In the second episode of this season, Times of Change, Mary had just come off a break-up with her fiance when she met a boy named Patrick, who was going to his aunt's house and would be attending school in Walnut Grove. They struck up a conversation and seemed to be hitting it off. This episode featured Mary's romantic interest, a young man named Patrick, who is obviously played by a different actor and may or may not be intended as the same person. (Nevertheless, we've not seen Patrick since "Times of Change," nor will we see him again.)
Notice that the hot air balloon is only tied down by two ropes. Therefore, when Patrick cuts the first rope, the basket should immediately float upward, but stay anchored down by the one remaining rope. Defying gravity, though, the balloon remains perfectly in place until he cuts the second rope.
The fire wagon that chases the loose balloon says "Redwood City FD" on the side. There is no such city in Minnesota. There is a Redwood Falls, MN, and it is mentioned in several episodes, but it's sixty miles away from Mankato, the location of the fair. It seems unlikely, even if the fire truck had correctly read "Redwood Falls" on it, that Mankato, a much larger city, wouldn't have had it's own fire department personnel handy.
This is the second time in the series that little Carrie was put in danger because her older sisters weren't keeping a close eye on her, like they were supposed to. The first time was in Season 3's Little Girl Lost.
When the firemen put out the fire, the balloon should have collapsed instead of stayed inflated.
Reply: Actually, the balloon wouldn't immediately deflate, because the air in it wouldn't cool that quickly. The balloon would have started descending as the air cooled. The balloon should deflate, after landing, but would take a while.
Patrick: It was my fault. I cut the strings. I didn't know she was inside!
Cass: You cut the strings? What for?
Patrick: Because I was angry.....and jealous. I'm sorry.
Cass: Sorry wouldn't have fixed the balloon if you had torn it. You're lucky it's all right, or else I would have had your skin for it!
Mary: He risked his life to save the balloon.
Cass: He wasn't trying to save it. He was trying to be a hero.
Mary: And all you care about is your balloon. Well, you just go to your balloon and leave us alone!
In a 2006 interview, Melissa Sue Anderson stated that the day this episode was filmed, the sun was very intense, and the girls on set got sunburned scalps where their hair was parted. Anderson didn't notice the burn until the scene in which she went up in the hot air balloon; she stated that the balloon's heat generator further aggravated the burn, and that's when she really began to feel pain.