While he tries his hand at farming, a new physician, Dr. Logan, accepts a call to replace him.
However, Dr. Logan proves to be ill-tempered and has no compassion for his patients, prompting Charles to go all out to convince Dr. Baker that he really is a good doctor and that the people of Hero Township need him. When boxer Joe Kagan's career seems to be going nowhere, he chooses to continue boxing rather than keep his family with him.
Unable to compete in the professional circuit, he travels to small towns and takes challengers for money. While he is stricken with medical problems, a fight with Charles Ingalls ends his career. After being nursed back to health by Charles, Joe decides to stay in Walnut Grove and make a new living as a farmer. He then finds that his own estranged son is now trying to become a boxer. Now, Joe's biggest challenge is to figure out how to keep his son from making the same mistake he did. After Nellie talks with Miss Beadle, she and Luke run away to have a very short-lived marriage about 10 minutes.
In the end, Adam and Eva get married themselves, not only uniting them through their symbolic names, but causing now-Mrs. Eva Simms to become a stepmother, though annoying the officiator and his wife to no end at the ungodly hour they were woken up. This episode features one of the first looks at the softer side of Nellie's personality. Charles and Jonathan compete against another team to win a freighting contract. Laura feels the first stirrings of attraction to a boy named Jimmy Hill Chris Petersen with whom she has previously enjoyed playing baseball and going fishing, but he does not respond in the same way.
When a new girl arrives in school who looks like a rival, Laura decides she must compete for him by giving up her 'tom-boy' behaviour and becoming more like Nellie. Charles and Jonathan unexpectedly win the freighting contract, but, as they celebrate and make big plans, they realize that it would involve them not seeing their families for long stretches of time, so they refuse the contract. When Laura's new strategy does not work, her Ma persuades her that she should be true to her real self.
Eventually, Jimmy does notice her as a girl, and Laura has her first kiss with a boy. Mary gets her first teaching job in the backwoods community of Willow Prairie, but she is met with stern opposition from Miss Peel, an elderly woman who has thwarted a previous attempt to establish a school and justifies her actions with a flawed understanding of the Bible.
The husband in the family that gives Mary accommodation has the same harsh beliefs and is also hostile towards Mary. After one of Mary's students tries to kiss her and she hits him to stop him, Miss Peel accuses Mary of being a ' Jezebel ', and, feeling outnumbered, Mary retreats home. However, after a talk with her father, she goes back with Charles, and at a church meeting Mary takes on her opponents, and it emerges that Miss Peel cannot read, which is why she misquotes the Bible.
As they all sing a hymn, Miss Peel accepts the hand of friendship that Mary offers to her. On Charles' and Caroline's anniversary, Charles is stuck on the road in the rain with a broken wagon wheel, making him late home for their celebration meal. While they are waiting, Caroline tells the children the story of how she and Charles met, eventually revealing that she learned that he always has a good reason for keeping her waiting. In flashback: the day they met, Charles' troubles in school, and their first dance. While out fishing, Laura finds a bottle in the creek with a note inside that reads "Be my friend.
Laura looks after the baby, who she names Grace, while Charles tries to find the parents.
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Charles first locates the young father, Bobbie, and together they find the mother who is his beloved, Anna. They had wanted to marry but she was taken away by her strictly religious father who is deeply embittered because his wife went off with another man. Fearing his reaction, Anna had managed to keep secret that she was pregnant and even that she had given birth, but then realized that she could not keep the baby while staying with her father. Bobbie takes Anna back with him, while her father chooses to stay alone in the woods.
Anna is reunited with her baby, telling Laura she will keep the name Grace. Just as Mary falls in love with newcomer Seth Barton, her nearsightedness begins to worsen. Charles takes her to an optometrist and she initially appears to need a stronger lens but the vision still worsens a few days later.
She returns to the eye doctor, who discovers she had scarlet fever a few years back. The resulting nerve damage means Mary's vision cannot be saved, and she will soon go blind. In denial, Charles does not tell his daughter until a few days before she wakes up and finds, to her horror, she is completely blind.
Mary becomes bitter over her predicament and having to rely on others for basic needs. Her parents decide to send her off to a blind school in Iowa. Meanwhile, Charles, Jonathan Garvey, and the rest of the town of Walnut Grove have another problem as the whole township is threatened by an escalation of a dispute between The Grange and the railroads.
This prevents crops and other items from being sold and traded, and disables the bank, causing financial problems for the entire town. The outlook for the town is bleak.
At the end of the episode, Charles drives Mary to the blind school where she will spend the next few months. Mary, who has recently gone blind, is sent to a blind school in Iowa, where she meets Adam Kendall.
Olesen finds out Nellie had been cheating a funny ending happens as she chases Nellie out of the schoolhouse with the other kids as well as Mrs. However, she is even more surprised when the man accuses her of being kind to him to secure a loan Pa wants to make. Charles visits grief-stricken Mr. Edwards and Grace Snider begins to blossom. Overhearing that his daughter is ashamed of him, the man tells his family that he got a job out of town, but instead sleeps in a storeroom in the blind school, where he works.
Mary refuses to accept Adam's help at first, but he eventually helps her learn to deal with her blindness and a relationship blossoms between the two. Adam reveals to Mary that he is also blind. He is soon leaving this large blind school to accept a better teaching position at a smaller school in Winoka. He invites Mary to come with him and teach there as well.
She returns to Walnut Grove temporarily in order to say goodbye. Meanwhile, the whole of the township of Walnut Grove is threatened by an escalation of the dispute between The Grange and the railroads. When the school closes for the summer with no plans to reopen next fall, the teacher, Mrs. Beadle-Simms, and her husband make the decision to leave Walnut Grove. Charles and Caroline decide to also move to Winoka in order to be near Mary. They vacate their home and farm without even putting it up for sale, since no one would buy it anyway considering the shape Walnut Grove is in.
The Garveys follow suit. The Olesons prepare to move also and close the mercantile. At the last church service, Mary shares her testimony with the congregation. She has accepted her condition and is ready to go on with her new life with Adam in Winoka. Ebenezer Sprague, the banker, is also said to leave Walnut Grove in the wake of the town going bankrupt. Picking up where the previous season left off, the Ingalls family moves to Winoka, where Mary teaches at a new blind school established by Adam Kendall.
Charles takes a maintenance job at a hotel owned by a despotic local businessman, Miles Standish Leon Charles. Caroline takes a job as a cook and waitress at the hotel restaurant.
The family moves into the hotel. Charles is disgusted by the noisy saloon and its foul-mouthed patrons. The Garveys arrive and move in right behind the Ingalls family, though Jonathan initially cannot find a job. The Olesons surprise the Ingalls and Garvey families when they move to Winoka as well. Nels takes a job at the saloon and they move into the rooming house next door, all of which are also owned by Standish. Charles convinces Albert to attend the livery school. With Jonathan as coach, Albert and the livery school's football team challenge the private academy's undefeated football team.
Both sides attempt to unbalance the game in their own favor.
When it seems all is lost for the livery school, help comes from an unexpected place in the form of one of Adam's blind students. The Ingalls, Oleson, and Garvey families are all set to return home. Charles talks Albert into joining them. The families return home to Walnut Grove, only to find the town in disrepair and a dispirited and disabled Lars Hanson declining after a stroke. It is up to the townspeople to rebuild Walnut Grove and rekindle the spirit of both the town and Mr.