On the face of it, this is the latest in a long run of 'Walton heads to town to find a job' episodes. This time, however, the story does have repercussions in the long run, with John-boy getting hold of the printing press he will use to run the Blue Ridge Chronicle next season.
The story focuses more strongly on one character (in this case, John-boy) than any other up to this point. Indeed, Zeb and John are the only other family members to appear before the twenty-two minute mark. Our hero, meanwhile, has all kind of adventures, buying a printing press, getting a job at the bus station and renting a room in a boarding house for a few weeks. Needless to say, he's back at home by the end of the hour, but his farewell scene is filmed to make it look as if he really is leaving for good.
John-boy looks the business in his ticketseller's uniform. I've no idea why he would want to share a room with Mike Paxton, the bloke who bullied him on his first day at uni, then tried to get his friend Tom thrown out for cheating. Someone like Mike West or Eubank Swanson would have been a far better choice. Perhaps the actors weren't available. Speaking of actors, it's great to see Paul Jenkins again as Professor Parks. He should definitely appear more often.
John-boy and Grandma stories always score highly on here, as the marks for these latest two episodes show. This one has the added kudos of having been written by Earl Hamner himself. It leaves you with the thought that maybe, just maybe, something like this really did happen to him.