Nellie's pregnancy brings Percival's Jewish parents west to await the birth of their grandchild. Tension and bickering ensue when Percival's father demands that the child be raised in the Jewish faith.
I love this episode because it's a bit of a departure from the usual storyline, and in it, Harriet Oleson has finally met her match in the domineering parent department. Percival's parents come to Walnut Grove to meet Nellie and stay until her baby is born. They are shocked to discover that their son's child will be raised as a gentile. An hour of bickering and screaming between the two grandparents in question ensues, with Percival finally puting his foot down and declaring he wants no part of ANY religion if hatred is what it's all about. It's Nels who finally comes up with a solution: if the child is a girl, they will raise it as a gentile; a boy will be raised as a Jew. Nellie and Percival apparently agree with this scheme (though we never see them agree--in fact, the grandparents never once ask them what their opinion is at all!). As usual, a tidy LHOTP ending follows: Nellie has twins--a boy and a girl.
Percival's parents arrive. Percival's father insists on raising Nellie's any-day-now-due baby in the Jewish faith. Mrs. Oleson insists on raising the child Christian. Chaos ensues with the two butting heads for the remainder of the episode!
I don't remember seeing this episode during the series first run. No doubt I did. But it didn't stand out. I now know why. This episode may have had good intentions but the constant yelling and over-the-top acting by the man who play's Percival's father coupled with Katherine MacGregor's equal hamming it up is enough to drive one crazy! I had a headache after watching this episode. The message about raising a child in a different faith should be left to the parents. But Nellie and Percival do almost nothing about it. Nellie "sweetly" submits to Percival who has tamed her but for some reason cannot stand up to his father. Only Steve Tracy's performance as Percival trying to make peace between both families gives this episode any credence as he manages to arise above all the chaos and do something with this poorly written material. Otherwise its a mish/mash of yelling and screaming. Even the last frame of Mr. Cohen is of him screaming! If you like constant bickering and screaming above Harriet Oleson's norm, then this episode is for you! Otherwise you would do well to forget this one.
In this episode Percival's parents come to meet the in laws and await the birth of their Nellies baby. Culture shock occurs when Jewish folks from New York City find themselves in Walnut Grove, especially the relationship between Harriet and Benjamin.
I hadn't remembered enjoying this show so much when it was first released, but watching it in 2007, I was delighted with many aspects of this episode. For me, watching Nellie and Percival's relationship, the introduction of Jewish culture, the clash of the in-laws was great fun!! Seeing Mrs.Oleson meet her match in Percival's father was amusing,and the rest of the cast did a great job supporting them. There were some misrepresentations, and a great deal of poetic license taken, but all in all it was a funny and clever way to deal with some of the issues that might have confronted a "mixed" religious marriage in the 1870's. They did happen. There is some liberties taken with tradition, both Christian and Judaic, but it was done with a pure motive, and an attempt to be respectful.
On the CD set there are comments on this show from Alison Arngrim, that are very enlightening. I highly recommend watching the epidsode with commentary.
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