favor with all of the townsfolk - except for his ex-wife, Hester Sue.
James and Cassandra's uncle, who wanted nothing to do with the children following their parents' deaths, arrives unexpectedly in Walnut Grove and takes an interest in them. But it turns out he's interested in custody of them as well.moreless
After an acquaintance dies suddenly, Charles is prompted to give up farming in favor of building a legacy on his hand-crafted furniture.
Charles and Almanzo jump at an opportunity to make money taking a delivery to Arizona, although it means being away from home for an extended time. Meanwhile, a pregnant Laura struggles to keep her newly planted orchard alive during a severe drought.moreless
A young boy with a stuttering problem is befriended by James.
Mary, Adam, Hester Sue, and the Wilders all make a special visit to Charles and Caroline's for Christmas Eve. An unrelenting blizzard prevents everyone from heading home after dinner, but they all pass time by recalling Christmases of personal significance in their lives.moreless
Harriet is pressed to transform the Walnut Grove restaurant into a chain called "Mrs. Sullivan's." Meanwhile, Charles is left to gather the slack at home with Caroline so in-demand as one of the cooks.moreless
When Doc Baker's workload becomes too much for one person, he requests a new graduate to help him. He gets more than he expected when the new arrival turns out to be black.moreless
When Laura announces her pregnancy, Caroline believes that she herself is also expecting--until Doc Baker confirms it is menopause.
Adam is officially a lawyer, but his client prospects are slim.
Laura resigns from her teaching position when she is forced to integrate French and art appreciation into the curriculum. Mrs. Oleson takes over the position.
Almanzo gets suckered into watching his brother Royal's two bratty boys.
When Percival's parents Benjamin and Edna arrive for a visit, Harriet and Benjamin clash miserably over their grandchild's religious upbringing.
Albert tries to impress a penpal he figures he'll never see.
Newlyweds Laura and Almanzo have been bickering more than usual lately, and it escalates when Laura suspects Manly of unfaithfulness.
16-year-old Annie Crane is a rising artist in Walnut Grove, where she lives with her adoptive parents. When her talent lands her an exhibition in the city, the advertisement draws the attention of her biological mother.moreless
A former football star settles back into his childhood town of Walnut Grove with his wife and son. His zealous coaching is in conflict with Laura's schooling, and his interest in Albert's talent alienates his own son.moreless
When a school in a nearby town is in need of a temporary substitute, 15-year-old Laura finally gets her start as an teacher. For the first time, Almanzo seems to notice that she is growing up.moreless
Fed up with his overbearing wife and his lack of authority over the children, Nels packs up and heads out for an indefinite period of time. While running a mobile mercantile of his own, he stays at a boarding house owned by Molly Reardon, a beautiful Irish woman who shows him the respect and appreciation that he's never had at home.moreless
Almanzo and Eliza Jane get a visit from their kid brother Perley Day, but after a few days with him, they quickly remember why the boy has been so estranged from the family over the years.moreless
When Mary's pregnancy is announced, Caroline's parents arrange a visit to witness the birth of their great-grandchild. Unfortunately, when her mother dies en route, Caroline is left to deal with her father Frederick, whose world now feels empty and meaningless.moreless
Nels Oleson is humiliated when he sees his estranged sister Annabelle as "the fat lady" in a traveling circus that comes to Walnut Grove. Meanwhile, Laura is unhappy when Almanzo begins dating a rude young woman named Christy.moreless
Determined to make it through the winter season, a pair of men earn money by selling tainted meat to the Walnut Grove community. Several townspeople later become infected with anthrax, including Laura, Albert, Adam, Alice, and Nels. The victims are confined to the blind school, and with time running out to help them, Charles and Jonathan go out to retrieve some medicine.moreless