Big money and political corruption make up the backdrop for this excellent episode. Bret comes to Virginia City and finagles an invite to the biggest, most exclusive poker game in town. When a wealthy mine owner tries to scam him, things take a surprising and surreal turn. And just when Bret is about to leave town, a beautiful damsel shows up claiming to be an old friend. Naturally, the harder Maverick tries not to care about the people he meets, the more thoroughly involved he gets. At one point, he tells the man who has been thwarted in his effort to improve miners' safety for years by the bad guys, "Mixing in other people's business isn't my profession, Mr. Jennings." Well, maybe, but it certainly is the thing he ends up doing week after week! This episode also has my favorite female character so far. (And she doesn't really shoot at Bret; she's a crack shot who can shoot the arm-rest off a buggy at twenty paces, baby!)
Before "Hogan's Heroes", the future Col. Wilhelm Klink (Werner Klemperer, son of famed conductor Otto Klemperer) guest stars as an apparent crackpot mining/railroad engineer.
This episode is one of a handful in the "Maverick" series that uses actual names of real locations. This action in this first-year episode occurs in Virginia City and Carson City, Nevada and aired at least two years before the premier of the "Bonanza" series. As such, it lacks the consistent tongue-in-cheek humor of a few of the earlier and most later episodes (with one exception, beware a woman who has a gun and knows how to use it). But seeing Col. Klink without accent and monocle is worth the 50 minute time investment.
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