|Index||3 reviews in total|
Interesting episode with unusual plot that makes the ending
unpredictable. Chinese man (Keye Luke) arrives in Dodge only to be
roughed up by two men who themselves were victimized by Chinese
claim-jumpers (nice motivational touch). Rumor is that Luke's treasure
box he's brought along contains riches-- another reason to do him harm.
Story is complicated by sin-obsessed hypocrite (Sebastian Cabot) whose
loyalties appear uncertain-- will he aid Luke or the two men.
It's clear that the quality of these early episodes is largely determined by who does the screenplay. Here it's Sam Peckinpah from a story idea by John Meston. No doubt, this accounts for several unconventional touches, such as the saloon scene where Dillon is forced to back down because of his own words, or Luke's sudden shedding of his false, stereotypical personality. Then too, the little dental episode in Doc's office is well scripted and a real hoot. Can't help noting also, that even here, Peckinpah shows real contempt for pious hypocrites as his movies and TV series The Westerner later demonstrate. Also, Luke's final gesture comes across as both credible and satisfying. I can't help thinking that the success of this first year owes a lot to the maverick sensibility of the innovative Sam Peckinpah.
When reading the title of this episode I was somewhat confused since I
was not familiar with the word Queue other than a line of people.
However during the first few minutes of the show when the Chinese man
was seen getting off the stage there was no doubt where this show was
A Chinese man named Chen is on the stage that arrives in Dodge. When two cowboys see him getting off they make their way to him and throw him back inside the stage. They do not want no Chinese man in Dodge. Of course Marshal Dillon is a witnesses to the event and advises that any law-abiding person can live in Dodge and helps Chen make his way into town.
One evening Chen is threatened by the two cowboys and they cut his queue (pony-tail) off and tell him next time it will be his throat. When he still refuses to leave they basically hire a man for beer to go and take care of Chen. Bailey (Sebastian Cabot) goes over to where Chen is living with two goals. One was to make sure Chen leaves town and the other was to steal Chen's treasure box. One of the cowboys gives Bailey a gun to take care of business.
This is a story that is used many times in western plots. Just recently I watched a 'Rifleman' episode that had nearly the same exact plot. This was a way to give credence to race relations that was going on in the United States at the time. Sebastian Cabot was excellent as the shifty man that talked religious but was just a larger sinner than most. Even with suspicious plot the episode still played well. Good watch.
How many times do we see this same story? An oriental fellow comes West
for some unknown reason. He aims to settle, but the cowboys have a
different idea. They start harassing him and before we know it, he has
no Que. I've seen this same story in many westerns. It's a good one,
but it does get old after awhile...
The lesson is always the same: Accept others who are different or answer to the law. I'm not sure how accurate this is. I don't know that the law would be any more acceptable to the china man then others...But of course, this is Matt Dillon...
Though this is a fairly good story, I give it a rating of 7 simply because it's and overused story.
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