Little House on the Prairie

Season 3 Episode 17

To Live With Fear (1)

Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Feb 14, 1977 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
116 votes
  • When Mary is accidently kicked in the stomach by a horse, it seems as though everything is fine, but that is not the case, as the family soon finds out ...

    A kick in the stomach by a cow leaves Mary winded and bruised but she appears to be fine and everyone is sure that there is nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, they are very wrong, and when Doc Baker discovers signs of internal bleeding and realises that he does not have the euipment to treat her, she has to be hospitalised in Rochester for surgery and recovery.

    The big problem for Charles and Caroline, apart from the fact that their daughter is gravely ill, is the fact that the hospital bills cost a fortune and, in the end, they refuse to treat Mary any further until they receive more money. (Shameful!!!!)

    Mary needs more surgery, but how in the world is it to be paid for?

    Watch Part 2 and see what happens.
  • A good story and nice historical detail to add realism.

    The Ingalls must face the consequences of a severe injury to their daughter Mary.

    This is probably my favorite episode featuring grave illness. In many ways I think it exceeds "I'll Be Waving As You Drive Away" in realism, and at the same time sets up a sense of suspense. I have to admit that part 2 of this story is not as interesting to me, probably because the idea of Charles working away from home in a dangerous job was already done a couple of times in the series by this time.

    What I liked about this entry was the good historical accuracy. Mary's injuries are internal, a real problem for people of the time. The operating scenes are fairly faithful to the period and even illustrate the use of drops of chlorofrom dripped on a rag by the anesthesiologist. The allusions to Rochester, MN's Mayo Clinic are interesting if not really true, and the scenes of Charles battling with the hospital administrator over the bill are nicely done and still ring a bell today. Even the time of the travel from Springfield to Rochester by train is about right, at 20-30 miles an hour and with a stop in Mankato, it would take about 8-10 hours. Travel details in "Little House on the Prairie" could be inaccurate at times.

    The reactions of the family and their concern are true to the series, and as an added bonus, there is a first foreshadowing of the financial troubles of Walnut Grove and its reliance on the success of the farmers of Hiro Township's crops -- it is revealed that Sprague and the bank are gone, implying that loans made had little hope of being repaid.

    A nice example of rural life in the 1870s with good acting and drama layered in.