While Johnny Cash was far from poor in his real life, the “Man in Black” played a poor man on Little House on the Prairie. That’s right. The paths of Johnny Cash and “Pa Ingalls” himself, Michael Landon, crossed one another in Walnut Grove.
It’s amazing that Cash’s performance all these years later still holds up. You see, Cash’s character is down on his luck and he needs some money right now. In The Collection, Cash plays a con man who turns into a preacher. Caleb Hodgekiss is his name and he’s quite a man to behold.
For Little House on the Prairie, a lot of episodes were centered around Laura, played by Melissa Gilbert. Not this one, though. Collider indicates that Mary, played by Melissa Sue Anderson, is featured a lot and gets to have screen time with Cash.
As The Collection begins, we see Caleb saving Reverend Robert Alden, played by Dabbs Greer. Alden happened to be a real preacher, but Caleb took Alden to his house. When they get there, Caleb’s wife Mattie, played by June Carter Cash, takes over the care duties. Well, Caleb knows times are tough and he’s got to find a way out. He decides to put on the preacher’s suit and head back to Walnut Grove. Being a preacher and collecting for the Lord’s work might turn out to be a good feat.
Caleb Makes Plans To Help Himself on ‘Little House on the Prairie’
Alden was en route back to Walnut Grove, hoping to get donations from his own church’s congregation for a town that’s fallen on hard luck. It’s located near Walnut Grove. Well, this is where “Brother Hodgekiss” becomes a reality. En route to Walnut Grove himself, Caleb meets Mary along the road. Well, it turns out that she’s willing to help Caleb collect funds. Mary starts to show him all around Walnut Grove.
While he might have gone through with the con job, the kindness of Walnut Grove’s citizens gets to Caleb. He just cannot go through with his plan. In fact, their love and kindness turn his heart around. Eventually, Caleb ends up pretty much confessing what he was up to doing. Well, Rev. Alden publicly pardons Caleb. He even expresses thanks for Caleb’s generosity to the people of Walnut Grove.
And now, having had a change of heart, Caleb and Mattie leave Walnut Grove. This is with the hope that Caleb has changed his ways for good.
Much of The Collection shows off Cash’s great acting skills. Yet the story itself almost mirrors Cash’s own personal, spiritual journey. Cash went through some rough times in life before finding the Christian journey more to his liking. There’s a redemptive element to The Collection and this Season 3 opener proved welcome for Little House on the Prairie.
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