Gunsmoke: Season 12, Episode 13

The Moonstone (17 Dec. 1966)

TV Episode  -   -  Western
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 25 users  
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Chad Timpson is taking care of his mentally challenged brother, Orv. But when a rider comes into Dodge we learn that Chad has a checkered past. A past that may break up the two brothers.

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Title: The Moonstone (17 Dec 1966)

The Moonstone (17 Dec 1966) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
...
Doc
...
...
Roger Ewing ...
Thad
Mike Kellin ...
Chad Timpson
Glenn Strange ...
Sam
Ted Jordan ...
Nathan
Fred Coby ...
Rankin
...
Todd (as Jeff Palmer)
...
Orv Timpson
Gail Kobe ...
Madge
Warren J. Kemmerling ...
Del Philips (as Warren Kemmerling)
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Storyline

Chad Timpson is taking care of his mentally challenged brother, Orv. But when a rider comes into Dodge we learn that Chad has a checkered past. A past that may break up the two brothers.

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Western

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17 December 1966 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
"Look, Madge -- I got $350!"
3 May 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is, indeed, a sad episode -- in the other sense of the word.

Thematically, the story resembles "Of Mice and Men", with a brother having the impossible task of taking care of his younger, "mentally challenged" (not mentally ill) sibling. The complications are interesting, with the older brother wanted for crimes, his ex-partner-in-crime gunning for him, and both brothers interested in the same saloon gal.

Of course, there's no way this situation can possibly have a conventionally "happy" ending, even after the criminal brother wins a gunfight with his partner.

The writer took the easy way out with an act of unintentional -- and implausible -- violence. It was too much trouble to do the hard work of writing a believable, character-based conclusion. It would still have been a tragedy -- but it wouldn't have looked so arbitrary -- or silly. (The ending is telegraphed by the director showing a close-up of a raven.)

Tom Skerritt gives a fine performance as the "challenged" brother, but his features have changed so much he's unrecognizable. (I agree with the IMDb writer who says Skerritt has aged very well.)


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