Bat responds to cry for help when a friend's small gambling house is threatened by rival casino owned by Big Keel Roberts. Roberts suggest that he and Bat play one hand of poker, with the winner gaining ownership of both casinos.
On June 20, 1883 Bat comes to Arizona to help his friend Shorty. When Bat was down on his luck, Shorty was there to help him. Big Keel Roberts owns the Oriental Saloon while Shorty owns the Alhambra Saloon. Roberts sends his men Chuck and Nelson to take Bat off the stage but he out smarts them by going on horse and catching them stopping the stage. In town he spots his old friend Lucy from Dodge City who is now Roberts's woman. Bat is able to control problems at the Alhambra so Roberts threatens a woman with death that Bat took to dinner. Bat buys an interest in the Alhambra to prove his resolve so Roberts has his men bust up the saloon ending in a couple of his men shot. The irate Sheriff closes down both saloons for the town's safety. Roberts suggests a one hand poker game showdown with the winner taking both saloons. After some thought Bat agrees. The show provides two possible endings with an introduction of Bat Masterson's history between them. Written by
"Double Showdown" marked the beginning of the Bat Masterson series. It really set up the series, and its tone. The series was one of the more interesting Western series, because the hero wore a derby and used a cane.
Some critics have not been kind to the series because of the accuracy of the Bat Masterson portrayal. However, this episode addresses this. Toward the end of the episode, we see Gene Barry address the audience himself to explain what is going on with the episode, and compare biographers' accounts. Breaking that wall was a very interesting touch indeed!!!
Well worth a watch!
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