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The Dungeon of Tertiary Characters

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Here's a place to talk about the folks that showed up for one or two episodes, never to be mentioned before or after, even though they were Laura's bff or a permanent resident of the town (Dr. LeDoux, anyone?).?

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I like Tertiary Dad who had a son die in the plague (no, not that plague -- the other plague). Okay, two sons, two plagues. Talk about one unlucky Tertiary!

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Or Tertiary Thyvia's Dad who was also Tertiary Harold.

And "That Guy!" who was in many episodes as That Tertiary Guy. Usally seen sitting on a train or working in town.

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I was just going to mention Tinker "You never miss a service" Jones. Never to be seen in church again. Or before for that matter.

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Man, I'm thinking now how bad that Gideon episode was.

What about stuttering Anna? Who I get confused with Gimpy Olga.

Then there's Miss Beadle's handsome lawyer beau.

And Pa's dear, dear friend the Widow Sanderson who'd never been seen before.

Laura's boyfriend Henry.

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How about the Tertiary Village of the Damned? Where Miss Peal and her minions resided? After all, that was Mary's first big teaching job. Such a big deal that it was never mentioned again. Of course, she went mline very soon afterwards, so . . .

Edited by Bubbacat
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And the wild boy.

And of course, Albert's twu wub, Thylvia. Sort of. For a girl he was so madly in love with, he never mentioned her again.

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Maybe the most egregious tertiary of all time: Mrs. Robert Alden.

Oh, she's still in WG. Just check under the Reverend's floor boards.

Don't forget Baby Grace (not that one, the other one) that Laura found and gave back, swearing she would never forget her.

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My favorite tertiary characters on the show are the ones that were special guest stars who were famous from cinema's golden age - such as Ray Bolger, Ralph Bellamy, Patricia Neal, Red Buttons, etc.  That's the adult me. 

The little me in braids had a soft spot for the kid who inspired apples in the dress (Jimmy Hill?) and Jason Cooper (the "talking machine" crush).  Almost all of Laura's crushes were cuties when I was ten, though I confess I never saw what the big deal was about Johnny Johnson.  Oh, and Patrick - Mary's boyfriend from "Meet Me at the Fair" - he was a honey.  Big fancy Cass with his big fancy balloon?  I'd rather eat snails mixed with dough balls. 

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The Widow Thurman.

The old Irish lady who faked her own wake.

The "maniac" (Miss Lillie's husband) who Laura befriended.

The entire Schiller family.

The creeper kid that was going to come back to town when he became a doctor and his invalid father.

"Bobby" Ford. Oh wait, he was off killing Jesse James.

Aggie(?) "the hand of God had touched her" who rose from her death bed due to Johnny Cash.

Thinking of all the tertiary widows makes me wonder why Mrs. Whipple was Mrs. Whipple and not the widow Whipple.

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Laura's never seen before BFF from the mline school who comes back and falls for Mr. Edwards.

The deaf kid who falls for Laura.

Bartholomew Slater, the bully who promises to behave in school after the kids gang up on him. True to his word, he never misbehaved in Miss Wilders class again as he was never seen there after that episode.

Laura's BFF Ellen that drowns who'd never been seen before and her kooky mother who was never seen again.

And from the same episode, weirdo Buzby.

The Injun kid, his mother, grandfather, and nemesis Seth.

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then there are tertiary blind (mline) children, such as:

Isaiah's fiancee that had the surgery so she could see

Madeleine Stowe the painter

Thomas that died in one of the episdoes of sickness

all the nameless children.

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Ooh, reading these new entries (particularly DoughGirl's), I just remembered who is possibly my all-time favorite tertiary: Amos Pike, the old widower Laura befriends who lives in the "haunted" house.  The actor who portrayed him was fantastic.  His episode still makes me well up, because I felt so sorry for him and how lonely and misunderstood he was.  I just today realized that the actor who portrayed him (John Anderson) was a very respected character actor who was in a really great episode of "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" I found on YouTube.  (If you're into that sort of thing, it's called "The Second Wife.")

That's one thing I'll say for Landon et al.: they brought in some good acting talent. 

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Yes, Amos Pike! Couldn't remember his name.

I have to admit I really never understood this episode. Did Miss Lillie actually go back to the stage or did Amos just tell himself that because he couldn't deal with her death?

Not that I don't feel sorry for Amos, but I wouldn't let my daughter spend all that time alone with a man that was virtually a stranger. Same with her fishing buddy the banker.

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Yes, Amos Pike! Couldn't remember his name.

I have to admit I really never understood this episode. Did Miss Lillie actually go back to the stage or did Amos just tell himself that because he couldn't deal with her death?

Not that I don't feel sorry for Amos, but I wouldn't let my daughter spend all that time alone with a man that was virtually a stranger. Same with her fishing buddy the banker.

YES!!  Sharing her "dough balls" in temptations rainment.  (okay, so I combined Laura's dough Balls with Mary's flesh... but it works)

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My favorite tertiary characters:  

Annabelle the circus fat lady and sister of Nels.  She let the blind children feel how squishy she was.

And Dumb Abel McKay.  He was 29 and still in school.  

Edited by BlueberryJane23
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Yes, Amos Pike! Couldn't remember his name.

I have to admit I really never understood this episode. Did Miss Lillie actually go back to the stage or did Amos just tell himself that because he couldn't deal with her death?

Not that I don't feel sorry for Amos, but I wouldn't let my daughter spend all that time alone with a man that was virtually a stranger. Same with her fishing buddy the banker.

I always thought that Miss Lillie died.  :-c  But I agree about Laura spending so much time with strange adults.  The same could probably be said for Albert and his coffin makin' compadre.

Or heck - Laura & Manly at some level.  I confess I get a little squirmy when Manly finally falls in love with her because of her youth and the age difference.  I think they tried to handle it tastefully, and they did - but you can feel the awkwardness between them, particularly in the early part of the courtship.  When his voice gets all husky during the "Sweet Sixteen" episode, perv radars go off even though I know they are portraying people from a different time.  After they're married and Laura gets her BoFM (can I "acro-nize" that?) it's not so bad.  But this is probably a topic for a different board.

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Jen, I agree totally with you about Laura and Manly. He really turns me off in that scene. "I'm sorry for what I did." Sorry Manly fans, but I can't help it.

Back on topic, there was Jonah, another of Laura's fishing buddies. After they dumped their "gold" back in the pond he took Laura's fishing pole and away he went never to be seen again.

What about Amy Hearnes(?) who the Reverand was always "visiting"? Did we ever actually see her?

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Yes - "I'm sorry for what I did."  I think Manly is okay, I just don't think they have any chemistry, and the age difference is a big part of it (though certainly not the only factor).  I also hate how much of a hurry he's in to marry her in the one where Pa won't let her.  She's a child, hoss!  Slow down and keep your pants on.

Isn't Amy Hearn the one who fakes her own death so she can see her kids again?  If so, we do see her, at least in that one episode. 

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Yes, the one where everyone is so sad she's dead, except...PSYCH!  She's alive!!  And the entire town feels so bad that they vow to spend more time with her.

 

 

And then we never see her again.

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I know who you mean but didn't know that was Amy Hearn! I guess because I'm not keen on that episode so I usually skip it.

Yes - "I'm sorry for what I did." I think Manly is okay, I just don't think they have any chemistry, and the age difference is a big part of it (though certainly not the only factor). I also hate how much of a hurry he's in to marry her in the one where Pa won't let her. She's a child, hoss! Slow down and keep your pants on.

I know! He's being an ass and a pervy one as well. That scene at the lake sqwicks me out.

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I think there are really a lot of unlikeable people like Bully Abel and Sick Fuck Amy who the townspeople just beat to death and stuck under the floorboards with Mrs. Alden.

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Weee! I found my way here through the duststorm! I'MHERE!I'MHERE! Prairiegirl is in DA LITTLE HOUSE!

Edited by lou ann b
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Today is the episode where Laura's very best blind childhood friend Jane, who we never hear of before or since, comes "back" to town and Laura cockblocks her romance with Mr. Edwards.

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I think the mline girl played by Madeline Stowe was the one who painted that Dorian Gray picture of her mother who had abandoned her.

All these so called "friends" of the Ingalls were supposed to be ex- students from the mline school I guess. The only mline girl student of any notice from the time the school was in Walnut Grove (and the cities) was Susan "I'm here!" Goodsby. She always got all the lines.

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What was the name of the girl who was a paraplegic and Albert's pen pal? They were both lying to each other in their letters to make themselves look more awesome than they were. Didn't Albert even engage in some 1880's photoshop by posing with a bunch of little kids to make it look like he was the big jock of the football team? Was that episode before or after he lost his Twu Wuv Thylvia?

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No, this mline girl was played by Not-Winnie-Cooper (the actress looks very much like Danica McKellar).  So another case of Not That Tertiary Milne Girl, The Other One.

I've lived my entire life in a Big!Bad!City! and somehow managed to meet fewer blind or deaf people than TV Laura Ingalls met in a few years in 19th century Bum-Fuck, Minnesota.  

 

ETA: I believe Pen Pal was before Thylvia. And yes, in a time when most people lived an entire life without having money or occasion to have their photo taken, Albert manages to have an extra pic to send to a stranger.  

And, Ha! I had to look it up, but the pen pal's name was Leslie. I guess we know who ML's favorite child was. 

Edited by charlieboo
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What always bugged me about that pen pal epi was at the end she writes Albert another letter that begins, "Dear Albert, This is the longest letter I've ever written you". If she'd just started the letter, how would she know it was going to be the longest she'd ever written?

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There's that kid who fakes his Mlineness so his folks don't split up.

 

There's the girl who cuts her hair to buy her mother a new dress.

 

Almonzo's bratty nephews. I think Royal put them in a sack and drowned them when he found out his wife was pregnant.

 

Say, what ever happened to Doctor La Doo Doo?

Edited by BatmanBeatles

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Brooklyn Nine Nine is one of my favorite new shows and I didn't realize until just recently that one of the characters, incompetent Detective Hitchcock is played by Dirk Blocker(son of Dan "Hoss Cartwright" Blocker) and who played Abel McKay in that episode where Ma Ingalls teaches him to read. 

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Brooklyn Nine Nine is one of my favorite new shows and I didn't realize until just recently that one of the characters, incompetent Detective Hitchcock is played by Dirk Blocker(son of Dan "Hoss Cartwright" Blocker) and who played Abel McKay in that episode where Ma Ingalls teaches him to read.

In about a week, whereas experienced teacher Miss Beadle couldn't teach him to read one word in years. The Miracle Worker Ma.

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Wasn't he a new student?

No, he was one of the kids that missed a lot of school while helping with the harvests. Ma has a talk with Miss Beadle about him and Miss Beadle tells Ma that she just let him sit and listen, hoping he'd catch up. But of course Ma is the better teacher and more caring, concerned, blah blah blah.

Guys, who is Dr.Le Deux?  Sorry if I misspelled.

He was the black doctor who came to town to help Doc L'Orange but Doc L'Orange is revealed to be racist and won't let Dr. Le Duex treat any patients except animals. Doc L'Orange admits his racism at the end (in church) and Dr. Le Deux saves the pregnant wife and baby of another racist because he's a better surgeon than Doc L'Orange. All is then well, but Dr. Le Deux and his wife were never seen again. Can you blame them?

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I bet he was played by Levar Burton!  Thank you DG.

 

Would Jimmy McNichol as Harry the doctor (I think) be in this category as well?  I didn't know if the new beginning was loaded with tertiary characters.

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I'm about half way through season two and saw "Troublemaker". I loved RIchard Baseheart as the harsh disciplinarian teacher, Mr. Hannibal (!) Applewood!  He had an intense Richard Burton vibe going in that performance. Too bad he didn't work out and Miss Four Eyes came back. 

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"Richard Baseheart! Richard Baseheart!!!"

 

As I'm finishing season two, I finally saw the episode with RIchard Mulligan as a Civil War veteran with a bit of a substance abuse problem. It was surprising how the same rambling nervousness which made him so funny on Soap was used to make this character so pitiful. This episode I think is the first time the series ever used a flashback (or was it a dream?). 

 

Spoiler Warning:

 

What the hell happened at the end of this episode? Did he O.D.? Did he commit suicide? Did God make that tree fall on him? Normally I hate expository dialog but that last shot of him was totally confusing and needed some explanation. 

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"Richard Baseheart! Richard Baseheart!!!"

 

As I'm finishing season two, I finally saw the episode with RIchard Mulligan as a Civil War veteran with a bit of a substance abuse problem. It was surprising how the same rambling nervousness which made him so funny on Soap was used to make this character so pitiful. This episode I think is the first time the series ever used a flashback (or was it a dream?). 

 

Spoiler Warning:

 

What the hell happened at the end of this episode? Did he O.D.? Did he commit suicide? Did God make that tree fall on him? Normally I hate expository dialog but that last shot of him was totally confusing and needed some explanation.

I don't think anyone could figure it out. There have been a few posts here and at the other place asking the same. I thought maybe he fell off the horse and broke his neck while under the influence of morphine, but it's just a guess.

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I don't think anyone could figure it out. There have been a few posts here and at the other place asking the same. I thought maybe he fell off the horse and broke his neck while under the influence of morphine, but it's just a guess.

 

That actually makes more sense than any explanation I thought of.

 

I've decided that it was clever to leave the scene ambiguous since television back then disdained any ambiguity that might confuse the viewer. I'm sure the NBC suits were yelling "What? What the hell happened? We can't air this. Landon has to fix that scene." but Landon was able to get it on the air. Of course the late 70's were desperate times for poor NBC.

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Both Elmers (Elmer Dobkins and "fat" Elmer).

 

Ginny (Jenny?) who didn't really have to cut her hair for the play, but did, anyway.

 

Brother Hodgekiss (though I can't remember if he was supposed to have "settled" in Walnut Grove).

 

Little Lou, the banker (hilariously described as a "young" father in the Wikipedia episode guide for Season 9; Billy Barty was practically 60 when the episode aired. I suppose Little Lou's poor, deceased wife was a "young" mother, too?)

Edited by kickedinthehead

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