Well, I said in my last review that this season was one of ups and downs. After last week's heartwarming high, this is a spectacular low.
First up, this does not need to be a feature-length episode. There's barely enough material to last an hour, let alone two. With John McGreevey writing and Lawrence Dobkin directing, you'd expect something poignant and punchy. Instead, the story drags and the characters drone and hardly anything happens. The plot is essentially two hours of people sitting around feeling down about the war, and to make matters worse, the Waltons have taken in a couple of miserable children from the UK. Why on Earth they were evacuated to Virginia is a bit of a mystery in itself, but now they're here, they seem determined to drag down the mood as far as they can.
There are a few good things. Jason's wavering over the National Guard is a theme the writers will come back to in later seasons. Verdie's charity cake-bake and Ben's benevolence when she loses her money are a nice touch. And I did like Elizabeth's attitude to all the moping around her. It was if she was speaking for the audience.
But that's about it for the good stuff. That scene at Ike's after church looks like a first rehearsal. Several actors trip on their lines, and you can see people standing stock still in the background just waiting to move when the previous character stops speaking. I've seen better Am Dram! The British girl is a decent actress, but her character is about as interesting as an accountants' convention, and I don't get why she says 'mum' at the end of each sentence. Nobody in Britain does that. Mary Ellen's argument with Curt is just horrible.
Of course, the show has to finish on a high, so we end with a truly awful singalong of Jason's new carol. It can only get better from here.