The Big Valley

Season 1 Episode 8

My Son, My Son

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Nov 03, 1965 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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out of 10
29 votes
  • "Audra asks for it"

    A creepy childhood friend of Audra's returns just in time to help her celebrate her birthday - and rape her.

    I guess it can be argued whether Evan is actually emotionally disturbed or just plain evil, but the reaction he evokes every time he's onscreen in this episode is revulsion. I couldn't wait for the end to come and have Victoria finally do him in - although it took her long enough! In real life, her daughter would have been dead by the time it took for her to pull the trigger as she was choked for several seconds (oh, and Victoria claims she tried everything but nothing worked, but a solid bite on Evan's tricep probably would have produced favorable results).

    Victoria's annoying in this episode - Audra's assaulted and her mother questions whether she didn't send out the wrong signals to the neighbor boy - then goes and apologizes on her behalf! Linda Evans is so demure throughout the episode, despite the sexual harassment, it seems as though she wouldn't send out any signals at all...

    Later, Mrs. Barkley's little speech at the end to her daughter was also kind of weird. She says how parents naturally defend their children no matter what, instinctively. But a good parent, a true parent, would have the tough love necessary to do the right thing and stand up to their kids, particularly when they had turned into rotten sociopaths that were hurting themselves and spreading evil wherever they went. It seems as though Evan's mom wanted this for her son, but the father really didn't love his boy enough to do the hard thing and let him face some consequences.

    Nick, as always, takes the cake in so many ways :)

  • This is probably my favorite episode.

    There are so many great episodes in this series, but I think this is the one I like the best...I am sure some will disagree with me because of its graphic content. But I find it interesting how the young guy really does want to be gentle, but he does not know how, because he's been encouraged by his dad to act rough and be a ladies' man. Robert Walker, Jr. (son of Robert Sr. and Jennifer Jones) is excellent...he's handsome and he's you can see why Audra would be simultaneously attracted to, and repelled by, him. I don't think Audra encouraged the attack...she was confused and she had long-time feelings for him. I like how the writers have the young man killed off at the end of the third act...I think most stories would have him die at the end with a tidy little resolution. But in this episode, there's still another ten minutes of screen time after the sets up a powerful denouement, where the families have to sift through the emotional wreckage, stop making excuses about what has happened and move forward. Stanwyck is particularly good at the end of Act 3 and during Act 4. When Victoria kills (to protect her daughter), the action is rife with irony, not to mention Freudian it makes for a rather interesting and justifiable homicide. The writing is solid, the acting is top-notch and Paul Henried's direction is tight and there is not one wasted moment.
  • Now this episode promised the world what was to come in the history of television. Violence, madness, and a crazy character that was more than a pre-show for later characters on TV.

    This episode was very hard to watch, because of the extreme subject matter, although very familiar, but still extreme. When Audra, portrayed by the lovely Linda Evans is continuously harrased by a mental case of an old friend, her family begins to suspect the problems they should deal with. The boys' family are the Barkleys neihbors. Trying to avoid rivalries, Ma Barkley attempts to smooth out the problem a number of times, before a shocking turn of events forces her to do something she knows she has to do. This episode was so thrilling and suspenceful. It had the situation of sexual harrassment and rape. Not only this, but the crazy character was a real pre-show for later crazies in TV like Katherine Wentworth of "Dallas", or even the favored Kimberly Shaw of "Melrose PL." My point being, that it is a great time all around, but very dreadful, and yet very exciting.