After robbing a bank, two outlaws brutally kill their hostages and violently take over a small town church for sanctuary. Two of the deputies follow them directly into the church where a shocking shootout occurs. Viewers protested, the show was yanked.
I have collected and/or watched thousands of 1950-75 tv westerns...and this single episode is in my all time top 5....It is so well written, so gripping, so controversial...it is a shame that this episode caused the series to be yanked by the network, who cared more about pacifying a few whimps, than allowing creative episodes like this to be shown....Sure, the shootout is violent, and it took place in a church....but that is where the badmen went, that is where they took hostages, that is where they would kill again, unless they were taken out....the underlying story here is the guilt that Del has for his part, and the script plays it just right by avoiding the sappy-road so many other shows would have chosen....the ending is so clutch in two ways...first, it shows that evil must be erradicated, and two, as J.D. says earlier in the show..."You don't make deals with killers"....if only the viewing public had gotton past the violence, they might have seen this episode for what it really was...a realistic look at good vs evil that shines and makes you feel good about people who put their lives on the line to protect the type of people who want all violence to go away so they can watch My Favorite Martian.
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