The Waltons

Season 6 Episode 20

The Family Tree

0
Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Feb 09, 1978 on CBS
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6.6
out of 10
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30 votes
  • Driving Miss Verdie

    9.5
    A sensitive, thought-provoking hour that sees Jason chauffeur Verdie around the county in search of her family's past. Against Harley's wishes, Verdie finds her birthplace, uncovers her grandparents' graves and comes face to face with a bitter old plantation owner. It's a shame 'The Roots' has already been used, as it would have summed up this episode perfectly.

    Some of the findings are a little too convenient, like Verdie's birth just happening to be the first entry on the first page she turns to in the register, and there just happening to be a sketch of her great grandfather wearing his pendant at the plantation owner's house. All in all though, it's a bold and poignant storyline, and it's done with dignity on all sides. The script is a perfect fit for Jason's character, but leaves little room for Ben, Olivia and Mary Ellen, who only appear in one scene.

    Not for the first time, Elizabeth gets the subplot. This time, she decides to write to a soldier in Camp Lee, telling him she is eighteen and sending him pictures of Erin. She then gets the shock of her life when the soldier turns up at the door. Considering the trouble she could have got herself and her sister into, the whole family treats this as one hilarious joke, inviting the soldier in for supper and treating him as if he were GW.

    It's strange to watch this storyline today. In a time when we're constantly being warned about grown men posing as young lads to attract teenage girls, it's easy to forget it can happen the other way round. At first glance, the sight of a six-foot soldier befriending a young girl and her parents seems oh-so-very wrong, but on reflection, what's really wrong is how mistrustful we've all become.

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