The Waltons

Season 4 Episode 5

The Boondoggle

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Oct 09, 1975 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

Write A Review
out of 10
36 votes
  • The Fish

    A travel writer named Mr Sims uncovers an inconvenient truth about Judge Baldwin, while Jim Bob tries his hand as a fish salesman. And, yes, I did mean to say 'fish salesman'.

    First up, I am absolutely loving the Baldwin sisters this week. They really are so up in the clouds. The way Mamie takes to her sick bed upon hearing that her father allowed Yankee soldiers into the house is pure farce, but the cast play it utterly deadpan. Helen Kleeb must have been trying so hard not to laugh out loud. At the same time, Mr Sims' stance that the truth should not be altered to avoid offending people is something John-boy will later champion in his own reporting.

    Jim Bob gets this week's subplot, in which he creates a holding pond for the fish he is trying to sell, only for Elizabeth to release them just when his customers need them. This is typical Waltons, never sure whether livestock is there to be cuddled or eaten. The other children barely get a line. Poor Jason's only contribution is to leap around the garden like a ten year-old shouting 'Boondoggle'. Rather sad for an eighteen year-old undergraduate.

    I'll admit, I'd never heard the word 'boondoggle' before watching this episode. Esther says it means a job done fraudulently, while Mr Sims says it is something cobbled together from bits and pieces. Its true meaning, according to Merriam Webster's online dictionary, is: "an expensive and wasteful project usually paid for with public money". Gotta love the internet.

    Pick of the bunch: Mamie Baldwin (Helen Kleeb)

    Alternate title: The Literary Man

    Score: 9.2