The Waltons

Season 9 Episode 21

The Hostage

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM May 28, 1981 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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out of 10
41 votes
  • The Betrothed

    I really don't know what to make of this episode. One minute it's trying to be threatening and serious; the next it's rooting for a laugh. In the end, it's neither one thing nor the other, and the two opposing stories just kind of cancel each other out.

    For the umpteenth time, the main plot sees the Waltons get themselves into trouble by sticking their noses into other people's business. This time, Mary Ellen takes it upon herself to snatch a girl named Sissy from her fiancee, Job. When Job takes Elizabeth hostage to try and get Sissy back, suddenly he's the bad guy. He loses his girl, winds up in prison and basically has his life ruined. Elizabeth, meanwhile, doesn't seem remotely bothered about being kidnapped. It's like she's already read the script.

    The 'backward hillbillies' thing has been done to death on this show. Yes, maybe there were folk living like that during the Depression, but it's 1946 now and America has full employment. I can understand a few families still living off the grid, but in Jefferson County it seems to be every other house.

    The comedy subplot is awful. A pantomime dame of a cousin comes to stay with the Baldwins, and Ike becomes convinced she's trying to kill them. Yes, Cousin Octavia is a fun character, but her antics just don't fit the mood of the kidnapping plot. If you want a proper chuckle, watch the grandfather's death scene at the beginning. It's worse than a school play. I was laughing out loud even before Job announced, "He's better off now, Sissy. I'll fetch the shovel".

    I'm glad John Crawford came back for this one. Ep has been notably part-time of late. I'm also liking Gary Grubbs as Job. Shave off those early eighties locks and he'd be quite tidy.

    Pick of the bunch: Ep Bridges (John Crawford)

    Alternate title: The Shivaree (a shivaree was originally an attempt to prevent an undesirable wedding from happening, as Mary Ellen is doing here)

    Score: 7.8

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