I absolutely love this episode. It's the first to feature Ben as the central character, and the writers have come up with a brilliant story to mark the occasion.
The plot goes like this. Ben's friend, Nancy, persuades him to drive her to Charlottesville so she can meet her mother. Ben takes John-boy's car but leaves the keys in the ignition when he parks it. A joyrider then 'borrows' the car and gets involved in a hit and run, so the police come knocking at John-boy's door. Ben owns up to taking the car but refuses to grass Nancy up, getting himself farther and farther into trouble.
The episode is filled with tension almost from first to last, and Ben's argument with his father is one of the best scenes on the show so far. Nancy is a proper manipulative little wench, although with her father being the way he is I can understand why she might be that way. I thought the guest actress could have been a little more convincing, but it's a minor criticism.
Top marks this week go to Eric Scott for a fine and convincing performance. In his first starring role, he has the limelight almost to himself for the first twenty minutes, and he doesn't disappoint. It's such a shame he left acting once The Waltons had ended.
Lastly, did anybody notice the crew member ducking behind the van as John and Ben drove up to Nancy's house? He was kind of hard to miss in his bright orange outfit!