Sick and sad...and with some exceptional performances.
This is a noteworthy episode due to the guest stars in the show. Celia Lovsky, Mae Clark and Billy Chapin all do exceptionally well and the show works not just because of the story but because these three turn in great performances.
"The Big Children" begins with an odd report of hungry children begging for food. Why this is so unusual is that it comes from a very fashionable and affluent part of town--a place where you would never expect starving kids. However, when Sergeant Friday and Officer Smith investigate, they find a home with no parent and three starving kids. In fact, the youngest is so bad off from a combination of malnutrition and brutality that he soon dies. As for the other two, the oldest (Chapin) tried his best to hold down the fort, so to speak, but was only a little boy. Where are the parents? Well, Dad apparently is no longer in the picture and Mom disappeared days ago. So, the officers get the kids to safety and begin their search. Is Mom dead? Where could she be? And why were the kids left alone for so long? This story will most likely make you very mad. It should. The story is a pretty awful tale of child abuse, neglect and just plain evil. It makes for VERY compelling viewing and might just leave you feeling a bit angry.
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