Little House on the Prairie

Season 5 Episode 24

The Odyssey

Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Mar 19, 1979 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
99 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The Odyssey
A 12-year-old boy named Dylan has leukemia and has only been given a few weeks to live. His only dream is to see the Pacific Ocean, and when his overprotective mother is too afraid to take him, Laura and Albert decide to help him get there.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • A very touching and memorable episode.


    This was a beautiful story that evoked a wide range of emotion from me: from sadness and sympathy for a child dying in such a cruel and unfair way, to elation when Laura pushes that mean transient out of their car(I cheered out loud lol), and in the end an exhilarating inspiration when the boy finally achieves his dream.

    I was really happy when Charles ended up in their compartment with them and was badly hoping that the man that robbed the children would catch up to them somehow, so he would have to face Charles. Well that didn't happen but almost as good was the fight that did happen with the security guy. I say almost as good because the fact that our protagonists were in the wrong here bothered me. Especially since Charles is supposed to be a good Christian. I was surprised to see him set the example that it's OK to trespass and disobey authority. Why couldn't he have gotten off in the town, and found some way to make enough to buy a ticket?

    But that's a small criticism in an otherwise wonderful story. I can't imagine why some people would be bothered that there is apparently a very similar plot line to this in an episode of another tv show. Whichever one was written first- I couldn't care less. It has nothing to do with the emotional impact or entertainment value this episode provided, which was amazing. This is one I'm sure I will remember for a very long time.moreless
  • Laura and Albert decide to accompany a dying classmate to California to help him fulfill his final wish.

    Yet ANOTHER episode where a character is introduced for the first time, and then promptly is killed off. When a friend of Albert and Laura's is diagnosed with leukenia, he shares his dying wish with them: to see the Pacific Ocean. Nonchalantly, and of course without telling anyone, they hop a train to the Golden State. Charles goes after them and has no trouble finding them (what?!). Anyway, flash forward to scenes of the dying young man frolicking in slo-mo in what surely looks more like Malibu than Half Moon Bay (I'll bet they broke for lunch at Michael Landon's house immediately after filming). A "filler" episode if ever there was one. Don't bother.moreless
  • About a boy dying of Leukemia and his dream to see the ocean

    A heartfelt episode revolving around a young boy, Dhillion who recently discovered he is dying of Leukemia.

    Dhillion decides to leave Walnut Grove to achieve his life long dream of seeing the Pacific Ocean before he dies.

    As true friends Albert and Laura leave home to run away with their friend, Dhillon.

    When the parents discover the children missing, Mr. Ingalls goes looking for them, he is one step behind them most of the journey.

    The children have a few close calls on the way, in particular with a transient and the train conductor.

    When Charles finally catches up with the children, the children explain to Charles why have run away, after an emotional chat with Dhillon Charles helps them get to the ocean.

    This is an emotional episode about true friendship and following your dreams.

  • Laura and Albert run away with a dying boy to help him fulfill his dream of seeing the ocean.

    This plot is unoriginal taken almost exactly from "The Waltons" second season opener entitled "The Journey" where John Boy helps a dying woman realize her final see the ocean. Did Little House borrow the plot from "The Waltons"? It sure seems that way to me. Same story...same premise....different characters and time. Its not bad but its unoriginal and certainly not one of Little House's best efforts.
  • A young boy named Dylan is terminally ill and his one wish is to see the ocean before he dies. Laura, Albert and Charles help make his dream come true. Pity the episode was boring basically from start to finish.moreless

    Dylan is a highly talented young artist who lives in Walnut Grove with his widowed mother. When he begins to suffer frequent nosebleeds and fevers, Doctor Baker diagnoses leukemia and tells the boy and his mother that he has only a short time to live.

    His dream is to see the ocean before he dies. Laura and Albert are determined that he will get his wish and help him jump trains to get to San Francisco. When Charles rides out to look for his children, he ends up becoming a part of the scheme as well and helps Dylan fulfill his dream.

    As a season finale, this was extremely weak and the script was poorly written. The boy's poor mother was given little to no understanding or warmth from the people of Walnut Grove and this is supposed to be a community of good, kind God-fearing people. It certainly didn't come across that way in this episode.

    I wasn't very impressed by this one at all.moreless
Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

Kevin Hagen

Kevin Hagen

Dr. Hiram Baker

Matthew Laborteaux

Matthew Laborteaux

Albert Quinn Ingalls (1978 -1982)

Michael Landon

Michael Landon

Charles Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Karen Grassle

Karen Grassle

Caroline Quiner Holbrook Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Lindsay Greenbush

Lindsay Greenbush

Carrie Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Laura and Albert run away in this episode to help their friend Dylan. Laura and Albert each ran away one time before this--Laura in Season 1's The Lord is My Shepherd, and Albert in Season 5's ****

      Albert also ran away in "May We Make Them Proud" in Season 6.

    • In one of the scenes from this episode, Charles tells Laura that his one wish is to live long enough to see his children grow up, be happy, and have their own families. This is especially ironic, since Michael Landon died of cancer before all his kids had a chance to grow up.

    • Laura and Albert run away in this episode to help their friend Dylan. Laura and Albert each ran away one time before this--Laura in Season 1's The Lord is My Shepherd, and Albert in Season 5's Fagin.

    • Its odd how the only boxcar of the train had a very small amount of cargo, where a flatbed car was well stocked. It would have made more sense to use the safe enclosure of the boxcar, versus having the cargo exposed to the elements on the flatbed.

    • Dylan was not told he had leukemia, but during the train ride to San Fransisco, he made reference to Albert that he had the disease.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Dylan: I have to keep going.
      Charles: You think that I chased you halfway across the country, and then I'm just gonna let you keep on going?
      Dylan: I have to.
      Laura: Please, Pa? We can't give up now.
      Charles: I'm sorry, Half Pint, it's just too crazy. Besides, Dylan, I promised your mother.
      Dylan: Promised her what? To take me back home so she could watch me die, like she watched my Pa die? Don't you see, Mr. Ingalls? I'm never gonna get another chance. I'm running out of time.
      Charles: The doctor said that if you rest--
      Dylan: Maybe it will happen sooner this way, but I'd rather be out here, doing what's really important to me, than just lying in a bed and waiting. Besides, I promised my Pa I'd go to the ocean one day, and I'm going to keep that promise.
      Charles: What about your mother?
      Dylan: I just want her to remember me as I was. Please let me do it my way. Isn't it my choice, my life?

    • Albert: What you got?
      Conductor: Ham and cheese. Egg.
      Albert: You got any plain ham? My aunt Crime doesn't like cheese.
      Conductor: Take it or leave it.
      Albert: I guess I could peel it off. Um, two of each, please.
      Conductor: All right. (gives him the sandwiches) Anything else? We've got some nice apples.
      Albert: Mmm, sounds good. Four will do.
      Conductor: All right.
      Albert: And my aunt Crime loves milk.
      Conductor: One cup?
      Albert: No, you better make it the whole thing. She really likes it.
      Conductor: All right. (gives him the whole jug) That'll be, let's see, that's a dollar.......and eight cents.
      Albert: Oh, my auntie Crime will pay it. She's right over there. (points)
      Conductor: (looks) Where?
      Albert: (runs the other way) Crime doesn't pay!

    • Laura: What would you do if you only had a month to live?
      Charles: What kind of question is that?
      Laura: It's a summer project for school.
      Charles: Oh. Well, to be honest, I never gave it much thought.
      Laura: There must be something you'd want to do.
      Charles: Well, there is, but it would take me a lot longer than a month.
      Laura: Well, what is it?
      Charles: I'd like to live long enough to see my children grow up, be happy, and have families of their own.
      Laura: That's all?
      Charles: That's all? It seems like an awful lot to me.

    • Gwen: (after Dylan has run away with Laura and Albert) The ocean.
      Charles: What?
      Gwen: (in tears) It's his dream, to see the ocean.
      Charles: That's almost 2,000 miles. They'll never make it.
      Gwen: Oh, reality isn't Dylan's way. He'll try.

  • NOTES (4)

    • Steve Shaw played a 12-year-old boy, Dylan, but he was actually 14 at the time of filming.

    • This is the first season finale episode that does not feature the entire Ingalls family. Mary is absent from this episode, but everyone else from her family is accounted for.

    • Steve Shaw, like his character Dylan, met an early death. The actor died when he was 26, twelve years after this episode aired.

    • Bill Quinn (I), who played the conductor in this episode, also played James Frazer in the Season 2 episode The Long Road Home. He also guest starred in Season 1's Plague, portraying Carl Harper.


    • The man who gives the coach-drawn ride to Charles and the kids at the end of the episode is referred to as "Mr. Hearst" by his driver. As "Hearst" mentions that he owns a newspaper, this man is clearly supposed to be William Randolph Hearst, the San Francisco publishing magnate. If so, the episode is slightly off chronologically. Hearst started his newspaper in 1887, yet Laura would not even meet Almonzo until the following season--and the two of them married in 1885.