I caught this episode today and now remember why I didn't keep it when I recorded most of the "Jeff" episodes years ago. There just isn't much to the story.
Jeff is in the woods with Lassie at the beginning, and suddenly we see a rattlesnake. The snake hisses and Lassie barks at it. Jeff hollers for Gramps, who comes running. Lassie starts attacking the snake and just after Gramps arrives, kills it.
Now Jeff realizes something has "stung" his lower leg. We see Gramps quickly taking action with his knife to cut out whatever venom he can, even though it hurts Jeff. Gramps carries him to the house, yelling for Ellen, who comes outside and is told to call for the doctor.
On learning the doctor is on a house call to a place without phones, switchboard operator Jenny notifies everyone about what has happened to try to get Doc to the Millers.
But Gramps wants to take Jeff to where the Doctor is. With Ellen beside the boy on the bed of their pickup truck, they take off, but on the back road, the truck breaks an axle. As they start to carry Jeff to the nearest neighbor, Lassie shows up. They had left her home, but she worried about her boy and took off running after them.
Ellen writes a note, gives it to Lassie to take to the Brockways. En route, a wolf (I think) picks a fight with Lassie and she beats off the varmint but loses the note in a stream. Then she sees two cars racing down the road and goes after them. It is the constable and the doctor. They stop as the doctor hears about Jeff and when they see Lassie figure they should follow her.
We get another scene of Lassie racing down the road, this time with two cars following. They almost miss Jeff because Gramps and Ellen were carrying him toward the neighbors, but went off the road to a stream to put cool water on Jeff. Only Ellen's frantic running on hearing the cars, and Lassie's good ears saved the day.
I don't think I spoil much by revealing that the doctor gave Jeff the needed serum to keep the snakebite from killing Jeff and that Jeff recovered before the show ended.
To me, the long scenes of Lassie chasing after the truck, and then the cars, and then leading the cars, plus the fight with the wolf were too prolonged. Knowing he wouldn't die prevented me from feeling quite the urgency I was supposed to feel.
I do think Ellen and Gramps were unwise to take Jeff away from home when the doctor was likely to be notified and come to their place. Both of them going off the road for cool water was also foolish, one person should have stayed by the road. But neither act was totally dumb.
To me, there just wasn't much going on that was interesting.
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