She introduces French and art appreciation classes as well as a dress code, much to the dismay of most of the students and many parents. Albert organizes a class rebellion against the innovations, but Laura admonishes them and surprises Mrs. Oleson by speaking on their behalf. However, when the state official returns, he tells them that the funds will only be provided, if the new curriculum subjects are what Laura wanted, then Mrs. Oleson resigns and Laura is reinstated as the teacher.
A new girl in town, petite but beautiful Sylvia Webb (Olivia Barash), gets some unwanted attention from the older boys at school, but both her father and Mrs. Oleson accuse her of leading the children, her father in particular. He is quite angry, claiming that his late mother had a demon inside her, who killed her when Sylvia was born and lives through her. Albert spends a lot of time with her and they fall in love. Sylvia is sexually assaulted by a masked attacker in the woods, but Mr. Webb, concerned about what people might say, insists that she keep it a secret. Later, Sylvia passes out at school so Albert and Laura take her to Doctor Baker, who discovers that she is pregnant. When she and her father refuse to explain what happened, Albert becomes the first suspect.
Sylvia’s dad decides that she will leave Walnut Grove. Mrs. Oleson spreads the news around town, suggesting that Albert is the father. Albert and Sylvia secretly meet to run away and get married. To raise money, Albert gets a job with the town blacksmith (Richard Jaeckel). When Mr. Webb discovers that Sylvia is still seeing Albert, she takes her shotgun and goes to the Ingalls’ house. Longran convinces him that Albert didn’t get Sylvia pregnant, but Sylvia runs away. While looking for her, Mr. Webb shoots the mysterious rapist (revealed to be the town’s blacksmith) when he attacks Albert and then escapes, but Sylvia takes a bad fall and then dies in the arms of her troubled and heartbroken Albert, without However, the cryptic final scene (where Albert and Sylvia kiss) suggests otherwise and that they may meet again.
Adam returns to Sleepy Eye, having completed his studies and becoming a lawyer, but a promised job at a local law firm falls apart.