Jim-Bob is acting a bit more wayward these days, but when a car he is working underneath falls and nearly crushes him, he sees the error of his ways and decides to become a minister. Daunted by the years of theological study it would require, and disillusioned when he uses violence against a former buddy who teases him, he starts having second thoughts. His father gets him to reveal that his reformation was primarily caused by the guilt he feels over recent losses in his family, and the notion that his “sin” was partially to blame.
First episode without Olivia deals with her absence obliquely, through not onlyJim-Bob’s guilt but also John’s new challenge of keeping order in the family and helping each member with his or her feeling of loss. While not quite a serial drama, The Waltons always, like life, drew upon past history to inform the present moment – simply carrying on with no reference to previous shows would simply not do. Jim Bob’s identity confusion is analogous to episode 6.2, “The Stray,” where I thought Jim-Bob’s absent-mindedness was a veiled depiction of getting stoned.
Rev. Bradshaw is now the fourth minister to hold service on Waltons Mountain. He’s a bit older, so Erin can’t moon over him.
The fall of Singapore is mentioned here, making the timeline 2/15/42.