Saturday, July 14, 2012

Waltons 4.20: “The Test”

Airdate: 2/5/76

With John hard pressed to find work, Olivia takes a job as a seamstress at a boutique in Weston. Its proprietor, a refined woman named Stella, instantly takes a liking to her new employee, and now considers expansion for her business. She offers Olivia a deal: take over the Weston location, while she herself opens up a new location in New York City. Although greatly tempted, Olivia declines the offer. Subplot: Maude Gormley feels she is being put out to pasture when her son moves her into a nursing home. Missing the beatific surroundings of Waltons Mountain, she “flies the coop” and returns to her old home, not “the” old home.

This is called “The Test” but we’ve sure seen this test many times before; in fact, it’s a Waltons staple: to paraphrase The Clash, should she stay or should she go? Well, the answer is always the same (re: the classic trope: “Nothing Changes”).

Classic beauty Abby Dalton plays Stella. Abby has been a supporting actress in film since the 50s, but gained the greatest exposure through her role in Falcon Crest. May as well mention that you’ve probably also seen Merie Earle before too. In addition to here recurring role here as Maude Gormley, she’s probably second to Ruth Gorden in the number of octogenarian characters she’s played throughout the 70s. Check them both out on Google Images.

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