Roll out the turkey – it’s time for a family get together, only no one’s really getting together this year. We finally hear from John-Boy; he’s in New York (again) stumbling through a novel with a bad case of writer’s block. Jason, trying to find his own purpose in life, is disillusioned with being a saloon keeper and goes to visit his bro in NY, where he sees potential in composing again after he bumps into his old music professor from Kleinberg. Paul needs some breathing room, and privacy with Erin, when being part of a huge family doesn’t agree with him – so he renovates his own cabin for their own private place. Poor Jim-Bob! He ad Yancy buy a boatload of automotive parts from a transient peddler, only to discover they’re cheap junk, and now they have to break the news to the ones who loaned them the money: the Baldwins. When John returns from Arizona to visit, he helps bail them out and advises them to start anew. But Elizabeth is still in the dumps; she wishes everyone could be home for Thanksgiving. When Aimee, the Baldwins, Drew, Grandma, Yancy, and John-Boy’s girlfriend, Jane, honor the invote to come break bread with the Waltons on T-Day, she gets her wish.
Far less intense than the previous two TVMs, this one is nonetheless composed of a series of min-crises, most of them simply involving personal fulfillment. Older now, the Walton kids are looking ahead at their own crossroads, and determining the best course of accident. No breakups, diseases, accidents, floods or famine this time. Here we get the simple joys – togetherness, and that’s the subtle message the show has thus imparted for so many years. Oh, and the most heartstring-tugging moment? John- Curtis has an imaginary friend in the woods that he keeps wandering off to see. We finally find out who it is when the boy excitedly points to a picture of Zeb in an old photo album. “Oh, you know him too?” he asks a sobbing Grandma, as the rest of the family follow in her tears.
Essentially the last Waltons, until we return 11 years later for the next TVM.