Inside, Pa kneels down and prays next to Ma's bed while Doc Baker performs the very important doctorly task of wiping Ma's brow with a cloth. He sees that Pa needs a moment, and leaves.
The next morning, Ma moves her hand over and puts it on Pa's hand. He's fallen asleep kneeling next to the bed. It wakes him up, and he looks at Ma, whose eyes are still closed. He calls for Doc Baker, who comes in and does something doctorly, which allows him to report that the fever has broken. Doc says that Ma was brave, and that if she hadn't opened the cut when she did, she probably would have lost her leg, and maybe her life. Wait, so she never intended to cut her leg off? She was just going to open the wound? I don't think I ever knew that until now.
Doc Baker tells the girls that Ma is going to make it, and they rush in to see her. Reverend Alden is standing in the doorway, feeling guilty. Doc Baker walks over and says that Ma picked exactly the right time to open her wound. Of course, Reverend Alden gives God all the credit. Did you expect anything else?
Ma wakes up and sees Carrie sitting right there smiling at here, which would be enough to put me back into a coma. And we close out on Pa and the girls smiling at Ma. I feel so unresolved about how Pa was pissed at Reverend Alden! They couldn't spare one scene of Pa shaking the Reverend's hand or something? Or offering him some pie or an infection sandwich? What a rip-off.
Meanwhile, Pa and the girls are playing Blind Man's Bluff, which is kind of insensitive considering what happens to Mary later. Pa catches Carrie, and everyone giggles and carries on. Reverend Alden rolls up and everyone runs over, expecting to see Ma. Reverend Alden reports that Ma's pies made four dollars for the church. Four dollars! Everyone is excited. Pa asks if Ma changed her mind about coming, and Reverend Alden says that there was no one home, and that the door was locked, so they just took the pies. Pa is kind of worried that Ma didn't leave a note or anything. Reverend Alden supposes that Ma went to help a neighbor. Pa is still worried, and says that they should leave right away. Reverend Alden says that he'll stay and have a picnic with the girls and Pa can take his buckboard, which will be faster than Pa's big old wagon. Pa takes off.
Meanwhile, Ma is trying to work up the nerve to amputate her own leg. She ties a tourniquet just above her knee, but she's so modest that she ties it over her nightgown. She reaches for the knife and drops it in the fire, I guess to sterilize it, although did they know about sterilizing and such back then?
Pa doesn't seem to be hauling ass or anything. He acts like he's out for a Sunday drive. As he passes his neighbor's farm, the neighbor flags him down and reports about the wandering cow. Pa is surprised that Ma didn't come to get the cow. The neighbor is all defensive and bitching about the cow, but Pa is having none of it and just takes off, leaving the neighbor in the dust. Which was pretty awesome.
So Pa is now hauling ass across the prairie, and he practically does a donut in the front yard before sprinting to the house, where he finds Ma passed out on the floor in front of the fire. He tries to wake her up.
And then you think the episode is over, but it's not. Laura looks through a window as Doc Baker tends to Ma in her bed. Pa and Mary stand nearby, looking sad. Laura says that she's never seen Ma so sick before. Pa says that Ma is really strong and that Doc Baker will help her, but he doesn't sound very convincing. Laura starts crying, and Pa sheds a tear or two as well, but reminds the girls to have faith in God. I wonder if this episode aired before or after the one where Ma and Pa's baby died and Laura felt guilty because she wanted the baby gone, and she ran away and saw God on the mountain. I would guess that after meeting God, having faith would be a lot easier.
Pa goes inside and sees Reverend Alden sitting in front of the fire, holding Carrie. He gives the Reverend the stink-eye and walks right by him without a word. Pa! Hating on the man of God! I don't know if that's supposed to represent Pa being mad at God, or Pa being mad at Reverend Alden for not checking on Ma.