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"Stagecoach West" The Arsonist (1961)

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More complex plot than was needed

Author: kfo9494 from United States
3 August 2016

In an episode that proved confusing at time, we have a business that has fallen on hard times. The owner of the business is going bankrupt but he does not want people to know the true state of affairs. He tells people around town that the business is booming and he has $50,000 in the safe at the business. However, this is not true and his safe is empty. The owner plans to burn the business with the help of his long time employee, Jethrow Burke, and collect the insurance money.

Mr Burke has a plan where a candle will burn for hours before a fire starts in the business. He will be long gone by the time the fire starts and will not be connected to the fire in any way. The owner gives Mr Burke $5,000 for his long time service and thanks him for his many years of work. But he does not know that his wife, Sally Burke, has a plan with a local swindler, Jack Craig, to rob the business and get the supposedly $50,000 from the safe. Ms Burke is going to meet Craig later and run off with him and the money.

When Craig goes to rob the business, he finds out there is no money. He then knocks-out the owner and sets fire to the business which also kills the owner. He then meets up with the Burke's, that is on Luke's stagecoach, and firework begin. Craig is going to tell the authorities all about the secrets he knows if Mr Burke does not turn over the $5,000 that was given to him by the owner.

There is many things going on in this episode and some are rather confusing. Like when a fire is ready to be set yet another person starts a fire that burns the business to the ground. Two fire-starters was a bit odd. The story was full of complex situations that only took away from the tale instead of making the story more enjoyable. Not really a poor episode but one that was more compound than needed. The bright spot of the show was the acting. A nice set of actors made this complex episode much more bearable to watch.

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