Little House on the Prairie

Season 4 Episode 2

Times Of Change

31
Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Sep 19, 1977 on NBC
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

9.7
out of 10
Average
281 votes
  • Something a little different as Charles goes to Chicago on business and takes Mary with him so that she can see John Sanderson, her fiance, who is studying and working there.

    8.5
    Charles is pleased to learn that he is to go to Chicago on a business trip as a representative of the Walnut Grove farmers and wishes to take Caroline along for a holiday but Caroline would prefer that he take Mary instead so that she can see John, her fiance, again, as it has been some time since they have been together.

    Everything about the trips reeks of oppulence, from the train to the motel and even the ladies of the night who kindly offer their "services" to Charles.

    For Mary, the romantic reunion turns very sour when she sees that John, working as a journalist, is cheating on her with other women. (I don't think Mr Edwardswould be too pleased to know that about his adopted son!) With the engagement off, and Mary's heart temporarily broken, both she and her father and pleased to return home.

    An episode of contrasts and contradictions which played well on the screen and was also very well acted by all players involved.
  • When Charles is elected to represent the Grange at a Chicago convention, Mary goes along to visit her betrothed, John Jr., unaware that he has moved on...

    9.0
    I love this episode because it deals beautifully with something that every young girl in history has experienced: the loss of a first love. When Charles travels to Chicago, Mary is allowed to go along to visit John Jr., who had in a previous episode asked Mary to marry him someday. Things go well until Charles discovers John kissing his new, city girlfriend at a cotillion where he supposedly brought Mary as his date. John confesses to Charles that he no longer loves Mary; flash forward to a sobbing Mary lying in her crumpled gown in the middle of her hotel-room bed, Charles gently consoling her. It's so painful to watch. You'll not be able to help reflecting back to the first time you thought your own heart would break. This episode is important, too, because it helps bridge Mary into early adulthood. A lovely, well written episode.
  • Charles finally admits that he's nothing but a dumb, clod-hopping farmer.

    8.5
    Before any die-hard LHOP-ers indignantly give this review a thumbs-down, please see through my summary that it is satire. ;) Of course, Charles does proclaim himself to be a "dumb farmer" in this episode, through impassioned tears and a quivering lower lip. Besides the fact that this one has it all - sexuality, scandal, and betrayal - it is also one of those episodes my sister and I, while we were still living at home, just had too much fun adding different lines for the characters. For example, when the saloon girl arrives at Charles' hotel room to offer her services, we ad lib Pa telling Mary, "Why don't you run down to the livery and fetch some water...and take at least ten minutes to do so." Later, when John "Pretty Boy" Jr. is discovered to be a two-timing punk, what Pa should have said to Mary when he found her sobbing on her bed is, "Darlin', hush, he's a journalist now. Of course he lost all his integrity!"
  • This episode is a little different from other "LHOTP" episodes. Most of these scenes take place in 1880's Chicago. It is clearly juxtaposed against the pastoral, simplistic lifestyle of Walnut Grove. The scenes of Chicago are lavish, Victorian and fun.

    10
    So, you've heard the story: Mary meets up with her long-lost beau, John Jr., only to find that he now only swings with a big city debutant. The B-plot is rather interesting: Pa gets selected to represent Walnut Grove at the Grange convention in Chicago. (What a co-wink-ee-dink! That's how Mary got the free trip to Chicago!) But Pa gets terribly disillusioned with the Grange after getting culture shocked by bribes, newspaper lies, under-the-table dealings, hard booze and "fancy women." Personally, I thought this all worked out for the best for our dear Mary. John Jr. was such a little twerp. Pa confronts John Jr, "Do you love my daughter?" "I care for her deeply," the mealy-mouthed John replies. "I said, 'do you love her?'" "No, sir. I was going to write her a letter when she got home." Pa retorts, "When you first told her you loved her, did you write her a note?" John whines, "But, it's different with me. I'm a writer, dweeb, dweeb, dweeb." (Oh, Pa. At least muss his clothing a bit!) So, Mary gets her heart shattered to pieces but hey - she gets to meet too-cute Mike Lookinland on the train ride back home! And Mary eventually goes on to bigger and better things. Was that Adam Kendall a hunk, or what?
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