In a break with Walton tradition, Erin decides to leave school at sixteen. The episode follows her fortunes as she first takes a job as a waitress, then helps out at a business school and, lastly, enrols on a business course. There's a lot packed into the hour, and the rest of the cast are all given plenty to do. John-boy is after a typewriter. Jason gets involved in a fight. And Jim Bob sneaks a peek at his big brother's novel.
It's a reasonable story, but one which leaves far more questions than answers. First up, if Erin is so unsure of her future, why leave school early? At least three of her four elder siblings stayed on until eighteen. Surely this would give her more time to mull through her options, not to mention better prospects when she does leave.
Secondly, why does Erin not marry Chad? The only reason she wasn't allowed to marry him in 'The Elopement' was because her parents wanted her to finish school. Now she's not there any more, what's stopping her? Chad's plans haven't changed.
And where does this leave Ben? Is he still at shool? It was confirmed last season that he is a year older than Erin, and in 'The Nurse', he makes it clear he will be next to leave school after Mary Ellen. There's been no mention of him finishing though. If he is staying on until eighteen this makes it even stranger that Erin has chosen to leave.
Oh well. It's still worth watching, if only for Jason's fight at the diner. Mean and moody Jon Walmsley totally rocks!