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Episode List

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1981

5 Jan. 1981
Oleson vs Oleson
Caroline Ingalls joins in protest with the rest of the Walnut Grove women to try to convince Charles and the other men to sign a petition addressing the injustice of a law that transfers a woman's property rights to her husband after marriage.
 
12 Jan. 1981
Come Let Us Reason Together
Percival's domineering father and Nellie's overbearing mother drive the expectant couple to distraction as they battle over whether their unborn grandchild will be raised Jewish or Christian.
 
19 Jan. 1981
The Nephews
Royal Wilder thinks of a perfect solution when he needs a break from dastardly duo Myron and Rupert, his spoiled, undisciplined sons...send the terrible two to Walnut Grove for a visit with unsuspecting Uncle Almanzo and Aunt Laura!
 
26 Jan. 1981
Make a Joyful Noise
Joe Kagen gives up his failing farm and moves to Sleepy Eye, where he helps one of Mary's students.
 
2 Feb. 1981
Goodbye, Mrs. Wilder
When Mrs. Oleson demands Art and French be added to the school curriculum, Laura quits, leaving Mrs. Oleson to cover the subjects herself.
 
9 Feb. 1981
Sylvia: Part 1
New student Sylvia Webb, who has physically matured faster than most of her classmates, piques the physical curiosity of some of her male classmates. Albert goes along at first, but quickly becomes friends with Sylvia. However, he is unaware that she is trapped in a horrifying world: She's being stalked (and is eventually attacked by) a masked rapist; her father has a cold, uncaring attitude toward Sylvia's ordeal; and her cruel classmates continue to taunt her. Eventually, Sylvia collapses at school from exhaustion.
 
16 Feb. 1981
Sylvia: Part 2
Mrs. Olson spreads word that Albert had gotten Sylvia pregnant. Caroline knows this isn't true and confronts her nemesis over this misinformation. Mr. Webb decides that, because of the shame his daughter's ordeal brought him, they will move from Walnut Grove. Sylvia decides she'd be happier with Albert, and the two decide to get married. When Mr. Webb finds out Albert had visited her (despite a no-guests rule), he calls Sylvia a whore, and she runs away. Albert - who had gotten a job as at the blacksmith's shop - later helps search for Sylvia, but lets it slip as to ...
 
23 Feb. 1981
Blind Justice
Unable to get work in Sleepy Eye, Adam decides to become Walnut Grove's first lawyer, and gets his first case defending a man who sold worthless share of his land.
 
2 Mar. 1981
I Do, Again
Pregnancy symptoms hit both Laura and her mother Caroline. Caroline, after bearing four daughters, really wants a son. But when it turns out Caroline is not pregnant at all, but is beginning menopause, she sinks into a deep depression. Her husband and daughters desperately try to convince her that they love her for the person she is, not for the person she wanted to be. Finally, Charles proposes that he and Caroline renew their wedding vows.
 
4 May 1981
The Lost Ones: Part 1
After their parents are killed in an accident, Charles finds himself in charge of two young children.
 
11 May 1981
The Lost Ones: Part 2
Charles finds a new home for Cassandra and James, but no one is happy about the arrangement.
 
5 Sep. 1981
The Reincarnation of Nellie: Part 1
Several weeks earlier, Percy and Nellie traveled to New York (with their infant twins, Benny and Jenny) to help run the family's store and hotel after Percy's father, Mr. Cohen, falls gravely ill; the elder Mr. Cohen soon dies. Nellie - who is never seen on-camera - writes to her parents and tells them that their stay in New York will now be permanent to carry on the family business. This news saddens Nels, but Mrs. Olesen's life virtually comes to a complete stop. She is deeply depressed, refuses to eat and cannot sleep; there are times when she'd rather be dead. ...
 
12 Sep. 1981
The Reincarnation of Nellie: Part 2
Nels goes to the ice house to get supplies and finds an unconscious (and frozen) Belinda inside. Belinda, as it turns out, will be just fine, but Nels decides to get some answers. Nancy claims she saw Willie close the door to the ice house (which he affirms), but she says nothing more about why; only the audience knows it was part of a diabolical plan to kill off her school rival and obtain the leading role in the school talent show. Later, Charles is visiting Sleepy Eye and visits with the orphanage director. In casual conversation, Charles learns that Nancy's mother...
 
9 Oct. 1981
Growin' Pains
James begins feeling insecure about his place in the Ingalls family, and tries a little too hard to emulate the older Albert. When he is caught with a shaving blade stolen from the Mercantile, James runs away, leaving Albert to go find him and convince his adopted brother to come back home.
 
26 Oct. 1981
Dark Sage
Dr. Baker is enthusiastic about his new assistant, a young university-trained physician named Caleb LeDoux ... until he realizes he is black. The Ingalls family are among the few to accept Dr. LeDoux, while others' reactions range from prejudice to outright racism. Even Dr. Baker has a tough time concealing his prejudice. Then, a pregnant white woman is suffering from complications and must rely on LeDoux to save her life, but the woman's racist husband refuses to cooperate and Charles must intervene. The surgery is a success and both woman and her baby son are fine; ...
 
2 Nov. 1981
A Wiser Heart
Laura attends a writing seminar in Arizona, but the experience is marred by a rude professor who cuts her down at every turn.
 
9 Nov. 1981
Gambini the Great
Aging circus daredevil Gambini the Great has a hypnotic effect on the children of Walnut Grove, especially Albert and Willie. A tragedy during one of Gambini's stunts will provide a chilling lesson in hero worship.
 
16 Nov. 1981
The Legend of Black Jake
A pair of bumbling crooks kidnaps Nels and holds him for ransom. However, Mrs. Olesen refuses to pay the $100 fee required to free her husband, so Nels decides to work with the crooks to get his revenge. In the process, nearly everyone in Walnut Grove finds themselves on the wrong side of the criminals.
 
23 Nov. 1981
Chicago
Charles travels to Chicago to comfort his grief-stricken friend, Mr. Edwards, after young newspaper reporter John Jr. dies in what seems to be a tragic street car accident. When John's boss reveals that he was about to publish a story about business corruption, Charles and Mr. Edwards become suspicious and soon realize that John Jr. was marked for murder. With the help of the newspaper publisher, they track down who may have wanted to silence John Jr.
 
30 Nov. 1981
For the Love of Nancy
A young, overweight boy named Elmer Miles is mercilessly teased at school. However, Nancy - of all people - goes easy on him because she actually seems to like him. Of course, she has plenty of ulterior motives up her sleeve once she gains Elmer's trust.
 
7 Dec. 1981
Wave of the Future
Mrs. Oleson decides that reopening Nellie's Restaurant and Hotel as a franchised restaurant will result in big business for the fledgling business. Does she have what it takes to meet the demands of a tough franchiser, and can she fight off unexpected competition from Charles and Nels when they open up their own restaurant?
 
21 Dec. 1981
A Christmas They Never Forgot
Snowbound on the Ingalls homestead on Christmas eve, Caroline, Laura and Hester Sue share memories of Christmases past.
 

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