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"Little House on the Prairie" Sweet Sixteen (1980)

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Love Conquers Almanzo!

Author: ExplorerDS6789 from United States
17 March 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A man by the name of Williams paid Eliza Jane a visit one sunny afternoon, he's looking for a student teacher and requests Miss Wilder's best student at the age of 16. After telling him that her best student is 12 and her 16-year-old is a dummy, but wait, there's Laura Ingalls who fits in between. Williams was willing to bend the rules in the name of desperation. The prospect of being a teacher made Laura ecstatic, and after only answering a few simple questions, she got the job. After picking out a mature new dress and trading those pig-tails for a bun, she headed off to her new job. Almanzo offered to take her to and fro, and he still can't seem to take a hint that she's into him. Maybe by the end of the episode he'll get a clue. So Laura arrives at the boarding house and instantly bonds with the proprietor, kindly Miss Trimble, the teacher Laura would be temporarily replacing. The next day was a school day and Laura eagerly set about her task. Hopefully her first teaching job won't be as hectic as Mary's. Remember Season 4's "Whisper Country"? Well as it turns out, Miss Ingalls really had her work cut out for her (doesn't she always?) At first it seems she's met a troublemaker in Chad Brewster, but that all changed when young Chad volunteered to solve a long division problem in his head right in front of Mr. Williams, impressing both he and Laura. After class, she and Chad get to talking. It seems Chad isn't too active in schoolwork because he's planning on being a farmer like his Pa, or a doctor like his grandfather. Laura assures him that he can be anything he wants to be if he's willing to apply himself.

Her first week of teaching was a surprising success and when Almanzo came to pick her up, she sensed something was wrong with him, but he wouldn't really let on. It didn't help matters when he dropped her off at home and they blew him off. You know, I do believe he has those kinds of feelings for Laura, he just hasn't let on until now. Laura has noticed, but of course she doesn't dare say anything to him, or visa versa. He does however work up the courage to ask her to the church social on Friday, or rather he asks Charles, who more than obviously still doesn't like him, for permission to ask Laura, who said she'd have to think about it. Look at this smirk on Charles' face, what a cad. Almanzo would not give up that easily, however, as he tries to get on his future father in-law's good side by making a freight run for him, mainly as an excuse to visit Laura in Currie. Despite his good intentions, Mr. Wilder is about to blow it big time. He walks in on Laura and Chad demonstrating how flexible the rib cage is and punches him, then he gets mad at Laura for being affectionate for a student. She blows him off, he tells Charles what happened, who was surprisingly understanding. The next day, Laura's birthday, Charles came to pick her up in lieu of Almanzo, and it was then that Half-Pint opened up about her feelings for Almanzo, and again, Charles was understanding. On to the church social! All of hero township was there, groovin' and getting' down with their bad selves, partying like it was 1899. Albert dances with Eliza Jane, expecting a good report card, I guess. Laura finds Manly moping out back. They make amends, he admits he acted like an ass and gives her her present, a shawl, and then they both felt an odd magnetic sensation that drew their lips together in Laura and Almanzo's first kiss. Then they dance, and Charles laments he is about to lose a daughter. Again. It's not like he doesn't have two more, and by the end of Season 7, he'll have another one.

This episode was pretty good. A big milestone for Laura Ingalls, she got her first teaching job, her first kiss and turned 16 in the same episode. She's come a long way. Now at the very end, Caroline says she's eager to be called a grandmother and Charles a grandfather, as if it were their first time. They had a grandson, for at least a season, that is until Albert burned down the blind school, but that's another, much sadder story. They'll only have to wait until Season 8 to be grandparents again. Melissa Gilbert brings her A-game here, Dean Butler was great at conveying all the emotion that a frustrated, lustful man must feel when he can't find the right words or actions to express himself. It should be smooth sailing for the love birds from here on out, but of course, Charles still has his hang-ups and doesn't want his Half-Pint to marry until she's 18, but that will all get settled in the next episode. "Sweet Sixteen" is one you should really check out!

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

The one where they kiss

Author: Michelle Palmer from United States
14 September 2013

It's the moment I've been waiting for - the episode where Laura and Almanzo finally get together has arrived! Laura becomes a school teacher by default and lands her first teaching job. Her luck is really big in this one because it just so happens that Almanzo is going to be driving her back and forth to the town where she will be doing her teaching!

Laura gets to have a new dress, had, and shoes. She wears her hair up and looks really grown up. Almanzo doesn't notice until he comes to pick Laura up after a week of teaching and it only gets better from there!

The romance between Laura and Almanzo is simple and sweet. I just love their story. Laura Ingalls Wilder, in her books, wrote about their courtship. Like in the show, Almanzo was driving Laura back and forth - but in a sleigh. I don't remember where he was driving her back and forth from. Also in the book, Laura wasn't too keen on marrying Almanzo because he was a farmer. She didn't want to marry a farmer.

The ending to this story is THE moment! It's a sweet scene that will make you cry.

I have a couple gripes: 1. Charles and Caroline weren't asked for permission to test/certify Laura for teaching. Knew were they asked for permission to marry their fifteen year old daughter. I believe Mary had to ask permission. 2. The last scene always bothers me - about Charles and Caroline wanting to be grandparents. It's kind of sad that deceased little Adam Jr. was so soon forgotten...

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Life is sweet when you're turning 16!

Author: Katzi428 from Orlando, FL
18 July 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A teacher in a neighboring town has been injured & Miss Wilder is asked if she knows of any students that would like to temporarily replace the teacher until she's back on her feet. Miss Wilder recommends Laura After answering a few questions, Laura gets the job. Miss Wilder tells Laura that Almanzo will drive her to and from the neighboring town. Laura is THRILLED!(not only is she finally a teacher, but the man she has a special place in her heart for will be driving her.) After Laura's first week of teaching, when Almanzo comes to pick her up ,he remarks that she looks older. She casually says that she's a week older ,but is excited that he noticed that she's not really the "little girl" he's come to know.

The church social is coming up & Almanzo wants to ask Laura. But he checks with Charles to see if it's okay. Charles says to ask Laura. She says she'll think about it(rather than giving him an outright "yes") Later that week, Almanzo decides to pay Laura a visit, but is unprepared when he sees a student with his arms around Laura's waist .Thinking the worst, Almanzo punches the kid. Laura accuses Almanzo of having his mind in the gutter & tells him that the student is studying to be a doctor.

That Friday, Charles picks Laura up & says Almanzo told him about what happened. He & Laura talk about jealousy & Laura wonders if Almanzo is jealous of the young man he punched just like she was of a young woman who'd also had eyes for Almanzo. Laura admits that she loves Almanzo & is curious to know if he feels the same about her.

That night at the church social, Laura looks around & can't find Almanzo (even though Charles said that Almanzo'd be taking his sister.) When she does find him, he apologizes for his actions a couple of days ago. They talk and spend a tender moment together. He gives her a shawl as a birthday gift and they go out and dance.

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