Thursday, September 05, 2019

Why, Michael Landon?

I stopped by, this evening, to give my Dad a little company and breakfast for supper. Like me, I know he enjoys breakfast for any meal. He and my mother used to enjoy watching old television shows in the evening. When I arrived with the food, he was watching one of the old TV channels.

Playing on the TV was an episode of Little House on the Prairie. The episode was about a little girl in Walnut Grove, named Sylvia, who draws the interest of young Albert, among a few other boys. The boys get her in trouble with her father. He accuses her of being too flirtatious, although, far from a flirt, she's actually a little awkward.

Here's where the show takes a sharp turn. A man wearing a creepy mime mask, who turns out to be the town blacksmith, stalks, RAPES, IMPREGNATES, AND MURDERS her. I NEVER remember such a dark, depressing episode. I certainly don't remember THAT.

It was a 2 part episode, meaning that when originally aired, viewers had to wait a full week before finding out the terrible truth. In the re-run we watched, it was aired in full. Michael Landon, who also played Charles Ingalls on the show, wrote and directed the episode. I found myself asking, as the story continued to get darker and darker, and my jaw dropped farther and farther, "Why Michael Landon, why?"

If you're ever with family and see an episode of Little House coming on, and the episode is named Sylvia, change the channel. Good grief, that was a depressing, awkward thing to watch. I really don't remember that episode, and, although there were a few deaths in the show's run, I don't remember anything that dark. Sheesh.