Remember...a lady who treasures her life should never fall in love with a Cartwright. We been shown this again and again, and this time, it's Adam who finds an unfortunate partner that's destined to meet an unfortunate end. It's also standard for the other Cartwrights to despise the future in-law, and we can't really find Ben, Hoss and Joe at much fault in this instance...Adam's lover is a "saloon girl", and it appears that everyone in town has already kissed the bride a few times.
Surprisingly, the potential marriage is ended early in this episode (instead of at the end), and as Adam is framed for the murder, we're given a modest chance to ponder who the real killer might be.
The attentive viewer should have no problem figuring out the killer's identity before we are actually told. We're given the same clues that Adam is given, and the sheriff's behavior is somewhat puzzling until we realize why. Once again, we have an old friend of the Cartwrights that refuses to help them when they need it, and Buddy Ebsen's performance is a gem. But ultimately, the final plot twist is too well telegraphed to be a surprise, and the viewer might feel a bit patronized.
Imagine if we didn't know that someone else shot Adam's lover...what if we thought that maybe Adam might have killed her just as the drunk described? By simply leaving out the actual murder scene, the viewer would have a lot to think about while watching the episode. Oh well!
Overall, not a bad episode...but it could have been better if it was actually plotted as the mystery that it pretended to be.