The Waltons

Season 3 Episode 8

The System

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Oct 24, 1974 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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out of 10
54 votes
  • The Jock

    Another episode which challenges John-boy to think hard about his principles. This time, he sees a student cheat during an exam, forcing him to grass the bloke up to the university's honour council. Problem is, the student is a footballer whom John-boy has been helping through his classes. The story makes a valid point about the tug of war between honour and friendship, though it does nothing to dispel the 'all sportsmen are inherently dim' cliche.

    I found the honour council rather sinister. All it takes to get somebody chucked out of college is for another student to say they saw them looking at somebody's paper? Surely that's open to abuse? Plus the council reminded me of the Volturi from 'Twilight' - and I never like to be reminded of 'Twilight'.

    Ben, Zeb and Jason get a subplot in which Ben takes up smoking, gets busted and gets made to smoke himself sick. As subplots go, this is one of the best, although I have to say Ben does get off far more lightly than Mary Ellen did in 'The Dustbowl Cousins' when she was smoking with Cousin Job. (Damnit! Now I've got Cousin Job on the brain again).

    I absolutely love the scene where Zeb startles Esther and she drops the chicken. Will and Ellen are so good together. By contrast, it's a very quiet week for Olivia. She gets a total of five lines and twenty words.

    Lastly, do they have to show an establishing shot of the Boatwright University gatepost every time they show John-boy at a college lecture? It's pretty obvious where he is. Just sayin'.

    Pick of the bunch: Zeb Walton (Will Geer)

    Alternate title: The Burden

    Score: 8.8

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