Monday, May 6, 2013

Waltons 8.2: “The Home Front, Part 2”

Airdate: 9/20/79

We conclude the aforementioned episode with resolutions to all storylines (shocker!): Jason comes through with his unit, learning that tough love is being kind, and gets promoted to sergeant; Erin gets her assistant manager position; Aimee realizes what a snob she is; Cindy figures out she’s pregnant; and John tries to get Calvin Satterfield to back off his family, after Jim-Bob narrowly escaped getting shot while fixing his car. Oh, and a small surprise development at the very end: John-Boy is reported MIA.

Dénouement to the Part I crises is a bit more melodramatic. The Satterfield story is well-meaning but broadly acted, and the revelation of John-Boy’s MIA to imbue John with a kind of “Oh, I feel your pain” empathy after a mono-a-mono standoff between the two fathers feels exploitative.

Actor George Ralph Dicenzo plays Calvin here, and although he’s a fine character actor, appearing in dozens of crime shows in the 70s, he looks too ethnic here to be paying a mountain man. Back to the Future fans will recognize him as Lorainne’s dad!

Corniest scene: the entire family applauds Cindy’s morning sickness at the breakfast table.

We learn from this episode that Ben has an “essential-worker” deferment from the army as he is a mill hand. Also there is no closing narration by Earl Hamner as we end with taps and a mournful tone.

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