The Virginian

Season 2 Episode 26

The Secret of Brynmar Hall

Aired Wednesday 7:30 PM Apr 01, 1964 on NBC

Episode Recap

The Virginian sees off Betsy who is being driven by Randy to Brynmar Hall. Approaching bad weather forces them to rush their trip but they eventually reach the Hall which is a large mansion "unlike anything in Wyoming" where they are greeted by the housekeeper, Mrs. Tyson (Virginia Gregg). As Randy prepares to get some feed and water for the horses for his return trip, he is observed by a mysterious masked figure from an upstairs window. Betsy is ushered into the living room where she is surprised to see an old friend, Jenny (Brooke Bundy). They discuss Mildred Brynmar, a young woman whose portrait is on the wall, in the past tense and Jenny reveals another friend, Richard (Mark Goddard) is also present.

Betsy is reluctant to let Randy go because of the very bad weather and forces Mrs. Tyson to let him stay and give him a room. Richard arrives and tells how Mrs. Brynmar is going to sell the house and wanted to say goodbye to her daughter's closest friends. Paul Martin (Tom Skerritt), another friend, also arrives and is revealed to be a cleric. They all realize they were present on that same night exactly two years before and Betsy tells Randy there was fire which killed Mildred and her father and injured Mrs. Brynmar. The storm increases and Michael (Victor French), a servant, expresses worry about the house because it was weakened by the fire and by a previous storm. Later a large chandelier does fall but no one is hurt. At dinner they meet Mrs. Brynmar who is in a wheelchair. At the end of dinner, they are each presented with a boxes which when opened, are found to contain burned personal items of Mildred's and Mrs. Brynmar says the guilty hides at the table.

Mrs. Brynmar calls Betsy to her room and says she knows Mildred was running away with someone the evening of the fire and expects Betsy, her friend, knows whether or not it was Richard or Paul – Betsy denies any knowledge. A tornado narrowly misses the house and a series of sinister happenings occur including someone cutting the strings on Randy's guitar and later, knocking him unconscious, someone putting a snake, albeit a non-poisionous one, in Betsy's bed which Randy manages to retrieve, and occasional views of the mysterious masked figure in the basement of the house. Mrs. Brynmar also separately interrogates Jenny who says she does not know who Mildred was planning to run away with and Paul, who denies he became a Minister out of guilt over Mildred's death. Randy hears a noise in the cellar and finds a button and part of a letter from someone to Mildred saying they could not take her away. He confronts Paul who is missing a button from his jacket and he says he wrote the letter.

Betsy goes to get Jenny some warm milk and encounters the mysterious masked stranger in the hall. Paul also sees the figure and the four guests and Randy have a conference. Paul reveals Mildred was virtually a prisoner in her mother's house and he had agreed to take her to some of her parent's friends in Laramie but that he backed out thinking people would think she ran away with him and think the worst of her. They decide to let Betsy go and try and talk some sense into Mrs. Brynmar. Betsy finds her downstairs looking at Mildred's portrait. She turns out to be delusional, thinking Betsy is Mildred. Betsy is chased to the cellar by Mrs. Brynmar who it turns out can walk. Mrs. Brynmar starts to relive the night of two years before and reveals she threw down a lamp which started the fire and killed her daughter. She throws down a lamp but incinerates herself instead of Betsy, who is rescued by Randy and the others. They also find the mysterious masked man is a disfigured Mr. Brynmar (Edward Platt) who hides in the house because of his appearance. He, assisted by Michael and Mrs. Tyson had tried to frighten them away, knowing his wife was delusional and might try to harm them as she blamed them, rather than herself, for their daughter's death.

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