Little House on the Prairie

Season 6 Episode 15

Crossed Connections

2
Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Dec 10, 1979 on NBC
8.2
out of 10
User Rating
75 votes
3

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Episode Summary

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Crossed Connections
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A telephone line is set up in Walnut Grove. With Harriet Oleson in charge of the switchboard, calamity ensues.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • When the telephone comes to Walnut Grove and Mrs. Oleson is put in charge of the swithcboard, Jonathan Garvey--and everyone else in town--finds out that Alice Garvey was married once before.moreless

    8.2
    Mrs. Oleson eavesdrops on a telephone conversation between Alice Garvey and her mother, who mentions to Alice that she had seen "Harold" recently. Turns out Harold was Alice's first husband, that they were only married for three weeks, and that Alice has never told her second husband about the marriage. He and their son, Andy, find out when Nellie (of course) "congratulates" Andy about his mother's first husband "getting out of prison." When Andy tells Jonathan what Nellie said, Jonathan confronts Mrs. Oleson, who brushes him off with an "if you don't believe me, ask your wife". He does, and Alice confesses the truth. A hurt and angry Jonathan decides it's best to leave for awhile. He ends up traveling to Minneapolis with Charles, and having dinner with Alice's mother. She directs him to where Harold works (a dive bar in the docks district). Jonathan finds him to be a sad, broken-down and pitiful ex-con. Johnathan goes back to Walnut Grove and asks Alice and Andy's forgiveness. A side plot involves Mrs. Oleson losing all of her money in the stock market; to punish her for what she did to the Garveys, Laura, Albert and a banker in town send info over the phone about a "hot" stock tip; of course, she eavesdrops, races to Mankato where she buys half the company, and promptly loses all her investment. One of my pet peeves about LHOTP is manifested in this episode: the recycling of character actors in different roles throughout the series' run. Royal Dano, with his distinctive looks and voice, portrays the first husband here, but in the very next season he portrays Sylvia's father. Other episodes do the same thing (the woman who plays drowning victim Ellen's mother in one show later replaces actress Bonnie Bartlett as Mr. Edwards wife, for example). This casting curiosity happened with some regularity. Why? Were there so few actors looking for bit parts in the 70's? It's confusing if you don't "know" the storyline, or see multiple episodes in a short period of time on different channels.moreless
  • The telephone has arrived in Walnut Grove and Harriet Oleson, of all people, is in charge of the switchboard!

    8.5
    The whole town is excited when a telephone line in installed in Walnut Grove but perhaps it wasn't such a great idea to have the nosey Harriet Oleson in charge of the switchboard given that the position gives her the opportunity to listen in on every call which is placed, an opportunity that she certainly never misses!



    Imagine her delight when, by yet again listening in, she learns that Jonathan Garvey's wife, Alice, was married before she met Jonathan. Perhaps that wouldn't have been such a bad thing except that Jonathan himself had no idea that his wife had a previous husband.



    Harriet's meddling has predictable results but, like all the episodes in which she has a central role, there are plenty of laughs to be had.moreless
  • I loved this episode. I loved the way Mr.Oleson caught Mrs.Oleson Snooping in on Other People's conversations,and how Laura and Albert with Bill Anderson got Even with Mrs.Oleson's snooping.

    10
    I loved the Intro of Harold,and the Intro of the telephone in Walnut Grove,the Garvey's got one,but the Ingalls didn't.I loved how Laura and Albert got even with that Gossipy Mrs.Oleson. We also saw Alice's Mother,With the Big House. Mrs.Oleson should be ashamed of herself,Snooping in on other people's conversations.
Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

Patrick Labyorteaux

Patrick Labyorteaux

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

Richard Bull

Richard Bull

Nels Oleson

Matthew Laborteaux

Matthew Laborteaux

Albert Quinn Ingalls (1978 -1982)

Michael Landon

Michael Landon

Charles Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Karen Grassle

Karen Grassle

Caroline Quiner Holbrook Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Royal Dano

Royal Dano

Harold

Guest Star

Marie Denn

Marie Denn

Alice's Mother

Guest Star

David Morick

David Morick

1st Technician

Guest Star

Sam Edwards

Sam Edwards

Bill Anderson

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (5)

    • When Nellie is playing the piano, listen carefully to what tune she is playing. It's the theme song to this show.

    • When Alice and Jonathan are on the phone, at first the audience can hear her mother's voice coming through, but when Jonathan gets on, all one can hear is him speaking. The sound alternates back and forth like this when Alice gets on the phone again.

    • In the final scene, when Jonathan starts walking toward the telephone pole, you'll notice that his collar is all messed up in the back. However, in the next shot, when he is shaking the pole furiously to knock it down, his collar is perfectly placed!

    • Marital strife between Jonathan and Alice Garvey had truly become the norm at this point in the series. This is the third episode where a bad blow-up between them has brought them to the brink of divorce and caused a lot of pain for their young son Andy. Season 4's The High Cost of Being Right and Season 5's Barn Burner had similar themes. The way the Garveys' story plays out in May We Make Them Proud a few episodes later makes it all even more saddening.

    • Goof: The telephone was invented in 1876. This episode takes place in the late 1870s. Small towns and rural areas would not have a telephone for several more years. The writers prematurely added it to the show for dramatic effect. However, when the telephone was added to small towns, the result was much like this episode (not much privacy).

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Caroline: I never thought we'd see the day when there'd be telephone lines in Walnut Grove.
      Alice: Neither did I. Lord knows how anyone could afford it, though my mother in Minneapolis has one. Foolish waste of money. I mean, I don't even know who she'd talk to!

    • Albert: There's only one way to hurt Mrs. Oleson, and that's in the pocketbook.
      Laura: What do you mean?
      Albert: Money...it's her life's blood.

    • Mrs. Oleson: I was never married before.
      Mr. Oleson: Oh, of course not. What other idiot would have ever married you?
      [weeping] Mrs. Oleson: He's so insensitive.
      (the telephone rings and she answers sweetly).

  • NOTES (4)

    • Sam Edwards plays Walnut Grove's new banker, Bill Anderson, and this becomes a recurring role for him right through to Season 9. In Season 5, he played the Winoka postman in The Man Inside

    • Watch Allison Arngrim (Nellie) as she plays piano in one of the episode's final scenes. You can't see her right hand, but her left (bass) hand is in view; her hand movements and the music on the soundtrack clearly don't line up.

    • Alice's former husband Harold is played by veteran actor Royal Dano. He appears again in another dark role in Season 7, as the judgmental single father of a 14-year-old rape victim in Sylvia, Parts 1 and 2.

    • Look out for the different angle shots of Walnut Grove that we usually don't get to see.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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