Mary and John Jr express their romantic feelings in this episode, when the character of Mary is only 13 years old. In a 2006 interview, Melissa Sue Anderson stated that she "couldn't really get into the idea of being in love at such a young age," and that actor Ramades Pera (John, Jr.) was "more interested in making our scenes work than I was."
In this episode, Laura turns to the devout Reverend Alden for support with her family's troubles. In Season 1's The Lord is My Shepherd, Part 1 Laura had a similar heart-to-heart with the Reverend after her baby brother died--although in that episode, she didn't tell the Reverend exactly what she was upset about.
Early in this episode, when Mr. Edwards attempts to offer Charles some comfort and understanding, Charles quickly balks, "No, you don't understand! You still have your crop!" It's certainly very out of character for Charles to speak this way to a friend, and what's more, Charles was aware of the turmoils that Mr. Edwards went through in losing his wife and daughter--pain that arguably goes well beyond having your crops destroyed. Charles should not have instantly assumed that Mr. Edwards didn't understand his troubles, and it was not like him to behave that way.
Charles Ingalls displays a rare, defeated attitude in this episode, in which he's ready to just "chuck it all" and leave Walnut Grove. It seems uncharacteristic of him, until you realize that in very recent episodes his crop had failed to sell (The Long Road Home), and his property taxes were doubled (Centennial). The tornado in this episode, and the damage it causes, seems to understandably push him over the edge.
Charles states that he's "going home to Wisconsin, because that's where I'm from," after the tornado devastates his home in this episode. However, the real Charles Ingalls was from Cuba, New York. He lived there and in Elgin, Illinois, until he married Caroline Quiner in 1860. The writers could have kept this episode historically correct by simply changing the word "Wisconsin" to "Illinois."
This episode marks the first kiss between Mary and John Jr. (Sanderson) Edwards. They also admit to each other that they are in love.
Charles' corn crop ("higher than your head") is destroyed by a tornado. It seems that he has continued to plant corn (as suggested in Season 1, "Money Crop"), rather than switch back to the wheat he first planted (such as in the episode "100 Mile Walk").
When the tornado starts, Charles calls his wife Karen (the actress's real name) instead of Caroline.
Reply: No, he doesn't. I've viewed this episode twice in the last two weeks, and he clearly calls her "Caroline," although in his panic he is speaking more quickly than normal. Remember that Charles does pronounce Caroline's name like "Carolyn," which sounds very much like "Karen."
Charles: Did you finish your supper already?
Laura: I wasn't hungry.
Charles: That doesn't sound like you.
Laura: I'm just too sad to eat, I guess.
Charles: Just because you're sad, that's no reason to starve yourself.
Laura: You didn't eat, either.
Charles: (long pause) No, I guess I didn't.
Laura: (runs and hugs him) Please, Pa, let us stay here!
Charles: Half-Pint, we can't. I tried. I want you to know that.
Laura: But we can do it, Pa! I know we can! I'm bigger now, and I can work like Mary does. You even said yourself that when this family pulls together, we can do anything. Please, Pa, just try!
Charles: Half-Pint, I can't. I want you to understand.
Laura: I do. I do understand. You quit trying. We could've done it together, but you quit trying!
Filming Locations: Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley and Paramount Studios, Hollywood, California.
In this episode, Charles' entire crop of "corn as high as your head" is destroyed. This would lead the viewer to believe that he's decided to stick with growing corn, a crop intorduced to him in season 2's Money Crop. However, just four episodes before Going Home aired, Charles and Isaiah Edwards were attempting to sell their bumper crop of wheat ("The Long Road Home") at market. Apparently, the writers couldn't make up their minds which crop he was growing!
A tornado impacted the Ingalls family in this episode. Laura would come close to being killed by a tornado a second time in Season 8's Days of Sunshine, Days of Shadow, Part 2.
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