Little House on the Prairie

Season 9 Episode 19

The Last Summer

2
Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Feb 21, 1983 on NBC
7.4
out of 10
User Rating
49 votes
1

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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When young Jason Carter accepts his first job as an assistant to an aging woman in Walnut Grove, he just wants to earn some money and buy his mother a birthday gift. However, as Jason spends more time with Ruthy Leland, he learns the incredible power of friendship, as well as the painful lessons that sometimes come with it.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Ruth visits Walnut Grove. Jason wanting to buy his mother a present begs to work for her. A strong friendship results,causing jealousy. Sarah Carter forbids him to visit until she discovers that Ruth is dying. The final goodbye letter is a tear jerker!moreless

    10
    This is a great episode! It shows both the innocence of childhood, the tendancy for children to want to grow up quickly and the strength of friendships. Ruth is an amazing and engaging character - a liberated woman who rides horses! The interaction between her and Jason seems very real and his cute little questions "Are you old?" are met with wamrth and humour. Sarah Carter comes across very badly in this episode, although I have not warmed to the character very well either. I kept shouting at the TV, Caroline Inglis would have handled herself much better. If the last scene with Jason fishing and reading the letter doesn't make you sob, you have a heart of stone.moreless
Dean Butler

Dean Butler

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

Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

Kevin Hagen

Kevin Hagen

Dr. Hiram Baker

Stan Ivar

Stan Ivar

John Carter (1982 - 1983)

Pamela Roylance

Pamela Roylance

Sarah Carter (1982 - 1983)

David Friedman

David Friedman

Jason Carter (1982 - 1983)

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (3)

    • When Ruthy arrives at the mercantile on a horse, Mrs. Oleson is disgusted at the lack of decorum shown by a woman of that age. While it is not out of character for Harriet to offer her bold opinion on "The Way Things Ought To Be," she normally falls all over herself to accommodate the wealthy, despite any eccentricities they might have. Therefore, it is unusual for her to be critical of a well-to-do person such as Ruthy, who had the potential to bring a lot of business to the mercantile.

    • Ruthy has been away long enough that she does not know that Laura is now married and has a baby. Surely, then, she would also not know that the Ingalls family has moved away. Yet, when Laura tells her that the Carters live in her old home, Ruthy does not question where the Ingalls went.

    • While some may question the fact that school was in session during the summer in this episode, it should be noted that school terms ran differently in farming communities back in the 1800's. In reading a biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, one learns that there was indeed a summer term that ended just before the harvest, and a fall term that began when the harvest was over (sometime in October).

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Jeb: (about the collection basket at Church) You put in two dimes back there. You know, you only have to give one tenth of what you make.
      Jason: I know how to do fractions!
      Jeb: That lady gave you two dollars?!?!?
      Jason: You're not supposed to watch!
      Jeb: Yeah, but two dollars??

    • Sarah: You can take your money to the mercantile and pick something out there.
      Jason: But I can't take the brooch back now. Ruthy will feel bad.
      Sarah: I think it's more important that you do what I say.
      Jason: But it will hurt her feelings!

    • Sarah: Miss Leland, I'm so sorry.
      Ruthy: You have nothing to be sorry about, my dear.
      Sarah: But I do. I was so terribly wrong about you.
      Ruthy: You weren't wrong about anything.
      Sarah: I guess I was just.....jealous.
      Ruthy: And for good reason. Jason is the finest young man I have ever met.
      Sarah: It's just that.....I love him so much.
      Ruthy: (takes her hand) We both do.

    • Ruthy: Mrs. Carter, I don't understand why you can't accept the brooch.
      Sarah: John and I have tried to raise our sons to know the meaning of a dollar, and this......well, it only confuses them.
      Ruthy: Well, the brooch was for sale. I set a price on it, and Jason made his decision. It was a fair deal.
      Sarah: Miss Leland, you cannot afford to sell a priceless piece like that for a couple of dollars.
      Ruthy: Truly, a son's gift to his mother is priceless. But the value is gained in the giving, not the purchase.

    • Jason: Ruthy?
      Ruthy: Yes, Jason?
      Jason: Are you old?
      Ruthy: Well......what do you call old?
      Jason: I don't know.
      Ruthy: Well, would you say your father is old?
      Jason: Yeah, I guess he's old.
      Ruthy: Then yes, Jason, I am old.
      Jason: (smiles and hugs her) Then I want to be old, too.

    • Ruthy: You're not worried about the brooch. You're not even angry at Jason--you're angry at me.
      Sarah: Perhaps. Jason already has a grandmother, Miss Leland, and he has a mother.
      Ruthy: I can see he has a very fine mother. You have no reason to be jealous. Jason is my friend. I hope he considers me to be his. That's all.
      Sarah: I am not jealous, Miss Leland. I do think the boy is spending a little too much time here, however--something I'll remedy in the future.

  • NOTES (7)

    • Pamela Roylance (Sarah Carter) credits this as her favorite episode. She says it was a pleasure working with Vera Miles (Ruthy Leland), and she still cries every time she watches Jason speak his last line in the episode.

    • Featured characters: The Carters, mainly Jason and Sarah

    • This is the second of two episodes that focuses primarily on the Carter family. It's also the last episode in the series that specifically spotlights the Carters, unless you count the fact that they owned one of the three primary subplots in Season 10's Bless All the Dear Children.

    • The character Jason Carter spends most of this episode in a shirt that looks like a little girl's shirt: dark green with a small, white, paisley-and-flowers print and a "Peter Pan" style collar. Very unusual choice by the wardrobe department here.

    • Vera Miles, portraying Ruthy in this episode, is best known for her role as Lila Crane in Alfred Hitchcock's horror masterpiece Psycho.

    • This is the one episode in the series in which young Jason Carter has a prominent role.

    • There were no co-stars in this episode.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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