A very John-boy focused episode, this. For once, Walton's Mountain takes a back seat as the bulk of the story plays out in Westham, the hometown of Boatwright University.
I liked the character of Madeleine and I liked the actress who played her. As ever with John-boy's love interests, she is assertive and determined, but she also has a fun-loving and very feminine side. She's certainly a huge improvement on that awful bint from 'The Beguiled'. I found it very hard to believe that John-boy could possibly be that deeply in love with her after one day, but Richard Thomas plays the lovestruck student beautifully. Their parting at the station is very nicely done. It almost deserves to be in black and white.
The rest of the cast get a subplot in which John and Olivia renew their wedding vows to celebrate their twentieth wedding anniversary. So we now know they got married in 1915. Keep this in mind when you watch the final TV movie. The picture of the house is a nice idea for a gift, although it looks distinctly as if one person painted the whole thing. I thought they were going to paint one room each? Mary Ellen's comment that John-boy should paint himself in the car (as he's never at home) is cutting but totally true.
Moment of the week? John-boy's face as he glimpses his father through that shop window. Love it!