Matt quits his job as Marshal when he shoots Ray Gilcher, a prisoner and wartime buddy, dead in apparent self defense and it turns out Glicher was actually trying to save Matt's life.





Airs Tue. Oct. 24, 2:00 PM on TVLAND



Episode cast overview:
Ray Gilcher
Marshal Clint Tucker


Matt has the unhappy task of tracking down Gilcher, a long-ago friend of his, who fell on hard times and turned to horse theft and attempted murder. Matt surprises Gilcher at his mountain camp, and the two men sadly reminisce over old times. Suddenly, Gilcher sees a man up on the next hill holding a rifle. Gilcher warns Matt that the man (whom Matt can't see because his back is to the hill) is about to throw down on them both. Matt thinks Gilcher is bluffing. Gilcher makes a lunge for his discarded rifle -- and Matt -- thinking Gilcher is about to shoot him -- fires. An instant later, a rifle slug whizzing past Matt's ear confirms Gilcher's story. Matt promises to the dying Gilcher that he will give up law enforcement, which he does. He takes a room in Dodge while the new marshal tries to deal with a bounty hunter who shows up in town. Soon afterward, a young man shows up in town, seeking out Matt and claiming to be Gilcher's son. Matt tries to befriend the young man and get him out ... Written by Peter Harris

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Release Date:

17 September 1966 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is the first episode of "Gunsmoke" to be broadcast in color. See more »


Matt Dillon: I'm not going anywhere. I'm just quitting a job, not a town.
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User Reviews

First colored episode plays out well for viewers
13 September 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Matt is on the trail of outlaw Ray Gilcher. Ray is an old friend of Matt's from younger times. While Ray is camping, Matt sneaks up on him and arrest him. After talking about old times Ray tells Matt that there is someone in the rocks with a gun. When Ray leaps for a gun, Matt thinks it is a hoax and shoots Ray. About that time a shot is heard coming from the rocks. Ray was telling the truth.

When Matt gets back to Dodge he tells the surprised town that he is quitting the Marshal service. It just so happens that Marshal Tucker is visiting Dodge and will assume control until another Marshal is sent from the service.

Two people them come into Dodge. One a young man claiming to be the son of Ray Gilcher to pick up his dead father's property- and the other a unscrupulous bounty hunter that kills for money.

The two men team up to kill another outlaw that has a price on his head. When the outlaw arrives at the Long Branch, shots ring out and the outlaw is killed. Citizen Matt is outraged but Marshal Tucker says that the two deserve the money for the killing.

Matt will have to make a decision to either remain a private citizen or return to his profession. And when one of the team members reveals that he is not exactly what he claims- it will lead to Matt finding out who was the gunman from the rocks.

Nothing really stand out in the episode except for Matt leaving the force- but for the viewer it was a nice show with at least three burial services to be performed.

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