Jason delivers a package to a recluse, a woman named Fern whose only companion is a yellow canary. Knowing the Walton children by overhearing them on the way to school, she confides in Jason her reasons for solitude: that her fiancé died in a tragic accident on the way to the altar, and that her tribute to his love is to love no other. Gradually, they develop a mutual trust, and Jason is determined to bring her to Sunday service so she can share her melodious voice with others. After much protest, she relents, and accepts the outside world into her own. Subplot: Ben forges his own path when he busses to Norfolk after hearing dock workers are urgently needed for the war effort. It so happens that John gets a huge war contract at about the same time, with no one to help out at the mill (except Grandpa, who leaves after a squabble and heads east to Norfolk as well). When Ben finally learns of his dad’s short-handedness, he returns and applies his labor to the war effort where it is most needed.
Finally: a Waltons episode that is a return to form. We’ve sort of seen this one before, when John-Boy was a tutor for the reclusive blind woman, so perhaps it takes a bit of recycling to get back to familiar turf. Guest actress Linda Marsh appeared before, but is terrific here as a sort of Mrs. Haversham, “jilted” at the altar and secluding herself between dark parlor walls in lacy finery. Leave it to a Walton boy to help her find her élan-vital!
BTW: Why is Ike delivering the sermon in the final scene? What happened to the new minister?