The Waltons

Season 2 Episode 12

The Substitute

3
Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Nov 22, 1973 on CBS
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7.7
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41 votes
  • The Classroom

    8.5
    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. Megan is played by Catherine Burns, who starred alongside Richard Thomas in two earlier films: 1971's 'Red Sky at Morning' and the 1969 classic 'Last Summer'.

    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. Very Mary Poppins.

    Walton's Mountain School has to be the strangest school ever. It seems only 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 is only one class, how come Marcia, Martha Rose and GW are nowhere to be seen?

    Pick of the bunch: Megan Pollard (Catherine Burns)

    Alternate title: The Children's Carol (a very hard title to place, but it just about works if you imagine a carol as a story rather than a song)

    Score: 8.4

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