Poor old Jim Bob. He stays on at school for a whole two years in the hope of becoming a pilot, only to find his eyesight isn't up to scratch. Having spent his whole life in the shadow of his siblings, it now looks as if his one chance to shine may be over. It's a bitter pill to swallow, and he quite understandably goes a little off the rails.
It's a decent twist of a story, but it does rather screw Jim Bob over. This seems particularly cruel given the series might well have ended the following episode. David Harper does enough to convince, though it's not one of his greatest performances. Top marks instead go to Ronnie Claire Edwards, who does a lovely job with Corabeth's speech about her broken dreams. It's beautifully delivered and surprisingly poignant.
In this week's less-than-thrilling subplot, a friend of Curt's named Chuck Turner gets the hots for Mary Ellen. She isn't interested, and tries to fix him up with Erin. Erin isn't interested either, so in the end ME gives in and takes Chuck on a date. It's very cute but rather pointless, seeing as a) we never see the bloke again and b) most of us want Mary Ellen to marry David Spencer.
I can't imagine anything much worse than literature lessons with Corabeth. Shame we never get to see them. Jim Bob's outburst towards her is one of the show's more memorable moments, but equally good is the way they make up at the end. There's even a mention of Miss Wingfield, the schoolteacher who appeared briefly in 'The Ordeal'. Still no sign of the classroom though: we've not seen that since Season Four.
I wonder if that preaching scholarship is still open...