The Waltons

Season 8 Episode 24

The Valediction

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Mar 13, 1980 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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out of 10
23 votes
  • Band of Brothers

    A gem of an episode to round off the season. This is how a finale should be: all the cast regulars, no distracting subplots, ends tied up neatly and a challenge set for the next season. The story is both heartening and moving, with Jim Bob leaving school at the top of his class then joining the army the same day. We end with the four brothers walking off to war, not knowing how they'll fare or whether they'll make it home. It's poignant stuff.

    I was beginning to wonder whether Jim Bob would ever finish school. According to The Secret, he was born in January 1923, making him 21 when this episode takes place. That's enough to test anyone's patience. I guess it was only a matter of time before Corabeth took her turn as the teacher. She is in her absolute element as a schoolmistress, though of course the children all think she's nuts. Great entertainment.

    I know Michael Learned wasn't available, but from the story's perspective, it's pretty poor that Olivia couldn't tear herself away from the Red Cross long enough to attend her own son's graduation. I'm glad Esther made the effort. The ceremony itself is beautifully simple. Far more watchable than the overblown hormonefest we've come to expect from Hollywood.

    My favourite scene has to be the one where Ben tells Cindy he is going overseas. Ben seems genuinely fearful, and Cindy is suitably upset. Eric and Leslie are absolute naturals together. I don't know how well they get on in real life, but they make a very sweet couple on screen. Bless 'em both.

    Pick of the bunch: Jim Bob Walton (David Harper)

    Alternate title: The Graduation

    Score: 9.5

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