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Long hours studying by candlelight for the state teacher's exam results in tired, blurry eyes for Mary Ingalls, prompting a routine visit to the eye doctor; but when Charles is told that ... See full summary »



(developed for television by), (based upon the series of books "Little House" by) | 2 more credits »


Episode credited cast:
Carrie Ingalls (as Lindsay Sidney Greenbush)
Carrie Ingalls (as Lindsay Sidney Greenbush)
Harriet Oleson (as Katherine MacGregor)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert Kenneally ...
Seth Barton (as Rob Kenneally)
Ford Rainey ...
Dr. Burke


Long hours studying by candlelight for the state teacher's exam results in tired, blurry eyes for Mary Ingalls, prompting a routine visit to the eye doctor; but when Charles is told that Mary's worsening sight is just the beginning of a much more serious problem, the concerned father can't bring himself to tell his beloved daughter that she will, most certainly, soon be completely blind. Written by shepherd1138

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Parents Guide:




Release Date:

6 March 1978 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Mary Amelia Ingalls (January 10, 1865 - October 20, 1928) had an illness at the age of 14 that was thought to be scarlet fever. However, based on firsthand accounts, school registries, newspaper reports of Mary's illness as well as epidemiological data on blindness and infectious diseases, a 2013 study published in the journal of Pediatrics concluded that it was viral meningoencephalitis that caused Mary's blindness. See more »


Charles calls Lars Hanson "Carl" when greeting him at the mill. See more »


Charles Ingalls: I pray and I pray. Why doesn't God listen?
Reverend Robert Alden: He listens, Charles. And He always answers our prayers. He doesn't always answer in the way that we want, but he always answers in a way that He thinks is best for each of us.
Charles Ingalls: How can taking the sight from a fifteen year old girl be the best thing?
Reverend Robert Alden: We're only finite. He's infinite in His wisdom. I can only tell you that there is a reason. Charles, believe me. God must have chosen Mary for some very special purpose.
Charles Ingalls: Tomorrow I have to tell my daughter ...
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User Reviews

19 July 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is one of the most famous episodes of the entire series. It's a landmark episode that really starts a lot of changes in the show. From here on out, Walnut Grove, the family, and the cast are no longer the same. This is the last episode we will ever see Miss Beatle in - actually the next episode will be the last episode...We say goodbye to Mary as a member of the Ingalls household. After this episode, she will never live in that little house again.

The episode starts out light with Luke Sims coming down with the measles, so of course his step-mother has to stay home with him. That means the kids will be out for two weeks. This is the build up to the entire story. Mary meets Seth, a nice looking, sweetheart of a man and she falls in love. But before their relationship can ever really start tragedy strikes. She is going blind.

This story is so heart-wrenching. We have to watch Charles and Caroline struggle with this, then we eventually see everyone else struggle with this as well. Melissa Sue Anderson does an excellent job in this episode. In fact, she wrote an article in Guidepost all about her experience with learning her part in being blind.

And if you don't think the first part of this two-part episode was depressing enough, just wait to watch the second part. It starts out heart-wrenching, but never fear...it ends in classic Little House style!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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