Little House on the Prairie

Season 2 Episode 19

For My Lady

Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Mar 10, 1976 on NBC
out of 10
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Episode Summary


Charles agrees to do some work for a wealthy, attractive widow, which triggers suspicion in Caroline.

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  • Is Charles Ingalls having an affair with a comely widow? Harriet Oleson has the town, and quite possibly Caroline Ingalls, believing it.

    A wealthy (and completely proper) young widow in town, played by Mariette Hartley, hires Charles to complete some odd jobs around her mansion that her late husband never finished. While Mary is visiting her Pa at the house, the widow recieves a new shipment of beautiful china. In wondering aloud what she should do with the "old" set, Mary suggests that Charles buy them for Ma. Charles declines for the sake of being thrifty, but overnight changes his mind and offers to complete an additional project at the home in exchange for the dishes. He tells no one in the family, wanting to surprise his wife. Unfortunately, he tells a few white lies about his whereabouts to protect his secret, but is spotted by Caroline at the widow's home and in town doing special errands for her. Of course Mrs. Oleson pounces on the opportunity to start a rumor of an extramarital affair. In the end of course Charles presents his very grateful, humbled and relieved wife with the beautiful dishes, all rumors are put to rest, and all is well.moreless
  • Where's the dishes?

    You never did see them again, I thought I did once in the next show but that's it. After all the trouble and secrets, were they not "special" anymore?

    Some consistencies are understandable, some not as much.

    I loved Mariette Hartley but they did have her seem a bit worldly to be in Walnut Grove all alone. What happened though with the gossip unfortunately happens a lot even today and it was handled well.moreless
  • What is Charles up to with The Widow Thurman...?

    Charles visits the Widow Thurman and finds her house in need of quite a bit of repair as her late husband didn't take very good care of it. The payment for the job is to be a new set of dishes for Caroline but it is a very big job for such a relatively small reward. Charles, being the good man that he is, decides to do it anyway and sets to work.

    Unfortunately, the town gossips, lead by Harriet Oleson, also set to work with their tongues wagging about what is going on, particularly when Charles makes excuses for his absences, including a trip to Sleepy Eye which doesn't actually take place.

    Mary and Laura are uncomfortable about the nasty rumours they are hearing, but it is even worse for Caroline, who has to bear the brunt of the gossip. Needless to say, all the gossips are firmly put in their place when they find out the real truth.

    Terrific episode and a good showcase for actors we don't see as often as others in the series.moreless
Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

Melissa Sue Anderson

Melissa Sue Anderson

Mary Amelia Ingalls/Kendall (1974 - 1981)

Karl Swenson

Karl Swenson

Mr. Lars Hanson (1974 - 1978)

Michael Landon

Michael Landon

Charles Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Karen Grassle

Karen Grassle

Caroline Quiner Holbrook Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Lindsay Greenbush

Lindsay Greenbush

Carrie Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • When Mary and Laura show up at Widow Thurman's house with the dress fabric, why doesn't Charles, who is still trying to keep the secret about the dishes, tell the girls not to mention to their mother that they saw him there? He had to have considered that the two of them, being kids, would go home and tell her what they saw. Perhaps he wanted to keep the dishes a secret from everyone, but he was taking a big risk by saying nothing.

    • Nitpick: When Mary and Laura turn to leave the mercantile (right after they tell Nels that they weren't invited to Nellie's party), you can clearly see a 1970's--not 1870's--"Goody" style barette in Mary's hair, made of shiny black plastic.

    • Mariette Hartley, here portraying the widow Thurman, was a very popular character actress in the 1960's and 70's, appearing in everything from "The Twilight Zone" to Kodak commercials to Bill Bixby's love interest in "The Incredible Hulk."

    • The shot of Laura and Mary walking up a hill toward a flock of sheep was reused from the episode Ebenezer Sprague.

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Mrs. Oleson: Mrs.Ingalls.
      Caroline: Hello, Mrs.Oleson.
      Mrs. Oleson: Oh, my, I bet your hens have been working overtime again, haven't they?
      Caroline: Well, we haven't had much need for eggs lately. Charles is gone right in the mornings.
      Mrs. Oleson: Yes. (sighs) I imagine that he has a very rigorous schedule.
      Caroline: He's been very busy at the mill.
      Mrs.Oleson: Is that what he told you?
      Caroline: What do you mean by that?
      Mrs. Oleson: Believe me, Mrs. Ingalls, I don't want to be the one to tell you this, but, well, since we're such good friends, I must tell you.
      Caroline: Please, Mrs. Oleson.
      Mrs. Ingalls: Mrs. Ingalls, I don't know, it upsets me so, but I don't know. Why is it that the wife is always the last one to know?
      Caroline: I do. I know everything!
      Mrs. Oleson: Did you know that Mrs. Thurman did not tell you the truth? Nor did your husband?
      Caroline: I know, already!
      Mrs. Oleson: Oh, my dear, my dear, you don't know what happened. Now, I have been asking around, purely out of my consideration for you, you understand, and I understand that your husband has been seen coming and going from the Widow Thurman's home everyday for a week! Now, if I were you--
      Caroline: Well, you're not me, Harriet!
      Mrs. Oleson: What?!
      Caroline: In the first place, it is none of your business!
      Mrs. Oleson Mrs...!
      Caroline: In the second place, I know already! Thirdly, I trust Charles completely! (storms out)

    • Laura: (overvoice) We used the new dishes at supper that night, and every night after that, because Pa says that special dishes aren't for special occasions--they're for special people. And a family all together is the most special of all!

  • NOTES (1)

    • Filming Locations: Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley, Basin Creek and Cover's Apple Ranch near Tuolumne California and Paramount Studios, Hollywood, California.