Little House on the Prairie

Season 7 Episode 21

The Lost Ones (1)

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Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM May 04, 1981 on NBC
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The Lost Ones (1)
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While making an out-of-town delivery, Albert and Charles meet and travel with the Cooper family. An accident occurs en route with the parents, leaving Charles in charge of their two children.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
    Matthew Laborteaux

    Matthew Laborteaux

    Albert Quinn Ingalls (1978 -1982)

    Michael Landon

    Michael Landon

    Charles Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

    Merlin Olsen

    Merlin Olsen

    Jonathan Garvey (1977-1981)

    Patrick Labyorteaux

    Patrick Labyorteaux

    Andrew Garvey (1977-1981)

    George McDaniel

    George McDaniel

    Alvin Cooper

    Guest Star

    M. E. Loree

    M. E. Loree

    Sarah Cooper

    Guest Star

    Jason Bateman

    Jason Bateman

    James Cooper

    Guest Star

    Ivan Bonar

    Ivan Bonar

    Mr. Case

    Recurring Role

    E.J. André

    E.J. André

    Jed Cooper

    Recurring Role

    Dan Priest

    Dan Priest

    Conductor

    Recurring Role

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

    FILTER BY TYPE

    • TRIVIA (6)

      • Early in the episode, Charles, Albert, Mr. Cooper, and James are all sitting by the campfire together, and then the kids go off to bed, and the two men talk for a while longer. It's supposed to be late at night, but you can tell that the scene was filmed somewhere around the early evening, when some daylight was still peeking through the trees.

      • One has to wonder why Laura and Almanzo couldn't keep James and Cassandra themselves, at least for the time that Pa was searching for a permanent family. Seeing as Charles went so far as to beg Hester Sue to consider taking in the children, I'm surprised he didn't even try going to his grown daughter and son-in-law for help. They were married, stable, and relatively well-off at that time, so it could have been a perfect arrangement. They had that huge house that included at least one extra bedroom with two beds (which the infamous "nephews" used just 7 episodes before this one).
        Reply: This is a good point, but maybe Charles resisted asking them because Laura had just gotten pregnant in the previous episode, and she and Almanzo would have enough on their plate with that. Also, it's possible that Charles was too afraid to go to his daughter with a request of that magnitude, even if she and her husband were currently so stable. Many fathers tend to be nervous about posing such a thing to their own children. Another choice could have been Adam and Mary since, they lost two children one by miscarriage and Adam Jr. by the fire.

      • When Mr. and Mrs. Cooper's wagon loses control and tumbles down the hill, you can totally tell there is nobody in it.

      • When Charles, James, Cassandra, and Albert are praying at the Coopers' graves, it is implied that Charles pulled them out of the rubble and dug them two graves--yet Charles' hands and clothes are completely spotless.

      • There is a nice moment when Charles turns to Hester-Sue for help. Two points here, though: first, Hester Sue mentions that she would have to legally adopt the children, and the state would not allow a black woman to adopt two white children. Why would she have to adopt them? We've seen plenty of examples throughout the series of children being taken in by unrelated families without actual adoption, including Albert for a short time, and other kids. Secondly, although Charles himself seems devoid of prejudices, I find it hard to believe that he would realistically think that Hester-Sue would have no problem taking in James and Cassandra.
        Reply: I think the main point being made with this was that Charles was so desperate to find a place for James and Cassandra, he wasn't thinking straight. He was essentially begging Hester Sue to take the children, and his concern for them impaired his ability to look at the reality of the situation. This is evident when Hester Sue looks at him and says, "I've never seen you like this."

      • Nittpick: Charles says to Albert that the people at the Sleepy Eye orphanage seemed nice, but in The Silent Cry ( episode #144, 7-5 ) there is a much different opinion about how the head of the orphanage doesn't care about spliting up two brothers.

    • QUOTES (7)

      • Laura: (voiceover) As the weeks passed, I nodiced a great change in James and Cassandra. They became more and more withdrawn in my class. They were never allowed to come see Ma and Pa. Something was wrong in their new home, but they would never say a word about it.

      • Laura: (voiceover) As the weeks passed, James and Cassandra became more and more a part of the family. "They'll find a home soon," Pa said. But we all knew the longer it took, the harder it would be for everyone.

      • Charles: (after dropping James and Cassandra off at the orphan train) I'm glad the boy said what he did. It's gonna be hard on him for a while, but at least he's determined to get through it.
        Albert: Yeah, maybe.
        Charles: That doesn't sound very hopeful.
        Albert: Well, like you said, it's a hard thing.
        Charles: I overheard what you were telling him about orphanages. You didn't make it sound so bad.
        Albert: I had to say something to make him feel better.
        Charles: Well, what about the one in Sleepy Eye? The folks running that one seemed decent enough. The children seemed to be well-treated.
        Albert: (hesitates) Sure. Smaller ones like that can be okay. The ones I'm talking about are the big ones, like where they're going. (pauses) The work never seems to end. Always being bossed around by people who don't seem to care. It's always too hot or too cold, never feeling like you don't get enough to eat. But the worst is the fighting.
        Charles: What fighting?
        Albert: The big over the little. Never seems to let up unless you can beat everyone else. I couldn't beat anyone else, because I was too little. I tried. By the time I ran away, I didn't trust anyone or anything. I don't have to tell you how I was. Anyway, that's what gonna happen to them.
        Charles: I'm gonna try and stop that train. (turns buggy around)

      • Charles: (to Hester Sue about letting James and Cassandra live at the blind school) What do you say?
        Hester Sue: I don't know what to say.
        Charles: There's some money. It's not a lot, but they're not gonna be a burden for a while.
        Hester Sue: Charles--
        Charles: Jonathan and me, we could scrape up more when you have to have it.
        Hester Sue: I've never seen you like this.
        Charles: Hester Sue, I have to do something.
        Hester Sue: I know, but this is a blind school. They wouldn't fit in. It wouldn't be right.
        Charles: Just let them live here. They could go to regular school.
        Hester Sue: Two white children?
        Charles: You have white students here.
        Hester Sue: Blind students, Charles. And the blind don't seem to have any problems with color.
        Charles: What, do you think James and Cassandra would?
        Hester Sue: No. What I'm saying is......for them to live here with me, I would have to legally adopt them, and there's no way the state would allow that.
        Charles: (long pause) I suppose you're right.
        Hester Sue: Charles, you know me well enough to know that if I could take those children, I would.
        Charles: I know.

      • James: Why didn't you ever tell me you were an orphan?
        Albert: It just never came up, I guess. Being an orphan......it's not so bad.
        James: It's bad enough.
        Albert: (about the orphanage) Hey, listen......there are all these other kids, and you'll have lots of friends.
        James: (near tears) I just wish I didn't have to go.
        Albert: I know. I know.

      • James: (consoling his crying sister) Cassandra? I meant what I said to Mr. Ingalls. You and me, we'll always be together. We're family. Even if there's never anyone else, we're gonna be just.....(takes her hand) just fine.

      • James: Mr. Ingalls?
        Charles: Yeah, son?
        James: Couldn't Cassandra and I come and live with you?
        Charles: I'm afraid not, son.
        James: Why?
        Charles: Well, if you saw my house, you wouldn't ask that. It's kind of small--way too small for the family I've got.
        James: Cassandra and me......we wouldn't take up much space, and we'd be real good about our chores. I mean, when she gets better.
        Charles: You don't know how much I wish I could say yes.
        James: Please. I don't want to go on that train.
        Charles: I'm sorry, son.

    • NOTES (3)

      • This is the last appearance of Jonathan Garvey (Merlin Olsen) and Andrew Garvey (Patrick Layborteaux). They're never seen or mentioned again, although Laura mention Andrew to Almanzo in a later episode!

      • Jason Bateman, who makes his first appearance as James Cooper in this episode, is actually the son-in-law of the legendary Paul Anka! Bateman went on to have what has arguably been the most extensive acting career of anyone else who ever starred on Little House (next to Michael Landon and Melissa Gilbert, of course). He appeared in several TV shows as a child, along with countless movies and some directing gigs in adulthood. He and his wife now have a daughter named Francesca Nora, born in 2007.

      • David Rose was nominated for an Emmy Award in Outstanding Achievement in Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore) for this episode (part 1).

    • ALLUSIONS (0)

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