John, once again overworked and understaffed, breaks his back to fill a lumber order, but when his saw motor shorts out – so does he. The new John Walton is a somewhat punchy but carefree hedonist – going fishing, hunting… and tying one on (or two – or three) with Ike. Suspicious, and concerned, family members try to help, and when John finally snaps out of it, they assist him with manpower, new machinery and moral support. Meanwhile Jeffrey preps for a soap box derby, but when it gets cancelled, the town host their own local version.
Interesting episode must have been great fun for Ralph Waite to act – his “Mr. Hyde” isn’t evil, but he has the same gleeful look in his eye. A heedless variation on the supergo/ego formula, it’s good to see John, and the show itself, let down its hair now and again!
Nice use of the William Tell Overture during the final derby race.