John and Olivia continue to stress about the uncertainty of John-Boy’s MIA status, so they go to the Charlottesville Red Cross to try to get information. Meantime John-Boy’s book publisher comes, interesting in publishing his journal, but he needs the authorization of his next of kin: John and Olivia. Initially reluctant because they feel it means John-Boy is dead, they reconsider, but back off yet again when they feel the book advertising may be exploitative. Finally, after actually reading the journal when they are notified that John-Boy’s plane went down over occupied Belgium, they agree to publication.
Subplot: a major Walton’s milestone – Reckless, the longtime family canine, dies, and Ben gets a crash course in fatherhood when he goes through trail and error of helping Jeffrey deal with the traumatic situation.
Double-packed with emotion, this episode continues the season-long nail-biter about John-Boy’s disappearance. But there’s one logical glitch – if Earl Hamner, who represents John-Boy, is still narrating, isn’t it assured that he’s alright? Or is he speaking from the grave, a la Kevin Spacey in American Beauty?