Little House on the Prairie

Season 4 Episode 9

The High Cost Of Being Right

0
Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Nov 14, 1977 on NBC
7.7
out of 10
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60 votes
2

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The High Cost Of Being Right
AIRED:
Jonathan Garvey is convinced that he has a great crop coming up, but as he is celebrating with his family at the dinner table, a fateful fire burns their entire barn down. With all their plans destroyed, Alice has a plan to help them get back on their feet, but Jonathan's pride threatens their marriage.moreless

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  • Bad times for the Garvey family when their barn burns down.

    6.5
    Jonathan Garvey is a happy man. He has a big crop that is going to set himself and his family up well for the winter. He is, therefore, devastated when his barns burns down and not even a small part of his harvest survives.



    The family are not sure how they are going to cope financially as just about everything was dependent on the crop. Alice feels she has the answer when she offers to take a job to bring in some extra income but Jonathan will not hear of it.



    I always cringe inwardly a little when the plot is Garvey-family centric. I think Jonathan, superbly played by Merlin Oleson, is excellent and I have no trouble with young Andy, but Alice sets my teeth on edge every time I see her. I'm not really sure why this is but I know that one thing I find annoying is her appalling grammar, given that she is supposed to be a qualified teacher. Surely the writers could do better than that? Jonathan is the one who had no formal education, but Alice is the one who sounds like a yokel when she speaks. She also doesn't convey warmth or friendliness to me and that aggravates me as well. Perhaps I am just picky, but I find myself scoring episodes much lower when she is given a big part in them.moreless
  • When the Garvey's crop is destroyed in a fire, it's the start of a down wood trend that none of them could have foretold, with the out come none of them could have foreseen, for them and the people around them.moreless

    7.0
    Jonathan Garvey has a bumper crop and has grand planes what the money he makes from it can do for his family, as they chat over there evening meal. But disaster strikes in the form of sparks from the fire blowing in the wind which course a major fire that burns down the barn and almost Jonathan himself, the following day they survey the damage the entire crop has gone. He try's to get work at the mill but there is no work to be had, Charles ingalls feels bad as before Jonathan tells him of his bad news he brags about all the things he is going to do with the money he gets from selling his crop, Jonathan now at his lowest epp sells his team of horse's and buys food and provisions for his family. when he arrives home Caroline inglles is there with aura they also have herd of the garveys plight and have brought supplies as well in a good will gesture, at first Alice Jonathan's wife is pleased, but when she hears he's sold his team which for a farmer is there lively hood she is very angry and words are exchanged, Jonathan decides to leave. the following day Alice try's to make things up and tells him there is a job going in the post office she could take to help them out, at this Jonathan gets angry telling her she cant tack it and he forbids it, the out come of this fight seems to be the last straw and they then plan to divorce. The hole family including there son Andrew is devastated, Jonathans reason for it as he can no longer provide for his family. And will not reconcile if Alice will not give up her job in the post office which she refuses to do. Well loads left but ill leave that for you to find out about. Little house on the prairie was never shy about tackling controversial subjects I no divorce now a days is common and seems sadly more odd to still see both parents still together but back then when this was first shown it was a brave story line to take when you consider this is a family program at a time when all the family would be watching. But like all there storeys is rewarding never the less and lessons are learned and just some times end the way you would like them to.moreless
Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

Melissa Sue Anderson

Melissa Sue Anderson

Mary Amelia Ingalls/Kendall (1974 - 1981)

Michael Landon

Michael Landon

Charles Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Karen Grassle

Karen Grassle

Caroline Quiner Holbrook Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Lindsay Greenbush

Lindsay Greenbush

Carrie Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Sidney Greenbush

Sidney Greenbush

Carrie Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Hal Burton

Hal Burton

Harris

Guest Star

Dick Durdock

Dick Durdock

Sharp

Guest Star

Denver Mattson

Denver Mattson

Wiggins

Guest Star

Merlin Olsen

Merlin Olsen

Jonathan Garvey

Recurring Role

Hersha Parady

Hersha Parady

Alice Garvey

Recurring Role

Patrick Labyorteaux

Patrick Labyorteaux

Andy Garvey

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (4)

    • In some ways, the fire scene at the Garvey barn is more humorous than anything else. First of all, almost everyone knows that the "stop, drop, and roll" method has saved many lives when people's bodies have caught fire, but it is ridiculous to think that Jonathan didn't even so much as suffer any burns when he was on fire like that. Secondly, in the shots where you see Jonathan shooing the animals out of the barn as his own body is catching fire, notice how much heavier he is. Either the actor had a stunt man playing him in this scene, or he was wearing some kind of visible padding. Lastly, after Alice throws the blanket over her husband and stands over him as he looks miserably back at the burning barn, you'll notice that the woman standing there does not look a thing like Alice! It's quite possible that there was a stunt woman there, too.

    • Mary and Carrie Ingalls do not appear in this episode.

    • Listen to Michael Landon's voice in the memorable "laughter" scene at the end. As he is laughing hysterically, he says to Jonathan, "Your wife didn't say you were crazy; YOU said you were crazy!" With this one line, his voice sounds unusually different, high-pitched, and quite frankly, almost like a girl.

    • This episode was originally written for an April 13, 1977 air date (right at the end of Season 3), and it was the Edwards family that was supposed to go through the painful experience in the story, but because Victor French (Mr. Edwards) left the show for a while, the episode material was set aside for a while, and it was used on the Garvey family in the following season.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Laura: (when the Garveys plan to divorce) Why do people get divorced?
      Charles: I don't know, darling. Different reasons, I guess. To be honest, I don't think we ever knew anyone who's gotten a divorce.
      Laura: I wish we still didn't.

    • Caroline: When you love somebody, it's worth putting your pride behind you.
      Alice: It's more than pride.
      Caroline: Is it?
      Alice: Yes. I never did a single thing to break up this marriage. It was Jonathan's doing from the start, and when he walked out, that was his doing, too!
      Caroline: So you're right, and he's wrong?
      Alice: Yes.
      Caroline: Well, I hope being right is enough for you, because you're sure paying a high price for it, and so is your son.

    • Andy: I just like dreaming, I guess. I was just thinking if I could wake up and this would all be a dream.......and Ma and Pa would be back together again. Why did this all have to happen, anyway?
      Laura: I don't know, Andy.
      Andy: Nobody knows! One day, everything's good and loving, and then all of a sudden, it's all over, and nobody knows why.

    • Andy: At least when kids fight, they know what it's about. They make up and get it over with. I think God did everything backwards. Kids should get married and have parents!

    • Charles: Honey, what's the matter?
      Laura: I don't want you fighting.
      Charles: Baby, we weren't fighting.
      Laura: You were!
      Caroline: Darling, we were just having a disagreement.
      Laura: No you weren't. You were fighting just like Mr. and Mrs. Garvey. Now they're getting divorced and won't even talk to each other!

  • NOTES (4)

    • Hersha Parady (Alice Garvey) credits this as one of her very favorite episodes. She especially loves the scene where she ran down the road after having a fight with her husband. "It was definitely not a stretch for me," Parady once said in an interview. "I ran down many a dirt road, bawling over some guy. It was nice to get paid for it!"

    • This is Merlin Olsen's (Jonathan Garvey) favorite episode.

    • Ancient actor Eddie Quillan, appearing here as the judge presiding over the Garveys' divorce hearing, befriended Michael Landon in the 1970's. Landon took an instant liking to him, and as a result, Quillan appeared in seven different Little House episodes, never playing the same character twice. Perhaps his best-know LH appearance came during season 7, when he played the crotchety "hitchhiker" picked up by Charles in The In-Laws. Quillen started his career in vaudeville in 1922, and died in October 1990.

    • The first of three fires to devastate the Garvey family. See also Episodes 108 & 133

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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