Thursday, May 30, 2013

Waltons 9.7: “The Last Ten Days”

Airdate: 1/8/81

It looks like the end for Ben. As a POW, he is still in the “hot box” for his shenanigans, and when a Japanese captor marches him and another soldier into the hot, steamy jungles and the end of a rifle, he expects the worst. However, after news of the Japanese surrender following two terrifying “bomb attacks,” the captor hands over his rifle and has himself turned in to the occupying American forces. (Safer than having the Americans come to him!)

Other tensions run high these finals days: Elizabeth plays second fiddle to herwould-be beau’s passion for fighter planes, Cindy has Ben’s aforementioned peril on her mind, and Jason and Toni’s on-again, off-again dalliance comes to a head when Jason warns her that he’ll be shipped off yet again, but with the war over she tells him he can hide behind the war no longer, and proposes marriage. He will, after courting some more. I’ll bet, Jason!

The history lessons continue as we finally reach the end of the war with this episode. Actual radio broadcasts are used here for the announcements of the A-bomb droppings and Japanese surrender. All Walton boys safe and sound with Ben’s phone call at the end of the show, and the final dinner scene (well shot with an overhead camera angle) is truly a moment for thanks. Interesting discourse on the ethics of using atomic weaponry, between Mary Ellen, John Boy and the Godseys, show the event’s controversy, one still with us today.

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