Nick's old friend Mario returns to the valley with a herd of cattle of his own.
This is among my favorite episodes of the series, I liked it when the program stretched and tried to include elements of the Mexican culture that were so integral to 19th century California. And while Martin Landau is not that convincing as a Mexican, he delivers his dialog sincerely, with a good sense of emotion. Noteworthy scenes include the opening, when Mario "pays" Nick back with a calf to symbolize the help he received long ago, and the steer roast at the Barkleys where Mario expresses his emotion to Victoria. I like Victoria best in the first season, still as tough as nails but better drawn as a more feminine matriarch rather than the woman in leather riding gear and a cowboy hat.
Eugene actually has something to do in this episode, showing off his "college-boy" knowledge of anthrax and the new idea of immunization, and Audra gets at least one good line asking her half-brother Heath to dance. Best of all is a story that centers on the cattle so important to northern California and Nick as a tough guy that once gave another a chance in the world.
This is one of the programs that shows interesting production clues, with constant switches between real outdoor footage and scenes shot on a soundstage - it's not always convincing but it's fun to see the mixture even when it's not successful.