The Waltons

Season 7 Episode 24

Founders' Day

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Mar 22, 1979 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
21 votes
  • The Ending that Never Was

    Poor old Jason. When he started his course at the Kleinberg Conservatory back in 1935 he couldn't possibly have imagined he'd still be there seven years later. This episode does finally give him the chance to graduate, but not until he's finished his tricky last assignment. Just as he did at his recital in 'The House', Jason comes up with something cheery and contemporary. His professor is not amused.

    I did like professor Bowen. First proper haircut we've seen on this show. Yes, it was obvious he would turn up to listen to Jason in the end, but he kept us guessing to the last. I also quite liked Jason's tune: much better than that dreadful 'Children's Carol' from last season.

    While Walton No.2 is busy composing, the Baldwins decide to hold a fete to celebrate the founding of the village. We don't see much of the event itself, but the build-up, where the Waltons, Baldwins and Godseys each find accounts saying their forebears were the first to settle on the mountain, is rather good. We never do find out which account is right, but the name of the village doesn't change, so I guess they all come to terms.

    The extra-long closing narration, with its summing up of all the characters, suggests this was written as a series finale, in which case it leaves quite a lot dangling. Aside from Jason finishing college, none of the Waltons gets any closure: Olivia is still unwell, Jim Bob has just lost his lifeplan and ME is left as a widow. Oh, and there's still a war on. I'm glad they made Season Eight!

    Pick of the bunch: Professor Bowen (Dean Jagger)

    Alternate title: The Portrait (referring to Jason's composition, Appalachian Portrait)

    Score: 9.0

  • One of my favorite episodes, nice overview of the meaning of the series.

    Jason Walton struggles to combine his musical training and his heart in one piece of composition that will satisfy his course requirements.

    I tend to think of this episode as the "real" finale for the Waltons series, a good wrap up of a season that deals with the absence of John Boy who is off to be a writer, the loss of Grandpa (Will Geer had died this year), and the winds of World War II sweeping America into its clutches. The story is fairly simple, long-time musical aspiree Jason is struggling with a composition that suits his professor and conforms to classic style. At the same time, there is some distraction as the Waltons, Baldwins, and Godseys believe that their ancestors were the original settlers to the mountains. But this does set up the Founders Day celebration. What Jason ends up composing is something simpler and from his heart, something his teacher is disappointed in at first, but one that works perfectly for Founder's Day on Waltons Mountain.

    Since this was seen as a possible last episode, Jason's music is accompanied by a narration by Earl Hamner that is pretty moving and sums up the lives of the Walton's and the people that had settled this area of Virginia. As a fan of the series, I thought it worked extremely well.