Little House on the Prairie

Season 2 Episode 3

Ebenezer Sprague

2
Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Sep 24, 1975 on NBC
8.8
out of 10
User Rating
86 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
When Walnut Grove builds its very first bank, the cold and heartless Mr. Sprague settles in to run it. Charles tries to get on the man's good side right off the bat, but Mr. Sprague has been in the banking business long enough to sniff out these kinds of things, and after refusing to take the bait, he proceeds to turn Charles down flat when he requests an important loan. Meanwhile, Laura forms an unlikely bond with Mr. Sprague at the fishing hole, and against all odds, the two remain blatantly unaware of each other's identity--that is, until fate takes a turn and puts this budding friendship to a harsh test.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Banker Sprague is new in town and he's not very friendly but maybe a little girl can change all that ...

    6.5
    When a new banker, Mr. Sprague, arrives in Walnut Grove he seems determined to dislike everything and everyone in the place. Charles wants to be able to strike up some kind of acquaintanceship with him because he is a genial man at the best of times, and he requires an important loan which only Mr. Sprague can grant him. Mr. Sprague gives him an outright 'no' upon application.



    Things aren't looking good until the banker runs into Laura partaking of her favourite pastime. Fishing. Seems that Mr. Sprague enjoys the same thing too and the pair of them get to talking before fate intervenes and brings the banker and the Ingalls family together in a most unlikely way.



    Not a bad episode but I feel the script could have been a bit stronger in some areas and that would have made it much better.moreless
  • The Meanest Man in Walnut Grove is Mr. Sprague, the new banker. Can anyone befriend him?

    7.5
    Mr. Sprague becomes Walnut Grove's first banker, but his curt and abrupt way of dealing with the townsfolk endears him to no one--except Laura Ingalls. After Jack scares Sprague's horse and causes his buggy to crash, Laura's apologetics and disarming sweetness charm him into becoming her "fishing buddy". He's unaware, however, that Mr. Ingalls, whom he's already had a disagreement with regarding a loan, and Mrs. Ingalls, whom he's already had a disagreement with over contributing money for new school textbooks, are her parents. When he finds out, Sprague accuses Laura of trying to "get on his good side", for the sake of her parents. In reality, Laura has no idea that her new friend is the mean banker everyone's talking about.

    Charles confronts Sprague about his cold-heartedness, and in true LHOTP form, the school soon finds itself in possession of a crate of brand new McGuffey Readers, and the Ingalls have a new dinner guest. A fine episode that introduces a semi-recurring character to the show.moreless
Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

Melissa Sue Anderson

Melissa Sue Anderson

Mary Amelia Ingalls/Kendall (1974 - 1981)

Richard Bull

Richard Bull

Nels Oleson

Karl Swenson

Karl Swenson

Mr. Lars Hanson (1974 - 1978)

Charlotte Stewart

Charlotte Stewart

Miss Eva Beadle/Mrs. Simms (1974 - 1978)

Michael Landon

Michael Landon

Charles Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Janice Carroll

Janice Carroll

Mrs. Kennedy

Guest Star

Ed Crick

Ed Crick

Mr. Taylor

Guest Star

James Killmond

James Killmond

Johnny

Guest Star

Victor French

Victor French

 

Recurring Role

Ted Gehring

Ted Gehring

Ebenezer Sprague

Recurring Role

Ruth Foster

Ruth Foster

Mrs. Foster

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (2)

    • The nice shot of Laura and Mary walking up a hill towards a flock of sheep would be reused in the episode For My Lady.

    • Nitpicks: At the end, Laura show's Mr. Sprague her new schoolbook that he donated, a McGuffey's Revised Third Reader. The Revised McGuffey did not come out until 1879, when the real Laura was 12 years old. Also, Laura had only learned to read the year before, so why would she be using the Third Reader, which contains middle-school level readings?

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Laura (overvoice): We kept Mr. Sprague's secret about the books and Pa got his loan and bought the forty acres. Mr. Sprague said, "I sure didn't lie about Ma's cooking, it was the best in the whole world".

    • Charles: (to Sprague about Laura) You broke that little girl's heart! She went to that pond every day to visit her best friend. That's what she called you--her best friend!

    • Charles: (about Laura) She didn't have the slightest idea who you were, and as for the loan I wouldn't take it if it meant I'd lose everything. That little girl gave you something very important--friendship--and you took it and threw it right back in her face.
      Mr. Sprague: I don't need any friends, Mr. Ingalls.
      Charles: Well, that's a good thing, Mr. Sprague, because you don't have any! You know, I feel sorry for you. You can't give or take anything other than money, and as far as I'm concerned that means you don't have anything at all.

  • NOTES (4)

    • The pristine location scenes of Mary and Laura walking along the trail with the sheep on the hill were filmed at Cover's Apple Ranch near Tuolumne California.

    • Filming Locations: Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley, with Sierra location scenes filmed at Cover's Apple Ranch and Tuolumne and Paramount Studios, Hollywood, California.

    • Mr. Sprague gives Laura a ride home from the pond after their second day of fishing together. Jack was with them at the pond, but when Sprague drops her off, Jack is nowhere to be seen, and she's seen walking home alone in the next shot.

    • If Pa and Ma are concerned that Laura has been fishing with an unknown adult male every day, they sure don't show it. They don't ever escort her to the pond or insist on meeting this stranger.

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

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