On Walton's Mountain, Harley Foster, a co-worker of John's, is suspected of being an escaped convict who killed a man years before. In the following days, several problems ensue for Harley and John, but things turn out well, with President Roosevelt signing a pardon for Foster before he died. Also on the mountain, Ike and Corabeth are arguing over her wanting to work as a real estate agent, and Cindy is disappointed with the Walton girls for not letting help out around the house.
The episode concludes with the residents of Walton's Mountain paying tribute to the late President Roosevelt when the train carrying him comes through the nearby train station.
After the death of Sweet Billy, Mary Ellen decides to go back to school to become a doctor. After being discouraged by her college advisor to take classes in another field, Mary Ellen gets some advice from Sweet Billy's sister to not give up on her dream. Meanwhile, the other Walton women get prepared for Jason's birthday party.
While waiting for Ben to come from Japan, Cindy has a premonition something bad happens to him and later finds out that Ben was taken prisoner by the Japanese military. As he is working in Paris, John Boy finally agrees to write an article about how dangerous land mines are. After deciding to stay in Paris after being discharged from the service, he changes his mind after learning about Ben becoming a POW.
When Jim Bob arrives home unexpectedly with a girl named Kathy following not far behind, they soon learn that she is pregnant with Jim Bob’s child. Not believing Kathy is telling the truth; John has a talk with her and voices his concerns. After the truth comes out, Jim Bob and Kathy agree to remain friends. In Japan, Ben is being a handful for his captors who ultimately put him in solitary confinement.
As Jason and Toni, and Elizabeth and Drew are having relationship problems, the war with Japan ends when President Truman dropped a pair of bombs on major Japanese cities. While the Walton family celebrates the good news, Ben calls home to let them know about his safe return home very soon.
After Ben returns home from the war, he begins making plans for Cindy and his future. Wanting to go to school to become an engineer, Ben's dreams are soon dashed when John expresses his desire to make him a partner at the mill. While he is deciding what to do, Olivia gets a relapse of her T.B. and has to move to Arizona. Upon hearing John's plans of selling the mill in order to be with Olivia in Arizona, Ben decides to give up his dreams to run the mill, in order to keep the business in the family.
Coming home to visit the family from the Army base, Jim Bob gets a ride from Jonesy, a man passing through the mountain. After having an accident, he stays with the Walton’s as Jim Bob fixes his car. During this time the stranger and Mary Ellen fall in love, only to have their relationship put on hold by the news that Curt may still be alive in Florida. Meanwhile, Jason buys the Dew Drop Inn, and thanks to help of his family and Corabeth, is able to re-open the place with rousing success.
As Mary Ellen is in Florida, she and Curt realize things are no longer the same between each other. While she is gone, Jonesy decides to stay on Walton's Mountain and is ultimately given Erin's job at J.D.'s plant. However, upon realizing Erin is doing Jonesy's work for him, she gets hired back and Jonesy is ultimately hired as a professor at Boatwright University.
Upon her father's death, Cindy learns she was adopted as a child. Wanting her daughter to know her biological grandmother, she and Ben soon begin searching for her mother. Eventually, Cindy and Ben are successful in finding her mother, and are happy when she tells them she would like to keep in touch with her daughter and family. Meanwhile, Drew stays with the Walton's while his parents are gone for a few weeks.
After an old beau of Rose comes to Walton's Mountain unexpectedly, his friends soon learn that he spent time in a mental institution. When his sister finds out where he is, Stanley and his friends are able to convince her to stay in the area, where he finds a job at a local newspaper. Meanwhile, a country music singer recently hired at the Dew Drop Inn begins hitting on Toni, much to the displeasure of Jason.
When Tom, the new minister arrives on the mountain, he calls the residents to arms to fix up the run-down church. Meanwhile, when Jason mentions Toni is Jewish one night, a big argument erupts inside the Walton home when the couple discusses getting married. However, thanks to Ben, the family becoming divided about Jason and Toni's relationship, resulting in the couple breaking up. Things soon get patched up, thanks to the help of the new minister and Toni soon accepts Jason's marriage proposal.
When Elizabeth beings to feel neglected at home, she decides to go to Arizona to visit with her parents. However, when the rest of the family finds out her plans, Jason is able to convince her to stay home until Olivia is feeling better. Meanwhile, as Corabeth goes back home to visit a dying relative, her younger sister comes to Walton's Mountain, where she and Ike begin to hit it off.
Looking to keep Zuleika Dunbar away from her boyfriend Stanley, Rose begins to take desperate steps to keep him happy. Meanwhile, John Boy is given the opportunity to teach television courses at Boatwright University, only if the board of directors agrees to the new program.
After finding a letter addressed to Ike from another woman, Corabeth fears the worst and ultimately leaves her husband. However, they soon work things out and ultimately patch things up. Meanwhile, Elizabeth is facing her own relationship problems with Drew, with him suggesting they spend the night together to celebrate their anniversary.
When Stanley proposes to Rose, she happily accepts. But when she begins suffering from heartburn, she goes to the doctor and finds out that she has a heart condition that requires medication, Rose soon calls off their engagement. Heartbroken, Stanley leaves the mountain, but eventually comes back and with the help of Ike, he is able to persuade Rose to ultimately get married to him. Meanwhile, Cindy begins to work in nearby Charlottesville, only to realize how much she misses being around to see her daughter grow up.
When a lumberjack comes to Walton's Mountain looking to help Ben with his business, things don't go as planned during their meeting. However, when the lumberjack meets Erin, they soon develop feelings for each other. When she learns that he is the son of a large lumber mill owner and they don't get along with each other, she is able to help both father and son are able to work past their problems and begin talking to one another again. Meanwhile, Ike and Jim Bob are able to unearth a dumping ground of illegal radioactive waste.
When John Boy goes to New York to find out the status of his book, he runs into bad luck and an old friend. When his publisher gives him some money to get back to home, John Boy begins to have a new look about the way he was living his life. Meanwhile, the Baldwin sisters begin planning a party to gather their old friends from finishing school.