This weeks episode carried a particularly sensitive issue especially in the sixties. The issue at hand was drug addiction. The show featured Robert Culp playing a war veteran addicted to morphine. Even today soldiers who have been wounded and become addicted to the drugs prescribed face similar challenges.
This weeks episode shows how an addicted person can be all over the map emotionally and how difficult it can be to manage them and their addictions. As Culp's character continues to have outbursts and comes up short as a drover the rest of the outfit starts to resent the supposed preferential treatment he is receiving.
Towards the end of the episode the drugs that Wishbone were holding per Favor's instructions were handed back to Culp for him to manage himself. Needless to say Culp was not ready or capable to dole them out himself so he gave them to another drover to ration out to him. While handing them off to this drover Culp is honest about his addiction and how his goal is to wean himself off of the drugs. The poor kid goes back to camp and leaves the drugs behind thinking he was doing a good deed and assisting Culp in becoming drug free.
Sadly the next morning Culp was in dire straits needing his morphine. The kid whom did not have the medication on hand ends up shot and dead. Culp rides back into camp and begins to trash the bed rolls, a confrontation ensues and Culp admits he shot and killed Jason the young drover. As this is transpiring the herd begins to stampede.
In true hero fashion Culp mounts a horse to divert the herd from camp. He succeeds in doing so but sadly is thrown from his horse and strikes his head on a rock thus killing him.
I have to say this is a great top ten episode of Rawhide! Superb acting on Robert Culp's part and the rest of the cast tackling a very taboo and touchy subject for its time. I highly recommend this episode as a much watch and not to be skipped.