The Barkley family is celebrating the unveiling of a statue of their father in Stockton, and Victoria wants one of her sons to wear their father's boots to the ceremony. To Victoria's sedated chagrin, Heath is the only one with paws petite enough to squeeze into Senor Barkely's waders. But Heath is not so sure he's ready to don his pa's footwear. After all, the man fathered him and then abandoned him and his mother. Meanwhile, Victoria is struggling with a racket of emotions and questions surrounding her deceased husband's infidelity. When Heath can't answer her, she takes a little trip to dusty, deserted Strawberry, where Heath grew up, in order to satisfy her troubled mind.
This particular story has some strong undercurrents running through it, including the internal devastation racking Victoria, the mystery surrounding her husband's relationship, and the sinister secrets hidden in Strawberry. The potential of the episode is squelched a bit by some confusion and credibility. First, there appear to be only five people left in the entire town, and three of those are the ones key to Victoria's fact hunt. Secondly, the close friend of Heath's mother Leah (named Rachel, for added confusion) has died recently and her death is shrouded in mystery. However, the reason her assailants did her in is never clearly explained. Moreover, there seems to be a contradiction in what Heath's mother knew, what she told him, etc. because in the first episode, Heath says that his mother never talked of his father; in this episode, it seems he heard about him on numerous occasions.The ending seemed a little too tidy as well. That a gunman, hidden from view but with a clear shot with a rifle, just happens to miss unsuspecting Heath and Victoria in broad daylight in their buggy - is not likely. Likewise, Victoria seems satisfied with her late husband's letter to Leah that his infidelity was not so bad after all.
All the talk about love - did he love her? Did she love him? Did he ever love Victoria? Can she still love him? It gets a little annoying. But score extra for the scintillating performance by Heath's conniving auntie, the marvelous Jeanne Cooper.