Ben returns home. He plans on leaving the Waltons' mill and becoming an engineer. Olivia has a relapse in her health and has to again leave Walton's Mountain.


(as Harvey Laidman)


(created by) (as Earl Hamner),

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Episode credited cast:
Mary Ellen Walton (as Judy Norton-Taylor)
The Narrator (voice) (as Earl Hamner)
Mary Jackson ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:


Ben comes home and decides to go study to be an engineer. So it means he would have to leave the mill and John was hoping that Ben would be the one whom he would pass it to. And when he learns that Olivia is getting worse and that she needs to be taken to a different hospital in another city, he considers selling the mill. Written by

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Drama | Family | Romance




Release Date:

15 January 1981 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ralph Waite's last appearance in the series as John Walton. He would, however, return for the several 'reunion' tv movie specials that followed the end of the series, along with Michael Learned and eventually Richard Thomas. See more »


Narrator: [narration as John 'John Boy' Walton, Jr. reading from his journal] It was a time when our family world seemed to be in constant motion. The movement of people to and from the mountain contrasted sharply with the serenity we had known there for so many years. Perhaps because we were so close to it we didn't recognise the certain signs that an old era was ending, and a new day we couldn't even envision was in its dawning.
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User Reviews

A selfless family
22 January 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Ben is returning home after being released as a POW. One humorous bit is when one of the Baldwin sisters referred to him being "paroled" before being corrected by her sister.

One could say they had too many "welcome home" scenes, but I didn't think they went overboard. While Ben was delighted to return home, he had also figured out a course for his future that would surprise his family more than he had figured.

He had seen engineers designing bridges and airstrips and decided he wanted to go to college so he could do these things too. It would involve moving Cindy and Virginia away from home.

Ben was taken aback when his father revealed a new sign, telling him he deserved a promotion, as partner in "Walton's Mill, John and Ben Walton, Prop." John took Ben's news as well as he could, but he was disappointed.

The subplot dealt with Erin trying to have a peaceful vacation at home, after giving Cindy her gas rationing coupons to let her travel to pick up Ben. J.D. Pickett kept coming over to get her to come back to help him at the plant, especially for a government inspector coming soon. Erin insisted she would do no work until the following Monday.

Near the end came unsettling news for everyone. For anyone who will soon watch, I won't reveal how things ended. What stands out to me is how between what happened at the end, and Erin giving up her big vacation trip to Atlantic City so her sister-in-law could use her ration coupons, is how selfless this family is. It was a sparkling example of a family that really cares about each other.

Their concern for the others was a sharp contrast to most TV families of later years, ones who seem to refuse to spend 10 minutes just to help another without trading for some kind of favor. To me, this was a Waltons of the high quality for which the earlier seasons were known.

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