Little House on the Prairie

Season 8 Episode 7

The Legend of Black Jake

0
Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Nov 16, 1981 on NBC
3.8
out of 10
User Rating
98 votes
2

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Episode Summary

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The Legend of Black Jake
AIRED:
While traveling in his wagon one afternoon, Nels Oleson is captured by two rather dimwitted crooks, who are itching for gold that Nels doesn't have with him. Believing that Nels is their one shot at making it big, the men send two ransom letters back to Harriet, who blatantly refuses to take the bait (even when threatened with her husband's life). Now that their options are running out, an angry Nels decides to help the guys get their money, but that means putting on a mask and assisting to kidnap his own wife, along with several other people from Walnut Grove. The race is on to get these crooks what they want before they hurt anyone, all while Charles and Almanzo hatch a plan of their own to stop the madness.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Witness a pair of bumbling crooks kidnap prominent Walnut Grove citizens.

    10
    The Legend of Black Jake, what words could I use to describe this episode? Well, what comes to mind right away was that I found this episode to be one of the funniest episode from the later seasons of "Little House on the Prairie", thanks in large part to Georgie and Max's bumbling ways and Nels' idea of getting set free.



    When the episode starts out, we find our two favorite kidnappers getting caught after they rob a bank and being sent to jail for 12 years. I find that the episode started off down its silly path after Max and Georgie were released and were looking for a way to make a lot of money fast, and sensing they would have good luck in Walnut Grove.



    However, from that point of the story on, I had a smile on my face, thanks in large part of the events that followed: Nels being kidnapped for his "pure gold" fishing lure and then being ransomed off by Georgie and Max, only to have Mrs. Oleson refusing to play along with what they had in mind. The events that followed this is what made the episode classic; in order to get the $100 ransom Georgie and Max wanted for Nels, they decided to try and get it instead by kidnapping Mrs. Oleson, only learn she is the only person in the Oleson family to withdraw money out of their account, and that her domestic skills are severely lacking.



    Some other things that I found to be pretty comical about the episode is how, instead of holding up the Mr. Anderson at the bank, Georgie and Max decide to kidnap him, since Georgie thought that was their new profession, only to make Max mad at his actions. What was the best about the banker, and ultimately Dr. Baker and Reverend Alden being kidnapped was how it caused Max and Georgie to decide to just let their prisoners go. When the victims were finally able to get back to town, Mrs. Oleson, Nancy, and Willie’s reaction to seeing their “dead” husband and father was priceless, too bad it didn’t teach Harriet and Nancy to treat Nels with more respect afterwards.



    In all, I have to say that these are just a few of the reasons why I found “The Legend of Black Jake” to be such a great episode from the later seasons of “Little House on the Prairie”. This episode was truly a breath of fresh air in the last two seasons of somewhat poor episodes.moreless
  • I love this episode!

    10
    I really love this episode!I don't see why people hate this episode it's hilarious!I laugh every time I see this epiode!It's one of my favorite episodes of the series!I think it should have gotten a higher rating than it did!I like the funny episodes alot better than the serious ones!Nothing's wrong with the serious episodes i just like the funny ones better!
Richard Bull

Richard Bull

Nels Oleson

Michael Landon

Michael Landon

Charles Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Karen Grassle

Karen Grassle

Caroline Quiner Holbrook Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Katherine MacGregor

Katherine MacGregor

Harriet Oleson

Jonathan Gilbert

Jonathan Gilbert

Willie Oleson

Allison Balson

Allison Balson

Nancy Oleson (1981-1983)

Todd Susman

Todd Susman

Max

Guest Star

Royce D. Applegate

Royce D. Applegate

Georgie

Guest Star

Gavin Mooney

Gavin Mooney

Policeman

Guest Star

Sam Edwards

Sam Edwards

Anderson

Recurring Role

Ruth Foster

Ruth Foster

Mrs. Foster

Recurring Role

Carl Pitti

Carl Pitti

Townsman

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (7)

    • Harriet has a record of four fainting spells in this episode, and Nancy has one--her first and only one in the whole series.

    • Granted, Nels was a bit under duress, so we can't fault him for forgetting a few things, but why would he think that Nancy would be able to take money from the Olesons' account at the bank? Even if we accept that he allows this type of restriction on their money (especially in light of the time period involved - perhaps the property rights for women petition worked after all!), how could he forget that only Harriet herself can withdraw funds?

    • When Charles puts a lock on the door, Caroline says they never had to do that before. In Harvest of Friends, however, Charles gave Caroline a key to their front door, and she specifically mentioned the security that it gave her.

    • Late at night, after getting the first ransom note, Harriet has her first fainting spell. The next morning, Doc Baker revives her, and Charles and Caroline are there with Nancy. It's possible that Nancy found her in the morning and ran for Doc Baker, but it doesn't make much sense that she would be out for all those hours, after just a fainting spell. People usually wake up from those within minutes or even seconds. There was no indication that she had a head injury, so this is unusual.

    • nitpick: When Max falls into the mine shaft, the two real thick thieves were standing right on top of it. The disguise of it could be considered even worse as if you look closely, the side that Georgie runs down too is covered by thin brush. This is brief and only if you are looking for such things would you notice it. More of a nitpick really. But then again, the point of this scene, is that this duo, are as thick as bricks

    • This is absolutely the first and only episode where we hear anybody refer to Nancy as "darling" (except her parents, of course, mostly her mother). Charles calls her "darling" when she is fearful about her parents' lives. You will notice that Nancy is arguably more scared and empathetic than she's ever been in the series. Too bad it doesn't stick.

    • Goof: Early in the episode, Max tells Harriet that Black Jake is "the boss." Later on, he refers to wanting to speak to "the boys," showing him to be in command over the others.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Reverend Alden: I'm not used to handling guns. The Bible is my weapon!

    • Mrs. Oleson: If you're going to go back into town, kidnap Caroline Ingalls, she's a better cook and she's used to all this domestic work!

    • Georgie: Here, you go. Better eat yourself something there!
      Mrs. Oleson: I'd rather starve.
      Georgie: (takes a good look at her) Well, I'm telling you, that could take a real long time.

  • NOTES (0)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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