Pa and the kids are sitting at the table, looking shifty. Ma says they look like they have something up their sleeves, but I think they look like a bunch of creeps. Pa's taking Ma on a holiday to Mankato. He even calls it a "second honeymoon".
It's all planned. The Widow Snider will watch the children, but oh no! When Pa goes to pick her up, she has a sore throat. At home, Ma is all dressed up and giving the girls a bunch of last-minute instructions. It's going to be so hard for Pa to tell her she can't go... but wait! I hear something... is that - "Old Dan Tucker"?
Mr. Edwards, you are in the right place at the possible worst time. The girls beg him to stay with them so Ma can have her holiday, and he pretty much says he will. He's laid off from the mill and needs something to do.
So, Ma and Pa leave in the buggy, trusting Edwards to watch the girls. Which, like, what? Is that even intelligent?
At dinner, Mr. Edwards tells some story about being trapped under a tree and being rescued by Indians, who named him "Sitting Bull". Yeah, this frickin' story sounds like sitting bull to me. Carrie is fussy, so Edwards tells her, "Open up yer face". I gotta admit: I love Mr. Edwards. Old out-of-shape, uncouth, sauce-lovin', Old Dan Tucker singin' bastard. And he rocks a full beard.
That night, after Carrie is tucked in, the girls want a bedtime story. Edwards says no, and no backtalk. Laura convinces him to listen to their prayers and kiss them goodnight before he's had enough, now get in the goddamn loft, girls.
We catch up with Ma and Pa, who are camping out. Ma sits straight up, nightmare-style, and screams: "THE EGGS!" Pa makes her agree to not worry about the kids anymore.
Carrie's crying wakes up Mr. Edwards, who gets up to tend to her wearing, like, a onesie long john sleeping outfit. Carrie is hungry, so Edwizzle dishes up some leftovers. When he goes to feed her, she's back to sleep again. Edwards's thwartment is emphasized with a lighthearted woodwind instrumental of Old Dan Tucker.
A bunch o' stuff happens, like Ma and Pa dine in a restaurant and joke about the portion sizes. And Mr. Edwards does laundry, shoots a rattler, and makes supper. Rattler soup is grody, btw.
At bedtime, Laura wants Edwards to read a story to Carrie. Which he obviously can't. Both of you know he canna read a word.
The next day, Ma and Pa shop for souvenirs. Ma tries on a bonnet in a store run by a kindly shopkeeper who tends a lady who is mentally ill from grief. She spends her days looking for her children, who are dead, but she can't accept it because she wasn't at home the day they died. Ma's high strung as hell about it, and leaves without buying anything.
That night, Mary and Laura are tucked in bed when they realize they didn't gather the eggs! OMG, Ma's worst nightmare has come true! It's a pouring storm out there, but they illegally light a lantern (no matches!) and go out to the coop. They wake up Mr. Edwards and he thinks it's chicken thieves. He gets his shotgun ready. Mary and Laura sneak back in, and Edwards shoots a hole through the ceiling.
Let's take a minute to talk about Carrie. Carrie sucks. Carrie is a frickin' tool. But in this episode Carrie is actually decent. Looking at this, you wouldn't think Carrie would become a walking prop who only spoke every 5 or so episodes, usually to say she wet her skirts or something. God, sometimes Laura would be so annoyed with Carrie it almost seemed like real life. Like Melissa Gilbert actually had a beef with the Greenbush twins that day. But I'll get more into that later on.
So, the next day Edwards has to fix the ceiling hole, but Carrie is hiding or lost. The second, more ominous verse of Old Dan plays, but it's not fooling me. Nothing's going to happen to Carrie. We're not that lucky. Edwards finds her and nails her dress to the roof so he can keep an eye on her while he works.
In Mankato, Ma and Pa go to some fiendish - I don't even know - puppet show, where the children whine at the mother for leaving. But she doesn't care and she has to live her own life. Ok, whatever. It really gets to Ma and she runs out crying. And that spells the end of Ma and Pa Ingalls's second honeymoon in Mankato.
Laura is selling eggs at the mercantile when she spots Pa's buggy in the distance. She asks Nels to stall them. She runs home, and the girls clean up quickly. Ma, Pa, and the kids have a happy reunion, and Pa lies to Mr. Edwards about having had a good trip. When really it was three nights of Caroline having nervous breakdowns every 14 seconds, and not the hot prairie sex he had obviously planned. Yeah, good times.