John-Boy's dean asks him to take care of a 16-year-old genius college student for a weekend. The genius is gifted in all academic areas, but woefully lacking in social graces. He ends up helping in a play and is able to join in family fun.
A prize fighter (Cleavon Little) arrives searching for work, living and training in the Waltons' barn. Some are put off by his fighting, but he wants to build a church in the community. Loses fight but community helps to build the church.
John's 25th high school reunion is being planned; he thinks he is not successful, but at the reunion, everyone thinks he is the winner. John-Boy fears he will never make a living as a writer. Jim-Bob makes a profound comment.
A traveling reporter visits the mountain to write story about Judge Baldwin. What he finds upsets the Baldwin sisters and disturbs the community. The report digs for more information and finds the truth which is much better.
Jason spends too much time playing with a band. His school work, music lessons, and health begin to suffer. Comes to understanding with band. John-Boy gets a part-time job in a library; the librarian wants him to choose it as a profession.
Marsha, John-Boy's old girlfriend, returns to sell her family home at the urging of her fiance. Wedding plans end when the fiance realizes the home is in debt. Olivia helps a disadvantaged student get glasses.
Cousin Olivia, who married on the mountain in The Shivaree episode, returns to Walton's Mountain following her husband's sudden death. Family cat has kittens and dies giving birth. Elizabeth and Cousin Olivia both have to heal.
King Edward VIII abdicates the throne and the Waltons follow the story. Meanwhile, a movie production team is in town and John-Boy reconnects with a friend who's part of the production crew. John-Boy is offered a job.
Ben is upset at how he is treated at the mill. He gets a job at another lumber company, not realizing they are competing for the same jobs. Grandpa uses his smarts to get one over the competing lumber company. Ben returns to the mill.
Olivia and Elizabeth take a car trip; Jim-Bob is forced to also go. They have car trouble. Elizabeth wanders off. Olivia and Jim-Bob find her but by now, all are lost. Jim-Bob uses his skills to keep everyone safe till they are found.
Ben starts to hunt animals for their skins to sell for profit. Meanwhile, the Rough Riders are holding a reunion. Grandpa, for all his talk about charging up the hill with Teddy Roosevelt, does not want to attend.
John-Boy smokes a pipe and Grandpa leaves a heater plugged in and turned on. A fire breaks out, burns most of the house. John-Boy loses his completed novel to save Erin. John-Boy, Grandpa, and Erin all feel miserable.
Olivia gets a job in the city as a dressmaker. She enjoys it but soon realizes she misses the family too much. Maude Gormley isn't adjusting well to life in a retirement home and returns to the mountain.
An old abandoned home is condemned. Grandpa wants the wood and Grandma wants to save the house - it was where he and she first kissed. She is upset, but feels better when Grandpa saves the stained glass window.