Little House on the Prairie

Season 5 Episode 20

Barn Burner

Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Feb 19, 1979 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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  • Title says what happens

    Season 5 emphasised scripts of serious issues. Race & prejudice are recurring matters with the wonderful actor Gunn being the subhect of this. This episode is typical of the serious drama of season 5. It features violence & a rare display of guns when a posse go after a resident
  • 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.

    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.