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12 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Very disturbing episode!!!!

Author: babygiraffe123 from Canada
18 April 2007

I love Little House On The Prairie, but I cannot force myself to watch this particular episode again. I was crying and shaking so much the first time I saw it, I had to change the channel mid-episode. But if you're emotionally strong and seeing people die in a fire doesn't disturb you, then I suggest seeing this. Little House On The Prairie is a wonderful show, but some of the episodes can really hit you and break down even the strongest souls. It's a shame they don't show the re-runs on TV currently, but maybe they will again, someday soon. It's definitely one of my favorite shows, and it had a formidable cast and crew. Another DVD collection I will be starting.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Shows that tragedy can happen at any moment

Author: Reginald D. Garrard from Camilla, GA
6 October 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Originally aired as a two-hour installment, "May We Make Them Proud" features one of the series' most spectacular use of pyrotechnics in the show's eight-year history. A carelessly discarded pipe, left by Albert (Matthew Labyorteaux) and a friend, starts a fire that engulfs the blind school. Though most of the residents and teachers escape, Mrs. Garvey(Hersha Parady) and Mary's (Melissa Sue Anderson) baby perish in the inferno.

When it is discovered that the fire had been caused by a careless smoker, Albert becomes the doting brother to sister Mary who has completely withdrawn as a result of her child's death.

As a whole this is one of the series most dramatic installments. The scene wherein Mrs. Garvey tries to escape by breaking a windowpane, while holding the baby, is truly heart-wrenching.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

The Flames of Eternity...

Author: ExplorerDS6789 from United States
4 December 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Well, folks, this is it. This is the big one. The most controversial episode of Little House on the Prairie ever made. Brace yourselves, people, and grab the Kleenex. Here we go... life had been good to Mary Ingalls, except for her going blind, but that was a bittersweet occurrence, for she met the love of her life, Adam Kendall, and with his help, she fulfilled her dream of becoming a teacher, and they had a beautiful son named Charles Adam Kendall. Yep, things were going great...but little did anybody know or could they even begin to comprehend the sheer horror and macabre that would be experienced that one awful, bright and sunny day at the school's first annual charity picnic. Everybody was having a great time, so Albert and his hooligan pal Clay slip away down to the basement and take a few hits off of a pipe (tobacco pipe), but they're soon caught by Hester-Sue, and they scurry back upstairs...UH OH! They forgot to put out the pipe! That could start a fire. And brother, that's exactly what it did. While Mary was putting the baby to sleep with a musical lullaby box, Adam had tea with Hester-Sue and Alice, when they smelled smoke. Noticing it coming from the basement door, Hester-Sue went to investigate and saw the basement was engulfed in flames. Did they coat it with kerosene or something? How could a fire spread that quickly?

Panic spread throughout. Adam rushed up to get Mary and they ran out...hey, you forgot your baby, you idiots! Doesn't matter if you're sighted or not, you don't leave your child behind! So, as Alice and Hester-Sue helped evacuate the children, Alice suddenly remembered Mary and Adam's baby. Good to know somebody still has all their brains. She procured the infant, but by now the entire building was a blazing inferno, and Alice had no way out. The window! Alice tries to break out...no, that's a baby, stupid, not a battering ram! So, Alice and the baby burned to death, and by morning, the building was a pile of cinders. Charles and Doc Baker soon discover the culprit: a stupid pipe. Needless to say, the Ingalls', the Garveys and the Kendalls were traumatized by this, especially Mary, who had suffered a deep shock. Albert also felt extreme guilt...gee, I wonder why. While at Nellie's hotel, Mary experiences temporary amnesia and when it comes back to her, that her baby was gone, she absolutely flipped her wig. Yeah, Mary was hurting. Jonathan, meanwhile, had lost his faith and turned to the bottle to drown his sorrows, and he lashed out at Andrew for no good reason. Everybody was hurting, and sad as things were now, this was only the beginning...

This is the grand champion of dramatic, tear-jerking Little House episodes. If you can stomach this one, you can take anything. But as dramatic and sad as this episode is, it's also ridiculously over-the-top. Why does it even exist? Why did Michael Landon think this was a good idea? Killing off Alice Garvey and Mary's baby in such a brutal way? I'm sure Hersha Parady wanted to leave the show, but did they have to kill off her character? What's disturbing is that even to this day, Parady jokes about that scene of her using the prop baby to break the glass window. That's weird. Plus, it's beyond stupid that Mary and Adam would abandon their baby to save themselves from that fire. Just beyond stupid. It's also impossible for a fire to turn from a smoking patch to a blazing inferno in only a few minutes without the aid of chemicals. I wouldn't really recommend this one. It's over-the-top, overly dramatic, and it can really make you angry. May We Make Them Proud? Try harder. Stay tuned for Part 2.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Writing Adam and Mary into a corner

Author: lukefan from California, United States
24 April 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I watched this episode in its original broadcast and felt so sucker- punched as a kid. I rewatched this episode recently as an adult and still wonder what possessed Michael Landon into writing this story. Short answer: Networks Sweeps Month. After having Mary first miscarry and then become pregnant again, seemed way too cruel to have her lose the 2nd baby as well so soon after its birth. Unless Michael Landon was trying to prove that bad things happen unexpectedly...these bad episodes happen every once in awhile on LHOTP.

I wonder if it was discussed what long term effects there would be on Adam and Mary's storyline. Killing off their 2nd baby meant they weren't going to play out the concern Mary expressed in "The Wedding" about raising a sighted child. It's as if the setup occurred for a great Mary and Adam storyline with no follow through.

Also silly that the school had to burn down and later when Adam's father is supposed to donate to the rebuilding...because of the his father's money mismanagement...all that's left is that silly plaque in Alice's and Adam Jr.' name.

And agree with all the opinions that Mary and Adam leaving their baby in their room and putting their other students before their own baby's safety was plain stupid! This is pretty much the episode that made me hate Michael Landon as a writer for the show.

Also since Albert was the one with Clay to play with the smoking pipe...I don't see how easily Adam and Mary could forgive the loss of their precious 2nd baby without a long long long healing period.

Not realistic at all and seeming to favor the cliché of guilt ridden children running away only to be later rescued by Pa and told they don't have to feel bad anymore and everything is okay?? Strange strange episode! A good example of a badly plotted and poorly thought out episode.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The Most Famous Little House Ever...

Author: mrwiseman-1 from United States
22 August 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

***Spoilers ahead***

This episode was, and always will be, the most talked about episode of Little House on the Prairie. To be honest, the show never did shy away from controversy. Here Albert's bad choice to smoke leads to the death of Mary's baby and Mrs. Garvey. (The actress who played Mrs. Garvey did NOT want to leave the series...but was given one of the most famous death scenes in TV history). The series also tied up the historical problem of Mary having a baby when the real Mary never married or had children.

Heartbreaking, the episode deals with how even minor mistakes can have major repercussions. Difficult to watch for today's more sensitive viewers, LHOTP taught empathy to my generation...I wish more kids today would watch the series.

Discussions afterwards could include: 1. Do you think if they fire had not happened that Albert would have thought his sneaky pipe smoking was 'no big deal'?

2. How would you have handles the situation if you had been Albert?

3. Could you forgive Albert if you were Mary? Would you want to be forgiven if you were Albert?

4.Fire safety: What is our family's plan if there is a fire in our house/apartment?

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:


Author: jmeeker98 from United States
1 April 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I agree with the other reviews, particularly the previous one - WHY did they take the story in this direction?? I get that the show's trying to show how the Ingalls deal with the hardships of life, and persevere to survive on the Prairie, but really, haven't they (in particular Mary) had enough?? She lost it for a while when she went blind, then again when she lost her unborn baby. Now THIS?? I have to admit that this episode really pulls you in and is gut-wrenching at times. The vision of Mrs. Garvey trying to save the baby in the fire just really got to me. Anyone with a child of their own (or anyone with a heart) would find that excruciatingly hard to watch. I just don't understand WHY the show had to kill off those 2 characters, especially like that!! And like the previous reviewer stated, no one likes to see people die in fires, and no one likes to see babies die, period. What was the point? I don't see how it moved the storyline forward for the show. It was hard enough when Charles & Caroline lost their son, but this is just pointless... I rated this episode 5 out of 10 because it's an extremely well-done episode, one of the most touching I remember seeing, but it left me sad and angry and confused. (NOT the best one to watch at 1:00 AM before going to bed!)

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Some serious problems with the plot

Author: chezcabaret from United States
17 September 2012

Just discovered LHOTP more than 30 years after the series originally ran. It is like manna from heaven. Like a good book I can't put down. The directing, varied story lines, cinematography, score,set, acting, all of it with Michael Landon's sure hand on it. Unapologetic religious and family values, patriotism, the core of what it is to be human. No one would dare create a series like this today for network TV. My understanding is that the plots reflect the Ingall Wilder books. Hence all the terrible tragedy.

I've savored most all the episodes until May We Make Them Proud, part one. It's not the high drama and tragedy that bother me. It's the glaring holes within the plot that strain credulity. Two big problems, the first of which has already been mentioned: It makes no sense for Mary to have run out of the room leaving her baby in the middle of this threat. Not believable. And not acceptable for a series so well written. Or if that's what actually happened in the Wilder books, then her neglect has to be mentioned as part of her grief. Second: How is it that Hester Sue found the two boys in the basement smoking without ever smelling the smoke? Not believable. Not acceptable. Not real. The tragedy could have been averted right there. The writers obviously needed her down there to identify Albert and his friend. But they left the question of Hester Sue's role in this off the table. Considering the graphic depiction of the fire's reach and destruction, this lapse in plot is very disappointing and eventually detached me from the dramatic line.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Nothing good ever happens to Mary.

Author: Laurie Edwards (endora60) from North Ogden, Utah
18 April 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Can we all agree that Mary Ingalls Kendall is one of series television's most unlucky characters? When young she's constantly the goody-two-shoes overshadowed by her more interesting little sister; as she grows up, she goes blind, miscarries a baby, is robbed of an infant by her brother's carelessness, loses her husband to the sighted world, and eventually just disappears. Yeah, don't stand next to this woman in a thunderstorm.

This is the "robbed of an infant by her brother's carelessness" episode. Albert's smoking in the basement and mindlessly leaves his pipe to smolder and catch fire, burning down the blind school. With all those blind kids, a sighted adult woman and Mary's baby are the two who die. Mary goes nutso and then goes catatonic (which gives her father the opportunity to do a Scientology-like slam against psychiatry). Poor girl never wins.

This would be a very intense story--hard to watch, actually--if Melissa Sue Anderson could act her way out of a paper bag. God, she's awful. Her utter lack of talent isn't so big a deal usually, since the show's focus is generally on either Michael Landon or Melissa Gilbert. Those few "Mary episodes" are uniformly lousy, not because the character is the repository for all kinds of misery but because Anderson is such a dreadful actress. Too bad about it this time; "May We Make Them Proud" could've/should've been a fantastic episode.

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Author: ClementineTyson from Netherlands
10 April 2016

I don't understand the trouble about that Mary had enough problems to overcome already, they are the main characters in this series, so off course a lot happens to them.

When Adam tell Mary she needs to come because there is a fire, she don't grab the baby (even when it is right next to her) and they both just walk away outside, not her or Adam think about the baby, so it is kinda her own fault, and she do suddenly remembers the baby is in bed and someone else go get her, and is trapped inside the fire, now there are 2 dead, what could had be prevented if Mary did not forget her baby. It is bad enough that Albert was smoking there, and now all those blind children are stranded where they had a good home.

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Dramatic Episode

Author: teacherbe33 from United States
29 June 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have watched LHOTP since it first premiered in the 70's. I remember being a family of 1 TV only, being able to tune to CBS (2) at 8:00 PM and watch the show every Monday. In those days, especially with episodes like this and The Lord is My Shepard, it was so annoying to have to wait a whole week to watch the next episode. Anyway, this episode was a very dramatic one, especially as a kid, but even as an adult. Watching a character be killed off in such a way. While Mary was the Jan Brady of this show where she was overshadowed by Melissa Gilbert, one could not help but feel bad for her. The writing was good but unlike the works of Michael (a talented actor and director).

I know life in those days were hard enough without having to experience things like this but, they get through it as usual with a lot of LOVE and FAITH. Perhaps killing of a character to make sure they could not return later (you do see certain actors being brought back as different people). I do think that overall it was a good episode but could have done it in a less dramatic fashion.

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