Post 15:
“The Lord is My Shepherd”

Post 15: “The Lord is My Shepherd”

From 13-Year-Old Anne’s Journal —

November 18, 1982 – FAIR (10)

“Ma was pregnant with Charles Fredrick. She had him and he died. Laura blames herself because she didn’t like him. She set out to climb a mountain cause she wants to be closer to God.”

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From Anne —

You can smell it from a mile away: Michael Landon wrote this episode and packed it full of Protestant angst. Bible verses are recited in a gloomy room after Baby Ingalls expires, Doc Baker regrets that he’s not as powerful as God, and little Laura takes on the guilt of Judas. Too bad all this really happened. The real Freddie died a few months before his first birthday, in 1876. Said Caroline Ingalls, late in her life: “Everything would have been different if Freddie had lived.” I assume she meant that the Ingalls might have leveraged an economic advantage with a son in the mix.

In an apparent effort to leapfrog over the overly dramatic drama, my journal seems to condense Part 2 of the episode, in which Laura tries to climb a mountain and meets Ernest Borgnine. Did I deliberately skip mention of Borgnine’s epic mountain hermit character? Probably. The heavy dose of religious fervor and complete lack of realism must have turned me off, as it does today.

On a different note:
Will you forgive me for noticing that Pa looks fairly hot in his shirtless scene in bed with Ma toward the beginning of this episode?

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From Tracy —

Finally! I was wondering when Anne was going to notice how steaming hot Michael Landon was. ‘Bout time.

This is a real epic tear jerker for me. I still spilled tears watching it. Maybe I’m getting even more maudlin and sentimental in my later years. My favorite part was the second part which both young and adult Anne hated. For one thing it got to show Laura going on an adventure and I always loved those episodes. (Girl power!) And I was really touched by Borgnine as Laura’s guardian angel. Or at least that’s my interpretation of him.

Which now has me wondering if Landon got the idea for the series Highway to Heaven from this episode?

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