The Waltons (1971) s07e06 Episode Script

The Changeling

Hope you've thought it over and changed your mind.
I've thought it over, but I haven't changed my mind.
Going into your teens is an important occasion.
Mama, it's my birthday.
If I don't wanna have a party, I don't see why we even have to talk about it.
It's past your bedtime, Elizabeth.
Maybe you'll change your mind in the morning.
The approach of a birthday in our family has always been a time of excitement and joy, but there was one notable exception.
On Elizabeth's 13th birthday, it seemed that she wasn't quite sure whether she wanted the clock to turn forward or backward.
Ow! Rats! I twisted my ankle.
I thought I was going to set a new record.
You did, you are the oldest girl in the world to still play silly games.
Didn't you ever feel, all of a sudden, like doing things you used to when you were a little kid? - No.
- Well, I do.
Well, by the way you are behaving, no one would believe that you're going to be 13 soon.
What do I care what people believe? Okay, but until you start acting grown-up, I'm going to walk home by myself.
See if I care! I'll act the way I want to act! Having fun? Enjoy it while you can.
You don't know how fast the years go by.
Jason, could you do me a favor? Don't talk to the driver while the car is in motion.
Come on, Jason, stop playing.
I've got a big test to study for.
- Study upstairs.
- It's cooler down here.
Elizabeth, I have a great idea for a radio program and I have to get the music down pat.
I audition tomorrow.
Mama's opening the apple cider, come and get it.
Come on, Elizabeth.
I have to go up and study.
- Why don't you take some with you? - I don't want any.
There's one for Ripley.
A girl who'd rather do her homework than have a glass of homemade apple cider.
Did she say anything about not feeling well? Well, she hasn't said much of anything to me lately.
Hardly see her except at meals.
She's kind of keeping to herself, isn't she? She's in one of her moods.
She says she doesn't even want a birthday party.
Well, she hasn't even dropped a hint to me about what she wants for a present.
Last year, she made up a list.
It's hard to believe a whole year's passed.
Sometimes she seems like a different person.
Of all my children, Elizabeth manages to be the most mysterious.
Hey, wait a minute.
I know what we can get her for her birthday, a Shirley Temple doll.
That time when we were in Rockfish, she saw one in a store.
She couldn't take her eyes off of it.
Girls at 13 don't play with dolls.
Thirteen isn't exactly middle-aged, you know? Yeah, but I think we should get her something that makes her feel older.
I've embroidered her some pillowcases.
Seems to me like Ben and me should finish up that hope chest we started.
The baby of the family turning into a teenager.
That's what's bothering her.
You all remember being 13? It isn't easy.
Yep, I wouldn't wanna be 13 again for anything.
All the things you have to put up with.
Worrying about your face and feeling like you have two left feet.
Being taller than all the boys.
Those are hard years.
It's like being on a roller coaster.
I'm amazed you can remember that far back, Liv.
No more apple cider for you, John Walton.
Wonder what that was.
I didn't do it.
- How did it happen? I don't know.
Well, you were right here, Elizabeth.
Yes, but I didn't see anything, I just heard it crash.
It sure didn't fall off the mantel by itself.
Well, doesn't matter how it happened, get a broom and sweep it up.
I told you the truth, Daddy.
I don't know any more about it than you do.
"The bower where we met for kisses sweet "Did shower gentle blossoms at our feet "And in its shade we pledged undying love "While warblers trilled " Organ music and mushy poetry.
Big hit with lonely old ladies, big flop for everyone else.
What we need is something to get the young and the old.
"And as once more I stood there Thought how strange "The passing years had brought such little change" Boy does sound like someone you'd trust.
Denby, remember that half-hour script I bought last month? The Uncle George Show? Now that's something for all age groups.
Of course, he's a little young to play an uncle.
Maybe if we called him Cousin George.
Too bad, Jason.
I knew all that love poetry would lay an egg.
They did? You are? Your own show? Well, what's it all about? Okay, I'll be surprised.
Well, of course, I'll tell the family.
Yeah, we'll be listening.
My brother, the radio announcer.
My brother, the radio announcer.
"Good evening, everyone.
This is your Cousin George.
"The man you turn to when you hit a bump on the rocky road to love.
"Here's a letter signed, 'Desperate.
' "It's from a girl of 18 who's in love with a man in his 40s, "and he's married.
" Listen to this, Jason giving advice to the lovelorn.
Hurry up, Cousin George, I can hardly wait.
"Dear Desperate.
"There are almost always good reasons why forbidden fruits are forbidden.
"Break it off now before you break your heart.
" A star is born.
He sounds so different, you'd hardly know it's Jason.
You know this program is just corny enough to catch on.
What are the forbidden fruits? Hey, Elizabeth, you should know that stuff by now.
Don't laugh.
Hey, Elizabeth, peaches, pears and apples.
Jim-Bob.
I'll get it.
Hello? Hello? That's strange, no one's here.
Leave it off the hook, Cousin George is about to talk again.
Dear Cousin George, how come you always hit the bumps on the road of love? "Dear Miserable, when you've lived as long as I have, "you'll know that perfection is an unattainable ideal.
"Since you believe that, in spite of everything, "your husband still loves you, you're way ahead of most people "whose marriages haven't lived up to their hopes.
"Don't give up.
Try harder.
"Do everything you possibly can to work it out.
" And that's all we have time for tonight.
If you have a problem, write to Cousin George - It's time for bed, Aimee.
- Oh, can't I finish this chapter? You mean "May I?" And the answer is, "No, you may not.
" It is important that a young girl of your age follow a precise daily routine.
- Oh, well, good night.
- Good night, precious.
- Good night.
- Good night, sweetie.
Corabeth, you should hear this one.
This guy in a defense plant, he says to this other guy I haven't the slightest interest in the crude humor of your cartoons.
"Dear Cousin George, "is it unreasonable for a lady of breeding "to expect her husband to improve himself culturally? "We are no longer young, and have few interests " "We are no longer young, "and have absolutely no interests in common.
" - That was great, Cousin.
- Really sounded good, Son.
You really think so? You were wonderful.
I wish you could've heard yourself.
It didn't even sound like you were nervous.
Thanks.
I was nervous.
There's a lot riding on this.
If enough people write in to Cousin George, I'll be on three times a week.
Otherwise Three times a week? Once a week is plenty.
- John.
- Thanks a lot.
- What was that? - Sounds like something hitting the roof.
- Probably squirrels.
- Lf it was, the acorns are getting bigger.
Mama! Mama! Mama! What is it, sweetie? Are you okay? A stone floated through the window.
- Somebody throwing stones at the house? - No, Daddy, it floated.
It floated onto the chest and then onto the floor where you are standing.
Honey, there's nothing over here.
But I saw it.
I tried to touch it and it moved away.
- You must have been dreaming, Elizabeth.
- It wasn't a dream.
Well, Elizabeth, you were sound asleep just a few minutes ago.
Stones don't float, honey.
Sometimes you wake up from a bad dream and you think that it really happened.
But it did, Mama.
It floated through the window, onto the chest, and then there on the floor.
And then, it slipped under the bed.
I can prove it to you.
Who's right? But I saw it.
I did, Daddy, I saw it.
I saw it, Daddy.
There's not a thing in the world wrong with this phone, Mr.
Walton.
Did you check all the wiring? He's taken the whole thing apart.
How do you explain it ringing at least 10 times a day, when you pick it up, no one answers? Must be somebody playing tricks on you.
What are those? Found these on the roof outside Elizabeth's window.
Wonder where Ben and Jim-Bob were last night? - They were asleep in bed.
- As far as we know.
Well, I guess that explains it.
Elizabeth must have heard those hitting the roof and dreamed the rest.
You answer it.
Hello, Walton House.
Hello? - Hello? - No one there.
People do that sometimes, keep ringing just to bother a person.
I can't think of anyone who would want to do that to us.
You never know.
I'm sorry, but there's nothing I can do.
This phone's in A-1 condition.
I wish there was more, but that's it.
Bye, Mr.
Walton, Mrs.
Walton.
Bye.
Phone's acting up, vase breaks by itself, Elizabeth sees a rock that isn't there.
What's going on around here? Come in, Aimee.
I came to make up with Elizabeth.
I didn't know you two had had a falling out.
Yes, ma'am, we did.
I got kind of mad at her.
She was acting babyish.
Would you like some cookies and milk before you go upstairs? - Yes, please.
- Have a seat.
Erin said I'm too old to play with you, Katie.
Isn't that just silly? - What is it? - Mama, I'm scared.
- What is it? What happened? - What was all that noise? Well, the chair, it It jumped up and down on the floor, and then it fell over.
Elizabeth, chairs don't fall over by themselves.
But it did! It fell over all by itself? There's no use talking about it if no one's going to believe me.
Elizabeth, we want to believe you.
Why would she make up a story like that? I suppose she's not getting enough attention lately? This The leg is broken, too.
If that's her way of asking for attention, I'll give her some she doesn't like.
John, we have been kind of busy lately.
I'll talk to her.
Pretty good response.
And I've read enough of these to know that it's about just a perfect cross section.
All ages, all kinds of problems.
Jason, I'm putting you on three times a week, starting tonight.
That's great, Mr.
Larkin.
I'll start studying the script now.
Script? No, there isn't any script.
You just pick out the best letters, and dream up the good answers.
You expect me to give advice to the lovelorn? Of course.
The script you read was just to set the pattern.
From now on, you write your own, Cousin George.
But, Jason, I just don't have the time.
All right, one more.
How about this? A girl of 23 says her husband's jealous of their baby.
What should she do? Tell him to go jump in a lake.
Oh, come on, Mary Ellen, I've got to have some good answers.
You know how much I know about romance and marriage.
Jason, I'm sorry, but I have to go up to John Curtis.
- Put Mama on.
- She's not here.
Good-bye.
A girl of 23.
Dear Wondering.
Elizabeth, Jason's radio show is about to start.
- You gonna listen with us? - It's a dumb program.
All about people's problems.
You and Aimee made up your differences yet? We always do.
You know, honey, some of the things going on around here got us kind of worried.
We don't know what to think.
Daddy, that chair fell over.
You're telling me.
I'm the one who fixed the leg, remember? Elizabeth, something bothering you? I don't know who I am anymore.
Well, that happens, you know.
You are about the age when you are gonna be going around a corner and you're not quite sure what's around there.
It's weird, I feel all different inside.
Well, your outsides look the same.
Same beautiful red hair, same nose.
Yeah, same freckles.
'Course, that smile's a little different.
It's more like this now.
Aimee says Corabeth calls it puberty.
Well, Corabeth's likely to know about those kind of things.
I guess I'm going to go downstairs and listen to Jason.
That's my girl.
Come on.
Good evening, everyone.
This is your Cousin George.
The man you turn to when you hit a bump on the rocky road of love.
What happened to the radio? Jim-Bob, check the aerial.
Maybe it's a bum tube.
Why don't you check for it? Couldn't be.
I just checked them.
Fine time for it to quit.
Just when Jason was getting started.
Jim-Bob will fix it.
Elizabeth, would you get me a screwdriver? Get it yourself.
I'm doing the work.
Why don't you get me what I need? Turn blue.
- Would you just go get him a screwdriver? - Come on.
"We are no longer young "and have absolutely no interests in common.
"Can you suggest anything short of divorce "which might improve this deplorable situation? "Signed, Frustrated.
" Dear Frustrated, my advice to you is to expose your husband as much as possible to the better things in life.
Tune in classical music whenever he's at home, read poetry aloud to him.
Encourage him to attend night classes in the arts.
In my experience with others who've had the same sort of problem Fine time for it to act up.
Somebody hit it.
We can go up to my room, my radio's been working fine.
That's probably the way it got broken, people hitting it.
- Look, I'll go tune in the station, okay? - I'll do it.
Figure I'd better before somebody ordered me to do it.
I wish it would make up it's mind.
That was what was happening on John's other wife.
You know, you talk about nutty things.
Every time Elizabeth walks into the room, the radio turns off.
And every time she goes out, it comes back on.
I forgot the number of the station.
The minute Aimee told me of the strange occurrences in the Walton household, I was reminded of a similar situation back home in Doe Hill.
Stones falling out of the sky, crockery flying, strange noises.
Don't you find Mozart so very precise? Yeah.
Would you mind turning it down? I keep getting the creamed corn mixed up with okra.
Of course, I don't believe in such things myself, but the manifestations were said to be a poltergeist.
A poultry who? It's a mean little spirit that invades the home of a young person and plays nasty tricks on everyone.
Now here they are.
Now, not a word of what I have been saying.
Ike, here's a list of things for the baby.
Okay, Mary Ellen.
- Olivia? - Elizabeth and I are just along for the walk, Ike.
Oh.
Baby powder? Going to use it on the poultry-ghost? Mr.
Godsey, the word is "poltergeist," and I specifically asked you not to bring it up.
Well, Aimee told us about the chair banging around and all those other things.
And Corabeth thought that you've got a polter A poltergeist in your house.
Well, whatever it is, there's got to be a better explanation for it than that.
Corabeth, tell them about Doe Hill, and the stones going through the air and those other things.
Superstitious nonsense.
I'm sorry I even mentioned it.
It seems to me I've read about that.
What is a poltergeist? Oh, you don't have to be frightened, Elizabeth.
It's Corabeth says it's just a little spirit.
There is no such thing and we will not talk about it anymore.
Elizabeth and I will be waiting outside, Mary Ellen.
Come on, Elizabeth.
Well, Olivia, I don't think Elizabeth believes in ghosts anyway.
Should have left a forwarding address.
I just wanted to be alone for a while.
You've been alone quite a bit lately.
Mama, do you believe in poltergeists? No, I don't.
I'm glad you don't.
Do you? Well, I thought about it a lot today.
Do you think all those things I told you I saw, I could've just made up? Well, you always did have a pretty good imagination.
It's different.
It's like I'm going crazy.
It's a real scary feeling.
That's the way I felt when I went to visit Aunt Kate in Alberene.
I was coming into a new time in my life and it seemed like everything was just flying apart.
Adolescence is like that, too.
When does it stop? It will be over before you know it.
I just hope you don't look back and feel sorry that you couldn't enjoy a very special time in your life.
Mama, I think I might like to have a birthday party after all.
I was hoping you'd change your mind.
But not with party hats and balloons.
I'm too old for that.
How about a slumber party the night before your birthday? You and your girlfriends can stay in the living room all night.
You can stay up till midnight if you want to.
How old was Erin when she had her first slumber party? Thirteen.
So was Mary Ellen.
Okay.
Jason.
Ike, what are you doing here? Ah, I thought I'd run into you if I come over here.
Listen, you know all about college classes.
They don't have those music appreciation classes at night, do they? Every night, except Saturday and Sunday.
I was afraid of that.
They're probably filled though, huh? Not a chance.
Those classes are held in the auditorium.
I guess I'm in for it.
Boy, I really dread coming over here two nights a week.
Corabeth says one night a week is not enough.
Well, Ike, maybe while Corabeth's in the classes you can go to a movie or visit friends or something.
No, I'm the one that's in the classes.
Slow torture, two nights a week.
Why does Corabeth want you to take music appreciation classes? Well, there's this joker on the radio, and he gives advice to people who write in and ask questions, and he told Corabeth that I should be exposed to the better things in life.
And so, she's got me listening to long-hair music in the store all day long and she's spouting poetry aloud.
She's got me reading Shakespeare.
Well, Ike, why don't you just refuse to go along with all that? Sometimes a guy's got to give in on a few things if he wants his marriage to work out.
I guess you're right there.
But there ought to be a law against a radio program like that.
Nobody's got the right to tell other people how to run their lives.
You know what I mean? Liv, I've been worried.
I thought you were just going to the library in Rockfish.
They didn't have the book I wanted in Rockfish.
I had to go all the way to Charlottesville.
Must be a pretty important book.
I wanted to look up poltergeists for myself.
Now, Liv, you're not starting to believe all that stuff, are you? I don't know what to believe.
All I know is I don't like what's been happening here.
I hope that book relieves your mind.
- Want some coffee? - Yeah.
They've done a lot of research on poltergeists.
Scientists all over the world.
How can they research something they can't even see? Well, they don't have absolute proof, but they think they will.
What proof they got of what? I haven't really had a chance to read too much, but from what I can gather, all those strange things that are supposed to happen when poltergeist are around, they always seem to happen when there's a child in the house around 12 or 14 years old.
- Just like Elizabeth? - Yeah.
I haven't read too much about it, but it seems like there's The child is afraid of growing up or something.
Afraid of added responsibility, you know.
That fear turns into anger and the anger gets all bottled up inside, and that energy is what causes all those things to happen.
Liv, you show me a chair in the air or a poltergeist and I'll believe all that stuff.
I don't know whether to believe it or not myself.
But there it is, in black and white.
Good night, Katie.
Erin.
Erin! Honey, aren't you gonna be late for school? No, Daddy.
The refrigerator's full of soft drinks and I got plenty of snacks.
Potato chips, cookies.
Can you think of anything else? No, Mama.
You want me to put up some streamers? Paper streamers? No, thank you.
For a little girl who's having a party tonight, you don't seem very excited.
Did you sleep all right? Yeah.
Hope you have a nice day, honey.
I wish I didn't have to go to school.
I wish I could just stay here.
Oh, my goodness.
You're getting to be quite a lapful, you know? Pretty soon I'll be too big for everything.
Thank you.
- Mind if I walk along with you a ways? - No.
I was just thinking back to when I was 13.
Wasn't an easy time.
I did a lot of things I'm not proud of.
Like what? Picking arguments, sassing people, walking around with a chip on my shoulder.
I was mad at the whole world, but I didn't know why.
- I know now.
I was afraid.
- Afraid of what? Afraid of not living up to what I thought grownups expected of a 13-year-old.
I didn't want to grow up, I wanted to stay a little girl.
- Do you ever feel like that? - Maybe once in a while.
You know, sometimes when people are frightened, it makes them angry.
I think that's what happened to me.
But I didn't keep it all bottled up inside.
Do you think that's what could be bothering you? Nothing's brothering me, Mama.
Elizabeth, we don't grow up all at once.
We do it a day at a time.
Your daddy and I are going to be right here while you're doing it.
I'm gonna be late for school.
Got to go.
What about a girl who's living alone because her husband's in the Army? Now, an old friend comes to town and asks her to go out to dinner.
Jason! Jason, would you keep your eyes on the road, please? And stop crawling or I'll be late to work.
Now they're just good friends.
No romance.
- You think she ought to go with him? - That depends.
- Depends on what? - On a lot of things.
That's all I know.
She didn't write anything else.
- Well, then I don't know what to tell you.
- Neither do I.
Oh, come on.
I've got to have some answers.
Jason, I don't like telling other people how to handle their serious personal problems.
I agree with that.
I mean, what if you gave someone some bad advice and they followed through with it? You could ruin a marriage or a romance.
That's what's been bothering me.
Now, suppose I tell her to write to him and ask him if it's Jason! "Wilt thou be gone? "It is not yet near day: "It was the nightingale, and not the lark, That pierc'd the fearful hollow of thine ear, "Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate tree: "Oh, believe me love, it was the nightingale.
" Romeo.
"It was the lark, the herald of the morn.
"No nightingale: "Look love, what envious streaks Do lace the severing clouds in yonder east: "Night's candles are burnt out, and " What's that word? "Jocund.
" "Jocund " You knew that? " day stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops: "I must be gone and live, or stay and die.
" Pray, allow me.
"Yon light is not daylight, I know it.
"It is some meteor that the sun exhales, To be to thee this night a torch-bearer, "And light thee on thy way to Mantua: "Therefore stay yet, thou need'st not to be gone.
" Listen, Juliet.
If I'm going to stay, we ought to tune in on Cousin George.
Oh, dear me.
So soon.
I had allowed Mr.
William Shakespeare to transport me to another time and place.
Well, I never thought I'd be glad to listen to Cousin George.
" break off the engagement "or accept his excuse and see if it happens again?" Dear Worried, I can understand why it's hard for you to make up your mind.
But it seems perfectly clear to me Well, not perfectly clear.
But it does seem to me That is, it did seem to me.
Oh, come on, Jason.
Excuse me.
It seems to me that his excuse is pretty flimsy and I think you should break off the engagement.
Our next letter is from No, don't break it off! I mean, maybe you should and maybe you shouldn't.
I just don't know.
I'm not qualified to tell you or anybody what to do.
I'm just a country boy named Jason Walton, with hardly any experience in love and none at all in marriage.
I just hope I haven't hurt anybody by giving bad advice, and I There goes the ballgame.
I'm proud of Jason.
Took a lot of guts to do what he did.
Well, we're not going to let a kid like Jason Walton tell us how to run our lives, are we, Corabeth? I don't know what you're gonna do.
I guess you can go back and read Shakespeare if you want to.
But me, I'm just gonna relax.
Hop on the pillow.
Quick, throw them up.
Until tonight I thought it was boys that made the most racket.
They seem to be having a hilarious time.
It'll do Elizabeth good to laugh.
That's the only reason I'm not telling them to hold it down.
I gave them till midnight.
Another 20 minutes, I'll put a stop to it.
Good.
Then maybe we can get some sleep around here.
Run! - Okay, I've got a great idea.
- Okay.
- Ooh, God.
- I wonder what she's got planned.
I don't know.
I'm going to tell a story, a ghost story.
I don't like ghost stories.
Oh, but you'll love this one, it's about a haunted house.
But someone has to turn out the lights.
How did you do that? I didn't do it.
They went off by themselves.
Somebody's trying to scare us.
Turn them on, Elizabeth.
They won't work.
Stop! Stop! Stop! Stop! Stop! Stop screaming.
The chair flew up off the floor! We saw it! I can't get this window down.
I can't get these lights on either.
Ben'll drive you all home.
Ben, Ben.
Ben, you get dressed, take care of the girls.
I can't move this Get dressed, take care of the girls.
I'll get that.
I don't know what's going on around here, but I want it to stop! Mama! Daddy! Make it go away.
We can't, Elizabeth, only you can do that.
I can't! Elizabeth, honey, you've got to help us.
I'm afraid.
Honey, we're not going to let anything happen to you.
- We're here, we'll always be here.
- No, that's a lie! Elizabeth, what is it? I don't want I don't want to grow up and move away! I don't want you and Daddy to get old and die! I'm afraid! - And angry! - Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes, I am! - It's all right.
- It's all right, honey.
Come on, baby.
Come on.
We're gonna be with you, honey, for a long, long time.
Come on.
Come on.
Elizabeth's birthday came and went and none of the strange things that had been happening ever happened again.
Were there really poltergeists in the house? Scientists are still looking for answers to questions like that.
All we know is that we never found any other explanation.
Dear Cousin George, I'm going to be married next week.
Congratulations.
My bride's mother wants to come along on the honeymoon.
Better find out first if she snores.
P.
S.
I forgot to mention that I'm a midget in a circus, and the man who proposed to me is the giant.
Signed, Undecided.
Good night, Undecided.
Good night, Cousin George.
Good night, everyone.
Good night, Elizabeth.
English - SDH