What a peculiar way to end the season. Last week's instalment would have made a really good finale, with John-boy returning home with his new printing press and a plan for the year ahead. Instead, we get a pointless filler episode focused on somebody we met once at the start of season three.
The story isn't great, but it's Selina's behaviour that really chafes. When we met her in 'The Thoroughbred', she was a friendly, down-to-earth country girl. Now, all of a sudden, she's a rude, spoilt rich kid with a chip on her shoulder the size of Texas. It's as if the writers saw her kiss John-boy in the script and felt they had to turn her into the same cocky, self-obsessed b*tch he always seems to go for. I get that she wants to see the world, but all that stuff about the Spanish Civil War is ridiculous. At least Kathleen Quinlan makes a decent fist of the acting.
The same cannot be said for the girl who appears in Elizabeth's subplot. This is actually a reasonable story, in which Elizabeth befriends a new girl at school. 'Ariel', as she likes to be known, claims she has the best of everything at home, but it turns out her parents are dead and she lives in a shack with her aunt. It would have been quite touching but for the guest actress. I know it sounds harsh to criticise a child, but her acting is so wooden it would make a chest of drawers blush.
Rather sadly for the season finale, the rest of the cast hardly get a look in. I guess they couldn't introduce Colonel Linville to the Waltons or they might have recognised him as Uncle Cody from 'The Courtship'. Here's hoping next season starts on a better note.