Gunsmoke: Season 15, Episode 21

Kiowa (16 Feb. 1970)

TV Episode  -   -  Western
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 28 users  
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When Ed Vail's daughter is kidnapped by Indians, Ed and his sons set out to find the girl. But Ed will have to come to grips with himself before rescuing his daughter.



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Title: Kiowa (16 Feb 1970)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ed Vail
Rev. Finney Cox
Albert Vail
Lucas White ...
Russ Vail
Martha Vail
Joyce Ames ...
Melissa Vail
Richard Angarola ...
Richard Lapp ...
Angela Carrol ...
Indian Woman
Glenn Strange ...


As this episode opens, the Vail family is sitting down to a meal. The oldest girl Melissa, who seems somehow different from the rest of the family, goes out to the barn to milk a cow. While there she is kidnapped by a member of the Kiowa tribe. At first we think that this is a simple kidnapping by a savage race of people and a posse is organized to pursue Melissa and her abductors. But as this episode progresses it becomes obvious that there is a very compelling reason for the abduction as Melissa's father seems to be only interested in following the Kiowa party and is reluctant to actually engage them. In what turns out to be a touching episode of Gunsmoke, (and without revealing too much of the conclusion) the plot of, "Kiowa" is an indictment of racial prejudice by depicting a man who has to deny and hide who and what he is to advance in the world. Written by Steve Sassi

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Release Date:

16 February 1970 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

A person is better for watching this episode- very good
12 November 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The episode begins with the Vail family led by Ed Vail (Victor French) that has a teenage daughter named Melissa. While Melissa goes to the barn she is captured by Indians. This causes Ed and his two sons to follow the trail in hopes of getting the young Melissa back.

With Rev Finney Cox (Dub Taylor) also going along on the rescue the mother, Martha Vail, goes into town and advises Matt Dillon about the kidnap so that he will also ride with the others.

When Matt catches up with the others it become apparent that Ed is not happy with having Matt ride along. With Ed's actions and the fact that the Indians are leaving behind a very traceable trail, we the viewer know that there is more to this story than a simple kidnap.

When the final minutes of this episode are played out- it comes across as one of the better shows of the series. A well acted episode that makes one feel better for watching.

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