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This is where we really get to know the Garvey family, who will be part
of the show until the Blind School burns down and those left alive
leave Walnut Grove (not going to say who's left...) In this episode,
Andy Garvey and Laura befriend a dog and her pups after she's trapped.
But everyone informs them that the dog is wolf, and no they cannot keep
We also see that Mr. Larabee, who I think is seen in other episodes, is a mortal enemy to Jonathan Garvey. He is actually right about the wolves, but he has ever intention of killing the wolves purposely kept alive...It looks like there may be a duel about to happen.,..But this is Walnut Grove, not Bonanza.
the girls have to fend for themselves since ma and Pa are both out of town. Mary is a bit bossy, but they all pull together at the end to fight off their wolves.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Don't let the opening fool you, this isn't Old Yeller, although the
tone is similar. So a golden retriever and a pack of dogs, with Bandit
among them chase a sheep. While the mutts were having fun, Laura and
Andrew practice jumping then invite Alice to join in. Unfortunately
Bandit costs us this one laugh as he runs to Laura. Time to go, I
guess. After they've gone, Alice really does give jumping a try and
falls on her ass as expected. Meanwhile in town, Jonathan was trying to
decide which frying pan he'd like to purchase when into the mercantile
came Judd Larabee, looking to buy some wolf traps. Seems Judd and
Jonathan have a history back in Kansas, regarding stolen furs and
public humiliation, which neither party has been able to get over.
Those traps work better than expected because soon after, Laura and
Andrew saw a wolf with its foot caught in the trap and, assuming it was
a stray dog, set it free. They then discover it to be a female with a
litter of "pups". Andrew takes them all home to keep in his barn.
Jonathan soon finds out, but he allows his boy to keep them for the
time being. Doc Baker comes by to treat the wounded mama wolf and as
Andrew goes to school, he agrees to keep a lid on the wolf
situation...unfortunately the little idiot told Nellie all about it in
exchange for a penny candy. She immediately told her mother and when
asked, Doc Baker confirmed it...why? He could have just said no and
stayed out of it. Well now that the Olesons know the Garveys' secret,
there will hell to pay. Harriet immediately contacts Judd Larabee and
offers him a chance for the swift retribution he'd been wanting.
Laura, meanwhile, was being run ragged due to recently-appointed head of the household, Mary. With Charles and Caroline out of town, Mary was left in charge, which to her meant to constantly bitch and whine at Laura I guess. That's not being in charge, Mary, that's being a bully. Now while that was going on, a pack of furious wolves attacked and killed a cow without eating it. Mr. Hanson relayed this to Jonathan, which struck him as odd. They killed cattle without eating it? Vegetarian wolves? Nah! Well, Jonathan managed to convince the children that the wolves should be set free, and without much fuss, they agreed. Unfortunately, Larabee stopped by to pin the blame of his dead livestock on the Garveys' wolves and vowed to take action. One way or another. I'm starting to wonder if Larabee is really out to protect his livestock or he's still miffed about the furs and he was going to take them from the wolves? Or maybe he's just an asshole. Meanwhile, the wild back of angry dogs...er, wolves, next set their sights on the Ingallses' barn, where Andrew and Laura were now hiding Mama Wolf and her pups from Larabee. They, along with Mary, Carrie and Bandit were now trapped in the barn by the wild pack. So finally acting like a responsible big sister, Mary keeps everyone calm by having a sing along of Oh Susannah. Unfortunately, those ravenous dogs outside were relentless. They began digging in under the doors, so quickly the girls, Andrew, Bandit and the wolf pups climb up to the loft, but sadly the mother wolf couldn't be saved. After enduring many hours of hiding from the dogs, the girls decide to send Bandit to get Mr. Garvey. Though tailed by one of the dogs, Bandit makes it and soon Jonathan, Larabee and his gun-toting buddies arrive at the Ingalls barn and shot every last one of those little devils dead. A few days later, Jonathan, Laura and Andrew set the wolf pups free, who were soon taken by their new mama wolf into their new den. To celebrate, the Garveys get a dog of their own.
Very intriguing episode, and very emotional, I might add. Somewhat negative emotion coming from folks like Judd Larabee, and bitchy Mary Ingalls who treated Laura like a slave. Just what was her problem? I'm sure Laura wasn't very cooperative with her, but of course we never see that part. We're just expected to believe Mary is being bossy. Hearing the two of them bicker constantly wasn't very endearing, however I like how Mary quickly took charge towards the end and protected everybody from the dogs. The positive comes squarely from Jonathan Garvey as the voice of reason in this whole mess. Merlin Olsen, Melissa Sue Anderson, Don 'Red' Barry, Melissa Gilbert and Patrick Labyorteaux were all very good here, and I do believe this episode is one of many where Jonathan Garvey and Judd Larabee are at odds with each other. Thankfully Larabee finally gets his comeuppance in Season 5's "Barn Burner". Anyway, if you're an animal lover, animal hater, dog person, cat person, whatever, I recommend this episode. If you're a member of Peta, I say stay away...from everything.
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