Little House on the Prairie

Season 8 Episode 5

A Wiser Heart

Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Nov 02, 1981 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

Write A Review
out of 10
58 votes
  • Laura travels to Arizona to attend summer school with Eliza Jane.

    Watching this episode causes me to wonder about a few things. Primarily, what the heck happened to Eliza Jane that turned her into such a wanton harpy? Seeing her for the first time since the wedding, we find she is now bossy, forward and argumentitive. She is also, apparantly, so desperate for a man that she will imagine herself in love with a stranger who happens to be married.The way she makes Laura invite him to dinner and then googles at him through the meal is quite uncomfortable. Out of character enough, but when she goes to the lecture hall to thank him for the flowers (Laura told her that Mort sent them, but delusional Eliza believes they are from William) she also tells him that it doesn't matter to her that he's taken. What? Prim and Proper Eliza Jane dallying with a married man? It's too much of a stretch for me to accept. It's almost as if she's not the same woman anymore. Until the end, anyway. It seems that after humiliating herself in front of William she is finally able to revert to her sweet/shy self and begin to see that Mort isn't so bad after all. I found it odd that the Eliza that once went to Laura for advice about men is now telling her that she (Laura) has misinterpreted William's overtures because she doesn't understand the way things are done in the city. She practically came out and called Laura a bumpkin! This was not an Eliza that I either recognized or liked.
    The other major point of contention for me is the fact that Almanzo encouraged Laura to take this trip. Not that he isn't a supportive and loving husband; clearly he could understand, by her reaction, what seeing Emerson in person might mean to her, but it seems out of character. This is the same guy that didn't want her to go away for a month to teach so they could save some money to get married. Now she's pregnant and going away for 3 months and he's OK with it? Really? I have trouble with this, especially knowing how Almanzo is in the kitchen. Is he going to eat at Nellie's every night? I know it seems trivial to think about these things, but we all know that Manly liked to eat!
    Discrepancies aside, it was a pretty good episode. It's always interesting to see Laura outside of Walnut Grove and it gave us a chance to enjoy Leslie Landon in yet another bit part. The performances of both Patrick Collins and Joseph Lambie were quite enjoyable, although completely opposite. As far as Eliza goes, things are about to go from bad to worse; if you don't care for her here, just wait 'til "Day of Sunshine, Days of Shadow". Uch.