Monday, June 10, 2013

Waltons 9.21: “The Hostage”

Airdate: 5/28/81

One of Mary Ellen’s hillbilly patients dies, and one of his dying wishes is to see his 14-year old granddaughter, Sissy, married to a mountain man. Job, a sort of surrogate father to the girl, decides he will be the groom, but Mary Ellen puts a stop to that by seizing Sissy and taking her back to the Waltons. Job follows her and kidnaps Elizabeth, only releasing her in exchange for Sissy. After several cat-and-mouse chases, Sheriff Bridges and the Walton boys face Job in a standoff, and it’s Elizabeth who talks some sense into him, coaxing his capitulation and returning to her family. Epilogue: Job’s sentence is reduced, he learns to read, and Sissy marries, and not as a child bride.

Oft-referenced Cousin Octavia finally makes her appearance, visiting the Baldwins and beguiling them with her quirky-bird ways. She’s also a bit of a fix-it woman, but Ike suspects she may be trying to kill the Baldwins. All is set straight in the end – she’s only a kleptomaniac!

Hostage drama has its moments, but really does little in developing the main characters any. The moutainfolk are pretty much as caricaturish as they’ve always been in the series, particularly Job’s mom (who doubtlessly understudies for Ma Kettle on the weekends). Subplot features the legendary character actress Mary Wickes as Octavia, but her oddball character really doesn’t make any sense.

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