Little House on the Prairie

Season 7 Episode 18

Sylvia (2)

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Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Feb 16, 1981 on NBC

Episode Recap

At the end of the first part of the previous episode, Mrs. Olsen (who has listened in on Dr. Baker's telephone call to Mr. Webb) has learned about Sylvia's pregnancy. She quickly spreads the gossip around Hero Township, and includes allegations that Albert is the father.


At school, Laura tells Albert what is happening and that Willie has told everyone that Albert got Sylvia pregnant. Despite Laura's pleas, Albert goes outside and confronts Willie, tells him that Sylvia is not a tramp, and gives him a bloody nose. Albert then runs off.
Caroline comes home fuming about the rumors of Albert and Sylvia. Charles tries to soothe her.


Back at the Webb place, Mr. Webb – who blames his daughter for "following in her mother's footsteps" and feels deep shame that she is pregnant – has decided to list his house and farmstead to prospective buyers. He's decided he wants to move from Walnut Grove with his daughter and start a new life. One of those who is interested is Irv Hartwig, the town's blacksmith. Mr. Webb offers $1,500 for the land, and Hartwig says he'll consider.

Sylvia is home alone doing chores when someone is hiding behind the barn door. It's only Albert, and he has to calm his shaking girlfriend. As the two talk down by the creek, Sylvia lets on that her father -- already emotionally distant -- has grown cruel and bitter, and that she wants to leave. The two profess their love for each other.


That night, Charles talks with Albert about his relationship with Sylvia, wondering if the two should continue to see each other in light of all the rumors about their relationship. Albert insists that he loves Sylvia and that that is all that matters. When Charles tries to convince him otherwise, Albert reminds his Pa that he loves him. Charles admits that he can't easily win an argument with his son.


Albert, who is considering marrying Sylvia, later gets a job at Mr. Hartwig's blacksmith shop. Later on, Mr. Webb notices that Sylvia has mud on her shoes and he demands to know if she was with someone that day. Sylvia begs for her father to back off, but suspecting that she may be sneaking around, he calls her a wicked name. Sylvia has been with Albert.

Caroline finally has her confrontation with Mrs. Olsen, who gleefully greets the "grandmother-to-be" at the restaurant. When she tries to rationalize her story, Caroline retorts by telling Mrs. Olsen that she eavesdropped on a private telephone conversation, added a few details of her own and spread it around Hero Township. Mrs. Olesen is offended but offers a peace offering - baby clothes, since Caroline will soon have a grandson or granddaughter to care for. Caroline loses her temper and throws a round of dough over Mrs. Olesen's face.

Albert visits Sylvia again, and proposes to the girl. She is confused at first but eventually decides that she would be better off with Albert. Later, when Mr. Webb comes home and notices the hat Albert left behind, he again demands that Sylvia tell him who she's seeing. She lets slip that it's Albert, and that she does not want to leave Walnut Grove. Instead, she wants to stay and be with Albert. Mr. Webb gets his gun and declares he's going to pay Albert a visit. When Sylvia begs her father to reconsider, he calls his daughter a whore and she runs out of the house.


That night at the dinner table, Albert's questions about how early one can marry quickly dissolve into an argument about whether Albert is really mature enough for marriage and to know what love is. Charles is unsuccessful in telling Albert he has school and college to worry about first, so he leaves it up to Caroline to counsel Albert. Caroline reminds Albert that he is only 14 and does not really know what love is, despite what he might think. When she asks about Sylvia's feelings about the baby she's carrying, Albert admits he never asked about that, but it doesn't matter since he'll be able to care for it. Caroline says that there's more to raising a baby than meeting its physical and material needs, and that Sylvia may not love the baby because it was conceived by an act of violence. Albert begins to cry in confusion. Just then, a gun-toting Mr. Webb breaks down the door and demands that Sylvia come home. Charles is angry that Mr. Webb invaded his home, tells him that she is not there and he had better leave. "Not until I have it out with your son," insists Mr. Webb, prompting Charles to tackle him outside in a heavy rainstorm. Albert swears that he is not the father, and Mr. Webb now realizes the truth.


The next morning, Charles, Albert and Mr. Webb form a search party to look for Sylvia. Albert eventually finds her in a dilapidated barn. He leaves her with a blanket and some biscuits, and goes into town to get some money and other supplies. Then, they're going to run off and elope.


Back at the blacksmith's shop, Albert begins writing an IOU to Irv when he is not there. Irv walks in and, seeing the money in his hand, accuses Albert of stealing. Albert is forced to admit he wants the money so he and Sylvia can get married. After getting more details about their plans and, more importantly, Sylvia's whereabouts, Irv lets him have $80 and tells him to go home to get his things. When he returns, he'll have two horses saddled and ready to go. Albert does as he's asked, but when he returns to the blacksmith's shop to get the horses, the shop is locked up and no horses are in sight, but the iron and fire pit are still hot. Meanwhile, Charles and Mr. Webb see the note Albert left behind and they decide to go where they think Sylvia might be - the old barn.

Sylvia is later aroused, only to wake up to the sight of her nightmare - the masked clown's face. She tries to run, but the man blocks her path. The mask falls off and the rapist is revealed to be Irv Hartwig, the blacksmith. He begins to chase Sylvia up a rickety ladder, which she climbs to try to escape. Albert races in and attacks Irv, but he quickly beats him back. Just then, the ladder breaks under Sylvia's weight and she falls to the ground. Irv, not caring that someone is badly hurt, then grabs a piece of wood and threatens Albert with it ...
Charles and Mr. Webb arrive and Mr. Webb shoots down Irv with a shotgun. Charles sees that Sylvia is unconscious and has Albert look for Dr. Baker.


That night, Albert talks to Sylvia. She awakens and asks if she's going to die. Albert tells her she's going to be just fine and tells her to just think about their wedding plans. Sylvia wishes to wear a white dress with yellow flowers and is overjoyed at the thought of becoming Mrs. Albert Ingalls. She can't wait to hear the preacher tell Albert to kiss his bride. "Kiss me my love," beckons Sylvia, and Albert does just that.


Shortly after that, Sylvia closes her eyes. Albert cries as he sees that she has slipped away.


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