Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Waltons 7.10: “Day of Infamy”

Airdate: 12/7/78

December 7th, 1941. As each member of the Waltons clan go their separate ways after church, they are quickly united when word spreads that the U.S. was attacked by Japan at Pearl Harbor, where both Curtis and Jodie Foster have been stationed. The Walton boys each proclaim their allegiance to the country by vowing to sign up for different branches of the military, but John tells them he needs them at the mill – for the time being. When Jim-Bob breaks his promise by signing up at the recruiting office, he returns with the news that he had been turned down – and that Curtis Willard, Mary Ellen’s husband and father of her child, had been killed while giving medical assistance to the wounded. Grandma finds a letter Curt had written to John Curtis, and John reads it aloud for the family to hear, amid many tears.

Final episode for Curt Willard is another heart wrenching Waltons moment, particularly at the end when John reads the letter, an inspirational message, artfully penned by the show’s writers, celebrating the many sentiments, and characters, that make the show itself so very special. FDR’s “Day of Infamy” speech is wisely broadcast in its entirety, with the myriad of reactions from the main and supporting Waltons cast. As is made clear by Hamner’s narration, this is a show not simply about the characters lives during this tumultuous time, but of the real people, the viewers, who can remember where they were and what they doing when they heard the news that changed the world. A series milestone.

I suppose this is in poor taste, but Curt was not necessarily my favorite character, and an overall poor choice to be Mary-Ellen’s hubby. I always thought he was a shleb. (Sorry Curt Willard fans!)

First appearance of Cindy, Ben’s date, who doesn’t realize what all the fuss is about.

No usual family goodnights at the end of this episode – only Mary Ellen going to bed, and turning out the Christmas tree.

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