A love triangle, that is. Miss Hunter, ah well – Charlotte, in this episode, is so impressed with John Boy’s essay that she spends many extracurricular hours helping him fine-tune it for an upcoming writing contest. Meanwhile, Rev. Fordwick requests permission to court her, and when she accept, finds herself both consumed and distracted by his presence, to the ultimate frustration, and jealousy, of John Boy. Refusing to admit his feelings, he withdraws his essay from competition, and only the sage wisdom of his father allows him to see that is writing is more important than either his own or Charlotte’s preoccupations.
Two of the main featured players here, Charlotte and Rev. Fordwick, are given center stage here. Mariclare Costello is again understatedly charming in the role as the Walton’s beloved teacher, and John Ritter again depicts the reverend with great compassion and sensitivity. Of course, his character here is the polar opposite of Jack Ritter on Three’s Company: so much so that you desperately want him to break out of this caste shell and indulge some of is trademark ribald antics. Then again, they weren’t his trademark until later on; the world would have to wait five long years before seeing him go to dinner with two girls at once, or misunderstand what Chrissie will do with her date later that evening, or…
Ah yes, forgot about the other storyline – Ben sends away for a Charles Atlas-type get fit quick manual to impress a girl. Turns out the girl likes him just the way he is, mostly because she has a thing for red hair. (Anyone else wonder why the middle kids have red hair and no one else does?)