The Hawk (First aired: 15th September 1977)
The season premiere episode begins with the Waltons sitting around the radio listening to the announcement that England is now at war with Germany, really setting the scene for the focus of the next few Waltons seasons.
With Reverend Fordwick moving out of Waltons Mountain, the task for choosing a new minister falls with Olivia Walton, Sarah Bridges and Corabeth Godsey. In order to do this they head to Boatwright University to select the new minister, one of whom is Hank Buchanan, who is a young rebel minister, quite unconventional but gets things done. Both Sarah and Olivia believe they should give him a chance, but Corabeth seems to have reservations.
When Hank arrives on the mountain, he becomes very friendly with John Walton, with John finding him normal and down to earth. On his first Sunday, he is invited to the Waltons for lunch, then John and Hank head off to look for a fishing place, and wind up playing cards with Yancy and Horace all afternoon instead. Naturally Olivia is horrified and wonders whether the right choice has been made.
Erin is quite taken with him and he with her. After going to the movies, they drive to Hank's home where they begin listening to his records. This leads to the couple dancing quite closely and unfortunately they are seen by Mrs Brimmer, who is calling by to see Hank. Naturally she mentions it to Corabeth and the gossips start spreading their innocent date around. Further misunderstandings occur and finally Hank resigns his position and prepares to leave the mountain. Both Olivia and Sarah are convinced though that he is just what the people need, so John speaks to Hank to try to persuade him to change his mind and stay. Finally Hank admits to his congregation that he is a man of God, however he is also a man and enjoys all of the things that men enjoy.
Written by Andy White; directed by Tony Brand.
Guests: Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey), Lynn Carlin (Sarah Bridges), Robert Donner (Yancy Tucker), Rachel Longaker (Aimee Godsey), Tom Bower (Curtis Willard), Peter Fox (Reverend Buchanan), Nora Marlowe (Mrs Brimmer), Sheila Allen (Fanny Tatum), A. Wilford Brimley (Horace), George D. Wallace (Dean Beck), Dorothy Shay (Thelma), Hank Stohl (Radio Announcer), Art Gilmore (Newsreel Announcer), David Franklin (Voice of Neville Chamberlain).
NOTE 1: John Ritter (Reverend Matthew Fordwick) moved from Waltons Mountain and into Three's Company during this season, a sit com that was very successful.
NOTE 2: Mariclaire Costello (Rosemary Hunter Fordwick) also moved to another show that season, The Fitzpatricks, which only had a short run.
The Stray (First aired: 22nd September 1977)
The Waltons find a little Negro boy, Josh who has been hiding in their barn after having walked all the way from North Carolina. He has a fish hook in his foot, which is quickly removed by John. He has been living in the barn for some days and has been feeding himself with vegetables from the garden and some of the Waltons eggs. Josh has been trying to repay the family by leaving them fresh fish which he has caught. John and Josh head off to see Sheriff Bridges, to try to find out where Josh should go.
The Waltons offer him a temporary home and he quickly endears himself to the whole family, especially John. He helps out around the mill and the house and John and Olivia would really like to keep him, but know that it's impossible. As an African American boy of the 1930's, Josh needed to be with another African American family. Finally John makes the decision to take Josh to the ophanage for "colored children" only to find him back on the doorstep again the next morning, with Josh claiming that there were too many children.
Things go wrong though, when Josh steals a fishing reel for John. John tells him that Josh knows it was wrong and he is ashamed of him and so Josh heads off. Jim Bob heads into town on an errand for his father and spots Josh being bullied by some older boys. When he steps in to defend Josh, he gets beer spilt all over him, causing Olivia to think the worst when he arrives home. Finally Jim Bob suggests that they ask Verdie for some help in finding Josh a good home, and in the end, she and Harley decide to adopt Josh themselves, bringing him up to be "a fine man -- a fine black man".
Written by Kathleen Hite; directed by Harry Harris.
Guests: Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Todd Bridges (Josh), Lynn Hamilton (Verdie Foster), Ketty Lester (Mrs Thomas), Jonas Agee (Town Boy #1), Ken Shriner (Town Boy #2), John Crawford (Sheriff Bridges), Tom Bower (Curtis Willard).
NOTE: In 1978 Todd Bridges went on to star as one of the three child leads in Diff'rent Strokes, a sit com where a white millionaire adopted two young Afro-American boys.
The Recluse (First aired: 29th September 1977)
When Mr Jarvis closes the car lot where Ben has been working, Ben decides that he will look for work in Norfolk, and subsequently heads off. Jason, on the other hand, meets a woman recluse, Fern Lockwood, when he delivers a package to her from Ike. Jason learns that Fern has a fair knowledge of the Walton children since she has been overhearing the other children talking as they walk past her place. She knows Jason to be the musical one.
As Jason gets to know her more, he discovers that she shares his love of music. She shares with Jason, the story that led to her self imposed seclusion. Her fiance was killed on his way to the marriage ceremony, leaving her waiting at the church. She has since devoted her life to his memory. Jason finally shares his story about Seth dying of leukaemia (The Gift) with her and how he learned to live again without him, but still keeping his memory alive, and he tells Fern that this is what she must do and she finally takes the first step, with Jason by her side, to rejoin the Waltons Mountain community once more.
Meanwhile, down in Norfolk, Ben has found himself a position and is enjoying the city life. John is finding things tough going at the Walton mill though, with a new contract having been taken and not enough good help to fill the order. Eventually Grandpa heads down to Norfolk to ask Ben to come back home with him, which he does.
Written by Seth Freeman; directed by Walter Alzmann.
Guests: Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey), Linda Marsh (Fern Lockwood), Joseph A. Butcher (Anson Adams), Lew Brown (Mr Jarvis), Robin Pohle (Anson's girlfriend), Carol Ann Williams (Ben's Girlfriend), Britt Leach (Easy Jackson), Tom Bower (Curtis Willard).
NOTE: We learn that Ben has just graduated from high school.
The Warrior (First aired: 13th October 1977)
Two strangers arrive at the door of the Walton's barn one day, telling the family that they believe an old Indian burial ground is nearby. The pair are from the Cherokee Indian tribe...a boy and his elderly grandfather. They had been living on an Indian reservation, but the grandfather wants to be buried with his ancestors, hence the search for the burial ground. As the grandfather describes the mark he is looking for, Zeb immediately identifies it as being Indian Rock. This rock, the Indians believe, will tell them where the burial ground is. They return to the Walton home, declaring that it has been indicated that the Waltons barn is built on the sacred burial ground, and they demand that the Waltons pull the barn down immediately.
When John refuses, a fire is lit by the Indian grandfather, to destroy the barn. Sheriff Bridges is called and the old man is taken away. Just before the trial, Elizabeth talks to the elderly Indian, saying since knowing him, she now has a better understanding of the Indians as a people and that she is sorry for the way the white people treated the Indians. During the trial the elderly man is taken ill, and in a fit of remorse, John and the Walton menfolk do indeed pull the floorboards of the barn up to find Indian artefacts and a skull. They then get the sad news that the elderly man has passed away. When Matthew comes back to help Elizabeth with Myrtle the goat, who is a bit ill, John tells him that the burial ground is indeed where they said it was, but suggests that Matthew bury his grandfather in another spot on the mountain, thus starting a new Indian burial ground.
Written by Joan Scott; directed by Ralph Senensky.
Guests: Ernest Esparza III (Matthew Teskigi), Jerado DeCordovier (Grandfather Joseph Teskigi), Richard Eastham (Judge Parrish), Tom Bellin (Public Defender Cross), John Crawford (Sheriff Bridges).
NOTE: Richard Eastham reappears in season 9 in the episode "The Lumberjack" where he plays the father of Paul Northridge, the man Erin eventually marries.
The Seashore (First aired: 20th October 1977)
The Baldwin ladies decide that they need to contribute to the war effort, and so decide to make their seaside cottage available for the military to use. They approach John about making the repairs and so the whole family of Waltons heads off to the sea while John does the maintenance needed. The whole family, with the exception of Ben, who claims that someone has to hold the fort. Grandpa thinks he has ulterior motives though!
When the family reaches the cottage they realise that someone has already been using the cottage. Lisa Cooper tells them that she is a college student, but will leave immediately, however Olivia extends an invitation for her to stay with them a little longer. It seems though, that Lisa is not telling them the full story about herself, however she does tell Jason that she is studying music. Lisa also tells Elizabeth to treasure her father whilst he is here. Lisa finally admits that her father was killed in the Battle of Dunkirk and she ran away from College to try to escape any memory of her father.
Back home, Ben is trying to enjoy his bachelor's life, but finds it nearly impossible because of the number of interruptions he gets when he is trying to have a romantic time with his girlfriend.
Written by W. Marion Hargrove; directed by Lawrence Dobkin.
Guests: Helen Kleeb (Miss Mamie), Mary Jackson (Miss Emily), Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey), Vickery Turner (Lisa), Melody Thomas (Darlene), Robert Gooden (Officer Flaherty), Arthur Franz (Chief Moresdale), Michael Richardson (Officer Dittenberger), Tom Bower (Curtis Willard), John Hiestand (Radio Announcer).
The Volunteer (First aired: 27th October 1977)
Erin is very confused about her feelings for G.W. He is always around the house, drives Erin to and from work and they she seems to see him just as a friend. Her family, however, seem to accept him as a part of the family. Erin feels uncomfortable when he touches her and one night, during a walk, he asks her to marry him. Erin turns him down saying that she likes him, but she doesn't want to marry him. Erin is still confused as to what her feelings are for G.W., but before she can sort herself out, G.W. informs her that he has enlisted as an army volunteer. Both Grandpa and Mary Ellen feel that he is probably trying to run away from Erin's refusal of his marriage proposal.
When G.W. invites Erin to visit him at the army camp, her parents initially say no, but upon rethinking the situation, John decides that perhaps he should trust the two of them and Erin returns from her visit saying that the two of them are just good friends.
Written by Kathleen Hite; directed by Philip Leacock.
Guests: Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), David Doremus (G.W. Haines), Merie Earle (Maude Gormley), David Clarke (Abel Bingley), Nadya Turney (Lady Customer), Channing Clarkson (Ernie), Wendy Rastatter (Judy), Kevin Scott Allen (Soldier), Hank Stohl (Radio announcer).
The Grandchild (First aired: 3rd November 1977) (two hour episode)
With Mary Ellen's baby due soon, everyone on Waltons Mountain is becoming very excited. The Baldwin sisters are planning a baby shower, Elizabeth is choosing names, and Ben and Ike are holding a betting ring to guess when the baby will arrive.
Mary Ellen is insisting that she would like to have the baby at home, but Curt and Olivia believe she would be better off in the hospital. She does have John and Grandpa backing her up though. Shortly after, she goes to help deliver a baby for Cassie, but the baby is stillborn and Cassie is unable to understand or accept any of the explanations that either Mary Ellen, and later Curt, give her. Cassie tells Mary Ellen of several superstitions which she believes caused her baby to die, and Mary Ellen is quite spooked by the whole thing. She is further disturbed when Mrs Brimmer starts to read tea leaves at the Baldwin's baby shower, when she suddenly stops and tells her audience that nothing was revealed.
Mary Ellen soon goes into labour, at home, and after a very difficult labour, her son John Curtis Willard, is born. What she doesn't know though, is that Cassie has been outside watching, and is aware that Mary Ellen has now had her baby.
Unfortunately, young John Curtis is missing from his crib and Curt believes that Cassie may have taken him. John, Curt and Olivia head to her house and arrive there to find Cassie singing to him. Olivia is gradually able to convince Cassie to return him to Mary Ellen.
The sub plot to this two part episode is Jason needing to find another job to earn money. He finally finds one, playing piano for a vaudeville act between two movies. What he hasn't realised though, is that the dancer in the show is actually a stripper. Needless to say, he is in no hurry to tell his mother about his job, but word gets out soon after, when Grandpa, Ben, Jim Bob and Yancy Tucker go to see Jason at his new job. The rest of the family wants to go and see Jason at his new job, but he has to tell them that it's really not appropriate. Needless to say, Olivia has plenty to say to Jason. Fortunately this job leads to another job for Jason, when he is asked to accompany the Old Dominion Gospel Singers, a job that Olivia and Esther would no doubt approve of wholeheartedly.
Written by Rod Peterson & Claire Whitaker; directed by Ralph Senensky.
Guests: Helen Kleeb (Miss Mamie), Mary Jackson (Miss Emily), Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey), Beth Raines (Cassie), Robert Donner (Yancy Tucker), Rachel Longaker (Aimee Godsey), Nora Marlowe (Mrs Brimmer), Peter Fox (Reverend Buchanan), David Hooks (Ab Hineman), Merie Earle (Maude Gormley), Trish Garland (Dancer), Joe Ross (Comic), Frand deVito (Drummer).
NOTE: We are told that Charlottesville is 28 miles away from Waltons Mountain.
The First Casualty (First aired: 10th November 1977)
Ike Godsey is the bearer of bad news during this episode, as he delivers a letter to Curt Willard informing him that he has been called up for active duty. Yancy Tucker is also preparing to join up and head off to fight, but before he goes he entrusts his animals to Ben, and marries Sissy. Needless to say this proposal was made on the spur of the moment, and he looks pleadingly around the church when Reverend Fox reaches the part of the ceremony about speaking now or forever holding your peace. No one did object! Yancy heads off to join the army, only to return fairly soon after. He has been rejected by them for having flat feet.
Erin also visits with G.W. whilst he is at home and the more she talks to him, the more she realises that he does not want to return to the camp and this leaves her feeling guilty that he may have joined up because of her.
Mary Ellen finds life very lonely without Curt and when John and Olivia suggest that she move back into the house with John Curtis until Curt returns. She asks them to mind the baby while she goes to visit Curt, but comes home early with the shocking news that G.W. has been killed in a training accident. Curt and John are left with the task of bringing G.W.'s body back to the mountain for burial. Erin refuses to go to the funeral and runs off to be by herself. John finds Erin and gives her a letter which G.W. had written her before he had died and he leaves his land to her, knowing that it will be in safe hands.
Written by Andy White; directed by Harry Harris.
Guests: Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey), Lin McCarthy (George Haines), Jean Allison (Louise Haines), David Doremus (G.W. Haines), Robert Donner (Yancy Tucker), Tom Bower (Curtis Willard), Dorothy Shay (Thelma), Cissy Wellman (Sissy), A. Wilford Brimley (Horace), David Dotson (Mickey), Peter Fox (Reverend Buchanan), Art Gilmore (Radio Announcer).
NOTE: G.W. stands for George William.
The Battle of Drucilla's Pond (First aired:17th November 1977)
The war seems to be coming closer to Waltons Mountain with the Army setting up camp nearby and playing their "war games". Olivia is trying to paint different places which mean something to her. She is intending to enter them in an art show. She hopes to be able to allow future generations to see Waltons Mountain as it is now, before it changes too much with the war.
The Walton family find though that having the Army close by can be quite difficult. Fish are killed in Drucilla's Pond because of a grenade going off, and Chance has her calf after being frightened by the Army exploding some dynamite. Both Olivia and Zeb are dismayed about what is happening at Waltons Mountain.
Olivia attends the art show and discovers that all of her paintings have been bought, although she is a little disappointed that she has not won the cash prize. That honour went to Maude Gormley. However, when looking for something in the attic, she discovers all her paintings, and is angry with John, thinking that he had bought them all. However it was Grandpa who had bought them, telling her that he admired them, and simply wished to have them as a legacy to pass down through the family as a memory of what Waltons Mountain was like when he lived there.
Written by Rod Peterson & Claire Whitaker; directed by Philip Leacock.
Guests: Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey), Michael Sullivan (Private Lance), Alice Hirson (Jane Stephens), Rachel Longaker (Aimee Godsey), Tom Bower (Curtis Willard), Jeff Reese (Sentry), Joseph Cala (Sergeant), Kevin Scott Allen (Soldier) Merie Earle (Maude Gormley), Dorothy Shay (Thelma).
The Flight (First aired: 1st December 1977)
Jim Bob meets a kindred spirit when he meets a 16 year old runaway, Joe Douglas. Joe has similar dreams and ambitions as Jim Bob and shares his passion for flying. He tells John that his father has gone to join up and that he is all alone. John doesn't quite believe him, but invites him to stay for a few days. Joe is trying to dodge a man who is looking for him though, and gradually persuades Jim Bob to run away with him. When John realises what is happening he demands that Jim Bob tell him the truth.
The fact is that Joe has a young sister who has been placed in foster care nearby, waiting to be adopted into a good home. He, on the other hand, has run away from the orphanage. Sheriff Ep Bridges wife Sarah, has been considering asking Ep if he would like to start a family, but Ep is not keen given that he already has a grown up family. She has come to know Joe though, and urges Ep to consider the possibility that they could have the two children visit during the weekends, with a view to eventually adopting the pair.
During this episode Elizabeth confides to Grandpa, when the two of them are looking at Myrtle the pregnant goat, that she particularly misses Grandma. When she finds Myrtle is missing she eventually tracks the goat down to Maude Gormley's place. Maude insists that Myrtle stay with her for a while, but tells Elizabeth to visit any time. During these visits Maude tells Elizabeth all about her life as a young girl.
Myrtle gives birth to "Gingerbread" and after some time, Maude returns the two goats to the Walton home, telling Elizabeth that they are too much to handle. She also confesses to Elizabeth that the reason she was keeping the goats, was to get Elizabeth to come and visit her. In response to this, Elizabeth says that Maude can be her second grandma and that she will find time to visit her.
Written by Carole Raschella & Michael Raschella; directed by Ralph Waite.
Guests: Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Peter Miner (Joe Douglas), Lynn Carlin (Sarah Bridges), John Crawford (Sheriff Bridges), Michelle Stacy (Claire), Merie Earle (Maude Gormley), Dan Priest (Harrison Bixby), Jerry Crews (Ed Larkin), Tom Bower (Curt Willard).
The Children's Carol (First aired: 15th December 1977) (two hour episode)
As Christmas approaches, two young children who are refugees from the London blitz come to stay at Waltons Mountain in the Baldwin sisters home. The pair had been sent by the Baldwin's cousin Hilary. Despite all efforts from those around them to make them feel at home, they remain very aloof, and so they turn to Olivia Walton to ask for her help. They hope that she will be able to take the children into her home for a while, and hope that they might feel more at ease among other children. The children's parents died during the London bombing and young Pip has not spoken since then. The children are finding it hard to trust anyone other than each other now that both their parents are gone. Grandpa even finds it hard to enthuse the pair when selecting a Christmas tree and Elizabeth is also finding them a bit wearing and lashes out at Tess saying that she wished they weren't staying with them.
The war seems to be having repecussions for many in the family. Tess and Pip are testing Olivia's faith, Erin is still upset over G.W.'s death, Jason says that he is no longer playing music because he needs to "toughen up". Jim Bob is busy with a radio he made and talking to Alison in London about the bombing experiences Tess and Pip must have had to endure. Mary Ellen is lonely without Curt and takes John Curtis down to the camp so that she can be nearer to him. Finally a plane flies overhead and while Olivia and Elizabeth are watching it and waving, Tess and Pip have taken off to hide, thinking that it's a bomb attack.
Things become very strained all around. Mary Ellen is frustrated that Curt doesn't have more time to spend with her. She tells him that she is going home and he gives her a camera to take photos of the family for him. Jason is wondering whether he is cut out to be in the military, but John sets him straight and tells him to use his music as an output for his emotions. He sets about writing a special Christmas Carol.
Ben gives up his hard earned savings to give to Verdie after she has been robbed whilst trying to raise money for the war effort. He tells her that he found the money, but she realises that it is his money.
Olivia is frustrated that the children aren't responding at all and things come to a head when the children stow away in the back of a truck, to run away. Elizabeth admits that she had seen them climbing into the back of the truck and John, Olivia and Erin take off after them. They reach the air strip only to find Pip standing in the middle of the runway, with Tess trying to pull him away, but Pip is unable to move because he has a plane heading straight for him. John pulls the pair to safety and finally Pip speaks when he tells Olivia that he was "proper scared".
Christmas morning arrives with Jim Bob yelling to come to the radio, as he has made contact with Alison again. She has a surprise for Pip and Tess. Their mother had been missing after the bombing, and was trying to find the children. She promises to eventually join them in the USA.
The family, and their guests, return inside with joyful hearts, and sing Jason's new Children's Carol.
Written by John McGreevey; directed by Lawrence Dobkin.
Guests: Helen Kleeb (Miss Mamie), Mary Jackson (Miss Emily), Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey), Sally Boyden (Tess Wrayburn), Jeff Cotler (Pip Wrayburn), Lynn Hamilton (Verdie Grant), Tom Bower (Curt Willard), Dorothy Shay (Thelma), Peter Fox (Reverend Buchanan), Judith Sharon Morton (Mrs Rumsen), Ivy Bethune (Landlady), Ed Owens (Sargeant Grimes), David Cramer (Allen Timmons), Kate Edwards (Allison), Dinah Anne Rogers (Mrs Wrayburn).
NOTE 1: Sally Boyden, who played the part of the young English girl Tess, in this episode, was a young Australian actress/singer. Before going to America to seek work she was a member of Young Talent Time, a singing and dancing talent quest show for youngsters under 16. A core group of performers were seen on the show each week as the "talent team". Sally was only 7 or 8 when she auditioned and was invited to become a team member. She was a member for about 3 years.
NOTE 2: Jeff Cotler, who played the younger brother, Pip, was the younger brother of Kami Cotler, who played Elizabeth in the series. Jeff appeared on several episodes, this role being his largest. Not long after this episode he went on to appear in a series called Struck By Lightening, a sit-com which had a very short and unsuccessful run.
The Milestone (First aired: 8th December 1977)
Olivia is very nervy and upset and seems to be wanting to go back to the time when she was a young girl. After she gets snappy and irritable with everyone at home, she decides to go to visit her Aunt Kate in Alberene, where she grew up. She arrives at Aunt Kate's with a suitcase and when the two joke about its contents, it becomes apparent to Aunt Kate, that Olivia has run away from home.
After talking with Olivia, they come to realise that Olivia is going through menopause, and having a difficult time with it, especially since she doesn't like the fact that it makes her feel as if she's getting old. A trip to the Doctor rules out other possibilities, but Olivia still finds the truth a bit hard to take.
With the family worried about Olivia, and a bad storm arriving, Jason goes to collect his mother to bring her home again.
During this episode Jim Bob tries to get both parents to sign a form in order to allow him to get a job even though he is underage. John is willing to sign his form, and indeed does, but Olivia does not. To get around this, Jim Bob decides to resort to forging her signature, only to find that Reverend Buchanan arrives just as he has done the deed. While the two chat, there are cross wires and Jim Bob decides that Reverend Buchanan knew what he had done and was there to stop him. The Rev. has no idea what Jim Bob is talking about, but goes along with it anyway. The Rev. gives Jim Bob a job himself...copying sermons...much to the delight of his mother.
Written by Kathleen Hite; directed by Philip Leacock.
Guests: Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey), Louise Latham (Aunt Kate), Peter Fox (Rev. Buchanan), Jim Henaghan (Mr Clinton).
NOTE: Aunt Kate is Olivia's mother's younger sister.
The Celebration (First aired: 15th December 1977)
When John Walton realises that he is nearly out of debt, only owing the bank another couple of payments, he goes looking for a big order and gets it. At home he announces that if everyone pitches in and helpswith this order, that the loan can be paid off very soon. He claims that the first thing he wants to do is to get a new truck. The family also plans a party to celebrate the ending of their debts.
At the same time, Ike Godsey has borrowed money to buy some refridgerators that he hopes to sell to the Waltons Mountain folk and earn himself a fair profit. The problem is though, that very few (any?) are being sold, leaving Ike with a huge debt and a lot of refridgerators that nobody wants, or indeed, can use, as not too many people in the area have electricity.
It ends up that just as the Waltons are getting out of debt, the bankers are asking Ike to pay off his loan, which he can't do, so the Walton family go back into debt in order to help Ike out of his money worries.
Corabeth, Mary Ellen and Maude are also kept busy during this episode, trying to decide who would make a good wife for Reverend Hank Buchanan. Maude comments that if she were just a few years younger! but then goes on to suggest Marcia Woolery. Of course Corabeth is outraged that someone even suggested "that sort of girl" as a suitable wife for a Baptist minister. She is even more disturbed when Hank turns up at the Waltons party with Marcia in tow, but Erin is not at all concerned, saying that she has known all along just who Hank will marry.
Written by Marion Hargrove; directed by Gwen Arner.
Guests: Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey), Peter Fox (Rev. Buchanan), Tammi Bula (Marcia Woolery), Jack Manning (J.J. Brendamore), Merie Earle (Maude Gormley), Hal Riddle (Track Superintendent), A. Wilford Brimley (Horace).
The Rumor (First aired: 5th January 1978)
Just as Germany invades Norway and Denmark during World War 2, a German speaking family, Flossie Brimmer's brother in law and his family, arrive at Waltons Mountain. Elizabeth at this time, is keeping a journal as John Boy did, and her imagination goes wild when she hears about the German invasion and meets the Brimmer family.
Willie Brimmer goes searching for work at the Walton mill, telling John that he is an experienced carpenter. Elizabeth watches him help Jim Bob to set up and tune in his radio properly, hears a German voice on the radio, then promptly tells Vernon that Willie was listening to someone speaking in German. Willie is also watched when he goes to Ike's to pick up a "suspicious looking" parcel written in German, containing his medecine, and when he speaks to a person on the phone, in German. Vernon tells the Sheriff of his suspicions that Willie is a spy, but when Ep won't act on these suspicions, he gets a group of men together, and they all go to John Waltons house to find Willie and tell John that he is harbouring a spy. Willie explains everything and John tells the group just how foolish they have been to believe some suggestions that a young child (Elizabeth) has spread, without getting any further, real proof.
Written by Kathleen Hite; directed by Ralph Waite.
Guests: Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey), Ellen Blake (Marta Brimmer), Matthew Anden (Willie Brimmer), Tasha Lee Zembus (Katrina Brimmer), John Crawford (Sheriff Bridges), Hal Boker (Fisk), Barry Cahill (Buck Vernon), Barry D. Blake (Charley), Chris Anders (German voice), John Heistand (Radio Announcer).
Spring Fever (First aired: 12th January 1978)
Spring has arrived with the Waltons in the middle of their spring cleaning, Jim Bob and Ben fighting over each other's girls and Miss Mamie Baldwin thinking that signs this spring are indicating that this will be the last spring she sees.
Miss Emily drives very erratically into the Walton yard, to ask for Grandpa's help urgently. Their rose bush is covered with aphids and is in danger of dying, but Miss Mamie is taking this as a sign that this will be her last spring. He also discovers that their Grandfather clock has suddenly stopped too, and Miss Mamie thinks this is another sign that her time has come. She wants Grandpa to be the executor of her will, but he just wants to give her the will to live again. He suggests how they can help the rose bush and they try his remedy. Unfortunately it doesn't work and Grandpa ends up admitting to them that, yes, it is dying.
Grandpa invites the ladies to go on the annual Walton picnic, signalling the end of the spring cleaning, and it is during the picnic that Mamie does find joy in life once more.
Meanwhile Ben and Jim Bob become very jealous of each other, when they start trying to impress each other's girlfriends. Ben is trying to attract Patsy Brimmer, and Jim Bob the slightly older Ruby Davis. Gradually the jealousy becomes so bad that Ben becomes enraged when he sees Jim Bob's arm around Ruby and he goes to hit him. He misses, but Jim Bob retaliates and hits Ben squarely in the face. Ruby races to Ben's side and Patsy helps Jim Bob to get up.
Written by Rod Peterson & Claire Whitaker; directed by Richard Chaffee.
Guests: Helen Kleeb (Miss Mamie), Mary Jackson (Miss Emily), Heather Totten (Ruby Davis), Debbie Gunn (Patsy Brimmer).
The Festival (First aired: 26th January 1978)
Verdie visits Olivia to talk to her about her son Jody, who has joined the navy and is being shipped off to war. She is very worried about him, and the prejudices that he might encounter. Her other son, Josh, whom she and Harley had adopted, comes to Jason's notice when Jason is practising the piano at the Dew Drop Inn and he hears someone playing a trumpet outside. It is Josh.
Jason asks him to come inside so they can play some more, but Josh is reluctant since it is a place for white people, not blacks. Josh is persuaded to though, and a musical partnership grows between the two boys. When Erin tells him that the Chairman of the Spring Festival wants Jason to audition to be selected to play at the Festival, Jason gets the idea that it would be a good chance for he and Josh to play together. He ends up approaching Verdie and Harley about it, but they think that the Festival is only for white folks. Jason is eventually able to persuade them to let Josh come, but they insist that Jason be responsible for seeing that Josh is not hurt in any way.
Both Aimee and Elizabeth are interested in a new boy at school, but Elizabeth gets tongue tied every time she goes to talk to him. She approaches Erin to find out the "secrets" on catching a boy, and during the goodnights we discover that Elizabeth thinks that George kissed her.
Written by Michael McGreevey; directed by Gwen Arner.
Guests: Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey), James Bond III (Josh Foster), Lynn Hamilton (Verdie Foster), Hal Williams (Harley Foster), Steve Shaw (George Simmonds), T.K. Carter (Jody Foster), Rachel Longaker (Aimee Longaker), Kathleen O'Malley (Mrs Wilkins).
Silver Anniversary (First aired: 2nd February 1978)
John and Olivia Walton are preparing to celebrate their 25th anniversary, with each one keeping secrets regarding their present to each other. The children are also busy preparing a surprise family party for them, and Jim Bob is making his own surprise which ends up blowing the fuses throughout the entire house. Olivia gets a telephone line put on for John, and John builds a gazebo for Olivia on the top of the mountain.
The two head off to have their photo taken leaving the children time to get their party ready. However the surprise is on them because the two do not return home. Grandpa, however guesses that John's secret has something to do with the mountain and so they pack up the party and take it up to the mountain where they find John and Olivia dancing in the gazebo.
While all this is going on, Mary Ellen and Curt are having problems adjusting to being apart. They both feel that they have had very little time to learn about each other and have each been tempted to stray to other people. Curt arrives home unexpectedly just in time for the party, and to allow them to spend some time together.
Written by Rob Peterson & Claire Whitaker; directed by Walter Alzmann.
Guests: Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey), Tom Bower (Curt Willard), Christopher Woods (David Spencer), John Perryman (Telephone Serviceman).
The Family Tree (First aired: 9th February 1978)
Verdie tells Jason one Sunday, that she feels a little lost because she knows very little about her family history. She tells him that she has a wooden box that had some of her father's things in it, but that's about it. She suggests that he might be able to help her piece the history together. Jason is confused as to why Verdie might think that he could help, but Grandpa reminds him that Jason may be able to get into places that Verdie can't and get some information. Inside the box is a medallion, which Verdie shows Jason, but she doesn't know what it is.
The pair head off to the county courthouse to try to find further information on Verdie's mother, and they work back from there, gathering clues as they go. They find the cemetary and the graves of her grandparents and then find the church records giving an address where they lived. The elderly, white lady living there though, is very unhelpful and quite rude to Verdie. Grandpa steps in to help and the lady finally allows them in to search through her records. It turns out that Verdie's grandparents were owned by this family, and finally Verdie stumbles upon an art book with paintings and drawings in it. One of the white daughters painted, and one of the paintings is Verdie's grandfather as a baby, being held by his father, who has Verdie's medallion around his neck. The medallion was worn by slaves.
Back on Waltons Mountain, Elizabeth is trying to do her part for the war effort. She is writing to a soldier, after she saw a newspaper article asking for people to write to soldiers. However she pretends that she is 18, rather than 12. Erin tells her that she should tell him the truth, but Elizabeth thinks he would be more interested if he thought she were older. She hopes that the soldier will write back, but he surprises her by actually coming to visit instead. He realises the truth as soon as Elizabeth opens the door for him, but he forgives her and stays to dinner, enjoying the company of a family for a change.
Teleplay by Thomas Hood; story by Thomas Hood & Joyce Perry; directed by Lawrence Dobkin.
Guests: Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Lynne Hamilton (Verdie Foster), Hal Williams (Harley Foster), Paulene Myers (Mrs Nelson), Davis Roberts (Frank Nelson), Ernestine Carroll (Miss Estelle Unwin), Donald Petrie (Arnold Kevin), Vernon Washington (The Sexton), William Washington (Gardener).
NOTE 1: The following people were a part of Verdie's family tree:
NOTE 2: I was intrigued to read that Lynn Hamilton actually visited her ancestral home of Africa some time ago, to try to understand just how her family had come to America and the conditions that they endured when they were first taken as slaves to the Slave Castle.
The Ordeal (First aired: 16th February 1978) (two part episode)
Jim Bob and Ben are told to fasten a pile of logs which Grandpa and John have been working with, but they race off instead of doing what they are told. When Elizabeth and Aimee find a baby bird has fallen onto the top of the pile, Elizabeth climbs up to put it back into it's nest, and while she's climbing down, the pile starts to give way and Elizabeth becomes pinned under them. Elizabeth is taken to hospital where Mary Ellen informs the family that she has fractures in her legs and that a specialist will be operating on her. Mary Ellen, not mincing her words, tells Jim Bob and Ben that the accident was their fault as they were the ones responsible for securing the logs. Grandpa tells them though that he realises that they didn't mean to do it and that they just made a mistake.
Following the surgery, the doctor tells John and Olivia that Elizabeth has nerve damage and may not walk again. Jim Bob is devestated and wants to run away, but Jason convinces him that it's better to stay. Elizabeth is hurt when Jim Bob won't go to visit her in the hospital. The Baldwin sisters decide that they would like to get Elizabeth a pony, as a get well present, and Aimee decides that she should seek alternative medecine and turns to Ada Corley, a woman who seems to know about herbal remedies. And all Ben wants to do is shower Elizabeth with gifts. He gets a job at the Dew Drop Inn so that he can earn some extra money to finance these gifts.
Elizabeth is finally taken out of traction but there is concern that she will not walk again. Finally Jim Bob tells his family of his thoughts and undertakes to go and visit Elizabeth but after apologising to her races out of the room. Elizabeth gets the casts off her legs and goes home in braces. The nerves still haven't healed, but the fractures have. Jim Bob still can't face Elizabeth and Ben continues to buy her things, but can't spend time with her because he feels so guilty.
The Baldwins arrive with the pony, and Elizabeth seems disappointed that she can't ride it, especially since Aimee is having fun with it. Ben remembers the pony cart that he made so long ago though, and hitches the pony and the cart together, allowing Elizabeth to ride in the back.
Eventually Elizabeth inadvertantly takes a step at school, then later Jim Bob encourages her to get off the swing and walk to him. She does and she is well on the way to recovery.
Written by Paul West; directed by Lawrence Dobkin.
Guests: Helen Kleeb (Miss Mamie), Mary Jackson (Miss Emily), Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey), Virginia Gregg (Ada Corley), Rachel Longaker (Aimee Godsey), Richard Sarradet (Dr Jamison), Dorothy Shay (Thelma), Julie Gibson (Evelyn Winfield), John Crawford (Ep Bridges).
John Boy Returns (First aired: 16th March 1978) (two hour episode)
After hearing from his mother that jobs are becoming very scarce on Waltons Mountain, John Boy returns home to prepare a newspaper report on the job conditions in Jefferson County. John Boy's family is aware that there is a great deal of work to be had on the Virginian coastal areas, where both ship building and defense plants are employing people, but there is a decided lack of jobs in the nearby mountains.
When John Boy goes to visit Erin at the telephone exchange, on arriving in Rockfish, Fannie Tatum tells him that there isn't a lot of work for Erin either, and that she has taken another job, but Erin isn't saying what it is. John Boy is given a lift home by Hank Buchanan and surprises his family who had no idea that he was coming.
John talks to John Boy about the lack of work and tells him that he has been thinking of looking for work off the mountain. John Boy discusses the possibility of opening the old Guthrie Mine again to help to provide the area with some work for the men. He and John head on over to see Mr Guthrie and discuss what needs to be done to it so that it would be safe to work again. While there, Elizabeth calls for help after she falls down an old mine shaft, but is rescued by John Boy. Repairs to the mine are arranged and a group of local men gather together to discuss their new jobs. Grandpa feels quite left out though and doesn't attend the meeting. John has made it perfectly clear that he would not allow Grandpa to work in the mine, and Grandpa declares that he won't work there at all then. Instead he goes to work for an elderly couple who do need him.
By this time work is going on at the mine, and when John, John Boy and Harley Foster do an inspection, they discover some water leaking and hear some rumblings. Harley is concerned that there may be some weak spots at the mine. The next day John goes to enter the mine alone, but is followed first by Harley, then by the other men. Just as he turns to tell them all to go back out, the fault collapses and the men are trapped. Help arrives and digging begins, in hope to free the men. When the plans of the mine are checked, John Boy realises that the shaft which Elizabeth had earlier fallen into may be a way for them to rescue the men. They finally break through to the trapped men and the families waiting are reunited.
Erin's job is discovered when she is particularly late in coming home. John Boy discovers that she has been working at the home of a single father, caring for his two children. When John finds this out he is very angry, but accepts Erin's explanation that she was just trying to pay them back for all the money they had spent on her over the years.
Written by Kathleen Hite; directed by Harry Harris.
Special Guest: Richard Thomas (John Boy)
Guests: Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth), Lloyd Nolan (Cyrus Guthrie), Hal Williams (Harley Foster), Lynn Hamilton (Verdie Foster), Peter Fox (Rev Buchanan), John Crawford (Ep Bridges), Sheila Allen (Fanny Tatum), Helen Page Camp (Allie), Sandy Kenyon (Willis), Nancy Priddy (Nurse Nora), Walter Brook (Mr Johnson), Dorothy Shay (Thelma), Deirdre Lenihan (Daisy), Lynn Storer (Burt), John Perryman (Merle), Britt Leach (Easy Jackson), Ed Diemer (Man at Bus Depot), Mary Jackson (Miss Emily), Helen Kleeb (Miss Mamie), Rick Beckner (James R. Dolworth), Don Tuche (Mr Preston).
Revelation (First aired: 23rd March 1978)
John Boy and Daisy get together one evening after her performing at the theatre, and John Boy asks Daisy then to marry him. Although hesitant at first, she accepts. John Boy rings home to tell the family, but instead has to leave the message with Erin...John Boy and his fiancee are heading for Waltons Mountain. Just before he leaves though, Mr Johnson suggests that John Boy might consider going to London as a reporter for the Stars and Stripes newspaper. Very bad timing for John Boy, given that he has just proposed to Daisy and she would not be able to go with him.
Whilst planning her wedding at the Walton home, Daisy reveals that she and her mother had a falling out some time ago and will probably not attend the wedding. John's man to man talk with John Boy about marriage reveals that there are no secrets to a happy marriage but that John Boy should show Daisy he loves her, keep the marriage fresh and find ways to surprise her.
John Boy takes steps to get Daisy and her mother back together again and goes to introduce himself to Daisy's mother. She agrees to meet with Daisy, suspecting that Daisy hasn't told John Boy the whole story behind their argument. Daisy does go to talk with her mother, but becomes tearful when she sees a small girl on the doorstep. Daisy had given birth to the little girl, Melissa, three years ago, and had put her up for adoption. Daisy and her mother had argued because Daisy had refused to marry the man she did not love. Melissa, however, had been raised by Daisy's mother.
Daisy admits the story to John Boy and decides to return home to become mother to Melissa. She tells John Boy that they can no longer be married, and with that, John Boy takes the job in London.
In the meantime Elizabeth and her friend George Simmons are trying to set up a lemonade stand outside Ike's store, selling each glass for 5 cents. The two are a bit disappointed that business is not better, and Grandpa suggests advertising a special on the pink lemonade of 4 cents. Grandpa takes off to the Baldwin home to ask for some recipe. Secretly he puts some of it into the plain lemonade and tells the children to sell it only to the men and to charge a higher price, while the pink lemonade with more sugar, is better for women and children. Business suddenly takes a turn for the better, but when the Baldwin sisters taste the regular lemonade, and comment that it reminds them of Papa, Corabeth also samples it and vents her anger at Grandpa and Ike.
Written by D.C.Fontana & Richard Fontana; directed by Gwen Arner.
Special Guest: Richard Thomas (John Boy).
Guests: Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey), Walter Brook (Mr Johnson), Deirdre Lenihan (Daisy), Rachel Bard (Mrs Garner), Mary Jackson (Miss Emily), Helen Kleeb (Miss Mamie), Steve Shaw (George Simmons), Tommy Leonetti (Piano player), Will Parker (Reporter).
NOTE: This would be the last time during the series that Richard Thomas would appear as John Boy Walton.
Grandma Comes Home (First aired: 30th March 1978)
Everybody, especially Grandpa, is very excited because Grandma is finally able to come home from hospital after suffering a stroke. It is explained that she can't speak now. All the family prepares for her homecoming by remembering different things that she always enjoys. Grandpa loves having her home and wants to do everything for her, including answering when she is spoken to. When he mentions seeing Zuleika Dunbar though, and getting no response from Grandma, he is a little worried.
In the meantime, Elizabeth has a boy becoming interested in her, but Elizabeth is definitely not interested in him. She tells Olivia that the other kids at school make fun of him because he is overweight. Olivia is not pleased and tells Elizabeth that he is her friend who has helped her with a project. He tells Elizabeth that she is very pretty but she wouldn't want him, and she tells him that it is what in on the inside that counts.
At home, the girls do all the chores around the house, leaving none for Grandma, thinking they are making life easy for her. Later the Baldwin sisters come to visit bringing a jar of the recipe with them, and Esther gives this to Zeb without a word. When this happens, Zeb knows that something is not right! Things get worse though, when Zeb will not allow Esther to go out with Olivia, saying it will tire her out too much. Things come to a head when Olivia brings some beans out for Esther to help her with, and Esther tries to tell her that she needs to be needed. Olivia, in tears, tell her that they all need her. During the night Grandpa sneaks a look at Esther diary and learns that Esther made a promise to God that if he allowed her to get well enough to come home, she would no longer be sharp tongued. Grandpa tells her though, that she adds spice to the family with her sharp tongue and that he also made a promise to smother her with kindness should she come home. Olivia adds that old people need to feel needed too. Grandpa tells Esther that he is going to break his promise, pushes a broom into her hand, and tells her to earn her keep. As he is about to head inside, she whacks him with the broom and with that, Zeb picks her up and swings her around saying "You've come home Esther. You've come home". Esther slowly replies "You old fool".
Written by: Rod Peterson & Claire Whitaker; directed by Ralph Senensky.
Special Guest: Ellen Corby (Grandma Walton)
Guests: Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey), Mary Jackson (Miss Emily), Helen Kleeb (Miss Mamie), Kenny Marquis (Clarence), Peter Fox (Reverend Buchanan).
NOTE: Ellen Corby had suffered a stroke during 1976 and was not seen in the series this season until this episode when she made her return, but she was still partially incapacitated. She was still seen on the series occasionally after this but only had a very minor role. Shortly after this episode aired Will Geer, the actor playing Grandpa Zeb Walton died and he was not replaced for subsequent seasons. His character's death was referred to in the first episode of season 7, along with a tribute at the end.