Little House on the Prairie

Season 2 Episode 1

The Richest Man In Walnut Grove

5
Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Sep 10, 1975 on NBC
9.5
out of 10
User Rating
127 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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When the mill closes due to bankruptcy, Charles loses out on two months worth of crucial wages that would have officially cleared his account at the mercantile. With a large bill left unpaid and Harriet Oleson spreading rumors about the Ingalls' financial issues, Charles takes on several odd jobs at once. Mary quits school temporarily to work overtime with seamstress Mrs. Whipple, while Laura does all the chores and assists Caroline with the crops. Despite physical exhaustion and cruel treatment from certain community members, can this family pull together in such a trying time?moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • An excellent episode which shows us that we CAN help ourselves, no matter how bad things may appear to be.

    9.5
    The Ingalls family are in dire straits financially when Charles is temporarily laid off at the mill and they have no money coming in. Rather than rest on their laurels and feel sorry for hemselves, the whole family pitches in to help as Charles goes off in search of odd jobs, Caroline and Laura see to the chores and the ploughing while Mary takes some time off school to once again help out the local seamstress.



    Harriett Oleson is really the catalyst behind the whole thing as she refuses any more store credit until the outstanding bill is paid and spreads the gossip near and far.



    Excellent episode outlining strength and faith in adversity. Terrific work by all the actors involved in this one.moreless
  • The Best of many great episodes in the first few years.....

    10
    This is my favorite episode of the series, with about 30 episodes that come in a close second. This episode makes so many social statements (money does not buy happyness, all jobs are respectful, teamwork is important, etc.) that it really is wonderful to watch with a child. Plus, it has one of the most romantic scenes in tv history, when charles tells his wife that \\\"the only thing that he regretted about marrying her was that he would never again have the pleasure of asking her to be his wife.\\\" Then the camera pans out away from them as they kiss.....they definately don\\\'t make them like this anymore! The first few years of little house had so many masterpiece episodes in them...they really were like small movies rather than television shows. You can tell that Michael Landon put alot of attention into every litte detail. Wish that some of the writers of the fluff today could figure out a way to make this type of product work..but, I guess they can make everything cheap and quick as long as we continue to watch the mindless dribble that they put out there......moreless
Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

Melissa Sue Anderson

Melissa Sue Anderson

Mary Amelia Ingalls/Kendall (1974 - 1981)

Richard Bull

Richard Bull

Nels Oleson

Karl Swenson

Karl Swenson

Mr. Lars Hanson (1974 - 1978)

Michael Landon

Michael Landon

Charles Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Karen Grassle

Karen Grassle

Caroline Quiner Holbrook Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Kelly Thordsen

Kelly Thordsen

Baker Makay

Guest Star

James Jeter

James Jeter

Hans Dorfler

Guest Star

Queenie Smith

Queenie Smith

Miss Whipple

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (6)

    • At home when Charles was counting the money, there were a lot of coins, but he gives Harriet only bills. She took the money with two fingers, so if there were coins they would have fallen out.

    • As Charles approaches Caroline, who is working in the field, he says the only thing he regrets about being married to her is that he cannot ever again have that moment of asking her to be his wife. However, he actually does get to ask her again in a special way in Season 7's I Do, Again.

    • Although it can't be certain, there's a good chance that the Laura/Charles scene in the barn (when Laura is crying over Nellie and Willie's cruel words) was shot during the day, even though it was supposed to be at night. It looks like the sun is shining in as they talk, but because it could also be perceived as the moon or outdoor lights, it could really make sense either way.

    • When Laura runs away after being ridiculed by Nellie and Willie, Miss Beadle comes outside and is genuinely baffled as to what happened. Nellie and Willie lie right to their teacher's face about it and saunter back into their house, but you would think Miss Beadle would be smart enough to put two and two together. Hasn't she seen Nellie and Willie torment Laura on more than one occasion? It doesn't take a genius to at least consider that the two of them may have had something to do with this, but instead, Miss Beadle just blames herself. Of course, this may just be nitpicking.

    • The scene where Laura slaps Nellie in the face and knocks her down is embarrassingly fake. The sound that you hear when Nellie goes down does not sound at all like a hard slap, and it doesn't even look like Laura barely makes contact with her face.

    • The scene where Nellie and Willie taunt Laura outside the mercantile is interesting. They spot Laura walking with Miss Beadle and smile wickedly. I'm not sure what they thought they were going to do with Miss Beadle present. Nellie and Willie are typically on their best behavior in front of adults, especially their teacher. Unfortunately, Laura helped them by choosing to stay outdoors. Perhaps she didn't want them to see Miss Beadle buying her the tablets (but I'm sure her teacher would have been discreet and absolutely would not have made it evident that the tablets were for Laura). By staying outside, where no one could see or hear, Laura gave Nellie and Willie the exact opportunity they were looking for.
      Reply: Being such naturally deviant children, I don't think Nellie and Willie were looking to scrutinize Laura right in front of Miss Beadle. It seems that the two of them were mostly trying to stare Laura down and make her feel like less than them. Also, considering that Laura knew what they were like, and because she was so young and probably didn't think of the alternative, she decided it was better to avoid walking inside with Miss Beadle and making it obvious that her teacher was buying school supplies for her. After all, Nellie and Willie would have undoubtedly followed Laura inside if she had done so, and they would have nailed her later--so really, either way, Laura didn't have much of a chance in avoiding the teasing.

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Charles: You'll never guess what Carrie just did.
      Caroline: What?
      Charles: (to Carrie) Go ahead. Tell them.
      Carrie: I got to milk the cow!
      Mary: Wow!
      Charles: A real fine job, too.
      Caroline: You're getting to be a big girl! Pretty soon, you'll be helping with all the chores.
      Laura: Yeah! Want me to teach you how to clean out the chicken coop?
      Carrie: No!
      Laura: I thought you'd say that.

    • Charles: Nels, I don't know when I'll be able to pay that bill. It'll be as soon as I can.
      Harriet: But not by the end of the week.
      Charles: No. I'd appreciate it if I could keep my account open. I won't be charging much, just necessities.
      Nels: Certainly.
      Harriet: Now, just a moment! You already owe a tidy sum of money, and now you want to charge more?
      Nels: Harriet!
      Harriet: Well, I'm speaking, Nels! Now, you weren't the one who was insulted by Mrs. Ingalls! (turns to Charles) If you expect charity from us, I will expect a full apology from your wife for the remarks she made to me yesterday.
      Nels: Harriet, please.
      Harriet: I'm waiting, Mrs. Ingalls.
      Charles: Well, you're gonna have a long wait, Mrs. Oleson! Nels, I'll be in to pay that bill as soon as I can.
      Nels: Oh, I know that.
      Charles: Come on, Caroline, let's go.
      Harriet: "Pride cometh before a fall, and a haughty spirit before destruction!" Proverbs!
      Charles: Correction, Mrs. Oleson. It's pride goeth before destruction, and as for the rest of it, I'd let it fall into the Grand Canyon before I let my wife go begging to you!

    • Mary: I'll get started on the dress now.
      Miss Whipple: Now, hold on just a minute there. You know, you weren't even supposed to finish this skirt today, let alone get started on another garment.
      Mary: But I--
      Mrs. Whipple: No buts. Now, it's 4:00. School is just getting out. Why don't you go and walk home with Laura for a change?
      Mary: I can get started on the dress.
      Mrs. Whipple: Mary, you musn't argue with old people. It's not good for them, and anyway, you can't win.

    • Mrs. Whipple: I told you, dear, no arguments.
      Mary: I wasn't going to. It's just that......I.......
      Mrs. Whipple: What is it, child? Speak up.
      Mary: It's just that it's Friday, and I thought that on Friday......
      Mrs. Whipple: Oh, yes. Land sakes--and I haven't paid for the week, either!
      Mary: (relieved) Yes, ma'am.
      Mrs. Whipple: See, that's another thing that's wrong with old people! Every once in a while, you've got to keep reminding them of things. Oh, I'm so sorry, dear. Here, hold out your hand. There's a dollar, forty five cents, and twenty five cents extra for the excellence of your work!
      Mary: (stunned) A dollar and seventy cents. Oh, thank you, Mrs. Whipple! (gives her a huge hug and kiss, runs out to meet Laura) Laura! A dollar and seventy cents! A DOLLAR AND SEVENTY CENTS!

    • Reverend Alden: And Charles, try not to think too unkindly of Nels' wife. There's good in all people. It's just a little bit harder to find in some.
      Charles: I know what you mean, Reverend. And we're doing just fine. I think the Lord just gives us hard times now and then, just so we can appreciate the good ones.
      Reverend Alden: I think you missed your calling, Charles--you should have been a minister.

    • Harriet: (about the Ingalls' unpaid mercantile bill) I don't think it's exactly fair of you to take advantage of a friendship.
      Caroline: I can hardly take advantage of something that doesn't exist.
      Harriet: Well, that's gratitude!
      Caroline: No, that's truth!

    • Charles: Now, you know what they say: Cleanliness is next to Godliness. So while I'm down at the creek getting a little closer to God, why don't you go on in the house and help your Ma with supper?
      Laura: I will. Pa?
      Charles: Yeah?
      Laura: I just love you so much.

    • Laura: (about Nellie and Willie) They said awful things, dumb things. They said you couldn't get a decent job, and that all you could do was clean up after the animals, and that you smelled bad.
      Charles: Well, they were right two out of three. I do clean the stables. I come home from working all day, and I don't exactly smell like a bottle of lemon verbena, now do I? Well, do I?
      Laura: (smiles) No.
      Charles: All right, then. Now, as for a decent job, that's a whole other thing. Any job a man can get to make his way in this world is a decent job, as long as he works hard and does his best at it. You know, God didn't put sweat in a man's body for no reason. He put it there so he could work hard, cleanse himself, and feel proud. And don't you ever forget that. Hard-working folks only smell bad to folks who have nothing better to do than stick their noses in the air. I think you and I both know who they are.

    • Laura: It was Nellie and Willie.
      Charles: Those two. You know, you kind of surprised me, Half Pint. I thought you'd be used to their teasing by now.
      Laura: I am, when it's about me.
      Charles: And this time, it wasn't? You want to tell me what it was about?
      Laura: No.
      Charles: You know, when a person doesn't want to tell another person something like that, it generally means it was about the other person. It was about me, wasn't it?

    • Nellie: Let's play "Horsie" and ride around the schoolyard.
      Christie: That's dumb. We don't even have a horse!
      Nellie: Maybe we can get one. Where's your Pa, Laura? He smells like a horse--we could pretend and ride him.
      Laura: (calmly) Take it back, Nellie.
      Nellie: I won't take it back. You can go crying to Miss Beadle, and I won't take it back.
      Willie: Yeah, we won't take it back!
      Laura: I'm not crying anymore, Nellie, and you better take it back.
      Nellie: I won't take it back, because it's true. Your Pa smells like a dumb old horse! (Laura slugs her in the face)
      Willie: (steps away) I take it back!

    • Laura: Hard working folks only smell bad to folks who stick their noses in the air. Well, whenever you stick up your nose with me, Nellie, it's gonna get punched!

    • Nellie: I wonder why Laura Ingalls doesn't come in the store anymore.
      Willie: Because she's too poor to buy anything. That's why!
      Nellie: So's her father. He can't even pay what he owes in the store. He just spends all day cleaning up after horses.
      Laura: My Pa works hard!
      Nellie: So does a mule.
      Laura: (near tears) You take that back.
      Nellie: I will not. My mother says she's glad your Pa doesn't come around the store anymore, because he smells bad. Smells like a dirty old stable--that's all he's good for, cleaning up after horses!

    • Nels: That's quite a family you've got there. I'd like to think my young'uns would pull together like that if things got bad, but like I said, we've always been very lucky when it came to money. Believe it or not, Charles, I think you're the richest man in Walnut Grove.
      Charles: Nels, I know I am.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Filming Locations: Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley and Paramount Studios, Hollywood, California.

    • In the scene where Laura and Miss Beadle are walking toward the mercantile after school, notice how much green growth there is in the school yard. It's incredibly weedy and overgrown, nothing like it would be in future seasons, where that same space was completely brown and big enough for a baseball diamond.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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