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."


Colette said...

I really don't like this episode at all. It makes me feel so uneasy.

Pa working out that it was the cornmeal though LOL, just a little far fetched.

LongWinter said...

This episode is definitely my least favourite that I've blogged so far.

~tracy~ said...

the guy holding his dead son and talking about it being a nice day always just freaked me right out. i agree, this episode sucks.

Michelle said...

You won an award at my blog:

Steve said...

Pa comes up with a deus ex machina in almost every episode. It's so TV. Always wondered how, with such omniscience and wisdom, a man who works like ten slaves remains dirt poor in the littlest house in town.