Little House on the Prairie

Season 5 Episode 14

The Godsister

Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Dec 18, 1978 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (14)

Write A Review
out of 10
188 votes
  • I personally think this is a great episode I think the twins did great for their age!

    I believe Lindsey and Sydney did remarkably well in their acting. Maybe it was just a little like Alice in wonderland. I was glad Carrie got to do an episode focused on her. It was the first time they got to work together I thought it would never come! So what if her " god sister" was based on loneliness or what have you. All in all I think the Greenbush twins did very well.

  • cute but not one of Little House's best episodes but still good

    Carrie is heartsick for her Pa when he goes away for a month with Johnathan to work with the telephone crew

    she makes up an friend called Alyssa who looks like her out of loneliness and has made up adventurers with her including going to heaven and seeing jack the dog again

    when Pa returns Carrie can't see Alyssa and Pa explains she made up with Alyssa out loneliness and now his back she doesn't need to make up

    a friend

    The Greenbush twins may not be the strongest actresses but they did their best and were cute as Carrie
  • The regular writing staff was either high or absent when this dreadfully lame plot was hatched.

    Too bad "Bomb" and "Stunk Up the Place" aren't available as classifications for these reviews; either would apply to this embarassingly bad episode of LHOTP. One hour seems like four as "actresses" Lindsay and Sydney Greenbush (as Carrie Ingalls and her "fairy godsister"), one-dimensionally mumble their way through a morass of inane and ludicrous dialoge. Granted, the script is bad, but the girl's acting is worse. No wonder the sisters playing Carrie were largely relegated to the part of "prop" throughout the series run.

    Horrible writing and acting aside, the story itself is just plain dumb. Charles goes off to work for a month, leaving a testy Caroline with four children and a farm to look after. Albert and Laura, of course, can't be bothered with Carrie, but for some reason, the writers have Caroline turning on her as well, treating her as a pest and a nuisance for most of the show (at one point, Caroline sends Carrie to the Garveys by herself, and then "berry picking at the pond" alone. Hello?! Who are you, and what have you done with Ma?). All this neglect causes Carrie to retreat inward, where she meets on several occasions her "fairy godsister". Together they visit what appear to be rejected or leftover props from 1973's "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory", are chased by a giant spider, and visit heaven, where the only people they meet are two old saints and the Ingalls dog, Jack. And the special effects...I've seen better on "I Dream of Jeanie" and "Land of the Lost". Don't lose an hour of your life watching this one!
  • Carrie eats some magic 'shrooms when Ma tells her to go play in the woods

    Little House on the Prairie meets Land of the Lost.

    Haha, this episode isn't just bad. It's bizarre. Little Carrie is in everyone's way, and with Pa off on a get-rich trip, she enters a world that is Alice in Wonderland-esque. Giant spiders, giant berries, and an ethereal girl that bears a striking likeness to her named "Alissa" becomes her companion.

    The subplot with Pa and Mr. Garvey on a trip at least are standard Little House, but Carrie's story line just doesn't even fit the series, it's so strange. A minor point, but I didn't like how impatient Ma got with Carrie when she tried to help her with the laundry. Certainly she had lost her cool a bit with Carrie's carelessness, but the tone in which she tells her to "go fishing, Carrie," reminds me more of the mother in the horror film Carrie than sweet Ma Ingalls. While this episode was painful, there are other ones in the series I ranked as guiltier than this of wasting a perfectly good hour of one's life:

  • As per main summary (4.5 out of 10)

    This episode could have been a lot worse but at least had the redeeming feature of a good second plot of Charles' and and Garvey's venture into the world of telecoms, unlike 'The hunters' which just had one tedious main plot from which there was no respite. Their part was quite interesting and funny at times such as the old Irishman Shaughnessy blowing up his 'whiskey factory'.

    All Sidney (or whichever of the twins it was) did was run around shouting Alissa over and over and over. Her acting wasn't that bad given monotonous dialogue. A bit of a bizarre one directed by Landon.
  • Lindsay and Sidney on screen together!

    Wow! I read a lot of negative reviews here on this episode and, for the life of me, I can't figure out why. I'd like to contribute a positive review if I may. This is the episode where we get to see both Lindsay and Sidney on screen at the same time. It has been a while since I've seen it so my memory does not have all the details. I have to say I do remember the episode as being very heart warming. While most episodes are from Laura's perspective, this one was from Carrie's. I wish there were more.

    I liked the dialog between Caroline and Charles at the beginning where he says he'll stay home if it means that much to her. Then Ma says he can go. ... I know how he feels.

    As soon as I get a copy of season 5, I intend to watch this episode again.
  • For some reason, someone thought it might be entertaining to examine the psychedelia that ensues when Carrie gets a little lonely.

    My original plan was not to be too critical of the Greenbush twins in this review. I mean, really, they didn't come up with the ridiculous concept, or write the silly script or design the laughable fantasy sets, right? But see, my memory of this episode was a little fuzzy on the details and rewatching it today, I was reminded just how Godawful "The Godsister" is. So I'm scrapping the original plan and telling like it is. First of all, the episode starts off normally and all seems right with our LH world. Jonathan and Charles have an opportunity of go off somewhere and make money. The scene where Charles tells Caroline that he'll be going is actually quite good. In a move that is just slightly bold for her, Caroline tells Charles off a little bit when he suggests that his going away is as hard for him as it is on her. They share a cute and sweet scene at the creek where he apologizes and she gives him permission to go. It's another example of how well ML and KG worked together; great chemistry providing us with simple, lovely moments. But it pretty much goes south from here.
    While everyone gets to work to make up for Pa being gone, Carrie gets lonely. And I guess the only way LSG could convey lonely was by sounding whiney and pathetic. When she's getting ready to go berry picking, but is sad that she has nobody to go with her, her 'sad' lines would have been cute if she didn't sound like she was dying of some terminal illness. Beyond the whining, her delivery is so flat. The lines she says to herself just before Alyssa 'arrives' are almost lost because she's using no inflection whatsoever. In fact, throughout the episode the tempo and inflection of the lines of both LSG characters is so OFF it's maddening. Run-on sentences and lack of emotion or facial expression left me sitting there scratching my head.
    And then there's bad acting and bad directing working together such as in the spider scene. Giant spider appears, Carrie runs away screaming the same two lines over and over again, and then she wakes suddenly without even appearing distressed or disoriented. Terrible on all counts.
    I'm beginning to think that this episode is the sole reason that Carrie didn't get much screen time for the rest of the series. Sort of a litmus test for her abilities, if you will. "See, we tried it, she sucked, end of story".
    LSG used this horrid creepy grin at several points throughout the episode that freaked me out a little and I felt my ears would bleed and my head would split open if I had to listen to her scream "Alyssa!" one more time. Not to mention that the storyline itself just gets weirder and weirder. They go to HEAVEN?? Whose idea was THIS? I really had a hard time with that. I mean, I know it's a dream, but seriously? Heaven?
    The whole thing was absurd.
    The best thing about the episode is the B story with Charles and Jonathan working on the telephone lines.
    I liked the friction between Jonathan and the foreman and the way it was resolved in the end. That was classic LH material, as was the scene where the men pull the wrecked wagon. Did 2 different people write this episode? Makes you wonder.....
    I'm sorry folks. This one is just dreadful, and I will never watch it again. If you have never seen it before,I strongly recommend passing it by on your way through Season 5.
  • While it was great that Carrie had an episode to herself and excellent that the Greenbush twins got to work together, it remains possibly the worst episode of the show I have seen. Huge flowers, massive strawberries and other horrors to cope with.

    Let me start by saying that I am very much in favour of little Carrie getting a Carrie-centric episode to herself. It was a terrific idea to do this. Unfortunately, that's where it ends ...

    I don't know what possessed Michael Landon and his team to allow this episode to go to air. Carrie being lonely and feeling left out is perfectly understandable, as is having an imaginary friend but for goodness sake, WHY did we need the whole "Alice In Wonderland"-type scenario with huge fruit, flowers and coins, weird looking rainbows and an assortment of other 'horrors' that I can't bear to mention. This was terrible and, as I said, the only good thing was that the little girls were on screen together and Carrie actually had an episode for once. The rest, I can't bear to think about.
  • Poor Carrie is in everyone's hair. They want her outta there and do everything they can to shoo her away. The little girl's loneliness causes her to see another little ghostly girl (played by her twin).

    Why such a low rating for this ep? I just saw "The Godsister" a couple of weeks ago and braced myself for its supposed wretchedness and guess what? It's decent! And I am critical of lousy writing! I thought it was a solid effort. Yeah, it has its surreal moments but so what? It never veers into any kind of illogical behavior because the viewer knows that Carrie may be dreaming all this. We know she is alone/lonely, we know she is young and prone to "seeing things," and yet there is still this possibility that magic does exist, which touches me. I don't need linear ideas 24/7.
  • Wonderful to see an episode that focuses on the part of Carrie, played by Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush. This episode has always been my favourite!

    The Godsister has been my favourite episode ever since I was little. As a child this episode was so magical! It was lovely to get to see the world through the imagination of Carrie, and bringing the "Godsister" into her world was a clever way to let us see both twins - Lindsay and Sidney - together! The girls played the part of Carrie perfectly, and really made her a wonderful character, even though the part was often very small. When seeing them in their later works (Matt Houston for Lindsay & Hambone and Hillie for Sidney) it makes me almost sad, as their acting talent is really amazing, and it's a tragedy it wasn't put to better use as the girls got older on Little House. Still today, I really love this episode! It's wonderful to finally get a real Carrie-focused episode! (the only other is "Little Girl Lost", where Carrie's part is a lot smaller than in this episode).
  • I will say, Carrie finally has her own episode.

    I've watched Little House for years now, and have been buying the season series. I'm up to season 9, and for the most part, I have enjoyed almost all episodes. However, this was my least favorite episode. I thought this episode went in the direction of Alice in Wonderland, but failed.
  • Oversized strawberries, fantasy dream sequences, and giant bugs seem to be the best they can do for little Carrie Ingalls.

    As an avid "Little House" fan (I have loyally collected all the DVD's), I don't have many negative things to say about the soft, loving quality that each season represents. This episode, however, was very much out of character and did not flow well at all with any of the other episodes. They attempt to give Carrie her own episode and her own spotlight, and I at least give them credit for that, but I have a hard time believing that Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush's acting was so terrible that they could not afford to increase their involvement in the plot with the other main characters. Given that Carrie and Laura developed a close relationship in real life, it would have been nice to see more of that in the series. With Mary gone and out of the house, this would have been a perfect time in the series to do it--but of course, they probably had their own reasons for it. But as far as I can see, it doesn't look like they even tried very hard to make it work.

    In any case, "The Godsister" is mainly a vehicle that allows both Greenbush girls to appear on-screen together, and it is a chance for Carrie to have some of her own scenes. It basically consists of Carrie screaming the same lines over and over and over and over, and I am not exaggerating. I never counted exactly how many times she screamed out "Alyssa!" but I imagine it was a lot. Those poor girls just were absolutely not able to emote, not in the slightest. Their dialogue was the epitome of monotone, and it doesn't sound like Michael Landon even tried to help them deliver their lines with some expression. To say nothing of the fact that the script itself is unintentionally hilarious. Come on, writers--Carrie Ingalls is eight years old, not four. You can give her something a little bit more substantial than dream sequences with "Alice in Wonderland type" oversized strawberries and monster bugs. In short, the episode does no justice for Carrie, and it was the worst possible plot material that they could have possibly given these two young actresses. I truly feel that Carrie deserved more than she got in the series. How about mainstreaming them into the general plot more subtly, giving them more scenes that are spread out, insteading of bombarding them with this completely random episode and basically leaving them out of the picture for the next three years? This whole episode was a shameless embarrassment for the Greenbushes, and while their acting skills are mediocre, you can't blame it all on them. They were two normal, everyday kids who happened to make it onto this show when they were toddlers, and as they grew up, they should have gotten more to do in the general plot, but this fifth season episode is essentially the first time that we see a lot of them. You will notice that they did all right in the scenes with Pa at the beginning, and they weren't so bad in their interactions with Laura and the Garveys, either. It was just a grave mistake to put them in with this kind of dialogue and alternate reality storyline. The writers probably would have been better off to place Carrie in some scenes with Laura every once in a while, instead of making this their major and only spotlight. Even if Melissa Gilbert (Laura) carried most of those scenes herself, the Greenbush girls probably would have done a little better, and the audience could have seen the character develop a bit more. I mean, I wasn't on that set, and I don't know what the situation was, but I have to believe that there were better avenues to take with these girls and the character of Carrie Ingalls.

    All in all, this is the kind of episode that is nearly impossible to sit through from start to finish--not because it is dark or emotionally disturbing, but just because of the ridiculously embarrassing exploitation of the Greenbush girls' acting. I hate to be critical of them, because Lindsay and Sidney do appear to be very sweet and personable young women in real life, and God knows I probably couldn't do any better myself with the acting, but it's a shame that they didn't pre-view this episode beforehand and realize that it wasn't suitable for airing. As wonderful as Michael Landon was, he should be ashamed of himself for allowing this episode to make the final cut. There are only a couple episodes in this series that I wouldn't recommend for multiple viewings, but this is definitely one of them.
  • One of the worst episodes ever!

    This was by far the worst episode of Little House!It would have gotten less than a 1.6 from me had it not been for Charles story line! The acting of Lyndsey and Sydnie were horrible and I can tell why they neve rsaid much in the series. This was just a horrible horrible horrible episode! Really terrible! I cant get over how bad it was! Lets just say I anm being very nice by giving it a 1.6! I would never recommend this episode to anyone! It is the absolute worst episode of the series! The Greenbush sisters could not act to save there lives!
  • Regarding the episode "The Godsister", is one of my favorites. It was wonderful to have both of the Sidney and Rachel in the same episode. This was a very touching, and heart warming episode. I totally loved it. Marilyn

    This was outstanding, especially because we had the honor of having both of the Greenbush twins together in the same episode. The writers did a fantastic job with this episode.
    I loved all the tenderness of Carrie missing her Daddy.
    The twins did a great acting job, especially because they were so young. Such great talent. This is a definate must see episode.
    Thanks Sidney and Lindsey for a fantastic job. I only wish there could have been more episodes that featured the twins, they were so cute, and always had a smile on their faces. I love them both. There great.