|Index||2 reviews in total|
Pretty good episode for a series clearly in rapid decline. By this
point, the 5th season, Roger Moore has left, Robert Colbert (Brent
Maverick) has proved inadequate, and of course Jim Garner has long
departed, though his name still appears in the opening credits! This
last is puzzling since I can't find where he appeared any time during
this 5th year. Maybe it was a contractual loophole and the producers
Pity poor Jack Kelly. He does look tired and no wonder since he's now carrying every episode. The plot here is an involving one that includes the deliciously arch Jack Cassidy as an oily popinjay who tricks Bart into indentured servitude in the home of a wealthy friend (Westerfield). Now Bart's stuck with polishing silverware so he won't go to jail for non- payment of a gambling debt. Of course, it helps that the household includes a pretty daughter (an unfortunately inept Dawson), and you just know Bart will get back at the obnoxious Cassidy-- but how, since Cassidy holds all the cards. Then again, it's their wits that gets the Mavericks by.
Clever use of The Mona Lisa as a plot gimmick, producing several neat twists. Also, this may be the only TV Western to allow a fat Wagnerian opera singer to break glass in millions of unsuspecting homes with shrieks loud enough to shatter the windows. Whew!-- So be prepared. The show benefits from an inventive story that stays indoors instead of moving into the backlot with the phony shootouts among the faux boulders that mar too many episodes, especially these later ones. Too bad, the show didn't sign Cassidy as a recurring character he had just the right kind of devious charm. This may not manage classic Maverick, but it's still an entertaining entry with a particularly satisfying finale.
When slick Jack Cassidy reneges on his promise to back Bart in a poker game, Bart becomes a servant to pay off his debt. Tycoon Sutton faces bankruptcy but owns what he thinks is the stolen Mona Lisa. Bart discovers that an art dealer is selling fake Mona Lisas to Sutton's associates. When Cassidy tries to have Bart Shanghaied, he gets Shanghaied. No one says "Shanghaied" anymore. I suppose it would be considered politically incorrect. Maverick has been called the thinking man's western, and that is what it is. It's plots demonstrate a world-class knowledge. Sometimes the plots are so intricate that it is better to let go.
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