Little House on the Prairie

Season 2 Episode 18

The Long Road Home

2
Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Mar 03, 1976 on NBC
8.7
out of 10
User Rating
83 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Charles, Mr. Edwards, and two other men take a job that involves handling and transporting explosives. They must deal with many things along the road, including prejudice.

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  • When the price of wheat plummets, Charles and three others agree to take a job transporting highly sensitive explosives.

    8.0
    One of several episodes dealing with not only pioneer hardships but prejudice. When a bumper crop of wheat causes prices to bottom out, Charles, Mr. Edwards, and two other men--including a former slave--accept a hazardous job transporting liquid explosives--without telling their wives the nature of the work. That the two-week gig pays $100 per man and each man\'s life is automatically insured for $5,000 is indicative of just how sensitive the explosives are to being dropped, jostled or heating up. Once our band of four is on the road, they send letters to their wives expaining the real nature of the job, along with copies of the insurance policies. Tension is high throughout as every little pothole and bump in the road is cause for alarm. A subplot involves the prejudices of the third man against blacks. Gradually, he comes to accept that the ex-slave is every bit as good a man as the rest. On the train ride home, when the black man is refused a seat in first class, all four men agree to ride together on a lowly freight car.



    I like the way the scriptwriters dealt with minority groups and persons throughout the LHOTP series run. The people with the with the prejudices against them always came out looking foolish and mean-spirited. Even the Cohens, Percival\'s Jewish parents, whose characteristics as written were over-the-top, looked good compared to Mrs. Oleson, who stereotyped them mercilessly.moreless
  • The price of wheat has fallen badly and Charles and others decide to go out seeking other work - with disasterous results.

    6.5
    When Charles finds that the money he will receive for his current wheat crop will not feed himself and his family for the winter, he makes the tough decision to go out on the road seeking other work.



    Hauling explosive liquids is no picnic and there is a reason that it pays so well. Any bump in the road or an out of control horse could blow the entire load and the people with it sky high in a matter of seconds. But the pay is 100 dollars and that would certainly see the Ingalls family through the long, cold winter. But at what price?



    An edge-of-your-seat episode that has an appropriate amount of teary moments thrown in as well.moreless
Dean Butler

Dean Butler

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

Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

Patrick Labyorteaux

Patrick Labyorteaux

Andrew 'Andy' Garvey (1977 - 1981) (as Patrick Laborteaux)

Bonnie Bartlett

Bonnie Bartlett

Grace Snider/Edwards (1974 - 1977)

Lucy Lee Flippin

Lucy Lee Flippin

Eliza Jane Wilder (1979 -1980)

Dabbs Greer

Dabbs Greer

Reverend Alden

Louis Gossett Jr.

Louis Gossett Jr.

Henry Hill

Guest Star

Richard Jaeckel

Richard Jaeckel

Murphy

Guest Star

John Mitchum

John Mitchum

Sam Benson

Guest Star

Bonnie Bartlett

Bonnie Bartlett

Grace Edwards

Recurring Role

Victor French

Victor French

Mr. Isaiah Edwards (guest star prior to season 2)

Recurring Role

Brian Part

Brian Part

Carl

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Lou Gossett Jr. is best known for his Oscar winning role as the tough gunnery sergeant in "An Officer and a Gentleman.

    • Charles tells Edwards that he has experience with dynamite, a reference to the Season 1 episode "100 Mile Walk." In this case the explosive is "blasting oil" (nitroglycerin). Its a little odd that the railroad would transport nitroglycerin by wagon in the year this episode takes place, one reason dynamite was invented in the late 1860s was because it is stable and not likely to explode accidentally.

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (2)

    • Filming Locations: Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley, with Sierra location scenes filmed at Railtown State Park, Jamestown, Red Hills, Chinese Camp, Baker Ranch, Tuolumne, and Willms Ranch, Knights Ferry, California, and Paramount Studios, Hollywood, California.

    • The intolerant driver Murphy is played by Richard Jaeckel. The actor appears again in season 7's "Sylvia" as town blacksmith and secretive rapist Irv Hartwig.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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