Little House on the Prairie

Season 9 Episode 4


Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Oct 18, 1982 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
48 votes
  • Almanzo tries his hand at hostage negotiation and concludes he's better suited to be a farmer.

    This episode has more holes in it than Thomas does at the end of it. First of all, Thomas Stark shoots both his wife and daughter and at point-blank range, they both somehow survive. Now either he's a horrible shot or those ladies were wearing bullet-proof vests under their petticoats. He then proceeds to wander to a couple different farms before ending up the Wilders, where he mistakes Laura and Jennie for his wife and daughter. Okay, what is with characters in this series suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and not being able to tell the difference between their own family members and someone else who doesn't look remotely like them? (My Ellen, anyone?)

    When baby Rose cries in the next room, Thomas assumes it is his daughter's bastard baby with "that Page boy." Laura goes along with it, which is just totally unbelievable for a mother. If Thomas Stark couldn't even tolerate an innocent glance in church exchanged between his daughter and the kid, wouldn't he have blown their illegitimate baby to bits as well in his state of mind? There were numerous other problems with this episode as well. For example, when Thomas fell asleep, wouldn't Laura signal Jennie to go for help immediately, rather than later have her hide in the storm cellar? When Laura hits Thomas over the head with a 2x4 in the barn, she runs out to find she's just missed Doc Baker's carriage, with Randall Page driving it. The horse is only trotting, but instead of running after it, she stands there and just kind of cries helplessly. Wouldn't she be tearing after it with all her energy?

    Finally, when Thomas comes out of the hosue with a gun at the end and is shot by the men, Laura just stands there on the other side of the door. Wouldn't she have dropped to the floor or fled to the other side of the room to avoid being so close to rifle fire? You can clearly hear three booms of gunfire, which must have been deafening at that close range, yet Baby Rose doesn't so much as utter a cry.

    This was just tough to watch, even for entertainment value.
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