"The Hide Cutters" is yet another variation on an oft-played theme -- the basically decent member of a group of rotters who wants to get free. Only in this case, the young man is almost as distrustful of the good guys as the bad.
Another variation is that the four "principals" -- Matt, the young man, the drovers, and the hide cutters -- are at odds with each other. The drovers are almost as bad as the cutters, looking for any opportunity to kill them, even if it's not legally "justified".
Contrary to what the other reviewer states, the hard cut makes perfect sense. Earlier, Matt and/or McKee said that their argument would be resolved in Dodge -- and it is. Granted, a build-up would have been more interesting, but anyone who's been paying attention knows exactly what's going on. Besides, they had to leave time for the Doc/Festus bickering.
Not a great episode, but an entertaining one. I particularly liked the sequence in which Festus is caught in a rock slide. It's shown from the side, rather than head-on, with rocks tumbling down in the background. It appears the producers budgeted for schlepping rocks up the mountain and tossing them off at the right moment.
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