Friday, July 22, 2011

Episode 2.6: The Chicken Thief

Airdate: 10/18/73

Good ol’ boy Yancy Tucker seems to have a mysterious job, but it becomes all too clear one night when John-Boy sees him stealing two chickens from a neighbor, Mr. Potter. John-Boy approaches Yancy about it, who explains his actions by telling him that he steals from the haves to give to the have-nots, but that he would return the two chickens the next night. When Mr. Potter blames Yancy on another act of thievery and, this time, shooting, it’s up to the Waltons to clear his name. Subplot: Ben thinks he plagiarized John-Boy’s poem after being inspired by his idea, rounding out the episode’s theme of honesty as the best, if not always easiest, policy.

Robert Donner returns in the role of fun-loving Yancy, and the Robin Hood story he’s a part of is most likely borrowed from one of the subplots of the Waltons pilot, The Homecoming, in which a goose thief is making rounds on Christmas Eve. Subplot here gives a Ben a moment in the spotlight, and when John Boy finds out his brother won a writing contest, his reaction is one of both praise and repressed envy. Irony: Ben’s award-winning poem, called “A Winter Mountain,” is, actually… not so great.

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