Written by Rod Peterson & Claire Whitaker
Directed by Lawrence Dobkins
"On Waltons Mountain our family ties were strengthened by hardship. The walls of our house protected us from wind and weather, and we managed somehow to survive grief, and illnesss and disappointment. Who then could have believed we would find ourselves so defenseless against romance".
Mary Ellen and David Spencer, a young intern at Rockfish Hospital, announce unexpectedly they are getting married. Although apprehensive at first John and Olivia accept their decision. The children are excited by the news and Grandpa responds by yelling out, “Whoopee!”. The Waltons prepare the house and yard for the engagement party that will be attended by friends, family, and Mr. and Mrs. David W. Spencer, the groom’s parents. During the party John tells the Spencers he was hoping David would stay on the Mountain because of their need for a country doctor. But Mr. Spencer informs John that David will join him in his Richmond medical practice. During the engagement party a stranger drives up the driveway and announces he is their new doctor. Dr. Curtis Willard explains he always wanted to start his own medical practice and when he saw the Waltons Mountain’s need for a doctor through an article in the Blue Ridge Chronicle he drove to apply for the position. Dr. Willard further tells the committee, composed of John Boy, John, and Reverend Fordwick, that he has the cash for the down payment on Dr. Vance’s office and feels he could make the installments on Flossie Brimmer’s arthritis alone. The committee hires Curt but he immediately gets off on the wrong foot as he candidly gives his opinions and medical advice to the community. After realizing he needs help with “sweet-talking” his patients, Curt asks Mary Ellen if she would help him at the office. Curt again puts his foot into his mouth when telling Mary Ellen he needs help with straightening out Dr. Vance’s “cock-eyed” filing system. Mary Ellen promptly informs him that she was the one that organized the system and says she will never work for him. But the next morning she changes her mind and becomes his nurse.
Mrs. Brimmer introduces her niece Patsy to Elizabeth and Jim Bob after she moves in with her aunt. Jim Bob immediately takes a liking to Patsy. Ike checks out Doc Willard’s credit at his last practice and informs John Boy that he left town owing money. In the meantime, Miss Emily turns ill and Curt, Mary Ellen, Miss Mamie, and John Boy rush her to the Rockfish Hospital. Miss Emily recovers but Curt is growing more concerned that he does not have the necessary equipment to promptly treat his patients at his office. Mary Ellen sets Curt up with Miss Nora, the county nurse, but when they double-date David notices that Mary Ellen does not like the idea of Curt and Nora having so much fun together.
All the community attend the Hard Luck Dance in order to raise money for new medical equipment at Doc Willard’s office. The goal of the dance is to raise $50 but actually raise $131with the help of $10 each from the Spencer and Walton families and a matching donation of $65.50 from the Baldwin sisters. Near the end of the dance Curt takes Miss Nora home but returns for one last dance with Mary Ellen. She hesitates to dance with Curt because of what people would think. Curt says there is nothing for people to talk about ..... unless she also feels the “chemistry” that he feels. Curt kisses Mary Ellen while Erin secretly sees them kissing from behind the bushes. On Sunday morning Grandpa announces the family is giving Mary Ellen $25 for her diary from a Liberty bond he bought on the day John went into the army. Erin stays home from church because she is upset with what she saw last night between Mary Ellen and Curt. She sees Curt drive up and leave an envelope at the front door but burns the envelope so Curt will not stand in the way of Mary Ellen and David’s marriage. Later, Mary Ellen and John Boy find Curt has vanished along with the money collected for the clinic. They suspect he may have returned to Stony Gap so John Boy leaves to find him.
During the wedding rehearsal at the church Reverend Fordwick asks Mary Ellen if she would take David as her true and lawful wife. Mary Ellen is unable to say ‘I do’ and runs out of the church. Mary Ellen does not understand why but she knows something is missing in her love for David. She gives back the engagement ring that David gave her. Mary Ellen feels ashamed, devastated, and confused by what she has done.
When John Boy arrives at the mining company Miss Lynch, the mining company’s secretary, is unwilling to tell John Boy where Dr. Willard can be located. Although hesitant to jeopardize her job, she knows Dr. Willard tried to help the workers get better working conditions. She finally whispers to John Boy that a hearing is being held at the Bureau of Mines in the State Capital Building. John Boy locates Curt who welcomes a friendly face, but a few seconds later is unsure if the face really is friendly after hearing what the people on Waltons Mountain think has happened with their money. Curt explains to John Boy that he was fired and slandered for reporting the mining company to the Bureau of Mines for unsafe and unhealthy working conditions. With John Boy’s help Curt wins the hearing, buys medical equipment at very reasonable prices, and returns to Waltons Mountain like a conquering hero. But Mary Ellen is still angry at Curt for leaving without telling them where he was going. Erin finally confesses she burned the letter that informed them where he was going. Erin admits she saw Mary Ellen and Curt kiss at the dance. Mary Ellen defends herself by saying, “It didn’t mean a thing.” Curt responds “I hope it did because I’m going to marry you.” Mary Ellen questions his intent, “I suppose you call that a proposal?” Curt exclaims, “Its the best one you’re going to get from me.” Mary Ellen retorts, “Well I wouldn’t marry you if you were the last man on earth!”
At the old homestead on top of Waltons Mountain we hear Reverend Fordwick say, “Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God...” and Mary Ellen and Curt are married.
"We would always remember that day when our friends and neighbors gathered on the mountain at the site of the first Walton homestead. It somehow seemed fitting that the days leading up to Mary Ellen's marriage had been filled with turmoil. All of us who knew and loved her had learned to expect the unexpected".
Also appearing -
The Godseys (Joe Conley and Ronnie Claire Edwards); the Baldwin sisters (Mary Jackson and Helen Kleeb); Rev Matthew Fordwick (John Ritter); Yancy Tucker (Robert Donner); David Spencer (Robert Merritt Woods); G W Haines (David Doremus); Patsy Brimmer (Debbie Gunn); Mrs Brimmer (Nora Marlowe); Dr Spenser (Peter Brandon); Mrs Spencer (Jean Howell); Miss Nora (Kaiulani Lee); Miss Lynch (Molly Dodd); Committee Chairman (Glenn Robards); Radio announcer (Art Gilmore).