Have Gun - Will Travel

Season 2 Episode 20


Aired Saturday 9:30 PM Jan 31, 1959 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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  • A charming episode, in which Paladin finds that coping with a young girl's crush is much more difficult than dealing with the three men bent on murdering her.

    Once again, Paladin's on his way to or from a job, when he happens across a deserted-looking homestead. He notes two fresh graves nearby. He is suddenly accosted by two young men. They demonstrate clearly that evil and stupidity often go hand-in-hand. A simple lie was all that was necessary. If they had told Paladin that the two dead people had died of illness--pox or flux or a good, all-purpose "fever", Paladin would have gone quietly on his way. Instead, they just had to get nasty, and ended up knocking Paladin out and stealing his guns and horse. What makes no sense at all is that they didn't kill him while they had the chance.

    Paladin, naturally, is not going to take this lying down, but first he'll need to see about getting re-armed. He attempts to flag down a stagecoach, waving an unmistakeable fistful of cash, but the coach barrels past him. This is not turning out to be a good day. Paladin takes advantage of the twists in the road to run across country and intercept the coach anyway. Learning that the driver and shotgun had feared that he was working for Colonel Pike, who is after their passenger, Paladin assures them that he's on their side, and climbs in the coach. Within is a very young, very frightened lady, trying to hide her feelings under a stiff, prim attitude while gripping a concealed knife. Juliet Harper is the last local surviver in her family of an ugly feud with the Pikes. I do wish they had gone into a little more detail about what the feud entailed. Her brother had somehow managed to escape earlier and made his way to the Sandwich Islands--which were starting to become better known as Hawaii. Juliet does not react too much to the knowledge that her uncle and aunt are dead. Surely if she had been present at the time, she could not possibly have escaped. It seems more likely that her aunt and uncle sacrificed themselves to give Juliet a better chance to get away.

    Paladin eases Juliet's fears by the unusual expedient of getting her annoyed with him, teasing her about her youth. They're interrupted by the trio of Pikes--Colonel and grandsons. Paladin and Juliet have to jump for it, and find their way to another homestead to shelter for the night. Paladin puts the exhausted girl to bed after she falls asleep scrunched up in a chair.

    Neither of them are in a very good mood in the morning. Juliet is aggravated by Paladin's insistence on treating her like a child. Paladin's concerned that they may have sheltered in the wrong spot. The couple who own the homestead (who have not been seen for the past month) were Union sympathisers, yet there are Confederate swords mounted on the wall. All arguments cease in the frantic scramble to put everything back as they found it, as they hear the two younger Pikes approaching. With no where else to go, Paladin and Juliet end up in the barn loft.

    This is where Paladin starts getting uncomfortable. It may seem odd, under the circumstances, that Juliet suddenly develops an infatuation for him. On the other hand, Juliet has a terrifying old man after her who wants to kill her merely for existing. Small wonder that she'd rather focus her attention on the exciting, attractive stranger who suddenly popped into her world and saved her life in just a matter of minutes. Paladin's knowledge of women seems to extend to all ages. He has a lovely monologue on the beauties of young girls and mature women, especially when they're hovering right between one and the other. Being a gentleman, he knows he has to keep her at arms' length, much to Juliet's irritation. She keeps prodding at him. When Colonel Pike shows up, he quickly figures out where his targets must be hiding, and sends his grandsons to flush them out. Paladin quietly fashions a noose and catches one of the men in it, leaving him to strangle to death. Unpleasant, but there wasn't much else Paladin could do. He distracts the other by hurling a mass of hay down at him before diving on top of him. (Quite a spectacular stunt, by the way--it looked as though the stuntman landed straight on his head.) Meanwhile, the Colonel has gotten into the loft and grabbed Juliet. Paladin, who has either retrieved his own gun or borrowed another, quickly shoots Pike, leaving Juliet shaking with reaction--and, no doubt, with her infatuation even more firmly in place. Back in San Francisco, Paladin has Juliet installed in a room at the Carlton while awaiting a ship to Hawaii. Juliet has taken careful note of all the local young ladies who seem to be interested in Paladin, including a red-head no older than she is. Paladin quickly points out that the lady in question is all of twenty-four. He has arranged passage for Juliet on a ship, and has had her luggage placed on board. He doesn't quite go so far as to pin her ticket on her dress so that she won't lose it, but he has arranged for an escort from the ship. Seeing that she's leaving momentarily, Paladin bestows a lingering, for-real kiss on the stunned young lady. Juliet assures him that she won't even look at another man until he comes out to visit her in Hawaii. Paladin doesn't look the least surprised when her attention is instantly caught by the handsome young officer sent to escort her to the ship.

    With Juliet's virtue (and his own) intact, Paladin somewhat regretfully turns away, to ease his frustrations in the arms of his aging redhead.
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