The Waltons

Season 3 Episode 4

The Thoroughbred

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Sep 26, 1974 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
47 votes

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Episode Summary

John-Boy enters Blue, the family mule, in an annual cross-country race that Grandpa had won years before.

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  • The Mule

    I'm liking the start to this season. Three very different stories so far, all very entertaining and all achieved without any random strangers turning up for dinner.

    This week sees John-boy ride his mule to victory in a local horse race. Though it's meant as a bit of fun, the race turns into a bit of a grudge between him and his posh college friend, Carl, as John-boy once again comes under fire for his rural background. Meanwhile, his siblings help him train and help groom the mule. It's a clever story that ties John-boy's home and student lives together brilliantly, and gives every character something to do (even if Elizabeth's role is to make her usual cutesy remarks and get laughed at by the rest of the family). I particularly enjoyed Zeb and Esthers' little bet over who would win.

    The horse race is great fun. Was it actually Richard Thomas on that mule? I'm impressed if so. John-boy ends up winning, which comes as no great surprise, but makes for a positive ending. Carl has a bit of a tantrum but soon gets over it, which is all the more impressive seeing as John-boy not only beats his precious thoroughbred, but swipes his girlfriend for good measure.

    A few bits and pieces. As soon as I saw John-boy carrying that huge stack of books it was obvious they were only heading in one direction. Still funny though. It's growing pains for the girls this week, with Mary Ellen continuing her sulky teen role while Erin gets stroppy and hormonal at Ben. Lastly, it's good to see the Waltons being competitive for once. It is their mountain, after all.

Kathleen Quinlan

Kathleen Quinlan

Selina Linville

Guest Star

Brendan Burns

Brendan Burns

Carl Jensen

Guest Star

Frank K. Janson

Frank K. Janson

Col. Linville

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Opening Narration: Walton's Mountain meant many things to my family. It was a source of food, for we took game from its forests and fish from its streams. It was a refuge in time of trouble and a link with the history of our family's past. And once it became the setting for a race that none of us would ever forget.

    • Closing Narration: That sense of pride and confidence that my mother and father instilled in us as a family was shaken occasionally. But in all, it stood us in very good stead. When we left Walton's Mountain and went to make our way in the larger world, we were always able to fall back on those rich and true feelings that we learnt as children.

  • NOTES (0)