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Ep.9 - The Tempest

 
  Original Airdate: February 5, 1981
Writer: E.F.Wallengren
Director: Gabrielle Beaumont

Description:

  Mary Ellen confronts Curt, he former husband looking for answers. Erin quits Pickett Metal Products when Jonesy get hired to replace her.

Prologue:

  "A chill settled on Walton's Mountain that first autumn after the conclusion of the Second World War. Mary Ellen had been caught up in a whirlwind love affair that seemed certain to add a new member to the family. But a storm was brewing to the south, a storm that ended her romance and called her to a distant part of the country in search of a man she believed to be dead."

Synopsis:

 

Mary Ellen leaves for Larksburg, Florida to find the man that Betty Howell, a woman visitor from Florida claims to be Curt Willard her husband who was believed to have been killed in action at Pearl Harbor.

After Jason drops Mary Ellen off at the bus stop he finds Jonesy at the Dew Drop Inn drinking away his sorrows. Jason says that is doesn’t look like he made it to Ohio. Jonesy replies that Mary Ellen wanted him to find a job at Boatwright University as a Professor of Geology before everything changed with the news of her husband possibly being alive. Jason says that he can even get a job at Pickett Metal Products and wait for Mary Ellen’s return when she will need him the most. Jonesy isn’t so sure but Jason says that it is obvious that he has made his decision to stay already.

Erin fights with J.D. Pickett about his lack of fair treatment and how she does the job of two people and only gets paid for one. Jonesy arrives looking for a job from J.D.

Betty gets off the bus she was travelling on with Mary Ellen in Raleigh, North Carolina to visit her mother for a few days. She gives Mary Ellen the keys to her place so that she doesn’t have to stay at a boarding house.

J.D. gives Jonesy the job of 1st Assistant manager and then tries to demote Erin to 2nd Assistant Manager stating that she was fine during the war but the “men” are back now to take over their place. She quits in protest.

Mary Ellen arrives in Larksburg, Florida and asks a woman for directions to Betty’s house and were Curt Packer could be found. After settling herself at Betty’s house Mary Ellen finds Curt sawing wood outside of his place. He says that he doesn’t recognize Mary Ellen and that he can’t help her.

Erin is down in the dumps at dinner, Corabeth and Rose try to cheer her up. Erin says that employers are only considering returning service men. Jonesy arrives looking for word about Mary Ellen but gets an earful from Erin when he learns that J.D. hired him to replace her. The two get into a fight with Jonesy claiming that he can do her job better than she can at helping Corabeth sell real estate.

Jonesy is overwhelmed at running the office like Erin did. He hangs up on a customer and can’t find the job orders or reports.

Corabeth wants Erin to try and sell the Baldwin sisters a smaller, more manageable home.

Mary Ellen runs into Curt outside of the grocery store and follows him into the bar. He finally acknowledges Mary Ellen but states that he didn’t want her their making both of their lives miserable.

Curt orders some whiskey and tells Mary Ellen his story about Pearl Habor. He says that he was in civillian clothes and no where near the barracks on the morning of the attack. He remembers a white flash and then waking up four months later in a hospital with no memory. He finally gained his memory and learned that Mary Ellen had accepted him as dead and thought it was better that way. She asks if he gave up on medicine and his son. While he says that he wants nothing to do anymore with his past career he did try and call a few times to talk to John Curtis but hung up when Elizabeth answered the phone. He becomes frustrated and storms out of the bar after accidentally knocking the waitress’ tray of drinks out of her hand.

Mary Ellen calls home and talks to John Curtis which reinvigorates her to confront Curt. She finds him packing for a fishing trip and she says that she will wait until he comes back.

Jonesy asks Erin for help with his job. He has learned that J.D. doesn’t know how to run his own business. She is not willing to help, stating that she doesn’t work for J.D. anymore. The next day Corabeth coaches her to prep the Baldwin sisters into the idea of downsizing. J.D. arrives at the store begging Erin to come back to him even for just a few hours at full pay. She refuses and head to the Baldwin house. The sisters agree with Corabeth’s list of reasons to downsize but are unable to reach a decision. They won’t feel their Papa’s presence in any other home. Erin advises them that they should stay, that it would be foolish to move. Corabeth is dismayed when she hears the news.

When Curt come back to his house he finds that Mary Ellen has cleaned up the mess he left. She demands answers and despite his attempt to throw her out he finally admits that when he woke up in the hospital after the Japanese attack his legs were numb and he didn’t know if he’d walk again worse than that he learned that he could never perform his duties as a husband and provide another child.

Jonesy quits when he comes to a head with J.D.

Betty returns to learn that Mary Ellen was not successful in reaching through to Curt. She’s tells Mary Ellen that she already had guessed about Curt’s situation and that it didn’t matter to her. He spent a week making her wooden shutters and helped her family financially when her Father passed. She then tried to propose but he told her tell never to speak of that again. Mary Ellen goes to see Curt one last time. She tries to convince him to love Betty.

J.D. begs Erin on bent knee to come back. He promises her twice the pay and 15% of the profit plus he’ll introduce her to his cousin who is a spitting image of him. She agrees to come back to work on Monday under the condition that he never speak of his cousin again.

Curt arrives to give Mary Ellen a fishing pole for John Curtis before she boards the bus back to Virginia. He says that he would like to take him fishing sometime. As the bus pulls away Curt stand arm & arm with Betty and Mary Ellen is greeted back home by Jonesy who is ready to take a job at Boatwright University.



Epilogue:

 
  "Mary Ellen leaned heavily on Jonesy for support during those first few months after her trip to Florida. But her greatest source of strength was John Curtis, the little boy she and Curt had brought into the world in the waning hours of a simpler era."


Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

 
 
  • The character of Curt Willard was previously played by Tom Bower.
  • Betty Hammel’s house is the same exterior building used as Fanny Tatum's house and telephone switchboard office.

Additional Cast:

 
 

 


Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth), Leslie Winston (Cindy), Peggy Rea (Rose), Michael and Marshall Reed (John Curtis), Richard Gilliland (Jonesy), Pamela McMyler (Betty), Helen Kleeb (Miss Mamie), Mary Jackson (Miss Emily), Scott Hylands (Curt Willard), Lewis Arquette (J.D. Pickett), Mo Malone (Estelle)

 

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