Little House on the Prairie

Season 2 Episode 12

His Father's Son

1
Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Jan 07, 1976 on NBC
8.0
out of 10
User Rating
65 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Isaiah and Grace Edwards are both delighted with their new family, but trouble soon begins between Isaiah and his oldest adopted son John. Isaiah does not understand the boy's interest in books and poetry, and he would much prefer a son with whom he could farm and hunt. That clearly is not the kind of life John enjoys, but Isaiah keeps pushing it, and when the two go on a hunting trip together, the unthinkable occurs, placing their entire relationship on the line.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Mr. Edwards tries to make his newly adopted son, John, more like him--with near fatal results.

    7.5
    This episode tenderly explores the relationship between the grizzled, blustering Mr. Edwards, and his gentle, bookish, newly adopted son, John Junior. When John's birthday arrives, his new stepmother, Grace, fittingly presents him with books of literature and poetry. John, the budding writer, is thrilled. But when Edwards presents him with a shotgun, a horrified John barely manages to keep it together as he squeaks out a simple, "thank you". When Edwards announces that the two will go hunting that week, Grace tries privately to reason with him, to no avail. John even writes his stepfather a letter explaining his total inability to shoot another living creature, which Edwards brushes aside; unbeknownst to John, his stepfather can't read. Flash forward to the hunting trip: before the first shot can be fired, a bear tears out of the woods and savagely attacks Mr. Edwards while a terrified John stands by, frozen. As Edwards recovers, John blames himself for failing to act. The episode concludes with a father and son heart-to-heart about their love for each other, in spite of their differences.



    It's nice to watch the fine example of male bonding in this episode. I also like that the writers didn't have Mr. Edwards "blame" John for his inaction; rather, they had him fault himself for forcing the boy into an impossible situation. Viewers be warned: the bear attack, while brief, is intense, realistic and frightening and should not be viewed by younger children.moreless
  • Poor Mr. Edwards, he really is such a decent man that it's a pity he and his newly-adopted son can't find some middle ground.

    6.5
    Both Grace and Isaiah Edwards are thrilled that the three young Sanderson children have joined their family. For Mr. Edwards, in particular, having a son is wonderful and he can't wait to teach John all about hunting and fishing and other things he loves. The trouble is, young John is more interested in books and poetry and the outdoor life of his new father doesn't appeal to him. Things are very difficult for both of them, but are made far worse when Mr. Edwards insists that the boy accompany him on a hunting trip which turns out to be a very bad idea indeed.moreless
  • It's better than most...

    9.0
    John Jr. only appears in FIVE eps of LHOTP. Remember Me both parts, I'll Ride The Wind, the one with Mary in Chicago, and this one...His Father's Son. It's really covers an essence not genuninely covered until later "Little House" years and that is the essence of father/son relationships. I have viewed this episode on at least several occcasions and I never tire of it. The acting in this one probably supars other performances in this particular season (with the expection of the appearance of Richard Mulligan in a later ep). It's one of those eppys that you can view 220 thousand times and want to watch a dozen more. But be wary parents, this is a somewhat graphic episode.moreless
Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

Melissa Sue Anderson

Melissa Sue Anderson

Mary Amelia Ingalls/Kendall (1974 - 1981)

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)

Sidney Greenbush

Sidney Greenbush

Carrie Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Neil Russell

Neil Russell

Len Coty

Guest Star

Peter Haas

Peter Haas

Tad Coty

Guest Star

Radames Pera

Radames Pera

John Jr.

Guest Star

Brian Part

Brian Part

Carl

Recurring Role

E.J. André

E.J. André

Amos Thomas

Recurring Role

Bonnie Bartlett

Bonnie Bartlett

Grace Edwards

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Beware of some graphic images when Mr. Edwards is being attacked by the bear. The blood is obviously fake (it almost looks like it could be ketchup), but there are some really close-up shots of him being attacked, and "Little House" didn't usually show that much. Younger and/or more squeamish audiences may want to skip over this scene.

    • In the birthday cake scene with Grace, Mr. Edwards and the three kids, look closely at Kyle Richards' (Alicia's) expression throughout the scene. She has her head down, her face is drawn, and she is clearly in some type of distress. She didn't even clap when John blew out his candles. Nobody asked her what was wrong, and there was no reasonable explanation for her being upset. They didn't even try to hide it during the filming, because they did a few close-up shots of her. This is obviously very strange and out of place.

    • Some audiences may be shocked to learn that the bear that attacked Mr. Edwards is attacked is not a real one. It's a man in a suit, and the person inside is none other than Michael Landon himself!

    • I noticed a big goof in this episode when they were celebrating John's birthday. Notice the writing on the chocolate cake before Grace puts it on the table..."Happy Birthday John" is spelled out perfectly. After John blows out the candles, look at the cake...there is no "H" in the word "birthday!"

    • This episode marks the first time Mary Ingalls shows admiration for John. She talks about his dreams to be a poet, borrows a copy of Emerson from her father to lend to him, and Laura even sarcastically remarks on her going to visit him "without her glasses on."

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (5)

    • This is Radames Pera's (John Sanderson Jr.) favorite episode.

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

    • Featured characters: The Edwards family, particularly Isaiah and John Jr.

    • Radames Pera, who plays John Jr, credits this as his favorite episode. He has often joked that it was one episode where he was able to show off his acting range without having to kiss Mary Ingalls.

    • This is the first appearance of E.J. Andre, who went on to play several different characters over the show's run, perhaps most notably, James and Cassandra's distant uncle Jed for two episodes in Seasons 7 and 8.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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