Season 2 Episode 17

The Spitfire

Aired Saturday 7:30 PM Jan 14, 1961 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
27 votes
  • An interesting story that highlights conflicts between western pioneers and Kentucky migrants. A standard conclusion.

    Little Joe stops a deranged homesteader from setting fire to the land around the Ponderosa and sets off a conflict.

    For all those fans of TV making, there is a blatant cut around the four minute mark from an outdoor scene to a soundstage, right after Joe tries to reason with the dead homesteader's daughter. Fairly seamless in its execution. Aside from that, the main thrust of this installment centers around the daughter's resentment towards the rich Cartwrights (as usual, Joe takes her home to the ranch) and the culture conflict with her family. A too long ten minutes of air time is spent "cleaning her up". Of course, a nasty Kentucky clan led by a crabby grandmother invades, looking to avenge what happened to their kin.

    Maybe the most interesting facet about this episode is the emphasis that the Ozark hill people have little in common with the settlers of the west - something that is kind of interesting to think about. Not a lot of detail is invested in it, however. Still, there is a lot of fun watching Joe deal with the girl as Ben engages in a patriarch vs. matriarch game of wits with the interlopers.

    A happy conclusion results, a little of a let-down but at the same time, a sort of affirmation of peoples' common values.
  • Little Joe happens upon a homesteader, and kills him in self-defense, when Joe tries to put out his land-clearing fire, on tinder-dry land that is occupied by many other homesteaders, near Ponderosa land. The Cartwrights have to deal with the man's eye-fo

    Very good believabale episode !! All four Cartwrights are well represented, with Hoss playing only a minor role. Katherine Warren, as "Maud Hoad" plays a powerful role as a travel-worn matriarch of a Kentucky family that has seen more than their share of prejudice on their travels West. Mary Trent's "Taming of the Shrew" scene, with the orphaned daughter of the man Joe shot, "Willow Hoad" is both humorous and piviotal to the climatic conclusion where Maud must decide how to serve "justice" on the Cartwrights. Anita Sands, plays the "beauty" in this episode, and is convincing in her "change of heart" that ultimately is the largest contributing factor in Maud's climactic decision. Very intense, as tensions erupt, subside, then explode to an even higher level, leading to the episode climax.