Thanks to a large cast of notables, not only again including Ben Vereen and Chuck Connors, but now adding a forlorn Brad Davis, cocky Doug McClure, and dynamic Lloyd Bridges, this episode becomes a turning point of the miniseries that will change the course of this family and eventually bring about a new chapter that will be picked up in the miniseries' sequel. We are also introduced to Chicken George's son "Tom", expertly played by Georg Sanford Brown (who will later star in and direct one of the installments in the sequel miniseries). He gives the character a certain amount of strength and backbone that is quite notable and not repeated anywhere else in the miniseries outside of the opening episode, which is peopled by many such men.
The only problem is that Carolyn Jones is a bit out of kilter for the part, although perhaps due to the writers and not being sure what to do with the character who was the wife of plantation owner Tom Moore. She does have a somewhat dramatic scene of shooting at Chicken George in a panic, but it's a bit overdone, IMHO.
However barring this, a powerful episode that will seque into the finale, which would hold the record for most watched television episode of any type, for 6 years after its original airing, where it would be surpassed for that honor by the finale of the television series "M*A*S*H".