The Waltons

Season 3 Episode 4

The Thoroughbred

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Sep 26, 1974 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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out of 10
49 votes
  • 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 supper.

    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, while giving 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 it 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. There are 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.

    Pick of the bunch: Erin Walton (Mary McDonough)

    Alternate title: The Wager

    Score: 9.2

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