So John-boy has been dreading going on his first hunt. Yeah, I can understand that. Fits well with his character. When he failed to shoot the turkey I was worried the episode might degenerate into another round of fluffy animal love, but our hero swiftly redeems himself by shooting a bear and saving his dad. Incidentally, we learn in a later episode that bears can be frightened off simply by banging two stones together, but neither of the Johns appears to know this.
This was the first episode of the regular series to be filmed. If you didn't know this already, there's a wee clue in that it features two characters from 'The Homecoming': Charlie Sneed and Hawthorne Dooley. Hawthorne will appear once more in 'The Fire', but we never see Charlie again, which is a shame as Tom Peters, who plays him, is fantastic. My guess is that Tom chose not to continue, so the producers recast Robert Donner in the role and changed the character's name to Yancy to avoid confusing the fans.
Mary-Ellen gets a sub plot in which she has to choose between buying a dress and buying a baseball glove. In the end she chooses the glove and successfully attracts a man, giving us our first glimpse of the son-in-law we all wish we had: GW Haynes.
Seriously, what on Earth is John Sr made of? He gets mauled by a bear for a good few minutes then gets up without a scratch. How can he even be alive, let alone unharmed? The bloke must be made of iron!
Impossible toughness aside, this is a decent hour with plenty to think about and just a hint of danger.