Little House on the Prairie

Season 9 Episode 13

Sins Of The Fathers

Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Jan 10, 1983 on NBC



  • Trivia

    • Notice when Elliot comes into the Carter house to talk to Sarah later in the episode, and Jeb and Jason are doing their homework at the table. Jeb is supposed to be angry at his grandfather at this point, but if you look closely at Jeb's face, you can tell that he is smiling as Elliot walks in.

    • Laura tells Sarah that it took "years" for her to convince her father to let her marry Almanzo, but that is not true. Laura had known Almanzo for less than a year when he popped the question, and Charles told them they'd have to wait for two years, but then, soon after that, he shortened it to just one year. That's hardly considered "years."

  • Quotes

    • John: Weren't you supposed to be out fishing with Elliot?
      Jeb: I hate him, Pa. I wish he had never come here in the first place!
      John: Those are mighty strong words, son.
      Jeb: Well, look at what he did to Mrs. McAndrews! She was my friend, and now she won't let me come near her because of him!
      John: Mrs. McAndrews is a good woman. I'm sorry your grandfather decided to print that story.
      Jeb: What I don't understand is how Ma could let him do something like that.
      John: Whoa! Your grandfather tends to run things the way he sees fit.
      Jeb: When's he going back to New York?
      John: In time. But for now, I want you to remember one thing, Jeb. He's your grandfather.
      Jeb: Yeah, I can remember. But I don't have to like him.

    • Jeb: What time is the stage leaving?
      John: About a half hour.
      Jason: I guess he'll be glad to get back to New York.
      John: Minnesota isn't your grandfather's favorite place in the world.
      Jeb: I don't suppose we'll ever see him again.
      John: I wouldn't say so.
      Sarah: (near tears) John.......please?
      John: I'll hitch up the wagon.

    • Jeb: Why did you and Mrs. Oleson print that story about Mrs. McAndrews?
      Elliot: All I did was print the truth.
      Jeb: All you did was hurt her for no reason! You don't even know her!

    • Jeb: What was your grandpa like?
      John: Well, I never knew my grandpa on my mother's side, but Grandpa Carter was a great big bear of a man. He was a blacksmith. When he was about your age, he walked along the Erie Canal, and that made a man out of him real fast.
      Jeb: Did he teach you how to be a blacksmith?
      John: (smiles and nods) And he taught me how to be a human being. Grandpa Carter never shook hands with anybody. He'd wrap his arms around you and pull you up tight. The way he looked, and the way he laughed...
      Jeb: Sounds like you got along pretty good with him.
      John: Yeah. But he could rattle windows when anger got the best of him. He always said that he liked laughter a whole lot better, because anger is a pretty lonely business.
      Jeb: Sounds like I'm pretty lonely right now.

    • Elliot: I want a better life for Sarah and the boys, and as far as I can gather, you're the only one holding them back.
      Sarah: Is that what Sarah told you?
      Elliot: No, Sarah's a woman. She's starry-eyed. If you told Sarah you were moving to New York, you can bet your bottom dollar that she'd pack up and move there with you.
      John: I can't afford to bet, and we both like living here.
      Elliot: For once in your life, be reasonable! I'm offering you a job that a hundred men would kill for.
      John: Well, then, I certainly think that one of them should have it.
      Elliot: John--
      John: Elliot, the answer is no.

    • Sarah: Jason, you've always wanted to help your Pa. With Jeb working this week, now's your chance.
      Jason: The pay's not as good.

    • John: What's wrong with this home?
      Sarah: John--
      John: No. I'm asking a question. What is wrong with this home?
      Elliot: Well, that's kind of obvious. This shack that you call a home isn't fit for human inhabitation.

    • Sarah: You had no right to do that!
      Elliot: I have every right. I'm your father.
      Sarah: Well, you're everybody's father, aren't you? Mama's, mine, John's, everybody's! Everybody has to do what you say!
      Elliot: Is that the kind of nonsense life in this little prairie town has taught you?
      Sarah: It's taught me independence! It's taught me that I'm not your little girl anymore! I'm a grown woman with a husband and two children. You may get your way with your editors and your reporters, and even with the President of the United States, but not with me. Not ever again.
      Elliot: Sarah, I gave you everything you have, everything you ever asked for! But I'll cut you off if I have to stand here and listen to any more of this.
      John: I think you should go now.
      Elliot: Ever since she met you, she has been rebellious and impractical. I didn't approve of her marrying you, but she went ahead and married you anyway. I didn't approve of her moving west, but here she is! She has rejected my advice and offers of help at every turn!
      John: You don't give advice, Elliot. You give orders. She's tired of being pushed around by you, and so am I. You've given us nothing but grief since you got here. Now, this may be a shack, but it's our shack, and you're not welcome in it.

    • Laura: Nobody's blaming you.
      Sarah: It's my paper, not my father's, and certainly not Harriet Oleson's! I don't know why I let that man do this to me. I feel like such a child when I'm around him.
      Laura: Well, if it's any help to you, I feel the exact same way when I'm around my father. My Ma told me that we probably never really get over that.
      Sarah: I never had a chance to get to know Charles very well, but he seems so......loving and open.
      Laura: Your father isn't?
      Sarah: Oh, he's always been so self-important, so full of himself. I grew up thinking all men were born like that, and then I met John. Daddy never approved of him. He tried to keep us apart. I finally had to vote.
      Laura: It took me years to convince my Pa that me and Almanzo should get married, and even after he said yes, I could tell that deep down inside, he wasn't ready to let go of me yet.
      Sarah: I'm afraid that he'll resent John until the day he dies.
      Laura: Do you like Elliot?
      Sarah: He's my father, of course I do!
      Laura: But only because he's your father?

  • Notes

    • This episode aired one day before Stan Ivar (John Carter)'s 40th birthday. The actor was born on January 11, 1943.

    • Featured characters: The Carters. This is the first of two episodes that focused entirely on the Carter family in Season 9. The second one was The Last Summer.

    • It seems that Charles, Caroline, Sarah, and Mary's husband Adam all had strained relationships with their fathers in the series. All four of them had trouble connecting with their dads when they each showed up for one episode in the series: Charles' father in Season 3's Journey in the Spring, Caroline's in Season 6's Author! Author!, Sarah's in this episode, and Adam's in Season 5's The Sound of Children. It obviously became a common trend in the series.

  • Allusions