The Rifleman

Season 4 Episode 23

The Debt

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Mar 05, 1962 on ABC
out of 10
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12 votes

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Episode Summary

Lucas and Mark stop on the way to the county fair to deliver a message to Micah, who is on the trail escorting a prisoner scheduled to be hanged. Mark and Lucas recognize the prisoner, Mr. Renolds, as someone who saved Mark's life from a snake bite a few years back. Mark feels that he owes Mr. Renolds a debt.moreless

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  • Episode synopsis is a bit off. It should read \"Mark discovers that the prisoner Micah is escorting to the gallows, once saved his life.\"

    Lucas and Mark are on their way to the county fair, when they encounter Micah with a condemned prisoner that he is transporting to the territorial prison for execution.

    The prisoner once saved Mark\'s live, and the boy feels he owes him a debt. When Micah and Lucas are distracted, the prisoner escapes, and Mark says nothing.

    Angry, Lucas leaves Mark with a neighboring farmer while he and Micah hunt down the escapee. After they leave, the escapee surprises Mark and the farmer. Mark is ordered to fill a couple of canteens with water, but fills them with kerosene, instead.

    Upon discovering the kerosene in the canteens, the escapee, on his way to Mexico, detours to a ghost town, where fresh water is available. To keep Mark out of trouble, the escapee ties him up in the saloon, and leaves him some light by placing a kerosene lantern on a table.

    Attempting to get loose, Mark knocks over the table and the lantern, and starts a fire. Seeing the smoke, and hearing the boy\'s cries for help, the escapee runs into the saloon, and rescues Mark, just as Lucas and Micah ride up.

    For saving Mark a second time, Micah and Lucas talk to state officials, and get the prisoner\'s sentence reduced from hanging, to life imprisonment.

    In all, not a bad episode. It was exciting and well acted, and plausable, unlike some other shows of the era, which stretched credibility to the limit.moreless

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