Season 1 Episode 19

Day Of Reckoning

Aired Sunday 6:30 PM Feb 02, 1958 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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out of 10
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  • Extra-grim episode packs an emotional wallop!

    Bret: There isn't any law out here except what a man can make and enforce for himself. It can't last long, but that's the way it is for now.

    This quote says it all. What begins with a drunken cowhand's threat to shoot Bret over a card game spirals into a series of tragic killings that threaten to destroy an entire town. This episode explores an historic phenomenon, "treeing a town", that I've never seen in other Westerns. As explained by the lovely character Lil, "You know, folks back East think cowboys are real romantic-like. They write books about 'em that way. But they ain't like that. They're dirty, and sweaty, smelly. … They come off the trail hungry for everything. That's why trail towns like these have deadlines and town Marshalls, to keep the savages down there where they belong.". Especially chilling are scenes in which the town Marshall's wife begs for his life, and in which a cowardly newspaperman stands frozen in terror listening to his employee being beaten to death on the other side of a door. Not for the faint of heart, but first rate drama, finely written and acted.