Bonanza - Season 4

NBC (ended 1973)




Episode Guide

  • Little Man...Ten Feet Tall
    An Italian immigrant and his son come to the Ponderosa. After spending some time with Hoss, the son decides he wants to give up the classical guitar to become a cowboy much to his father's chagrin.
  • The Boss
    The Boss
    Episode 33
    Power-hungry freight line owner Tom Slayden has cheated, connived and bullied himself into the "boss" for Virginia City. The Cartwright family has the misfortune of crossing his path when one of Slayden's henchmen shoots Joe in the back for trespassing.
  • Rich Man, Poor Man
    Rich Man, Poor Man
    Episode 32
    Town laughing stock Claude Miller gets rich quick when he strikes a lode of silver. He plans to get revenge on all the townspeople who ridiculed him by buying out their mortgages. His plan falls apart thanks to his new partner, a shady deputy.
  • Thunder Man
    Thunder Man
    Episode 31
    Little Joe's girlfriend Ann is molested and killed by an explosives expert who tries to pass himself off as a concerned visitor. Ann's uncle Fred is the only person who can identify the murderer, but, after suffering a stroke, is only able to name the song the killer was whistling. In the meantime, deaths continue to mount.moreless
  • Saga of Whizzer McGee
    A short man named Whizzer McGee is very sensitive about his height. He keeps losing jobs, usually because he's gotten into a fist fight with his employer. Hoss take the pint-sized scrapper under his wing and bites off more trouble than he expected.
  • Five into the Wind
    Five into the Wind
    Episode 29
    Joe and his fellow stagecoach passengers are left stranded in the desert, 50 miles from the nearest town, when their driver is killed. Violent fur trader Howard Benson is their key to survival. Adding to the tension are several passenger who blame Joe for the death of the driver.
  • My Brother's Keeper
    My Brother's Keeper
    Episode 28
    When Adam and Joe are hunting a wolf that has been killing Ponderosa calves, Adam fires, but accidentally hits Joe when he emerges from behind some rocks. Adam pulls the attacking wolf off of his brother and hurries him back to the Ponderosa. The doctor checks out the suffering Joe, then sends Hoss into town to get the life-saving medicine. When he finally get back with the prescription, he is ambushed by a group of thugs who hold the medicine for ransom.moreless
  • Mirror of a Man
    Mirror of a Man
    Episode 27
    Righteous resident Jud Lally is visited by his twin brother, outlaw Rube Barnes, and forced into trading places. While posing as his brother, Rube murders a man and steals a horse, leaving Jud looking guilty of the crimes. The Cartrights try to help Jud, but are unable to tell the two apart.moreless
  • Any Friend of Walter's
    On a trip to visit his sweetie, Bessie Sue, Hoss stays in a run-down shanty that's home to a run-down prospector, Obie. His supposedly genius dog, Walter, proves to be a dope when three none-too-bright robbers come calling. They're there to steal the fortune in gold they think Obie has stashed away.moreless
  • A Woman Lost
    A Woman Lost
    Episode 25
    Ben wants to rehabilitate alcoholic singer Rita Marlowe, but she remains desperate for a drink. So much so that she accepts $2000 to lure former boxer Mase Sindell back into the ring. Unexpectedly, Rita begins to fall for the prizefighter.
  • The Way of Aaron
    The Way of Aaron
    Episode 24
    Adam falls madly in love with Rebecca Kaufman and asks her hand in marriage. Her father, an Orthodox Jewish peddler, is bound by tradition and refuses to give his consent. Further problems arise when the old man's wagon is attacked by bandits on the Sabbath.
  • A Stranger Passed This Way
    After being whacked over the head by outlaws, Hoss suffers amnesia. He's nursed back to health by an elderly Dutch couple who recently lost their own son. When Hoss comes to, the couple tells him that he is their son and must stay with them. Their deception begins to collapse when Ben comes by searching for his son.moreless
  • The Actress
    The Actress
    Episode 22
    Joe falls in love with aspiring actress Julia Grant, a young woman with more ambition than talent. He promises Julia that he'll help her with her career, so he seeks advice from the greatest actor of their time: Edwin Booth, who's performing in Virginia City.
  • The Hayburner
    The Hayburner
    Episode 21
    When Hoss and Adam purchase a thoroughbred horse, their plan didn't include Hoss putting the horse up as security during a poker game--and losing it. They get Joe involved to pay off the horse, and he has a plan of his own.
  • Marie, My Love
    Marie, My Love
    Episode 20
    When Joe sustains a life-threatening injury after a fall, Ben reminisces about his third wife (and Joe's mother), New Orleans belle Marie. The memories include a scandal that almost tore the young couple apart.
  • The Last Haircut
    The Last Haircut
    Episode 19
    Joe Cartwright is in the barber shop when vain outlaw Duke Miller guns down Carlos Rodriguez for refusing to get out of the chair and let him go next. Joe feels awful about the death, so he escorts Carlos' son to his grandparents in Juarez. There they again cross paths with Miller; Joe must convince the son not to take murderous revenge.moreless
  • Half a Rogue
    Half a Rogue
    Episode 18
    Trouble-making hillbilly Jim Leyton tries to steal Hoss' horse after breaking out of jail, then attempts to pin his murder charge on Hoss. Hoss goes about the job of proving his innocence while he has Jim paroled into his custody.
  • Elegy for a Hangman
    Elegy for a Hangman
    Episode 17
    Judge "Hanging Harry" Whitaker comes to the Ponderosa for a visit. He's trailed by Bob Jolley who tries to prod the judge into a gunfight. Bob believes his father was an innocent man, but nevertheless sentenced to hanging by the judge. Even Adam believes "Hanging Harry" has made some indefensible decisions.moreless
  • Song in the Dark
    Song in the Dark
    Episode 16
    A traveling musician, Danny Morgan, is hired by Adam as a ranch hand in gratitude for having once saved his life. Widow Baker is murdered in town and the one witness says he heard Danny singing as the woman was being killed. Adam goes about the business of clearing Danny of the murder charge.moreless
  • The Colonel
    The Colonel
    Episode 15
    Ben's old friend Frank Medford is a chronic liar. When the poor salesman comes to town, he promptly starts exaggerating to make everyone think he's as successful as Mr. Cartwright. Frank's love for Emily Colfax finally convinces him to stop with the fibbing.
  • The Jury
    The Jury
    Episode 14
    Hoss is serving on the jury of a murder trial and is the lone holdout who thinks Jamie Wrenn is innocent. When there's talk that Hoss has received a bribe for his vote, Adam becomes involved in the situation.
  • The Good Samaritan
    The Good Samaritan
    Episode 13
    Hoss introduces Wade Tyree to widow Abigail Hilton and her daughter, Bonnie, in the hopes that it will stop Wade's constant drinking. After Wade and Abigail get married, things go bad when Wade goes back to his old ways. Hoss gets involved again to help with the crops and bring the broken family back together.moreless
  • The Decision
    The Decision
    Episode 12
    Hoss is seriously injured on a cattle drive and Ben takes him to a nearby town in search of a doctor. Unfortunately, the only physician is in jail, waiting to be hung for murder. Ben talks the judge into letting the doctor take a look at Hoss, and helps to prove the innocence of the medicine man.moreless
  • Gallagher's Sons
    Gallagher's Sons
    Episode 11
    Hoss helps out two young girls, Will and Charlie, whose late father raised them as boys. He escorts the two girls to their only relative, Aunt Chloe, unaware that they're being trailed by a posse wanting a bag of money carried by one of the kids. It was a gift from their thieving late father.moreless
  • The Deadly Ones
    The Deadly Ones
    Episode 10
    General Diaz, a Mexican patriot, steals gold shipments to finance his attacks against Emperor Maximillian. Ben is taken hostage to help with the robbery of a gold wagon, and Joe is shot in the back by one of Diaz's unethical henchmen, Forsythe. Ben comes to respect the general's sincerity.
  • The Beginning
    The Beginning
    Episode 9
    Joe befriends Billy Horne, a young white man who was raised by the Shoshones since childhood. Meanwhile, shady operator Milton Tanner produces some ancient deeds and claims a third of the Ponderosa belongs to him. While Ben works with his lawyer, Billy doesn't like what's being done to his new friends and takes matters into his own hands.moreless
  • Knight Errant
    Knight Errant
    Episode 8
    Hoss picks up a mail order bride for a friend, but problems arise when the bride decides she has fallen in love with Hoss and has no interest in her husband to be.
  • The War Comes to Washoe
    The politics of the Civil War bring disagreement between Joe and Adam. Joe is chosen to attend a convention on statehood for Nevada. Judge Terry, a Confederate sympathizer, hopes to become the state's governor and wants to use the Cartwrights' influence to his advantage. The question arises as to whether Joe's romance with the judge's daughter will affect his opinions.moreless
  • The Way Station
    The Way Station
    Episode 6

    Adam takes shelter from a storm in a way station run by elderly Jesse and his granddaughter Marty. Also coming in from the elements is a fugitive murderer Luke Martin. The young woman is fascinated by the killer, so Adam intervenes and orders Luke to leave her alone. Luke leaves, but soon returns and proves how dangerous he is.

  • The Deserter
    The Deserter
    Episode 5
    Colonel Edward J. Dunwoody arrives in search of an Army deserter--his own son--who's a well-liked neighbor of the Cartwrights. The Shoshones are planning revenge against Dunwoody, who was the mastermind behind the massacre of an Indian village.
  • A Hot Day for a Hanging
    On an errand for his father, Hoss delivers a huge amount of money to tiny Dutchman Flats where a bank robbery has just been committed. Sheriff Stedman, desperate to prove his worth to the townspeople, arrests Hoss even though he knows he's innocent of the crime. The unhappy locals are furious over losing their money; they form a lynch mob and march to the jail, noose in hand.moreless
  • The Artist
    The Artist
    Episode 3
    Painter Matthew Raine lost his sight and has been wallowing in self pity ever since. He starts to come out of his shell thanks to his new housekeeper, but an unsavory employee wants to keep Raine incapacitated.
  • The Quest
    The Quest
    Episode 2
    Joe is tired of living in the shadow of his older brothers and demands that Ben give him greater responsibilities at the Ponderosa. Pa hands him the job of supplying timber to a mining company project. At the start, Joe is confident he handle it by himself. It's not long, however, before he's glad he has a family to come to his rescue.moreless
  • The First Born
    The First Born
    Episode 1
    Clay Stafford comes to Virginia City and signs on as a ranch hand at the Ponderosa. In short order, he kills a man, claiming self defense, and is told to leave town by the miners who send a message by beating up Joe. Most importantly, Clay drops a major bombshell: he says he's Little Joe's older half-brother and Marie was also his mother. Ben and Joe believe the story, but the other two brothers want to investigate Clay's unusual claim.moreless