Drama at it's BEST: Little House on the Prairie

So tonight there is nothing Alias...Lost is a repeat...Martha Stewart's Apprentice is over...what's a TV addict to do?? TV Land came to my rescue with a dazzling episode of Little House goodness.

The episode was called "The Odyssey." It centered around a character named Dillon, who you know has to be killed off in some way by some awful disease because we've never seen him before but he's best friends with Albert and Laura. Apparently it's Law on the Prairie for children to die of a dispicable illness while their parent (because the other one is usually dead already) has to suffer watching their child die. What actually happens is WE suffer watching the horrible acting the parent displays when they find out the child is sick. The dialogue goes something like this:

Doc Baker: I thought your child had the flu, but after administering many tests which I will charge you for after we've buried him, I find that it's not the's Cloddhoppediverticutosis.

(shoot to the parent who cringes like Doc Baker just ripped a juicy one right in their face and waved it around a bit)
Parent: You must be mistaken, if I take him to Oleson's Mercantile and make a solvent of licorice, turpentine, and mustard...surely he will be cured.

Doc Baker: I'm afraid I've tried that already, he'll need to rinse off in the river on the way home or the stench will kill him quicker.

Parent: But he's just a boy...

Doc Baker: I know, I remember when I delivered him...I celebrated with a quart of moonshine I finagled from my old friend Jesse Duke in Hazzard County.

Parent: But that's a completely different television program!!

Doc Baker: Why you're correct, must be the booze talking. However, it doesn't change the fact that he is gravely ill and will die within this episode. **please see endnote after text**

Yeah, so of course this show had all that...BUT...Charles had to be involved in some's his reasonable! So all this kid Dillon wants is to see the ocean, as he promised his father he would before he died. Dillon, Albert, and Laura take off for Cali...and end up in the thick of some mighty fine television. First they leave a note for Pa to find...wrapped in Carrie's present for her birthday. That stupid kid. She's got maybe 3 lines in the whole series...never has a real storyline because she's too normal to compete with blind Mary, buck-toothed Laura and her gallavanting with Almonso, or Albert...who believe it or not...wonder of wonders...becomes terminally ill later in the series as well. So she starts reading the note, and the threesome are discovered and saught after by Pa...who rents a fast horse and meets up with them at a train station somewhere between Walnut Grove and Cali. Amazing how he came upon the same drifter that got the kids on the box car of the train. It's like an angel was watching over them...or the writer's knew they needed to wrap it up in an hour. Meanwhile, on the train...a bum ends up in the same car as the kids. First he steals all their sandwiches, then attacks Albert and tries to throw him off the train! Laura fights for her brother's life...and pushes the jerk off the train...PUSHES HIM OFF THE TRAIN. Laura has probably just commited murder...and she doesn't think twice about it!! So after getting booted off the train, the kids are found by Charles...just to sneak back on the train...against Pa's better judgement...but come look in Dillon's eyes (he's gone from being fine to being pale and coughing up a lung) and he knows it's the only way. Charles has shown his masterful horseriding abilities...but now it's time to kick it up a notch...Pa style. The guy who booted the kids off the train in the first place, finds them again (because Albert just stole breakfast after he walked on the top of the train like he was training for Mission Impossible) and again tries to give them the heave ho. Sorry pal, this isn't your day...Charles needs to show you and the television audience he's a real he kicks the shite out of you and tells you that he will reimburse the train for the meal Albert made off with. The guy, sullen and bloodied...says "ok," and makes his way out of the box car.

We next see our fantastic four coming out of a mission where they enjoyed some soup. They are in San Fran, and the shoreline is only a few miles away...but Dillon is very weak...if only they could finagle a free ride...but how??? Ding ding ding!! Who but William Randolph Hearst (Newspaperman extraordinaire) shows up in his carriage and mentions that he's going out to the shore to look at some property. Pa uses the sick kid routine to hitch a ride, Hearst says "hurry, I haven't much time." To which Pa retorts "Neither does he." I hope the writers got an emmy for this show...granted...there's not a lot of dialogue because it's mostly crying and awkward looks after finding out someone is dying...but this show is brilliant and deserves high praise. They get to the beach, Hearst pays Pa for the story they have shared with him so he can use it in his papers (and thus they have monetary means to return to Walnut Grove...Yessssssssssssssssss!). Charles...reminding the audience he's a compassionate man...carries weakened, dying Dillon to the sand. Dillon opens his eyes...and starts walking to the he's running...wasn't this kid just DYING?? Shot pans to Laura, Albert, and Charles...all soaked in tears. I'm waiting for Dillon to turn and say "You jerks...I just wanted to go to the beach for free...I'm not really sick at all. HAHAHA!!" But alas, he does not. The camera shows him sillhouetted against the sunlight and the gleaming water...and then he jumps up and down and clicks his heels together. No, I'm not kidding about that...he actually clicked his heels like he was going to Oz. There ends yet another triumph in Little House on the Prairie's divine history. Bravo, Michael Landon...Bravo.

If you tomorrow (Thursday at 8 on TV Land) as the storyline begins of Laura 'becoming a woman' (at 13) and romancing Almonso (age 47) (who she called Manley and I don't understand why), her future husband. Classic awkward Little House...can't wait!!

**endnote: I haven't taken any drugs stronger than ibuprofen today...this, you should know, is all me...sober...and out of my mind:) wouldn't read this if i wasn't!!


At 7:10 AM, Blogger lms129 said...

I saw this one lst night too, John and I were making fun of it. i especially like the fact that the dying kid hiked 3 miles to get to the train station, once they jumped on the "bi-polar express", the kid was all weakened, sweaty ,and pale. Meanwhile, Charles rents a horse at the Walnut Grove local Hertz and rides it to Caldwell where he practically beats the train on its destination time (only Michael Landon could master this) then they all jump on the boxcar to San Francisco. Albert steals snadwhiches which Charles insists on paying for but has no problem swindling the train fare for four. Question, After the dying kid frolics on the beach like JOhn Travolta and Olivia Newton John in the opening scene of "Grease", what happens to the carcass? Maybe they butcher it up and sell the meat to the blind kids at the blind school for 50 cents per roast, yum!!!

At 7:46 AM, Blogger Drew said...

Moonshine from Uncle Jesse, Classic.

At 10:07 AM, Blogger Mo said...

I too wondered about the horse...did you see it struggling for breath when the train was pulling also was probably suffering from severe steam burns...PETA must be all up in arms! Maybe the deal with the carcass was actually the mutton...or they laid it to rest in the shack that had the rat infested cornmeal that caused the one-day plague at Walnut Grove!!

Drewbie...have you ever had moonshine...I'm curious to see what it tastes like...let's fashion a still and we can start a's not like we don't know any boozebags:)

At 3:53 PM, Blogger JoviFan said...

What carcass are you talking about? The horse, or dillon?
I can't believe that you guys are all shocked that Dillon is dying a horrible death on minute and dancing the "Oh What a Feeling...Toyota" dance the next. If you'll recall, miraculous feats were a quotidien, even trivial, occurance on Little House.
I point your attention to the one where Ma almost had to cut off her own gangrenous leg with a pie knife in one episode, only to have it completely heal on its own before the hour was up.
What about the time a bear maimed both Pa and Isiah, and yet the two of them were spotted returning home for supper by the close of the episode.
Albert kicked a morphine addiction in a single episode. Go read the memoire "A Million Little Pieces" or talk to anybody who has ever had a drug dependency and I think you'll find out rather quickly that such addictions are not kicked within the timeframe of a Little House episode. Christ, just ask Mo. After two days on Vikoden, she's already being forced into a 12 step program. Oh...sorry...was I not supposed to say anything about the intervention? Does Mo think we're all just getting together to watch an episode of Little House. Forget I said anything, Mo. Here, just take this Christmas penny in your new tin cup and walk over to Olsens mercantiel to buy yourself 18 pounds of licorice...and still have enough change for 18 more pounds at a later date!

At 11:10 PM, Blogger lms129 said...

Actually, Pa wasn't on location when Isaiah was attacked by the bear, it was John Jr. Thats why Isaiah was thrown around like a rag doll in the woods because John Jr. didn't have the heart to shoot an animal. It must have taken more heart to stand there like the ugly dolt that he was and watch Isaiah be turned into mincemeat. If Pa was there, he would have opened up a can of whoop ass on that bear, bear handed (pardon the pun).
Also, on that episode where the kid wanted to go to Nantasket Beach before he kicked off, Laura leaves this note stating that it was summer yet they were all dressed as if there were posing for the LL Bean Winter catalog, what gives? I hope the dying kid got his circus surprise at the beach.
That Anthax one is classic. They all turn the blind school into a make shift hospital. I like how in 2001, there was that big Anthrax scare and everyone was in a panic. Good ol' Doc Baker cured the whole epidemic with some Sherry, a rubber band, and whatever was in stock at Olsens. Question.... When the town would have these big epidemics and Charles and Johnathon Garvey would pillage through the mercantile, who ended up paying for those goods? Was it always on the Olsen's dime???????

At 10:30 AM, Blogger Drew said...

Fashion a still a la M.A.S.H. Some 4077 special.


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