Little House on the Prairie

Season 8 Episode 18

Days of Sunshine, Days of Shadow (2)

1
Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Feb 22, 1982 on NBC
5.5
out of 10
User Rating
56 votes
1

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Days of Sunshine, Days of Shadow (2)
AIRED:

Laura's anticipation of the birth of her first child is tainted by Almanzo's increasingly bitter attitude towards his debilitating health, as well as the possibility that they might lose their home. Eliza Jane's solution to their problems complicates everything.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The wilders lives are in ruin due to a series of terrible incidents almanzo has had a stroke, the crops were destroyed by a hailstorm and a tornado has destroyed theyre beautiful farmhouse.moreless

    10
    I loved this episode everything happens to them and when it seems there is nothing to be done they pull through and build a new home. It was one of my favorite two hour episodes. I love it when the tornado hits, although I also thought Laura shouldnt have left her daughter in the cellar to go and get the cat. but of course she had to get injured somehow. overall it was a great episode! and this is of course the episode where Laura becomes a mother. Even though Almanzo is not very happy because he thinks he is paralyzed forever.moreless
Dean Butler

Dean Butler

Almanzo James Wilder (co-star prior to season 7)

Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

Jason Bateman

Jason Bateman

James Cooper/Ingalls (1981 - 1982)

Kevin Hagen

Kevin Hagen

Dr. Hiram Baker

Matthew Laborteaux

Matthew Laborteaux

Albert Quinn Ingalls (1978 -1982)

Missy Francis

Missy Francis

Cassandra Cooper/Ingalls (1981 - 1982)

Dee Croxton

Dee Croxton

Mrs. Jackson

Guest Star

Nathan Adler

Nathan Adler

Mr. Jackson

Guest Star

Lucy Lee Flippin

Lucy Lee Flippin

Eliza Jane Wilder

Recurring Role

Ruth Foster

Ruth Foster

Mrs. Foster

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (3)

    • After Laura angrily smashes the special plate to pieces, Caroline magically re-presents it to her later, and it looks as good as new.

    • According to Laura Ingalls Wilder's book The First Four Years, the final installment in her 9-book series, it was actually a fire that destroyed her and Almanzo's home. Also, the special "Give us this day our daily bread" plate really did exist, and it was one of the few things that survived the fire. It did not belong to Caroline, but rather it was something that Laura and Almanzo bought to commemmorate their first Christmas together. After their daughter Rose Wilder Lane died, the plate was found among her things and placed in the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home Association in Mansfield, Missouri, where it remains today for visitors to look at and enjoy.

    • At the end of this episode, Lucy Lee Flippin (Eliza Jane) flubs her lines briefly when she says, "I've forgotten how much I missed being away from all of you." Given the tone of the scene, this is obviously incorrect!

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Almanzo: Wait a minute.
      Charles: What?
      Almanzo: Look at that. Look at that plant! I can't believe it.
      Charles: Well, it's just a geranium.
      Almanzo: A stupid geranium. I watered it and tended it when it was broken, but it just kept trying to die on me. Now look at it! A tornado hits it, and it's growing up to the ruins of the house! You know why, Charles? Because I overtended it. All it needed was some time to be alone, to help itself. Just like me. As long as Laura and Eliza Jane kept doing things for me, I didn't see any reason to change. Now Laura needs me, and I have to prove to her that I can be there.
      Charles: (smiles) She's gonna be awfully happy to hear that, son.

    • Eliza Jane: What are you doing?
      Almanzo: I'm building a house for me and my family to live in.
      Eliza Jane: Why? We're moving to Minneapolis. You can't build a house here!
      Charles: Eliza Jane--
      Eliza Jane: Look! This came today! It's a job, Almanzo. A proper job! One you can handle from your wheelchair. Now you don't have to worry about this silly farm anymore.
      Charles: Maybe Almanzo doesn't think this is a silly farm.
      Eliza Jane: He'll be a lot better off once we get him to Minneapolis.
      Charles: He doesn't want to spend the rest of his life in that chair!
      Eliza Jane: It's not my doing that he's in the wheelchair.
      Charles: Isn't it? It seems to me that as long as you were doing everything for him, he had no reason to get out of it.

    • Almanzo: I'm standing on my own two feet, and I don't want you to take that away from me.
      Eliza Jane: Almanzo!
      Almanzo: You've always been my big sister. I've listened to you, looked up to you. I always thought you knew what was best for me.
      Eliza Jane: I do want what's best for you!
      Almanzo: I know you do. But you need to let me decide what that is from now on.
      Eliza Jane: This job! It's what we've been waiting for!
      Almanzo: It's what you've been waiting for. I want to be a farmer. That's all I've ever wanted out of the whole world. After we finish raising the house and working the fields for next year's crops.......two weeks ago, I didn't know what I was going to do. Now I do.
      Eliza Jane: (backs away and starts crying) After everything I've done for you......I can't believe you're going to throw it all away! (runs off)
      Almanzo: (to Charles) I didn't want to hurt her like that.
      Charles: She'll be all right.

    • Almanzo: I don't want anyone taking care of me. Not you, not Laura. Nobody.
      Eliza Jane: You have no choice.
      Almanzo: Yes, I do. (long pause) I can die.
      Eliza Jane: Almanzo, you don't mean that!
      Almanzo: I pray for it every night. If there's a God in Heaven, He'll let me die. Please go away, Eliza Jane. Go away.

    • Almanzo: (about the new house) I know it's small. We're all gonna be living in one room for a while.
      Laura: I'm used to that.
      Almanzo: And you'll have to fetch the water from the well, because there's no pump in the kitchen like before.
      Laura: I'm used to that, too.
      Almanzo: We're gonna be downright poor for a time, but the Farmer's Almanac predicts a good year. Cool summer, mild winter.
      Laura: If the Almanac says it's so, it's so.
      Almanzo: We're right back where we started, you might say. But the land is ours, and nobody can take it away from us.
      Laura: They better not try!
      Almanzo: Welcome home, Beth. (they hug)

  • NOTES (5)

    • Brenda Turnbaugh played Grace in the scene where Laura went crazy and started smashing the windows of her already-destroyed home. Brenda, who was only four years old at the time, remembers the shot where her character was running away; she was scared to death and wanted to look back, but everyone kept telling her, "Keep running! Keep running!" Brenda recalls this fondly, and she remembers that she was called back afterward and "applauded for a job well done." She even got it right on the first take.

    • Brenda Turnbaugh has credited this as her favorite episode, because it's the one episode that she vividly remembers having a bigger role in. Of course, she is referring to the scene where Laura takes baby Grace to help "clean up" her house, only to find out that the tornado has completely destroyed it.

    • Dean Butler states on his website that this marks the only episode where he was injured on set and had to seek medical treatment. The night after shooting the "hailstorm" scene, Butler became sick to his stomach and very dizzy. It turned out that one of the chemical-based hailstones used in the scene had entered and lodged itself in his inner ear, releasing toxins and disturbing his equilibrium. He was rushed to the ER, but a doctor was able to remove it fairly easily, and Butler returned to work the following day.

    • Actress Dee Croxton, who plays Mrs. Jackson, appeared previously in Season 4's Whisper Country and Season 6's He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not.

    • Featured characters: Laura and Almanzo.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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