Episode 5 - The Pursuit

(1 January 1981)
Writer: Michael McGreevey.
Director: Philip Leacock.
Music: Alexander Courage


"Though peace had finally come to Europe in the summer of 1945, America was still faced with the considerable task of bringing the war in the Pacific to victory. It was a time of uncertainty, both for those on the home front and for the troops still overseas. During that summer my brother Jim Bob was to face a personal crisis at home, while my brother Ben fought for his very survival as a prisoner of war".


Ben and his fellow prisoners-of-war are subjected to harsh conditions within the Japanese work camp. In rebellion, Ben sings a patriotic song to show he will not cooperate with the enemy.


Jim Bob unexpectedly arrives home, saying he wants to spend time with his family. He tells them that if anyone calls to tell them he is not home. Mary Ellen thinks the comment is suspicious.


Jason wonders where he is to be reassigned after getting sealed orders. He finally convinces Corp. Bergstrom to tell him what he knows but must hand over some of The Recipe in exchange for the news.


Jim Bob tells the family stories about his military experiences. While telling one that is especially difficult to believe, a telephone call from Kathy is received. The family calls him a ‘lady-killer’. But Jim Bob doesn’t appreciate the humor, getting angry at the comments. Mary Ellen becomes concerned about his reaction, asking him if he is in trouble. Jim Bob admits he met a girl who likes him more than he likes her.


At Ike’s store, Kathy Seals arrives looking for the Walton house. Corabeth tells Ike to drive the young woman to the house. She informs them that she has known Jim Bob for what seems like a long time and felt it was time to meet his family. Elizabeth answers the door but Jim Bob does not seem to like the fact that she is there. Later, while he ignores her, John informs his son that Kathy is crying inside. John tells Jim Bob that he must treat her as a guest. At supper, Kathy tells military stories that Jim Bob earlier told her. The sisters know the stores are made-up, deciding to call him ‘Ace’ Walton. John just chuckles.


At the camp, the commander forces the prisoners to salute the Japanese flag while standing at attention in the hot sun. One man falls unconscious.


Kathy tells Cindy about her first encounter with Jim Bob, dancing, talking and falling in love. But now Jim Bob is acting distant. Cindy doesn’t think Jim Bob loves her the way she wants him to love her. Later, Jim Bob tells Kathy that he does not love her. She doesn’t believe him, telling him that she is carrying his child.


Jason has been assigned as the USO(United Service Organizations) music director for a Paris show, being highly recommended by Toni.


While the prisoners wash the clothes of the Japanese soldiers, Ben steals clothes with a plan to celebrate the fourth of July.


Jim Bob waits for his daddy to finish some work, obviously anxious to tell him something important. Jim Bob finally blurts out that Kathy is pregnant but he is unsure if he is the father. Later Cindy finds that Kathy has left without telling anybody. Jim Bob locates her at Ike’s store, asking her to return.


Jason and Toni discuss the ordering of dance numbers for the show. They finally make a decision, sealing the deal with a kiss.


Jim Bob and Kathy announce to the family that they have decided to marry. Kathy talks about Jim Bob while the sisters plan her wedding. Mary Ellen does not join in the preparation, wanting to talk to her youngest brother. Mary Ellen knows something is wrong. Jim Bob finally admits he has to marry Kathy.


Toni reluctantly announces to Jason that she has been reassigned to the States. She is excited but disappointed to separate from him. Jason says that they spend most of their time saying good-bye.


Mary Ellen interrupts Kathy while she tries on her wedding outfit, wanting to know how long she has been pregnant. After asking many questions, none that are answered, Mary Ellen goes to her father with the information. John later talks with Jim Bob and Kathy about the important of honesty in a marriage.


Early one morning Ben raises the U.S. flag that he made from the stolen clothing. Ben says they will celebrate the fourth of July today, don’t knowing when the day actually occurs. The colonel observes the flag flying as the men salute it. He singles out Ben, dragging him to solitary confinement.


Late in the night, Kathy is unable to sleep. Going inside the house she finds Jim Bob also unable to sleep. She confesses that she is not really pregnant. Both of them admit to not being truthful with each other. Kathy becomes very upset. Jim Bob comforts her, agreeing to remain friends.


"Kathy left the following morning, and if Jim Bob ever saw her again he never mentioned it. He was quiet for the remainder of his furlough, and even Elizabeth stopped teasing him, for she was growing up, too".


John: Jim Bob?
Jim Bob: Yes sir?
John: It's going to hurt a little less as the days go by you know.
Jim Bob: I remember you saying that to John-Boy one time.
John: And it's still true son.
Jim Bob: Goodnight Daddy.
John: Goodnight Jim Bob. 'Night everybody.



Kathy Seals lives in Norfolk. Her mother raised her in the city. Her father lives in Jersey City.

Information about the USO is found at: http://www.uso.org/pubs/8_13_18.cfm?CFID=4605526&CFTOKEN=7741341.


Also appearing:

Ike and Corabeth Godsey (Joe Conley and Ronnie Claire Edwards), Cindy Walton (Leslie Winston), Rose Burton (Peggy Rea), Virginia (Clare and Elizabeth Schoene), Toni Hazelton (Lisa Harrison), Kathy Seals (Jennifer Jason Leigh), Norman (Jordon Suffin), Angie (Frank Catalano), Billy (Richard Molnar), Clint (Dane Witherspoon), Camp Commander (Jerry Fujukama), The Corporal (Hatsuo Uda), Master Sgt. Bruner (Ted Noose), Corp. Bergstrom (Ken Michelman), Lt. Saunders (Jerry Hoffman).