Thursday, July 12, 2012

Waltons: 4.16: "The Secret"

Airdate: 1/8/76

Jim Bob is getting quite a ribbing (a cruel one at that) for not looking like the other Walton children, leading him on a quest to determine if he is indeed a biological family member. When he asks around town, he discovers that he was born in Charlottesville, and that his birth had not been an easy one. When John-Boy accompanies him to the county records office, he finds that he had a twin brother who died at birth; his father later explains they had kept it a secret as it was a traumatic emotional experience for Olivia. Subplot: John-Boy overextends himself when Ben volunteers his writing services for his music teacher’s written history of the local townsfolk.

Another emotional outing follows a familiar trajectory – until the conclusion when we learn of the unique situation surrounding Jim-Bob’s birth. It’s handled with tact and sensitivity, and makes one consider how dangerous child birthing truly was up until the modern age of medicine. Good work from actor David W. Harper, both for this and the previous episode (“The Search”).

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