Little House on the Prairie

Season 7 Episode 7

Divorce, Walnut Grove Style

1
Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Nov 10, 1980 on NBC
5.5
out of 10
User Rating
78 votes
7

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Divorce, Walnut Grove Style
AIRED:

Newlyweds Laura and Almanzo have been bickering more than usual lately, and it escalates when Laura suspects Manly of unfaithfulness.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Jumped The Shark

    4.0
    After the wedding of Laura Ingalls to Almanzo Little House began going downhill. Laura became immature and only proved that she was too young to get married unlike her sister Mary when she married Adam. It is apparent that Michael Landon was getting tired of Little House which showed during the last two seasons that he still starred before he left.
  • Newlyweds Laura and Almonzo have trouble adjusting to married life--things escalate when she suspects Almonzo loves someone else.

    4.0
    The beginning of this episode has Laura serving a less than stellar dinner to Almonzo. He's unhappy, but after all, she works hard all day too, she reasons, and having leftovers (again) isn't really the end of the world, is it? Then as Laura tries to grade papers, Almonzo starts playing his guitar, and a fight ensues when she asks him to keep the noise down. The following day, a girl Almonzo dated (briefly) visits town, and when Laura sees her talking to him in the town square, she goes ballistic, making a scene in front of the girl (Brenda Sue) and storming home. A fight ensues, and Laura retreats to the Ingalls farm, where she announces, "I'm leaving Almonzo!" The next day, after a talking-to from her Ma and Pa, Laura goes back to her house and finds no Almonzo, but does find a note that says, "My Only Love, Brenda Sue Longstreth". It's in Almonzo's handwriting and of course Laura assumes the worst, not knowing that it's just the title of a song that Brenda Sue had published in the big city. Laura sees Brenda in the town square and literally attacks her, pummeling her senseless. Ma, who witnesses the attack, and Pa, force her home, where the three of them ask Almonzo to explain exactly what's going on. He does, Laura looks like a fool, they kiss and make up, and it's on the the next episode.



    I very much dislike this episode. After two years of having her do everything possible to capture Almonzo's heart, Laura is suddenly turned into (by the writers), a screaming fishwife, who, frankly, no man would want to be married to. Watch several of the episodes that follow this one, and you're sure to notice her change in personality. At this point in the LHOTP series, Michael Landon played a huge part in the scriptwriting and production of each episode; I'm disappointed at the way he allowed Laura to devolve into such a shrew. Watch, too, for a decline in her "personality". Laura's character became less interesting and multi-dimentional in the last three years of the show.



    The only "funny" part of this episode at all is the recurring "gag" about the broken window. Don't go out of your way to see this one, unless you want to see two (supposedly) grown women in engaged in a fistfight.moreless
  • Laura and Almanzo's marriage is tested by the arrival of someone from his past.

    4.0
    This episode is extremely out of character for Laura and fairly epitomizes why Charles was concerned about her maturity in "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not". As we know, the Wilders will experience many difficult times far more serious than this. If Laura cannot handle the reappearance of an old girlfriend of Almanzo's, it's questionable as to how she can handle the storm that destroyed their crops and home, Almanzo's stroke and the death of her baby. (In fact, we find her losing control of herself during those times, too).



    The Olesons and the picture window gag provide much-needed comic relief.moreless
  • Comedic misunderstandings, a heap of ROMANCE, and a morsel of eye candy for the ladies

    10
    I thought this episode was kind of comedic for a dramatic show, and a little comic relief is a GOOD thing. An entertaining look at life between marital partners -- with all its misunderstandings, ups, and downs. And no, Laura wasn't being a shrew, she was combining her own work and own life with her marriage to Almanzo/Zaldamo, giving the message that women can be par of a couple and be their own people too (Bravo! Bravo!) -- and thoght the misunderstandings about Brenda were funny and charming, and the sweet reconciliation scene was endearingly romantic -- and that bath scene with Almanzo/Zaldamo -- Oooooh-la-la! (Wonder if the REAL Mister Wilder was that cute?)moreless
  • Comedic misunderstandings, a heap of ROMANCE, and a morsel of eye candy for the ladies

    10
    I thought this episode was kind of comedic for a dramatic show, and a little comic relief is a GOOD thing. An entertaining look at life between marital partners with all its ups and downs. And no, Laura wasn't being a shrew, she was combining her own work and own life with her marriage to Almanzo/Zaldamo, giving the message that a woman can be part of a couple and be her own person too (Bravo! Bravo!) -- and I thought the misunderstandings and conclusion-jumpings about Brenda were funny and charming, and the sweet reconciliation scene was endearingly romantic -- and that bathtub scene with Almanzo/Zaldamo -- Oooooh-la-la! (Wonder if the REAL Mister Wilder was that cute?)moreless
Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

Richard Bull

Richard Bull

Nels Oleson

Matthew Laborteaux

Matthew Laborteaux

Albert Quinn Ingalls (1978 -1982)

Michael Landon

Michael Landon

Charles Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Alison Arngrim

Alison Arngrim

Nellie Oleson/Dalton (1974 - 1981)

Karen Grassle

Karen Grassle

Caroline Quiner Holbrook Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Tisch Raye

Tisch Raye

Brenda Sue Longworth

Guest Star

Alvy Moore

Alvy Moore

Storekeeper

Guest Star

Eric Taslitz

Eric Taslitz

Timothy

Guest Star

Dean Butler

Dean Butler

Almanzo Wilder

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (3)

    • When Almanzo runs into Brenda Sue for the very first time, he gives her a perfectly normal "Hello, how are you doing?" and then goes on to say that he hasn't seen her in months. It was clear that Brenda Sue was an unexpected out-of-town visitor in this episode. If an old friend walked up to you out of the blue after all that time, wouldn't you be surprised to see them? The way Almanzo greeted her, you would have thought that he saw her every day of his life.

    • When Laura says to Brenda Sue, "No, you witch! I found out!" and pushes her down, you can see that Melissa Gilbert (Laura) is on the brink of laughter, but they cut the camera away from her face just in time.

    • Notice the black, jaggedy imprints of dirt that are caked on Laura's face when Caroline pulls her away from Brenda Sue after their fist fight. Those marks are much lighter and positioned differently in the next scene, when Laura and Caroline are talking in the restaurant kitchen.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Almanzo: (in the bathtub) Beth!
      Laura: Did you call me?
      Almanzo: Yeah, darling, there's no more towels!
      Laura: I didn't get to them today.
      Almanzo: Well, that's fine, I'll just sit here and watch my skin wrinkle up!
      Laura: I'll get them done tomorrow.
      Almanzo: Well, how am I supposed to dry off?
      Laura: Almanzo, I'm sorry. Use a sheet!
      Almanzo: That's great. Then maybe tonight, I can go to sleep on a nice clean towel!

    • Charles: I just saw Almanzo on the way back from Sleepy Eye. He was all excited about coming home to see you. He even had a present for you.
      Caroline: Charles, I don't see how that has anything to do with any of this.
      Charles: Well, it's just that he doesn't seem to paint the picture of a guilty husband.
      Laura: Well, it seems that Almanzo's getting very good at that.
      Charles: There's one other thing. He told me that you were crazy to be jealous of Brenda Sue. He said the two of them shared one thing—an interest in music—and that was all it was, because he could never get to liking her.
      Laura: Well, I can certainly see whose side you're on!
      Charles: I'm on the side of making sure this is not all a big misunderstanding before doing Almanzo Wilder great bodily harm!

    • Harriet: I just got a beautiful new nightgown from Paris. Remember how you admired it in the catalog?
      Nels: That's nice.
      Harriet: Want me to put it on?
      Nels: Not really.
      Harriet: (silence) I got a nice pretty one from Minneapolis. You liked it. Nels?
      Nels: Yes, dear?
      Harriet: Oh, Nels, I'm only trying to make you happy. Isn't there something I can put on?
      Nels: Yeah.
      Harriet Oooh, what?
      Nels: Put on a paper bag!

    • Store Owner: My late husband never got me a gift unless we had an argument, so finally, I decided I would argue with him all the time. That way, I'd get something every day.
      Almanzo: You must miss him.
      Store Owner: Why should I miss him? I see him at home every night.
      Almanzo: I thought you said your late husband.
      Store Owner: I did. He's always late. That's what we argue about.

    • Almanzo: Laura, I'm gonna tell you something. You want to know what your being jealous of Brenda Sue is? Stupid, that's what. Just plain stupid!
      Laura: Oh, really?
      Almanzo: Yeah!
      Laura: Well, maybe I'm too stupid to cook supper! (shoves ball of dough in his hands and storms out)

    • Laura: Almanzo, I'm doing the best I can. Why can't you understand that?
      Almanzo: All I understand is that I work all day, and I come home to a half-cooked meal and a house that I can't sing in, because you've turned into a library!
      Laura: Where are you going?
      Almanzo: Outside to play for the cows!

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  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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