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The Last Farewell

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The Last Farewell aired in 1984 and was the series finale of Little House on the Prairie.

Synopsis

Charles and Caroline visit Walnut Grove and are pleased to be able to stay in the "Little House" when John and Sarah Carter go out of town.

Then the townspeople learn that a land development tycoon Nathan Lassiter has acquired title to all the land in Hero Township, which they had believed to be homesteading land.

Having failed to defeat his claim on legal grounds and even with guns, the townspeople are inspired by Laura to vent their anger at what they see as an injustice and they decide upon a drastic plan of action.

When Lassiter arrives to claim the town, he finds all the town buildings destroyed. The people of the town leave to start new lives elsewhere as many of them have done before.

Trivia

  • Charles, Laura, Nels Oleson, Willie Oleson, Doc Baker and Reverend Alden are the only main characters to appear in every single season in the series.
  • Harriet Oleson, Nellie Oleson, Mary Ingalls Kendall, Adam Kendall, Albert Quinn Ingalls, Carrie Ingalls, James Cooper Ingalls, Cassandra Ingalls and Grace Ingalls do not appear in this final episode of the series.
  • Katherine MacGregor (who portrayed Harriet Oleson) did not appear in any of the three final Little House movies. Aside from Mary, Adam and the younger Ingalls kids, she is the only main cast member not to make an appearance at all for these last few episodes. It's been said that MacGregor was on a pilgrimage in India during the filming of this episode, so that's the reason why she couldn't be there.
  • Karen Grassle comes back to appear in this very last episode. This is her first appearance since the season 8 finale "He Was Only Twelve."
  • Melissa Gilbert has said in previous interviews that when the show started dwindling down in its later years, she felt like she was really ready to move on, have her boyfriend, hang out with her friends, and regain that piece of her life that was taken away as she filmed the series for nearly a decade. However, when Melissa was approached about the official series finale, she was immediately upset and thought, "No! I'm not ready for this!" Laura's emotion in the final scene was certainly not just acting, since Melissa herself was so devastated about leaving the show behind.
  • The buildings that were blown up in the episode were actually blown up in real life Michael Landon allegedly had a deal with the people who originally owned the land and he promised them that as soon as the series was completed, the area would go back to being exactly the way it was before filming.
  • After the town of Walnut Grove is blown up, the Church and the Ingalls/Carter place are the only two things that remain intact. For obvious reasons, these two Walnut Grove locations had a certain value attached to them and Michael Landon chose not to destroy them. A more important reason that the church wasn't blown up was that it would be offensive and being a family show with Christian overtones, there would have been an outrage.

Quotes

Attorney: Well, gentlemen, I wish I had better news for you, but I'm afraid Mr. Lassister and Company has done quite a job at setting this up.
Mr. Oleson: You mean he has a legal right to this town? He can just come in and take it over?
Attorney: Well, legally, he has every right. Morally, he doesn't. But the court will only concern itself, I'm afraid, with the legal aspects of the case.
Charles: I can't believe it. I can't believe that the law could be that unfair.
Attorney: Neither could the Indians, who were originally given this land.
Reverend Alden: (to the Walnut Grove community) I'd like to take a moment to talk to you. Times like these test our faith. Why does God allow a man like Lassiter to exist? Why doesn't the Lord intercede on our behalf? Now, we're good Christians. Why are we the ones to suffer at the hands of a man like this? They're not easy questions to answer, but the fact is evil does exist in this world, and it always will. But I believe that with God on our side, we will survive and we'll prosper, for faith and love are the strongest weapons in the world. We must hold those weapons high at times like these, just as we have in the past. We've felt the power of love in this town many times. When adversity struck, we pulled together. We have felt the care of friends. We have felt something that a man like Lassiter will never feel and we thank God for that.
Mr. Edwards: Well, I'm feeling something a little different, Reverend, and I'll tell you what I'm feeling. Anger!
Reverend Alden: Do you think I don't? You think that just because I'm a minister, I don't feel those things? Of course I do. But he owns the land! What good is it to worry about something that has passed when we have the future to look to?
Laura: Why are you cleaning that rifle?
Almanzo: Beth, we've been all through this.
Laura: You've been through it! I asked you not to buy it, and you went right ahead and did it anyway!
Almanzo: Beth, I'm not going to just let someone come in here and take away my property.
Laura: He's not going to take it away. He said you could work on it the same as always.
Almanzo: It's mine. It's not his. I'm not going to be a slave on my own property.
Laura: And you would use that rifle to stop him? (Almanzo doesn't respond) Answer me!
Almanzo: YES! Yes, I would if I had to!
Charles: We're going to resist.
Laura: With guns?
Charles: Yes, Laura.
Laura: I don't understand you. No piece of land is worth losing your life over.
Charles: You're right. You don't understand.
Mr. Edwards: Lassiter's got the future. He moves in here and runs the businesses that we've swindered over for years!
Laura: Well, why let him? There's something we can do! I got mad today, real mad. And you know what I did? I busted some windows. Yeah, it may sound silly. Well, maybe it is, but they were our windows and he's not gonna get them! He owns the land, we'll let him have it. But he's gonna have an awful lot of fixing up to do before he starts running our boarding house!
John Carter: Listen, here. You want to do more than bust a couple of windows? I've got a wagon at my place, loaded to the gills with dynamite for the mine!
Mr. Edwards: All right. By God, if Lassiter wants to kill our town, the least we can do is bury it!
Caroline: I was so proud of you tonight.
Laura: (smiles) You should have been. I kind of reminded myself of you.
Caroline: Of me?
Laura: Yeah, you. You know, I remember when things got hard for us for a while. Like when we had to leave our home in Kansas. You never let it break you. You'd sure get mad, but you'd never give up.
Caroline: Well, we had your Pa there.
Laura: Oh, I know. I also know that he never could have done it without you. You were his strength. All my life, I wanted to be just like you. So you see, I'm the one who should be proud because if I didn't have a Ma like you, I wouldn't be me.


Little House Movies
Look Back to Yesterday | Bless All the Dear Children | The Last Farewell

External Links

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