When I was a kid my older sister was in charge of the television. That meant I had to sit through her shows. Little House On The Prairie was her favorite, and yes, it is possible to get Stockholme Syndrome for a tv show. This is the first in an occasional series discussing some of the best episodes. I am not proud.

Episode Title: Mortal Mission (Season 5, Episode 23)

What They Should Have Called It: You Know What Would Go Great With This Meal? Anthrax!

Plot Synopsis: There are two brothers, let's call them Garth and Virgil Fenton. This is really convenient, as these are also the names the actors are given in this episode. The Fentons have hit on hard times. Winter is coming, and like most people dumb enough to live in the late 1800s, they're broke. To make ends meet, they sell some mutton to the good folks of Hero Township.

Unknown to them, the meat is tainted with anthrax [note, anthrax is a real disease that can grow in animals, not just some wonderful powder one sends to Senator Joe Lieberman]. Oh wait, scratch that. They know full well that shit is chock full of evil and they sell it anyway. It's called capitalism, bitches, deal with it.


Charles and Jonathan (14-time Pro-Bowler Merlin Olsen) go on a rescue mission to get medicine, with hilarious results. Which is to say, they get taken hostage by yet another down on his luck dirt farmer who thinks he can make some ransom money. In the end though, the medicine gets delivered, the bad guys get their comeuppance, someone chokes a corpse, and no one (important) dies.

Episode Highlights: Mrs. Olsen stops being a raging bitch for about half a minute when she thinks her husband will die; Laura goes blind from sickness.

Episode Lowlights: Laura gets her eyesight back; Mrs. Olsen resumes maximum cuntiness; Hester Sue (everybody's one black friend) sings a goddamn hymnal that DOES. NOT. END.


Not to be confused with: The thyphoid episode where they burn down a barn full of rats.

Money Quote: "I'm not a doctor anymore, I'm a funeral director." - Doc Baker.


Charles Ingalls' Righteous Justice Scale:

1/5 Fists of God. While there is certainly some righteous anger at the Fenton brothers (see choking, corpse), no one gets righteously punched in the face by Charles.


Overt Christianity Shoved Down Your Throat Scale:

2/5 Sheaves Brought In. Sure, there is plenty of the usual "help us God" stuff, but no crises of faith and the Lord certainly doesn't bail their ass out of this one.

Modern Corollary: A well regulated food safety industry is an essential public service; do you think Monsanto wouldn't sell you tainted meat if they thought they could get away with it? Please urge your congressmen and representatives to "beef up" funding to a beleaguered USDA.