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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I watched this today on TVLand. The Judge did absolutely nothing out of line. He quoted the Kansas law which said that horse stealing can be punished by hanging! It's interesting how this was similar to what I remember as an Alfred Hitchcock episode when a young policeman was killed and his policeman Father set himself up to be killed so his Son's killer(s) could be brought to justice, except in the Hitchcock episode the Father did not have a terminal illness. And Clint Eastwood did the same thing in Gran Torino. What the judge did in this episode is nothing compared to what Judges and the various Governments do. This Judge had the actual law in support of his actions. Today the law is essentially meaningless. If an illegal alien commits a crime, rap him on the knuckles and let him/her go. It does help a lot if you commit a crime in a Sanctuary City, of which there are many.
Even with some questionable tactics in this episode, the story was
strong enough to produce another highly delightful show that was
entertaining to viewers. And after watching, it raises the question of
why the show did not continue for at least another season due to the
excellent writing and acting.
In this episode a rebellious father and sons team, The Kaysingers, ride into Dodge and hear about a man that has just sold his cattle and is showing off his money. That evening they go and steal the money killing the man and severely injuring the wife. With aging Judge John Kendall in town it looks to be a open and shut case but when no witnesses come forward Judge Kendall release all but one of the boys, Cory, that was also charged with theft of a horse.
Later the father comes up to the Judge and tells him that his boy better go free or the Judge will pay the price. But during the trial for the horse theft, Judge Kendal sentences Cory to death. Now the Kaysingers are bound to take their revenge out on the Judge and also the town of Dodge.
A well written story till about this part when for some reason the Judge does something that, even to the novice viewer, just seems bizarre even for this fictional event. So we as viewers have to take some of the actions in stride in order to enjoy the closure of the program. The action never really took away from the show, in fact, it may have added some element that brings the story to a nice close- but it just did not set well. Anyway this story was interesting and the acting well done. Even with the questionable tactic the show still entertained.
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