Little House: The Last Farewell (1984 TV Movie)
In the series finale, the town of Walnut Grove is revealed to have been built on land owned by a railroad tycoon. The citizens deal with the loss of their town and lifestyles, and some must decide how best to respond to this explosive event.- Written by David Stumme <email@example.com>
Final chapter of the "Little House" saga. It is now the year 1901, and the citizens of Walnut Grove learn that land swindlers are about to take over the town. Not being able to fight it, Hero Township decides that while the swindlers can have the town, they can't have what is on it. The citizens blow up the town, which leads to an emotion-filled finale.- Written by hiphats <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The series goes out with a literal bang in this two-hour special, featuring virtually all of the cast from the final season. As the episode opens, Charles and Caroline Ingalls celebrate his first vacation in two years from the job he took in the big city at the start of the 1982-83 season. Caroline has acquired a telephone and is able to talk to some of the Walnut Grove people (including Laura and Mr. Oleson, now president of the town council). She is also talking to Aunt Tess, a notorious chatterbox who wants to come visit them. Charles hates the idea because Tess won't stop talking and makes health food that tastes like grass. He complains about it so much that he gets into an argument with a restaurant patron and gets decked for his trouble. Caroline has an ingenious solution: why doesn't Aunt Tess come to the big city (the two youngest daughters, who aren't seen, adore her) and THEY go on a trip elsewhere? Charles warms to that idea and they decide to go see Laura, Almanzo and granddaughter Rose in Walnut Grove. While on the train, Charles accidentally steps into a luxurious parlor car rented by a land baron and his henchman. The land baron is cordial to Charles' face but dismisses him as a local yokel. Then back to the business at hand: the land baron has by various means acquired the rights to the Mesabi iron range in Minnesota. He has most of the land he wants, but there are several towns in the area. His solution is to send his hireling to the towns to scope them out, then go there himself and claim all rights to the land underneath the towns. The towns can continue, but everybody in them will now work for him. The hired man shares a stagecoach from the train station to the Wilder place and is suitably impressed by the mansion Laura and Almanzo have built, but his real purpose is to get into the Oleson hotel and make calls back and forth to his boss saying how ripe for the plucking Walnut Grove is. Charles arrives in time to greet Laura and to check in with the Carter boys (who came in as he was leaving) on their latest scheme of breeding rabbits (a major plot point, as it turns out; the Carters live in the old Little House on the Prairie and have converted the barn into a rabbit house). The land grabber waits for church to spring his surprise. Great consternation ensues as the land grabber shows he owns every square inch of dirt under Walnut Grove and will evict everyone who doesn't go to work for him). He even has a U.S. Army regiment to back him up, using the same sort of logic that was used in various Government grabs of Indian territory. The townspeople back down (although the colonel in charge is a sympathetic figure) - but Laura, who has done very little up to this point, expresses her frustration by smashing all the windows of her house so the land grabber can't get to them. This gives another town resident, who already works for the iron mines, an idea - the land grabber can have the land under Walnut Grove, but he won't have one useful stick of the city. In ritualized settings of dynamite (starting with the Wilder mansion) the entire town goes kaboom one building at a time. The Army colonel grins as he tells the land grabber the self-destruction was perfectly legal, and residents of other towns who have been invited to watch the hostile takeover prepare to fight in similar fashion. The land grabber leaves with his tail between his legs, and the townspeople go off to start new lives elsewhere. The Little House on the Prairie (the last building left) is left intact - and left to the now-free rabbits.- Written by Peter Harris
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