Episode 4 - The Premonition

(25 December 1980)
Writer: E.F.Wallengren.
Director: Bernard McEveety.
Music: Alexander Courage


"The war with Germany had ended, but the fight raged on in the Pacific where our younger brother Ben was still serving in a combat zone. Our family was especially concerned about Ben's wife Cindy. As the rumors of an up coming invasion of Japan grew, so did her fears about Ben, fears which took on a chilling significance".


Cindy has another reoccurring nightmare where men with guns and bayonets prevent Ben from approaching her. She screams, awakening the family who rush to her.


Inside his Paris Stars and Stripes office, John-Boy is approached by Simone Berringer, a pretty French woman who believes John-Boy is the sensitive writer who can properly publicize the need to dismantle land mines. John-Boy declines to help, citing being overworked, plus hoping to be soon discharged. He asks the attractive woman out for dinner; but she refuses, unwilling to take his mind off his ‘official’ duties.


Ike tells Cindy no letters arrived from Ben. Cindy is interested to know if Corabeth ever had a premonition. Corabeth relates how her aunt woke up to predict her grandmother’s death.


Ben and Norman perform a surveying job, unaware that Japanese soldiers are watching their every move.


John-Boy knocks on the door of Simone’s closed bookstore. He presents her with chocolates, but admits he doesn’t have time to write her article. Simone says she cannot be bought and slams the door in his face.


John-Boy meets Jason at a French café where Jason has ordered two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Jason is under reassigned at the Replacement Depot. In the meantime, John-Boy suggests they go fishing and tells Jason that he has asked to be discharged in Paris in order to write a war novel.


John reads the letter informing the family of John-Boy’s decision to stay in Paris after the war. Elizabeth doesn’t like the idea. Mary Ellen tells her youngest sister that John-Boy does not want to be away from the family, but like writing about the family on Walton’s Mountain, needs to write about the war in Paris.


John-Boy and Jason walk along a dirt path after leaving their fishing spot. They talk with a French family of picnickers, and then decide to stop a small distance away. Suddenly an explosion is heard. A small boy has tripped a land mine, killing the child. John-Boy rushes to Simone’s bookstore, now willing to write the article after being sickened with the experience.


Cindy cleans the supper table when she sees Ben standing on the stairs. She cries out, ‘Ben’, but the image quickly disappears. Cindy feels something has just happened to Ben. The family is concerned about her visions, suggesting she visit her Aunt Edna in Richmond in order to relax.


Ben and Norman continue surveying. Suddenly, a Japanese soldier kills a U.S. soldier who has discovered their position. Ben and Norman are taken prisoner.


John-Boy meets with Simone to talk about how he will learn first-hand the method to defuse bombs. John-Boy is attracted to her, but Simone is hesitant to get involved with a soldier about to return home. John-Boy tells her he will stay in Paris in order to write a novel. They walk home, stopping at a closed puppet show in the park. John-Boy works the puppets in order to relate how he has fallen in love with her. Suddenly a police office walks up, stopping the show. They return to her home where Simone says, “It’s late.” John-Boy responds, “I know.” They kiss and she closes the door.


John-Boy is shown how to deactivate a land mine, assuming it is a real one. Luckily it is a dummy mine, after he fails the disassembly. The officer tells John-Boy how he needs an article written to attract people with demolition experience and to dispel the myth that anybody can defuse mines.


Ike and Corabeth deliver a telegram to Cindy from the U.S. government. Rose keeps the letter hidden until Cindy returns home, obviously distressed about its contents. When Cindy arrives John reads the letter, telling the family that Ben has been taken prisoner. Later, Cindy reassures the family that Ben was dreaming the same premonition, so must assume they will eventually be reunited. Upon hearing the bad news John-Boy informs Simone that he must return to Virginia. He asks Simone to join him. They agree to meet at the park. At the same time Jason and his squad are assigned to deactivate land mines. Jason and one of his men agree that they would like to get their hands on the writer who wrote the land mine article. At the park, Simone tells John-Boy she can not leave Paris, telling him that they are both needed at their different homes. John-Boy promises her that he will return, marry her, and write his novel.


Elizabeth sees John-Boy walking up the road toward the house. She runs to greet him.


"Simone and I corresponded after I came home but gradually the time between letters grew longer and longer. The next time I went back to Paris was in 1956. Simone's bookstore was gone and so was she. Someone on the street thought she may have married and moved to London, but I never did find out for sure".


Elizabeth: I'm glad you decided to come home, John-Boy.
John-Boy: So am I.
Elizabeth: Do you think Ben's going to be alright?
John-Boy: Cindy says he is, that's good enough for me.
Elizabeth: Goodnight John-Boy.
John-Boy: Goodnight Elizabeth.



Simone Berringer lives in the back of her bookstore.

Drew Cutler’s dad was in the U.S. Navy.

Ben is Seaman First Class.


Also appearing:

Ike and Corabeth Godsey (Joe Conley and Ronnie Claire Edwards), Cindy Walton (Leslie Winston), Rose Burton (Peggy Rea), Virginia (Claire and Elizabeth Schoene), John-Boy (Robert Wightman), Simone Berringer (Anita Jodelsohn), Norman (Jordon Suffin), Sgt. Norton (Ed Call), Major Sawyer (Woody Eney), The Soldier (Patrick Skelton), The French Man (Roger Etienne), The French Woman (Danielle Aubry).