Little House on the Prairie

Season 8 Episode 14

The Legacy

0
Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Jan 25, 1982 on NBC
9.3
out of 10
User Rating
85 votes
1

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Episode Summary

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The Legacy
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After an acquaintance dies suddenly, Charles is prompted to give up farming in favor of building a legacy on his hand-crafted furniture.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A rare late series gem of an episode with a message that is well-inforced by the dialog.

    8.1
    Charles wants to make a mark on the world that will last long after he is gone.



    Of the last four seasons, this is by far my favorite episode - it has lots of elements that work together and are thoughtfully executed. That there are no impossible historical inaccuracies is a bonus (other than Minneapolis is now about as easy to reach by wagon as Sleepy Eye once was).



    I can really believe that Charles Ingalls, a man who had become a talented woodworker, would want to leave a legacy of his work at an age that he plays in this episode. The scenes of Jack Prescott bemoaning that he never did are good and his death by heart attack is emotional. It's also realistic that Charles' dream is not realized because his work is stolen and mass-produced by a large furniture manufacturer - introducing the fact that bad luck and competition, often "unfair", can spoil a driven person's dreams. The secondary story of Albert firing a handyman hired to do the farmwork is also well-done, and though James has literally no dialog, this is a rare example of how the newest "blended" Ingalls family could have worked together.



    Tying a piece of Charles Ingalls crafted furniture into a "modern" flea market is just a nice added touch and lends an added emphasis to the main theme - people's longing to leave a record that persists beyond the short lifespan of the individual.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

Jason Bateman

Jason Bateman

James Cooper/Ingalls (1981 - 1982)

Kevin Hagen

Kevin Hagen

Dr. Hiram Baker

Richard Bull

Richard Bull

Nels Oleson

Ken Smolka

Ken Smolka

Bob Martin

Guest Star

Claude Earl Jones

Claude Earl Jones

Jack Prescott

Guest Star

Robert Boon

Robert Boon

Sven Johanssen

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Claude Earl Jones, who plays Jack Prescott in this episode, appears again in Season Nine's "Home Again, Part One" as a compassionate store owner who drops shoplifting charges against Albert in Burr Oak, Iowa.

    • This episode is unique to the series in that it opens up in a futuristic time (1982) and shows a couple bidding on a furniture item that bears the initials "CI."

    • Why would Caroline need to hire a farmhand while Charles is away, when she has a son nearing young adulthood (Albert) and pre-teen James living at home? Even Mary knew how to plow a field at age 14, as she demonstrated in Season Four's "To Run and Hide."

    • Even if Charles could have afforded to take the East Furniture Company to court for "stealing" his table design, he would have lost. Back then, just like today, you couldn't patent a "design" on furniture, only on furniture mechanisims (e.g. the handle on a recliner). You would think that the owner of a major furniture company would know this, and would have informed Charles that he had no legal standing to sue. Granted, the man did inform Charles that he didn't have a chance financially at taking it to court, but the man said, "Who knows? You might even win" when Charles first mentioned it, and that isn't true.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Charles: I know it won't be easy for everyone, moving to Minneapolis, but this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I can't pass it up.
      Caroline: Charles, I can't believe you're serious! You're ready to just give up the farm and everything we've worked for?
      Charles: Yes, I am.
      Caroline: But you're a farmer! You've always been satisfied with that.
      Charles: I'm not anymore.

    • Charles: Is this how you make your living? Stealing another man's design?
      Addison Fisk: Stealing? That's a rather serious charge.
      Charles: Well, what would you call it?
      Addison Fisk: Get to the point, Ingalls. What do you want? Money? Forget it. Not a dime.
      Charles: Suppose I take you to court?
      Addison Fisk: Fine. Who knows? You might even win--that is, after all the appeals. It might drag on for some time, and court costs are very expensive. But if that's what you want, I can afford it. Can you? Let's be philosophical about this, Ingalls. Times have changed. We're in the industrial age now. There's money to be made--too much to be concerned with certain niceties. Look, you've had a good run, you've made a little money. Now it's my turn. Business is business. It's only a design. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm busy.
      Charles: It's my design! It has my mark on it!
      Addison Fisk: Not anymore.

    • Charles: (to Sven) You want to know why I started all this, all this working? Because I wanted to be remembered. To have my initials on some piece of furniture. I wanted strangers to remember me. I didn't even give my own children a chance to remember me. With the way I was, they would never even know me.

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  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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