Little House on the Prairie (1974–1983): Season 5, Episode 24 - The Odyssey - full transcript

Talented young painter Dylan Whitaker promised his dying father that he would some day see the ocean he loves to put on canvas; but "some day" comes too soon when Dylan is diagnosed with incurable leukemia and, to keep his promise, he and his concerned friends, Laura and Albert, sneak away from Walnut Grove to hop a railroad freight car bound for the California coast.

Boy: Neptune, the sea god...
He hated odysseus

and planned to sink
all the Greek ships in a storm.

But aeolus, who was
the father of winds,

tied his sons up
in a leather bag

and gave it to odysseus.

Now, with no winds,
the sea was like glass,

and Neptune was helpless.

Everything would have
been all right, too,

if odysseus' men hadn't stolen
the bag and opened it.

Albert: How'd he ever win the
trojan war with such a dumb army?

Laura: Never mind about that.
Then what happened?

Well, the winds escaped and turned
the sea into huge, crashing waves

that tossed the ship around
like driftwood.

Finally it washed up on the land
of the laestrygonians,

who were cannibals
and ate most of the men.

Albert: Serves them right.

Laura: That was
the end of odysseus.

Oh, no. He eventually made it
back to his home in ithaca.

It took him
10 years, though.

I wish
I could do it.

Get eaten by cannibals?

No... see the ocean.

My pa was
the same way...

Always promised
we'd go together.

We would have,

Well, there I go
dreaming again.

My ma told me she doesn't
think I'm here half the time.

Time... oh, my gosh.
We got to go.

Yeah. See you!

See you.

I'll do it
someday, pa,

I promise.

It's awful late,

not right.

What do you think?

It's very moody.

Things are never
that bad.

Maybe it needs just
a touch of sunlight.

Yeah, that's it.

Oh, but not now, Dylan.
It's almost 9:30.

I have to
finish this.

What's the rush?
There's always tomorrow.

I'm going to fix
some hot chocolate.

Would you like some?

Yes, please.

Oh, no!


Another nosebleed.

put your head back.

Thanks, ma.

That's the third
nosebleed this week.

I'm going to take you
in to doc baker.

Ma, they're only

You may be the man
in this house,

but I'm still
your mother.

Now, come on.
Into bed.

Tomorrow we see
the doctor.

Baker: How are you doing
in school, Dylan?

Pretty good.
I like to read.

Math's a little
harder, though,

but Laura helps me.

Like to play baseball
with Albert and the others?

Not too much.

Your knees hurt you

Yeah, sometimes,

but it's not always
from running.

How about
those nosebleeds?

They happen
once in a while,

but I don't let them
bother me.

You can put
your shirt on now, son.

Mother: How is he?

Dylan... doesn't lead
a very active life,

does he,
Mrs. Whitaker?

Well, his mind's always
working, but, uh, no.

He paints more
than he runs.

He's had more than
the usual share

of colds,
fevers, sore throats,

that kind of thing?

Only recently. Um, in the last...
6 months or so.

Something's wrong?

Well, all of Dylan's

And the blood

seem to point

A particular

The fevers, the throat infections,
the pain in the knees...

It used to be diagnosed
as rheumatic fever.

But it isn't?


All I can suggest
is rest.

The least exertion,
the better.

And then what?

He has leukemia.

How long?

I don't know.

6 months.

6 weeks.

Did you tell her to stop
worrying, doctor?

Yes, he told me,

Good. Now maybe I can
get back to my painting.

Thanks, doc.

Dylan: I just don't understand
why I have to stay inside.

You always say
I don't get out enough.

Doc baker just said
you, uh,

ought to take it easy
for a while.

Mom, I'm fine.

No fever, no nosebleed.

We were gonna start on...

Don't argue with me,

For your own good.

Well, why do parents
always say that

when they don't want their
kids to know the truth?

If something's wrong,
why didn't Dr. Baker give me any medicine?

There isn't any.

He just said... Rest.

And then what?

It goes away
by itself?


Don't cry, ma.

Oh, Dylan! Oh!

It's all right.

Awful quiet today,

Just listening.

Don't you
hear it?

Laura: What?

The ocean.

If you
really listen,

you can hear
the waves.

You got better ears
than I do.

Want to go fishing?

Can I trust you
with a secret?

You don't have to
ask that.

I'm going to see
the ocean.

Well, that's no secret.

I mean tonight.


You're talking crazy.

No, I'm not.

I have to do it now.


I'm going to die.

He'll never even
make it.

He's never been
off the farm.

He doesn't have
any money.

We got to tell
his ma.

No. You heard
what he said.

He doesn't want her
to watch him die.

I have to go
with him.


Well, I can't let him
go off by himself.

I've had a lot of experience
with this kind of thing.

you can't do that.

I have to.
Dylan's my friend.

he's my friend, too.

It's settled, then.

He won't leave
till his ma's asleep.

I'll meet him
at his place.

Don't say anything
to the folks.

Hey, half-pint.

Hi, pa.

Do me a big favor.

Wrap this birthday present
I'm making for Carrie tonight.

I'm not too good
with bows.


You finish that doll dress
you were making?


You all right?


I can guarantee
your little sister

will wake us up
at the crack of dawn

to open her presents



What would you do if you
only had a month to live?

What kind of
question is that?

It's a summer project
for school.

Oh. Well, to be
honest with you,

I never gave it
much thought.

Well, there must be
something you'd want to do.

Well, there is,
but it would take me

a lot more
than a month.

Well, what is it?

I'd like to live
long enough

to see all
my children grow up,

be happy,
have families of their own.

That's all?

That's all?
It seems like an awful lot to me.

But if somebody
had a special dream

and they only had
one month to live,

do you think they should
try no matter what?

sure they should.

And would you help them
if you could?

I'd do my best.

Thanks, pa.

All right.

Hey, don't forget about
wrapping Carrie's present.

I won't.

What are you doing?

I'm going with you.


Dylan is
my friend, too,

and I'm leaving pa a note
so he won't get worried.

Are you crazy?

You don't leave a trail
when you're running away.

I'm hiding it
in Carrie's present.

We'll be halfway there by
the time anyone finds it.

A girl on the trip.

Ma, pa!
It's my birthday.

Can I open
my presents?

Call your brother
and sister down.

Albert, Laura,
come down! Hurry up!

Hey, come on, you two.
Your sister can't wait!

They're not up there.

I'll go out and find them.
Be right back.

Ma, I can't wait.

All right,
just one.

"Dear pa"...
It's not his birthday.

"I'm sorry we had to
leave like this,

but at least it's summer,
so we won't miss any school."


I ain't open
for business,

so y'all
get along.

We're not looking
to trade, sir.

Thought you could use
some extra hands, maybe.

Yeah, well, zaccias McCabe works
alone, young feller.

Not interested.

You'd be hiring

Laura here can cook,
and I once sold 12 umbrellas

in the middle
of a drought.

It's not the money
we're after, Mr. McCabe.

We're just hoping to pay
our way to the railroad.

that ain't a very likely place

to find your
pot of gold.

No, sir, but there's
a train going west.

The ocean's the end
of the rainbow.

I just have to see it.

All right.

I'll get you
to the train.

Did Dylan know
he was sick?

I didn't have to
tell him.

He knew.

I just can't understand
them going on a trip

when they knew
he was ill.

I don't know...

They're talking
about missing school

like it's some kind of
long journey or something.

To help Dylan
find his dream...

The ocean.


His dream...
To see the ocean.

That's almost 2,000 miles.
They'd never make it.

Reality isn't Dylan's way.
He'll try.

That's got to be it.

Pack some things.
Stay with Caroline while I'm gone.

Next time I find you
on one of my trains,

I'll give you
a souvenir.

Oh! You stupid
old fool!

McCabe: Oh, I sure
am sorry, sir.

Ok, let's go.

I just was hoping to do
a little bit of trading.

Guard: Come on,
old man.

I ain't got
all day!

Sorry, sir.

I've got work
to do.

Oh, yes, sir.
Yes, I...

Would you like to feel
this club upside your head?

Would you?

Yes, sir.

I'm going now, sir.

Won't give you
no more trouble.

See that you don't.

We made it.

We made it!

Next stop,

And the pacific ocean.

Pardon me.
Do you have

any westbound trains
leaving today?

Had one
5 minutes ago.

I'm looking for 3 kids...
Two boys and a girl.

They might have tried
to hop aboard.

Not on
my train, sir.

No unaccompanied

and certainly
not without tickets.

Thank you.

Hey, mister,

what business you got
with them kids?

Have you seen them?

Maybe. Maybe not.

You ain't no sheriff
or nothin'?

No, no.
Two of the children are mine.

They're traveling with a friend.
He's real sick.

Yeah. Dylan.


That train stops in Caldwell.
They're on it.

If you leave right now,
you might be able to catch it.

I'll never catch it
in that rig.

Know where I can
rent a fast horse?

Yeah. Follow me.

Dylan, are you
all right?

I'm just thinking
about the ocean.

He's probably
hungry is all.


Thank you.

What are you
doing here?


Same as you.

Well, I don't like
no company,

so you stay
away from me.

Give me
them sandwiches.

We will not.

Give me those sandwiches!
Give me them!

Laura: Take them!

But don't hurt my brother.

What'd you do that for?

Now, we got no food.

He could have killed you.

I wasn't hungry anyway.

Well, I was.

Laura: Here, Dylan.
Here's your case.


What are you
talking about?


Nothing. What do you
got in that case?

What do you got in there?


Money? What?
Toss it over.

You took
everything we had.

Why don't you just
leave us alone?

We're not bothering you.

You're here, ain't you?
Now, that bothers me.

Now, you toss that over.


Stop it!
Leave him alone!

No! Let me go!


Let me go!

Don't! Don't!

Don't push me!

Get off me!

Stop it!
Stop it!



I... I pushed him
off the train.

I'll never make fun
of girls again.


We've stopped.

You two
stay put.

I'll be
right back.

Laura: You can't
go out there.

We can manage a while
without food,

but we have to have
some water.

I'll be careful.

Thank you.

Sir? I was hoping
that I might ask a favor.

Can't guarantee anything,
but feel free to ask.

Well, sir, you see,
my mom and me,

we're traveling
to San Francisco

to be with my daddy.

She'd talk to you herself,
only she's expecting my baby brother.

She's lying on that train
real thirsty.

So I was hoping

maybe I could borrow your
cup to take her some water.

Folks that borrow
never return.

How about a trade?
It's a good cap.

Cap ain't worth

How about
my Barlow knife?

All right,
the knife and the cap.

Just for an old cup?

Ain't your dear
mother worth it?

All right.

Going somewhere,

Just looking.

Yeah. These boxcars
always been full of rats.

All right,
you two. Out!

I said out.
Don't you hear good?

Please, sir.
Can we just stay this once?

We're going
to the ocean.


Move it!

Come on, brats.

Ain't got all day.
Move it!

If I ever see your scrawny
little butts around here again,

you're going to feel
this upside your heads!

Excuse me.
My 3 young'uns seem to have run off.

I wonder if you
might have seen them.

Some children just
went down to the lake.

Thank you very much.


It's pa!


I ought to give
all of you a whipping,

scaring us like that.

It's my fault,
Mr. Ingalls.

It was my idea
to come.

They just wanted
to help.

Well, none of you have the
sense you were born with.

Come on. Let's get
started home.

You go on.
It's all right.

Dylan, what are you
talking about?

But I have to
keep going.

You think I chased you
halfway across the country,

and then I'm going to
let you just keep on going?

I have to.

Please, pa.
We can't give up now.

I'm sorry, half-pint.
It's just too crazy.

Besides, Dylan,
I promised your mother.

To what?

Take me back home
so she can watch me die?

Like she watched
my pa die?

Don't you see,
Mr. Ingalls?

I'm never going to get
another chance.

I'm running out of time.

The doctor said
if you'd rest...

It may happen sooner
this way,

but I'd rather be
out here,

doing what's really
important to me,

than just lying
in a bed waiting.

I promised my pa

I'd go to the ocean
one day,

and I have to keep
that promise.

What about your mother?

I just want her
to remember me as I was.

Let me do it my way.

Isn't it my choice,
my life?

You even said
you'd help a friend

find his dream
if you could.

I haven't even got
enough money for the train.

The little bit
of money I had,

I spent most of it
renting a horse.

We could ride
on the boxcar.

What about
that man?

Well, we sneak on
just before it pulls out.

That way,
he won't see us.

What do you say, pa?

I don't know how
I got talked into this.

All aboard!

All right,
come on. Let's go.

Ok, come on.

In you go.

Here you go.

Come on.

There's got to be
an easier way of doing this.

God bless you,
Mr. Ingalls.

I wonder where we are.

I don't know.

Are you all right?

That's a pretty
funny question

to be asking somebody
with leukemia.

I'm hungry, I can tell you that.

Well, breakfast
is coming right up.

Where you going?

Shh! Pa wouldn't


That'll be,
uh... 12 cents.

Thank you.

What you got?

Ham and cheese.

Any plain ham?
My aunt crime doesn't like cheese.

Take it or leave it.

I guess she can
peel it off.

Two of each.

All right.

Anything else?

Got some
nice apples.

Sounds good.
4 will do.

All right.

And my aunt crime
loves milk.

One cup?

No. You'd better
make it the whole thing.

She really likes it.

All right.

That'll be, uh,
let's see.

That's $1.08.

Oh, my auntie crime
will pay you.

She's right out there.

What? Where?

Crime doesn't pay!


where's Albert?

I tried
to stop him.

He went for
something to eat.

Oh, dear god.

is served.

What on earth have you
been up to, young man?

Getting breakfast.

You mean stealing
breakfast, don't you?

Yes, sir.

What am I going to
do with you?

When this train

you're going to pay what
you owe for that food.

Yes, sir.

How much
did it cost?


That's good. $1.08.
That's about all I have left.

There's nothing we
can do about it now.

We might
as well eat.

Yes, sir.

How come I
wasn't invited?

Saw your little friend
out taking a walk.

You all wouldn't take
my advice, would you?

Listen, mister...

No. No, you listen,

Nobody rides my train
for free.

So now you're going
to pay for this ride.

Uh! Uh! Uh!

All right, now you're
going to listen to me.

I got a sick boy
on this train

who wants to go
see the ocean,

and he's going to
see it.

I owe the conductor $1.08,
and we're going to pay him.

But nobody...
Not you or anybody else...

Is going to stop us.

You understand me?

Yeah. Yeah.

Here you go, son.

Not much farther
now, Dylan.

Doesn't matter now.

Just another one
of my crazy ideas.

You shouldn't have come.

What do you mean, we
shouldn't have come?

We did, and you better
see it through.

I can't.

The heck you can't, Dylan.

You got me all excited
about seeing the ocean.

The least you could do
is see it with me.

I can't, Laura.

Yes, you can.

without you...

Without you, it's
just a lot of water.

We've been through a lot
to get you there.

Well, I have a better team
than odysseus did,

and he made it.

So will you, boy.

Just a lot of water, indeed.

Hey, kids, wake up!
End of the line... San Francisco!

Albert: Boy,
that hot soup sure hit the spot.

Sure did.
How are you feeling, son?

All right.

The ocean's just a
few miles out there,

waiting for me.

It might take us a little
while to get a free ride.

They said you could
rest in the mission.

No, sir.
I couldn't rest.

I want to see
the ocean.

Man: Going to take a
short ride down the coast.

Check out that land
I heard about.

Yes, sir,
Mr. Hearst.

How about
that meeting?

9:00 tomorrow

Fine, sir.

Excuse me.

I heard you were going
down to the ocean.


I've got some kids here
from Minnesota.

They've come a long way
to see it.

I just wondered if we
could ride along with you.

Pa: The one boy's
very ill.


Let's make it fast.
I haven't got a lot of time.

Neither does he.

Stop here, driver.

Yes, sir.

There's your ocean.

Why don't you two
go on ahead?

I'll catch up
to you.

Thank you, sir!

Thank you.

Hearst: What you were telling me
about the boy and your children...

I might like to use
that story in my newspaper.

It's very inspirational.

I'd like
to pay you for it.

There's no need
for that.

It's a long walk
back to Minnesota.


Thank you.

Thank you very much,
Mr. Hearst.

It's William.
And thank you.



We're at your
ocean, boy.

Come on. We'll go
see it, huh?

Good-bye, sir.

We're here, son.

It's... it's just
like I pictured.

It runs right
into the sky.

It doesn't have
an end.

I'd like to walk
from here.


Thank you all.