Season 10 Episode 22

Winner Take All

Aired Unknown Feb 20, 1965 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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out of 10
16 votes
  • With a little more time and effort, this could have been a good episode. Unfortunately, the writers don't seem to have brought their best effort to the table.

    This episode drags badly during the first half and its plot line is all over the place. The first fifteen minutes, which really could have been reduced to a five minute dialog, are spent focused on the untrained horse the younger brother brings in. I had no clue that the two men arguing were brothers or that they had a long standing feud between them until the episode was half way over.

    The scene which shows Festus and Doc playing roulette with Kitty was completely pointless other than being a moment of comedic relief (which the episode didn't really need) and a way to work them all into the story line. It seemed both out of place with the main plot and out of character. Although it appears to be a permanent gaming table, we never see the roulette wheel in the Long Branch again and several other episodes before and after this one mention that the only gambling Kitty allows is card games.

    The latter half of the episode is more tightly constructed and flows smoothly from point to point. There are some beautifully acted scenes between Festus and Matt which do a lot to show the depth of their growing relationship and illustrate the reason why such an apparently bumbling shirker will eventually become the only official permanent deputy Matt ever had.

    The episode ends in a traditional shoot-out which generally provides enough action for anyone's tastes. I just wish they'd gotten to it sooner. We really do not need the amount of detail about the fugitives that we get from their lengthy soliloquies.

    As an hour long episode, this fails miserably to deliver what I've come to expect out of the series. It would have been better off as a half hour episode or as two stories, one about the brothers' feud and one about the danged horse and the girl (both of which conveniently get dropped or forgotten by the end of the episode.)
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