Episode 15 - The Victims

(19 March 1981)
Writer: Juliet Packer.
Director: Lawrence Dobkin.
Music: Alexander Courage.


"With the war over, my family settled down to a more normal routine of life, but occasionally this was to be interrupted by echoes of the war. Such was the case when we encountered a young man who was still struggling with war wounds, not to his body, but to his spirit and mind. Though he crossed our lives for only a short time, that memory would remain fresh with us always".


Inside Ike’s store, Laurie Ellis picks up groceries from Corabeth, while her husband Kenny checks under his truck’s hood as Ike fills the gas tank. Erin enters the store to talk with her friend Laurie who worked at Pickett’s before getting married. (The new couple are renting Mary Ellen’s house.) After leaving the store, Kenny becomes angry with his wife for talking too much.


At the supper table, John-Boy discusses revising his current book. Then, Jim Bob tries to convince the family to pitch in fifty dollars to buy war surplus supplies at the Rockfish Depot. They decline, but Elizabeth suggests he ask the Godsey’s. Later, at the Dew Drop Inn, John-Boy and Jason invite Kenny to join them at their table. They learn he drives a truck for a nearby company, and earlier had driven a truck during the war. Jason mentions that John-Boy tutored Laurie in English and, in exchange, she helped him with The Blue Ridge Chronicle. When Jason says Laurie had a crush on John-Boy, Kenny becomes irritable, telling John-Boy she is now his wife. Kenny becomes even angrier when Jason refuses to serve him another drink. John-Boy asks if he can drive Kenny home, knowing he is inebriated. Kenny blows-up at the suggestion, and walks out.


Jim Bob attempts to convince Ike and Corabeth to join him in his venture. Corabeth flatly refuses but Ike tells him to stop by before going to the auction. John-Boy returns home in time to overhear a telephone call to Mary Ellen. Ann Galloway, who lives next to her house, is hearing loud noises from inside the house. John-Boy and Mary Ellen leave to investigate. Laurie comes to the door, admitting she hit her head on a cupboard. When she returns inside, Kenny grabs her hair, demanding she tell him about John-Boy. She pleads not to hit her again. Suddenly, the mood of Kenny changes as he becomes subdued and compassionate.


The next morning, Laurie receives violets from Kenny, his apology for yesterday’s outbreak. He doesn’t understand his actions, feeling he was standing outside himself when the anger happened. He then says goodbye as he prepares for another long trucking job.


Jim Bob enters the store as Corabeth asks Ike about the Zeller house. Corabeth agrees to loan Jim Bob the money if he promises to return their investment if the enterprise doesn’t succeed. At the Dew Drop, Laurie asks Jason if he has seen her husband. She is worried about Kenny who was fired after arriving late to work. Later, Jim Bob returns to the store with an unexpected load of gas masks and helmet liners. Ike doesn’t believe he will be able to sell them and asks Jim Bob to return their money by the end of the week.


John-Boy answers the telephone, finding that Jason is worried about Laurie. John-Boy and Erin drive over to find the place a shambles and Laurie unconscious on the floor. Back at the house, Mary Ellen and Erin tend to her wounds, while Laurie explains what happened. Rose and John-Boy listen to her story, with John-Boy suggesting they call the sheriff. Upset at the idea, Laurie says no. Rose suggests that Laurie rest. Later Mary Ellen explains the medical consequences of Laura’s bruises to the Deputy Sheriff, who hasn’t yet located Kenny. Laurie refuses to file charges, believing her husband is a ‘fine and gentle man’.


Ben tells Jim Bob to pay back the Godsey’s, who are upset about not being paid back. Jim Bob doesn’t know what he could sell; but Ben adjusts the mirror on his hot rod, as a hint.


The next morning, Rose realizes that Laurie is pregnant. Just then Kenny drives up, once again apologizing for his shameful actions. Laura is convinced that he will not repeat his angry behavior. But, as Erin helps Laurie prepare to leave with him, Rose sees the man’s mood change drastically right before her eyes. Rose locks the door. Unable to force the door open Kenny leaves vowing to return with a gun. Rose calls the Deputy Sheriff who drives to the house, while one of his men searches for Kenny.


Jim Bob enters the store wearing a helmet and gas mask and pays Corabeth the money he owes them. Outside, Buck Vernon sees Jim Bob’s outfit, interested in buying the equipment. Later, Ben congratulates his younger brother for paying back the money he owed. Ben learns that Jim Bob sold his hot rod for two hundred dollars and sold the war surplus supplies for another two hundred dollars. After paying off his loan (fifty dollars) and buying an old junk car to fix up (twenty-five dollars), Jim Bob announces he still has three hundred, twenty-five dollars left as profit. Jim Bob thanks Ben for his good advice.


Hendricks receives a call telling him Kenny has barricaded himself inside his house. He drives John-Boy, Jason, and Laurie to the site as the police surround the armed man. Kenny fires at the uniformed men, thinking they are German Nazis. John-Boy and Jason decide to enter the back of the house, hoping to convince Kenny that he is no longer in the war. Jason convinces him that they are on his side, and that Laurie is outside waiting for him. He finally recognizes his wife’s name and gives up his gun. He opens the front door, crying out to his wife.


“Kenny and Laurie moved to Richmond where he could be close to the V A hospital. Laurie's letters indicated that treatment helped Kenny forget the violence of the war and he became a gentle loving husband and father to her and to Kenneth Ellis Junior".


Rose: Goodnight John-Boy, goodnight Mary Ellen.
Mary Ellen: Goodnight Rose, goodnight Elizabeth.
Elizabeth: John-Boy? I want to visit you in NewYork.
John-Boy: I don't think you'd like it.
Elizabeth: How come?
John-Boy: No whipperwills, the city lights black out most of the stars at night.
Elizabeth: But it's got something more special than that.
John-Boy: What?
Elizabeth: You! Goodnight John-Boy.



Laurie and Kenny Ellis pay two dollars for gas and three dollars, sixty-four cents for groceries; for a total of five dollars, sixty-four cents.

Kenny Ellis drove a truck during the war.

The license plates on Deputy Sheriff Henricks’ car are 98-964 VA.


Also appearing:

Ike and Corabeth Godsey (Joe Conley and Ronnie Claire Edwards), Rose Burton (Peggy Rea), John-Boy Walton (Robert Wightman), Laurie Ellis (Carol Jones), Kenny Ellis (Ben Andrews), Deputy Sheriff Walt Hendrix (John Carter), Buck Vernon (Archie Lang), Deputy Ernie Allen (Michael McDonough).