The Fugitive (1963)

Season 1 Episode 2

The Witch

Aired Unknown Sep 24, 1963 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
41 votes

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Episode Summary

The Witch
While working as a handyman in a backwater community in Missouri, Kimble has a few run-ins with a young girl named Jenny Ammory, who is a pathological liar and speaks to a rag doll she calls 'Nyet,' which she keeps at a nearby pond. Jenny uses Kimble as an excuse when she's late for school when she claims that a man attacked her. When Kimble shows up making a routine delivery of supplies to the school, Jenny identifies him as the man who attacked her. As Jenny's teacher, Emily Norton, speaks to Kimble about Jenny's compulsive lying, Jenny runs home and tells her mother she saw her teacher and the local handyman kissing in the barn. Kimble gets roughed up by his co-workers while Emily gets fired and both are advised to leave town. Kimble goes to a school hearing on Emily's behalf and tries to clear her by catching Jenny in a lie. But his plan backfires when the skeptic townspeople believe Jenny and decide to form a lynching party to track Kimble down.moreless

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  • Dr. Kimble confronts a disturbed child.

    In this episode of the Fugitive we find Richard Kimble a victim of lies and deceit. Our heart goes out to him because he tries so hard to reach this troubled girl and then she turns on him (eventually getting the whole town after him).

    The depth of this story is compelling. Kimble is not on the run from the police and he seems to be in his element dealing with a disturbed child (he is, after all, a pediatrician). The child in question is no text book case scenario however. She is highly manipulative and knows how to get what she wants. Since Kimble is an unknown face in town, people don't believe him.

    I like this episode because we see Kimble under pressure in a different way. While he is usually able to make a connection with the people he comes into contact with, this girl is a tough nut to crack.

    By the end of the episode, Kimble is on his way out of town. As the narrator comments, Kimble's alias is about to die. He will resume another identity in the next town. Such is the life of a fugitive.moreless
  • Kimble's knowledge of children saves his life.

    A dark story set in a small mountain community, "The Witch" finds Kimble using his background in pediatrics to save his life from a lynch mob. Jenny, the "bad seed" terrorizing Kimble and the teacher throughout the episode, is neglected and lonely - and Kimble recognizes it. His ability to make a connection with Jenny and get her to recant her stories keep him alive in a tense nighttime confrontation.

    It's an unusual episode, in that Kimble never really faces a police threat. The town turns on him, and the sheriff is actually one of the few people who tries to get him out of town. The threat this time is innuendo, rumor and the lies of a deranged little girl.

    Gina Gillespie puts in a strong performance as Jenny, and has a cool detachment that makes her all the more chilling. Her conversations with "Nyet," the doll she keeps tied up in a pond (!) are especially creepy, as she drops Latin throughout the conversations.

    It all ends on a somber note as well - even as Kimble moves down the road; William Conrad's closing narration refers to "Jim Fowler - about to die." Even when things manage to turn out well, Kimble still needs to move on.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Towards the end of the episode, just after Kimble gets out of the water and is talking to Jenny, his front hair bangs change from cut to cut.

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Opening Narration: Now ten months after his escape, take Richard Kimble, unjustly convicted of murder, put him down in the Missouri hills, a handyman, driving a truck for a local fuel and feed company. Once again, he has changed his identity: he has become Jim Fowler, a stranger in town.

    • Closing Narration: This is Jim Fowler, about to die. He will last long enough to take the bus out of Hainesville, Missouri, and then a new identity must emerge, a new identity to hide the path of his flight, and the path of his search for the man whose crime has made Richard Kimble the Fugitive.

  • NOTES (1)