The Waltons

Season 2 Episode 24

The Five Foot Shelf

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Mar 07, 1974 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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out of 10
149 votes
  • The Doll

    This was the first episode of 'The Waltons' I ever watched end to end (albeit forty years after it originally aired). I still couldn't remember all the children's names by the end!

    In essence, it's another 'stranger shows up on Walton's Mountain' episode, but this time with a twist: the stranger is a travelling salesman who cons the Waltons into buying an expensive set of books then fails to deliver on his promise.

    As so often, it's all smiles by the end, but ahead of this there are some awkward decisions to be made. Ralph Waite, in particular, puts in an excellent performance as the conflicted man of the house. Guest actor, Ben Piazza, is also good as the book salesman, Mr Reed (groan!).

    Mr Reed's behaviour is odd, to say the least. Surely if you'd just conned somebody AND spent their money at the local store, you'd take the first bus out of town. Instead, Mr Reed hangs around for a whole day at the Waltons' house just waiting to get caught. I also can't believe that John let him walk off scot-free. What kind of an example is that to set?

    It was funny seeing John-boy behave like an excited schoolboy at the thought of all those books. I guess it was the thirties version of getting online for the first time. What a contrast to the calm young man we saw in last week's episode. I also loved how Esther was shouting 'wipe your feet' at everybody who walked into the kitchen, despite there being no doormat on the floor. Er... on what, Grandma? You?

    Pick of the bunch: John Walton (Ralph Waite)

    Alternate title: The Travelling Man

    Score: 8.7