Bonanza - Season 5

NBC (ended 1973)




Episode Guide

  • Walter and the Outlaws
    In the comic sequel to last season's Any Friend of Walter's, Hoss dog-sits Walter at the Ponderosa while Obie's away. Dimwitted criminals Macie, Teague, and Willard are again after Obie's supposed treasure. Their plot this time is to kidnap the dog and hold him for ransom. It's a good thing Walter outsmarts the criminals because Hoss and Obie get caught in their own trap.moreless
  • Triangle
    Episode 33
    In the continuation of last week's story, Adam is secretly building a house for him and Laura to share; in the process, he injures his back and is confined to a wheelchair. Meanwhile, Laura and Will have have fallen in love and try to deny their feelings.
  • The Pressure Game
    The Pressure Game
    Episode 32
    Laura Dayton´s Aunt Lil comes to visit, determined to get the hesitant Adam to propose to her favorite niece. Her scheme is to make Adam jealous by using his cousin Will as a rival for her affections. The plan goes awry when actual romantic sparks begin to fly between Laura and Will.moreless
  • The Dark Past
    The Dark Past
    Episode 31
    Unpleasant bounty hunter Dev Farnum comes by the Ponderosa with an injured horse and stays to work off the cost of a new one. The Cartwrights know Dev's father is a famous preacher and wonder what event in his past has made him so aloof and hateful. Staying at the Ponderosa is Holly Burside, the spouse of the man he's searching for.moreless
  • Enter Thomas Bowers
    Enter Thomas Bowers
    Episode 30
    Fresh from a triumphant tour in Italy, famous Negro opera singer Thomas Bowers comes to Virginia City for a show and encounters extreme bigotry and prejudice. He's even arrested as an escaped slave. The Cartwrights come to his aid.
  • The Companeros
    The Companeros
    Episode 29
    Mateo Ibara and his wife Carla visit the Ponderosa. Ibara asks Will to return to Mexico with him. Ibara and Will fought together for Juarez´s cause and Ibara saved Will´s life. For this reason, Will feels obligated to Ibara, but Ben is suspicious of the man´s motives.
  • A Pink Cloud Comes from Old Cathay
    All Hoss wants to do is buy some fireworks, but the Chinese Yiphee Trading Company screws up his order. He ends up with an outspoken, trouble-making "bride" named Tai Li (or Pink Cloud). Not only is Hoss' life made miserable, she gets in the way of Virginia City's railroad plans.
  • The Roper
    The Roper
    Episode 27
    Will Cartwright is home alone when Army soldiers arrive at the Ponderosa with a prisoner named Hewitt. Not long after, Hewitt's men arrive and ambush the soldiers. When Will realizes the men are waiting for Ben to return so they can get the money from the safe, Will must come up with a plan.moreless
  • The Saga of Muley Jones
    Muley Jones, a Cartwright cousin from Missouri, visits the Ponderosa. He proves a major disruption and headache for his relatives and unintentionally fouls up their negotiations with an Indian tribe.
  • Return to Honor
    Return to Honor
    Episode 25
    Ben travels to nearby Pine City to pay respects after learning of the murder of his nephew Will. Ben visits the grave and finds finds his nephew alive, but suffering with a bullet wound. Will tells his uncle he's hiding out from a group of counterfeiter's whose engraving plates he swiped, and wants them to think he's dead. Ben decides his best bet is to take Will home to the Ponderosa.moreless
  • No Less a Man
    No Less a Man
    Episode 24
    The dangerous Wagner outlaw gang is planning a raid on Virginia City and the townspeople are becoming nervous. They want to replace their sheriff, Roy Coffee, because they feel he's too old to handle the threat. Adam is one of the few who thinks Sheriff Coffee should keep his job.
  • The Pure Truth
    The Pure Truth
    Episode 23
    Hoss goes to pick up a prisoner in nearby Rimrock. Not thinking clearly because of a strong case of "spring fever", he travels to the wrong town and is jailed as a bank robber. After escaping, he hides out in the shanty of a local character named Loulabelle; everyone refers to her as "Looney", and it's a very accurate description.moreless
  • Love Me Not
    Love Me Not
    Episode 22
    The tribal chief of the Paiutes presents Ben with a gift: Joan, a white woman who has lived with the Indians since being captured as a child. At first she doesn't want to go, but soon develops a crush on Ben. Mr. Cartwright tries to school her on the ways of white society and meets with mixed results.moreless
  • King of the Mountain
    The grimy lout from the mountains, Jim Leyton, returns to the Ponderosa to announce his engagement. Unbelievably, his fiance is the lovely Julie Martingale. Their relationship is even more surprising because Jim's been feuding with her equally uncouth father, Grizzly, for years. Tossed into the middle of this is Hoss, who Jim has asked to be his best man.moreless
  • Bullet for a Bride
    Bullet for a Bride
    Episode 20
    Tessa Caldwell is blinded by Joe in a hunting accident. Feeling guilty and hoping to make amends, Joe offers to marry the young woman. Her sight eventually returns, but Tessa's greedy father wants to keep her recovery a secret; he'd love his daughter to marry into the wealthy Cartwright family.
  • The Cheating Game
    The Cheating Game
    Episode 19
    A smooth-talking stranger, Ward Bannister, comes to Virginia City, offering Laura help on running her ranch. Upset with Adam for his unsolicited business advice, she's primed to be played by the slippery Bannister who's real intention is to steal her ranch.
  • The Gentleman from New Orleans
    A Frenchman arrives from New Orleans claiming to the famed pirate and patriot Jean Lafitte. Wandering around Virginia City making his bold claims and generally being a pest, "Lafitte" lands himself in jail. Hoss posts his bail, convinced that the man is who he claims. Serious trouble arises when a man is stabbed to death and the weapon used is "Lafitte's" knife.moreless
  • Alias Joe Cartwright
    Joe is mistaken for his look-alike Army deserter Angus Borden, and sentenced to face a firing squad. Sgt. O'Rourke knows Joe is innocent but intends to have the execution anyhow. Private Peters is made frantic trying to determine if Joe Cartwright is actually who he claims to be.
  • My Son, My Son
    My Son, My Son
    Episode 16
    Long-time widower Ben Cartwright has decided to make Katherine Saunders his wife. The wedding plans are put on hold when Katherine's son Eden is charged with murder. Ben defends the young man out of loyalty to his future bride, but soon begins to second-guess having made that decision.
  • Ponderosa Matador
    Ponderosa Matador
    Episode 15
    Adam, Hoss, and Joe vie for the attention of attractive young lady Dolores, the daughter of Ben's guest Señor Tenino. When they learn of her love of matadors in the bull ring, they think they'll impress her with a bullfight. In the process, much of Virginia City is a wreck thanks to their bull running amok.moreless
  • The Lila Conrad Story
    Joe and Adam find saloon girl Lila Conrad hiding in the back of their supply wagon. She killed a barroom customer in self defense and is hiding from the dead man's buddies who have formed a lynch mob. Traveling with them is Judge Knowlton, a rigid and merciless man who works against their efforts to protect Lila.moreless
  • The Prime of Life
    The Prime of Life
    Episode 13
    In trying to land a lumber contract with the railroad, Ben finds he's in competition with his arch enemy and rival, rancher Barney Fuller. Ben is so determined to prove himself that he becomes uncharacteristically reckless and almost causes the death of a ranch hand.
  • Hoss and the Leprechauns
    No one really believes Hoss' fantastic story about the strongbox full of gold he shows up with. He claims it was given to him by leprechauns. Wherever it came from, it's enough to send locals on a wild treasure hunt for more. In a way, Hoss' leprechauns do exist; they're a band of little people from the carnival who have staged a rebellion against their shady boss, Professor McCarthy.moreless
  • The Legacy
    The Legacy
    Episode 11
    Adam, Hoss and Joe mistakenly believe their father was murdered. They split into three different directions to confront the supposed killers. In his heart, Ben knows his sons will not act outside the law; but he is not 100% sure that Joe will behave correctly.
  • The Waiting Game
    The Waiting Game
    Episode 10
    The character of Laura Dayton is introduced in this episode. Laura's husband, Frank, is killed and she decides to keep the news from their young daughter, Peggy. Adam promises not to tell the tot, and, in the meantime, finds himself falling in love with the young widow.
  • The Quality of Mercy
    At a mine cave-in, Joe's friend Seth Pruitt stands over the body of his future father-in-law, a man he admits to having killed. The older man man was in severe agony and begging to be put out of his misery. Seth swears Joe to secrecy, leaving Joe to struggle with determining if it was morally right to kill the man, and if it's right to keep the secret.moreless
  • Journey Remembered
    Journey Remembered
    Episode 8
    Ben finds an old journal that he kept while traveling in a wagon train from St. Joseph, Missouri westward to Ash Hollow. As he reads, Ben remembers the journey with his second wife, Inger, and his young son Adam. During the trip, Hoss is born.
  • Calamity Over the Comstock
    Joe meets up with Calamity Jane and promises her dying father that he'll take care of her. He brings her to the Ponderosa, keeping her gender a secret from the other Cartwrights so she can collect her inheritance. Joe and "Cal" begin to fall in love, which is bad news because she has a jealous boyfriend: Doc Holliday.moreless
  • A Question of Strength
    Hoss shares a stagecoach with two nuns. When theres a hold up, young Sister Mary Kathleen quickly hands over the money they'd collected for a hospital. Older Mother Veronica is displeased and tells the young woman she doesn't have what it takes for the Sisterhood. To prove her wrong, Sister Mary Kathleen goes to get the money back, with Hoss adding protection.moreless
  • The Toy Soldier
    The Toy Soldier
    Episode 5
    Though he's a talented painter, James Callahan has problems. He's a drunk, and a social outcast because he's married to a Paiute woman. Adam does his best to get James out of his self-destructive funk and also has to fight off an Indian-hating ne'er-do-well named McDermott.
  • Twilight Town
    Twilight Town
    Episode 4
    After having his horse stolen, Joe is left to die in the desert heat. He passes out in a ghost town, but when he comes to, Martinville is full of eerie, ghostly characters who want to make him sheriff. They need him to fight off an outlaw they seem unusually terrified of. Joe agrees because of his affections for a cryptic young woman in the town.moreless
  • Rain from Heaven
    Rain from Heaven
    Episode 3
    Virginia City is parched, but rainmaker Tulsa Weems will only practice his craft when he needs medical care for his daughter, Mary Beth. While Tulsa is cooling his heels in jail after threatening Ben with a gun, Hoss looks after the little girl; he doesn't know that Mary Beth is a carrier of typhoid fever.moreless
  • A Passion for Justice
    Renowned English novelist Charles Dickens comes to Virginia City to protest the city's newspaper serializing his latest novel without his permission. He's arrested and fined for his trouble. The writer refuses to pay the fine or defend himself, so his fans, the Cartwrights, come to his aid.
  • She Walks in Beauty
    Ragan Miller, a woman whose incredible beauty has brought her nothing but failed romances, arrives in Virginia City. Now jaded on love, she uses men simply as pawns to get what she wants. Both Adam and Hoss have fallen for her charms, resulting in a bloody brawl between the two brothers.moreless