[Act One Opening Narration. Viewers see Richard Kimble, lunch pail in hand, report for work]
The name on the time card is Hayes. The name is easily changed, dropped, and forgotten. Every identity Richard Kimble has borrowed has vanished for good when he moved on.
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The writers decided to come up with an unusual twist here. Kimble's working at a factory as "Bill Hayes" when a co-worker recognizes him- not as Richard Kimble but as Eddie Frey, (pronounced "Fry", a good pun). Much of the episode becomes a flashback to one of Kimble's previous experiences. He was working as a handyman for a bible-thumping, hard drinking employer, (John Anderson), who doesn't get along with his neighbors, abuses his kids and has his eye on their housekeeper, (Diane Foster). Everyone hates him and he hates Kimble, who befriends both the housekeeper and the boys. The result is a fight which Kimble seems to be losing. The housekeeper screams and runs off to call the police, (the boys are not present). Kimble escapes but is presumed to have been murdered and dumped in a quicksand bog near the property, due to mud found on Anderson's shoes.
The guy who recognizes "Frey" tells him that Anderson is being held for his murder, a revelation that cuts Kimble to the quick. He, like everybody else, doesn't like the guy and he'd be taking a risk returning to the town but feels he has to because Anderson situation- being falsely accused of a murder- parallels his own. When he gets there he finds that Anderson has escaped and been hunted down and shot by the very neighbors he antagonized for years. Now his angry boys want some kind of justice and one of them decides to blame everything on the housekeeper who was the main witness. Everyone in town feels guilty that they left the boys fatherless in their hunt for the falsely accused Anderson, (who, after all, did try to kill Kimble). They do little to help and Kimble winds up in an otherwise deserted court room with the housekeeper and the two boys.
The episode is full of the kind of top-flight character actors who made the world of 60's television come alive. Harry Townes as the wisened defense attorney takes the cake. Anderson is, as usual, excellent in a typical role. Whit Bissell is the morally cowardly town marshal. Foster is good and the landlady who will have nothing to do with her is played by producer Quinn Martin's casting secretary, Doreen McLean, who apparently decided to cast herself in that role.
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