Ep.10 - The Flight

  Original Airdate: December 1, 1977
Writers: Carole Raschella & Michael Raschella
Director: Ralph Waite


  Jim-Bob meets a boy who is on his way to join the Air Corps, but the boy never actually leaves. Turns out he is a runaway. Meanwhile, Elizabeth misses Grandma, and thus builds a grandmotherly relationship with Maude Gormley.


  "With each passing year on Walton's Mountain our growth was sparked by learning and change. In fitting together the pieces of our developing personalities there came a time when my youngest brother Jim Bob had to make a decision which was to affect the rest of his life."


Written by Janet Lange

Elizabeth brings Grandpa some golden rod and they talk about grandma and how Grandpa wants to bring her back home and never let her go again. Elizabeth misses talking to grandma about many different things. She and Grandpa share a hug and short cry before going out to the barn. They check on Myrtle the goat that is going to have a baby. Jim-Bob has added a chrome eagle hood ornament to his car. Elizabeth is confused why Jim-Bob is changing and they are not as close as they once were.

In town at the sheriff’s office, Ep Bridges talks with a man about locating a runway named Joe Douglas. Jim-Bob comes out of a store and sees the boy in question examining his car. Jim-Bob says that he built the car himself. Joe suddenly sees the man who is looking for him and asks Jim-Bob for a ride and they take off. They have to stop so the engine can cool down. They talk about strawberry donuts and motorcycle riding all over the place. Jim-Bob reveals that he had a twin brother named Joe who died when he was born. Jim-Bob invites Joe to dinner at his house.

Olivia, Mary Ellen and Sarah Bridges sit at the table drying off John Curtis after his bath. Sarah is thinking about starting a family.

Jim-Bob and Joe arrive at the house. Jim-Bob introduces Joe to Sarah who is just leaving and then to his Daddy who says Joe can stay for supper and spend the night.

The family is very happy as they all help to set up for dinner. Jim-Bob introduces everyone to his new friend and the family gets to know Joe a little more as the meal goes on.

Jim-Bob and Joe work on the car and pick on each other and squabble like real brothers, Daddy even gets involved breaking up a fake fight. Daddy tries to get more information out of Joe about how he is “heading to the Hamptons and the Air Corps”.

Joe asks Jim-Bob about Mrs. Sweeney who runs the foster home in Rockfish. They talk about the army and building things. When Jim-Bob leaves to get a magazine, Joe takes off running down the road. Elizabeth is worried about the goat and she runs to Maude’s house to see if Myrtle is over there. Joe gets to town and finds his younger sister at the foster home and tells her that they are going to run away to Florida so that they can be together.

Maude is busy painting when Elizabeth arrives. Maude thinks she knows where Myrtle is and Elizabeth helps her put the paintings away before they go to find the goat.

Jim-Bob and Joe build a model plane and talk about going to a see movie called “Test Pilot”. Sarah is inside getting another sewing lesson from Olivia when Jim Bob and Joe come in looking for money to see the movie. Sarah treats them even though Mama doesn’t think she should have.

Maude and Elizabeth find Myrtle in Maude’s barn and Maude convinces Elizabeth to stay with her for a few days to see the birth of the baby goat. Maude admits she would enjoy the company.

Jim-Bob and Joe are at the movies but when the man looking for Joe sits behind them they take off. The man chases them through town but they finally get to Jim Bob’s car and take off for home. They stop outside of town and Joe explains that his parents died the previous year and that his sister is in foster care. The man that was chasing them works for the orphanage and that Joe is really a runaway. Joe tries to convince Jim-Bob to go with him to Florida but Jim-Bob is unsure about his plan.

Maude and Elizabeth have a picnic and wait for Myrtle to have her baby.

Daddy corners Jim-Bob on the porch and they have a serious talk about Joe. John is skeptical about Joe’s plan to go to the Hamptons and the Air Corps. Jim Bob believes that Joe belongs HERE and goes off to work on the kite with Joe.

John goes to Ike’s and calls the Sheriff in Falls Church and learns that they know nothing about a “Joe Douglas”. John then goes to find the Sheriff but he ends up talking to one of the locals who misses the old Ep he could shoot a game of pool with but has has changed since he married Sarah.

Jim-Bob and Joe get the kite to fly and talk more about Florida.

Myrtle’s baby kid is born and Maude wants to keep them there for a while but Elizabeth really wants to take them home.

Jim-Bob looks for Joe while Grandpa and Ben do some gardening. Joe has returned to the foster home and takes Claire with him so that they can be together.

Ep admires the new curtains that Sarah has made and the changes she has made to their house. She tells him that she wants a family but Ep is not as excited about the idea. He gets a call from Mrs. Sweeney who reports that Claire has disappeared. Sarah reveals that Joe is Jim Bob’s friend and staying at the Walton’s.

Joe has taken Claire to the Walton’s barn and he tells Jim Bob that they need to leave for Florida right away but Jim-Bob is still unsure but he hides Joe and Claire in the hayloft when the sheriff comes looking for them.

John and Ep are sitting at the table talking when Jim-Bob walks in he denies knowing where Joe is. Jim-Bob goes up to his room and starts packing for the trip. Daddy comes in and tells Jim-Bob that Joe’s sister has gone missing from the foster home. He sees Jim-Bob’s packing and asks what is going. Jim-Bob reveals that he is going to go to Florida with Joe and Claire,

John and Ep find Joe and Claire in the barn. Jim-Bob doesn’t say anything when they come out and sees the betrayed look on Joe’s face as they get into the Sheriff’s car. Jim Bob stands on the porch and watches them pull away.

Erin and Jason try to get out the door to work and school Elizabeth tells mama that the new goat is gingerbread. Jim Bob comes down to leave for school mama tells him he should go try to talk to Joe.

Ep and Sarah talk about Joe and Claire how upset the kids were and Sarah tries to convince Ep that they could take the kids in, Ep is not having any of it and does not want to talk about it.

Ep goes to see John and tells him how Sarah wants to start a family. Ep says that he already raised babies 25 years ago and is done with that time in his life. Ep doesn’t think he could handle having a new baby and wishes that Sarah had said something about a family before they got married.

Jim-Bob and Elizabeth walk home from school and they discover that Maude and the goats are there! Maude can no longer keep the goats as they are too much of a handful for her. She tells Elizabeth that the reason she wanted to keep the goats for a bit was that she was hoping to see more of Elizabeth and asks her if she would still stop by once in a while. Elizabeth tells Maude that she is her second grandma!

Ep and Sarah pull up with Joe and Claire. They are going on an outing so the kids can spend time with each other. Elizabeth takes Claire to see the goats. The grown-ups make Joe and Jim-Bob talk and the boys make up while Olivia, John, Sarah and Ep talk.


  "The union was soon made permanent when Ep and Sarah adopted both children, and the space which Joe had filled for Jim Bob became a close and loyal friendship."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

  • This episode was directed by actor Ralph Waite.
  • Jim-Bob makes reference to his twin who died at birth that he learned about in "The Secret" (s4-ep16)
  • Elizabeth has named the baby goat Gingerbread.
  • Jim Bob's car has a Model 'A' chassis and a Rolls Royce horn.
  • Ep has two grown up sons from his first marriage.
  • Sarah went to see Dr. Jackson in order to check her condition for childbirth.

Additional Cast:



Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Peter Miner (Joe Douglas), Lynn Carlin (Sarah Bridges), John Crawford (Sheriff Bridges), Michelle Stacy (Claire), Merie Earle (Maude Gormley), Dan Priest (Harrison Bixby), Jerry Crews (Ed Larkin), Tom Bower (Curt Willard)

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