Romance comes to the Barkley family in this Big Valley episode as Richard Long comes home with a bride played by Sandra Smith. It was one of those impulse marriages by people who know they are right for each other. But also back in Stockton is Michael Strong who was in prison and he blames Jarrod Barkley for putting him there.
While out on an idyllic afternoon, Long and Smith are surprised as they are attacked by an unknown sniper and Smith is shot dead. After that Long forgets he's a lawyer and officer of the court and he sets out after Strong who is running out of places to hide.
Long is quite a sight, dirty and unkempt, far from the gentlemanly Jarrod Barkley we know. But his transformation is understandable. What wasn't in the end is Peter Breck being the voice of reason. Usually Nick Barkley shoots first and asks questions later. The writers should have had Lee Majors be the one that talks to Long.
As for Michael Strong he's about as popular as Bob Ford was after he shot Jesse James. Strong's character is nauseating and at the same time holds some fascination for the viewer.
Usually this happens to Cartwrights on Bonanza, having their women die on the show. But until the end none of them actually got married and that series had a longer run.
For a different Richard Long check this one out.
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