Lassie (1954–1974)
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The White-faced Bull 

Paul threatens to shoot a neighbor's champion bull, an often escapee from his quarters, after it almost kills Timmy and then is excused of the demise of the bull actually poisoned by the neighbor's bitter hired man.

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(character), (as J.E. Selby) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode credited cast:
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Hugh Reilly ...
Robert Brubaker ...
Jim Dunlap
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Dan Porter
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Mac (as Jack Searl)
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Storyline

Paul threatens to shoot a neighbor's champion bull, an often escapee from his quarters, after it almost kills Timmy and then is excused of the demise of the bull actually poisoned by the neighbor's bitter hired man.

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1 January 1961 (USA)  »

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(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Idiot plot makes for a weak episode
8 November 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Spoilers necessary here to provide any sort of review.

The show opens with Timmy riding his bike, with Lassie riding behind on a trailer. Timmy sees scattered mail on road near mailbox, then notices broken fence beside driveway. He starts to try to stick fencepost into ground, ignoring Lassie racing into pasture where neighbor's bull is standing.

Lassie barks at bull, Timmy hollers at Lassie to come. Lassie ignores Timmy and barks at bull some more. Timmy yells until bull decides to charge at him. He stupidly runs into a fenced-in corner, then stands there while bull starts to threaten him. Lassie charges and annoys bull, getting him to move away.

That's the first five minutes. In case you didn't think this was serious, after Timmy races bike up driveway to house, with Lassie running behind, and tells Mom (June Lockhart) she calls husband Paul who's in town at a store, and tells him about the bull and how "Timmy could have been killed."

Paul sees the bull's owner and tells him about it. Nice coincidence that he was at same store as Paul. He says he'll send his man, Mac to get the bull back. Paul threatens to shoot the bull if he finds him in his pasture again. There really is no reason to dislike the bull's owner, who seemed concerned when Paul told him about his son being in danger.

Mac comes over to get the bull while Paul, Timmy and Lassie are trying to chase him back home. Paul tries to help, offering the use of a pail and some grain and molasses to mix some food with tranquilizers provided by Mac to calm the bull down. (I need to note that the bull seemed rather calm in every one of his scenes, including when he seemed to be trying to nuzzle Timmy near the beginning--the "attack.")

While left alone in the Martin barn, Mac pulls out some strychnine to kill the bull, apparently because he's tired of dealing with this problem animal, who had injured him earlier that day. From the time Paul threatened to kill the animal, I just knew the bull wasn't going be have a happy ending.

The next scene has the bull's owner and the sheriff coming over to inform Paul that the bull is dead and he is going to be held responsible for the loss of his $10,000 prize-winning bull. Paul denies knowing anything about it, but the bottle of molasses in the barn he tells him was used is left close to some insecticide, which also contains the deadly poison.

Of course Timmy decides to take Lassie to investigate over at the neighbor's. Timmy climbs into the farmer's truck but is spotted by Mac, who holds him while trying to learn what he's doing. Lassie comes over to protect Timmy and the guy lets go of Timmy's arm and Lassie quits threatening him. The man insists he won't find any strychnine around there. He left it in the Martins' barn.

That night, just as Timmy and Lassie are going to bed--Mac comes around to retrieve the poison. Of course Lassie spots him and chases him down the driveway. Timmy tells his folks and everyone joins in the chase with the man being captured a short distance away. While wrestling with Lassie, the man throws the bottle a short distance away. Of course, Lassie finds it and Paul holds it and the man, declaring this ought to prove where the poison came from.

Why I thought this was a dumb show:

1. The bull was just standing in the pasture. It made no sense for Lassie to charge him in the first place--leading to the bull attacking" Timmy.

2. The man slipped the pills bottle out of his pocket while no one was looking. Why he reached far over the workbench to stick them on a shelf instead of simply returning them to his pocket made no sense.

3. Assuming he wanted to retrieve the bottle, it made no sense for him not to wait until the whole family went to bed. Instead he comes around even before the young boy is asleep.

4. Mac seemed to jump at a chance to poison the bull after being offered the use of pail and items in the Martins' barn. So why did he have the strychnine in the first place? If he had a legitimate use for it, then he didn't need to worry about being found with it.

5. Ruth did the old-fashioned female thing of standing around looking helpless while her husband engaged in a fight with Mac. She could have gone over and kicked or poked at Mac and helped him. Instead, she stands there holding Timmy, as if he was in danger. It was her husband involved in a fight.

To me, Mac was an idiot for leaving the pills in the barn--this caused all of his future troubles and led to his capture and arrest. Right as he did so, it seemed like it was more awkward for him to stretch over to the shelf than to just slip them back in his pocket. Almost nobody else did anything bright in this episode either.


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