Season 1 Episode 5

Dead to Rights

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Aug 20, 2003 on USA
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Dead to Rights
A double murder attributed to renegade Arapaho Indians causes the mayor to call for help from the army, giving Marshal Stone extra trouble trying to keep the army scouts and the native americans from killing each other while he hunts for the true culprit.

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  • hard story of hate and revenge well told


    The great surprise of the episode was the identity of one of the first victims -- Twyla was a character in the pilot. "TV logic" says that characters that move from the pilot to series don't get killed, except maybe in a season finale. But, that aside, the story is really one of hate rewarded with death -- and as such, is an effective morality play. Hansen's character evolves rather quickly from what at the beginning is that of an effective Indian-fighter to a single-minded killer, the embodiment of "the only good indian is a dead one". He and his men are not really interested in justice, except in the warped version personified by Hansen. Hansen's death, then, is accepted by Stone as justice, and with the 'renegades' acquiencence, the end of the affair. This is not justice in the normal (or at least, normal TV) sense, but it is a rough justice that suits those who have been wronged. I was very pleased with this outcome, because it wasn't what I expected, but it made sense, and made for a complete story. Two final comments. The ending scene, where Yuma's father takes his son home, is quiet, dignified, and immensely satisfying (as a viewer.) That the makers would allow that scene to run as long as it did tells me that they knew exactly how important it was, and made sure it ran its proper length. The other is that the music (most notably in the last scene), was extremely effective in filling in emotional backing to scenes. A well done episode all around.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Hansen: You should know as well as anyone, that this world is founded on laws, and Indians don't understand that.
      Stone: What do you mean, the white man's law?
      Hansen: No, I mean God's law. You and I were there. You heard Lincoln say it. "One nation under God."
      Stone: Yeah, I was there, Will. But I think I heard a different speech.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Although the mayor is having two Coca-Cola billboards put up in the episode (in 1882), the beverage was not invented until 1886 in Atlanta, Ga.