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The Waltons

Season 4 Episode 2

The Genius

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Sep 18, 1975 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
28 votes

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Episode Summary

John-Boy's dean asks him to take care of a 16-year-old genius college student for a weekend who's gifted in all academic areas, but woefully lacking in social graces.

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  • The Geek

    At first glance, this may look like any other 'Waltons host a stranger' episode, but in truth it's something of a first for the show. Young Lyle's Spocklike manner may be a little ridiculous, but this is the first time we have seen anybody question the Waltons' inner beliefs.

    Helped by a very good guest actor, Lyle is the perfect academic nerd, thus proving that all brainy folk are socially awkward in the same way as 'The System' showed us that all sportsmen are inherently dim. Lyle's lack of social skills allows the writers to have fun with his lines, and the way he basically calls the Waltons stupid for believing in God is something I never expected to see. Slightly frustratingly, he eventually decides he needs to be more like his hosts, and he completes a remarkable and almost instant transformation in his final scene.

    I did like the church bazaar. John-boy, or should I say Richard Thomas, makes a great fairground showman. That flat cap really does suit him. Erin's play is about as good as you would expect, but I did love the improvised costumes, with Jim Bob wearing his pilot's hat and Lyle wearing Blue's blanket.

    The children are growing up fast. Jim Bob is already taller than Ben, and has a deeper voice, yet according to The Runaway (3x04), he is still only eleven years old. Hmmm...

  • When the Dean at Boatwright University sees that JonBoy isn't doing so well in one of his subjects,he sends a genius home with him, but the family starts to become angry when the genius starts dissing God and hitting on Mary Ellen.moreless

    It was funny to see Grandma Esther's facial expressions when the genius called her and the family stupid for being Christian, and then to see Grandpa Zeb's aproach to calm her down. But the over-all funniest thing has to be the genius try to be the hottie McHottie to MaryEllen who at the time looked like an alien. But then the family starts to see that there's more to the genius than what they thought before, and so they try to help him see the light, and in the end, you can obviously see that he's heading in a new direction! CLAP CLAP~Oldshowsfinaticmoreless
Helen Kleeb

Helen Kleeb

Miss Mamie Baldwin

Joe Conley

Joe Conley

Ike Godsey

Ellen Corby

Ellen Corby

Grandma Esther Walton

Mary Jackson

Mary Jackson

Miss Emily Baldwin

Richard Thomas

Richard Thomas

John-Boy Walton

Judy Norton

Judy Norton

Mary Ellen Walton

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Opening Narration: In those trying years of the Depression the achievements of any Walton family member were a source of pride for all of us. But the visit to our home of an extraordinary young man gave us all a new, and perhaps more balanced, perspective in our views toward academic brilliance. It happened on a weekend when we were getting ready for a church bazaar.

    • Closing Narration: Lyle Thomason came back to stay with us several more times, and we enjoyed his visits very much. He did indeed prove to be a decent, kind, and very likable human being. But what pleased us even more, was that after that weekend, Lyle spent almost all of his free time visiting his own parents.

  • NOTES (1)