As good as it is to see Barney back in Mayberry, there is a bit of oddness when he first gets back. One wonders did he never call or write when he left for Raleigh? Did he really just up and leave Thelma Lou the way it seems?
The episode really gets back to its old rhythms when Andy and Barney share a porch scene and then go to the class reunion. The meeting with Thelma Lou is magical, but then what happens next is completely devestating and wrong in so many ways. Barney is crushed beyond anything that he's ever faced before. What's worse is that the writers introduce a new girl (actually an old classmate) and suddenly Barney is expected to forget all about it. It seems unfair and a shallow cheat that was only corrected in the Mayberry reunion movie twenty years later.