Season 2 Episode 18

The Rivals

Aired Sunday 6:30 PM Jan 25, 1959 on ABC
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Episode Summary

Lydia Linley is a young heiress who yearns for a man like Sydney Carton of A Tale of Two Cities - "a man of warmth, imagination, courage, and a sense of adventure." Jack Vandergelt III is in love with Lydia but knows she will have nothing to do with him because he is rich. Vandergelt hires Bret Maverick to switch identities with him in hopes that Lydia will love and accept him for who he is before she realizes he is a Vandergelt. The plan goes smoothly until Jack Vandergelt's father unexpectedly arrives in town.moreless

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  • Three Mavericks

    As any fan of the classic Western series Maverick can tell you there were three Mavericks: you had James Garner as Bret Maverick, Jack Kelly as Bart Maverick, and Roger Moore as Cousin Beau. Only in one episode did all three appear together. Now, I know some of you are saying hold on here, how can this be? Didn't Roger Moore replace James Garner in the series? The answer to the above question is yes. Roger Moore did replace James Garner on Maverick in Season Four. But he did make an earlier appearance on the show playing a different character. The Rivals is that episode. In the opening scene we see all three "Mavericks" traveling together on a train. The only time that ever happened even though Moore was playing a character named Jack Vandergelt not Maverick.

    The episode itself is an outstanding one with Moore doing better work here than he ever did during his stint as a regular. Or maybe it's just that the script here is better than any of the scripts that were given to him during his one season tenure on the series. Either way, Moore does a nice job and has excellent chemistry with star Garner and fellow guest star Patricia Crowley.

    The plot concerns Bret Maverick switching identities with rich kid Jack Vandergelt so that Jack can win the heart of a pretty damsel (Crowley) who doesn't care for wealthy men. Needless to say, all hell breaks loose when the switch is discovered but as happened on most episodes of Maverick things end happily. Moore wins the heart of Crowley and Bret moves on after being well-paid for his efforts. Also look for future Commissioner Gordon Neil Hamilton in a nice turn as Moore's tyrannical father.

    Before I conclude, there's one final moment that makes this episode great. That's the ending cameo in the final scene by Jack Kelly. Kelly might have been thought by many as the lesser of the two Maverick brothers but he shows at the end that he may well have been the smartest of the two.moreless
Pat Crowley

Pat Crowley

Lydia Lynley

Guest Star

Neil Hamilton (I)

Neil Hamilton (I)

General Vandergelt

Guest Star

Dan Tobin (I)

Dan Tobin (I)

Lucius Benson

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Roger Moore makes an early appearance in this episode. He would later rejoin the series as Beau Maverick in season four. For the only time, all three of the principal actors who starred in the series appear together in the opening scene. After that, however, it's all James Garner and Roger Moore, as Jack Kelly returns again only at the very end of the episode.

  • QUOTES (19)

    • Pappyism: Early to bed and early to rise is the curse of the working classes.

    • Bret: Bart, in the bright lexicon of youth : there is no such word as "can't".

    • Jack: How are you going to get in?
      Bret: I don't know yet, I want to surprise myself.
      Jack: Well, I'm sure you'll have no trouble at all.
      Bret: Well, if you're gonna be around we could make a little bet on it.
      Jack: By George, I will make you a bet. Do you have luggage with your initials on it?
      Bret: Elegant luggage, bought it in St. Louis especially for the occasion.
      Jack: Good. I'll bet you a hundred dollars that if I take your name and you take mine, I can get into the Great Western Hotel every bit as easily as you do.
      Bret: Well, what makes you think your name will impress them any more than mine?
      Jack: Mine's Vandergelt.

    • Bret: That bland, stupid look is deceptive, isn't it? You've got something up that Brooks Brother's sleeve of yours, and you're planning to use me, aren't you?
      Jack: Now you're beginning to think like a Vandergelt - shrewd!

    • Bret: What makes you think you can buy me?
      Jack (scoffs): My dear fellow, I don't want to buy you, I simply want to rent you for a while - a thousand a week plus your hotel bill, and all you have to do is simper back at the snobs who simper at you.

    • Lydia: It's refreshing to see a high-society loafer reading a book
      Bret: Well, this one is a low-society loafer.
      Lydia: Oh? Who is he?
      Bret: Oh, a roving no-good Texas gambler. His name is Maverick or something like that.
      Lydia: He - he's not society?
      Bret: He's barely humanity.

    • Lydia: Aunt Celia, so long as I have money and position, Mr. Benson wouldn't mind if I wore a beard.
      Celia: You could do far worse than marry Lucius Benson.
      Lydia: Not without a lot of thought and effort.
      Celia: You were also very cool to young Vandergelt, who is not only going to inherit $12,000,000 invested at 25% a year, but who is also quite comfortably fixed in his own right.
      Lydia: At the risk of repeating myself, Aunt Celia, I'm more than satisfied with the money I've got. Isn't $7,000,000 enough?

    • Gen. Vandergelt: Then we'll marry them off to each other and that'll knock the nonsense out of both. Well, are we in business?
      Celia: Business? Oh. Oh, yes! Yes, indeed, we are.

    • Bret: Well, you take care of yourself, fella, you mean an awful lot to me.
      Jack: Oh, nonsense. A thousand dollars a week isn't that much.

    • Bret: You're a very brave boy, Van. I wouldn't be in your shoes for anything.
      Jack: Oh, but you are, unless you want to go off salary. Now, perhaps we can find a flower for your buttonhole.
      Bret: I've never worn a flower in my buttonhole in my life.
      Jack: The President of the United States wears a flower, Bret, and he makes $40 a week less than you do. Now, run along and tidy up.

    • Bret: I suppose you're wondering why I'm here?
      Lydia: Not at all, Mr. Vandergelt. You're here because your father sent you. I'm here because my aunt is guarding the door.

    • Bret: What do you have against me?
      Lydia: Money, Mr. Vandergelt.
      Bret: Money? What's wrong with money?
      Lydia: The people who have it. Usually they have very little else.
      Bret: That's an awful thing to say. Some of the nicest people I know are filthy with money.

    • Lydia: But he has better things. He has warmth, imagination, courage, a sense of adventure …
      Bret: That's Maverick.

    • Bret: What are you gonna do?
      Jack: I think I'll go quietly upstairs and open a vein.

    • Gen. Vandergelt: Think of it. What would happen if you just disappeared?
      Bret: You mean run away, leave that poor girl waiting at the church? That's a pretty shabby thought
      Gen. Vandergelt: I was sure you'd like it.

    • Doctor: Guns. Shootouts. It's you people from the East who are giving the West a bad name.

    • Jack (about Bart): I think you ought to know this fellow's cheating you.
      Bret: Of course he is. It's his deal.

    • Bret: Van, you can't court girls the same way you steal railroads.
      Jack: Have you ever been married?
      Bret: No.
      Jack: Ever stolen a railroad?
      Bret: Not yet.
      Jack: Then shut up.

    • Lydia: I'd marry you if you were the richest man in the world.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Scriptwriter Marion Hargrove based this story on Irish-English playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan's 18th century comedy The Rivals. The play, credited with popularizing the term malapropism, went on to become a standard of English literature and a favorite of the royal family - and, in the Colonies, George Washington's favorite play.

    • The script for this episode has been published by Douglas Heil in his book Prime-Time Authorship: Works About and by Three TV Dramatists. New York: Syracuse University Press, 2002.