Monday, December 22, 2008

The Lord Is My Shepherd, Part 2 (Season 1, Episode 14)

The little house is dark and quiet, except for Laura writing a letter. She had mean thoughts that caused or contributed to little Freddie's death, but she knows how to make it better. After placing her note on the mantel and petting Jack, Laura leaves the house.

In the morning, Pa wakes Ma with: "It's Monday and I'm starving!" She's probably still grieving, because wasn't the little guy's funeral, like, yesterday? So you *may* wanna lay off. Just sayin'. But we know Charles Ingalls is never gonna lay off, and I'm never gonna really get angry about it. Damn your handsome face, Pa Ingalls!

The family thinks Laura is outside doing chores until Ma spots the note.


Pa questions the "mean thoughts" part of the letter, but luckily they still have Mary around to cry and tattle.


Ever notice how Pa always seems to viciously interrogate Mary? It happened in the Mr. Edward's Homecoming episode: "What did you LEARN IN SUNDAY SCHOOL??" And The Racoon. Mary did an identical cry when the raccoon bit Jack (and Laura). Mary lets it all out about how Laura felt like the new baby was taking her place as Pa's favourite.

In town, Pa borrows a horse from Hans Dorfler. What the hell was wrong with his own horses? Unless he just doesn't want Edwards's lard body taking a ride. Or else he knows in advance that the horses are gonna be climbing a mountain like no mountain the prairies have ever seen...

Pa and Edwards take off, traveling through field and fountain, moor and mountain looking for Laura.

Meanwhile, Laura has spotted the spot that is the closest to God.




After Laura climbs up the mountain, she outlines her deal to God. God had a son, maybe he wants a girl, too. Laura will go be with Him, and Freddie can come back to be with Pa. She covers herself with her coat, and lays down to wait for God's answer.

She is soon disturbed by the voice of Jonathan.


Jonathan starts talking about his generically referenced friend, Him. Laura figures out eventually that he's talking about God. Jonathan knows God. OMG.

Pa and Edwards keep looking. Jonathan makes an engraved cross for Laura.

After that, Jonathan is oddly eager for Laura to take a bath. I'm sure it's meant innocently, but the whole ear-scrubbing thing made me uncomfortable when I was 10, and it makes me uncomfortable now. "Rub 'em! Yeah, rub 'em! Rub 'em HARD!"

Laura rubs a little too vigorously, I guess, because her cross necklace comes off and floats down the river. She starts freaking out, but Jonathan knows the art of child distraction and gives her a hurt bird to take care of.

Pa and Edwards have returned to the little house to get provisions for an overnight search. Carrie asks if Laura went away with her brother. Ma runs from the room in tears... to the other room 4.5 feet away.

At night, Laura tells Jonathan that she wants to switch places with her dead brother, and she is seriously ready to die. . He tells her that everyone has mean thoughts. Laura says: "Not my ma and pa." Say what?

Ma has certainly had mean thoughts about Mrs. Oleson, probably daily. And Mr. Oleson, when she thought he was ripping Mary off. And she constantly hates Mr. Edwards.

And PA! Pa was pretty mean about Johnny Johnson's interest in Mary. And that was verbal! I don't even wanna know what else he was thinking! What about Pa and the guy who repo'd the oxen? Or Pa and, like, EVERYONE in Walnut Grove because of the church bell? Pa was definitely thinking mean shit about all of those jerks. Oh, and Olga's dad who wouldn't let Pa fix her shoe, so Pa fought him... jeez, Laura, don't be so naive. Your parents get diabolically angry ALL THE FRIGGIN' TIME.

Pa and Edwards are still looking. Pa stops to fill the canteens and Laura's missing cross washes up at his feet.


Upon realizing what he's holding, Pa yells: "EDWARDS!" at top volume times a million, even though Edwards is only 7 steps away.

Laura thinks God has forsaken her and that she needs to go higher to get even closer to God. Jonathan suggests building a bonfire. God's not gonna be able to miss it when the entire mountain turns into what Smokey the Bear has been warning everyone about.

The smoke catches Edwards's attention, and they take off toward the mountain.


The horses make REALLY good time. Friggin' 'roid horses or something. I guess Hans Dorfler is the go-to guy for stuff like that. It's still daylight when they reach Laura, who is praying on a rock cliff. She spots them before they see her, and she runs away to hide. She wants an answer from God before Pa finds her.

Jonathan explains that things are just as God wants. Pa runs up the last hill to where Laura is.

Even Edwards is losing it in the background. During the reunion, Jonathan disappeared. The only trace of him is the sturdy shelter he's constructed on the mountaintop and the cross he made, which lead Pa to Laura.

3 comments:

adventurepants said...

Just wanted you to know, I was super excited to see you'd finally updated with part two!

Susan said...

Ha, when I read about the "'roid horses" I thought hemroids instead of steroids. Funny recap even without that unintentional joke.

I have to say, despite the questionable acting that often plagues Carrie, her asking "Did she go to be with my brother?" struck me as something a kid that young (i.e.; who doesn't quite understand death) would realistically ask.

Anonymous said...

I gotta comment here too.
I watched this episode with both my 8 and 10 year old (and my cry-at-every-episode wife) and we loved it.
Interestingly, when I ask my 8 year old where he thought Jonathon went (as he disappeared at the end) and he instantly replied "Jonathon is God" with the 100% certainty of a child. This coming from a child who has never gone to church and the child of an agnostic and atheist (note that we don't push those ideas on him and we are supportive of explaining the various options available).