Little House on the Prairie: Season 4, Episode 9

The High Cost of Being Right (14 Nov. 1977)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Family | Romance
6.5
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After the Garveys' grain-filled barn burns down and leaves them with no crop to sell, proud Jonathan refuses to accept help from anyone, even his wife Alice, and their marriage is put to ... See full summary »

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Title: The High Cost of Being Right (14 Nov 1977)

The High Cost of Being Right (14 Nov 1977) on IMDb 6.5/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Mary Ingalls (credit only)
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Carrie Ingalls (as Lindsay Sidney Greenbush) (credit only)
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Carrie Ingalls (as Lindsay Sidney Greenbush) (credit only)
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Andrew 'Andy' Garvey (as Patrick Laborteaux)
Eddie Quillan ...
Judge Picker
Carl Pitti ...
Silas
Alex Sharp ...
Sloan
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Harris
Dick Durock ...
Sharp
...
Wiggins
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Storyline

After the Garveys' grain-filled barn burns down and leaves them with no crop to sell, proud Jonathan refuses to accept help from anyone, even his wife Alice, and their marriage is put to the test when neither half of the stubborn couple will consider the other's solution to the problem. Written by shepherd1138

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14 November 1977 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This episode was originally written for the Edwards family. But since Victor French had decided to leave for another show, writer Don Balluck changed the script to make it about the Garveys. See more »

Quotes

Laura Ingalls: Why do people get divorced?
Charles Ingalls: I don't know, lots of reasons I guess. I don't think we even know anybody that's been divorced.
Laura Ingalls: I wish we still didn't.
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User Reviews

 
Garvey's Foolish Pride.
1 April 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Looks like it was a good crop this year, the money would soon be rolling in. It looks as though the Garveys were sittin' pretty...but one night, fate played a cruel joke. The roaring fire in the fire place sent ashes and cinders up through the chimney, some of which landed on the dry straw near the barn, and almost instantly, the barn was blazing. Jonathan rushed in to get the livestock out, catching himself on fire in the process. Thankfully he was alright, well physically, but the barn, his crops and his dreams were just a smoldering pile of ash. Jonathan was forlorn, full of self-deprecation and pity. Charles wanted to help his friend, but any help offered, Jonathan refused out of his own foolish pride. To make matters worse, Alice mentioned to him a position at the post office she wanted to take, but of course he wouldn't let her. It didn't stop there, Caroline and Laura brought over a few "extra" necessities, saying Charles bought too much at the mercantile, just as Jonathan came in with a crate of his own goodies. Where'd he get the money? Get this: he sold his team. Yep, the big dummy sold his team. She rightfully called him a fool and he went off to sulk. Finally, the Garveys realized their marriage wasn't as strong as they liked to think it was and so, they decided to split up. Jonathan was going away to Mankato and Alice was taking that postal job. She talked with Caroline about it who summed up their Alice's feelings in one fell swoop: she was right, Jonathan was wrong, and Alice was paying a high price for being right, and so was Andrew. That's right, not ONCE during their childish arguments did they think of young Andrew. As you can probably guess, he was plenty torn up about this. But it didn't stop there.

As Jonathan prepared to leave for Mankato with Charles, Alice came running up, trying to see if she could reason with her unreasonable husband. They professed their love for each other and it seemed as though they were going to make it work, but then Jonathan mentioned Alice's job and said it was against his rules for her to work. She refused, he bid her farewell. What a dick; in Mankato, Charles was held up at the depot because the stubborn manager insisted on counting every single ear of corn he had in his wagon. Jonathan, meanwhile, went to drown his sorrows at the saloon. He made an ass of himself and got both himself and Charles beaten up. After soaking his head in a horse trough, Jonathan started to see sense: he was willing to plow the upper field back home to increase the property value on the house, in other words he could work until the circuit judge arrived to finalize the divorce, and so he and Charles headed back to Walnut Grove. Of course Alice and Andrew got their hopes up when they saw Jonathan, but then he laid out his plan, Alice told him that once that judge came, it was over between them. For good. The Garveys' marital woes effected Laura just as much, because when Charles and Caroline had a childish argument over a shirt, she nearly went hysterical. They were quick to make-up, however the same can't be said for Jonathan and Alice, who quarreled like children. He wouldn't budge if you hit him with a baseball bat. Well before long, the court date finally arrived. Judge Picker presiding. Everything seemed standard, until the custody of Andrew was brought into question, then Alice and Jonathan begin arguing, including a very literal interpretation of "he said, she said." Charles' hyena laugh became contagious and soon Alice, Andrew and even Jonathan started to laugh. They all laughed and laughed. Judge Picker simply walked out of this crazy court and then, all was well. Jonathan and Alice got back together and they would make it work.

This one was pretty good. It really rounds out the Garveys as characters and really shows a negative side to Jonathan, showing how stubborn and bull-headed he can really be when usually he's a pretty level thinker. Merlin Olsen was great, so was Hersha Parady as Alice and Patrick Labyorteaux as Andrew. Originally this was going to be centered around the Edwards', but when Victor French left the series, Don Balluck changed it to the Garveys. I think I can see Isaiah Edwards being as stubborn as Jonathan here, because it was just a TAD out of character for him, but they still made it work. Speaking of Edwards and Jonathan, it's too bad the characters never met. I'm sure Jonathan and Isaiah would've made good friends. But anyway, good script from Don Balluck, good directing from Michael Landon. If you like the Garveys, you like Little House, see The High Cost of Being Right, and take a look at your own foolish pride.


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