A new reverend, Andy March, is rendered homeless when a skunk moves in and proceeds to malodorize the entire premises. Of course, he stays with the Waltons, and starts to get chummy with Elizabeth, who sees the young parishioner as a love interest. Soon enough, someone’s heart gets broken – can you guess whose? Subplot: the Baldwin sisters enlist Erin’s literary finesse to help write their memoirs. During their research, they uncover the shocking truth – their beloved father forbade Emily from seeing her beloved beau, Ashley, and indicated as such in a letter addressed to him. When Emily takes down the portrait of their esteemed patriarch, she finds the letter tucked in the frame behind. The letter impels her to go sit by the tree where they first kissed – and there she finds a ring from him inside one of the tree trunks!
Disposable, cliché-ridden soaper about the pangs of first love, unrequited love. It’s Elizabeth’s turn, and she does the lovelorn well, but really, aren’t we beyond this sort of sudsy material, particularly with a war going on? Well, I can tell you that all this schmaltz is worth enduring for potentially the single-most unintentionally funny line of dialogue in Walton’s history: Emily (about Ashley): “Well one thing’s for certain: he certainly had a way with wood!”