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. 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 subsequently taken by Sloan). Joe recruits Candy to help him... Written by
Brian Rathjen <email@example.com>
Did You Know?
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