Little House on the Prairie

Season 7 Episode 6

Portrait Of Love

0
Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Oct 27, 1980 on NBC
6.8
out of 10
User Rating
55 votes
4

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Portrait Of Love
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16-year-old Annie Crane is a rising artist in Walnut Grove, where she lives with her adoptive parents. When her talent lands her an exhibition in the city, the advertisement draws the attention of her biological mother.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A Change of Pace

    6.5
    It seems the producers wanted to give most of the characters a week off and it was nice to see Caroline given a more prominent role. She hated the never ending "Do you want some coffee" episodes where she didn't really get to act at all. They all had coffee back then, morning, noon and night. : )

    Annie wasn't blind her whole life, "almost blind: by 5, so it's understandable she can remember some things to paint. The fact that her mother was also going blind and thought she couldn't care for her wasn't that crazy, especially with the time period. It seemed that she was also alone then.. To be dumped as a child and to live with no one that was your real family is hard and although this had the typical tear-jerker scenes Mr. Landon likes, it was a bit much since that all it was. I found that as the years went on, the writers seemed to default on old stories or situations and it got darker.

    This show wasn't that awful, but it wasn't that great either. It seemed like a vacation for the regulars and gave some new actors a chance to have more air time.moreless
  • Blind girl who paints is 'discovered' by an art dealer. When her birth mother tries to contact her, she flies into rages-that is, until she realizes her birth mother is also blind. Happily ever after...moreless

    4.0
    I don't care for this episode. It's not that it's without merit on some levels; the acting is OK, and the story itself, taken out of the LH context is interesting. But as a LH episode, it exists in a vaccuum. A 16 year old blind girl that paints beautifully lives in Walnut Grove? Why have we never heard of her? (and we never hear of her again, but this is common in 'guest star stories')

    Why is Caroline so involved? Would a perfectly capable man agree to let a woman drive him to Sleepy Eye, even if she is the one loaning the wagon? And why doesn't he have a wagon? Has Annie always possessed such hatred for her Mother, or is this the first time it manifests itself? So many things don't make sense. It seems unlikely that she would so quickly change her intense feelings just because she has learned her mother is also blind. It seems to me that she would need some time to come to terms with this new reality. Everything is too pat and perfect and set up to manipulate the viewer emotionally, which I don't enjoy.

    I wonder how Mrs. Crane feels about all this? It would seem she's fine with it, as she and Caroline scheme to get Annie and Marge together, but in the final scene when Marge is standing with Annie at the Blind School, I have to wonder if Mrs. Crane isn't regretting her decision.

    I appreciate stories that revolve around other characters, especially if they are regular 'town folk', but this is not one of them. It feels forced and out of place.moreless
  • A somewhat baffling episode that tells a story only very incidental to the series.

    4.2
    Annie, a young painter, faces her past just as her future looks brightest.



    I'm still somwhat puzzled by this episode - one that touches on some of Landon's favorite themes (children's lives apart from their biological parents and the exploration of many aspects of blindness), but it almost stands alone in the series in many ways.



    Annie is a blind young girl who paints very realistic landscapes. Just as her talent is recognized, her true mother wants to be a part of her life again and tell Annie why she gave her up for adoption. Regular "Little House" characters are largely absent, Caroline is most prominant as someone who enjoys Annie's paintings and helps her deal with her feelings. Nevertheless, this episode seems like a script for an entirely different (or generic) television show that's "molded" into a story for "Little House on the Prairie" (and not that successfully). First of all, its very difficult to understand how a blind girl could paint in such representative detail. Michael Landon seems very interested in aspects of blindness, almost playing with the idea of seeing and not seeing as he also restores Adam's sight in "To See the Light" and has Jane see again after an operation in season 9's "Love." Secondly, as mentioned, though this story has some value as one of a young woman coming to terms with her past, it seems incongruously set in a tiny farming town on the American frontier with very little involvement of any of the major characters in the series.moreless
  • Okay, tell me if this is plausible: a blind girl can not only paint landscapes and portraits (and has been blind since a toddler), but she is good enough for an exhibition! Oh, and she hates her "real" mother for abandoning her. Still with me?moreless

    7.5
    I gave this episode a 7.5 because while totally absurd in numerous ways, it still managed to touch me, while also maintain my interest. Still, I have a burning question: I still didn't grasp why her mother gave her up. I won't give away the 'reason' given, but it just didn't make much sense to me. The title of the episode was so cutesy wutsey that it didn't surprise me that Michael Landon was the author of this one. No offense to him whatsoever, but he DID have a penchant for putting the audience through the emotional wringer. All in all, I'd say this seriously flirted with shark jumping, but it still managed to do its thing...moreless
Dean Butler

Dean Butler

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

Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

Dabbs Greer

Dabbs Greer

Reverend Alden

Kevin Hagen

Kevin Hagen

Dr. Hiram Baker

Richard Bull

Richard Bull

Nels Oleson

Matthew Laborteaux

Matthew Laborteaux

Albert Quinn Ingalls (1978 -1982)

Jim Antonio

Jim Antonio

Victor Crosby

Guest Star

Ward Costello

Ward Costello

Jeremy Unger

Guest Star

Constance Pfeifer

Constance Pfeifer

Marge Crosby

Guest Star

Jack Lilley

Jack Lilley

Driver

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Caroline: It amazes me that that child can put on canvas what she sees in her mind.
      Sorrell: You can thank your daughter for that, putting the paints on the palate for her like a supper plate. Blue at 10:00, burnt amber at 2:00. I never could understand how a child who is almost completely blind can take so to paint.
      Helen: It makes her happy. You know, she says it's the only thing she can see, and I think she can. God gave her that gift.

    • Annie: (about a very dark, ugly drawing she has painted) What do you think of it?
      Helen: Oh, I don't know......it's so different from your other work.
      Annie: I know, but what do you think of it?
      Helen: I'm not the one to ask, Annie. Who is it?
      Annie: It's Marge. Mother Marge.
      Helen: Annie.
      Annie: It's the way I see her. It's the way I feel about her.
      Helen: It's been like this since we got back. No matter what she did, she's your mother.
      Annie: No she's not.
      Helen: I know you're angry. I was, too, when it first happened, because I was afraid I was going to lose you. I was even glad you didn't want to see her. But we can't hate her. We can't hate somebody we don't know.
      Annie: Yes, I can. Oh yes I can, Mama. She lied to me. "I'll be back for you," she said, and she held me, and she said "I love you." I can remember, and I hate her!

    • Percival: Nellie, I have to talk to you.
      Nellie: Certainly.
      Percival: All right. Now, you have asked me not to yell at your mother, and I have been trying very hard, have I not?
      Nellie: Yes, you have.
      Percival: I didn't yell when your mother insisted that you eat your supper lying on the sofa, now did I?
      Nellie: No, you didn't.
      Percival: And I didn't yell when your mother began serving you breakfast in bed whether I was up or not, did I?
      Nellie: No, you did not.
      Percival: And I didn't yell at your mother when she told me not to hold you too close because I might squish the baby, now did I?
      Nellie: No, you did not.
      Percival: But now, just now, your mother has informed me that I am no longer allowed to sleep in bed with my own wife! Now, Nellie, I am going to ask your permission to yell at your mother
      Harriet: (calling) Percival!
      Nellie: You have my permission.
      Percival: (smiles) In here, Mother!
      Harriet: (comes in) Percival Dalton, I am not finished with you! Oh, Nellie, why aren't you lying down?
      Percival: Because I don't want her to lie down, I want her to stand up. And I want her to sit down while she is eating, and if she is going to have breakfast in bed, she is going to do so with me, and I am going to sleep in the same bed with my wife! And if I want to hold my wife, or kiss my wife, I will do so anytime or anywhere I darn well choose to, like right now! (kisses Nellie passionately)
      Harriet: Ugh! Oh, you animal! NELS! NELS!!!! (storms out)
      Percival: Thank you, dearest.
      Nellie: You're welcome, my love.
      Percival: I'll be back in about an hour. You get some rest. (leaves)
      Nellie: Isn't he wonderful?
      Caroline: He's pretty amazing.

    • Mr. Crosby: Well, I'll get right to it, Annie. My wife, Marge, asked me if I'd come to see you. She hasn't been well lately.
      Annie: I'm sorry.
      Mr. Crosby: She......she's your mother, Annie. I know this must come as a shock to you after all these years. As folks get older, it's harder for them to keep things inside. She desperately wants you to know that she loves you, and she wants to--
      Annie: She wants to see me.
      Mr. Crosby: Yes. Just once. If you would, it would make her so happy.
      Annie: Why would I want to make her happy, Mr. Crosby? What in God's name did she ever do for me?
      Mr. Crosby: Annie, try to understand.
      Annie: No! You understand, and you tell her! You said my mother's name is Marge? Tell her that I hate her. I hate her and I don't ever want her near me!
      Mr. Crosby: Annie, I know you have a right to--
      Annie: A right? My mother threw me away like a broken doll! I was going blind! Who wants a blind child? Just "get rid of it, go away, you can always have another one!" No, Mr. Crosby. I don't forgive her, and you tell her that. Now get out.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Caroline is the only Ingalls member with a prominent role in this episode. Charles appears in one scene only, and Laura and Mary appear briefly without speaking lines.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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