Little House on the Prairie

Season 2 Episode 22

Going Home

Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Mar 31, 1976 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
91 votes
  • An excellent way to end Season 2 as good fortune turns to great failure and the Ingalls family just may have to leave Walnut Grove.

    With a bumper crop ready to harvest, Charles and Caroline are delighted with their future prospects until the whole thing is destroyed by a freak tornado which wipes out everything. Naturally, the Ingalls family are devastated, but Caroline, the girls and family friends are stunned when Charles announces that he cannot take anymore of Walnut Grove's disappointments and wishes to return to his family home in Wisconsin.

    Needless to say, this side of Charles is one seldom seen and nobody is really sure hope to cope with it as he has always been able to start again before. Finally, it is Caroline who raises his spirits and tells him they will indeed start again - in Walnut Grove. They may have lost everything but to her, that is no reason not to put everything back together again and pick up the pieces. Which is exactly what they do. A lesson for us all and a fantastic episode for all "Little House" fans.
  • Probably the best episode of Season 2 and among the series' best.

    The Ingall's have their crop wiped out yet again, but this time Charles decides to give up and leave Minnesota.

    I sometimes think this episode is overlooked, it doesn't have the drama of "His Father's Son" or the tragedy of "Remember Me". What it does have is a real commitment to the values that Landon wanted to establish for the series -- the worth of a united family. There are many memorable lines and conversations, including Laura saying that a family that "pulls together can do anything", and Charles' out-loud realization the he decided to sell the farm without ever asking his wife or children ( a nice nod to 70s era sensibilities, and at the same time, to a recipe that probably was pretty important to pioneer families). This episode also sets up the romance between Mary and John Jr., something that continues into the next season and ends abruptly the season after that (pretty nice acting given that Radames Pera and Melissa Sue Anderson didn't like each other). The use of the older couple, the Simms, is also effective as a reminder of the type of people who established the midwestern farms of the American frontier.

    David Rose really does an excellent job with the musical scoring here, adapting his bouncy and rather 70s style "young kids in love" trumpet arrangement common to "For the Love of Johnny Johnson" and "To See the World" into a full orchestral string composition, making it much grander and more sentimental. His theme for Mary Ingalls is also embellished, and there are flourishes added onto the main musical score near the end of the episode.

    Maybe my only quibble is with the impossible time line hinted at in this episode and common to many entries in the series. Its seems possible that the Simms did homestead the land that the Ingalls owned forty years earlier, but its a lot less plausible that they were married in the same church that exists in Walnut Grove at the time of the story.
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