Little House on the Prairie

Season 7 Episode 22

The Lost Ones (2)

Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM May 11, 1981 on NBC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

The Lost Ones (2)

The Cooper children go home with Charles, but as they're adjusting, a set of adoptive parents arrive.

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    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

    Melissa Sue Anderson

    Melissa Sue Anderson

    Mary Amelia Ingalls/Kendall (1974 - 1981)

    Kevin Hagen

    Kevin Hagen

    Dr. Hiram Baker

    Matthew Laborteaux

    Matthew Laborteaux

    Albert Quinn Ingalls (1978 -1982)

    Len Wayland

    Len Wayland

    Isaiah Tompkins

    Guest Star

    Jason Bateman

    Jason Bateman

    James Cooper

    Guest Star

    Missy Francis

    Missy Francis

    Cassandra Cooper

    Guest Star

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (10)

      • When Carrie notices that Albert and Charles are home with James and Cassandra, she runs into the house, screaming to her Ma that they're back. You can hear her say, "Ma! Pa! They're back!" but that wouldn't make sense, since her Ma is the only one there. I have watched this scene several times, and it really sounds like she says "Ma! Pa!" instead of "Ma! Ma!" You have to really listen closely, though, because otherwise, you might not notice.

      • At one point in this episode, after Charles agrees to let the Tompkins adopt the children, Caroline--without saying it upfront--tries sweet-talking him into adopting them himself, and Charles snaps back, "Do you think this isn't hard for me?" going on to say that he has enough of a hard time providing for the children he has now. The same conversation took place between the couple in Season 2's Remember Me, Part 2, when Charles was in a similar predicament with the three Sanderson orphans.

      • In this episode, we learn that as a teacher, Laura is apparently very tough on grades, according to her family.

      • In Season 2's Remember Me, it was obvious that Caroline silently wished her husband would agree to adopt the three Sanderson children himself, but he said he could not because they could barely make do with their own kids (at the time, they had just Mary, Laura, and Carrie). However, in this episode, Charles finally decides to adopt James and Cassandra, and keep in mind that even though Mary and Laura are grown and married, he and Caroline still have three young children in the house to care for--Grace, Carrie and Albert--and they add two more to the mix. Charles' financial situation is no different than it was in Season 2, yet he has obviously chosen to make the sacrifices and do whatever he can to make room for two more. Those sacrifices take major shape at the beginning of Season 9, when Charles is forced to abandon his passion for farming, accept a higher-paying position as a store merchant, and move the family to Iowa. Without actually saying it, it's evident that still having so many children to care for was a strong contributing factor in this.

      • In this episode, Charles struggles to find a home for the Cooper children when one couple shows interest only in adopting Cassandra. This is the exact opposite of Charles' situation in Season 2's Remember Me, when he had to find an adoptive family for the three Sanderson children and, initially, could only find a couple who wanted the two boys.

      • Though the episode clearly wants us to be angry at Mr. Tompkins, he was actually surprisingly lenient for a man of that era. He took both children (even though they only wanted to adopt one little girl, Cassandra) understanding that the siblings would not want to be separated. He chastized his son, Seth, who was critical of the adoption and cautioned him that the children were "part of this family now." He approached Seth first about the missing money and punished James only after discovering the money on him (keeping in mind that he did not know James well and would have drawn no other conclusion than that he had stolen the money). While it is disturbing that he would not look for the children after they ran away, he was more offended that they had left the home he had provided for them and indicated that they were welcome to come back on their own if they wished (in order words, he would not force them to stay where they were unhappy).

      • Now that James and Cassandra are adopted by the Ingalls family, young actress Missy Francis becomes the third Ingalls character to have that name. Melissa Gilbert and Melissa Sue Anderson play Laura and Mary, so this means that 3 out of the 5 Ingalls daughters were played by an actress named Melissa.

      • Watch closely in the scene where Laura's overvoice comes on as Charles is playing with James, Cassandra, and Carrie in front of the yard. You can tell it was shot the exact same day that they shot the scene where James and Cassandra first came to the Ingalls'. This is obvious because they're all wearing the same clothes they wore in that earlier scene, and Cassandra's hair is fixed the same way it was then.

      • The Thompkins family lives in the Garveys' old house in Walnut Grove. That's also the house where Isaiah Edwards and Grace Snider lived after they adopted the Sanderson children.

      • When the Thompkins come to the house to see Cassandra and James, Mrs. Thompkins asks Cassandra how old she is. When Cassandra said she is 8, she tells Cassandra that's how old her little girl would have been and that she died a year ago. When the children go to their new home, Mrs. Thompkins tells them their bedroom was her daughter's room which meant they lived in Walnut Grove for at least a year. Yet Reverend Alden introduced Charles to the Thompkins as if they had never met.

    • QUOTES (7)

      • Laura: (voiceover) So James and Cassandra came to live with Ma and Pa and Albert and Carrie and baby Grace. The little house was full...of love!

      • James: (about Cassandra) I guess it's all coming back to her now, the accident and all.
        Albert: She'll be all right.
        James: She'll be just fine. I almost forgot what it's like to feel....(long pause)
        Albert: What?
        James: Safe.
        Albert: Well, you are.

      • Cassandra: I got an A on a test today!
        Caroline: Did you?
        Charles: That's not an easy thing to do. My daughter is pretty tough on grades.
        Cassandra: I really like her!
        James: I never used to have fun at school.
        Charles: Yeah, well, school can't all be fun.
        James: But most of it is.

      • Reverend Alden: Mr. Tompkins just told me he wants to adopt both of the children. Charles: I thought he said he needed some time to think about it. Reverend Alden: He just told me now. He wants to have them on Saturday. Charles: Saturday? That's awfully soon. We don't even have the papers ready. Reverend Alden: The papers can wait. Charles, the sooner you make this break, the better. I've seen the children at church, the way they are with you and Caroline. Believe me, Charles, the sooner, the better.

      • Charles: Well, I guess it's time to be getting you two home.
        James: Mr. Tompkins......he's gonna be awful mad.
        Charles: When I say "home," I mean our home. We want you to come and live with us. Isn't that right, Caroline?
        Caroline: (smiles) That's right.
        Charles: It's gonna be downright crowded for a little while, but that's just the way it's gonna be.
        James: Gee, Mr. Ingalls. Gee!

      • Caroline: (to Cassandra, who doesn't want to leave Caroline and go to school) Those children sure do make lots of noise at recess. You know, you're smart not to go to school with James. My daughter's a very hard teacher. You'll see tonight. James is going to have a lot of homework. I'll help him with it, though. You'll be the lucky one. You'll be sleeping while James and I are working on his studies. Oh, I bet he won't be through until 8 or 8:30. I love it, though. I used to be a teacher, and I just love helping children with their homework. Yes, indeed. James and I will be spending a lot of evenings together.
        Cassandra: I want homework.
        Caroline: What?
        Cassandra: I want homework!
        Caroline: Well, if you want homework, you're gonna have to go to school. (Cassandra smiles, hugs Caroline tight, and runs off to school)

      • Charles: Caroline, this is James.
        Caroline: Hello, James.
        Charles: And this is Cassandra.
        Caroline: Welcome to our home. (Cassandra bursts into tears and grabs her around the waist) What in the world? Oh, it's all right. It's all right.
        James: (in a trance) Ma. She looks like.....Ma! I almost thought you were.

    • NOTES (1)

      • Missy Francis (Cassandra) graduated from Harvard and is now known as Melissa Francis. A television reporter and energies expert, she hosts her own television program, On the Money, five nights a week on CNBC. She has said that she has only positive memories of being on Little House.

    • ALLUSIONS (0)

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