Little House on the Prairie

Season 5 Episode 6

There's No Place Like Home (2)

Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Oct 16, 1978 on NBC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

There's No Place Like Home (2)
As everyone prepares to return home, Charles realizes that just one thing is missing - a young orphan named Albert who has what it takes to complete their family. All are thrilled to be back in Walnut Grove, but there's a lot of work to be done, and one of the town's most beloved residents has lost the will to live.moreless

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  • Walnut Grove is calling the Ingalls family back home and they are taking Albert with them.

    The Ingalls family are preparing to return to Walnut Grove without Mary but they will be taking Albert with them instead. The Olesons and the Garveys will be returning also and Harriet is delighted that they will be doing so with a ton of money that a drunken Nels won while gambling!

    The sad sight which greets them is a Walnut Grove that is like a ghost town. Doctor Baker is still there though, nursing a dying Lars Hansen, town founder and owner of the mill. Mr. Hansen suffered a stroke some months previously and no longer wishes to live but as people return to the town, he sees his beloved community breathing life anew. Karl Swenson, who played Mr. Hansen died just after the episode was filmed and it was dedicated to him. It was written into the scripts that Mr. Hansen also passed away. A very moving and strong episode indeed.moreless
  • The Ingall's arrive back in Walnut Grove to find a desserted run down town.

    Part 2 (90minutes):

    The Ingalls, Olesons, and Garveys, disillusioned with life in the "big city" of Winoka, have packed up and returned to Walnut Grove. On their arrival home they find the community has fallen into an appalling state of disrepair in their absence. And the town founder Lars Hanson in failing health, having suffered a massive heart attack. He has become disillusioned and has given up on life.

    With nowhere else to go, the returning families set about the task of rebuilding their beloved home town and community spirit. This episode marks the final series appearance of Lars Hanson.

    In the closing narration, Laura tells us Hanson dies a happy man, having seen his beloved town revitalized. It was a sad comment of life imitating art: Shortly before this episode aired, Karl Swenson (who was in failing health) died of a heart attack; he was 70.

Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

Patrick Labyorteaux

Patrick Labyorteaux

Andrew 'Andy' Garvey (1977 - 1981) (as Patrick Laborteaux)

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

Richard Bull

Richard Bull

Nels Oleson

Karl Swenson

Karl Swenson

Mr. Hanson

Guest Star

Angel Cook

Angel Cook


Guest Star

Michelle Downey

Michelle Downey


Recurring Role

Ivan Wideman

Ivan Wideman


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (12)

    • Carrie is nowhere to be seen in the parting scene with Mary, Adam, and the rest of the family.

    • Goof: The narrow, shuttered window through which Charles and Jonathan are viewed looking at the school/church for the first time was not there before. In fact, its location is right where the back door should be.

    • The horseshoe and song about it that's presented by the children to the Ingalls family seems very strange and out of place. A horseshoe used for luck is pagan superstition and certainly would be viewed as idolatry/witchcraft by the religious pioneers of the day.

    • The flag shown outside the church at the end of the episode is inaccurate for the time period. It has too many stars on it, reflecting states that had not yet been added as part of the US.

    • The Garvey and Ingalls families supposedly meet at 6:00 AM to leave Winoka. It's clear, though, that this scene was filmed near high noon. The sun is glaring, there are hardly any shadows on the ground, people look sweaty, and the town is bustling.

    • When Albert first sleeps in the loft with Laura in this episode, he complains about her consistent snoring, even ending up sleeping in the barn one night because of it. This doesn't make any sense, because how can he not get any sleep at all in the loft with the only noise being Laura's snoring, and get plenty of sleep under the stairs in Winoka, where even at night there are a lot of noises that can easily keep someone from going to sleep? I really don't think the writers had Albert's past city life in mind when they wrote this episode.

    • Notice when the congregation is singing Joy to the World at the end of the episode. The final verse they sing is obviously incorrect, as they are singing the wrong words and repeating some that shouldn't be there. You'd think the actors would have at least rehearsed the accurate lyrics beforehand.

    • The camera captures quite a few candid moments from Wendi and/or Brenda Turnbaugh (baby Grace) in the outdoor dinner scene with the Ingalls and Garvey families. First, Grace starts crying randomly in the middle of the prayer, but she quickly settles down, and then we get an adorable close-up shot of her nodding off to sleep in her high chair.

    • When Mary, Adam, and the blind children are singing for the Ingalls family, Mary's voice overshadows everyone else's every time the camera does a closeup shot of her. Her voice is very off-key and unusually deep. It was probably intended to be the emotional piece of the scene, but because Mary's voice was cracking so much, it was tough to watch.

    • In this episode, when Laura and Albert start sharing the loft for the first time, we learn that Laura is apparently quite a loud snorer. However, she never used to snore before; it seems that she started as soon as Albert came to live with them. Also, as far as I know, Laura never snored after she and Almanzo were married--only when she slept in the loft with Albert.

    • Throughout this episode, Mr. Hanson is supposedly staying in the upstairs portion of Doc Baker's office. When the doctor first takes Charles and Jonathan up to see him, the upstairs hallway looks very much like that of the Olesons--and the room that Mr. Hanson stays in looks exactly like Nellie's bedroom. It's extremely likely that the same sets were used.

    • Nitpick: Mr Hansen said he came here 50 years ago but Walnut Grove was found in 1840. It's only about the late 1870s unless he was talking about when he came to Amercia 50 years ago.

  • QUOTES (16)

    • Lars : I am going to pray to God to forgive me for not believing enough in Him. And, in you. In the fifty years that I have been here in Walnut Grove, I have never been as proud as I am right now. May God bless all of you.

    • Doc Baker: Charles was by again this afternoon. He's going around all the farms, getting people to help fix up the town. He'll do it, too. You wait and see.
      Lars: Charles is a dreamer. He's always been a dreamer.
      Doc Baker: Weren't a dreamer when you came here 50 odd years ago?
      Lars: I was young. I didn't know better. Charles should know better.
      Doc Baker: Well, you don't know any better than to just lie there. You won't do your exercises. You won't get better if you don't do your exercises.
      Lars: I can't.
      Doc Baker: How do you know? You won't even try!
      Lars: I can't do it.
      Doc Baker: You can, but you won't.
      Lars: I am old. Let me die in peace.
      Doc Baker: So now you're old, and you're just gonna lie there and feel sorry for yourself?
      Lars: If I want to, yes. You don't have to listen. I never asked you to listen.

    • Lars: I am going to Church.
      Doc Baker: All right, Lars. Just lean on us.
      Lars: Nay-der! Lars Hanson does not get carried into Church! I walk by myself. The day I die, you carry me into Church. Not before. Not in front of the town. (clutches his cane and keeps walking)

    • Charles: I'm not pretending things aren't bad. They are, but-- Caulder: You know what that furniture meant to my Sarah? Waiting all these years for a dream to come true, and then it's just taken away, just like that. I'll tell you what it's done. It's made her an old woman, that's what it's done. Now you're talking about school and church services again. (pauses) If there is a God--and I'm saying if--He don't give a hoot about us.

    • Lars: Nobody is here. There is no town. It's gone.
      Charles: We know it needs a lot of fixing up, but the town is still here.
      Lars: People make a town, not buildings. No one cares anymore. The spirit is gone.
      Jonathan: Not in us. That's why we came back. We love this town, like you do.
      Lars: Then pull down your shades and mourn with your loved ones in peace. Walnut Grove is dead.

    • Laura: (about the curtain after she finished changing) All right, you can open it now. And I better not catch you peeking!
      Albert: Peeking at what?
      Laura: Peeking at me, that's what!
      Albert: What's there to peek at?

    • Caroline: Sometimes, you don't realize how much you miss something until you haven't had it for a while.
      Laura: Yeah. Like watermelon. You eat it all summer until you're sick of it, and then in the winter, all you do is dream about it!
      Caroline: (laughs) I know what you mean.

    • Charles: (about Albert) I just got attached to him, that's all.
      Caroline: We all did. I think he feels the same way about us.
      Charles: I know he does. That's why he won't come over. He wouldn't even look at me when I said good-bye to him.
      Caroline: Well, then, why say it?
      Charles: Why did I say what?
      Caroline: Good bye. He's attached to us, and we are to him, so then why say good-bye?
      Charles: What was I supposed to do, ask him to come with us?
      Caroline: That's what you wanted to do, isn't it?
      Charles: What sense would that make? I mean, we have enough to do raising our own children. It wouldn't be fair to you or the girls.
      Caroline: Now just a minute, Charles Ingalls! Don't turn this around on the women in your family. We've always managed quite well. I think sometimes, men tell their women folk that things wouldn't be fair to them because they don't want to shoulder the responsibility themselves. Now, if you don't think you can handle it, just say so.

    • Laura: (when the family gets back to their little house) It sure is a mess.
      Charles: We'll start cleaning up in a minute. First, I want everyone to just listen. Just listen.
      Laura: I don't hear anything, except maybe a bird.
      Charles: Well, that's just it. It's quiet. For the first time in months, it's really quiet.
      Caroline: Amen!

    • Laura: I'm so thirsty, I could drink a whole ocean!
      Albert: So could I.
      Nellie: I can't imagine anyone being that thirsty.
      Albert: I'm sure you can't. You never did anything to get thirsty about!

    • Laura: (overvoice) Four months later, Mr. Hanson passed away quietly in his sleep. He died happy, the doc said, because he knew the town he loved would live on--and so would the name and memory of Mr. Hanson.

    • Laura: I'm gonna study real hard, Mary. I'm gonna be a teacher someday, just like you!
      Mary: I know you will.
      Laura: I love you.

    • Charles: Don't worry about Mary. After talking to her last night, I felt more like she was the adult and I was the child. She's a strong young woman.
      Caroline: She comes from good stock.

    • [The church bell starts ringing]
      Mrs. Oleson: That bell has been ringing long enough to wake up the devil!
      Mr. Oleson: It woke YOU up, dear...

    • Charles: Ya know, I think there's life in this old town yet!

    • Charles: Albert, what are you doing up?
      Albert: I'm going to sleep in the barn.
      Charles: You and Laura have an argument?
      Albert: How can you have an argument with someone who just lays there and snores? You may think it's quieter out here in the country, but that's only because you don't have to sleep in the loft with Laura the locomotive.

  • NOTES (2)

    • This is a 90 minute long episode, and it's rarely shown in syndication.

    • Actor Karl Swenson barely managed to make it into this episode to play Lars Hanson for the last time. Eight days before the episode aired on television, 70-year-old Swenson died of a heart attack. Mr. Hanson was written out at the very end, when Laura said he passed away four months later.