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."
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.