The Virginian (1962–1971)
1 user

The Long Quest 

TV-PG | | Western | Episode aired 8 April 1964
The Virginian helps a neighbor lady when her son is claimed by an actress as her own son. Her friends in Medicine Bow are upset by the actress and her detective friend with their actions but it appears they have an ironclad case.



, (novel)


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Judge Henry Garth (credit only)
Trampas (credit only)
Steve Hill (credit only)
Judith Holly
Mary Ann Martin
Samuel Bowman
Andrew Cass
Deputy Earl Lorne
Hotel Clerk
Telegraph Agent

Comic-Con 2017: All Aboard the IMDboat


July 20 to 23, 2017

Get entertainment news, trailer drops, and photos with IMDb's coverage of 2017 San Diego Comic-Con featuring host and IMDboat captain Kevin Smith. Watch our exclusive celebrity interviews, and tune in to our LIVE show from 3:30 to 5 p.m. PDT on Saturday, July 22.

Browse Our Guide to Comic-Con



Private detective Corbett brings actress Judith Holly to Medicine Bow to claim the child she gave up years before. Cricket Martin has been raised by Mary Ann Martin as her own child. The Virginian often helps her at her farm and Cricket enjoys his company. When The Virginian learns of the issue, he tries to help but learns that Corbett and Miss Holly have a solid case. However, the actions of Corbett and Holly make them no friends in Medicine Bow or with Cricket. The case goes to court where everyone learns the truth behind the case and the unexpected situation leads to improved relationships. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

8 April 1964 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Randy Benton: Hey, how about buying me a drink?
The Virginian: Sure! Danny, give him a sarsaparilla.
Danny: Coming up.
Randy Benton: Well, I do a growed man's work, I think I ought to get a growed man's drink.
The Virginian: When you've 'growed' enough to put me down on the floor, there'll be time enough for whisky.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Excellent, heartfelt episode that ended with everything the way I wanted
7 June 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Virginian is one of my favorite shows for its well-thought-out story lines and loving attention to guest-starring characters. It really makes one care about all the characters involved, both regular cast members and one-shot guests.

This is one of my most favorite episodes. And while there are many that end in a very satisfying manner, I believe this is the only one I've seen where absolutely everything I wanted actually happened.

The plot involves a woman who has been raising a boy as her own for twelve years. Suddenly the biological mother comes back and, in company of her detective friend, engineers an attempt to get custody of the child in court. But does she really want him for love or is she after something else? The Virginian is wonderful as he tries to get to the truth and see that the adoptive mother and her son will not have to be parted. The boy sees his adoptive mother as his real mother and doesn't want at all to leave. There is a very moving scene where she makes a speech to the biological mother about how giving birth isn't the only thing it matters; loving and caring and raising the child count for a whole lot too.

The biological mother seems unmoved and insists on pursuing her court case. She continues this even after the boy, in desperation, goes to visit her the night before the hearing and expresses unhappiness with her plan.

Now, SPOILERS! In court it's revealed that the boy and the mother are being sought by a relative to give the boy an inheritance that the mother will be in charge of while he's young. This is probably why the biological mother suddenly wants the boy when she didn't before. But the judge says it's impossible to know what emotions are really in her heart. The boy and adoptive mother are heartbroken and embrace.

At the very last moment, when the judge is about to award custody to the biological mother, she suddenly has a change of heart and claims that she is not the biological mother, but a fellow actress and friend who took the lady's identity after she died three years ago. The detective is highly upset and feels betrayed and tricked and leaves in a huff. The boy remains with the adoptive mother and the other woman departs Medicine Bow.

But the story doesn't end there. In a beautiful epilogue sequence, the woman is on the train and the detective comes and sits by her. He reveals that she was acting again and simply decided to give up her claim to the inheritance since she could only have access to it if the little family was torn apart and she found she couldn't do that to them. She admits to that truth and says that when they were trying to take the boy away, she didn't like the detective very much. He says likewise about her and adds that now they have a chance to learn how to be better people. They are apparently going to stay together.

I was just so thrilled with everything. I expected the boy to be able to stay with the adoptive mother, but I thought it was a cop-out for the biological mother to conveniently not be who she claimed to be. The twist revealed in the epilogue, and her friendship with the detective renewed, made everything just perfect.

As I mentioned, The Virginian series has a way of making people really care about the characters. And despite their actions, I thought both the biological mother and the detective seemed like pretty decent people at heart. Their scenes of interaction indicated both that and that they had real chemistry with each other. They just clicked so well, seeming to know each other deeply and having very easy-going and relaxed interaction. I was sad to think that perhaps their relationship was really instead only superficial and monetarily-based and I had misinterpreted things. As it turned out, the writers definitely were aware of their lovely interaction and knew exactly what they were doing. When I thought that they were not just superficially connected, I was right. The epilogue left me on an incredible high and feeling that I had just watched something totally satisfying.

I sought this episode because the fellow playing the detective, Joseph Campanella, is a new favorite of mine. I seem to have mixed it up with another of his guest-spot episodes, and I am so glad I did! I will be watching that episode too, but I have a hard time believing it will be more satisfying than this one. I would happily give it even more than 10 stars, if possible. Excellent, satisfying venture, highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: