Season 1 Episode 13


Aired Saturday 7:30 PM Dec 05, 1959 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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  • The "High Noon" episode.

    Add a ticking clock, and routine drama becomes suspense. It's a plot element that's still valid today, although at times, the ticking clock is a hack writer's prop that provides the only real drama in an otherwise bland script. But, there other times when the time element is used well, and the sense of urgency propels the story forward.

    The countdown clock is used effectively here. Time is very relevant in this episode, as Hoss and Joe prepare for the showdown. Preparations must be made, and allies found for the upcoming battle. Once again, we see how those who know the Cartwrights actually feel about them...a couple of ineffective strangers are the only volunteers to help the outnumbered Cartwrights.

    Contrary to Hoss's dimwitted nature that appears in several previous episodes, it's up to Hoss to organize the planned defense as Ben recovers from his wound, and Hoss mostly delivers.

    Overall, the episode is well paced, and the acting is perfect--very well directed. Ben's final showdown at the end is great gun-down scene (perhaps only Sergio Leone could have improved upon it), but there's no elation in the victory...this is a typically nihilist first season ending. And that's good...too much blood has been spilled for anyone, including the viewer, to be cheering.