Season 1 Episode 26

The Avenger

Aired Saturday 7:30 PM Mar 19, 1960 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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out of 10
34 votes
  • A hero out for revenge saves the Cartwrights' necks.

    Vic Morrow is a loner, known only as Lassiter because that's the town in Kansas where he comes from, who is out to avenge his father's brutal murder at the hands of a band of cutthroats, led by a cattle baron.. Along the way he stops in town where Ben and Adam are about to hang for a murder they didn't commit. The daughter of the murdered man claims she witnessed the incident, but her intense dislike and resentment of the Cartwrights shows. Hoss and Joe try to gather signatures for a petition to submit to the Governor so he'll grant a reprieve, but the townsfolk are terrified by henchmen who work for a cattle baron who wields some influence in town , and who stands to gain with the Cartwrights out of the way. Meanwhile, Lassiter, who at first arouses the Cartwrights suspicions, visits Ben and Adam in jail, hoping to find the man he's looking for in Ben. Seeing that Ben is anything but that man, he goes to bat for Ben and Adam, trying to get the murdered man's daughter to admit she lied out of spite for the Cartwrights. His good deed accomplished, Lassiter continues his search for the men who done him wrong. As Hoss says, he's a driven man, and Ben is relieved not to be the object of Lassiter's intentions. This would have made a good spin-off series, called "The Avenger", about the further adventures of Lassiter and the situations he gets into as he continues his quest.

    I wanted to give this a 10, but there was one scene I found a little disturbing. The Cartwrights' friend Barney, who had benefitted from their generosity, had been collecting signatures for the petition, but when Hoss and Joe go to his house to see many he had, they find him siting in the dark with his family, terrified. The ruffians had threatened to commit unspeakable atrocities against his daughter unless he stopped, which he did, evoking an uncaring response from the two brothers. I know they were desperate to free their father and brother, but a little understanding would have been in order.
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