This episode immediately followed "Slocum", from another Ron Bishop script. Both are similar stories, about non-conforming people who provoke trouble. *
Unlike Slocum, Leary O'Quillian is not really likable. A talkative Irishman, he seems not only to have kissed the Blarney stone, but swallowed a big chunk of it. He has opinions on everything, most of which (he says) are designed to encourage others to better their lives. He believes the world owes him a living, as one of the "dreamers" who make things better. Matt's view differs: "If you dig a hole in the ground, you're expected to fill it with more than you dug out."
A particularly interesting casting decision has Victor French and Anthony James returning as pretty much the same sort of characters they played in "Hill Girl" and "Uncle Finney" -- except they're not named Florene.
This is "Gunsmoke" at its best, with wonderful dialog and oddball characters. Highly recommended.
* It seems (though I can offer no proof) that "Gunsmoke"'s producers threw out broad story ideas, asking the writers for their own takes. It's not uncommon for two stories in the same season to be thematically similar, though different in details.
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