The Waltons

Season 4 Episode 10

The Loss

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Nov 13, 1975 on CBS
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Cousin Olivia returns to Walton's Mountain following her husband's sudden death.

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  • Pussy Galore

    So, it's been less than a season since 'The Shivaree', and already one of the newlyweds is dead. That's pretty harsh. It's also a strange choice of subject for a topic like this. While it's good that the show is prepared to deal with tough themes like grief, the episode would have been so much better had it focused on a main cast member rather than a one-off character from last season.

    One thing I do like this week is the pace of the episode. The writing is tidy, and the scenes and reactions seem pretty realistic. Ben and Jim Bob grumbling about Olivia's constant crying is entirely in character, and even Esther tones down the crabbiness for a week.

    Unfortunately, Deborah White's acting once again lets the episode down. She was bad enough in The Shivaree, but she's even worse this time round. Her tears don't convince at all, and when she isn't crying she is far too perky. There's basically nothing in between.

    Of course, it wouldn't be The Waltons without a subplot in which Elizabeth comes to empathise with the grown-ups in the main plot. This week's plot device is a dead cat. The pussy's passing might have been a little sadder had we ever seen the creature before, but seeing as it has never been mentioned until today, I was left wondering how any of them came to be so attached to it. That aside, it is a good performance from young Kami so praise where praise is due.

    My hunch? Bob faked his own death to get away from his wife's dreadful acting. As I say, it's just a hunch.

  • A painful example of when outside characters head into Walton's mountain.

    The Waltons works best as an ensemble cast interacting with each other. Unfortunately when you throw in a grieving widow without the emotional setup so that we in the audience care about the situation, we just want to run and hide. This is a sequel to a prior episode about a farcical wedding called "The Shivaree" from season 3. Now cousin Olivia must cope with that loss. The final result is basically to move on with life. Flashbacks replace character exploration and I couldn't help but find myself apathetic to the entire situation. This might have been a good idea on paper but it fails miserably when put to film.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Opening Narration: Sometimes life goes on in peaceful cycles like the seasons, a gradual blending of time and events that we scarcely notice, and just as we think we may have learned all there is to know about life, fate conspires to show us just how little we do know. Such was the case one especially beautiful day in early fall. Our parents had told us that Olivia Hill had lost her husband in an accident and that she was coming to spend a few weeks with us.

    • Closing Narration: Our family learned a lot that fall about life, about loss, but mostly about loving, thanks to Olivia and to Calico.

  • NOTES (1)