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» » The Waltons The Fulfillment (1971–1981)

Short summary

Curtis and Ann are unhappy to learn that they are unable to have children of their own. However, an orphan boy visiting with the Waltons shows them that they can still have a family by adopting him.

This is the second appearance of character Curtis Norton who was originally played by actor Ned Beatty in episode 1.22, The Bicycle.

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  • comment
    • Author: Yggfyn
    TITLE: THE FULFILLMENT ORIGINAL AIRDATE: February 7, 1974 WRITERS: Michael Russnow & Tony Kayden DIRECTOR: Nick Webster

    PROLOGUE: "The Depression years were hard ones for just about everyone in the country. Our family had little money and few luxuries, but we did have food on the table and clean clothes to wear, even if they were mostly hand-me-downs, and a bountiful supply of love to sustain our household. Other families were not as fortunate as we were, and I remember how my mother and father occasionally invited a child from the Jefferson County Orphanage to share our life on Walton's Mountain."

    SYNOPSIS: John and Olivia bring Stevie home for a visit from the Jefferson County orphanage. The family has a history of bringing orphans home for short visits. We last saw evidence of this when Hobie Shank a former orphan came for a visit in "The Braggart" (s2-ep8) Stevie is 7 years old. He has a chip on his shoulder from his tough life being moved about and doesn't relate well to other children. He has trust issues and it takes some time for him to warm up to the family. John-Boy has been helping Curtis Norton the blacksmith since he burned his hand on the job. He witnesses a tension between Curtis and Ann his wife. Ann has become restless in her marriage. She has been shopping for expensive dresses and decorating her home like scenes from a movie. When Olivia stops by, she confides that she is not able to have children of her own. Stevie knocks over a bowl of freshly peeled apples and runs away rather than suffer the blame. Curtis picks him up on the road and brings him back to his house where John-Boy tells him that he is visiting his family from the orphanage. Stevie takes a shining to Curtis. Later when Ann and Curtis visit with the Walton's they learn that Stevie has come from the orphanage. Ann believes that the family has plotted to bring Stevie, her, and Curtis together. She is not ready yet to accept her situation and open her heart to the possibility of welcoming Stevie into their life. On the final day of his stay, it is obvious that the visit has had an impact on Stevie. Just as they are about to leave to take Stevie back to the county home, Curtis and Ann arrive to talk to Stevie. Ann speaks to him alone and asks if he would like to be adopted as their son. Stevie accepts.

    QUESTIONS: Who pick Stevie up along the road? Where did Stevie come from? What was Ann running from?

    EPILOGUE: "The Depression lingered on, hard times continued, but somehow the love that was most important to us on Walton's Mountain extended itself to others, and love is what the Nortons gave to Stevie, and he to them."

    MY THOUGHTS: This was one of those episodes that lack action and drama. You knew what was going to happen right from the beginning. I give this episode 4 weasel stars.
  • comment
    • Author: Tujar
    I completely agree with the reviewer who, like me, awarded 10 stars for this episode.

    The Waltons is a show built on things such as simplicity and warmth. Most often, it succeeds; sometimes, it strays a bit into something overdone. However, with this episode, everything clicked. Again, as the other 10-star reviewer noted, this episode was a masterful combination of script, casting, direction, and acting. How could there possibly be a dry eye in the house by the end of the story?

    Masterful........precisely because of the simplicity, and because of the honesty in the lines spoken.

    Oh my, how nice it was to see this again after so long!
  • comment
    • Author: Mori
    A beautifully written and acted episode all about infertility and dreams of having a family. It doesn't skirt the imbalance of a couple's different reactions to meeting a little lad who needs a forever family.

    Excellent casting and great acting.
  • Episode credited cast:
    Richard Thomas Richard Thomas - John-Boy Walton
    Ralph Waite Ralph Waite - John Walton, Sr.
    Michael Learned Michael Learned - Olivia Walton (as Miss Michael Learned)
    Ellen Corby Ellen Corby - Esther Walton
    Will Geer Will Geer - The Grandfather
    Judy Norton Judy Norton - Mary Ellen Walton
    Jon Walmsley Jon Walmsley - Jason Walton
    Mary Beth McDonough Mary Beth McDonough - Erin Walton (as Mary Elizabeth McDonough)
    Eric Scott Eric Scott - Ben Walton
    David W. Harper David W. Harper - Jim-Bob Walton
    Kami Cotler Kami Cotler - Elizabeth Walton
    Earl Hamner Jr. Earl Hamner Jr. - The Narrator (voice) (as Earl Hamner)
    Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
    Victor French Victor French - Curtis Norton
    Ivy Jones Ivy Jones - Ann Harris Norton
    Tiger Williams Tiger Williams - Stevie
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