The Waltons

Season 5 Episode 15

The Ferris Wheel

7
Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Jan 06, 1977 on CBS
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7.7
out of 10
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58 votes
  • The Beginning of the End

    8.5
    This is the last episode to feature Ellen Corby before she had her stroke, and thus the last in the regular series to feature all the original cast. Rather sadly, it seems she fell ill while the episode was still being filmed, as she only appears briefly in one early scene. Tellingly, a couple of later scenes show Zeb emerging from his room alone, then shouting something to an unseen Esther through the door.

    The story itself is a bit of a strange one, with Elizabeth having a recurring nightmare in which she is stuck on a ferris wheel. There are several very seventies dream sequences, complete with ghostlike figures and coloured lights. We also have some rather far-fetched sleepwalking, including one scene in which Elizabeth inexplicably manages to climb up the wheel itself while still asleep. All rather odd.

    The subplot is much, much better. Poor Ben is fed up of being short so he buys some thick-soled shoes in a bid to make himself taller. Nobody notices, and his dad and grandpa both brush off his concerns as if they don't matter, telling him he'll catch up in good time. At the age of seventeen, this seems pretty unlikely. As a short bloke myself, I have every sympathy for Ben. Kudos also to Eric Scott, who no doubt felt just as self-conscious about his height as I did at that age.

    PS: I do like Jim Bob's new clobber. Makes him look very grown up.

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