Esther comes into some money and the others set about spending it for her. This is a really good twist on the show's usual material. It's reassuring to see how the Waltons become a regular American family as soon as money is offered, especially the children. Ben and Jason squabbling over their share of the spoils is spot on.
Ellen Corby puts in another sparkling performance, from grief at her friend's death to joy at being able to send John-boy to college, with a whole lot of brooding in between. Esther's decision to pay for the church roof is a given, and her gift of three dollars to each of the children makes for some fascinating twists and turns.
Of course, the moment the family starts spending the money it becomes obvious the cheque will never arrive, and the writers don't disappoint. Mary Ellen's hair-lightening experiment is the best bit, although we don't get to see the inevitable telling-off.
Is fifty dollars really that much for a church roof? The Waltons raised more than that by themselves in 'The Deed'. There seems to be quite a big congregation at this church. Surely a few coffee mornings would do the trick?
At the end of the day, money does often bring out the worst in people, but human nature requires us to crave it, and that is something even the Waltons cannot change. Good stuff indeed!