Quotations 101

Season 2 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 2 Episodes with Comments
2.02 Ghosts
2.03 Dead Ringer
2.04 Blood Moon
2.05 Pride and Prejudice
2.08 Requiem for a Hero
2.10 Star Light, Star Bright
2.11 The Play's the Thing
2.12 Judgement Day
2.21 and 2.22 The Exchange (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? ;)


2.02 Ghosts

* It seems that both Lou and Rachel have been short on female companionship. I love that Lou specifically asks to be Rachel's friend.

* When Teaspoon wonders how he missed that Lou is a girl, Lou quotes Rachel that he "chose not to" see it.

* Rachel's story is kind of like Emma's: using/used by men until a good man saved her from that life.

* While fleeing, Rachel keeps looking back. This echoes Teaspoon's earlier line about there being a point in life where you can't look back.

* For the riders, helping Rachel during her trouble makes her real, more than a pretty face. "One of the guys," as she had predicted earlier.

* One of the Bad Guy Brothers said that "blood is thicker than water." That line made me think of Teaspoon's discovery at the water hole, after which he declared the weigh station group to be a family. We could also challenge the truth of Bad Guy Brother's claim if we compare the actions of the Blood Family (bad guys) to those of the Water (Hole) Family, which is the riders, Teaspoon and the newest member, Rachel.

* The arrival of the Buzzard Eater seemed to confirm Jimmy's fears at the start of the episode. However, the B.E. did not return because Teaspoon had started wearing his gunfighter's rig again, but because he happened to learn through circumstances where to find Teaspoon.


On the wanted poster, $100 reward is offered for Rachel Dunne. Dead or Alive.


"Every notch has got a reason, and every reason a ghost." Jimmy, recalling what Teaspoon said about his old gun

Rachel: Supper's on the table, gentlemen -- and I am not on the menu.

[Lou is jealous of the guys ogling Rachel's cleavage.]
Rachel: So that's the problem.
Lou: *Problems.* You got 'em and I don't.

Teaspoon: Fire you? Why would I do a fool thing like that?
Lou: 'Cause I'm a girl, remember?
Teaspoon: That mean you don't sit a saddle as well, ride as hard, or shoot as straight?
Lou: No... but the company's got rules, and you work for the company.
Teaspoon: Company's company... And family's family. You're family, dammit. And family sticks together.

Bad Guy: We'll find her. You know that.
Teaspoon: Well then you'll excuse me if I don't wish you good luck.


2.03 Dead Ringer

Episode Summary: A legend grows as a ruthless bank robber poses as Wild Bill Hickok, and the real Hickok must find and expose the phony or suffer for someone else's crimes. Meanwhile, Cody's attempted prank on Buck backfires.

Comments, Quotes, and Trivia

"Because you know some day you'll need it." Noah, on why Jimmy keeps a gun that he doesn't carry

Trivia: The wanted poster offers $400 for James (Wild Bill) Hickok, "dead or alive" for bank robbery and murder.

Trivia: Munsey is a regular at the Cottonwood Hotel. His room # is 218. Later, Jimmy is in room # 215.

It's almost ironic that Cody -- or anyone else -- would give Ike the "Shh!" gesture to be quiet. :D

None of the bank workers recognized Munsey's voice. We're later shown the reason when the bank manager completely dismisses the meek Munsey from consideration as a suspect.

Munsey is so disrespected that the hooker won't even take his money!

After Munsey (i.e. the fake Wild Bill) declares, "Nobody laughs at Wild Bill," the scene changes to Jimmy dressed -- quite laughably -- as Ambrose, on a quest to find out who is impersonating him.

[Jimmy's in disguise, trying to find the guy who's robbing banks posing as "Wild Bill" Hickok.]
Jimmy: Why would he wear a mask and then tell you his name?
Banker: From what I hear, he's not too smart.

Dressed as Ambrose, Jimmy listens to people at the bar report that Wild Bill killed a wrangler. As is often the case with story-telling, the tales quickly escalate as someone tells how Hickok gunned down John Longley before someone else offers that Hickok killed a man just to watch him die.

After meeting "Ambrose," Munsey says that Hickok is a friend. It's unclear to me whether Munsey is lying or he's getting so wrapped up in his alter ego that he's losing sight of the truth.

"Son, you look worse than a near-sighted chicken in a coyote's den." Teaspoon to Cody after a particularly rough ride

In the ritual for Cody to make peace with the spirits, Buck says that Cody must pour pork fat on his head. This reminded me of the Friends episode where Rachel is mad at Ross; Ross is trying to make amends, and someone suggests that he drink a cup of fat that's sitting on the table.

Searching room 218 for signs of the imposter, Jimmy finds a white-handled gun like the one from the start of the episode. In the earlier scene with Noah, the point was made that it's a gun Jimmy doesn't use. Of course, as far as evidence goes, this distinction would not prove that Jimmy's innocent. Noah pondered that Jimmy kept the gun because he knew he would need it; maybe the similar gun indicated that Munsey had reached the point of needing it.

However, if the gun Munsey carried was supposed to match Hickok's, how did Munsey know? If Hickok didn't carry the gun, how could the book writer in Ten Cent Hero have included that detail for Munsey to copy?

Munsey's odd take on the situation surfaces again when he insists that he's helping Jimmy; Jimmy retorts, "Helpin' me get hung!" Munsey explains that he's helping Jimmy get respect.. and we learn that Munsey's issues included an abusive childhood.

"After a while, people will think *you* were the imposter." A chilling prediction from Munsey who intends to go on being Wild Bill even though he plans for Jimmy to die for the crimes

Munsey, although delusional, was not incompetent. From his inside knowledge of the bank, he knew instantly that something was up when the riders had set their trap. But, with his two worlds colliding, Munsey clung to his delusions, proclaiming himself Hickok. Jimmy, still dressed in his Ambrose dress shirt, pants and vest but without the glasses and the hat to hide his hair, strides in from another room and confidently declares, "You ain't Hickok." (And all the girls sigh dreamily. :hearts: )

In the end, things came full circle. Munsey committed crimes while claiming to be Hickok. Which led to the wanted poster for Hickok. Which brought the bounty hunter after the real Hickok, who was in pursuit of the imposter. Although confronted by Jimmy during the thwarted robbery, Munsey still declared himself to be Hickok... which gets Munsey taken out by the bounty hunter. Though the identity was mistaken, the true criminal died. Justice was served.


2.04 Blood Moon

I've always thought this was one of the darkest episodes. The most chilling part is that it's such an accurate portrayal how widespread panic, jumping to conclusions, and refusing to listen to reason can quickly escalate to a dangerously destructive mob mentality.

* "Helps relieve the bane of vitality... helps *give* you vitality." Cody's sales pitch for the elixir :lol:

* Another classic TYR scene contrast: The doctor is empathizing that losing Elijah has got to be hell for Danny, but the scene cuts to Lou, smiling as she packs her dress for her happy mission.

* Rachel gets to play the wise big sister as she calms Kid's suspicions, but I've always been peeved for Lou that Rachel spoiled the surprise.

* LOL at Teaspoon's pained walking as he "goes out for air" to escape from Kid's harmonica lesson.

* More classic TYR camera work: When the guy arrives with word of his grandfather, dead with a bottle of elixir at his side, the camera zooms in on Teaspoon, as if demanding he respond/handle this developing crisis.

* In "Buck's" fall, that horse rolls on top of the rider. I've always wondered if that was the way it was supposed to happen. If so, I suspect that somewhere around the third practice run, the stunt man seriously considered another line of work!

* To the ailing Teaspoon, Jimmy begins an observation, "You look like--" but he is interrupted by the door opening at Barnett's arrival. We can only imagine what he was going to say...

* Lou attempts to hide the huge roll she's brought under her pillow. Good job, Lou! That's not at all suspicious. :rolleyes:

* "Before my momma died, she told me pain was like a story: it's got a beginning, a middle, and an end. So, when it hurts the worst, you know it's got to end soon." Lou, relaying some wisdom that does not encourage the sick Rachel

* I love how accepting the Indians in this ep are of Buck: the one doing the talking identifies him as their brother. (In the past, he's been rejected by even some Indians for being a "half-breed.")

* If the snake-hat guy and his cohorts are so convinced that Danny has cholera, why are they not afraid to touch him?

* Another line for The Young Riders drinking game: "Someone says, 'Don't do it, Jimmy!'" ;)


2.05 Pride and Prejudice

I haven't counted, but this is probably the TYR episode that I've seen the most. (Seriously, I'm actually surprised I didn't wear out my videocassette of it in the -- loooooong -- years before the DVD release.) As I may've mentioned, I'm a huge Buck fan, and this is one of my favorite episodes, not just of the Buck-centric ones, but of the entire series. I love his passion as he repeatedly tries to do what he thinks is right, I feel his pain as his efforts seem to backfire, and even though I'm jealous of his attention to the moody Jennifer, I love when he fights Black Wolf for her, and then lets her choose. :hearts:

But with my most recent viewing, I attempted to drool less... which is no small feat since Buck gets so much screen time ;) ... and consider more of what was going on with the plot.

Before this, if someone had asked me to specify what "Pride and Prejudice" was exhibited in this installment, I would've immediately pointed to Tompkins, whose P and P cost him the return of his family. But while that's certainly true, he's far from the only one guilty of it. In fact, we see it in the second scene, with Buck refusing to help the Army find the Indian camp. We might be tempted to justify his actions: "Well, in light of his past experiences with the Army, his refusal is perfectly understandable." ... But isn't that exactly what Tompkins was doing? Assessing his current situation, and all situations since then, based on his past experience with Indians?

Naturally, our experiences can affect us, but here we see the danger in letting bad feelings fester. A legal definition of prejudice is "harm or injury that results from some action or judgment." Tompkins' actions were based on his judgments, and arguably, the biggest harm he did was to himself. He could have had a second chance with his family, but he chose not to take it. In his mind, they were now part of the thing he hated, and that hatred had grown so strong it eclipsed the love he once had for them. And even though he later changed his mind it was, tragically, too little too late.


* The opening scene previously felt out of place to me, but maybe its purpose was to support Jennifer's claim that the Indians didn't leave them to die after the attack.

* I find Cody's wanting to "teach" the Sioux about not taking "our people" somewhat out of character for him.

* When Buck is reluctant to scout, Teaspoon compares the Army's goal of reuniting families with Buck's previous efforts to save Ike. But we then see that the Indians have the same goal of getting their families back. Or at least, the Chief's family.

* I agree with the observations above about Jennifer's possible age. I think the show wanted her current age to be such that it wouldn't be creepy for her to have been "promised to Black Wolf."

* Jennifer accused her dad of giving up on them and moving on with his life... but didn't she do the same? And, when reunited with her father, her reaction mirrors his: she judges him solely through the lens of her experience, namely, what she has learned from the Indians.

* Buck says he couldn't choose wisely until he saw both sides. Still, seeing both sides has its own challenges, because no matter what you choose, some people will try to pigeonhole you into one side or the other.

* Thumbsup to the visual: a closeup shot of Buck's holstered gun to show Jennifer's quiet reflection being broken by Buck's arrival.

* April and Jennifer were both taken into the Indian camp, but had different experiences: April, possibly a slave? Jennifer (and Sally) were taken into the Chief's family. Still, Jennifer and April were close, because April would cover for her, when she ran off with Black Wolf. Despite that, Black Wolf ultimately condemns April as "enemy."

* The Indian Chief, despite Sally's choice to return to him, says that her spirit will only be at peace in the white world. That tells me it was Tompkins she really wanted.

* Shouldn't Sally's dead body be all covered? I guess they did it the way they did so that Tompkins could talk to her.

* Lastly, we see Jennifer making her choice after seeing "both sides." Technically, she opts for a third "side," which is going to live with her aunt.

* I haven't checked YouTube, but if there's not a fan music video with clips from this ep set to Travis Tritt's song "Foolish Pride," there absolutely should be!


2.08 Requiem for a Hero

* I'm guessing there is a scene missing from the DVD release of this ep, because I found two quotes that must be from this episode... although despite listening for them to double-check, I did not hear them in yesterday's viewing.

Lou: Yesterday I did something no self-respectin' woman would ever do.
Rachel (intrigued): Really? What?
Lou (scandalous): I walked in on Kid in the shower.
Rachel: So?
Lou: So, I didn't walk out, leastways not as fast as I should.

Rachel: Where'd you get the idea men and women are all that different?
Lou: Well, in the shower, for one place.

If I had the original airing on videocassette, I would check it; alas, I don't. If anyone can clarify, it would be much appreciated!

* Speaking of Lou walking in on Kid in the shower, shouldn't she have heard the water running? Or even seen it, since she was mere steps away as she approached?

* Re: the comments above, Cody's reading didn't stand out to me as terribly awkward, but neither did I think it was perfectly flawless. Maybe the intent was to show that he still has some things to learn?

* About Cody's reading, I did notice that immediately after he reads about "not being surprised what the country has to offer," it's proven that he means it. Even seeing a large spider(!) on chest(!!) doesn't give him a start.

* The whole storyline with Hezekiah Horn was so sad. :( Everyone else praised him for being a "hero" and a "great man," but his son declared that he was "not that important." No doubt, this was why HH had that view of himself, no matter what anyone else said.

* Still, Hezekiah was wrong about all progress being bad. I think that's why they mixed in the Kid/Lou story; their relationship is advancing (progressing), and they exchange I-love-you's.


2.10 Star Light, Star Bright

I re-watched this episode yesterday, and found myself not making many notes about it. Unlike some of the episodes, this one seems pretty straightforward: no characters to analyze and plots to pick apart, lol.

My only comment would be that it still makes me just a bit angry that Cyrus is so unrepentant when the Riders confront him. His attitude is entirely in character... but it still annoys me. He even goes so far as to scold them, claiming that it's their own fault because they were greedy. Maybe that's partly true, but he absolutely led them "down the primrose path," so to speak. When he first offered Hickok a share in the mine, Hickok declined, several times. But Cyrus kept on. And *that* is what makes him so loathsome: this is how he repays the one who had, seconds before, saved his life. :angry:


"The man can't even die without lying." Cody, about Cyrus

"I ain't never been able to cheat a man who didn't deep down think he was cheating me." Cyrus, the con man {I think this is one of the most profound things ever uttered on TV!}


2.11 The Play's the Thing

* Loved Cody re-enacting the duel scene from the play with his horse -- especially the timing, with the sudden gunshot just as Cody aims the carrot.

* LOL at Cody hamming it up in the death scene. He's seen people get shot, so he should know that's *not* what happens. But this seems to be the point, that (at first) he's separating the real world from the stage world. That is, it doesn't occur to him to play the scene like real life.

* Mrs. Herrick, on the other hand, believed so strongly -- in her own truth, you could say -- that she lost touch with reality, thinking there was no way they would fail, despite her husband's warnings. In her dying words, she again expresses her conviction that nothing can get in the way of what you believe... and yet, something did. Not only did her final plan fail, but it cost her her life.

* "Who you callin' 'thespian'?" -- Cody, not appreciating Jonathan's introduction XD

* Another great TYR visual: we're looking in at Teaspoon who's looking out the window of the marshal's office. He's reminiscing about a past love, and a woman is shown in the other half of the window glass. It's as if his memory is coming alive for us... until a man joins the woman, and we realize that she was simply outside of the office.

* It is *so* in character of Jimmy to read the last page of the book!


2.12 Judgement Day

* Teaspoon said, "Marshalling may be my business, but advice is my calling." However, his response here is a cop out, simply telling Kid to think more about his dilemma with Lou. Better find a new calling, Teaspoon! :P

* LOL at Teaspoon catching the bouquet... even if it wasn't formally thrown.

* I found it somewhat unlike Cody to behave so irrationally. I rank him as one of the more together members of the group (although I'm sure we could list occasions where he was otherwise). Then again, no one is perfect, and such a character would be unrelatable, not to mention boring. In Cody's case, he had received a double blow in that his hero not only died, but that hero ultimately renounced the ideals in his writings, which had meant so much to Cody. If that doesn't spark a few personality issues, not much else would.

* For all of his faults, Poole did save Cody's life... an action that is almost surprising, given Poole's later declaration that criminals can't be rehabilitated and deserve what they get.

* In a way, Poole was taking Teaspoon's advice to "be his own hero," making himself judge and jury. For him, his bounty-hunting (although he refused to acknowledge it as such) was a win-win situation: he was punishing bad guys and getting paid to boot!

* As Teaspoon pointed out, if Poole was truly interested in justice, he could've researched and determined whether those convicted were later acquitted, as Teaspoon was. I see a modern-day parallel in people who read one news article and charge ahead with their minds made up. Poole did it for money, whereas it seems people today do it solely to boost their egos with a false sense of right-ness.

* Judgements are opinions, and other people can respond with their own. Poole decided that he would test Cody, but Cody soon decided that *he* would test Poole.

* The scene with Cody's dream was surreal and confusing. (Which, actually, is very appropriate for a dream, so good job, TYR show people!) Ostensibly, it was about his death, bringing a sense of doom. But the death was at an old age, as if to indicate that losing his Pony Express job would not be the end of him. Plus, IIRC, people at the funeral were praising him for his showmanship, which could be confirmation that he'd go on to bigger and better things.

* The dream scene was especially jarring since they mixed in happenings from the present, where, in his drunken stupor, he was getting beat up -- and was helpless to stop it. In that light, the vision could also have been a variation on one's life flashing before one's eyes. The dream may've portrayed a longer life for Cody, but if his present path continued, that life would be prematurely shortened. Maybe the point was, no matter how bad your life seems, unwise choices can make it much worse!

* Speaking of unwise choices, I thought it was out of character for Teaspoon to be so intrigued by Millie. I found her despicable and selfish. She said that she loved all of her husbands, and couldn't stand to hurt them with divorce... so she just snuck away from them, never to return. Um, Millie? That's worse, because it leaves them with absolutely no closure.

* Millie was as misguided as Poole, focused on the so-called letter of the law -- "It's wrong to do such things and not be married" -- versus the spirit of the law, which is that you love a person (just one!) so much that you commit yourself to them.

* But Cody, too, was guilty of a rush to judgement, wrongly interpreting a series of events/information to be evidence of the end of the world as he knows it. It's certainly understandable that he'd be concerned about his future, but the telegraph was not invented to spite the riders. Yes, its implementation would eliminate some opportunities, but it would also create new ones by providing a powerful tool for the whole country. (One could say it was the Internet of its day.) Cody also displayed unrealistic expectations; did anyone promise him that he would retire from the Pony Express? In his defense, we all lose perspective from time to time: the trick is to recognize what's happening and take steps to get it back.


On the wanted poster, $300 reward is offered for Teaspoon. Dead or Alive.


Kid: You got a minute?
Teaspoon. Yeah. I got *two.*

"Since you all found out Lou ain't a boy, well she's... she's becoming... more and more of a woman." Kid, to Teaspoon

"They say seven is a lucky number." Millie, after hearing of Teaspoon's six previous marriages

"You gotta stop lookin' for heroes and start being your own." Teaspoon, to Cody

"Vengeance is the Lord's. You forgot that." Cody, to Mr. Poole


2.21 and 2.22 The Exchange (Parts 1 and 2)

FYI: when last I checked, Hulu.com was showing this as a single episode. Just in case you're nitpicky and can't sleep at night for wondering where exactly episode 21 ends and episode 22 begins, I offer the following: according to my tape of the original airing -- which includes commercials -- the 2nd hour starts with Teaspoon, Kid, and Cody walking back to find their captive has been shot; the first line of episode 22 is "You alright, Cody?" This timing/episode break lines up with the timing at hulu, where the scene prior to the one mentioned above is approximately 47 minutes in, and ends with Cody (I think) asking "What are we gonna do now, Teaspoon?"

And as a side note, about 32 mins into the episode at hulu: Buck is GORGEOUS. And Cody is gorgeous at the the end of the first part. (Truth be known, everyone looks great in just about every scene of this ep...)

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