The Waltons

Season 5 Episode 12

The Best Christmas

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Dec 09, 1976 on CBS
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Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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9.0
out of 10
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49 votes
  • The Best Laid Plans...

    9.0
    Wow! There are no fewer than thirteen recurring characters in this. That's the most we've had in any episode to date. Most welcome appearance has to go to Harley and Verdie Foster, who are back after a long, long break. I like the interaction between them and some of the newer characters, such as Fanny and Curt. Very nice.

    The title may sound sickly sweet, but don't let that fool you. This is an hour full of surprise and drama. Indeed, it's hard to believe how much they manage to cram in. Had they not done one already this season, this would have made an excellent feature-length episode.

    The action kicks off when a hefty snowstorm drives the Waltons apart on Christmas Eve. We then get to follow what each of them does next. Zeb and Esther spend the day with Maude and the night in a hotel lobby. John and Jason help Matthew repair the church roof. Jim Bob chills with Patsy. Ben hangs out with Yancy. Olivia and Elizabeth go to the Godseys. Erin is stuck on the switchboard. Most dramatically of all, John-boy and Mary Ellen help rescue Miss Fanny from a sinking car. It's fast, it's gripping and it's really good to watch.

    Of course, they all get home in the end, but not before each little plot has played out. Best scenes for me are: Jim Bob and Patsy alone in the darkened house, Jason's cheeky comments about Baptists and John-boy's trip to Professor Parks - because it's always good to see Professor Parks.

    Pick of the bunch: John Walton (Ralph Waite)

    Alternate title: The Tempest

    Score: 9.2