Little House on the Prairie

Season 5 Episode 20

Barn Burner

0
Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Feb 19, 1979 on NBC
8.4
out of 10
User Rating
40 votes
1

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Trouble erupts when a local farmer, who is hateful and bigoted, refuses to set a fair price for wheat, since black farmers would be entitled to the same price. The whole thing escalates when the farmer assaults Jonathan's young son and is later accused of setting fire to the Garveys' barn.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

Saturday
No results found.
Sunday
No results found.
Monday
11:00am
INSP
12:00pm
INSP
SUBMIT REVIEW
  • When Andy Garvey is assaulted by Mr. Laraby and the Garvey's barn mysteriously burns to the ground, the law is called in and Laraby must face trial.

    8.0
    Mr. Laraby is not a very nice man. He is a racist and a bigot and deliberately sets the price of wheat at a level which means the other farmers are going to lose a great deal of money. Laraby's justification is that he doesn't want African American farmers (i.e. Joe Kagan) receiving the same price for their crops as white people. Needless to say, the farmers are extremely unimpressed, and Jonathan Garvey is absolutely furious.



    When Laraby pays a visit to the Garvey farm to confront Jonathan, Andy is there alone and Laraby pushes him to the ground, causing a head injury. Soon after, Andy runs out into the darkness with a lantern to saddle a horse and go and find his parents. When the barn burns down, the citizens of Walnut Grove are convinced that Laraby set fire to it and he must face trial but during the trial, Joe Kagan, a member of the jury, is not convinced that there is any proof that Laraby actually burned the barn. When Andy admits that he left his lantern hanging on a hook outside the barn, Laraby is acquitted, but it seems as though he will never change his ways.moreless
Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

Patrick Labyorteaux

Patrick Labyorteaux

Andrew 'Andy' Garvey (1977 - 1981) (as Patrick Laborteaux)

Dabbs Greer

Dabbs Greer

Reverend Alden

Kevin Hagen

Kevin Hagen

Dr. Hiram Baker

Richard Bull

Richard Bull

Nels Oleson

Matthew Laborteaux

Matthew Laborteaux

Albert Quinn Ingalls (1978 -1982)

Jeff Corey

Jeff Corey

Judge Parker

Guest Star

Joan Tompkins

Joan Tompkins

Adele Larrabee

Guest Star

James O'Connell

James O'Connell

Bates

Guest Star

Don 'Red' Barry

Don 'Red' Barry

Larrabee

Recurring Role

Moses Gunn

Moses Gunn

Joe Kagan

Recurring Role

Ketty Lester

Ketty Lester

Hester-Sue

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Mrs. Larrabee tells her husband that she's leaving him in part due to the poor influence he is having on their sons. We saw an example of that in "The Craftsman," when the Larrabee boys beat up Albert for working with an elderly Jewish man.

    • The judge in this episode seems in a big hurry to get Larabee's trial over with, even telling jury foreman Charles Ingalls, "Hurry up; I have pressing matters elsewhere." If he was in such a hurry to see justice done, why not hold a trial by judge rather that jury? It was a perfectly legal option at that time, and would have saved precious time "wasted" on jury deliberation.

    • Comparing the Larrabee house to the one in "The Craftsman," it looks like a somewhat different place. The porch rails are on the opposite side, and the barn is situated more in front of the house.

    • Larabee objects to having Joe Kagan sit in judgment of him on the jury in this episode, shouting that "it's illegal for a black man to sit on a jury" in a white man's trial. Actually, black men were granted the right to vote and sit on juries in 1865, even in the south. Though white southerners managed to find ways to deny blacks these rights until the 1960's, such was not the case in the north.
      Reply: Larrabee doesn't strike me as a man who much cares what is illegal or not as much as whether or not it fits his worldview. He had no problem, after all, with attacking Andy when he surely understood the legal ramifications of that.

  • QUOTES (3)

  • NOTES (5)

    • This episode marks the first time on the show when the ice house is featured as a makeshift jail.

    • Actress Joan Tompkins, who plays Adele Larrabee, was the wife of Karl Swenson (Lars Hanson). She also played the wife of Mr. Parsons in Season 3's Fred, and in both appearances, her on-screen husband was Don "Red" Berry.

    • Fire #2 to devastate the Garvey family. See also episodes 75 & 133

    • This story shows how a bigoted man can be consumed with such hatred that he only hurts everyone around him, especially himself. A very lonely place to be.

    • The court verdict and Joe Kagan's speech is worth making note of, with its powerful intensity.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

More
Less