Season 1 Commentary
The Young Riders
The Young Riders
» Spoiler Warning: details on this page could spoil any surprise(s) in the story if you have not seen this complete TV series.
List of Season 1 Episodes with Comments
1.03 Home of the Brave
1.04 Speak No Evil
1.05 Bad Blood
1.06 Black Ulysses
1.07 Ten-Cent Hero
1.08 False Colors
1.09 A Good Day to Die
1.10 The End of Innocence
1.11 Blind Love
1.12 The Keepsake
1.13 Fall from Grace
1.14 Hard Time
1.15 Lady for a Night
1.16 Unfinished Business
1.18 Daddy's Girl
1.20 Matched Pair
1.21 The Man Behind the Badge
1.22 Then There Was One
1.23 and 1.24 Gathering Clouds (Parts 1 and 2)
Frequently, after watching a TYR episode, I feel compelled to write my comments on it. For a while, I've been posting said comments at the Writers' Ranch message board, but I've decided to archive them here as well. (Why not let them do double-duty as content for my own website, right? ;)
I've started re-watching season one, and I just can't seem to stop myself from writing down my thoughts. So, for this ep...
* You know I love Buck, but his "Remember, Hickok, there's always another one waiting" is just a bit too preachy and foreshadow-y.
* Love the shirtless fence building! But wouldn't twisting the post like Cody does widen the hole and make the post not sit right?
* The riders are all in their respective beds. Jimmy ponders aloud about Emma's watch and then declares that people are better off without memories. The camera then cuts to each rider, briefly lost in memories of their own.
* Kid walks up as Jimmy is shooting at targets. Angry, Jimmy turns his back to Kid. Jimmy resumes his target practice, and Kid joins in too. It's as if he's speaking Jimmy's language - and it helps work things out, because when they stop shooting, they're friends again.
* Emma's watch has memories for Longley, too.
* Other people have hired Longley in an effort to deal with *their* memories.
* I kinda wonder whether the scene with Little Sam ("You gonna kill the man who killed my pa??") and Jimmy really happened... or was just in Jimmy's head. It all seems surreal. Little Sam is like Little Jimmy, wanting revenge for an injustice he couldn't stop. Then Emma is suddenly there, and she is both the woman Jimmy is trying to help and the voice of reason, trying to save him from himself.
* I love that even though prideful Jimmy hates the thought of apologizing to Longley, he agrees to do it for Emma.
* I suspect that Emma's watch now has tainted memories, knowing what Jimmy did to get it back.
At Thompkins' store, Jimmy looks on as Cody admires his own reflection. Cody says that the "eagle feather" he's put in his hat looks great, and that it suits him. Buck, passing by, observes and says simply, "Turkey feather," as he walks on. Jimmy bursts out laughing and agrees that it suits Cody just fine.
"If you ever hit me again... I'll forget you're my friend." Jimmy, to Kid
"Not that way." Emma when Longley looks her over after she says she's come to pay him to leave Jimmy alone
1.03 Home of the Brave
Being a Buck-centric episode, this has always been one of my favorites.
Comments from yesterday's viewing:
* Tompkins has bouncers?! And not very good ones, d'oh.
* Buck says that the others fought at Tompkins' store because "he called you an Indian lover." I don't quite get that. Buck IS their friend, and I honestly think they were trying to defend him. Then again, Cody and Jimmy are pretty hot-headed, and it does make sense that they would fight because THEY were the ones who were offended. (And Lou agrees that Buck is right.)
* "It's easier to play a chief than to be one." a wise Lesson Learned from Red Bear
[QUOTE]don't you just love how Red Bear, after all Buck's gone through over the past 3 (according to Jimmy) days, says, as Buck's hanging by his wrists, that it's time to "BEGIN" the trials he'd seen in his visions??? [/QUOTE]
* I know, right? "Begin the trials." Because it's been such a cuddle-fest, so far. :blink:
[QUOTE]I've never quite understood how Kid and Ike figured they would be invisible up on that ridge. [/QUOTE]
* I wondered about this, too! The Kiowa had to have seen them. Had to!
* When Kid decides that he can't take any more of Buck's abuse, he aims the shotgun to take Buck out. Ike stops him, and they struggle for a moment over what to do next. It's a picture of what Teaspoon was talking about, a struggle between the head (Kid thinks the Indians are going to kill Buck anyway) and the heart (Ike, who cares for Buck and wants to believe that he will get through this).
[QUOTE]Most memorable scene has to be the last scene with his half brother Red Bear, when he tells Buck to leave and to never look back[/QUOTE]
* I took Red Bear's comment about not looking back as telling Buck to be strong. Red Bear had just said that he would have to kill Buck if they met on the field of battle, but he understood that Buck's heart was with the Express Riders. I mean, Red Bear is the one who tells Buck to go back, and I think his words are affirmation that going back is the right thing for Buck to do.
* Buck must take that to heart because he doesn't look back as he rides out of the village. I see a confidence - a peace, even - that he didn't have before, no doubt a combination of surviving his trials and the encouragement from Red Bear. Buck's heart is no longer divided.
* Despite what Red Bear said, he *does* look back fondly at Buck. Significant? I think so!
* I especially love the last scene, when Buck arrives where Ike and Kid are waiting. No words are exchanged (almost ironic, given Red Bear's previous charge against the riders as carrying the white men's words); Kid welcomes Buck by simply giving him back his hat. Buck puts it on - smiling, IIRC - and the three ride on, together.
PS: As I said: this is one of my favorite episodes. I even made a computer wallpaper about it, that I used for years. You can see it here:
1.04 Speak No Evil
I love the story told here: the backstory on Ike is so painfully well-depicted...
I also love the exchange between Lou and Jimmy as they're waiting for Kid and Cody. Jimmy says that they can handle themselves. Lou argues, "What if they're not? What if the bad guy got 'em? What if they're hurt?" Jimmy responds, "What if *you* start thinking everything's going to be okay, for a change?" Good advice for all of us!
But if I can be completely shallow, the thing I love most about this episode is that Buck looks so incredibly hot tied up in that water tower. :hearts:
Observations from yesterday's viewing of this ep:
* It took an unbelievable amount of courage for Ike to ride in to help when he saw the people under attack. Too many people would've ridden on without helping: "not my problem."
* Emma was wearing her father's watch (which played into the storyline in the previous ep). Thumbs up to continuity!
* When the riders are woken up by Ike's midnight target practice, a concerned Buck holds the light up between him and Ike, so he can clearly "hear" what Ike is saying.
* We don't know how much of Ike's sign language Emma knows at this point, but she understood that he was telling her that he loves her.
* Do I spy recycled riders-riding footage from the first episode??
* I still love Jimmy's "What if *you* start thinking everything's going to be okay, for a change?" (Sometimes when I'm fretting, I hear Jimmy scold me with that question.)
* I love how Kid uses a clue from Nickerson to determine that Buck is being held close by.
* Ike is emboldened when Buck arrives, because at that point, he knows that this is NOT a case of the past repeating itself. Ike couldn't help his parents back then, but he can put Nickerson away.
1.05 Bad Blood
Thoughts and ramblings about this ep:
* Clever title! When two (or more) people don't get along, there's "bad blood" between them. The term "blood" can also indicate a family member ("related by blood"). And of course "bad" as in a bad guy, which Boggs certainly was... in addition to being a bad relative.
* It seems all of the riders have an outburst of "this is my problem and I will deal with it!" So this was Lou's... even though, after leaving to do just that, she inexplicably changes her mind and returns.
* As mentioned in a post above, Boggs was certainly not a good father. His primary interest seemed to be grooming Jeremiah to take over his business... or maybe even to be just like him. Even Boggs' almost-tender moment with Theresa about her doll turned threatening when he ends it with a too-stern, "You take care of her." This is the man Lou chooses to believe is dead.
* Red is detailing the layout of Boggs' camp to the riders. Red speaks of a secret way out, then shares how he and his fellow thugs snuck out, came back and killed all of the lawmen who were chasing them. He chuckles at the memory; the riders just look at him. He truly is a vicious killer. Awkward! He sobers.
* I agree with the assessment above that the scene with Jimmy and Cody in the camp is among the funniest of the series. The drunk guy in the tent leans over and tries to use Jimmy's coat pocket as a pillow. Cody looks at the cards in the game left unfinished and declares, "I win!" as he takes the money. Then Cody suggests borrowing some clothes for a disguise, and Jimmy looks disgustedly at the sombrero he's holding.
* Also LOL at Boggs looking over the fence at everything blowing up. "What's going on?" Jimmy - squatting by the fence and disguised in a poncho and that dreaded sombrero - shouts, "Indian war party--" he points "--up there!" And Boggs dutifully looks for the Indians.
* Then the fence is blown open (and the distracted Boggs is knocked down by the blast); Jimmy enters the complex, removes the disguise in one sweeping motion, and returns to his hot, heroic-looking self.
* He still looks great when held at gunpoint by Boggs.
[quote]I do like how the whole secret came out, Jimmy's expression was great! [/quote]
* Absolutely! Jimmy had been looking down (defeated?), but at Lou's admission about two daughters, Jimmy's eyes dart over at her - and stay there. It's as if this revelation is so huge it momentarily overshadows the situation they're all in. In an instant, he's seeing Lou in a new light. A scene well-done.
* It seems especially significant for Jimmy to be the one who finds out and reacts that way. I mean, this is the wild man, the one that even thugs in prison can recognize is not just making idle threats when he points a gun and questions them.
* And of course, I love the guys' agreeing to keep Lou's secret. It appears they're all looking at her in a new light, at this point!
* The dying Boggs tells Lou, "I came for you, too." She had just disowned him - "My father is dead!" - but he wanted her to know that he had not forgotten her.
1.06 Black Ulysses
[QUOTE]Kid: What's a colored man doin' out here?
Buck: What do you mean?
Kid (after a pause): Back in Virginia, we're just not used to seein' em out.
Lou: Out of their place? [/QUOTE]
I like how Lou's line (above) is not said accusingly or sarcastically. She's simply trying to understand what Kid means.
I love how Kid knows Katy so well. "She's all I got." No wonder he is so indebted to Ulysses for saving her.
After hearing Ulysses' story, Kid says he never gave slaves much thought before. This may be intended as a follow-up to Teaspoon's line from earlier in the ep.
[QUOTE]Kid... I know where you come from slavery's a way of life, but there's still some thinkin' you could do on it.[/QUOTE]
The overarching theme of this episode seems to be: "What price would you pay to do the right thing?"
Lots of opposing characters:
* Although labeled a murderer, Ulysses' actions reveal a man who repeatedly gets involved - when he doesn't have to - and helps. (e.g. He returns the riders' colt and risks his life to help save Katy.) Even in his desperate state, he shares his food with a little dog.
* In stark contrast, the appropriately-named Colonel Savage hides behind the law in order to terrorize anyone in his path.
* There's also a contrast between the townspeople and Earl, the farmer who was beaten for helping Ulysses. In the meeting, the townspeople are somewhat sympathetic to Ulysses' plight, but the majority opinion is that it's "not my problem." Basically the town folk are where Kid was, having not paid much attention to slavery before. However, Earl, who has already paid dearly for helping Ulysses, declares that he would do it again.
* The Missouri soldiers provide still another contrast: they abandoned the colonel as soon as he lost the upper hand. When their quest for "justice" was going to cost them, they walked away.
Even the riders - our heroes, always trying to do the right thing - are momentarily conflicted. Jimmy voices the danger in helping: they could be beaten, like the farmer. Plus, even though they're trying to help Ulysses, a bit of distrust remains, which is proven in the way the riders run to Emma's startled scream and immediately assume Ulysses was up to no good.
In all of this, a funny moment: when searching the bunk house for Ulysses, one of the soldiers moves a pillow on the top bunk. Really, guy? You thought he was under there?? LOL
I, too, love the scene where the people of Sweetwater confront the militia. Do we ever see what changed their minds and spurred them to action? I suspect they were waiting to see whether the riders were successful in their efforts. But when the riders were defeated, the townspeople stepped in. After it's over, we see each of the riders, plus Emma, Sam and Ulysses looking proud. Indeed, the show of unity seems to have created a town-wide bond as the other citizens shake hands and congratulate each other.
1.07 Ten-Cent Hero
Instead of book burning, Hickok prefers book watering.
Sam and Teaspoon understand right away that those books will make people come after Jimmy. It's almost like a wanted poster: Marcus even had them put Jimmy's picture on the cover!
Sam's advice to Jimmy is "shoot to kill" when people come gunnin' for him. However, Jimmy doesn't do this. He leaves Calder crippled, helpless - begging for death, even. I'd say this outcome of their duel is far more fearsome than just "shooting to kill."
Jimmy regrets that he "never knew" the name of the young man he killed. It's almost an apology, as if knowing the young man's name would at least have been a small courtesy. In contrast, the young man had read about "Wild Bill," but he didn't really know Jimmy either.
Similarly, it seems that Calder was mostly reputation. People knew about him: everybody seemed to know that he wasn't really dead. And when he was on the way to Sweetwater, the townspeople were all abuzz about Calder and his gang. But the worst thing we saw him do was hit Marcus. (He threatened to come back and take care of Marcus. Why did he not do it right then?) When it came to fighting, without Calder's entourage shooting for him, he lost.
LOL at Calder and his gang posing for the paparazzi. :D
The sign on Marcus' wall declares that "The pen is mightier than the sword." At the end of the episode this is challenged by Buck stabbing the paper before he takes it from Marcus... and Marcus did not try to use his "mighty pen" to get the paper back, lol. However, I'm not sure we can say that the riders defeated Marcus, because he was right: even if he wrote a retraction, the damage had been done. It's all too clear that the happily-ever-after ending Teaspoon wanted for Jimmy may not be possible. :(
I can see in this story line a commentary on what a curse celebrity can be: people want something from you, are quick to believe the lies, etc. Perhaps worst of all, YOU can forget who you are, and start to become the monster in the stories they're telling.
1.08 False Colors
Here we have another clever title that applies to the happenings in the episode in more than one way. "False colors" could be a play on the expression "true colors," which is said when someone shows who they really are, i.e. their "true" self. But "colors" can also refer to a flag and showing allegiance to a military unit. In this case, Jed and company stole the blue uniforms to pose as Union soldiers although they - or at least Jed - supported the gray, which was the South.
Thinking his brother is really a soldier, Kid tells Jed, "You finally found honest work." Kid is so proud... and yet, we know it won't last, because we've already seen that Jed has found anything BUT honest work.
We do get to see that Jed is not completely rotten. As noted in a post above: he becomes a big brother to all of them. He treats them to the saloon. He steps in when a gambler tries to swindle Ike, and he steps in again when the bartender refuses to serve Buck's "kind."
Side note: I love when Buck gets his drink - the one the bartender didn't want him to have - and pours it out while looking straight at the man.
For a moment, Hickok looks somewhat jealous at Kid and Jed's brotherly teasing during dinner at Emma's.
I think Teaspoon voices the main point of this episode when he tells the Kid that every man has to decide what he holds most dear, be it ideals, family, etc. I think this is what Jed is wrestling with when Kid tries to keep him from leaving the stable. Jed threatens to kill the Kid, but I agree with the post above that I don't think he would have. We've already seen that Jed is not afraid to kill, and so the fact that he both warns Kid and then only wounds him is significant. Jed was fighting for the South, and he didn't hesitate to kill those who got in his way. More than that, Jed knew that he would hang if he was caught in that stable. Still, he didn't simply kill the Kid and escape to save his own skin. I think, having found his brother again, Jed was rediscovering how important family was to him.
Teaspoon also declares earlier in the episode that "no bond is stronger than family." Then we immediately cut to Jed (who is lying to the Kid) asking Kid why he lied to the others about their father. Already we see a contrast to Teaspoon's claim: Jed and Kid had a good relationship and yet their father - also a part of the family - was apparently pretty worthless. It's true the familial bond is strong... but it takes work on everyone's part to stay that way.
We also see that you don't have to be related by blood to have a strong connection. I love that the riders again prove how well they've come to know each other. After Lou tells Kid the truth about his brother - in a brief conversation we don't get to hear - Kid hurries away. Sam starts to say, "If he warns his brother..." Jimmy interrupts confidently, "He won't."
Likewise, when Jimmy arrives during Kid and Jed's stable standoff, Jed turns his gun on Jimmy, and Kid screams his brother's name because he knows Jed will be the one to lose in that fight. As Kid mourns his brother, the other riders - his new family - arrive and stand near him.
In the trigger-happy member of Jed's gang, we see the danger of abandoning your relationships for selfishness and greed. That guy wasn't even loyal to the cause: he griped about having to turn the gold over to the South and then expressed his intent to kill Jed once they acquired the gold.
[quote]I absolutely adored Cody slamming that guy into the wall. It was great. I love our heroic riders. Sure, there wasn't really a real threat or danger in Cody doing that. But I like that they jump in when they see something bad happening.[/quote]
Me, too - LOVE IT when they sweep in all hero-like. :hearts: The guy Cody shoved - the trigger-happy one - growls about Cody making a mistake, and Cody's all, "Oh, well, it's not the first!" lol
Continuing with the shallow observations, Jimmy looks *great* - so confident and capable, dreamy sigh - when he walks into the stable. I think he says something confident and capable like, "Don't do it, Jed." But of course, Jed doesn't listen...
1.09 A Good Day to Die
(Quickly transcribed, so please excuse any inaccuracies.)
Curly: I was hunting buffalo.
Kid: There are no buffalo around here for miles.
Curly: I said 'hunting' not 'finding.'
"Hold your horses." Emma, to Jimmy and Cody who are, in fact, on horseback
"This Indian stuff makes people crazy." Emma, with the show's motto?
Curly: It's a good day to die.
Kid: For you maybe.
Kid: I thought today was a good day to die.
Curly: Tomorrow will be better.
Lou: They're savages.
Buck: Because they're murderers? Or because they're Indians?
"Times like this, some people don't see different shades of red." Teaspoon, telling Kid to watch out for Buck
"That's what I love about Sweetwater. So sweet." Hickok, as the townspeople are becoming a lynch mob
"Massa-creed his whole family." Gallagher, helping incite the townspeople to become a lynch mob (Ah, fun with mispronouncement :lol: )
Curly: A good day to die.
Hickok: I love this guy's attitude!
"Have a good destiny." Kid, saying goodbye to Curly
* Hmm, it seems that riders (and rider associates) named Matt are not long for this world.
* I remain surprised by Rob Estes' performance here. I always think of him as a GQ-hairdo-sportin', preppy sort better suited for a shallow, soap-opera-y show like Melrose Place. But he's great here, nailing the spirit of Curly and portraying him with just the right mannerisms.
* Curly is such a great character. But his line about hunting buffalo is a head-scratcher. He doesn't seem like the type who would waste his time looking for buffalo where they don't roam. I guess the writers needed a blatantly hard-to-believe reason, so that Kid could jump to conclusions.
* It's pretty harsh for Kid to make Curly walk behind as he rides, especially with the horse at a trot.
[quote]I can't believe with all the gorgeous available Native American actors in Tucson and the state of Arizona.. they couldn't get someone with a little more of the LOOK.[/quote]
* I think part of the episode's unspoken commentary on stereotyping was that Curly looked white, and yet few seemed to notice, slapping the Indian label on him from the start.
* Lou's line branding the Indians as savages is almost ironic, since Buck went to comfort her when he saw she needed it.
* But in the next scene, Curly stabs a guy - an Indian - as Curly and Kid escape. The question is, since (as mentioned above) Curly looks white, is this scene supporting or challenging the stereotype of the Indian as savage?
* Lou's reaction to Kid's safe return is great. She's positively giddy. (And why not??) So caught up in the moment is she that she stands there in danger of completely blowing her cover as a boy... Oh, they want so badly to kiss! SO cute!!
I agree with the point above that Kid and Curly learned a lot from each other. Through their interactions here, we were reminded that white folk often have preconceived notions about Indians; yet we also saw that Indians can have notions of their own about whites - or even about other Indians. Sometimes we can all be a little too focused on our respective tribes and those "different shades" that Teaspoon spoke of. The solution is just what we saw with Kid and Curly: they put labels aside - Kid couldn't even say Curly's "real" name - and accepted each other for who they are.
1.10 The End of Innocence
In a play on the title, this episode also - tragically - dealt with end of the innocents, as in the loss of young people: the children in the Indian camp, Emma lost a baby, Doc lost his young wife and baby.
There were also several references equating being young and being innocent: Emma protests that young man being publicly punished is "just a boy," and Doc repeats the old saying that "only the good die young."
Innocent is also a legal term, the opposite of guilty. When Sam and the others arrive at Fort Reunion, Emma explains about the Captain's crimes, and Jimmy backs her up with, "The verdict's guilty."
The typical application of the phrase "end of innocence" is to denote moving into adulthood. We were shown that in Lt. Cassidy. At first he simply accepts orders unchallenged, like a well-trained child. However, he must finally accept responsibility - basically, grow up - and become the leader.
Another part of maturing is how formerly-simple relationships with the opposite sex suddenly become complicated. I think this is why the episode starts with Jimmy's very childish (and I agree with the previous comments, very out of character) attitude about having to go with Emma.
The turning point for Jimmy and his view of Emma seems to be that night, as their clothes are drying. Jimmy comments that he's never seen a woman "like that" before. Emma responds (is that surprise I hear in her voice?) something like, "You've never seen your mother or your sisters in a night dress?" I daresay he *had* seen his mother and/or sisters wearing such, but he's realizing that being there with Emma is different. Even later, when he thinks she's asleep, he creeps closer - I want to call it a childlike curiosity, and yet I think it's more than that. He looks closely at her (echoes of his comment about never seeing a woman like that before), and as I recall he reaches out to almost touch her... but then he pulls his hand away and moves back to where he was sitting.
Here, Emma opens her eyes... and I admit, I find her expression unreadable. In keeping with the episode's theme, I think she can tell that she's gone from being a mother-figure to being something more.
Like Lt. Cassidy, Jimmy also "grows up" in accepting his duty, as he repeatedly tries to fulfill his assignment as Emma's protector.
Similarly, Emma has always felt protective of the riders. She had been focused on dangers from outside, but Jimmy's feelings caught her completely off-guard. And she blames herself for letting their kiss happen. She says later that Jimmy paid her a lovely compliment in his attraction toward her; surely part of her wants to "return to innocence," to throw away her grown-up responsibilities and just enjoy this "exciting, passionate, handsome young man." But she knows that can't.
She had her own end of innocence - the loss of a child and subsequent desertion by her husband. She can't go back.
"Give me your pants." Emma, to Jimmy after they climb out of the water (Hmm, maybe *this* was the turning point for Jimmy's thinking of her as a woman?)
"Teaspoon's just making some shots for my rifle." Cody, about Teaspoon's baking efforts
"You can't order me around like one of your deputies... Grab that end." Emma, hanging sheets and turning the tables on Sam, lol
Also, loved Sam and Emma's "shadow dancing" behind the hanging sheets. ;)
BLOOPER ALERT! In the scene where Emma and Jimmy are talking to the Captain in his office after their arrival at the fort, Jimmy's hat alternates between being on his head and not being on his head.
1.11 Blind Love
Love the opening scene. Such a somber tone as Jimmy prepares for battle... then the reveal that his opponent is a tree. :lol:
UGH at Sarah's attempts to flirt.
Double UGH at Jimmy "falling for her," that is, getting knocked off his horse when he pursues her after they meet.
Kid and Lou's exchange, purportedly about Jimmy, brings to light their own issues. Kid insists on being careful, but Lou cautions that if you wait too long, the right time can pass you by.
Sarah's pose as she sits on her horse with her arms raised strikes me as one of the oddest visuals on any TV show I've seen. I'm sure she's trying to be sexy, but it's just odd. Not at all natural. (Truly, love IS blind!) And I cringe every time at her swearing she's not a tree. o.0 And again at her talking to Jimmy's horse. o.0 o.0
Jimmy says (or brags?) that - unlike Kid - he has the guts to do something about his feelings. Hmm, guess that was the equivalent of locker-room talk, because not much later, when Lou encourages him to go for it, Jimmy says no, he'll just let it sit for a while.
So Lou decides to help him out, arrange a meeting... which goes directly against the advice she gave Kid, to leave Jimmy alone. (Tsk, tsk. Hypocrisy, thy name is Lou.)
Why, oh why did Sarah have her shirt unbuttoned? Well, sure, so she could further entice Jimmy... but seriously, did ladies back in that time do that? Especially when they were supposed to be joining other people for a picnic?
Sarah asked whether Jimmy had ever been in love, and he replies that he thought he was, but they turned out to be better friends. That's got to be Emma, right?
When Jimmy returns from the non-picnic with Sarah, he uses the phrase she said several times, "Beautiful day."
It's almost ironic when Ike agrees to not say anything! LOL at his gesture for "mum's the word." Of course, a mum is also a flower. Ha!
"That's not what makes you a woman." (a very wise) Lou, after Jimmy expresses sympathy for her predicament of not being able to enjoy girly things
Emma scolds Sarah that she "lied, broke a boy's heart." In the previous episode, Emma broke his heart with the truth... albeit for his own good.
Why, oh why did no one check Gentry's gun when Sam and the others were investigating Jimmy's claim that someone fired at him first? It's not as if Randall's gun was the only one there!
Then Sarah claimed she "rode around for a while," while she was supposed to be meeting Jimmy. Didn't Gentry say that she and Randall had made up and were sitting there together?
Sam declared that the judge would be in town in 2 days, and Jimmy would stand trial. Wow, justice (or not, in this case) moved fast back in those days!
As for Jimmy being convicted, alas justice, like love, is also frequently blind.
"Jimmy might be a fool, but that's not a hanging offense." Emma, making the point that messing up once shouldn't mean your life is ruined
Before Gentry arrives, Sarah looks vacant as she's brushing her hair. I think this is supposed to show that she was telling the truth when she told Jimmy that, before him, she never wanted anyone.
Note that she didn't deny Gentry's accusation that she was "sweet" on Jimmy. She simply replies, "After all we've been through?"
The close-up on Jimmy's tied hands as he walks out of the cell (toward the gallows) mirrors the scene earlier with the close-up as he and Sarah clasp hands before they continue on their walk.
UGH yet again at Sarah repeatedly calling on Jimmy for help as she's getting dragged by the horse, and yet when he saves her, she instantly switches to, "You should've let me die."
It's never been clear to me why she wears the all-black ensemble when she's on her way to jail. Is it supposed to show a widow in mourning - and would said widow still be allowed to wear mourning clothes if she had been responsible for her husband's death? Are the dark clothes meant to indicate her remorse? Was it standard garb for female prisoners?
Shades of "blind love" as Sarah won't look at Jimmy as he confronts her?
I've always felt that her reply - "Then you're a bigger fool than I thought" - was the worst thing she could've said. Could there be a harsher rejection after you confess your love to someone? But I think her tears as she was riding away are supposed to show that Jimmy, who kept insisting that he knows she loves him, was right. Maybe with that rejection, the writers were showing that she was trying to be cruel to be kind. Had she verbally returned his affections - which, by the way, her actions did not back up - he might've held out hope that they would one day get together again... and his pain would've lingered. Worse, he may have gone after her! Instead, it's as if she knew what she did was unforgivable, and, in denying she loved him, she freed him by giving up the chance that they would ever be together. This way, Jimmy was hurt by what she said, but he would get over it.
1.12 The Keepsake
Teaspoon told "Elizabeth" that she's the living proof of the love between him and Beatrice, and yet, the real "proof" - the real daughter - had died.
In the previous episode, Lou observed that wearing dresses and such is "not what makes you a woman," but it's believable that, disguised as a boy at the dance, she watches the other girls with a bit of jealousy/sadness. How great that Kid notices and asks her outside for their own private dance. (Which is much better, IMHO. I'd much rather dance with one special guy than with a room full of average ones. ;) )
I've always thought it was cruel of the girl at the dance to approach Buck, as if to ask for a dance and then shoot him down with a stereotypical question about scalping people. Yet, I agree that his comeback ("Only one..." Ike!) was great. And it looked as if the girl believed him, because she promptly scurried back to whisper to her friends.
Despite his own experiences (even losses, like with Scalp Girl), Buck is always so happy for Ike's victories (like dancing with Amanda). What a true friend he is.
[QUOTE=pilarcita]I noticed a major continuity error... when Teaspoon asks Sam where this bad customer is who Amanda was talking to, Sam says 'he's over there, talking to Tompkins' wife.'
Except in a later ep we're told Tompkins' was living with the Lakota at the time.[/QUOTE]
I - finally! - caught this myself, in yesterday's viewing. And probably then only because I tried specifically to see what Tompkin's wife looked like. Then I thought, "Wait, 'TOMPKIN's wife'? The one taken captive by Indians when their daughter was young?"
When Teaspoon asks "Elizabeth" about her connection to Lucas, Amanda knows she has to tell him something big as the reason. So she tells about abuse by Cyrus that drove her at age 16 to Lucas. And we get the impression that, although the names may be different, her story is truly what happened to her. She gets defensive and accuses Teaspoon of being "like all men" and using women. Later, when confessing the truth about Teaspoon's real daughter, Amanda says that they "lived the same kind of life," and so, the abuse of Elizabeth by Cyrus may have been the truth as well.
I think it's learning what happened to Elizabeth - not just that she died, but about her life before then - that makes Teaspoon so determined to help Amanda. It's his way of making up for not helping his own daughter... which of course, he couldn't have helped because he didn't find out about her until it was too late.
We see the greed of Lucas and Amanda when they can't believe - can't fathom! - that anyone would simply give away so much money. Yet Amanda comes to believe that is what Teaspoon is doing. I believe she means it when she says she's never known anyone like him; I think we're shown that his selfless generosity has changed her when she soon offers to give Lucas her share of the money if he will let Teaspoon live.
At the end of the episode, Teaspoon seemed moved, and that's understandable. After all, he found a daughter, then lost her, and then pretty much gained another. Plus in gaining and then losing the daughter it was as if he found Beatrice again, only to lose her.
"Careful you don't drown." Teaspoon, after pointing the riders to the spot to dig for water
"It's bad enough when somebody won't talk to you. But with him it's downright spooky." Cody, about Ike
1.13 Fall from Grace
[QUOTE]...but that scene where Grace tries to seduce Jimmy gives me the creeps! [/QUOTE]
AGREED! From the standpoint of the characters, it makes sense that Grace, who makes a living profiting from sexuality, would try to use such tactics to persuade Jimmy to her side. But the execution of it... Ugh! It makes me so uncomfortable that I can barely watch the scene. I shudder to think what would've happened if they hadn't been interrupted.
The actress that played Grace was from a soap opera, and I think she guest-starred on quite a few prime time shows around the time of this episode. It seems to me, they wrote the Grace character to attract her (or some other semi-famous actress), because the character is almost larger than life: so in control, always one step ahead. I think that's why it's so satisfying when one of the things she thought she had under control - namely, Sparrow - strikes back.
Speaking of Sparrow, I agree with the comments above about her acting. Her delivery of the lines - especially when she's pleading with Jimmy to get out/save himself - sound flat to me. Maybe the lack of emotion is supposed to make her character sound jaded? Maybe... but in my mind, flatness prevails.
I do love the scene where Cody sneaks into the cathouse looking for Jimmy. Cody ducks into a room to hide, and one of the, um, girls is putting on her stockings (IIRC) and she says to him, "Next?" Cody's all, "Well, thanks ma'am, but I'm looking for Jimmy Hickok's room." The girl gives directions; Cody leaves, and the girl observes with a somewhat puzzled look, "There's no accounting for taste." :D
When Jimmy was riding with Grace's henchmen, did his horse really have a stone? Or what that just his way of getting them to stop? If it was just his plan, one of the henchmen played right into it when he threatened Teaspoon.
When Beau and the other Grace-flunkie enter the room where Amy is with Prairie Dog, when the fighting breaks out, Amy shouts, "Don't hurt him!" Which "him" did she mean?
She may have meant Beau - though there's little chance of him being hurt. There was a hint of a connection between them, the way Beau referred to her by her real name. ("Amy was too much for him.") In contrast, Grace refers to Amy by her working name.
LOVE! that Jimmy, too, wanted to go beyond the alias and use her real name. "I just can't call you that," he says. (Though I do wonder what made him think Sparrow wasn't her real name...)
More Jimmy! Love!:
* He looks so good in his new duds.
* He breaks character when Lou is in trouble.
* He turns the gun on himself to give credibility to the story he'll tell Grace. (As previously commented, now THAT is taking one for the team!)
* He rushes over to tend - and speak reassuring words - to the wounded Col. Brown.
* When Grace is trying to seduce him, she's moving closer, talking about him being inexperienced, and she leans in to kiss him. During their kiss, they're interrupted by a knock at the door, and Jimmy noticeably jumps. His reaction confirms that he is indeed inexperienced... and I find it endearing that, although "Wild Bill" can shoot himself in the arm, he's unnerved when playing the part requires something so personal as kissing... and maybe more.
(D'oh, I was going to check my recap of the scene above at Hulu, but it looks as if they don't have any TYR episodes available at the moment, darn it.)
UGH! at Grace posing after strategically placing her perfume.
More Grace! UGH! quotes:
* "The offer stands." Grace, to Jimmy
* "You and I are gonna get along just fine." Grace, to Jimmy
* "Don't worry about Beau. He does what I tell him. It's ME you have to worry about." Grace, to Jimmy
* "I don't pay you to *walk,* Sparrow."
"Might as well ask a horse to fly." Teaspoon, telling Prairie Dog to stay out of trouble
"Like you say, 'Folks is folks.'" Jimmy, after Emma comments on him talking to a prostitute
"Never mind what I say." Emma's response :lol:
"Besides, we don't pay you enough to fancy a girl like that." Emma, to which Jimmy retorts that he's been saving his $$ :lol: :lol:
"We'll have to slug it out, I guess." Cody, resolved to bring Jimmy back
1.14 Hard Time
In yesterday's viewing of this episode, what stood out to me in the midst of Kid's - and the other prisoners' - Hard Times is the inmates' kindness to each other. The first night, Richard offers Kid some practical advice: "Get some sleep; morning comes early around here." Sure, Hinton started out hateful, but he and Kid wound up working together on the tunnel and found a mutual respect. When the new man was beaten by the guard, the young Indian shared his water. All of this - and I love that it wasn't just one isolated incident of kindness - provides a great picture of human spirit and decency, that those who are suffering the most can rise above it enough to extend compassion.
After Richard is told by the smirking Whitcomb of Tulsa's betrayal, Kid wordlessly eases/oozes into the shot beside him. It's a great visual of Kid immediately coming alongside, trying to support Richard after this blow... although I've always thought it looks a bit odd.
In spite of abuse, injustice and loss, Richard had survived for a year. But it becomes apparent that losing Tulsa (or at least, feeling that he lost her) was the point where Richard lost all hope.
In Tulsa's defense, I think she was honestly trying to help. After Whitcomb's indecent proposal offered her a way to free Richard, perhaps she felt it would've been selfish of her to refuse.
I wonder if Tulsa knew just how bad conditions in the prison were.
I've always thought it was fitting that the young Indian used the chains he had just been freed from to stop the cruelest guard from escaping.
"What brings a nice-looking boy like you into a place like this?" Tulsa, to Kid (a twist on the classic question, "What's a nice boy like you doing in a place like this?")
1.15 Lady for a Night
The Young Riders' writers consistently do a great job of telling their tales, but this week, I re-watched "Lady for a Night," and the story struck me as especially compelling. It makes sense that, during the course of the series, there would be at least one plot (well, besides hiding-as-a-boy and attracted-to-Kid) where Lou's being a girl creates unique complications. Typically the gang solves some crime or rights some wrong, but this time, the crime is perpetrated by the seemingly charming man Lou finds herself attracted to.
To further dissect the story, alone in another town, Lou's seemingly simple foray out for an evening in a dress was her "testing the waters." She'd been living a decidedly unfeminine life, posing as a boy but watching with envy as other girls get to dress and act like ladies. She finally decided to try it for herself. The handsome Tyler responding to her as he did no doubt validated her effort: she was indeed a lady. At the risk of over-identifying, I have been where Lou is. The first time a handsome guy paid attention to me, I felt just like Lou, and probably for the same reason: validation. However, also like Lou, it soon became painfully obvious that the man you want is not always the one you need. In fact, pursuing such a man could prove quite destructive.
At the risk of over-thinking, Lou's dilemma with Tyler personifies the discussion Lou has with Emma about relationships. Lou confides to Emma that she's frightened by Tyler's feelings for her, and yet she likes it, too. Lou is at a loss for what to do next, and Emma (quite unhelpfully) says that Lou must decide for herself. This starts to ring true when Lou hears that Tyler lied to Sam. Lou chooses to keep quiet about what she knows, opting instead to go confront Tyler. Sadly, he turns on her. He not only chooses his life of crime over any feelings he has for her, but he tries to use her own feelings for him against her. "You won't shoot me," he taunts confidently. "You like me too much." And it's true, she does like him -- but she chooses to end the relationship and save herself. However, the pain of her choice (Tyler's death, representing the finality of her decision) shows on her face. It's as if, in the moments after he died, her whole attempt at being a lady -- in fact, a woman -- was a mistake in the way it all ended so badly. Happily, Lou seems to have made peace with it by the episode's end.
A big part of Lou's peace likely came from Emma acknowledging Lou as a girl. Emma revealed that she had known Lou's secret, but she waited until Lou gave some sign (in this case, buying the dress, even if she did hide it) that she was ready to share it. In her disguise, Lou had been forced to relate to everyone as something she wasn't, so it's important that she'd now have Emma to relate to not only as a fellow woman but as a mentor and friend, both good to have when braving uncharted territory. It's also significant that Emma wanted the other riders to be "introduced" to Lou in the dress. This gave the guys a more complete picture of who Lou is, and as the people who know her best (who happen to be members of the opposite sex) their subsequent approval was critical. At first, Lou only dared to wear the dress away from home, as if the two lives, rider and woman, could not coexist. In the end, Lou appreciated that Kid accepted her as both, even if he'd only physically seen one side.
It's debatable what kind of feelings Tyler really had for Lou, but in the moment he realizes that it's her dressed as a boy and snooping through his room, his reaction is an appropriate mix of surprise and hurt. Lou's not the first person to ever want to reinvent herself; maybe Tyler had seen Lou as his chance to make a fresh start with some innocent young thing? Given his penchant for slapping prostitutes around, it's believable that he's a man very driven by emotion. Clearly, meeting the real Lou, and knowing that she had seen the real Tyler, shattered any delusions either of them had about the relationship and sent Tyler's passion back to his customary anger.
I wrote the above review yesterday. Reading the other comments in this thread today, I have additional, random comments about the ep:
* Re: it being out of character for Lou to mess up her story and even fall for DeWitt in the first place... hmm, maybe it is. But I see it more as her being caught off guard as she plays her part in this brand new role, that is, a lady.
* Totally agree about the stunt doubles! In the scene where "Lou" chases "Tyler" it's clear that it's two stunt people chasing it -- and I think Lou's is a man! (They have "her" conveniently take a shortcut behind some trees to try to hide it.)
(Sorry to be so chatty, but this ep really got to me. I actually re-watched most of it again just now...)
Thanks for the feedback, MR! Excellent point about whether Lou would've taken advice. If Emma had said to dump Tyler, Lou would've been all, "I cain't just ignore these FEELINGS!" But if Emma had said to choose Tyler, Lou would've been all, "But what about KID?!" (Ah, the dilemma of receiving advice. One still must decide whether to accept it!)
If Emma had told Lou to stay away and Lou was all, "You're so right. Thanks, I needed to hear that," we would've had a really short episode...
Above I'd written that Kid had "only physically seen one side" of Lou. Technically, he'd seen the *most* physical other side. I meant that he hadn't seen Lou in a dress.
Thinking more about it, again I can see Lou's attraction to an older, experienced man. I mean, the first thing he does is try to commandeer her dressing like a woman and "fix" her hat! It's as if he knows not only who he is, but also who she should be.
Also thinking more about it, though, I agree that given Lou's experience in hiding as a boy, she should've been much better at a cover story. She tells Tyler that she's traveling with her mother, and one second later says, "Who?" when Tyler refers to it. I'll blame the champagne that Tyler kept pouring for her. ;) And as for her giving away that she was headed to Sweetwater, maybe she subconsciously wanted Tyler to find her?
Love the scene where Lou sees Tyler in the Sweetwater general store. TV often (justifiably) gets a bad rap for telling its story and not taking more advantage of the visual, but in this scene, the looks are everything. Lou's expression and reaction upon hearing and seeing Tyler, and then Kid watching Lou as she "'bout breaks her leg" hiding and leaving... Love it!
This may have been explored in another thread, but in Lou's "coming out" scene, do you think this is where the seed for the rivalry between Kid and Jimmy for Lou was planted? All of the guys are gawking at Lou, but Jimmy teases Kid that he'd better "watch out."
Mmm, thanks for the heads-up on Roger Rees! I don't care if he's almost as old as my mother, I think he is dreamy-looking. (Apologies if I'm oversharing...) I was so inspired by his TYR appearance that I made a wallpaper using scenes from the episode, if anyone's interested (second WP on the page):
[QUOTE=pilarcita] AnneBristow said: "Above I'd written that Kid had "only physically seen one side" of Lou. Technically, he'd seen the *most* physical other side. I meant that he hadn't seen Lou in a dress."
Actually, Kid *had* seen Lou in a dress. In Bad Blood, he's with her at the dress shop when she buys a dress to go visit her brother and sister in. [/QUOTE]
Thanks for the correction, pilarcita! This is what happens when I make comments from memory because I'm too lazy to double-check things. :blush: Still, my thought in writing that was that although Kid knew physically that she's a girl, he didn't make the connection that she'd ever want to be treated as one. (Understandable on his part, I think, given how they worked alongside each other, and I imagine that Lou was doggedly determined to do her share.) Even Kid admits that she needed something and he missed it.
And Miss Raye, I absolutely agree that it's easier for Lou to play a boy, precisely because of blending in. But I think that part of what she envied in the girls at the dance was the attention they got, so certainly she enjoyed people's approval. I imagine her thoughts as she steps out to walk among the townspeople in her dress for the first time: it's a simple act - just walking down the street - but I think she's just hoping to fit in, that people don't gawk at her as if she doesn't belong in a dress. Instead of just acceptance, she finds approval. (Love it! Even as she's just looking at the dress in the window, she tries to hide that she's looking, but her expression shows how captivated she is by it. The people's favorable reaction is then her dream come true.)
I watched this episode again yesterday, and I remain fascinated by the story.
* When Lou arrives at the weigh station, the guys there are hanging out (no pun intended, lol) in their long johns. They invite Lou to join their game: "Game's hot." Next to them, the guy in the bathtub(!) stands up and offers, "So's the water." We start to understand what Lou must deal with on a regular basis: this is no place for a lady.
* The brothel owner told Dewitt, "Your money doesn't interest me," and yet he made no move to give it back. Dewitt must've seen that the guy was angling for more, and so he gave it - and the owner changed his tune.
* At the hotel, Lou ordered water for a bath... I wonder if the bubbles cost extra. ;)
* Dewitt observed that Lou was evasive; I think this is what piques his interest. He then wondered aloud why she was alone in a place like that. She said that she wasn't alone, but I think he knew she was lying - and that held his interest. His pattern seemed to be to go after those he thought were powerless against him.
* That would also explain why he went after someone younger. As Emma told Lou, with experience you learn to recognize when someone is not right for you... or just plain dangerous. (Later, the experience that Emma spoke about must've let her know to send Kid, because Lou could be in trouble.)
* When the stagecoach was attacked, we see where the term "riding shotgun" may have originated.
* Lou agrees to meet Dewitt at night. Certainly that made it easier to hide, but it also gave the encounter a surreal quality, like a dream, where she could wear the dress and meet the refined rich guy, and be someone else ... or maybe be her true self... for just a little while.
* When Lou hears that Dewitt lied to Sam, she takes off to investigate. Since Dewitt's refusal to bow out didn't raise a red flag, this was her first indication that her fantasy was not all it's cracked up to be. Perhaps if Dewitt lied about knowing the schedule, he lied about other things. Or *every* thing.
* From the look on Dewitt's face, it's clear he gets a charge when he sees the bruises - the damage that he inflicted - on the prostitute's face. On the other hand, he stops in his abuse of Lou when he perceives that she is no longer afraid of him. The look she gives him in response reveals that she is in a place that he can't touch. She sees him for what he is, and so he loses his power over her.
* After seeing the true Dewitt, Lou has to kill him. It's as if she's symbolically putting that fantasy to rest... and the instant she does, she understands what she really has: Kid, being there for her.
1.16 Unfinished Business
Just watched this episode again yesterday.
I agree with the earlier comment that it showcased some of Melissa Leo's talent. There's definitely a reason the Oscar people notice her!
However, it's painful to watch her lashing out at Sam, especially after they'd just been so happy - and it's downright annoying in the scene where Sam is questioning Evan and Emma keeps jumping to his defense. But I think that fits with the plot and what we learn about her character: she's determined to defend Evan because she feels that she owes him, even though she clearly has unresolved issues - or "unfinished business," if you prefer. ;)
Teaspoon even observes to Emma, pointedly, as they're helping the drunk Evan to his feet, "You sure you're taking your anger out on the right man?"
At one point, Emma blasts Sam for not coming after her when she stormed out earlier. That is *such* a woman thing to do... even if it's the kind of thing men hate for us to do..
Finally, the heart of Emma's issues is revealed: after being reminded how Evan left, she's afraid that Sam will leave too.
* Evan demands of Cody, "You like killin' Indians?" Cody simply replies, "No, just learnin' about 'em."
* When Jimmy says that he doesn't know how to fix a window, Cody agrees that when Jimmy wants some fresh air, he "just shoots a couple holes in the wall." :D
* When Evan declares that Emma could never shoot him, the riders are walking up; Jimmy pulls his gun and says confidently, "I could."
* It's not really a Fave Line, but I agree with the earlier comment that the best scene of the ep is the long johns one. But...
** After landing in the manure pile, the pants would need washing - maybe more than sewing.
** After landing on the rake, wouldn't the long johns need to be repaired, too? :p
* Emma and Sam are *so* cute in the pants scene, and I especially love how unashamed Emma is when they may have been caught.
"Too much killin.'" Sadly, this is still true. :(
"I grew weary of it." Emma on getting over her hatred of Evan
"People change, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse." Teaspoon's wise response after Jimmy wonders what Emma ever saw in Evan
"You don't have the guts." Famous last words!
* UGH! at Emma scolding Sam, sticking up for Evan like she's his mama
* Emma seems determined to see the best in Evan. But maybe she reasons that if he is bad at times, it's just part of her attempts to repay her huge debt to him.
* Then again, she's definitely not seeing all there is, because she insists that he "wouldn't - couldn't" have been involved in the wagon train massacre.
* The bad guys' attack on Emma's place wasn't very well thought out. They were out in the open, while their targets - already ahead due to the home field advantage - had time to take cover.
"Looks like we got some fixin' to do." Kid, on the remaining unfinished business
[QUOTE]That steep hill Cody goes down on his horse...isn't that the same hill Bulldog and Hickock went down?? [/QUOTE]
I seem to recall Kid going down it one time...? But I may be confusing it with the one where the guy tries to steal Katie... wait, maybe it was the guy who went down the hill right before he tried to steal Katie? (Then the guy goes to jail and, um, [spoilers happen]?)
Anyway, MaryLou's freaky appearance aside, I like all of the scenes with her and Cody. I love the way that he was there for her. And when she asks him to "lie with" her - which I refuse to take in a smutty way, btw - I love the way he just gets up, goes over and lies down. I really think her request was about reaching out, needing companionship to help her get through what was - judging by her appearance and frame of mind - the worst night of her life. For him to oblige a complete stranger that way... is really beautiful. *sniffle*
I also love that at the end Cody basically shrugs it off when he learns the truth about his "important mission."
Anyway, thanks for listing the goofs, maureen!
And I agree 100% that was one lucky baby, to get to be in Buck's arms. :hearts: (I smile at the way he kind of moves his fingers (as I recall) while holding out his hands to get the baby. It's like he's anxious to hold her, but nervous, too.)
Thoughts from yesterday's viewing of this episode:
* During Cody's fantasy, from several angles, that printed vest makes him look as if he has a pot belly.
* Is this the first time in TV history that an animal snags the honor of being the first credited guest star?
* Cody's assertion that he is the best, best-looking, best-all-around rider must've worked because the next thing we see is Cody preparing to leave.
* Outside the widow's cabin, as Cody talks to the horse, the horse cocks his head as if to better hear what Cody is saying. :lol:
SPOILER WARNING, just in case anyone hasn't seen it!
I may be overanalyzing, but Cody's mission becomes an unintentional journey of personal growth.
-At first, he cockily declares himself worthy of the prestigious task.
-Immediately after accepting the package at the fort, he's disrespected by one of the officers: foreshadowing that all is not as it seems?
-Soon into the trip he encounters a danger not unexpected when three soldiers try to take the package; he can tell they're lying, so he draws his gun and gets away.
-After that, though, he's confronted - several times - with the fact that there is a big world going on apart from his little undertaking.
-Standing in front of the bear, he gets a glimpse of how small and powerless he really is.
-Then he meets a distraught widow, almost out of her mind with grief. (I still like to think that him being there for her, listening to her talk through what happened, was critical to her regaining the strength to go on.)
-Reaching his destination, Cody is hit with the ultimate insult, after the recipient receives the precious package... and carelessly tosses it into the fire. The truth is revealed: the paper Cody fought for, almost died several times for, was blank. Nothing. Worthless. The Cody at the start of the trip would have went ballistic at such an affront. But back home, when Teaspoon apologizes for the deception, Cody dismisses it: he had a job to do and he did it. His words echo Mary Lou's declaration that she could move on because she did what she had to do. Clearly, their encounter was mutually beneficial.
In light of Cody's lessons learned, I love that a seemingly worthless mission ends up being worth something after all. :)
Lt. Gibbons: You're making a mistake, boy.
Cody: It ain't the first.
"Don't you understand English?" Cody, to the bear (in a scene I often re-enact with our cats, lol)
1.18 Daddy's Girl
Just watched this episode again, so I wanted to stop by and comment. Being a "Buck-centric" episode, it's always been one of my favorites because he gets so much screen time (and looks so dang fine :drools: ) in it.
Like you, RavenHorse, I am so jealous of Kathleen because Buck really falls for her, and she gets to spend time with him, and make out with him. And him walking in front of her, protecting her as the Indians ride up... that's the stuff dreams are made of. :dreamy sigh:
Having said that, I've always been so. very. annoyed. at the Kathleen character. From Tompkins first introducing her as being all the way from Paris, France (and her looking down, as if she's too good to be there, as if she can't believe she's been reduced from the culture of Paris to being stuck out with the heathen) to her kissing up to her dad at the end "I wasn't going anywhere," watching her remains a painfully frustrating experience. For all her outward refinement, she's the typical spoiled brat, who has everything but never appreciates it.
I agree, maureen, that the bit with Sam in the dunking booth is cute. I always enjoy his range of emotion. He looks relieved when the little girl is about to throw, then he's concerned when the young man is up, relieved when he misses, motions to the little girl to step up.. and she nails it, and down, down, down he goes.
One thing: Emma asks the wet Sam what happened to him. Did she not know that he was in the dunking booth?
Speaking of range of emotion and Emma, Melissa Leo again shows her acting skills when she conveys her concern with just her expression, when Mrs. Crowley insists on leaving.
"I was riding." Methinks this is Kathleen's attempt at double entendre.
"Strange how a nice day can turn bad." Foreboding, much?
Knowing his friend so well, Ike notices that Buck is noticing Kathleen.
Surprisingly, the snooty Kathleen perks up when the race starts. She genuinely looks as if she's joining in the fun of watching.
At first, I think any interest Kathleen shows in Buck is just her being polite, doing her duty in awarding the prize to the winner. After her father scolds her for it - "and with an Indian, no less!" - she makes it a point to seek Buck out and make a date.
When Mrs. Crowley breaks down in tears, Ike and Lou, ever the "hearts" of the group, go to her.
Kathleen tells Buck, "You are exotic, aren't you?" Is that supposed to be a compliment? Sure, she says it in a flirty way, but such a comment reveals that she doesn't know him at all. Beyond that, it shows us that she was focusing on their differences - something that always hampers a real relationship. You could even say that her comment reveals what she's thinking, which is that it's all a game to her, as if she's picturing herself playing out a scene in some story.
Buck replies, "I'm not as savage as you think." This is highlighted when the four Indians arrive... but Buck's "exotic-ness" is also displayed in the way he's partly in both worlds: he communicates with the Indians, then relays what was said to Kathleen.
Apparently, Teaspoon was a prospector, too. He's had even more jobs than he's had wives! :P
"Nothing." Understatement of the year as Buck stands, covered in paint and feathers, when Teaspoon asks what happened.
:hearts: when Buck dons the war paint and goes primal ("exotic"?) on his torturers.
But why did he not include Rance in the retribution?
Rance knew Kathleen well enough to know that she would never carry out her threat of committing suicide.
[QUOTE=clarissaparker]I HATE with all my heart Kathleen Devlin[/QUOTE]
Me, too, and the scene in which I've always hated her the most is when she coldly tells Buck, "Don't be a fool." I mean, he's being noble, planning to fight to save her, and she suddenly gives up and turns herself in! I've always found her change of heart puzzling, but in yesterday's viewing it struck me that maybe it was supposed to show that she was taking her father's advice. That is, she snaps out of her fantasy and sees the very real badness of the situation she's in: basically, she grows up.
[QUOTE=maureen31]It is truly a shame that so many people came into the riders' lives and for a brief moment meant so much to them. In an instant they can be gone, never to be heard from again.[/QUOTE]
In this case, I'm glad we hear no more about Kathleen. I would hate to think that Buck retained any affection for someone so deceitful!
Count me among those who love, love, this episode. I saw it again yesterday, and I just... love it. (I may have mentioned...)
I love the Ambrose character. Straightforward, devoted, and *very* determined. He truly earned the nickname "Bulldog."
[A fight breaks out as Ambrose is speaking to the group of riders.]
Bulldog/Ambrose: Why are they so upset?
Teaspoon: Must be your personality.
Kid (about Ambrose, who insists on fighting Hickok): You've got to give him credit. He's got guts.
Cody: Yeah, and pretty soon they're going to be all over the place.
[In the bunk house, everyone is preparing to go fight the impending trouble.]
Ambrose: What time are we headin' out?
Everyone Else: "We"?
[After the big gunfight scene.]
Jimmy: I'm sorry.
Bulldog: Don't be. I'm not. I'm not sorry at all.
[The blissful look on his face totally backs up his claim. I love his peace about it, but I agree, silenthorse, that Jimmy's stricken reaction tears me up every time.]
[Re-reading lisa's comments, it's pretty significant that, after telling Bulldog to not keep apologizing, at this point, Jimmy can only utter, "I'm sorry."]
After a previous viewing, I wrote this summary of one of my favorite scenes from the ep:
"Jimmy had offended Ambrose, the small, bookish fellow who idolized Jimmy. Furious, Ambrose told Jimmy to step outside. Knowing that he would easily beat Ambrose, Jimmy tried to talk him out of it, but Ambrose insisted. Jimmy tried refusing to fight, but Ambrose would keep on hitting him. Jimmy would finally throw a punch, which would knock Ambrose down, but he kept getting back up. Hurt but still trying, Ambrose finally gets up only to lose consciousness. He falls forward, and Jimmy catches him. (What a great picture of putting a disagreement behind you to be there for someone when it counts.)"
From yesterday's viewing...
* Fisher Stevens has a quality - especially wearing the suit in the first scenes - that reminds me of Tom Hiddleston (he plays Loki in The Avengers movie). Me likey. <3
* When the route change is first mentioned, Buck instantly knows how the Indians will react: "They'll never let us pass."
* Teaspoon has to fire his gun to get the people's attention so that the meeting can start: gotta love the old west!
* Perhaps the main reason Ambrose's praise makes Jimmy so uncomfortable is that Jimmy is not at all proud of the things he's done?
* Ambrose doesn't seem to notice that Jimmy is uncomfortable, but when he persists in his fawning, Jimmy reacts with more hostility. Ambrose doesn't back away, but calmly explains. "I wasn't faulting you."
* That is a pattern we see with Ambrose: quiet strength. At the meeting, a riot was about to start, but Ambrose didn't back away. He kept calm, kept trying to communicate.
* When Ambrose journals a glowing account of his Sweetwater experience - even claiming that he and Jimmy are becoming friends - we wonder if he's completely clueless or simply lying to himself. Then again, his line about their friendship turns out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Perhaps it was his optimistic outlook that gave him the aforementioned strength to face adversity and to keep working for what mattered.
* Ambrose certainly saw things "by the book." For example, he tried to "lawyer up" and hold the Indians to the agreement, and later he rationalized the route change to Jimmy as a money-saving measure.
* When Jimmy spouts his assessment of Ambrose (born with a silver spoon, hiding behind books), Ambrose counters that Jimmy doesn't know him at all. Not much later, Ambrose's uncle admonishes him, "Don't forget who you are," even though it's clear that the uncle also does not know the real Ambrose.
* Ambrose's continuing to fight Jimmy for the insult reveals his true colors and earns him the riders' respect. Jimmy finally calls him Bulldog. :)
* I love the riders' makeshift ceremony to solidify their acceptance: blindfolding Ambrose to take him to present the gun.
* Ambrose reciprocates the acceptance: he introduces himself to Sam as "one of the riders."
* Sam replies that he's heard of Ambrose, and I don't think it's lost on Ambrose that now he's approaching Jimmy's level, because people are hearing stories about him.
1.20 Matched Pair
This isn't one of my favorite episodes - there's just so much badness happening - but I do appreciate the glimpse it gives us into what Jimmy could've been. At first, the flashbacks make us think that, like the Colts, Jimmy and Brad are a "matched pair." However, it quickly becomes obvious that isn't true. Jimmy recognizes that the Judge is not to be trusted, whereas Brad remains loyal. In Brad's mind, his loyalty is justified because the judge thinks of them as sons. Jimmy can see that the judge is only out for himself.
As they hunt for Clara in the present, Brad brags to Jimmy about all the things he's been able to buy because of working for the judge. I love Jimmy's response that things have a way of cluttering people's minds.
Lisa asked above why rich and powerful men on TV are tyrants who hurt and kill to get their way: I think writers build on that old saying that "absolute power corrupts absolutely." Here we see that in the judge, and we start to see it in Brad. As noted above, he uses Jimmy to accomplish his own agenda and he shows no emotion when Clara shoots herself. Just as the judge was only loyal to Clara, Brad is only loyal to the judge - as noted above, he lies about Clara's death because he knows the truth would hurt the judge.
Well, I said that Brad was only loyal to the judge, but the writers did leave us with hope of his redemption. In a flashback, when the judge makes them draw on each other, Brad tells Jimmy to aim wide, but after it's done, Jimmy realizes that Brad would've killed him. In the present, when they face off, Brad seems stunned, almost hurt (no pun intended) that Jimmy actually shot him, and I can't help wondering if he missed Jimmy on purpose. I like to think that some of the truth Jimmy had said had started to sink in.
Teaspoon: Looks like you cleaned out Tompkins' store.
Emma: Yeah, well, he cleaned out my purse.
OTHER RANDOM THOUGHTS:
Maureen had said that "they never show the package that Clara sent to Jimmy again." As I understood it, the package/book that she sent was the ledger that incriminated her father; Jimmy and Kid delivered that as evidence at the judge's trial.
Re: Teaspoon's fourth wife being a "foreigner," has anyone else noticed that details about Teaspoon's wives are a bit inconsistent? Early on in season one, we learn that Teaspoon has been married five times: three times to white women and two to Indians. However, by season three, they say specifically that he's been married six times.
Anyway, I love that the gang throws a party for Teaspoon, even though they don't know exactly when his birthday is.
I also love Jimmy's reaction when he gets up early to ride out to the judge's trial and the other riders are ready to go with him. His expression is one of "Aw, you guys..." as if he's touched that they're there for him, but at the same time, he's not surprised at all.
* More trivia about Teaspoon's wives
2nd wife: from Georgia
5th wife: the oldest of his wives
* Not knowing his actual birthdate, I wonder whether Teaspoon had ever celebrated the occasion before.
* Brad tells Jimmy that the judge has "got his eye on everything." Clearly this was not true, because the judge didn't notice what mattered, like his daughter.
* The judge declared that Jimmy learned best by doing. However, I think that the judge was trying to maintain control by keeping Jimmy from reading. But his efforts failed. Even without "book-learning" at that time, Jimmy understood that he had to leave the judge.
* Brad's expression is odd when he confronts Clara and then again when he tells the judge about Clara's death. I'm sure Brad is supposed to look expression-less, as the judge no doubt tried to teach him, but to me, he has always looked... confused. :blink:
[QUOTE]My favorite scene is in the court room at the end. Kid hears the Judge's name and pulls his gun. Jimmy immediately pulls his gun and then asks Kid what he's doing. It's a nice illustration of trust. [/QUOTE]
* I had this observation in my notes! I, too, love this display of trust, and how well the riders understand each other.
* The judge's last name - Enright - caught my attention. Certainly, he wasn't "right," but I wondered if the prefix En- changed the meaning. A quick Google search revealed this:
[QUOTE]The Irish name Enright has a long Gaelic heritage to its credit. The Enright surname is derived from the Gaelic Mac Ionnrachtaigh, derived from either the word "ionnrachtach," which means "lawful," or a form of the word "indrecht," which means "attack."[/QUOTE]
"lawful" "attack"... sounds like the judge alright!
1.21 The Man Behind the Badge
Two interpretations of the titular phrase are presented in this episode. First, Sam seems to believe that the badge makes the man, as if having the badge is what proves that he is no longer the man he was. Consequently, Sam is devastated to lose the badge at the same time he's being reminded of his past misdeeds.
However, Sam's replacement not only gained the badge through Van Dorn's trickery but hides behind it as he extorts money from the townspeople. We clearly see that it is not the badge but the man wearing it who matters. That is what Emma kept pointing out to Sam: that he is a good man.
We see the contrast between good and bad, lawful and unlawful displayed in the scene where Sam awaits trial: Sam is in jail, while the actual criminals are not. One of the criminals even has a badge, but that doesn't make him right, just as Sam being in jail - under false pretenses - doesn't make him less good. Situations change, but character doesn't.
At the same time Emma recalls Sam's past good deeds in trying to convince the cook to testify for him, Sam's lawyer reminds the jury of all that Sam has done for them.
[QUOTE=maureen31]I hope I am not the only one that thinks Sam's wife Jenny's death looked a bit awkward! Something about her eyes being so wide open and then her head just flopping down....[/QUOTE]
* I think the scene was meant to show that he didn't intend to kill her with that blow... but it definitely looks awkward. It's almost as if she has to think about it for a moment and, "... yep, I'm dead." Then, the flopping.
* It was "adding insult to injury" for Sam to first lose his job and then for Van Dorn to be the one to give him the news.
* LOL at Sam trashing the jail before he leaves. Also LOL at Emma charging him to leave the place nice and tidy... and she proceeds to shove the hat rack over. The scene changes to someone sweeping a floor, but we're shown that it's the riders helping clean up the store.
* "How can we trust the word of blind men?" Standing Bear, with a question we could ask of today's politicians as well
1.22 Then There Was One
Wow, not many comments on this episode! I admit, I've always ranked this among one of the darkest eps of the series (and one of my least favorite because of it). However, my mother watched it with me yesterday, and she remarked today that it was a good episode... and I had to agree. Like maureen31, we enjoyed this peek into Teaspoon's backstory.
* Is the opening footage of war scenes borrowed from some other source, like a movie?
* Jimmy and Teaspoon switch places: this time Jimmy is the one asking Teaspoon what's going on, and Teaspoon is evasively telling him it's none of his business.
* I think it's Teaspoon's - very out of character - secretive behavior that piques Jimmy's interest, along with Jimmy's observation that Teaspoon had put on a "gunfighter's rig."
* On the journey with Erastus, right after Teaspoon collects the horse poop, the scene cuts to a shot of the rear ends of Buck and Jimmy's horses. Buck and Jimmy straighten up into view, each in front of a horse's end, having inspected the poop and being pleased with their efforts to track Teaspoon. It's a great visual: Teaspoon took what comes from a horse's end to make horses' ends of Buck and Jimmy. Jimmy even comments on being made a horse's a**. :lol:
Teaspoon: How the heck are they?
"Buck, I'm over here." Hickok, as he and Buck track Teaspoon - and Buck suddenly looks back, feeling they're being followed
"'Back in one week,' that's what you said - and that was twenty-two years ago!" Dolores, not pleased to see Teaspoon
"Wish you wasn't so popular." Erastus, to Teaspoon
"Don't strain yourself smilin'," Erastus, when a former fellow Ranger greets them with a sour expression and pitchfork
1.23 and 1.24 Gathering Clouds (Parts 1 and 2)
Wow, not many comments so far, especially for a two parter! Well, I watched them again yesterday, so I'll give it a go.
About Lou and her ring... well, I don't know if I can explain it, but I understand her buying the ring because she thought, "Maybe, someday," and then later turning him down. I don't know about you all, but my feelings are just that fickle. Some days I can see my guy and me getting married; other days, I think of dumping him and not looking back.
Anyway, I, too, thought Annie and Ike were so cute! Although, I'm disappointed that Sam would be so shallow as to caution Ike that Annie might be desperate for any man because she's "not pretty." In any event, I loved Ike's insistence that Annie has "her own kind of beauty." [Side note: I like to think that deep down, Sam gets this. Because, while I love Emma, she's not exactly a supermodel.]
I also appreciated that the mail-order-bride organizer wasn't just a pimp. No man there to meet Annie means that the organizer doesn't get paid, but he was still kind to her, offering to pay for her hotel room and her return trip home.
About the main plot, specifically about the Hawk character, I would like to say how, despite all of the man's grand talk about freedom, etc. after his personal loss, none of that mattered and he only sought vengeance. But, apparently, his pattern was to be driven by his feelings, because he had committed atrocities before, as the Army captain mentioned more than once.
I think the Hawk's right hand man, Aaron, sees his true colors in the last battle. As I recall, Aaron watched him for a moment before pointing his gun at the Hawk. This is a major turning point for both of them, because Aaron had repeatedly been the voice of reason, with both his brother and the Hawk. We all need that voice of reason to pull us back when we're close to the edge. Finally, Aaron conceded that the Hawk was too far gone.
Aaron also realized that, while his brother Jeffrey may have been fighting on the same side, they did not share the same ideals. Aaron believed in the cause, but Jeffrey only wanted an excuse to commit violence. After Jeffrey kills the farmers because "they went for their guns," Aaron scolds, "And did you enjoy that?" Jeffrey smiles gleefully, and Aaron knows the answer to his question.
The Army captain, for all his prior insistence on being "by the book," came to resemble the Hawk in letting his feelings rule after Vera's betrayal came to light. This allowed the captain to play right into the Hawk's plan, and set off on some wild good chase, leaving the town vulnerable.
Hmm, might there be a lesson here about keeping our feelings in check?
I'm very often impressed by the visual aspects of certain scenes in this show, and in this ep, the scene where Hawk's raiders ambush the soldiers (to get the guns) was one that caught me. The raiders - plus Kid and Jimmy - all lay on the ground outside a farmhouse, making the scene look, ironically, as if an ambush had already occurred. The soldiers arrive and are sufficiently shocked, then the raiders spring to life, getting up and pointing their guns. Their "resurrections" just looked... cool. 8)
Another scene I liked was in the final skirmish, Jimmy spies the murderous Jeffrey and goes out to face him. Few words are exchanged. Jimmy makes himself known, and stands as if to say, "I'm calling you out." Jeffrey looks thrilled at the prospect and takes aim, only to be quickly dispatched by one shot from Jimmy.
[Aaron presents a wanted poster for the Kid]
Kid: Mind if I keep this?
Aaron: Give it to your Mom.
Jeffrey (about to shoot Sam): He's seen our faces.
Aaron (stopping Jeffrey): Well, seein' em and findin' em is two different things.
"James Butler Hickok. 'Wild Bill' to those of you who believe everything you read." The Hawk, introducing Jimmy to the others
Jeffrey (to Hickok): Thought you'd be... bigger.
Kid (about Hickok's bad leg): Can you make it over there?
Hickok: Just try and keep up.
[Buck arrives in town during the raiders' attack.]
Cody: What are you doing here?!
Buck: Wishin' I wasn't, mostly.
Another viewing of the episodes, another three pages of observations. :)
Fear not, though: it's a small notebook. ;)
* I suspect that the bank made the farmer give back the "loan" he received from the money stolen by Hawk's Raiders.
* Cody doesn't answer the question of whether or not he knew he was carrying the Army dispatch. I thought his silence was appropriate - after all, what answer would have satisfied the Raiders? But in reality, he may not have known he had the dispatch. Or he may have! THUMBS UP on leaving a bit of mystery.
* While packing away the items from his predecessor, Captain Lewis includes a nearly empty bottle of liquor.
[QUOTE]Ike is sooooo cute *___*[/QUOTE]
* I think so, too! And I love how he doesn't hesitate to approach Annie; in his position, it would be easy to not even try. Why bother? She's not going to understand me anyway! But Ike makes an effort, and as I recall, Annie totally gets the first thing he "says," which is directing her to the hotel.
* HEARTS at Buck, ever the good friend, stepping over to offer translation, when needed.
* So, was Jimmy sent to the school to secretly investigate the teacher? I'm inclined to say "yes," because Jimmy seems all too eager to agree with everything the teacher says. But if Jimmy was on an undercover mission, who sent him? Perhaps, taking Emma's advice from the scene at Thompkins' store, Jimmy truly went for help with his reading... but then he followed his instincts that the teacher was more than he seemed.
* In the first exiting-the-schoolhouse scene, did the little girl run into the column?
* "I suppose for the right officer, it would be worth the sacrifice." No doubt, Ms. Collins speaks from experience; surely her life as Mrs. Hawk has been a life on the move. But her comment also foreshadows the sacrifice she would later make for her husband.
* I've always thought that Ms. Collins' reaction to Sergeant Miller's death was over-acting. Sure, a man died, and some shock is understandable. But in her screaming fit, she's bending over, as if she's so overcome that she can't even stand. Really, Vera? You were that close to the sergeant??
* Still, her antics saved The Kid from being shot by Aaron. Plus, being a fugitive helped ingratiate The Kid with The Raiders. (Okay, not with Jeffrey.)
* It's a good thing Teaspoon asked who else knew of Kid's secret recruitment. Otherwise, when Kid's main Army contact died, there would've been no one left to confirm that he was working with the military.
* The reward poster offers $200 for The Kid. "Dead or alive."
* HEARTS that, even knowing Ike for such a brief time, Annie quickly picks up on what he means, even when they're alone.
* "It'll be a sorry time when plain talk's against the law." Well said, Jimmy!
/__end Part I/begin Part II __/
* LOL at Jeffrey's annoyance at not getting to slap the horse - and subsequently kill The Kid.
* As Annie and Ike are getting closer (with Annie trying to learn sign language to help them communicate), we see Lou watching them with a sad/pining expression. Later, though, she wants to help them, sacrificing the ring she had bought.
* HEARTS that when Jeffrey says, "Thought you'd be bigger," Jimmy doesn't even dignify the comment with a response.
* Ms. Collins declares herself to be "the type who believes in something." However, we could say that Captain Lewis believed in her; from his talk of moving on to other assignments, clearly the time in Sweetwater was just a job, but he revealed that he was considering a marriage in their future. Sadly, it was all a lie. Her betrayal was made inescapably clear in her final rejection, choosing Stiles over him.
* The story completes the comparisons that it has drawn between Lewis and Stiles in the final few scenes: Lewis learns that Vera is dead, and we cut to Stiles, as he learns of the loss. They echo the same hopeless thoughts, "It doesn't matter now," and "we've accomplished nothing." Stiles plans a mission for revenge, and Lewis ultimately does the same. Blinded by their own hurt, both refuse to listen to the voice of reason... with disastrous consequences.
- Afterthoughts -
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