Little House on the Prairie

Season 7 Episode 17

Sylvia (1)

Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Feb 09, 1981 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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out of 10
99 votes
  • A complicated though great episode.

    This episode is hard to characterize. I think that I haven't understood exactly what happened to Sylvia. Love starts between Albert and Sylvia. Her farther is insane. It is somewhat depressing to watch, still perfect. I'll watch the next episode to have an overall opinion and learn the sequel.
  • Probably one of my favorite episodes of the show ever.

    Each time this episode and it's conclusion airs, I find myself watching it and crying my eyes out. I am so moved by the storyline and it gets me everytime. I think this show was probably the first time I ever knew anything about rape and my mother had to help me understand it more.

    Olivia Barash was absolutely wonderful in her portrayal of Sylvia and clearly deserved her nomination for the Young Artist Award for this performance. She made me actually believe that something like that had happened to her, which you don't get very much with many rape performances. Each scene with her was joy and yet sometimes depressing (as in making me sad) to watch.

    This also was probably the first time I ever enjoyed a performance by Albert (Matthew Laborteaux) event though he had been on the show for a while at this point. However, in the beginning he wasn't being too nice to Sylvia but that soon changed. When he found out what happened to her, Albert became a man, in my opinion. It was clear to see just how much he cared for her and didn't care what anyone said. He even went along with it when people though he had gotten her pregnant. Some people weren't too thrilled with the storyline and say it was all done for ratings, but this was clearly one of the best shows of the entire series. That's very telling since the shows in the later part of the series, weren't as good as the first ones.
  • An examination of the role of women in 19th America with its haunting portrayal of a girl victimized by a masked assailant and her unsympathetic father.

    This episode is still frightning. Sylvia seems to have lost her mother and is stuck with a father who is ignorant regarding the raising of girls. He blames her for the attention she receives from males and, incredibly, for the attack itself. Like the episode "May We Make Them Proud", this is a difficult episode to watch and contains themes that may be inappropriate for children. In particular, the clown mask used by the assailant is creepy.

    The only thing I would quibble with is that I can't imagine the rapist has only struck the one time. He doesn't seem the type to be able to control himself very long.