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In this episode we get an ornery old man, Kader (John Carradine), that
believes you have to settle any dispute with a gun. When some gypsies
camp on his property he starts taking pot-shots at them so they will
leave his land. He wants his son, Danny Kader, to come with him but
Danny does not believe in shooting at people that are doing no harm.
Danny gets so upset that he leave the farm and heads into Dodge.
But there is more to this story, as Danny has been secretly seeing one of the gypsy woman and now decides to run off with her to get married. But the gypsies have other plans which will only make Danny become more like his father than he could have ever guessed.
A tragic story that was very well played by the actors. Darryl Hickman does a great job of playing the young man in love wanting something that he could never possess. And Carradine is well casted as the older man that is set in his ways. Even with the episode not ending as most viewers would prefer, this story was still entertaining enough to make for a nice show. Good watch.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Interesting look at the Gypsy life back then. John Carridine don't like
the gypsies living on his land (and frankly, I don't blame him). His
son falls in love with a gypsy, and neither party likes that. Back
then, different races didn't mix. But that did get the gypsies to move
Its another one of those sad endings, where Carridine accidentally shoots and kills his son from a distance (how did he hit his son but not Dillon, who was right beside him?). Its one of those real sad endings in which the son loses his woman (his love) and his life by his Dad. I'm surprised at the very end Dillon didn't help to dig the grave.
"Target" was the fifth season opener, the second of John Carradine's two appearances on GUNSMOKE, the first season's "Reed Survives" being the other. He plays Kader, a bitter landowner who implores his weakling son Danny (Darryl Hickman) to help him drive off a band of stranded gypsies who need a day to fix their broken wagon. Danny has other ideas, as he has fallen in love with gypsy girl Nayomi (Suzanne Lloyd), plotting to marry her in St. Louis if they can escape strict, forbidding gypsy law. Marshal Dillon (James Arness) gets involved when the gypsies recover Nayomi by knocking out Danny, who chooses to follow them with a stolen gun on a stolen horse. Canadian Suzanne Lloyd was a television veteran who also spent time in Britain, doing one episode of THE AVENGERS ("The Murder Market") and the low budget feature "The Return of Mr. Moto" (1965). Darryl Hickman, soon to give up infrequent on screen work for steady voiceovers, is the older brother of Dwayne Hickman, then popular as Dobie Gillis. That same year, Darryl had co-starred with Vincent Price in William Castle's "The Tingler," and was here reunited with John Carradine, proud cast members of John Ford's immortal "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940), also appearing together in 1942's "Northwest Rangers."
Another strong entry in what's arguably the peak period of the series.
The story's a variation on Romeo and Juliet, except here it's a Gypsy
girl (Lloyd) and a farmer's son (Hickman). Old man Kader (Carradine) is
one mean guy who views his gun-averse son as a weakling, while the
Gypsy band has strict rules against outsiders. At the same time, the
Gypsies are camping on Kader land, and the old man's livid. So the
suspense builds since the young lovers appear eager to get away from
their feuding families. Meanwhile, Matt's concern is stopping violence
before it starts.
Great ironic ending that I didn't see coming. Consider the many possible endings implicit in the premise, but ace writers Crutchfield and Meston chose a very disturbing one that leaves the viewer pondering the nature of things. Thanks also to producers Mac Donnell and Arness for okaying that ending. Gunsmoke was perhaps the only series of that time that often avoided comforting climaxes, one reason these early years continue to stand up.
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