Little House on the Prairie

Season 8 Episode 4

Dark Sage

Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Oct 26, 1981 on NBC



  • Trivia

    • Doc Baker picked up his phone to speak on it, and the base was not wired. The only wires were between the base and the earpiece.

    • In this episode, Dr. Ledoux performs what people today now know as a caesarean section (C-section), a procedure with which Dr. Baker clearly had no experience.

    • Dr. Ledoux agrees to stay on in Walnut Grove after getting a public apology from Doc Baker. He and his wife Mattie never appear on the show again, though, and their absence is never explained, not even in an overvoice at the end of the episode. They are mentioned briefly in the upcoming episode A Faraway Cry, but that's it.

    • It's still pitch black out when Dr. Ledoux and his wife leave the Shermans' place after Dr. Ledoux delivers the baby, but by the time they get back to their hotel room, it's clearly morning. It's possible that it took them that long to get back, especially since they walked, but then, after Dr. Ledoux tells Mattie they're leaving town, he says, "I'll tell Doctor Baker in the morning." The audience can clearly see that it's already morning.

    • When Charles and Cassandra walk up to Dr. Ledoux to treat Cassandra's scraped elbow, Cassandra is clearly clutching the lower part of her hand, near her wrist. But when Charles points the injury out to Dr. Ledoux, you can clearly see that it's her elbow.

    • The first names of Dr. Ledoux and his wife are Caleb and Mattie. These are the exact same first names of the married couple that Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash played in the Season 3 opener, The Collection.

    • In this episode, prior to meeting Dr. and Mrs. Ledoux, Harriet Oleson ignorantly assumes that they are French. You'd think she would have learned her lesson in Season 5's Blind Journey, when she mistook Hester-Sue Terhune for a high-profile white woman.

      Not only did she forget the lesson about making assumptions about people she's not yet met, she also seems to have forgotten the revelation that a person's skin color did not make a difference. She was doing fairly well in that area (especially with regards to her relationship with Hester-Sue) until this episode.

  • Quotes

    • Harriet: (hearing of the new doctor's arrival from New Orleans Ledoux? Oh-h-h! It will be so nice to have someone to parlais vous francaise with!

    • Mr. Sherman: (to Dr. Ledoux) I don't need the likes of you to tell me how to care for my wife.
      Mrs. Sherman: Nathan, the man did us a favor bringing up the medicine.
      Mr. Sherman: Well, this colored man's got no business giving me advice.
      Mrs. Sherman: Nathan, he's a doctor.
      Mr. Sherman: I know what he is. (to Dr. Ledoux) Tell me something. I heard it took you 17 years to become a doctor. If you're so smart, how come it took you so long?
      Dr. Ledoux: Well, I wanted to be twice as good, so it took me twice as long.
      Mr. Sherman: It really gets under my skin when I think of how many good men like my brother died fighting the war, just so the likes of you could go to school.
      Mrs. Sherman: Nathan, please!
      Mr. Sherman: I'm just saying what folks in town are thinking.
      Dr. Caleb Ledoux: Mr. Sherman, I'm very well aware of how many good men died in that war. 646,392 good men to be exact!

    • Caleb: We're leaving here, Mattie.
      Mattie: What? But you were brilliant! You saved Jenny and her baby's lives!
      Caleb: Mattie, don't you understand? Charles had to fight that man to let me treat her! This town isn't ready for change! We're just going to have to go where we're accepted! (softens, goes to hug Mattie)
      Mattie: Oh, Caleb!
      Caleb: There's a stage leaving on Sunday afternoon. I'll tell Doctor Baker in the morning.

    • Nathan: What are you doing here?
      Dr. Ledoux: I thought maybe I could help.
      Nathan: We don't need your help. Caroline will do just fine. (leads Caroline into room where Jenny is in labor, closes the door; Jenny screams, and Caroline comes back out)
      Caroline: Doctor, I just checked Jenny. She isn't doing well at all. You better come in.
      Nathan: No! He's not to touch her.
      Charles: Nathan, he's willing to help Jenny--
      Nathan: No nigger's gonna touch my wife!
      Charles: You listen to me. Your hatred's gonna cost that baby's life, maybe even Jenny's. My God, he's a doctor--
      Nathan: I said no! (Charles punches him in the face, he falls to the ground) All right, Doc, go on in.

    • Nathan: How's Jenny?
      Doc Baker: Jenny's fine. Doctor Ledoux's putting a dressing on the incision.
      Nathan: The incision?
      Doc Baker: He had to take the baby. Otherwise, they both might have died. You can thank God that it was Dr. Ledoux. He's a fine surgeon.
      Dr. Ledoux: (coming out) She's not to be moved. I don't want the incision to re-open.
      Nathan: Doctor? I guess I should say thank you.
      Dr. Ledoux: Don't you thank me, Mr. Sherman. You thank Charles Ingalls, because if he hadn't been here, you surely would have let them die! Come on, Mattie, let's go home.
      Charles: You want a ride, Doc?
      Dr. Ledoux: No, thank you, Charles, we'll walk. I could use the air. (they leave)

  • Notes

    • Don Marshall as Caleb co-starred with Kevin Hagen (Doc Baker) in "Land of the Giants" in the late 1960's

    • Kevin Hagen as Dr. Baker was credited as a guest in this episode, as the story revolves around him in part.

  • Allusions

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