Father Elliott is on a mission to meet Sitting Bull at the same time the Sioux are on the warpath. After learning from a dying soldier the Sioux have modern firearms, he tells the Army. He then wants Jess to guide him to Sitting bull.
The Wyoming Territory is a place of fear. Sioux renegades, armed better than the cavalry by unscrupulous traders, are raiding and killing over a large ares. The stage line is suffering and there seems no end when Father Elliot comes to Sherman Ranch and Relay station on his way to the Yellowstone to meet with Sitting Bull. He needs a guide but both Jess Harper and Slim Sherman decline the job and the Army is set against Father Elliot making an already volatile situation worse. The gunrunners don't want him in the way either. Father Elliot, seeing it as a mission from God, ignores all and hires Charlie Root to guide him and sets off, passing again Sherman Ranch to say goodbye. When Jess and Jonesy find out that Charlie Root is wanted for murder, Jess has a difficult decision to make with Slim gone to Cheyenne on stage business. Stay at the ranch with Jonesy and Andy or go after Father Elliot and Charlie Root. Jonesy ends up forcing Jess to light out after Father Elliot. In the meantime... Written by
James Gregory as a courageous priest on a mission of peace
In "Man of God," a Season One episode of "Laramie," the Sioux are on the warpath in Dakota Territory and Father Elliott (James Gregory), a Catholic priest in a monk's robe and cap, sets off on a mule to try and reach Sitting Bull to talk him out of war. He spends a night at the Sherman Ranch with series regulars Slim (John Smith) and Jess (Robert Fuller), but neither one will offer to guide him to Sitting Bull's location. They consider it too dangerous. So Elliott enters a saloon in Laramie and recruits someone named Charlie Root (Bill Williams), who, unbeknownst to Elliott, is a gunman working for a band of gunrunners and whiskey sellers whose trade with the Indians will be jeopardized by any moves for peace. Jess gets wind of all this and sets off in pursuit to try and catch up with them before Root can harm the padre. But Father Elliott, not simply a naïve do-gooder but a true "man of God," is not easily fooled and has a trick or two up his sleeve himself.
There's some great location shooting in this episode once they get to Sioux country. It's got a great cast which includes Raymond Bailey as an army colonel who gives the priest nothing but scorn; Douglas Kennedy as the leader of the gunrunners; and, in a remarkable cameo appearance, Frank DeKova as Sitting Bull. But it's Gregory as the unwavering, unflappable but surefooted priest who steals the show. There's more talk than action, but it's great dialogue and Gregory keeps us enthralled. (The script is by Kathleen Hite, who had quite a long list of exemplary TV writing credits, including the second episode of "Laramie," "Glory Road," which also had a charismatic religious figure at the center of it.)
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