Little House on the Prairie

Season 2 Episode 21

Soldier's Return

Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Mar 24, 1976 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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out of 10
123 votes
  • Mrs. Whipple's son comes home after serving in the Civil War, affected what we would call post traumatic stress disorder.

    I have never been a fan of LHOTP episodes that introduce an episode-centric character to the plot, only to kill him/her off at the end of the episode. The writers expectation that we should "get into" these storylines is asking an awful lot of fans who love the insular world of Walnut Grove and want to follow the lives of its regular inhabitants. Here, the late great Richard Mulligan (Soap, Teachers), plays Mrs. Whipple's son, a shell-shocked and morphine addicted Civil War veteran. The plotline is pretty much inappropriate for this series, however, in a post-Vietnam era, I can understand why the writers put out this episode. Not recommended.
  • Granville Whipple, the only son of Walnut Grove's much-loved seamstress, returns home after many years absence and having fought in the Civil War. Granville has many ghosts to deal with, none of which he feels he can discuss.

    Mrs. Whipple is delighted when her son, Granville, returns home after being away for 12 years. Wounded in the Civil War, Granville earned a medal for heroism and has been left with a permanent limp for which he is strongly addicted to pain killers - morphine being his favourite. When he tries, unsuccessfully, to gain medication from Doc Baker, he breaks into his surgery and steals it instead.

    It is soon obvious that the man is suffering PTSD after the death of his friend in combat, and his addiction to strong medication has a permanent hold on him.

    His death brings about release for himself and his mother as well as lays his ghosts to rest once and for all.
  • Terrific episode!

    This episode has everything for LH; great acting, stellar (dark) storyline, memorable moments. Now while people complain that this ep is "out of character" admitedlly all shows have them sometimes. But with Richard Mulligan's acting in this episode. You hardly remember that this is LH, because he draws you in. This is one of my definite LH favorites!