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...