Little House on the Prairie

Episode 0

The Last Farewell

7
Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Feb 06, 1984 on NBC
7.5
out of 10
User Rating
89 votes
4

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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The Last Farewell
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Charles and Caroline decide to leave their younger children with an aunt and visit Walnut Grove. What begins as a nostalgic trip down memory lane turns into disaster as the town learns that a slick businessman has legal ownership of the land, and he is prepared to take it over for his own financial gain. Now, the entire community must come together to put up the fight of their lives and defend their home.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • True to title

    10
    A fitting ending which was able incorporate the destruction of the set. Gives you a sense of completion.

    And now we definitely know the series is over.

    I believe this was well within the characters we saw through series and films.

    Instead of working for this guy in houses that were no longer there own, they did all they could to keep their freedom - perfectly within character.

  • When a land speculator acquires legal title to the land upon which Walnut Grove sits, the residents decide to dynamite their property rather than work as tenants for the eastern landowner.moreless

    1.0
    I am very torn and troubled by this episode of Little House on the Prairie. The eastern landowner obtained legal title to the land of Walnut grove and several other towns. Though the "improvements" to the land (houses and other buildings etc.) remain the property of the residents, I find it troubling, if not out of "Christian character" that the residents resort to destruction of all they have built when faced with legal loss of the land. While God once dealt with His children with "The Law," in Christ Grace fulfilled and overcame the law with Love and Salvation.



    I found this episode out of character with the series. Rather than reacting as mature adult Christians, the residents (cast) behave more like sulking, spiteful children. Just as it should have been clear to all that God brought them to build Walnut Grove, it should have been equally clear that God now needed them elsewhere.



    Who knows (God does, of course) what affect a more Christian evacuation may have had on the greedy landowner?



    I fully understand (as declared by the military commander at the end) they had a legal right to destroy what they had built. I simply find their "final solution" inconsistent, and out of Christian character with all the episodes that preceded the finale.moreless
  • Goodbye Walnut Grove

    7.0
    Michael Landon was forced to tear down all the buildings of set of Walnut Grove after the final movie so he decided that the town should go out with a bang. He spared the church because it would anger the religious community and for the fans the Ingalls Little House. The character of Lassiter makes J.R. Ewing a saint. There was absolutely no redeeming nature to him. With the towns anger and utter frustration of helplessness it was reasonable for them to destroy the town. After all it was well said that Mr. Lassiter owned the land not the buildings.moreless
  • The citizens of Walnut Grove are forced to move out by a slick businessman who has purchased the town. Driven by rage, Laura inspires the rest of the citizens to destroy the buildings they worked so hard on so that the new owner cannot make use of them.moreless

    10
    This was a very exciting, but depressing episode. It is sad that the Little House series went on for 10 years only to end with the town being destroyed. You get to a point where you feel somewhat like a part of the town after you\'ve watched the series for so long. You can feel the pain and the grief that Laura and the rest of the townspeople feel as they are forced to destroy their cherished homes and businesses. It is also ironic how Charles and Caroline were brouht back for one last episode in Walnut Grove, since they were at one time a major part of the town, and sort of portrayed side by side with John and Sarah Carter, who have become highly respected after the Ingalls\' departure.moreless
Dean Butler

Dean Butler

Almanzo James Wilder (co-star prior to season 7)

Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

Dabbs Greer

Dabbs Greer

Reverend Alden

Kevin Hagen

Kevin Hagen

Dr. Hiram Baker

Richard Bull

Richard Bull

Nels Oleson

Stan Ivar

Stan Ivar

John Carter (1982 - 1983)

James Karen

James Karen

Nathan Lassiter

Guest Star

Roger Torrey

Roger Torrey

Colonel Arthur Forbes

Guest Star

Dennis Robertson

Dennis Robertson

Drew Coleson

Guest Star

Michael Landon

Michael Landon

Charles Ingalls

Recurring Role

Jack Lilley

Jack Lilley

Stagecoach driver

Recurring Role

Alex Sharp

Alex Sharp

Henchman

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (15)

    • Even if there is no court order to get rid of the citizens of Walnut Grove, the U.S army could not compel it. Minnesota is a state which meant the Army would have illegally been used for law enforcement duties. County deputies or state police should have been sent to enforce the court order.

    • Adam is mentioned one last time when Charles says "There Berk and Davis that's the law firm my son in law use to work for".

    • When Charles and Caroline first arrive at the boarding house, and after Caroline hugs Almanzo, Charles tells her to go on up. How does she know where Laura's bedroom is, if she hasn't been there before?

    • Nitpick: The restaurant where Charles and Caroline go for dinner is the same place where in season 9's Once Upon a Time, Laura and Mr. Matthews go for dinner. But where Laura and Mr. Matthews goes is in Minneapolis, amd Charles and Caroline are in Burr Oak, Iowa.

    • The classical violin piece that Mr. Montague plays for Charles is "Flight of the Bumblebee".

    • We have no clue in this episode whether Albert Ingalls is alive or not. There was an opportunity for Charles and Caroline to bring it up somewhere along the line, but they never did. Albert made it clear in Look Back to Yesterday that he was going to spend his last days in Walnut Grove. Since he's no longer there, we can only assume that he has passed on already, and if that's the case, his parents and sister Laura certainly don't look that torn up about it. This was an important plot thread, and the writers just glossed over it as if it never even happened. You would think that since Caroline didn't attend Albert's funeral, she would visit his gravesite.

    • The only characters who appeared in both the pilot and the series finale episodes were Charles, Caroline, Laura, Mr. Edwards, and Ruth Foster. (Foster played a relative of the Ingalls family in the Big Woods of Wisconsin in the first scene of the pilot, and in Season 1, she began with a recurring role as the Walnut Grove postmistress before resigning from that and becoming just a regular townsperson.)

    • When the show reached its highly emotional end, Michael Landon left Melissa Gilbert (Laura) with some very important words: "This is not the end for you. This is the beginning." Lindsay Kennedy (Jeb Carter) has said that he overheard this as Landon said it to Gilbert, and these words have stayed with both Gilbert and Kennedy.

    • Kevin Hagen (Doc Baker) has said in previous interviews that although he can't speak for all the actors who were involved in the emotional final scene, he himself felt that it was an inappropriate way to end the series. Hagen believed that realistically, the strong and kind townspeople of Walnut Grove would not be so ridiculous as to destroy their homes and livelihoods just so other people could not make use of them. Hagen went on to say that the actual Walnut Grove remains in existence today and is remembered as a place where the Ingalls family actually lived, thanks to the timeless books that Laura wrote, so to him, it made very little sense to conclude the show in that way.

    • Melissa Gilbert (Laura) has said in previous interviews that when the show started dwindling down in its later years, she felt like she was really ready to move on, have her boyfriend, hang out with her friends, and regain that piece of her life that was taken away as she filmed the series for nearly a decade. However, when Gilbert was approached about the official series finale, she was immediately upset and thought, "No! I'm not ready for this!" Laura's emotion in the final scene was certainly not just acting, since Gilbert herself was so devastated about leaving the show behind.

    • After the town of Walnut Grove is blown up, the Church and the Ingalls/Carter place are the only two things that remain intact. For obvious reasons, these two Walnut Grove locations had a certain value attached to them, and Michael Landon chose not to destroy them. A more important reason that the church wasn't blown up was that it would be offensive and being a family show with Christian overtones there would have been an outrage.

    • Toward the end of this episode, Laura and Caroline have a very heartwarming moment together, and Laura acknowledges that all her life, she wanted to be just like her mother. When asked about Karen Grassle (Caroline) in previous interviews, Melissa Gilbert (Laura) has said that when she was a tiny girl on the set, she herself wanted to grow up and be just like Karen. Gilbert joked that she even tried to get physically near Karen, because she thought that if she did, that would help get some of Karen's qualities to rub off on her.

    • At one point in the episode, Charles mentions that Caroline has not been back in Walnut Grove for three years. This is a goof--actually, she was only gone for about a year and a half, since they moved at the beginning of Season 9. Some may argue that it was implied that the show spanned more years from Season 9 to 10, but the kids on the show didn't age enough for that to be plausible.

    • The buildings that were blown up in the episode were actually blown up in real life! Michael Landon allegedly had a deal with the people who originally owned the land, and he promised them that as soon as the series was completed, the area would go back to being exactly the way it was before filming.

      Reply: That could be one of the reasons, but the primary reason Michael Landon blew up the town was because he was mad they canceled the show and did not want anybody to use his set.

    • Nitpick: In reruns where this episode is split into two parts, you may notice, credits at the end of the first part are old ones and no credits start the 2nd part at all.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Nancy: (to Jason) You hate me, too! (storms off)
      Jason: I hope you don't mind me saying this, Mr. Oleson, but your daughter is awful strange.
      Mr. Oleson: I know, Jason. I know.

    • John: I thought you and Jeb were supposed to be sharing the chores in this business adventure of yours.
      Jason: Yeah, so did I.
      John: You shouldn't let him get away with it.
      Jason: I can't do nothing. He's bigger than me! I wish you guys had me first.
      John: (smiles) Just poor planning on our part, I guess.

    • John: (about Jeb) You want me to talk to him?
      Jason: Heck no! He'll just get mad and do something bad to me.
      John: Oh, come on, your brother isn't so bad to you.
      Jason: How would you know?
      John: Because you would tell me.
      Jason: Like heck I would! Whenever an older brother does something bad to you, the first things he tells you is, "I'll do something worse if you tell!"

    • Jason: There is something you can do.
      John: You name it.
      Jason: Well, I sure would like it if you and Ma could make a younger child. Then maybe it wouldn't be so bad if I had somebody to pick on.
      John: Well, son, I'm going to have to talk to your Ma about that.
      Jason: Aww, thanks, Pa!
      John: You're very welcome. (smiles and leaves)
      Jason: You hear that, Herbie? Ma and Pa might make a younger child! Then I could do what Jeb does to me. You know, like hard pinching, and picking my nose and making him eat it! Oh yeah, lots of fun!

    • Charles: We're going to resist.
      Laura: With guns?
      Charles: Yes, Laura.
      Laura: I don't understand you. No piece of land is worth losing your life over.
      Charles: You're right. You don't understand.

    • Caroline: I was so proud of you tonight.
      Laura: (smiles) You should have been. I kind of reminded myself of you.
      Caroline: Of me?
      Laura: Yeah, you. You know, I remember when things got hard for us for a while--like when we had to leave our home in Kansas. You never let it break you. You'd sure get mad, but you'd never give up.
      Caroline: Well, we had your Pa there.
      Laura: Oh, I know. I also know that he never could have done it without you. You were his strength. All my life, I wanted to be just like you. So you see, I'm the one who should be proud--because if I didn't have a Ma like you, I wouldn't be me.

    • Mr. Edwards: Lassiter's got the future. He moves in here and runs the businesses that we've swindered over for years!
      Laura: Well, why let him? There's something we can do! I got mad today--real mad, and you know what I did? I busted some windows. Yeah, it may sound silly. Well, maybe it is, but they were our windows, and he's not gonna get them! He owns the land, we'll let him have it. But he's gonna have an awful lot of fixing up to do before he starts running our boarding house!
      John Carter: Listen here. You want to do more than bust a couple of windows? I've got a wagon at my place, loaded to the gills with dynamite for the mine!
      Mr. Edwards: All right. By God, if Lassiter wants to kill our town, the least we can do is bury it!

    • Reverend Alden: (to Walnut Grove community) I'd like to take a moment to talk to you. Times like these test our faith. Why does God allow a man like Lassiter to exist? Why doesn't the Lord intercede on our behalf? Now, we're good Christians. Why are we the ones to suffer at the hands of a man like this? They're not easy questions to answer, but the fact is.....evil does exist in this world, and it always will. But I believe that with God on our side, we will survive--and we'll prosper, for faith and love are the strongest weapons in the world. We must hold those weapons high at times like these, just as we have in the past. We've felt the power of love in this town many times. When adversity struck, we pulled together. We have felt the care of friends. We have felt something that a man like Lassiter will never feel--and we thank God for that.
      Mr. Edwards: Well, I'm feeling something a little different, Reverend, and I'll tell you what I'm feeling. Anger!
      Reverend Alden: Do you think I don't? You think that just because I'm a minister, I don't feel those things? Of course I do. But he owns the land! What good is it to worry about something that has passed when we have the future to look to?

    • Laura: Why are you cleaning that rifle?
      Almanzo: Beth, we've been all through this.
      Laura: You've been through it! I asked you not to buy it, and you went right ahead and did it anyway!
      Almanzo: Beth, I'm not going to just let someone come in here and take away my property.
      Laura: He's not going to take it away. He said you could work on it the same as always.
      Almanzo: It's mine. It's not his. I'm not going to be a slave on my own property.
      Laura: And you would use that rifle to stop him? (no reply) Answer me!
      Almanzo: YES! Yes, I would, if I had to!

    • Attorney: Well, gentlemen, I wish I had better news for you, but I'm afraid Mr. Lassister and Company has done quite a job at setting this up.
      Mr. Oleson: You mean he has a legal right to this town? He can just come in and take it over?
      Attorney: Well, legally, he has every right. Morally, he doesn't. But the court will only concern itself, I'm afraid, with the legal aspects of the case.
      Charles: I can't believe it. I can't believe that the law could be that unfair.
      Attorney: Neither could the Indians, who were originally given this land.

  • NOTES (7)

    • It should be noted that Charles, Laura, Mr. Oleson, Willie Oleson, Doc Baker, and Reverend Alden are the only main characters to appear in every single season in the series.

    • Of all the main characters in the series, the only ones to appear in all three of the final "Season 10" movies are Laura, Almanzo, Jenny, the Carters, Nels, Nancy, and Mr. Montague.

    • Sadly, Katherine MacGregor (Harriet Oleson) did not appear in any of the three final Little House movies. Aside from Mary, Adam and the younger Ingalls kids, she is the only main cast member not to make an appearance at all for these last few episodes. It's been said that MacGregor was on a pilgrimage in India during the filming of this epiosode, so that's why she couldn't be there.

    • Notice Melissa Gilbert's makeup in this episode. It's absolutely globbed on, especially her eye makeup and lipstick; it's so thick and unnatural that it's actually hard to concentrate on what she's saying in some scenes. Pioneer women certainly never wore makeup, especially frosted eye shadow! While cosmetics are commonly applied to even an actor's skin tone, Gilbert's post-disco look is more 1980's than 1880's.

    • Karen Grassle (Caroline Ingalls) comes back to appear in this very last episode. This is the first time we've seen her since the Season 8 finale, He Was Only Twelve.

    • Harriet and Nellie Oleson, Mary, Adam, Albert, Carrie, Baby Grace, James, and Cassandra do not appear in this final episode of the series. However, all the other core stars of the show are accounted for.

    • This was a 2 hour episode.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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