This episode is two parts. In Part 1: Little Joe finds true love in newcomer Alice Harper. Following a courtship, the two are engaged. Unlike most of the Cartwrights' previous girlfriends, ... See full summary »



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Episode credited cast:
Robert Doyle ...
John Harper (as Andy Robinson)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Toby Andersen ...
Hotel Clerk
Ivan Bonar ...
William Challee ...
John J. Fox ...
Larry Golden ...
Don Haggerty ...


This episode is two parts. In Part 1: Little Joe finds true love in newcomer Alice Harper. Following a courtship, the two are engaged. Unlike most of the Cartwrights' previous girlfriends, Alice makes it to the altar. Joe and Alice are starting their new life together, and she soon becomes pregnant. Alas, their life together is doomed. Alice's indolent brother owes money to a ruthless professional gambler named Sloan and has not repaid him. In Part 2: One day while Joe is gone, Sloan and his gang - with John at gunpoint - visit Alice to collect the money. When she refuses to cooperate, Sloan's hired muscle, Mr. Hanley, brutally beats Alice to death. Then, to cover up the murder, they burn the house down. Joe, along with Ben and Jamie, return to find - to his horror - his entire world crashing down in flames. Joe decides he needs "a little time away" to grieve over his wife's death, but then stumbles across a couple who have the music box he gave Alice as a present (and was ... Written by Brian Rathjen <>

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Release Date:

12 September 1972 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Michael Landon originally wrote this script for Dan Blocker. Because of Blocker's death in May 1972 (two months before filming), Landon was forced to re-write the script, pressing Little Joe - the Cartwright who had lost many other girlfriends to death throughout the show's run - into the spotlight role. There are several allusions to Dan Blocker's death, including a scene where Joe and Ben grieve over the tragic circumstances surrounding Alice's murder (Michael Landon and Lorne Greene cry in each other's arms, which was very out of character for Joe and Ben). Later there is a zoom-in on a picture of the now-deceased Hoss on Joe's dresser. See more »


Featured in Michael Landon: Memories with Laughter and Love (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

Bad way to end an excellent series
30 May 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I was born in 1952, so my primary growing up years were in the 60,s. My family watched the series religiously all through those years. Those were the maturing years of T.V. I doubt Bonanza would make 14 years today. They would have known that the show though good and popular had "run its course" at about season 8 or 9. When the episode "Forever" was aired, I had lost interest and watched sporadically. I had an engagement that night which some of my friends skipped just for the episode. When I heard about it later from them they were livid! As was my father, the recurring opinion among viewers was that the tragedy was unnecessary, they had very unfavorable opinions of the producers for writing it that way. I remember that it kicked off a storm of protest to NBC, but I doubt they cared. In the city in which I lived then, the local newscaster took a few minutes of local news time to editorialize with his unfavorable opinion of what the producers of the program had done. I did not watch the rerun 6 months later, have never seen it, and have no plans to do so even though I am an avid fan of Bonanza reruns. It was a sorry way to introduce what became the last season.

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