The Waltons

Season 6 Episode 9

The First Casualty

1
Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Nov 10, 1977 on CBS
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7.3
out of 10
Average
28 votes
  • Goodnight George William

    9.5
    It's not often I write a glowing review for an episode which has just killed off my favourite character, but this is such a well-written hour it deserves a few good words.

    The plot is first-class. It weaves together three army-related stories without giving anything away. Firstly, Curt gets called up to the medical corps. Secondly, GW gets a few days off to spend with Erin and his folks. Thirdly, Yancy marries Sissy then heads off to Richmond to enlist. The title gives you an inkling that somebody is going to get hurt, but it's not clear who it will be. In hindsight, it's clear they are setting up GW for a fall, with plenty of shots of him hugging his parents and running off into the sunshine, but this isn't obvious at the time. When I first watched it, I thought the casualty was going to be one of Curt's patients. I also felt bad that Curt had to leave so soon. As for GW, I was still rooting for him to leave the army and get back with Erin.

    Yancy's wedding provides the lighter side of the story. It was 1937 when he proposed to Sissy so it's about time they got hitched. I loved the send-off with the marching band, but I wasn't at all surprised he got sent back on health grounds. Nice try, Mr Tucker.

    The news of GW's death comes like a bolt from the blue. For me, this is one of the defining moments of the series, and the scene where John reads the young man's will to Erin is a real tearjerker. At least David Doremus gets to go out on a high. This is virtually his last TV appearance, so I'm guessing it was his idea not to continue with the role. I wonder what he's doing these days? I know he's married and I know he has four children. And his wife's name? Erin.

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