Season 19 Episode 23

To Ride a Yeller Horse

Aired Unknown Mar 18, 1974 on CBS

Episode Recap

Joan Shepherd is a woman who wants both her son and her daughter to marry well. When her daughter Anna May continues to be courted by Newly, Anna May takes matters into her own hands at the town dance that night and sends Newly on an errand so that Anna May is free to dance with the wealthy bachelor Steven Rogers. Likewise, Mrs. Shepherd criticizes the woman whom her son loves as a worthless “trollop,” even though her son’s misery is causing him to drink excessively. Mrs. Shepherd shares with Anna May that when she was a young girl, she had the opportunity to marry well but missed it due to a fluke - the man was a neighbor who owned a plantation and used to ride on a yellow Palamino horse. Mrs. Shepherd does not want the same to happen to Anna May, hence the big push to get her married to Steven Rogers. When it becomes apparent that Steven Rogers is interested in Anna May, but that the feelings are not reciprocated, Mrs. Shepherd sends Anna May on an errand to break her date with Newly, and frames the unsuspecting neighbor, Orlo, into thinking that he has a chance with Anna May. She pits Orlo against Newly when Newly arrives, resulting in a fist fight breaking out between the two men, and Orlo losing his memory and being severely injured. Mrs. Shepherd frames Newly in a court hearing, but throughout the proceedings she becomes unraveled, revealing her unsteady mind, along with the fact that she’s a shameless gold-digger for both her children. Newly is acquitted, and in the final scene, Mrs. Shepherd’s children come to see her at her home, before exchanging knowing glances about her future.