The Waltons

Season 9 Episode 10

The Tempest

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Feb 05, 1981 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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out of 10
256 votes
  • The Episode that Never Happened

    This is probably the most detested storyline in the whole series, and with good reason. All shows have their wtf? moments, of course - who could forget 'The Changeling?' - but this seems to have been written out of sheer contempt for the fans. What they do to Curt is just horrible. He left the show as a much-loved husband and father; now we find out he had his balls blown off in the war and has been living in squalor as an alcoholic eunuch. So Curt goes out on a miserable low while John Curtis grows up knowing his father resents him. It beggars belief that any of this got past the producers.

    The episode also breaks two of the holiest laws of showmaking: never recast your main characters, and NEVER bring them back from the dead. I felt sorry for guest actor, Scott Hylands, as he actually puts in quite a tidy performance, but the fact remains it's as confusing as hell watching a man you don't recognise playing someone who is supposed to be dead.

    Much of the airtime is taken up by yet another spat between JD and Erin. This time, JD hires Jonesy as his deputy, so Erin walks out and goes to work for Corabeth, where she has to persuade the Baldwins to sell their home. It's mildly entertaining, but you know full well how each thread will end: Jonesy will quit, Erin will take her job back and the Baldwins won't sell. The writers don't disappoint. I like Lewis Arquette as JD, but he always sounds like he is struggling to get his lines out. Perhaps it's deliberate.

    Of the eleven original Waltons, only six appear in this story. Jim Bob gets no lines at all, while Ben's one appearance lasts less than half a minute. It's feeling more and more like a Waltons spin-off each week.

    So far as I'm concerned, Curt gave his life at Pearl Harbour. End of discussion. For me, as for so many others, this is one episode that never happened.

    Pick of the bunch: Erin Walton (Mary McDonough)

    Alternate title: The Journey

    Score: 6.8