Little House on the Prairie

Season 2 Episode 18

The Long Road Home

Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Mar 03, 1976 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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

    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.
  • The price of wheat has fallen badly and Charles and others decide to go out seeking other work - with disasterous results.

    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.