The Big Brother
John Boy is asked to submit part of his novel to a publishing company, but as he is preparing to do so he loses the whole novel in a fire, which destroys most of the Walton home. Olivia tries to keep the family together as best she can, but with all of the sleeping quarters destroyed, John and Olivia decide that it would be best to allow the children to stay with friends and neighbours. John Boy has to struggle with the guilt he feels after realising that it may have been his lit pipe which caused the fire, and he struggles to rewrite his novel.
Mary Ellen stays with Dr. Vance and his wife, but angers the wife with her efforts to learn about medicine and help Dr. Vance with his work. Jason lives in luxury with the Baldwin sisters, and finds that he enjoys the attention and solitude of being the only child around. Erin and Jim Bob stay with the Reverend Fordwick and his wife. Erin also has to deal with guilt as she feels that she is to blame for John Boy's destroyed novel. If she hadn't waited to save her best dress she wouldn't have been overcome by smoke and needed John Boy to drop his novel and rescue her. Elizabeth, at the Godsey home, feels that she shouldn't love her family too much, as something bad happens to whatever or whoever she cares about. Ben discovers that he does in fact need some rules, after he finds life without them at Yancy Tucker's awkward and not as appealing as he had thought. The family finally ends up back at the rebuilt house, happy to be with each other once more.
- Pearl Shear as Zuleika Dunbar