Little House on the Prairie

Season 6 Episode 5


Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Oct 15, 1979 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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  • The circus comes to town, and Nels Oleson is horrified to discover that his estranged sister is the Fat Lady.

    Nels Oleson is embarassed when the circus comes to Walnut Grove and the Fat Lady, Annabelle, is none other than his estranged sister. He stands by silently as the townsfolk (chiefly, his own wife), constantly make jokes about her. Annabelle is unaware that her brother even lives here, and while he does manage to avoid her for a time, she eventually spots him in Nellie's restaurant--where he totally snubs her. Eventually the two meet in private, and Annabelle tells Nels that she enjoys her life as much as is possible and has found a "family" in the circusfolk she travels with. Nels finally sees the light and, while serving as ringmaster at the circus, announces that he's particularly proud of one of the performers tonight--his sister, Annabelle.

    A side plot involves Laura once again attempting to get Almonzo's attention. She manages to ruin his date with snippy Chrissy by dousing Chrissy with water while dressed as a clown at the circus; this causes Chrissy's skirt to separate from her dress; ironically, Laura had just made the dress for her. Hmm...

    The one thing that I find to be less than believable in this episode is Nels Oleson's utter rejection of another human being. He's perhaps the kindest, fairest, and most understanding resident of Walnut Grove--including Charles Ingalls. For him to be portrayed as prejudiced against his own sibling was, I thought, totally uncharacteristic and something he just wouldn't have done. His wife, yes. Nels, no way. Annabelle does alude to the fact that Nels used to avoid being seen with her as a child. Perhaps the viewer is supposed to believe that it's his guilty conscience that keeps him from embracing her. I don't know. Worth viewing.