A brilliant episode which sees John-boy and Jason get their first big breaks in writing and music, but with very different results.
The main story sees John-boy get his first book published, only to find out he has to pay for the print run himself (and presumably do all the marketing). It's a wonderful lesson in pride and humility, and I would rate this as Richard's best performance to date, as he runs through elation, smugness, despair and self-pity in quick succession. As a writer myself, I can relate to everything he is going through. It's hard enough making it now: it must have been nigh-impossible before Amazon.
At the same time, Jason gets talent-spotted at Ike's and ends up playing with a local country & western band. This would have made a worthy main plot, but having him play second fiddle (pun fully intended) to John-boy's story is genius. In what must be an intentional metaphor for the show as a whole, poor Jason is completely outshone by his elder brother. He does take centre stage at the end, of course, but by then the point has been made.
It's good to see Ike back after several weeks away. This season has been noticeably short on recurring characters. We also meet the wonderful Bobby Bigelow and the dashing Professor Parks for the first time.
Even with all this going on, there's still time for a subplot in which the children repair an old rowing boat. I did like John-boy's solution for tightening the wood. That's clever!