An unexpected and thought-provoking hour, which takes you to places this show doesn't normally go. What begins as a straightforward 'Walton helps friend' episode, ends with rumours of death camps and murder. Despite this, it's a largely upbeat story which centres on Jason's friendship with his happy-go-lucky buddy, Ted Lapinksy. There's even time for Ted to solve Elizabeth's classroom problems.
I thought the focus would be on Ted getting his promotion against the odds, but it falls instead on the rumours surrounding his grandpa. It made me laugh that each time Ted did an impression of his Polish grandfather, he did it in a German accent. Coming from the UK, I know what a Polish accent sounds like. Ted's Jewishness is laid on thick and fast, but in a far more positive light than with the Mann family in 'The Ceremony'. The dance scene is particularly good.
For once, the show gets its history right. There really was an uprising in the Warsaw ghetto in 1943, and most of the inmates did get sent to Treblinka. I'm not sure details of individual deaths would have reached America by this point, but I'm feeling generous so I'll let it go.
Todd Susman is truly superb as Lapinksy. He's on the ball in every scene, and creates a thoroughly convincing character from beginning to end. This must rate as one of the best guest slots of the series - up there with Peter Miner from 'The Flight' and Ed Lauter from 'The Car'. And speaking of guest slots, did anyone notice that the taller of the two snooty girls outside church was played by Erica Hunton? She played the deaf girl in the very first episode to be aired. This was her last television appearance.