Pallid bank clerk flees when accused of killing a deputy while robbing the bank. His wife is so sure of his innocence, she hires Paladin to bring him in before a rabid posse does. The posse...
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Pallid bank clerk flees when accused of killing a deputy while robbing the bank. His wife is so sure of his innocence, she hires Paladin to bring him in before a rabid posse does. The posse doesn't seem to care if the young man is guilty or not - they're intoxicated by the scent of blood. Written by
After a couple of playful episodes, "Maggie O'Bannion" & "Incident at Borrasca Bend", the show gets back to business with a serious "whodunit" episode where Paladin is hired by the concerned wife of a hunted man running from a sheriff and posse, hungry for $2000 offered for his capture (dead or alive emphasis on dead for someone (or some persons) with a secret), in regards to a bank heist that resulted in the death of a deputy. Paul Martin (Lee Farr) is the hunted, a bank teller auditing the books on the day of the heist, his gun used by the bandit in the killing of the deputy. Paladin is told of a secluded spot between two split mountainous rocks in a canyon by Martin's wife, but as he rides out that way, he encounters Sheriff Scanlon (Paul Birch) and three others (Wright King, Adam Williams, and Paul Richards) with an itching for killing if necessary to insure their small payday. While trying to urge Scanlon to keep his posse's hunger for violence reined in, Paladin understands his dilemma. The goal is to find Martin and try and keep him alive (particularly, keep Martin from being shot by one of them when separated), which won't be easy for Paladin considering anyone of them could be the bandit needing to silence the man who could finger them for the killing/heist. $20000 was taken from the heist, too.
I think someone watching "The Chase" now might not consider the twist (regarding the mastermind behind the robbery and attempted killing of Martin) as shocking, but, at the time, it probably brought a sense of surprise to those viewers watching it on television in the show's initial run...this twist has been used in plenty of westerns when it comes to greed and eliminating anyone standing in the way, so the surprise has dulled somewhat. Still the ending is rather suspenseful because it places Paladin (and Martin) in quite a quagmire. There's a compelling scene where Paladin gets the men to talk about why each person just might have a reason to have been the bandit: whether it be losing property due to no extending of a loan by the bank, revenge for "Paul taking a girl away", or a low salary in the career of a sheriff, the scene provides back story for each individual and explains why Martin would impact their welfare. I like that the episode questions the assumption of guilt when the actual crime itself was not seen by those hunting the hunted man who very well could be innocent. Paladin is Martin's only rescue from certain cold blooded murder. We get to see Paladin outsmart those that might want Martin dead, and Martin himself gets involved. Good chance to see Birch as a seemingly trustworthy lawman susceptible to reason; while others seem hellbent on drawing their gun, Sheriff Scanlon, at least, seems subject to listening to Paladin's appeals for Martin's safety and well being.
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