I'm glad that I viewed other, stronger, and more characteristic episodes from this classic series before seeing this, the pilot, as I may not have continued watching. Not the worst episode, but not the best, either.
Certainly, this episode provides vital character development to set up the relationship between our protagonists, Tod and Buz, to establish their individual backgrounds, and to introduce some of each man's idiosyncrasies. Also, this episode introduces the road trip framework of the show and the tendency of these two quasi-rebellious men to get entangled in alleviating the troubles of strangers. One more trend noticeable in this episode--one that can only be observed by fans who are looking back--is that this show provided a career stepping stone for some of the finest American actors. In this case, Oscar-winner George Kennedy has a guest role and has the distinction of being the first of many strangers that Buz beats up.
Those factors notwithstanding, this is not the finest Route 66 has to offer. The acting of the guest actors is more melodramatic here than in some of the more primo episodes, and the plot line is more far-fetched, too.