The Manions of America

Season 1 Episode 3

Part III

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Oct 02, 1981 on ABC
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Episode Summary

The story opens in 1863 during the U.S. Civil War with Rachel and Rory's 3rd loss and burial of a baby. Rory eventually returns for good at war's end having served as a Major in the Irish Brigade and is now co-owner of the gunpowder mill. His Irish partner makes contact with their rebel friends in Ireland and wants Rory to donate gunpowder and supplies to fuel an Irish uprising against the British. Meanwhile David returns, much to Caleb's consternation, and he brings a former rebel POW with him that he believed was Rory and Deidre's long lost brother Sean. Rory decides to go to Ireland with the powder shipment to help his countrymen free their land. But while en route, word comes that the convoy is to be ambushed. When Caleb shows up to warn them, he sacrifices his life to allow the convoy to continue to its destination. Rory arrives in Ireland, meets up with old friends, and helps them hide the supplies throughout the county. But after Rory is captured and his friends rescue him, he is forced to leave Ireland again because he is now considered a liability. When he returns to Philadelphia, he discovers that Rachel has just given birth to yet another son, the first O'Manion born in America to survive, and they name him Shane. But Rachel eventually dies from complications of the birth, concluding the miniseries on a bittersweet note.moreless

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  • Unfortunately the episodes comes crashing to a conclusion....

    Although the buildup from the previous episodes lays out an expansive plot thread that leads to Rory's triumphant return to Ireland to try to free his people using donations from his business, the story seems to run out of steam, both emotionally and content wise. Linda Purl and Simon MacCorkindale are able to reprise their previous charming existence together. However, and this is perhaps an artifact of the typical romance novel, the Rachel - Rory relationship begins to self-destruct, as planned for the storyline, but not as subtly as it could have.

    Meanwhile David Soul manages to give his character a little more life and omph but the story seems to shift to a new character, that of John Carpenter (aka Sean O'Manion but not really) played by Nicholas Hammond, who very expertly played Rory's fraternal twin Padric in an earlier installment). As part of the next generation (born or immigrated to as infants) in the U.S., he and Kathleen Beller as Maureen O'Brien take more of a center stage to bring some acting balance to the episode. And along with the steady-as-a-rock performance by Simon Rouse as the doctor Eamon Flemming, the episode moves along well. However it then leads to a somewhat Hollywood style showdown and shootout, until it suddenly comes to a sudden halt, with the death of Caleb and the birth of Rory's first child (a male) to survive after many many attempts. And as the kicker, Rachel dies in the process, purportedly serving to be the ultimate outrage to a lifetime of outrages for the O'Manion clan, yet leaving the story dangling, without a hope for a sequel or some resolution or closure.

    At this point, considering the genre, I would suppose it was a decent episode thanks to the steady hand of the supporting cast. But it is marred by its sudden and somewhat unsatisfying ending. However the miniseries as a whole (and not so much as a sum of its parts( does a service in bringing out the historic context of the era, and that to me made it a fascinating view.moreless
Barbara Parkins

Barbara Parkins

Charlotte Kent

David Soul

David Soul

Caleb Staunton

Kate Mulgrew

Kate Mulgrew

Rachel Clement

Kathleen Beller

Kathleen Beller

Maureen O'Brian

Linda Purl

Linda Purl

Deirdre O'Manion

Nicholas Hammond

Nicholas Hammond

Sean O'Manion/Padric O'Manion

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