Friday, May 3, 2013

Waltons 7.21: “The Tailspin”

Airdate: 3/15/79

When Jim-Bob is run in for running a red light, he fails the vision test when he renews his license, meaning he will not pass the requirements for joining the Air Corps – his lifelong dream. Dejected, he drops out of school (which he was not doing well in anyway, despite being tutored by Corabeth in English) and threatens to enlist in the army. John refuses to sign for him (necessary since Jim Bob is underage) until he starts acting up and mouthing off,
at which time he lets Jim Bob decide his on fate. Only after helping Corabeth change a tire, and she explains to him the necessity of comprising one’s dreams, does he reconsider his rash decision. Subplot: Mary Ellen rebuffs the romantic interests of a young serviceman who knew her husband, instead steering them toward a disinterested Erin. Only after realizing she is entitled to a social life again does she accept a date with the soldier – and stays out past the family goodnights!

We learn from this show that Jim Bob does not fly – instead, due to his vision impairment, he will build planes using his mechanical expertise. Subplot also shifts gears for Mary Ellen, who puts away the apron and decides it’s okay to step out again. And clever use of metaphor in the title!

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