Mary Francis Conover, cousin to the Baldwin sisters, arrives at Waltons Mountain, bubbly and wide-eyed, but with something on her mind. When it is discovered that she is Catholic, anti-Papist Corabeth acts with suspicion, and admonishes Olivia when she sees that Jim-Bob and Francis are seeing a lot of each other. The relationship is ill-fated, however, when Francis reveals that she is on Waltons Mountain to consider her decision of whether or not to become a nun. Brokenhearted Jim Bob accepts her decision to join the convent, especially when he sees that she is following he dream, Justas he is perusing his own of being a pilot.
Subplot: Understaffed John puts Ben in charge of hiring a new hand at the mill. Ben finds an agreeable, hard-worker named Beau, who turns out to have a drinking problem. Ben must also take on the responsibility of firing him, which he does with tact and professionalism.
Actress Stacy Nelkin, who was in a lot of recognizable if not familiar TV and movie roles from the 70s and early 80s, is picture perfect as sweet, pert Mary Conover. Her dropping out of society to contemplate her life as nun of course echoes Maria Von Trapp in The Sound of Music. Hey, who needs the Austrian Alps when you have the Blue Ridge Mountains?