Tuesday, September 2, 2008

If I Should Wake Before I Die (Season 1, Episode 6)

At the Ingalls's, an old woman is playing what I called a "lap harp", but later found out was an autoharp. Ma, Mary, Laura, and Carrie are singing along to Go Tell Aunt Rhody. In that song, the goose dies. Laura is very sensitive about it and doesn't want to sing about death. I hear that: I hated The Cat Came Back when I was little. Even though that's not death, just animal cruelty. I think I used to cry at school if we had to sing it. That's a sick song.

Elsewhere in Walnut Grove, Pa and an old lady called Miss Amy are decorating a living room with construction paper chains. The occasion is an 80th birthday party for Miss Maddie, who is being distracted from her upcoming surprise party by having the Ingalls children pretend to care about the autoharp. Slick.

Miss Maddie and Miss Amy are widow rooommates. Maddie is a Kentucky Presbytarian; Amy is Catholic and not from Kentucky, but somehow they get along. A sad news letter comes for Miss Maddie. Her daughter and grandchildren aren't going to be able to attend her birthday. Instead of partying alone, Miss Maddie dies in her chair.

At Miss Maddie's funeral, Laura says how unfair it is that people can miss your birthday but not your funeral. These girls are so profound sometimes. Of course, this sparks an idea in Miss Amy's brain to fake her own death so that her children, including her son Andy who went to war 15 years ago and hasn't been seen since, will come to her funeral, but - HA! - she won't really be dead and then they'll have to visit with her.

In the meantime, Pa orchestrates a plan to invite Miss Amy over every Sunday and make the girls visit her after school... and before school... and pretty much constantly. They can even miss school, just so this old lady won't be lonely and depressed.

Miss Amy reveals her scheme to Doc Baker and Pa, who immediately say they won't have any part of it. She convinces them like suckers with some crap about 'you'd do for my corpse, but not for me'.

Pa contacts, I dunno, the Makato diocese to find a Catholic priest to come officiate the "wake". The father comes to the little house to find out about Amy, but Ma and Pa can't lie to him. Miss Amy, who is listening from the other room, comes out and poses as an old friend of Amy's. She takes the father for a walk outside. Ma, Pa, and the kids think she's confessing and start hardcore munching on all the food Ma's been preparing for the wake for the last three days. Whoops! Turns out that Amy seriously told the priest all the good stuff about herself. Has she no shame?!

To remind you what era we're dealing with here, Doc Baker and Nels Oleson have a conversation on the front steps of the mercantile about the introduction of paper money. Doc Baker prefers silver dollars. Nels, who never gets paid in chickens, says money's money and has no preference.

So, the wake takes place, all of Miss Amy's children show up, she reveals herself from under a black veil, it's a jolly reunion, Pa is verklempt, and a-fiddlin' he will go. It's a right party from here to the end credits. And we'll never see Miss Amy again... for realz this time :)

1 comment:

makana said...

Great recap! This totes reminds me of the episode of The Golden Girls where Sophia fakes her death and her friends said it would be better if she really were dead since they had to take off from work and travel far. XD