Olivia, Jim-Bob and Elizabeth pack the car with their suitcases, and a chicken with its eggs, to go visit an old friend of Olivia’s, but blow a tire on the way and get lost in the Virginia backwoods. John, John-Boy and a search party of men go off to find them. Jim-Bob proves himself with survival skills he had learned from his father and grandfather: how to set up trail markers, how to fish without a line, and how to scare off a bear. After a run-in with shady bootleggers, and an impending thunderstorm, the trio is finally rescued.
A classic TV trope if there ever was one: LOST! Yes, The Brady Bunch has the classic example, but this one is a nail-biter too, and these being the Waltons, you don’t have to sit through the usual dumb things TV characters do when they’re out in the wilderness. Rather surprising they didn’t milk a two-parter out of this one… but that’s coming up.
Casual observation: Erin (Mary McDonough) really shoots up this season; she’s taller than Mary Ellen!