The Waltons

Season 2 Episode 19

The Gift

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Jan 24, 1974 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
23 votes
  • Jason finds out that life isn't always fair.

    In this episode of "The Waltons", Jason learns the harsh truth that life can deal out things to good people that isn't always fair when he finds out his best friend Seth is going to die from leukemia.

    When his friends and family members find out the sad news, each has their own way of dealing with their feelings: his mother wants him to stay in bed and not enjoy what time he has left, Seth wants to enjoy all around him before he dies, his father wants to make his wish of singing with his band come true, and Jason is reluctant to confront his feelings about what is happening. I thought that it was really touching that both John Boy and Grandpa helped Jason deal with what he is feeling and come to terms with his friend's death.

    In this episode, the writing shows the classic Walton family personality of helping out your friends and neighbors and ultimatley helping a member of the family deal with something that is new to them.
  • Parting Glances

    This is a ballsy episode with a heartbreaking theme, but it isn't the tearjerker it should have been.

    First up, congratulations to the writers for going through with a storyline like this. Although the character of Seth was created solely for this episode, the idea of a young life being snatched away is very poignant, and for once, gives the audience something to think about beyond who will be leading the goodnights this week.

    Each character reacts differently to Seth's illness. John-boy goes quiet and awkward, while Jason is in total denial and doesn't even want to see his friend. For me this was a missed opportunity. Showing Jason and Seth coming to terms with his illness together would have made this a real bullet of an episode, but instead Jason mopes in his room while Seth largely carries on as if nothing's happened. Great performances from both Richard and Jon though.

    I didn't agree with Seth's mum's approach. She just wanted to lock him in his room and watch him die. The way she turned against Olivia so suddenly was bizarre, though Olivia could have helped both of them by telling her what had happened to Jim Bob's twin. In the end, Seth's dad comes home and they all move away. Considering the subject matter, it's a bit of a soft ending.

    I note the guest actor playing Seth was quite a well-known actor at the time. Nice-looking bloke too. Apparently he went on to direct 'A Beautiful Mind' and 'The Da Vinci Code'. Gosh!

    Pick of the bunch: Seth Turner (Ron Howard)

    Alternate title: The Parting

    Score: 8.8