Some time later, Ma manages to pull herself up to the table using only her upper body. She opens a cabinet, which is filled with old-timey medicine like horse liniment and paregoric. I think I saw some of those same bottles in Glark and Wing Chun's bathroom. ["They're good enough preparations for us simple folk, dadgummit! Just kidding; they're empty, for somewhat creepy decoration." -- Wing Chun] Ma takes a big swig of paregoric, and then spots some keys on the table. She grabs them, and manages to stumble to the door and unlock it. Great. So now the next time she's unconscious, someone can come inside and beat her up or something. Little Aggravated Assault on the Praire. Little Breaking and Entering on the Prarie. Ma staggers outside, and we get a shot of her leg, which is increasingly purple. She grabs some wood from the pile and heads back inside.
Once there, she heats up some rags in boiling water, and then drops one on her leg. Since it's boiling, it hurts quite a bit. Or at least that's what I got from her tight grip on the arm of the chair.
Meanwhile, Pa and the girls are swimming in a creek somewhere. I don't mean to be disrespectful, but Pa is looking pretty hot in his soaking wet red long johns. Laura swings out on a rope and giggles. Pa and Laura coax Mary onto the rope, but she doesn't want to dunk her head underwater. God, Mary is such a killjoy. I'm kind of glad she went blind. At least then she had a reason to be so sour all the time. Pa doesn't even try to catch her, and she gets dunked, but doesn't care. Pa says that they all need to dry off before the Reverend gets there. Where is Carrie during all this? Probably in a well somewhere.
Ma examines her leg, which is even more puffed up than before. She picks up her Bible for some guidance and turns to a verse that says, "And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off. It is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off. It is better for thee to enter halt into life." The camera focuses in on the words "cut it off" in case you didn't get it. Ma nods as she reads this passage, like she knows what she has to do. They flash back to "cut it off." Man, I remember watching this episode as a kid and being so freaked out at this part. Ma looks around the room and staggers over to the drawer where she finds an extremely sharp knife, which gleams when she removes it from the drawer. The music gets super-dramatic as Ma makes her way back to the table and places the knife on top of the Bible. I guess we're supposed to think that amputation is her Plan B. I wouldn't even want amputation to be my plan Z. I don't want it on the plan list at all.
Cut to a bunch of piglets suckling from their mother. Weirdest transition ever. Mary, Laura, and Carrie are petting a piglet. Carrie wants to take the piglet home and keep it in her bed, and Mary and Laura try to explain why she can't. Wow, what a waste of time that was. Pa manages to pick up some smoked meat, and packs it into his wagon. The farmer tries to convince Pa to take the piglet home. Pa says no, and Carrie asks what will happen to the pig when he gets older. Pa doesn't know how to tell her that the pig will end up in someone's skillet, so the farmer makes up a tale about the pig getting married and having babies. That satisfies Carrie, because she's simple, and Pa says that they need to get going so that they can meet Ma for their picnic. And then there's like ten minutes of footage of the farmer putting the piglet back in the pen, like, do we care that the piglet storyline gets resolved?
Time passes. Ma sits in front of the fire and puts a compress on her leg and then picks up her Bible for some comfort, I guess. She tries to read the Psalms, but her eyes aren't focusing very well, and she's all sweaty again. Maybe she shouldn't sit so close to the fire. Anyway, she throws her head back and kind of passes out, and her neck is really sweaty, like the PA with the mister went a little overboard.
So Reverend Alden and Mrs. Foster roll up in their wagon, and it seems like they have a body bound up in the back. What in the hell is that? Now, remember, Ma is passed out on the floor inside. Reverend Alden knocks on the door, but Ma doesn't answer, since she's unconscious and all. Luckily, Ma has left the pies sitting out on the shelves, so Reverend Alden and Mrs. Foster figure that Ma took off early to meet her family. I'm not sure how they think Ma got there, since it's not like the Ingalls family is like Master P with thirteen different modes of transportation in the garage. The Ingalls family has the one wagon, and the two horses, and Pa took all of them on the trip. But seriously, how are those pies not all soggy and stuff? They've been sitting outside for a day and night. At the very least, they'd be all buggy. As Reverend Alden and Mrs. Foster leave, Ma starts to wake up. She hears Reverend Alden outside. She opens one eye and we get a creepy vertigo shot of Ma's POV as she hears Mrs. Foster going on and on about how great the pies look. Ma crawls over to the window, which is closed. Reverend Alden packs up the last pie and climbs into the wagon. Ma makes it over to the window and pulls the shutter open just as Reverend Alden drives away in the wagon. Ma tries to scream, but no noise comes out. She collapses to the floor, and then manages to reach up on the table and grab her rolling pin. She tosses it at the window, breaking the glass, but Reverend Alden is too far away to hear, and Ma sinks to the floor again, sobbing.