A killer escapes from prison, steals back to his hometown, then hangs around methodically picking off his enemies. Four respected citizens fall quickly. A terrified local resident contracts...
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A killer escapes from prison, steals back to his hometown, then hangs around methodically picking off his enemies. Four respected citizens fall quickly. A terrified local resident contracts Paladin to re-capture the ice-cold convict, but even with the fearsome Paladin entrenched the murderer still doesn't flee. Nor will anybody give Paladin a clue why. Written by
Something fishy is going on. Paladin is hired to protect an ex-lawman (Emery) and his buddy from an escaped con (Gordon) who's already killed four men. Seems the four were part of a lynch mob that included Paladin's employers. Now, the two are next on the revenge hit-list. But things are not all they seem, thanks to little guy Walter Burke, who's got a different slant on what really happened. So, what's Paladin to do.
The script manages some suspense as we try, along with Paladin, to figure out what's really going on. Episode benefits from elfin-like Burke who is a distinctively familiar presence from this period. There's also the great Leo Gordon-- was there a stronger, more virile, actor around. I'm just sorry he isn't given more to do here, and that he and Boone don't have a face- to-face showdown. Gordon is one of the few who could equal Boone in assertive presence. For me, the episode is most notable for the final few moments. There, Paladin turns quietly thoughtful as he ponders certain complexities of life that suddenly exceed him. For a guy who masters most every situation, it's a poetic hint that even he too has limits. Nice touch.
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