Ep.7 - The Grandchild

  Original Airdate: November 3, 1977 - 2 part episode
Writers: Rod Peterson & Claire Whitaker
Director: Ralph Senensky


  Mary Ellen gives birth to John Curtis. Reckless the dog has a puppy. Jason gets a job playing piano for a burlesque show.


  "There came a time when everyone on Walton's Mountain was looking forward to a very special event, a blessed one, the birth of my sister Mary Ellen's baby. All the neighbors shared our anticipation as the day approached and only the mother-to-be seemed unconcerned that a new generation of Waltons was about to begin."



The Walton children are helping their mother pick up supplies at Ike Godsey’s they play a game of catch while they wait for Mama to finish buying some flannel material for new baby. Mary Ellen arrives on foot and joins in on the game. Cassie, a young expectant mother-to-be buys a bottle of grape pop Mary Ellen says hello to her. The Baldwin sisters arrive they are planning a surprise baby shower for Mary Ellen and are in need of invitations. Corabeth suggests a lace umbrella to be used as the centerpiece for the shower.

Ben wants to create a baby pool. Everybody puts in a quarter and guesses the date and time of the birth. Whoever gets closest wins the pot. Ben thinks it will be $2.00. The kids debate the merits of the idea. Jason arrives early from the Dew Drop Inn. There was a grease fire in the kitchen. Jason will be out of work for a couple of weeks and will have trouble paying his school tuition.

Jim-Bob brings Reckless the dog to Yancy Tucker for advise. She has been acting droopy lately. Yancy announces that Reckless is gonna have puppies. Jim-Bob is excited and figures he can buy a new tire for his car when he sells the puppies. They believe that Yancy’s dog Tiger is the father so Yancy want the pick of the litter.

Ben buys 2 inches of gas at Ike’s. The fuel gauge is broke so he has to measure to know how much gas he has. He lets Ike in on the baby pool and Ike offers to sell more guesses to his customers.

Mary Ellen mops the kitchen floor at her parents for exercise. They are worried that she may be over doing it. Curt arrives and they debate where the baby will be born. Curt wants to go to Dr. Alexander at the hospital in Charlottesville. Mary-Ellen want it born at home breathing the clear mountain air. Her parent and Grandpa pipe in and it becomes a round table debate.

A storm is picking up as Cassie’s grandfather arrives at Doc Willard’s office. Cassie is due to deliver her baby and Mary Ellen has to go in Curt’s place as he is still out on a call. By the time they get back to his cabin Cassie has already given birth to her baby girl. Mary Ellen checks but the baby is a still born that was too small and born too soon. Mary Ellen tries to check on Cassie’s condition but the distraught mother tells Mary Ellen that she should leave. She saw a dead bird the previous day on the window sill and believes that it is an omen and then starts to chant a superstitious rhyme. Mary Ellen is spooked by her behavior and go outside to find her grandfather making a wooden box as a casket in the middle of the storm. She runs down the road away from the cabin. She comes across a downed power cable that arcs dangerous current along a fence that it has fallen across. Curt finds her on the road just at the height of her desperation and hysteria.

Back at their house Curt checks her condition and is relieved that she and the baby are okay. At the Walton house John polishes the cradle that had suffered some damage in their house fire. Erin calls them upstairs where Reckless has decided to claim Erin’s bed to give birth to her puppies. Daddy moves Reckless to Jim-Bob’s room. Erin is not interested in getting pregnant with all the swollen ankles and morning sickness. Downstairs Jason is excited to have landed a new job for a few weeks playing in Charlottesville for the Magnolia Blossom Theatre’s orchestra between showtimes. He think it’s for a vaudeville act but it’s actually burlesque and the first act is Miss Honeysuckle Rose.

The Baldwins hold their baby shower for Mary Ellen. They have bought her a wicker bassinet. Mrs. Brimmer reads tea leaves for the various guests but she is worried when she reads Mary Ellen’s future. When everyone gets up to help with the tidying Mary Ellen sees something out the window and it is Cassie. That night Mary Ellen has a nightmare in which Cassie chants the superstitious verse to her baby. She tells Curt that Mrs. Brimmer saw something unsettling in the tea leaves. Curt doesn’t believe in the superstitions.

Mama pays Mary Ellen a visit. Curt goes to check up on Cassie. He finds her at the old house she lived in before her parents died. She believes Mary Ellen is cursed by a spell and that her baby is in danger. After Curt leaves she holds a Raggedy Ann doll like its her baby.

Elizabeth and Aimee Godsey visit Mary Ellen and listen to the baby’s heart beat with a stethoscope and feel it kicking her belly. After they leave, Mary Ellen calls for Curt to take her to the hospital. Elizabeth waits up past her bedtime for them to come back with the new baby but it was just false labor. Grandpa speaks to Ben privately in his bedroom. He wants to go to Charlottesville to see the show at the Theater where Jason is working. He has heard from Yancy Tucker that it is a “Very interesting show.” and he feels that Ben is now grown up enough to join him. When they realize that the only car free to drive is Jim-Bob’s jalopy they are forced to take him along as well. Grandpa says that if he isn’t old enough yet he soon will be to see the show. Miss Honeysuckle Rose wears a costume of balloons and uses a pin to pop them one at a time to reveal her figure underneath. When she has trouble popping one Grandpa stands up and uses his flower pin to devilishly pop a bunch in a row.

At church Rev. Buchanan praises the how the congregation is represented by multiple generations and with a fourth generation soon to be brought in to the world. His message then turns to how a young man can be lured into a place that God has forsaken. His Sermon speaks to Jason’s soul and makes him nervous about where he is working. Rev. Buchanan asks the church to “pray for those who have fallen into the Devil’s ways.”

At dinner, Elizabeth asks the family what a “fleshpot” is. Ben and Jim-Bob crack up and say she should ask Jason. This forces Jason to admit to his parents that he is actually playing music at a Burlesque house. His Mama says that although he is grown up now and can make his own decisions but how he “can play for a trashy girly show on a Saturday night and then go to church on Sunday” is more than she can understand. She leaves the table taking her meal with her and then Ben and Jim-Bob try to hightail it but their Daddy stops them saying he may not be able to change the ways of his Pa but he can sure let his sons know what he thinks about them going to see the girly show. Mary Ellen whispers to Elizabeth that she at least know nows what a “fleshpot” is.

Yancy shows up to the Walton’s looking for some lumber to build a Dog house for Tiger and his new puppy. Erin calls them inside as Reckless has given birth to one puppy on her bed. Jim-Bob wonders how he’ll be able to afford a new tire now especially when Yancy reminds him that he gets the pick of the litter.

Mary Ellen runs into Cassie at Ike Godsey’s store. Cassie says that her baby came too but Mary Ellen’s isn’t coming at all. Aimee Godsey comes home from school and reveals the betting “pool” that Ben started on when the Willard baby will be born. Mary Ellen storms over to the Walton’s to have a “word” with Ben but she goes into labor as soon as she arrives. When Curt arrives he tells her that she will get her wish after all to have her baby on Walton’s Mountain as it is too late to move her to the hospital. She is set up in her grandparents room. Jim-Bob is sent to get supplies from Curt’s office but his car gives him troubles. Ben, Erin, and Jason pick him up on the way home after his car overheats. Their Mama sends them over to Mrs. Brimmer’s until after the baby is born. Ben and Jason ask to stay home as they don’t want to be treated like children. John arrives home with Grandpa. He doesn’t like waiting for the birthing process. Finally a little boy is born and Olivia brings him out for Grandpa and John to see. The family all returns home and visit with Mary Ellen, Curt and the new baby, John Curtis in Grandpa’s room. Erin who was quite against pregnancy and motherhood is quite smitten with she gets to hold her new nephew.

5 days after the birth of John Curtis, Amy and Corabeth make a call to give Mary Ellen their welcoming gift.

Jason comes home and lets his Mama and Daddy know that he has a new job accompanying the Old Dominion Gospel Singers that she listens to on the radio every Sunday evening. She wonders how he got the job and he says that the choir director came to the show and heard Jason play and offered him the job. Olivia chooses to believe that he only came to see the movie and not the burlesque show afterwards

Ben apologizes to Mary Ellen for creating the betting pool and gives her his baby gift, a lovely selection of baby clothes that was paid for by his winnings. Mary Ellen talks to her Mama while she hangs the wash on the clothesline. Olivia goes inside to check on the baby and discovers that he is missing. Curt goes with John and Olivia up the mountain to find Cassie who they believe may have taken the baby. They find her at the old shack that she used to live in. Olivia talks to her to try and reason with Cassie to return the baby unharmed. Cassie believes that Mary Ellen’s baby was supposed to die and because he didn’t she saw it as a sign that maybe he was supposed to replace her baby. Olivia asks if Cassie would like to give the baby back to Mary Ellen herself. She agrees. When they return to the Walton’s home Mary Ellen snaps at her to stay away from her baby. Cassie admits that she would never harm him, she just wanted to pretend for awhile. Mary Ellen accepts her reason and they all go inside the home.


  "No child was ever so prized as that first grandchild who arrived in our family. The arrival of subsequent grandchildren was equally wondrous, as we watched our family renewing itself and a whole new generation beginning all over again. Today there are sixteen grandchildren in the family and already my mother was looking forward to holding her first great-grandchild."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

  • Olivia delivered all of her babies at home, except for Jim Bob. `The Secret`(s4-ep16), explains why that delivery was so troublesome.
  • Mary Ellen is eight months pregnant at the beginning of the episode

Additional Cast:



Helen Kleeb (Miss Mamie), Mary Jackson (Miss Emily), Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey), Beth Raines (Cassie), Robert Donner (Yancy Tucker), Rachel Longaker (Aimee Godsey), Nora Marlowe (Mr.s Brimmer), Peter Fox (Reverend Buchanan), David Hooks (Ab Hineman), Merie Earle (Maude Gormley), Trish Garland (Dancer), Joe Ross (Comic), Frand deVito (Drummer)


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