The Waltons

Season 3 Episode 20

The Shivaree

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Jan 30, 1975 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
29 votes
  • The Wedding Stinger

    Oh, so that's what a 'shivaree' is. I had wondered. It's much like the stories you hear of men being tied to lampposts on their stag nights. Not heard of anybody being kidnapped on their actual wedding night, mind, but then this is Shropshire, not Virginia.

    Anyhow, this is a good, entertaining hour which highlights some of the quainter differences between town and country in inter-war America. It may look like throwaway fun, but it's actually quite a thought-provoking episode. In a nutshell, a family friend (also named Olivia) decides to get wed at the Waltons' house. Against her wishes, Ike and Yancy treat her new husband, Bob, to a full-blown shivaree. They handcuff and blindfold him, drive him into the woods and leave him for dead in the middle of the night. Understandably, Bob is very upset and wants nothing more to do with Walton's Mountain.

    I had the greatest sympathy for Bob. The poor bloke looked really hurt by the experience. I would have reacted exactly the same way. Lovely performance from Bruce Davison. It's a real shame they had to pick on a visitor to revive their old custom; Ike got married just three episodes ago and the word 'shivaree' wasn't even mentioned. Same goes for the other eight weddings which take place on this show.

    Richard Thomas and Bruce Davison both starred in the 1969 film, 'Last Summer', and there's a wonderful nod to this when John-boy meets Bob off the bus and greets him with, "I feel like I already know you".

    At other times, however, the writing gets rather lazy. Young Olivia's lines, in particular, are very mushy. The guest actress doesn't help, but it can never be easy delivering lines like, "Oh look, Bob! Aren't they beautiful? Don't you just love it here? I think this is just about the most beautiful place in the world". Bring back John McGreevey!

    Pick of the bunch: Bob Hill (Bruce Davison)

    Alternate title: The Honeymoon

    Score: 9.0

  • An episode that sort of grows in stature when you think of some of the themes in more depth.

    A juvenile Appalachian custom almost breaks up two newlyweds.

    I originally didn't like this installment but came to appreciate it more on thinking of it. The characters are interesting and show some stretching of personality. The Waltons are involved when a yong girl who was named after Olivia announces that her fiance is arriving on the mountain for their wedding. As plans are underway, the men of Walton's Mountain decide that it's time to revive the idea of "shivaree" - a type of hazing of the groom on the night of the marriage ceremony. John Walton is well-scripted, gently reminding the guys that other people might not be as open to the idea as the locals, but ultimately to no avail.

    The "shivaree" is mainly a form of fraternity-type "hazing", kidnapping the groom and leaving him out in the wilds to find his way home again. Bob (the groom) is firmly against the idea, but Ike Godsey (normally a quiet and solid storekeeper) is taken with the male-bonding to the point that he is almost in a frenzy. It's interesting to watch how people get caught up in a group behavior and act very differently, in this case, almost ruining the marriage itself. The ideas of how fragile young love can be, and how childish men can act in numbers are well-examined in a realistic setting - with a bit of historical culture thrown in to boot. I would say this one is worth watching, even if just to see Ike on his motorcycle yelling "shivaree!" at the top of his lungs.