I rewatched The Medal today and I quite enjoyed it in some ways, it's a glimpse of what was to come in the next season - no John, Jeffrey or Serena.
What's especially interesting about this episode, is that it's version of events surrounding Curt's death are in no way compatible with Curt surviving. Mary Ellen's love interest for the story, Edward, knew Curt. He said Curt saved his life on the day. He said he refused medical treatment so that he could keep helping others and that's why he died. He rescued people directly from the line of fire... not very consistent with "Curt" in Season 9 saying he ran away as soon as the attack started. How could Edward have been so mistaken? He couldn't.
Nice to see the family, once again, standing up against racism and xenophobia too. I think this is the only interracial romance we see in The Waltons and I think it's a good one. I tend to think that the one-off male love interests for the Walton girls are usually not such good people - often quite pushy or entitled. But Edward is quiet and kind. Too bad he never showed up again!
Corabeth's storyline was also pretty good. A man from her past wants to have an affair with her before going to war. I always like to see Corabeth vulnerable and more human... it balances her out from the times when she's very loud and judgey.
All in all, a good episode - especially for one dealing with such a reduced cast
If they really wanted to go ahead with a storyline about Curt supposedly surviving, but didn't want to ruin the series continuity (and sense of reality), what they could have done is have him be a similar looking, seedy sort of guy who knew Curt and had seen a picture of Mary Ellen. Perhaps people always joked that the two of them were "like twins" (suspend your disbelief and pretend they actually do look similar) and he decides to use this as a sleazy way of getting together with her. Perhaps his experiences at Pearl Harbour messed him up enough to try manipulating somebody like that. Just make a few tweaks to the script and the story can still generally be the same, but without the Curt-ruining implications.