Bret comes to the assistance of a Eastern woman who came west when she learns of her husband's gold strike. A ruthless family of ranchers have killed her husband, though, and try to ... See full summary »
Bret comes to the assistance of a Eastern woman who came west when she learns of her husband's gold strike. A ruthless family of ranchers have killed her husband, though, and try to convince the young lady that they are her late husband's partners. Written by
Most Dramatic of the Early First Season Maverick Episodes
This episode has little humor, but makes up for it with an interesting and tension filled plot. A ruthless family hold three people, including Maverick hostage. They are trying to get Maverick to show them where a gold mine they're trying to steal is located. Maverick knows that as soon as he reveals where the mine is, they're going to kill him and the other two people. He has to string them along until they're rescued. As usual Maverick is one step ahead of everybody else in the show, including the audience at almost every turn, making the episode a lot of fun to watch.
Also making it fun is an almost anti-Cartwright or evil Cartwright family of a tough rancher father and his two sons. Ray Teal (Sheriff Roy Coffee on "Bonanza") plays the father, and Peter Brown ("Lawman," "Laramie") and Ed Byrnes ("77 Sunset Strip") play the sons. If you are watching the show sequentially, it is funny that Peter Brown appeared as a deputy in the second episode and Ed Byrnes as a thief in the fourth episode. I suspect both were under contract to Warner Brothers who were grooming them for stardom. Coffee, Brown, and Byrnes all give sharp performances.
The only unfortunate thing about the episode is a rather racist and ugly portrayal of Native Americans. They're portrayed as stereotyped savages who want to control the Gold mine on their territory. They're actually there to just add more danger to the situation. Maverick and friends not only have to deal with the outlaw family of killers, but with the attacking blood thirsty Native Americans. This type of racist portrayal of Native Americans was pretty standard for the 1950's and was only changed in the 1960's.
In any case, this is a fine episode, one of the best of the early first Season.
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