Little House on the Prairie

Season 8 Episode 20

A Faraway Cry

0
Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Mar 08, 1982 on NBC
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

6.6
out of 10
Average
36 votes
  • What a depressing episode.

    6.0
    In this episode of "Little House on the Prairie", we see Caroline and Dr. Baker go to a camp of gold miners at the urgent letter from an old friend of Caroline's, begging for medical attention for the residents of the camp.

    With that said, when I watched this episode for the first time, I thought that it was somewhat depressing and painful to watch, mainly because of the whole storyline and the way that the people were so desperate to make some money that they sacrificed their health and occasionally their lives and that of their family to find one little piece of gold.

    Another thing that I didn't like about the episode came at the end, after Caroline's friend died in childbirth, but the child survive and a friend, who was also having a baby at the same time had the opposite thing happen. That was when we see how the normally wise and rational Caroline take very drastic measures to make sure her friend Louisa's baby was wanted with in the friend's family.

    These were just a few of the reasons why this isn't one of my favorite episodes of the show. No matter how many times I happen to see it, I always find it so depressing, even if people did live in conditions like that when they were prospecting for gold during that time.
  • Caroline and Dr. Baker travel to a Gold Prospector's mining camp to help Caroline's best childhood friend who is about to give birth and to help in an epidemic of influenza that is sweeping through the camp.

    10
    I love this episode for many reasons. First of all, the episode focuses on the strength of the character of Caroline Ingalls. She takes no guff off the wastrel husband of her best friend and in a marvelous scene holds her own against him when he tries to make a pass at her! Karen Grassle is exceptional in this episode. Too few episodes of the later seasons focused on her and this is one reason I love this episode. Another reason I love this episode is the fact that it dares to be vivid in its depiction of pioneer life and the way crisis were handled in that era. The scenes with Dr. Baker caring for the sick are handled with the sentiment and poignancy that Little House is famous for. Especially touching is a scene where a little boy who has recovered from the influenza takes his accordion and begins to play...something Dr. Baker promised him he could do when he got well. Very gratifying. The climax of course is the scene where Caroline and Dr. Baker secretly give the child of Caroline's best friend (who died during the birth) to the family of another woman whose baby was a breech birth and did not survive. Many people would criticize Caroline's actions in giving the baby (without the parents knowing it wasn't their child) to a good family instead of allowing it to be raised by a father who didn't want it, who treated his wife like dirt and was basically no-good. Caroline's motivations are right on target and Dr. Baker realizes at the last moment that it is the right decision to be made. In life we are called to make decisions that are difficult and the marvelous acting of Karen Grassle and Kevin Hagen in this episode make it believeable in every respect. If I had been in Caroline's position, I would have done the same thing. What would have been interesting is to maybe have done a sequel to this story...maybe as a two-parter where the child's biological truth is revealed to the couple to whom the child was given. Eventually the couple will wonder why their child doesn't look like either of them, but in pioneer times, I believe this is a true reflection of the way things were handled back then. All in all it is a very gratifying episode even if it is painful to watch, simply because it shows what a strong woman Caroline Ingalls truly was!
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