The Waltons

Season 4 Episode 4

The Prophecy

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Oct 02, 1975 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
43 votes
  • The Class of 1911

    It's nice to have a John-based episode for a change. We don't get to hear about his past all that much. The idea of a school reunion is a good one, and it should have thrown up some fascinating stuff.

    Unfortunately, the story doesn't really hit the mark. Aside from Zack, we've never seen any of John's classmates before, so it's hard to be interested in their affairs. The characters seem to have been taken from a sitcom. There's the hopeless parents with their bickering children, the rich kid who's made it big in the city, the divorcee who flirts with anything that moves and the shopkeeper with a store laid out on the exact same floorplan as Ike's. I found the meal and the ending far too sentimental. Couldn't they just have a good knees-up then go home?

    Ralph Waite's performance helps save the episode. I love the way John looks so awkward around any woman who isn't a family member. He does it time and time again and it always makes me smile. Lynn Carlin is great as the frenetic Eula Mae, and of course we'll get to see her again as Mrs Ep Bridges next season.

    The reference to 'Gone with the Wind' having been published four months ago places this episode in October 1936, a whole year after the previous three episodes. This is one of several references to a real-world event which puts an episode out of sync with its neighbours. We also learn, through this story, that John and Zack are the same age. In fact, Ralph Waite is twelve years older than James Gammon, which is kind of obvious when you see them side by side.

    I did laugh at that little speech John-boy's lecturer gave him. Probably not the encouragement our hero needs right now.

    Pick of the bunch: Zack Roswell (James Gammon)

    Alternate title: The Reunion

    Score: 7.9

  • One of those situations where a potential for something great is lost in the process.

    This episode, at its core, is an examination of hopes and dreams through the characters of both John-Boy and his father. John-Boy must address the situation that writing may not give him all he wants in life and father once again finds little comfort in his existence. There is a remarkable scene where the camera follows John and his son talking and discussing their disapointments and their hopes in life. It was great writing. Unfortunately the writer decided that a class reunion with more stereotypes than you could ever ask for as well as an 'It's a Wonderful Life' ending where everyone touts John's life and his accomplishments as the resolution. It's decent but contrived and far less interesting had they just taken the time to examine these themes more completely but deadlines don't allow such things.