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The Waltons

Season 2 Episode 12

The Substitute

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Nov 22, 1973 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
38 votes

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Episode Summary

An inexperienced, but brilliant, young substitute teacher wrecks havoc on the Walton's Mountain School. Ben enters a kite contest.

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  • The Classroom

    Rosemary Hunter has to go to Norfolk, so she packs her bags, puts one of her pupils in charge of the class and disappears for the rest of the episode. Luckily, the school manages to hire a replacement: the workmanlike, no nonsense, Megan Pollard. It's Miss Prissom from 'The Sinner' all over again.

    There are a few unexpected moments, like Ben getting put back a year, but to be truthful, this is a very predictable hour. Megan starts off uptight and lacking wholly in emotion, but her life improves no end when she realises she just needs to be more like the Waltons.

    There's no Jim Bob this week, but Ben does get a subplot in which he builds a kite (or three). It makes for a cutesy ending as they all go off in the back of the truck to fly the kite with their new teacher.

    Walton's Mountain School has to be the strangest school ever. It only seems to have one classroom but you never see the same bunch of kids twice. Do the writers really expect us to believe that John-boy and Elizabeth attend the same lessons? Something very wrong there. And if there really is only one class, how come Marcia, Martha Rose and GW are nowhere to be seen?moreless
Catherine Burns

Catherine Burns


Guest Star

Kathleen O'Malley

Kathleen O'Malley

Ethel Richardson

Guest Star

Melanie Freeman

Melanie Freeman

Lucilla Younger

Guest Star

Mariclare Costello

Mariclare Costello

Miss Hunter

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Opening Narration: When I was growing up on Walton's Mountain in those years of the Great Depression, for me and my brothers and sisters it was a time of making do with the little there was. A time of stretching a nickel till it bought a dime's worth, often a time of doing without. In such times keeping children in school was just too much of a strain for many families, but for my father educating his children had almost the same importance as feeding and clothing us. I remember one day when the regular routine of our school life was threatened.

    • Closing Narration: Ben's own personal kite won Second Prize that day. The other three Waltons finished, as they say, "out of the money", but nobody cared. In due time Miss Hunter came back, and although everybody was glad to see her there were tears shed at the thought of losing Miss Pollard. We had learned to know and to love her, and we were all the richer for the time she had spent with us. I still have that collection of Emerson's essays on my desk, and whenever I open its pages I'm carried back again to those Depression years on Walton's Mountain and the sound of those voices of the past.

  • NOTES (3)