Little House on the Prairie

Season 9 Episode 16

Home Again (Part 1)

Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Feb 07, 1983 on NBC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Home Again (Part 1)
In Burr Oak, Iowa, Charles is forced to address Albert's recent criminal behavior. The two of them take a trip back to Walnut Grove, and as Charles reconnects with Laura and his friends, he is hopeful that the experience will straighten out his troubled son, but Albert's issues run deeper than anyone ever imagined.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • At first you have to know that this episode was made to warn kids about drugs.

    In the beginning I had a hard time figuring out how in the world it could happen that is was Albert going so wrong. Yes, he was a troubled kid who didn`t know any love until he met the Ingalls family, but seemed to grow up as a boy with a good hart. After they moved to the city live changed for Albert. His younger brother and sisters went to another school then he did, his mother was working during the days and his father worked so hard he almost never was around. His friends were gone, no one to hang out with, no place for fishing or sports. This boy, who was always brave enough to go away when he figured out he had to, was still the boy who was so afraid of being left. And now he felt left and lonely. He started to hang out with a gang...

    The behaving of Albert hurts his family very deeply. His father lost his job and had no other choice then to bring the boy back to Walnut Grove where he once seemed to be so happy, in the hope the boy turns around.

    Heartbreaking is when Charles admits to his friend mr. Edwards that he and his family needs peace so much that sometimes he wishes the boy just would go away.moreless
  • a

    My love, I have tried with all my being

    to grasp a form comparable to thine own,

    but nothing seems worthy;

    I know now why Shakespeare could not

    compare his love to a summer’s day.

    It would be a crime to denounce the beauty

    of such a creature as thee,

    to simply cast away the precision

    God had placed in forging you.

    Each facet of your being

    whether it physical or spiritual

    is an ensnarement

    from which there is no release.

    But I do not wish release.

    I wish to stay entrapped forever.

    With you for all eternity.

    Our hearts, always as one.

Dean Butler

Dean Butler

Almanzo James Wilder (co-star prior to season 7)

Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

Kevin Hagen

Kevin Hagen

Dr. Hiram Baker

Richard Bull

Richard Bull

Nels Oleson

Ketty Lester

Ketty Lester

Hester-Sue Terhune (1982-1983) (co-star 1978 - 1981)

Stan Ivar

Stan Ivar

John Carter (1982 - 1983)

Matthew Laborteaux

Matthew Laborteaux

Albert Ingalls

Guest Star

Claude Earl Jones

Claude Earl Jones

Mr. Gibson

Guest Star

Charles Tyner

Charles Tyner

Mr. Janes

Guest Star

Michael Landon

Michael Landon

Charles Ingalls

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (12)

    • In the ending credits, you will see the name Jonathan Hall Kovacs  as Mathew. But he was not even in this episode,not in both parts. So why was he listed in the ending credits?

    • It is interesting that the restaurant is still called Caroline's. In Season 8 Episode 10, "Wave of the Future" when they took down the sign that said "Mrs. Sullivan's" they put "Nellie's" back up. But then in Season 9 Episode 9, "The Empire Builders", after a man was thrown threw the glass, it was replaced with "Caroline's" and it was like that for the remainder.

    • The police tells Charles that Albert's punishment would be work house but only the jury finds you guilty or not guilty and a judge makes the sentence, not the police.

    • It's interesting to note that in this episode, Walnut Grove's one and only restaurant is still called "Caroline's". The viewer may recall that at the end of Season 6, in He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, Percival suggested a temporary name change from "Nellie's", to draw in the public. Apparently, the name never got changed back.

    • This episode borrows heavily from season 2's Soldier's Return, where a lot of the same plot elements are present: a morphine addict returning to Walnut Grove, a parent who tries desperately to help, the theft of morphine from Doc Baker, and his accurate diagnosis of the addictions.

    • Charles reveals some intense feelings about his troubled son that are more common in today's world as parents struggle to deal with their rebellious teenagers, but is rather shocking to see happening back in the prairie days, when children were said to be much more respectful toward their parents.

    • Upon return to Walnut Grove, Albert mentions how Nancy was tricked into going in the dunk tank, which was featured in The Reincarnation of Nellie, Pt 2.

    • In this episode, we get to see that Charles and Caroline now live in quite a nice, spacious home in Iowa. The kids all have their own rooms (or at least Albert does), and they get to live much more frivolously because of Charles' higher-paying job.

    • Near the beginning of the episode, Laura places baby Rose on a chair in the restaurant kitchen, then turns her back to her. This is a pretty foolish and irresponsible move on a parent's part, especially since a baby could roll to one side and fall.

    • At the end of this episode, Laura's overvoice tell us that Albert eventually returned to Walnut Grove as a doctor. Given that Albert's life was in serious question in the episode Look Back to Yesterday (which aired shortly after this), these words leave viewers very confused. Furthermore, in light of what happened to the town of Walnut Grove in the series finale, that makes this statement from Laura all the more ridiculous and inaccurate. However, it was necessary in providing this episode with a happy ending, and in the writers' defense, they did not know at the time what the final episodes were going to be about.

    • When Charles picks up Rose, he keeps saying "It's me, Granddad. Do you remember Granddad?" "Dad" was not at all a common term to use for your father in that time period. For that matter, Charles refers to his younger children as "kids" when he is talking to Mr. Gibson, and that wasn't a common term at that time, either--it was usually "children," "little ones," "young'uns," etc.....

    • Nitpick: I'm surprised they didn't write anything in the script about Willie Oleson (Albert's best friend) trying to help expose Albert's morphine addiction (e.g., by finding emptied packets by the water pump while getting water).

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Mr. Edwards: Tell me something, Charles, and be honest. Don't you sometimes get tired of all the work and worry that it takes to bring up a young'un?
      Charles: Oh, I never did until all this started with Albert. I'll tell you, Isaiah, you get to a point where you say, "Dear God, I don't know what to do anymore." I've lost him, I can't get through to him. That's why I keep looking over at that school and wondering, is he going to stay? Is he going to work? I wonder how he's going to feel tonight, or tomorrow, because I never know from one minute to the next. You know, you told me I shouldn't feel any guilt, and I don't, not for all the trouble he's gotten into. I don't blame myself for that. I did the best I could, the best I know how. But I do feel guilt, because sometimes.........sometimes I wish he would go away and never come back.
      Mr. Edwards: No, you don't mean that, Charles.
      Charles: Oh, but I do. I mean it, Isaiah. I'm tired of going to bed every night and wondering where he is, what he's doing. I'm tired of hearing his mother cry herself to sleep every night because of some trouble he's gotten into. I can't take it anymore. I need peace, Isaiah. My family needs it too, and if that means never seeing him again, then God help me, that's the way it's gonna be!

    • Charles: (about Albert) I just keep wondering where I went wrong. A man couldn't have asked for a better son than him.
      Mr. Edwards: It's hard to say. He just got caught in a bad crowd.
      Charles: But it all happened so fast. Granted, I worked late every night, and I didn't spend the time with him that I should have.
      Mr. Edwards: Oh, now, don't be blaming yourself for working hard. The boy should have understood that. You've got no reason to feel guilt. You know what I think? I think we go about raising kids all wrong. The minute they get old enough to work, then the father ought to just quit and go off and lay in a hammock somewhere! Right? Let the kids take over. The man's done his share.

    • Mr. Gibson: (to Charles after Albert stole from his store) I never would have believed you were the boy's father. The other boys, the Morgans......I know their fathers, so I understand why they are the way they are. But you? How does it happen?
      Charles: I don't know. (pauses) No, that's not true. He's not the same, I'm not the same. It's being here, in the city. I'm not saying all the blame lies here, but.....I came from a small town called Walnut Grove. Everybody knew everybody. I ate supper with my family every night. We did things together--fishing, picnics. But here. The little ones go to one school, he goes to another. We can't fish in cement. I can't eat supper with my family every night, because I have to work late every night, and if I don't work late every night, there's someone else who will, and they'll have my job the next day. It's just so different here. So different.
      Mr. Gibson: Why did you come to the city?
      Charles: To earn a living. I just got tired of worrying where the money was going to come from, month in and month out. It's funny. It didn't bother me when I was a young man. I kind of thought it was like a challenge. But when you get older, you want to feel more secure, not just for yourself, but for your wife and kids. You want them to feel secure.

    • Mr. Gibson: If I were to drop the charges against your boy, what would you do? You can't just let it go on like this.
      Charles: To be honest, I don't know.
      Mr. Gibson: You've got to get the boy out of the environment that he's in now.
      Charles: But how?
      Mr. Gibson: I think that if I were you, I'd take him back home, to your little town.
      Charles: Oh, I wish I could, but I can't. I can't pull up stakes now. My wife has a job here. The children have their schooling, their new friends.
      Mr. Gibson: Do you have any family there?
      Charles: Yeah. I have my daughter and her husband.
      Mr. Gibson: Maybe he could live with them.
      Charles: Without us?
      Mr. Gibson: Mr. Ingalls, if things remain as they are, he's going to be living away from home, anyway, in a workhouse.
      Charles: (eyes filling with tears) I know you're right. But away from the family.......maybe I can talk to my wife. Does that mean that you'll drop the charges?
      Mr. Gibson: (smiles) Yes. We could go on down to the station house right now, if you want. You won't get a good night's sleep after having a cup of my coffee, anyway.

    • Hester Sue: I wish Caroline could have made the trip back.
      Laura: So do I, but there's just no way she could have gotten away. You know, it's so funny. I know I'm a grown woman now, with a husband and a child, but when it comes to seeing Pa again.......I feel like a little girl.
      Hester Sue: I know what you mean, but fathers feels the same way. You'll never grow up to him, either.
      Laura: You're probably right. I didn't realize how much I missed him until I found out he was coming home. It seems like he's been gone forever.
      Charles: (walks in) Is that a fact? If you miss me so much, how come you weren't outside to greet me?

    • Charles: Your mother and I had a talk.
      Albert: (in a rude tone) Oh?
      Charles: And we decided that it would be best for you if you were out of the city. So I'm going to take you back to Walnut Grove.
      Albert: I don't want to go back. I have friends here. I like it here.
      Charles: Albert, what you want and what's going to be are two entirely different things.
      Albert: I'm not going.
      Charles: You'll do what I say.
      Albert: And if I don't?
      Charles: If you don't, then I'll ask Mr. Gibson to change his mind and press charges against you.
      Albert: You would do that?
      Charles: I've have to do that. I'm not going to sit back and watch you destroy your life, and your mother's, and mine. I'm not going to do that. You're not the only one in this family. You're hurting all of us, and I'm not going to let it happen anymore.

    • Mrs. Oleson: For heaven's sake, Nels! Now what do you think people would say, if... if you went off to Chicago without me? Don't you think they would be just a little bit shocked?
      Mr. Oleson: Only if I came back, Harriet.

  • NOTES (4)

    • The rainy scene that depicts the street on which the Ingalls family now lives is stock footage also used in Season 3's To Live With Fear.

    • Claude Earl Jones, who plays Mr. Gibson in this episode, appeared in the previous season's "The Legacy" as Jack Prescott, a friend of Charles who tragically dies of heart failure without leaving a mark on the world.

    • Featured character: Charles and Albert

    • This two-part episode's original running time was 1 hour and 30 minutes long, and it is commonly split in two 60 minute parts for syndicated reruns.