It's good to have a John-based episode for a change. We don't get to hear about his past all that much, so the idea of a school reunion was a good one and 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: let's just say I agree with the other reviewer.
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.
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.