The Waltons

Season 8 Episode 13

The Spirit

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Dec 20, 1979 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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out of 10
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  • The Germans (Part VI)

    Not for the first time, a furtive stranger shows up on Walton's Mountain and gets everybody talking. He does all the usual stuff, like stealing food and hiding in the Walton's barn, but he also befriends young Jeffrey and carves him a whistle out of wood. He's less fond of grown-ups though, and scarpers whenever one appears. It's all very mysterious. The whole thing takes place over Christmas, so it's a little sentimental, but it's a decent enough story, even if it does go over a lot of old ground.

    The twist is that Paul, the stranger, is a German-American who is on the run from a prisoner of war camp. It seems very harsh to hold one of your own citizens hostage merely for having a German grandfather, but such were the times I guess. I like how Paul develops a sudden German accent just ahead of the big reveal at the end. At least he doesn't start saying 'ja' at the end of every sentence. I laughed out loud when John asked if he was a Nazi. Class!

    Paul is played by the excellent Ned Bellamy, here in his first television role. He's so young in this appearance, he still has hair, although you can see he is already starting to lose it.

    It's Christmas, so there's plenty of fake snow lying around. None of it looks very convincing. If it were really that cold, I don't think Paul would be sleeping outside in only a thin shirt - fire or no fire.

    Pick of the bunch: Paul (Ned Bellamy)

    Alternate title: The Hostage

    Score: 9.1