The Waltons

Season 5 Episode 2

The Vigil

6
Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Sep 30, 1976 on CBS
9.5
out of 10
User Rating
54 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Grandma's life is placed in danger following Mary Ellen's misdiagnosis of her ailment.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The Flu

    9.0
    Not for the first time, a serious illness puts one of the Waltons in hospital. With no doctor to make a diagnosis, it almost turns into a tragedy. It's a narrow escape for Esther and a vital lesson for Mary Ellen.

    First things first: it's a lovely performance from Judy. She starts off as typical headstrong Mary Ellen, diagnosing her grandmother with intestinal flu as if it were no more than a cold. When the illness turns out to be appendicitis, and Esther nearly dies, she winds up begging for forgiveness in the hospital chapel. It's a moving story, and her final scene with Esther is lovely. As is so often the way, a disaster ends up bringing the characters closer.

    The mood is almost wakelike while Esther is under the knife. Cast your mind back to the time Jim Bob had appendicitis in Season One and you'll notice something of a contrast. As for the choice of illness, a burst appendix is supposed to be one of the most painful afflictions you can have. I get that the producers don't want the show to be too graphic, but Esther gives barely a whimper. Even she cannot be that stoic!

    The hospital must be the quietest in the country. Wherever the Waltons go, the corridors are utterly deserted. I think I'll retire to Virginia.

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  • Reflections on Grandma

    7.0
    The family reflects on how much they love Grandma after she falls suddenly and mysteriously ill.



    Mary Ellen learns a valuable lesson that will enhance her career in nursing.



    This touching episode is worth a view, if only to see the enduring love that Zeb has for Esther Walton.
Dee Carroll

Dee Carroll

Mrs. Vance

Guest Star

Robert Woods

Robert Woods

David Spenser

Guest Star

Victor Izay

Victor Izay

Dr. Vance

Recurring Role

John Crawford

John Crawford

Sheriff Ep Bridges

Recurring Role

Sheila Allen

Sheila Allen

Fanny Tatum

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Opening Narration: I remember so well the carefree designated crossroads of my life; the points where one could stop and thoughtfully consider which road to take. But there were those other particles of time in which decisions were made more quickly and in one snap judgment irrevocable forces were set into motion. I especially recall such a time affecting my grandmother and my sister Mary Ellen.

    • Closing Narration: Our grandmother recovered to live long good years with us, and Dr. Vance decided to remain on Walton's Mountain. People there who had always appreciated him began to show it by paying him with money when they could. Mary Ellen stayed in nursing, where she surely belonged, to learn all the things she had to learn.

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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