Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Seriously, look at the red logo on those sacks of cornmeal and tell me it doesn't look like a warning of danger. It looks corrosive or something. A rat comes out of the pile and starts climbing over everything & the music even changes to let you know that rats in your cornmeal isn't a good thing.

The deal is that Mr. Peterson, a local nobody, is selling the stuff for cheap and totally undercutting Hansen's price. Some townie goes by complaining that he can't afford Hansen's cornmeal & buys up a shitload of Peterson's.

Hansen is pretty much outraged when he sees people going with wagonloads of markdown meal. Edwards is a sleaze and has no loyalty to his employer - he's buying the cheap stuff too.

Later, the Boulton family sits down to dinner with TWO loaves of bread made from cheapskate cornmeal. The patriarch of this fine family is - of course - the townie from 2 paragraphs ago. He prays for the kind soul of Mr. Peterson. What a fine and excellent man he is to provide such affordable death, uh, I mean, cornmeal to this family.

Elsewhere in Walnut Grove, the Ingalls family sits down to some kind of non-deadly meal. Laura can't chew her meat because of a toothache. Pa's going to take her to see Doc Baker in the morning. & FYI, guys: "Sweets are the worst thing in the world for your teeth."

But you know what? Nellie & Willie are always eating sweets and their teeth are fine! One time Willie bit Mary, so she knows. Pa is furious and tells Mary to "CUFF HIM!!" For real, take Willie's effing head off if he tries it again. Even Ma gets in on it with a: "Yeah, cuff him good, Mary." Anyone want to finish this for me?... Mary says "I already did" and the whole family laughs their asses off. Holy crap, the goofy shit that goes down at the Ingalls residence. Good thing they balanced advocating schoolyard violence with one line about tooth decay.

So, Doc decides he's gonna have to pull the offending tooth outta Laura's mouth - but wait! Mr. Boulton bursts into the office! His boy is sick! Come quick!

At Boulton's place, his son Paul is burning up with fever. Doc sends the father to get ice and the mother to get rags. Sorry, Doc. Looks like you're going to have to get your own rags, because Mrs. Boulton is on her raggedy, sweaty deathbed, collapsin' in the hallway.

And in case you haven't been paying attention, there's a close up of little bugs/fleas crawling in the dangerous-looking bag of cornmeal. No pic of that because, seriously, I don't ever want to see it again.

Doc makes ice caskets for young Paul and his mother. It's too late for Mrs. Boulton. She dies almost instantly. Q: How much extra freaking cornmeal did she munch down while baking the bread? A: Waaaayy too much.

A short time later, church is in session. Alden delivers his final thoughts. Take care of yourselves and each other. Or something like that. Doc Baker interrupts the sermon to tell everyone to quarantine themselves at home until he can find the source of the illness affecting the Boulton family. He thinks it could be typhus.

But no stinkin' quarantine is gonna cage Charles Ingalls. He goes hunting, which is really an excuse for him to spot something deviant going on in the distance.

It's a wagon! Driving itself! The driver is slumped unconscious with disease. It's Carl Harper. You know, Carl Harper! Anyway, his wife Alice is sick and apparently so is he. After Pa takes them to Doc Baker's, the Doc confirms that it is typhus. The PLAGUE!!

Pa's been exposed and can never go home again. He yells to Ma that he's going to help in town for a few days, as long as he doesn't die first.

While looking for sick people to take to the hospital(/church/school), Pa stops at Boulton's to bring the son to town. Mr. Boulton is delusional with grief, cradling his son's body while pretending that he kept him home from school because it was a nice day. I guess the writers had to save deranged humming of musicbox lullabies while clutching the body of a dead/charred offspring for later.

When Pa arrives back at in town, he sees that Edwards is among the ill. Nooooo!! Pa talks with an ill young girl who is not afraid to die. This actress apparently is Leslie Landon, daughter of Michael Landon.

Doc Baker is obsessed with finding the source of the typhus. No way should it be spreading like this if everyone's staying at their own farms. Pa has a lightbulb moment! It's the cornmeal. Even Edwards is sick. He's been eating that stuff like a fiend. Oh, man, Pa's gonna go fisticuff Peterson SO HARD.

When there's no answer at the door, Pa breaks into Peterson's. The guy's laying unconscious. Yeah, I bet he's just trying to look pathetic to avoid punishment. Downstairs in the shop area, they find a million rats chillin' on the unsold corn. I'm gonna die. I hate rats. I think Pa & Doc take Peterson out of the building before Doc says, disgustedly, "Burn this place to the ground."

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Doctor's Lady

Doc Baker and Lars Hansen are playing some kind of probably immoral card game in the doc's office (spoiler: it's pinochle) when the stage arrives. Hansen says that the stage is late. Doc counters that the stage is early. Jeez, why are these guys even friends? Well, I guess it's this or else being BFF with some knob like Charles Ingalls. You'd have to be a big fan of the fiddle and meddling to wanna go down that path.

The stage delivers Kate Thorvald, teenage-ish niece to Harriet & Nels Oleson. She promptly falls out of the stage and requires medical care from Doc Baker. TV has had a long tradition of hunky medical doctors, from George Clooney to McDreamy, and apparently it all started with Doc Baker sexing it up on the prairie.

Pa was working at the mill when Kate fell, so naturally he had to be the one to carry her into Doc Baker's office. Like, none of the other 25 tools who come to gawk at the stage every week would be able to do anything with Hero Township's finest on the scene.

So, Kate has a dislocated thumb. Whatever. Look at the eye contact between these two. Feel the attraction!

Kate is smitten. She interrogates her uncle Nels about why such a good doctor would stay in such a shithole like Walnut Grove. I think Kate was from Chicago, so I guess she's allowed to hold such strong opinions.

The next day, she goes for a horseback ride. Spotting Doc Baker at the Ingalls place, she smacks the horse to send it running away, then runs down to the little house with a lie about being thrown.

She's all devious, like: "Oh, Doc Baker, fancy seeing you here, hahaha!" And just look at the way these two are eyeballing each other.

Doc Baker, or maybe I should say Hiram, because that's what Kate's calling him now, drops her off at the Oleson's. Kate asks if he would like to take her for a drive tomorrow. Harriet comes outside and is a stunned witness to the flirtation. Doc & Kate make plans for the next day, and Doc celebrates with a twirling maneuver after Kate goes inside.

The next day, the Doc and Kate enjoy a picnic, and a tender moment.

When he leaves her at the Oleson's, she thanks him for a lovely time. Doc says something completely ridiculous like, "I don't know what to say. I enjoyed it, but that sounds lame." If, like me, you're wondering 'Could that possibly really be what he said?', yeah, it is. What is Doc Baker's history and experience with courting, anyway?

In the house, Harriet confronts Kate. Is Doc Baker falling in love with her? He's old! And a freaking veterinarian! And HE HAS NOTHING! NOTHING!!!

Later, at the mill, Hansen complains to Charles that Doc Baker never has time for him anymore since that young girl came to town. Hell, Hansen's only 5 years older than Doc Baker and you don't see him trying to hook up with... well, anyone.

I guess Doc Baker sensed that Hansen was feeling jealous, so he invited him over for more pinochle. Doc's mind is obviously elsewhere and he keeps making mistakes. Doc, dude, you're gonna have to get your shit together if you wanna play cards with Lars "Shark" Hansen.

Hansen figures it's a waste of time to continue the game, so he starts in with the "Kate Is A Child, And You're Old" tactic. Doc Baker's already been thinking about if they got married and had kids, how messed up that would be. But he doesn't care. He feels alive for the first time.

Kate accompanies the Doc on his rounds, which for some reason includes stopping at the Ingalls place to give candy to the children. Laura asks if they are going to get married.

After they drive off, Kate repeats Laura's question. Doc starts off saying what we're all thinking: He's too old. But he loves her. Doc's probable first kiss is interrupted by some townie yahoo yelling about an emergency.

As Doc's carriage rips toward the scene, he yells a proposal to Kate.

Later, Doc checks the mercantile's jewellery selection, but leaves with nothing.

At home, Doc Baker checks out some old watch chains he's got lying around, and cuts one into a ring size length. That night at a fancy party at the Oleson's, Doc Baker proposes officially to Kate and gives her a ring made from his father's watch chain.

Everyone is happy for the couple. Except Harriet and Nels.

Ma and Pa discuss it in bed. Ma is concerned about the age difference. Pa thinks it's cool if they're cool. But his daughters best not get any ideas about courting with older men, which I think we already knew.

Kate & Doc accept an invitation to the Ingalls for dinner. Kate plays baseball with Mary and Laura while Pa takes the Doc fishing. Doc Baker is troubled by Kate running around like a kid. He goes home and looks at his old face in the mirror'

The next day, he is called to the Olafsen's for a baby delivery. Kate comes along to help. Afterwards, he realizes that not only did he deliver the baby, but also the parents. Holy Hell, he's freaking ancient. This shit has to stop.

He breaks up with Kate, and she leaves town - never to be seen again.

Laura narrates that Doc Baker was depressed for a month, and then entirely back to accepting his celibate lifestyle.