The Captive

(9 November 1978)
Writer: Ray Cunneff.
Director: Ralph Waite.
Music: Alexander Courage.


"In the Autumn of 1941 the harsher realities of the world beyond Jefferson County seemed remote from the ebb and flow of our daily lives. Although our isolation would soon be shattered, my family, particularly my sister Elizabeth, would find the small joys and sorrows of life on Waltons Mountain, reality enough".


Jim Bob tries to teach Elizabeth how to drive after John lays down the law that she can drive only with a responsible adult and only on the back roads. It does not take long for Jim Bob to lose his temper when Elizabeth does things that to him are obviously wrong. Elizabeth walks home after he calls her a menace.


Corabeth proclaims she would like to transform the mercantile into a glamorous store similar to the one in Doe Hill. She then notices Aimee and Elizabeth wearing white shirts and jeans, insisting that her daughter change into something more appropriate in order to cultivate the tastes of a lady. Elizabeth thinks she is going through ‘the change’ like her mother last year. Corabeth suddenly returns to the past realizing how much of her youth was wasted. She leaves to the back room where she takes a drink from a hidden liquor bottle to calm her nerves. Later, Ike returns home to find Aimee cooking supper, saying her mother is not feeling well. When Ike brings his ailing wife a supper tray Corabeth glides into the room declaring she will become an interior decorator. Ike is not prepared to deal with his flighty wife and quickly leaves for his civil defense meeting. Disappointed with her husband’s lack of interest Corabeth returns to her bottle.


Ben attempts his hand at teaching Elizabeth how to drive. Likewise, he has little patience at her driving abilities. He apologizes for being short-tempered before dropping Elizabeth off at the store. Corabeth and Aimee are off to the Baldwin sisters in order to propose that she decorate their house. The Baldwin sisters serve cookies and tea to Corabeth and Aimee, offering Corabeth a touch of the Recipe along with the hot drink. For the first time, she accepts. When Corabeth states that the community needs an interior decorator, the Baldwin sisters mistakenly believe she means they should assume the role. When Miss Mamie and Miss Emily begin talking to themselves about their new responsibilities, Corabeth becomes incensed at their incorrect assumption. She asks for more of the Recipe, this time without the tea.


Jason makes his attempt to teach Elizabeth how to drive but is also unsuccessful after she drives the car into the lake. Outside the Baldwins’ house Elizabeth tells Aimee that she has run out of teachers. When Aimee tells the Baldwin sisters that Elizabeth has been taking driving lessons, they allow her to drive them to the Walton’s house. Miss Mamie and Miss Emily are much better than the boys in their approach to teaching Elizabeth how to drive. The trip turns out fine except that Elizabeth stops the car after driving through the fence, inside the vegetable garden. John scolds his youngest daughter, saying her driving lessons are over. Miss Emily mentions that Corabeth now intends to open a dancing school in Rockfish.


Ike and Corabeth argue about her impetuous behavior at suddenly signing a contract for her new business. Corabeth finally screams, ‘I am drowning in this Virginia backwater!’ The next day Corabeth asks John to enlarge the dressing room and build a partition for a waiting room in the building rented for her dance studio. When Olivia and John visit the studio they find Ike upset with Corabeth about the costs of opening the business. Ike confesses to John that he is afraid he would either go bankrupt or crazy before all of this is over. John offers the cost of the lumber in exchange for Elizabeth’s dance lessons and will forego the cost of labor. Corabeth confides in Olivia that Ike is very difficult to live with and is not very romantic. Back at the house, John tells Olivia that he thinks Corabeth has a drinking problem because he saw an empty liquor bottle at the studio. Olivia thinks it unlikely but did notice her breath smelled funny.


Corabeth teaches a class of three young girls, afterwards drinking another glass of liquor to calm her nerves. After teaching a class for older children a mother removes her daughter saying she does not believe Corabeth knows anything about dancing. Corabeth takes several drinks after this encounter. Later, Elizabeth and Aimee find her alone and disoriented. Corabeth realizes her venture is a failure and returns to her memories of childhood at Doe Hill. She backs off from the mirror asking, ‘Oh Moma, where is that tall, young man you said would come and find me? Corabeth is obviously inebriated while driving home, causing her to fall asleep and run off the road. Elizabeth is then forced to drive the rest of the way. John and Ike wait for them and, when they finally arrive, question them as to why Elizabeth is at the wheel. Elizabeth says that Corabeth was not feeling well, but Aimee tells the truth, her mother was drunk, passed out, and drove off the road. Privately, Corabeth asks John to help escape her situation. John relates a story about a friend who tried to escape the war by being drunk weeks at a time. But when soldiers were almost killed because of the drinking, the friend was forced to get help. John suggests that Corabeth get help for her alcoholism. John then brings in Aimee to show that her daughter still loves her. Now alone, Ike comforts his wife by promising he will help overcome her problems.


"For Corabeth Godsey it was a battle that would last a lifetime, with a few spectacular setbacks before her ultimate success. The weeks and months ahead would sweep us all into the world war we so feared, and for Corabeth, they would hold an extra measure of terror. Her new-found strength would soon be tested, as would our own, against the fury of a greater enemy".


Corabeth: I never noticed before - how tall you really are, Mr Godsey.
(Elizabeth laughs).
Olivia: Are you girls still awake?
Elizabeth: We can't sleep.
Olivia: Try harder.
(other girl): We're trying to decide what color to paint Jim Bob's car when he goes into the Air Corps.
Olivia: You've got plenty of time to decide now get some sleep.
>Elizabeth: Goodnight.
(other girl): Goodnight.
Jim Bob: What you say about my car?
Olivia: Go to sleep!
Jim Bob: Here wait a minute...


Corabeth grew up in Doe Hill.

When Corabeth and Aimee visit the Baldwin sisters, Corabeth leaves strict instructions to Jim Bob, who is watching the store that no credit is to be given to Maude Gormley. On other occasions the Godsey’s have refused Maude credit.

One of the signs outside Ike’s store is ‘Harrison Flour’.

The license plates on the Baldwin sister’s car are 627-300 Virginia.

The sign outside Corabeth’s dance studio proclaims ‘Corabeth Walton School of the Dance’.


Also appearing:

Ike Godsey (Joe Conley); Corabeth Godsey (Ronnie Claire Edwards); Aimee Godsey (Rachel Longaker); Emily Baldwin (Mary Jackson); Mamie Baldwin (Helen Kleeb); John Curtis Willard (Michael and Marshall Reed); The Woman (Bronia Wheeler).