Little House on the Prairie: Season 9, Episode 7

The Wild Boy: Part 2 (8 Nov. 1982)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Drama, Family, Romance
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Dr. McQueen learns of young Matthew's whereabouts and seeks custody of him so he can use him for his personal gain.



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Episode credited cast:
Harriet Oleson (as Katherine MacGregor)
Stan Ivar ...
Lindsay Kennedy ...
David Friedman ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Walter Brooke ...
Judge Simpson


Dr. McQueen learns of young Matthew's whereabouts and seeks custody of him so he can use him for his personal gain.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Release Date:

8 November 1982 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Who taught Mr. Edwards to read? In the episode, "His Fathers Son" it is revealed that he can't read when John Jr. gives him a poem he wrote, and Isaiah didn't understand. However, he is able to learn sign language from a book to help teach Matthew to communicate with others. See more »

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User Reviews

Speaking From the Heart...
30 December 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Previously on Little House, a shady medicine man named Dr. Joshua McQueen peddled his elixir as well as giving folks a chance to see the wild boy in a cage. Come to find out, the boy wasn't wild at all, just mute and abused. Isaiah Edwards took him in and, with Laura's help, learned how to communicate back and forth with sign language. Things were going fine until that little bitch Nancy overheard Doc Baker talking to Almanzo about the boy. Now we rejoin the "wild boy" Matthew Rogers living a happy life with Edwards, having just learned how to whistle, and keeping his surrogate father up all night. At church, Reverend Alden preached a special sermon just for Matthew, and he even made a new friend in Jeb Carter, who was really all wet. Yeah, things were fine until that monster McQueen showed up, thanks to you-know-who, and ordered Edwards to turn Matthew over to him, waving his adoption papers in his face. I tell ya, it must have taken all of Edwards' strength not to pound that guy, especially after he planned to take the matter to court. A circuit judge was coming in two days. Well, after hearing his wife was responsible for this, Nels destroyed every bottle of McQueen's elixir in the store and tore up Harriet's $50 bank draft reward. He was mad, and finally found the courage to stand up and show his wife and daughter who's boss. Alright, Nels! You are the man!

Well, two days later came the hearing. Judge Simpson presiding. Edwards, Laura and Doc Baker took the stand, pleading their case, only to have McQueen counter with accusations. Then he had his former assistant Luther brought in, who for some reason testified in McQueen's defense, claiming he never mistreated Matthew! What a two-faced liar! Worse yet, McQueen got Matthew all riled up by poking him with his cane, causing him to run. Once again, Edwards had to be restrained from tearing McQueen apart; luckily, kind-hearted Jenny finds Matthew so the hearing can resume. Just as Judge Simpson prepared to rule in McQueen's favor, Luther's conscience caught up to him and he admitted to perjury. The reason? McQueen bribed him. I knew it! So Luther told the congregation everything. All about McQueen's horrific treatment of Matthew. Every disturbing detail. It brought tears to the judge's eyes as he thusly revoked McQueen's guardianship. That's the good news. The bad news? The judge sees Matthew as unfit to be in normal society and thus wants to return him to the Minnesota asylum. What a raw deal! Edwards made a plan to run away with Matthew, who refused, as he didn't want to his friend to get in trouble with the law. He would abide by the judge's decision for both their sakes. Well, come Sunday service at church, Matthew made a very heartfelt speech to the congregation, with Edwards and Laura acting as translators. It really hit home. Then, Edwards followed it up with a speech of his own on how none of them are any more normal than Matthew. Well, sir, it touched Judge Simpson's heart, so much so that he threw out his ruling. Matthew raced into Edwards' arms, so happy to be home.

Where do I start? Victor French was fantastic, as always. Not only as director, but he stole the whole show in his wonderful performance as Isaiah Edwards, who I think is one of the greatest television characters of all time. I don't know why he never won an Emmy, but he certainly deserved one here. Second, Richard Bull gave an outstanding performance as Nels who finally shows he has cajones and stood up to Harriet. Fantastic! Anthony Zerbe was also great as that evil Dr. McQueen, who we can only hope was hung for what he did. David Hooks was very genuine as Luther, showing the man had a conscience and wouldn't be bought by that evil son of a bitch. Jonathan Hall Kovacs was also great as Matthew, and unlike most Little House one-shot characters, Matthew DOES come back. We see him briefly in "Home Again", and his story comes to a conclusion in "Hello and Goodbye". Also wonderful performances from Melissa Gilbert, Dabbs Greer, Shannen Doherty, Kevin Hagen, I'll be here all day if I name all the wonderful actors and actresses, so let's just say this episode was a winner. Check it out!

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