In order to continue doing business with the Norfolk army base, John must prove that he graduated high school – but he can’t find the diploma. It turns out his principal claimed that he would arrange John’s graduation so he could join the army earlier, but he never did. What to do? Olivia’s idea: take an equivalency exam, one that she can (conveniently) proctor since she is currently a substitute teacher. After poring through grammar and math books, John takes the test, and is not at all confident he has passed, until is greeted with a “graduation” party by his family.
Meanwhile, Mary Ellen finds herself as the replacement for Nurse Nora, a doctor to the backwoods folk of Waltons Mountain, and she isn’t exactly greeted with open arms. To ingratiate herself with the locals she must be dogged and persistent, and bringing along cute little John Curtis doesn’t hurt either!
Lightweight episode, you could say, has the binding theme of fitting in. New cast members Rose, Serena and Jeffrey are finding their groove, and John Curtis Jr. gets a fairly sizable chunk of screen time.
We’re told that this episode takes place sometime in 1943.
Anachronism alert: gotta love those 80s-style designer jeans, Mary Ellen!