We're approaching the halfway point of season one, and by now we know that it's not a good thing to romance a Cartwright--bad things are going to happen! In this case, the young lady that falls for Joe pays the ultimate price.
It's somewhat predictable, and the only question is how the romance will end. Bonanza seems to be on a mean streak at this point, and this budding relationship's finish is a violent one.
We know that the Cartwrights rarely approve of any outsiders, and this particular love affair is complicated by a rather petty controversy about a small piece of land. Still, the romance does seem to have a possibility of actually bearing fruit, at least until the fight in the barn...
The barn fight is a great one. It's easy to hate Coburn's slimey character, and we're ready for Joe to teach him a lesson. One might think that Jackie Chan had a hand in choreographing this battle, as no farm or barn implement seems to go unused in this long and violent showdown. Ultimately, after the blood and dust has settled, Joe's victory takes a tragic turn, as a thrown pitchfork has consumated the relationship once and for all.
Despite the predictability, this episode is a good watch, from start to finish...and we should know that Bonanza doesn't always have a happy ending, especially when a Cartwright is in love.