The Big Valley

Season 4 Episode 5


Aired Monday 9:00 PM Oct 28, 1968 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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  • Haunting!

    With all due respect to the editor, the overview doesn't give a very clear idea of the episode or the plot.

    Jarrod travels to a town to complete a land transaction with three Mexican men, the Mendoza brothers. Inquiring the townspeople as to the whereabouts of the three, he finds the people are strangely evasive. Further inquiries, and a beating, explain why. It seems a respected member of the community, who also happens to be a friend of Jarrod's, claimed that he and his wife were accosted by three Mexican men, who killed his wife. He found a perfect scapegoat in the Mendoza brothers, and they were lynched. Refusing to believe the men were guilty, Jarrod persuades the sheriff, who stood by and did nothing to stop the the lynching, to ride with him to find the real killers. Along the way, they find evidence that the Mendozas were innocent. Shortly afterward, the repentant sheriff is shot to death by an unseen assailant, and as he lay dying urges Jarrod to continue the search. Jarrod comes upon a camp where he finds three Mexicam men, brothers, and assumes they are the real killers. Then, to his shock, he finds the victim alive and well, and enjoying the company of her "captors". She explains that she went willingly with the men, one of whom is now her lover, to escape her abusive husband, who lied about his wife's disappearance to avoid embarrasement. Suddenly, he shows up, armed with a rifle, and ready to kill all of them to keep the truth from coming out, before one of the brothers grabs a pistol and kills him. At the end, the lady rides into the sunset with the three men, while Jarrod scolds the townspeople for their actions, and tells them their terrible fate: "You'll have to live with yourselves!" A classic study in racism , presumption of guilt, and vigilantism.