Little House on the Prairie: "Sylvia"
I created this page because I discovered there are a lot of people who have hazy memories of a clown/mime rapist on the TV series Little House on the Prairie. This was the seventh season, two-part episode entitled "Sylvia" guest-starring respected character actor Richard Jaeckel (Special Guest Star) and child actress Olivia Barash. It happens to be an episode I enjoyed as a pre-teen, but it seems to have scarred some people. Anyhow, here's a page all about it.
THE MAIN CAST
Matthew Laborteaux as Albert Ingalls
Michael Landon as Charles "Pa" Ingalls
Olivia Barash as Sylvia Webb
Richard Jaeckel as Irv Hartwig
Royal Dano as Hector Webb
Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls Wilder
Katherine MacGregor as Mrs. Oleson
Karen Grassle as Caroline "Ma" Ingalls
Kevin Hagan as Doc Baker
Part One Part Two Notes Trivia
Part One : Aired February 9, 1981
The episode opens with Willie Oleson showing his friends (including Albert Ingalls) a ladies' undergarments catalog. Some of the boys are disappointed that there are only drawings. They suggest going to peep at Sylvia's window. Albert is goaded into going along.
They sneak up to a window at the Webb home, but have no luck and are soon spotted by Sylvia's father Mr. Webb. He chases them and catches Albert when he has to stop to pick up some dropped books. Mr. Webb forces Albert to admit he was trying to look at Sylvia. Albert confesses and apologizes. Mr. Webb says he's going to teach him a lesson, but just then Mrs. Oleson comes riding by in a wagon and yells for Mr. Webb to release Albert. Albert manages to slip out of Mr. Webb's grasp and takes off. Mr. Webb tells Mrs. Oleson that Albert tried to peep at Sylvia. Mrs. Oleson is aghast, but not surprised that Albert Ingalls would do such a thing. Mr. Webb informs her that Willie was with him. Mrs. Oleson is shocked and hurries home.
Inside the Webb home, Mr. Webb accuses Sylvia of flirting with the boys at school and that's why they want to leer at her. She denies it, but he doesn't believe her. He tells her there's a devil in her like the one that killed her mother. He warns her that if those boys come back, he'll whip her and that she'd better bind herself tighter so the boys won't look at her. She obeys with tears streaming down her face.
Mrs. Oleson arrives home and discovers that Wille only just arrived having been on a "nature study". She realizes he was one of the boys and is disgusted. She's relieved when he tells her he didn't get to see anything. Now she demands to know why he peeped at Sylvia's window in particular. Willie lamely explains that "she's sort of grown-up". Mrs. Oleson pounces, "She teases the boys, is that it?" Willie says, "Sort of. I guess." Mrs. Oleson seems satisfied to blame Sylvia.
In the schoolyard the next day, Sylvia returns the books Albert dropped. Albert thanks her, mentioning that he had just been by her place looking for them and thought he was late for school. She explains that school has been delayed due to a special board meeting. There's an awkward pause and Albert tells her that yesterday they were just being silly. Sylvia nods and says she knows. They smile at each other.
Sylvia is called inside by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The board wants to to talk to her. Mrs. Oleson is in charge of the meeting (others in attendance are Mr. Oleson, Mr. Ingalls, Doc Baker and Irv Hartwig). She asks Sylvia why the boys were at her house. Sylvia protests that they didn't see anything and Mrs. Oleson accuses her of teasing the boys and leading them on. Mr. Ingalls objects. Mrs. Oleson asks if he condones such behavior. He says no, but he understands it. This leads to this classic scene:
Mr. Ingalls: All of us can remember growing up, sneaking around the swimming hole for a peek. It's human nature.
Mrs. Oleson: Ugh! Well, really, I certainly don't remember any of the boys sneaking around the swimming ponds when I was a girl.
Mr. Oleson: That's true.
Mrs. Oleson: What?
Mr. Oleson: I said Charles is telling the truth.
Laura points out that boys will be boys and any action should be taken against them. She would like to end the meeting and start school. The others agree. Mrs. Oleson is not happy.
Sylvia rings the school bell and the kids gather their stuff to begin the day. We see someone watching Sylvia. Actually, we see someone's eye while menacing music plays.
Now, school is out. The kids are walking home. Sylvia glances back to where Albert is walking with two friends. One of the friends notices and tells Albert that Sylvia likes him. Albert doesn't think so. The pal presses on saying that she knows Albert was watching yesterday and probably wants him to take another peek. Albert shoves his friend. "She's a nice girl. Don't talk bad about her." The friend backs off.
Sylvia is walking in the woods picking flowers. She puts her books down to gather more flowers. She hears a twig snap, but when she glances around she doesn't see anything. She goes to investigate while carrying her flowers. Suddenly some birds rise from the brush, startling her and the audience. Sylvia smiles as she watches them fly away.
A gloved hand clamps down on her mouth and we see the infamous masked man. He forces her arm down and the flowers fall. As he drags her away, the camera focuses on the fallen bouquet.
Don't you love symbolism?
Sylvia arrives home that evening disheveled and begging her father to help her. He takes her to her room and asks what happened. She tells him that someone grabbed her, put his hand over her mouth, and pulled her down. Mr. Webb realizes what happened and starts repeating "Dear God" over and over. He demands to know who it was. Sylvia tells him she doesn't know because he wore a mask, "like a party mask". Mr. Webb says Sylvia must never tell anyone what happened--that no one must know of this disgrace.
Another day at school. Some boys are rough-housing on the playground and run into Sylvia. She freaks out, obviously flashing back to the attack, and starts yelling "No!" while she hits the boys (mainly Willie). They try to calm her down saying that Willie's only joking, but Sylvia is hysterical. Laura and Albert come out of the schoolhouse and run to Sylvia's aid. Laura slaps Sylvia out of her hysterics.
Laura takes Sylvia to see Doc Baker. Doc Baker tells Laura that Sylvia won't talk. He says someone has been hitting her because she's badly bruised. At that moment, Mr. Webb arrives to take Sylvia home. Doc Baker mentions the bruises to Mr. Webb who tells him that Sylvia fell. Doc Baker expresses doubt that the bruises could have been caused that way, but Mr. Webb leaves with Sylvia. Doc Baker is puzzled by Mr. Webb's behavior and Laura says, "He wasn't telling the truth. That's for sure."
It's night at the Little House. Albert is talking about what happened that day with his parents. Albert vows to make sure nobody teases Sylvia again.
The next day at school Willie and his two buddies decide to tease Syvlia, by reenacting the scene of the previous day with one of the boys playing Sylvia. Albert tells them to stop it. Willie taunts, "Well, make me!" Albert says "All right" and slugs Willie. Yay! Then he asks if the other boys want the same. Willie complains that Albert broke his nose. It's bleeding. Being Willie, he naturally runs off to tell his mother. The other boys decide not to have a fight and leave. Albert tells Sylvia they won't bother her anymore. As he leaves, she smiles. He's her hero.
Sylvia is walking home when Albert catches up to her. She thanks him for helping her. They chat and she laughs. "I'm glad to see you laughing," he says. He offers to carry her books.
Sylvia and Mr. Webb are eating dinner. She asks if he likes it and he says it's "real good". She tells her father she volunteered to grade papers for an hour after school the next day for extra-credit. He's not too happy about it and in the future she should ask him first.
It's the next day and we see that Sylvia fibbed so she could go fishing with Albert. She's catching a lot of fish, but Albert has no luck Sylvia says she's happy and likes being with Albert. He likes being with her. He wonders if he'd have better luck fishing if he sat closer to her. "Maybe," she says. They sit side by side holding their fishing poles. Young love is blossoming. But suddenly a gloved hand appears and we see that the rapist is watching them.
Albert and Sylvia are walking hand in hand and we get a close-up of a tree where Albert has carved the words "Albert Loves Sylvia". Then we cut to Albert and Sylvia sweetly kissing.
Sylvia is practically floating as she arrives home. She apologizes for being late to her father and starts to get supper ready. Her father comments that Mrs. Wilder has been keeping Sylvia later and later each week He asks Sylvia if she thinks this has been helping her with her studies and Sylvia says it's helped a lot. Mr. Webb wasn't so sure and so he went to see Mrs. Wilder. Uh-oh. He asks why she's been lying. Sylvia says she was afraid to ask if Albert could come by. Her father tells her that she can't see "that Ingalls boy" anymore and must come home straight from school every day.
Sylvia tells Albert she can't see him anymore because of her father. She hurries away while Albert calls after her. Mr. Hartwig wanders out from the livery. Mr. Hartwig tells Albert that he needs to understand Sylvia's father's point of view and he'll probably come around eventually.
Albert is moping over breakfast. It's been two weeks since he and Sylvia have been alone together. Mr. Ingalls says that Mr. Webb is angry at everyone lately. Albert thinks there has to be more going on than they know. Albert and Carrie leave for school. Caroline tells Charles she heard them talking. She can't understand what's gotten into Mr. Webb. Someone told her she saw Sylvia working in the fields looking ready to drop. Charles says he spoke to Reverend Alden and he agreed to visit the Webbs. Caroline hopes it does some good.
Reverend Alden arrives at the Webbs. He asks why Mr. Webb has been missing church. He says he's been busy. Reverend Alden tells him that people have noticed he's been acting strangely and they're worried about him. He mentions Charles Ingalls, which angers Mr. Webb. He wonders if the minister just misses his money in the plate and throws some cash at him and storms off.
It's October in Walnut Grove and Laura tells the kids to write a ghost story and they talk about a costume contest. Willie mentions he has his costume already--his mother bought it from St. Louis. Laura says he'd better explain to his mother that he can't enter in store-bought costume. Willie says she knows and that's why she tore out all the labels. Laura dismisses class. Sylvia looks tired and puts her head down on her desk. Albert asks if she's all right and calls Laura over. Sylvia says she just doesn't feel well. Laura sends Albert to get some cool water. Sylvia says she has to meet her father at the Feed and Seed and then collapses in the school.
At Doc Baker's office, Doc Baker finishes examining Sylvia and tells Albert and Laura that she's exhausted. Laura blames Mr. Webb. Exhaustion is only part of it, the doctor tells them. I guess doctor-patient confidentiality isn't big on the prairie in the 1880s. Doc Baker does ask Albert to leave, but he refuses.
Albert tells the doctor that he and Sylvia were seeing each other until her father stopped them. Doc Baker asks how long and Albert says a couple of months. Doc Baker tells Albert that Sylvia is "with child". Albert is stunned. "Have you and she--" asks the doctor. "No!" Albert says. He keeps repeating "no" as his voice cracks. "I never!" Albert starts crying and flees the office. Laura tells the doctor that Albert isn't lying and Doc Baker says he knows that.
Doc Baker calls Mr. Webb at home. Now, due to a previous episode which also guest-starred Royal Dano, I would think Doc Baker would know that phone calls in Walnut Grove are not private when Mrs. Oleson is the operator. Anyhow, Doc Baker tells Mr. Webb that Sylvia collapsed and is in his office and he needs Mr. Webb to come there. Mr. Webb is cranky and wants to know why Doc Baker needs to see him. The doctor demurs and emphasizes that Mr. Webb needs to come to his office. Mr. Webb says if Doc Baker has something to say, he should just say it. "Your daughter is pregnant." Mr. Webb is stunned.
Charles tells Albert that Laura told him about Sylvia. Albert is upset. He says he hates Sylvia. She said she loved him and he believed her. Charles says maybe she was telling the truth. They don't have all the facts. Mr. Webb wouldn't talk to the doctor and wouldn't let Sylvia talk either. Doc Baker did ask Sylvia who the father was and she said she didn't know. She just repeated that over and over. Albert says Sylvia is lying, but Charles says it could have happened against her will and Albert shouldn't be so quick to judge. Charles points out that Sylvia will need friends now, but Albert says he can't be her friend and runs off sobbing.
Mr. Webb tells Sylvia she is not to leave the house from now on. He plans to sell the farm and move them to some town where nobody knows them. They can tell people her husband got killed in an accident.
Sylvia: You blame me for this, don't you? Don't you?
Mr. Webb: You reap what you sow.
End of Part One.
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Part Two : Aired February 16, 1981
Part Two opens with Albert arriving at school. He gets the brush off from a girl and some boys are laughing. Laura calls him inside. Laura tells Albert that people are talking about him and Sylvia because Mrs. Oleson listened in on a telephone call and found out Sylvia is pregnant (I repeat, what was Doc Baker thinking?) and Mrs. Oleson told Willie that Albert is the father and now it's spread all over town. Albert gets angry. He says if that's what they want to believe, then let them. He walks up to Willie in the schoolyard.
Albert: You've been saying stuff about me.
Willie: Only the truth. My mother told me.
Albert: Lord knows your ma wouldn't lie.
Willie: You mean so it's true about you and trampy Sylvia?
Albert: Yeah, it's true. She's not a tramp!
Albert slugs Willie again. Yay again. Willie can't be punched often enough for me. But really, it's Mrs. Oleson who needs to be slugged.
Willie: Oh, my nose.
Albert: You understand? She's not.
Willie: Oh, my nose! You did it again. Ahh.
Albert runs off.
That night at the Little House Caroline and Charles discuss the problem. Albert doesn't want to return to school. Charles thinks they should keep Albert home for awhile and let Caroline school him. Caroline is angry with Mrs. Oleson. She needs to take a walk to let off some steam.
Now, it's daytime at the Webb farm. Sylvia is getting a bucket of water and someone is watching her. As she scoops up the water, a hand reaches out to touch her shoulder. Without looking back Sylvia cries out and begins to run. We see Albert standing there. He calls out to Sylvia. She stops and turns around to see him. He goes to her saying, "It's all right." "I thought it was him ... the man in the mask. He grabbed me, he held me, he--" Albert tells her it's all right. "Don't be afraid. I'm here. I love you."
Harriet Oleson arrives at the restaurant where Caroline is preparing lunch. Mrs. Oleson apologizes for Willie. Caroline points out that he was only repeating what his mother told him. She notes Mrs. Oleson listened in on a private phone call, added some lies and spread it all over town. Mrs. Oleson is insulted. She has brought some baby clothes for "that girl" and asks Caroline to take them to the Webbs. Caroline says Sylvia doesn't need her charity and Mrs. Oleson angrily says it's not charity. And then Mrs. Oleson says she's only trying to be a friend and she thinks Caroline should be appreciative since "After all, you are going to be that child's grandmother!" Caroline says next Sunday at church she will ask God "to forgive me for this" and she shoves bread dough in Mrs. Oleson's face. Caroline feels much better and leaves the restaurant telling Nellie she'll return in an hour and that Mrs. Oleson better be gone.
Albert and Sylvia are sitting on a log in the woods. Albert doesn't understand how Mr. Webb can blame Sylvia for what happened. Sylvia wishes she could just go away somewhere where nobody knows her. Someplace where nobody looked at her the way her father does. Albert says he doesn't look at her that way. Sylvia knows. "You're the only one." "Because I love you," he tells her. She loves him, too. She wishes they could be together just the two of them. She feels safe with him. They kiss. She has to go now in case her father gets home. They repeat their "I love you"s and arrange to meet in the same spot tomorrow. Sylvia says if she isn't there it means she couldn't get away.
As Sylvia prepares supper, Mr. Webb shows potential buyer Irv Hartwig the house. Mr. Hartwig seems to approve. He says good afternoon to Sylvia. Mr. Webb goes on about the fields and the soil. He's asking $1500 and Mr. Hartwig thinks that sounds fair. He wants a little time to think about it. Mr. Webb agrees, but if another offer comes in he'll take it. Mr. Hartwig understands. He says he's sorry that the Webbs have to go and says goodbye to Sylvia.
Mr. Webb asks what's for supper. It's lamb stew. He asks Sylvia if she went somewhere today, but she says she's been home all day. He notes the mud on her shoes and she quickly says she went for a walk. He grabs her face. He thinks she's been with somebody, but she denies it. He tells her if he sees anybody with her then he'll kill him.
At the Little House, Charles asks Albert if he's been seeing Sylvia. Albert admits he has. Charles wonders if it's wise considering what people are saying and how Mr. Webb feels. Albert doesn't care what other people say and he's sorry Mr. Webb feels as he does, but Albert can't help feeling the way he does. He tells Charles he loves Sylvia. Charles asks if he thinks he's old enough to know what love is. "I must be. I love you, Pa." Charles smiles. Albert goes to bed and Charles gets a concerned look on his face.
Albert runs up to a window at the Webb farm and taps on it. Sylvia lets him in and they embrace. She says she couldn't leave because her father planned to call and check up on her. Albert reveals that Charles is letting him look for work. Albert plans to save up some money and then he and Sylvia can be married. She doubts "they" would let them marry. Albert says they can run away together. Sylvia worries they're too young. He says that's what "they" say, but they're not too young. He can take care of both of them and the baby. The phone rings. Mr. Webb has news for Sylvia. The farm has been sold. Mr. Webb bought tickets on Saturday's stage. Sylvia hugs Albert. "I don't want to leave you." He promise she won't.
Albert approaches Mr. Hartwig and inquires about a job. He says he can work full time and that's he's a good worker. Mr. Hartwig wonders if Albert can run the livery by himself sometimes. Albert's sure he could. Seems that Mr. Hartwig bought the Webb farm and will need some time to fix it up. Mr. Hartwig offers to put Albert to work on a trial basis and the job begins now.
Mr. Webb tells Sylvia that everything is settled. They're moving to California. She thinks it's such a long way. He thinks she should be grateful because "it's your shame I'm trying to hide." He finds Albert's hat. "You had him here. I warned you what I would do." He grabs his shotgun. Sylvia begs him to stop. She says he was only there for a few minutes and is her friend. She asks him to believe her for once. Mr. Webb blurts out that he can't believe a whore. Sylvia can't bear hearing what her father thinks of her. She flees from the house. Mr. Webb loads his gun.
There's a storm outside as we see the Ingalls eating dinner. Albert's not eating and Charles asks why. Albert says he's busy thinking. Albert asks how old Grandpa was when he got married. Caroline says he was fourteen. Charles wants to know why Albert asked. Albert explains that Mr. Webb is taking Sylvia away, but Sylvia and Albert don't want her to go. Charles is afraid there's nothing Albert can do about it. Albert says he can marry Sylvia. Charles is not happy. Caroline thinks they should discuss it later. Charles says they'll discuss it now. He demands to know how Albert will finish school (he's only fourteen) and become a doctor if he gets married now. Albert says he doesn't have to become a doctor, but this doesn't sit well with Charles. Charles wants to know if he thinks Mr. Webb would let Albert marry his daughter. Albert says he will because he plans to tell him that he's the father of Sylvia's baby. "Is that the truth?" asks Charles. No, but everyone thinks so anyhow, reasons Albert, so why not. Charles says he can't marry Sylvia just because he feels sorry for, but Albert insists he loves Sylvia. And the baby is part of Sylvia, so he loves the baby even if it isn't his. Charles says it's not the same, but Albert calls him on it. "Then you lied to me, Pa. I'm not your son, either, but you told me you loved me just the same. Were you lying?" Charles gives up and asks Caroline to try and talk some sense into him and he goes into his bedroom. Caroline tells Albert that marriage is difficult even under the best of circumstances. She says that love is so strong a feeling that it can blind people to real problems. Albert says he and Sylvia have faced up to those problems. Caroline wonders how Sylvia feels about the baby. Albert admits he hasn't asked her. Caroline points out that the baby was not conceived in love, but in violence. Sylvia might not love the baby. Albert is confused. All he knows is that he loves Sylvia.
Mr. Webb bursts into the house and demands to know where Sylvia is. Charles orders him out. Mr. Webb threatens Albert and then Charles and he struggle. Charles demands that Albert tell Mr. Webb the truth. Albert confesses that he isn't the baby's father. He swears it to God. Mr. Webb starts to cry. He seems a broken man. Charles tells Albert to hitch up the team and they'll take Mr. Webb home.
It's the next day and Charles, Albert, and Mr. Webb are on horseback searching for Sylvia. They decide to split up. Albert goes to check the old Atkins place.
Albert rides up to the Atkins place and discovers Sylvia in the rundown barn. They hug and she tells Albert her father hates her. Albert says it's not true, but Sylvia doesn't believe it. She doesn't want to go back, she wants to be with Albert. "You said everything would be all right. That we'd be together. You promised." She tells him she loves him and he holds her in his arms. Albert gives in. He tells her he won't reveal where she is and that she should wait for him right there. "We're going to go away, just you and me." He gives her a blanket to keep warm and some biscuits to eat. He kisses her on the forehead and starts to go. "Albert," she says, "i love you." He responds with "I love you."
Albert rides away and meets up with Charles and Mr. Webb. He tells them he hasn't found anything and that he'll check in town. They agree to meet at the Olesons later.
Albert arrives at Mr. Hartwig's, but he's not in the office. Albert searches the desk drawers and finds a cashbox. He takes some money and writes a note. Mr. Hartwig walks in and accuses Albert of stealing. Albert tells him he needs the money "really bad". Mr. Hartwig wants to know why. Albert explains he's running away with Sylvia who is waiting for him at the old Atkins place. He was going to ask Mr. Hartwig for an advance, but he wasn't there and that's why he just took some money, but he was going to pay him back. Mr. Hartwig says he thinks Albert is awfully young to run away. Albert begs Mr. Hartwig to help them. Mr. Hartwig isn't sure because he might get in trouble. Albert says nobody will ever know. Albert plans to go home and get some supplies and leave a note, but he won't mention Mr. Hartwig. Mr. Hartwig thinks a moment and then tells Albert that he'll water and feed Albert's horse and saddle another one for him, but Albert must promise to pay him back. Albert promises and says, "I'll never forget you for this."
At home, Albert writes a note to his family. He places it on the mantel, gathers his things, and leaves.
Charles and Mr. Webb meet at the Olesons. Mrs. Oleson tells them she saw Albert running off towards home a little while ago. The men ride that way, just missing Albert who hides behind a tree.
Albert arrives back at Mr. Hartwig's, but nobody is there.
Mr. Webb and Charles arrive at the Little House. Charles calls out Albert's name and then finds the note. He tells Mr. Webb that Albert is running away with Sylvia. He says they need to think about when he found her. It had to be today when they were separated. Charles says they'll check the old Atkins place first since it's the closest.
At the old Atkins place, Sylvia is asleep in the barn. Menacing music begins. The barn door opens and the masked man appears. He enters the barn carefully, but the wood debris underneath his feet makes a snapping noise. Sylvia awakes thinking Albert has returned. She gets up, but when she turns she is confronted by the masked man. She grabs a board and strikes him on the head. She runs and falls over the debris. The attacker's mask has been dislodged and he pushes it away. It's Mr. Hartwig (not really a surprise). He's bleeding from where Sylvia struck him. He gets up and runs to block the exit. Sylvia begins to climb a ladder for escape. She's crying as Mr. Hartwig follows her. Suddenly, Albert jumps on Mr. Hartwig, trying to stop him. They struggle while Sylvia keeps climbing the ladder to the roof. As Sylvia reaches up, the rung beneath her feet gives way and she plummets to the ground. Albert screams "Sylvia!" While Albert is distracted, Mr. Hartwig picks up a plank and prepares to hit Albert when a shot rings out. Mr. Hartwig falls to the floor. Mr. Webb stands in the entryway with his gun with Charles just behind him. A weeping Albert crawls over to Sylvia's unconscious figure. Charles approaches and Albert looks at him, grief-stricken. Charles says he'll get Doc Baker, passing Mr. Hartwig's prone body as he leaves.
At the Webb farm, Charles, Albert and Mr. Webb huddle in the kitchen. Doc Baker emerges from Sylvia's bedroom looking grim. Albert asks how she is. Doc Baker tells him she wants to see him. Albert goes in. He sits beside Sylvia on the bed. She asks him if she's going to die, but he assures her she'll be up and around in no time. She guesses that their plans have changed and she'll have to go away with her father. Albert tells her that she won't have to--that he worked it out with her father and they can be married. He's lying to her, telling her what she wants to hear. She wishes she could have a church wedding and he doesn't see why she can't. He says if she wants a church wedding then that's what she'll have.
Sylvia: I do want one. I want to wear a long white dress. And I want to wear flowers in my hair--yellow flowers. And I want to walk down the aisle to you, my Albert. And I want to hear the reverend say "you may now kiss the bride". Kiss me, my love.
Albert leans down and kisses her while tears roll down his face. He pulls back and Sylvia gazes up at him. Slowly, her eyes close. She is at peace. Albert embraces her and flashes back to that day when they shared their first kiss.
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It seems to me that it's partly Mrs. Oleson's fault that Sylvia was attacked. If she hadn't singled Sylvia out as a tease in front of Mr. Hartwig, Sylvia may never have become a target. Ultimately, the fault is Mr. Hartwig's, but Mrs. Oleson didn't help matters.
It's unbelievable that Doc Baker would talk about Sylvia's condition on the phone after the sixth season episode "Crossed Connections" which nearly saw the end of Jonathan and Alice Garvey's marriage due to Mrs. Oleson's listening in on phone calls. He should have just demanded Mr. Webb come to his office and then hung up the phone.
I've read on some websites that Irv Hartwig supposedly escaped after being shot. I saw no evidence of this in the episode "Sylvia". I think Mr. Webb shot him dead through the back and he never left the barn. There's no reason to believe otherwise unless it's mentioned in a future episode. Perhaps, people were confused by the shot of the mask lying on the floor, but Hartwig had already removed his mask before going after Sylvia for the final time. It was nowhere near him when he was shot. Plus, Mr. Webb was blocking the barn door the whole time. There is no way Hartwig escaped anywhere even if he weren't dead. And he is dead. We clearly see his body in the same shot as the mask.when Charles leaves to fetch Doc Baker.
Richard Jaeckel didn't get to do much acting in the role of Irv Hartwig. It was a bit of a waste of a good actor.
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Richard Jaeckel previously guest-starred on LHOTP in the 2nd season episode "The Long Road Home" as "Murphy".
Royal Dano portrayed Alice Garvey's first husband in LHOTP's 6th season episode "Crossed Connections".
Olivia Barash is remembered by a lot of former kids as the ghost girl Inez in the Disney TV flick Child of Glass.
Richard Jaeckel was Oscar®-nominated for his supporting role in 1971's Sometimes a Great Notion. The harrowing scene where he is trapped in a river under a log is unforgettable.
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