Little House on the Prairie

Season 4 Episode 10

The Fighter

0
Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Nov 21, 1977 on NBC
6.6
out of 10
User Rating
37 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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The Fighter
AIRED:
Fourteen years after being abandoned by his wife and son, a famous boxer named Joe Kagen passes through Walnut Grove. When a fighting match goes horribly wrong, Doc Baker and the townspeople learn that the ailing man, who sacrificed his family for his career, will only survive if he agrees to never enter the boxing ring again. It is a difficult decision, and ultimately, it is one that he cannot make by himself.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A very good episode which introduces us to the excellent recurring character of Joe Kagan, played wonderfully by Moses Gunn.

    8.0
    Joe Kagan is an old boxer nearing the end of his career. His wife and son have deserted him and his shiftless manager is stealing money from him without him knowing. He comes to Walnut Grove willing to fight any man. If the other man wins, a purse of 50 dollars is theirs but mostly, it's Joe.



    Nellie talks Nels into fighting, even though it is clear that Nels is far from enthusiastic. Needless to say, Nels is down in just a few seconds but old Joe's luck has run out and he loses the next round. With that, his manager decamps and he decides to stay in Walnut Grove. That is the long and the short of it but it was a very good episode and a good introduction, even if the ending was somewhat predictable.moreless
  • A fighter comes to walnut grove willing to fight any one for three minutes if they do they win $50 and Laura and Andrew and Nelly try to talk there pa's in to fighting not knowing the fighter is seriously ill due to years in the fight game.moreless

    9.5
    The story starts of in Carson city in 1865 in a hotel room ,we see a man laying on a bed waiting , he gets up goes to the next room where we meet his wife and son before a breath exchange of words he leaves to go to fight .Joe kagan is a down on his luck fighter who has dreams of making it big but he is not quite good enough , and only to soon he is back at home with his pride in shatters and his head and body in wounds of his nights work. His wife tells him if he does not stop fighting she will leave with his son in the morning, he chooses to carry on, and so she leaves. 14 years later we see mr Olson putting up a poster telling every one Joe kagon will fight any one, and if they can last three minutes they will win $50 Laura and Andrew see the poster and try to talk there pa's in to fighting for the cash. And so this is how it begins what follows is a wonderful show filled with great moments of hummer from the Olson's , triumph ,and near tragedy and new directions for are fighter and an unexpected turn due to another poster put up in another town. I did not see this one first time round I saw it on the DVD box set that was realised a few years ago and did not realise it was a longer episode till about ten minutes from the end when I checked how long was left to see. It kept me glued to the screen throughout, and what a dream part Moses Gunn had as the fighter of the title I doubt he had many better in his entire carer than that roll. As with many of the little house on the prairie storeys they are always a good time filler and every now and again they are just that bit better, the rating on this is fair at 6.1, but for me it's much better than that, the story and the acting is as fresh today as it was when it was first made I've given it a 9 plus in my rating and that is properly to low as wellmoreless
Kevin Hagen

Kevin Hagen

Dr. Hiram Baker

Michael Landon

Michael Landon

Charles Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Karen Grassle

Karen Grassle

Caroline Quiner Holbrook Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Raymond St. Jacques

Raymond St. Jacques

Moody

Guest Star

Ketty Lester

Ketty Lester

Janie Kagan

Guest Star

Paul Bryar

Paul Bryar

Jake Barky

Guest Star

Moses Gunn

Moses Gunn

Joe Kagan

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Notice how different Nellie's wig looks in this episode. Her curls come up much shorter than they normally do, and it's mostly noticeable in the scene where she and Laura get into a yelling match over which of their fathers is stronger. Obviously, Nellie's wig was "done up" differently than usual!

    • Be prepared to see a Joe Kagan who looks extremely different from the healthy, vibrant, and happy man that we see in Season 5, where he helped out at the blind school and tried to woo Hester Sue Terhoun. In this episode, Joe looks like an old man, as a result of being run-down by his career as a fighter, and his eyes are completely glazed over, almost making it seem as if he is blind. When you compare him then and now, it doesn't even look like the same guy.

    • After the first scene (taking place in 1865), a message flashes across the screen that reads "14 years later," which brings us to the regularly portrayed time period in Walnut Grove. Somewhere in the episode, it is said that Joe Kagan's son Tim is 20 years old, but then, later on, Tim tells someone that he hasn't seen his father since he was 8 years old. That couldn't be right, since Joe's wife took off with their child 14 years ago, therefore making Tim 6 years old at the time.

    • Shockingly, Ketty Lester--who later went on to portray Hester Sue Terhoun in seasons 5 through 9--plays Joe Kagan's wife in the first scene of this episode. Dark shadows make her face difficult to see, but anyone who watches the show regularly will instantly recognize her voice. Later, when she played Hester Sue, she was pursued actively by Joe, but she fiercely pushed him away almost every time.

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Charles: (to Joe) I think you and me better get a few things straight. I'm staying with you, whether you like it or not. It's gonna take a few months, but you're gonna be all right, and when you are, you can do whatever you want with your life, but until then, you're gonna do what I say, and that means you're gonna rest and get used to having me around. I feel responsible for you. I can take a little bit of guilt in my life, but I'm not gonna let you put any more in me. As soon as you're well enough to travel, that will be the end of it.

    • Doc Baker: (to Joe) I want you to stay in this bed for at least three days. That will give you time to decide whether you want to live or die. It's your life, Mr. Kagan, but if you decide to fight again, it's over.

  • NOTES (6)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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