A touching and captivating episode which sees Martha Corinne return to Walton's Mountain one last time. The action centres wholly on the Waltons and their aged aunt, with only one other character appearing - a dinner date for Erin. There are no Godseys, no Baldwins, not even Curt. This is the Waltons stripped down to its bloodkin basics, and it's easy to see why it's such a fan favourite.
Beulah Bondi really is wonderful as Martha Corinne, and I'm so glad the producers didn't replace her with another actress. She manages to make her character both meddlesome and lovable at the same time, which is no easy thing to do. There are many things I like about Martha Corinne, not least that she treats everyone as an equal. Although she is never afraid to give others a piece of her mind, she never talks down to them, and is always prepared to listen. Once again, The Waltons spans the generation gap like it isn't even there.
One thing I can't quite fathom is whether Martha Corinne actually dies in this episode or not. The story ends with her having a turn while picking daisies, but it doesn't show what happens next. Although the closing narration shows John-boy standing by her headstone, the narration at the end of 'The Conflict' says she lived until 1939, in which case that shot of John-boy must have been a flash forward. For me, the jury's still out.
What this episode does show is that you don't need an unexpected stranger or family crisis to make a spellbinding story. Sometimes, the plight of a lonely old woman is enough.