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.