The Virginian

Season 5 Episode 17

Yesterday's Timepiece

0
Aired Wednesday 7:30 PM Jan 18, 1967 on NBC
6.8
out of 10
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7 votes
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Episode Summary

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Yesterday's Timepiece
AIRED:
Stacy's parents were killed when he was a child. After finding a mysterious watch, he begins having a recurring nightmare and decides to leave Shiloh to investigate his parent's murder.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • After finding a piece of his past--a vintage timepiece--Stacy goes on a quest to find another piece, the identity of the man who murdered his parents.

    7.0
    Focusing almost entirely on Stacy, this episode shows us how the murder of his parents marked him, giving him recurring nightmares triggered again when he buys an old watch from a colorful peddler. Stacy takes to the road on a quest to learn how the watch, given to his father by John Grainger, found its way to Wyoming from the Texas site of his parents' death.



    This episode left a strong impression on me when I first saw it, probably because of the dream flashbacks and the road trip theme. But aside from Stacy's ultimate confrontation of the Indian chief who he thinks is the murderer, this episode is pretty much a muddled mess.



    The trail Stacy takes to the truth is convoluted, to say the least. The highlights of the story are all courtesy of the guest stars, notably Andy Devine as the peddler and what could be described as a cameo appearance by Pat O'Brien as a country doctor. Swift Wolf, the Indian that appears in Stacy's dreams, is portrayed by Henry Brandon. a German-born actor who played Indian chiefs in two John Ford films. While his grey eyes look anything but native, he's effective and even poignant as the wizened warrior.



    The most grating guest appearance is also the most significant: Kelly Jean Peters as Elaine, the young woman who teams up with Stacy to search for the father she's never known. Are we supposed to be surprised that her long-lost dad and the murderer of Stacy's turn out to be one and the same man? Peters' acting might not be as wooden as it appears (it couldn't be!), but her outfit and makeup are so anachronistic, they distract from any line she delivers. The false eyelashes and eyeshadow would have shamed a saloon girl, and her western wear looks like it was plucked from a schoolgirl birthday party where pony rides are the main attraction.



    For Virginian fans of the Grainger arc, the episode is worth watching for the backstory on the Grainger grandchildren, as well as a good scene between Stacy and the gruff old man himself. But the highlight for me is the scene when Stacy meets Swift Wolf--not the final confrontation with the real murderer. In between this action we're forced to watch a lot of fake riding through fake scenery and other scenes that are inexplicable as anything other than filler for the 90 minutes. And the ending is as abrupt as so many others, with no real payoff. We can assume Stacy's nightmares are at an end and he can now carry his father's watch in peace.



    This episode seemed a lot better when I was a kid.moreless
Doug McClure

Doug McClure

Trampas

James Drury

James Drury

The Virginian

Clu Gulager

Clu Gulager

Deputy Sheriff Emmett Ryker

Charles Bickford

Charles Bickford

John Grainger

Don Quine

Don Quine

Stacy Grainger

Sara Lane

Sara Lane

Elizabeth Grainger

Pat O'Brien (I)

Pat O'Brien (I)

Doc Bigelow

Guest Star

Bruce Bennett

Bruce Bennett

Silas Graham

Guest Star

Henry Brandon

Henry Brandon

Swift Wolf

Guest Star

Ann Doran

Ann Doran

 

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The attack on Stacy and Elizabeth's parents took place in Texas during a Comanche War 16 years earlier at a place called Bulging Flat. A skirmish between the North Concho and Middle Concho rivers, was led by Swift Wolf.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Swift Wolf: It was a small house with many trees put in the earth by the settler. We had come for horses, not scalps. We left a man and woman, wounded but alive.
      Stacy: My parents were dead.
      Swift Wolf: Of their wounds maybe, after we left.
      Stacy: You're lying!
      Swift Wolf: A man child and a little girl child, hiding, the man child standing over her to protect her, on his face a fierce expression. I spared their lives to honor the courage of the man child. Maybe I should have killed him then so he would not later come to claim my life.
      Stacy: I don't want your life.
      Swift Wolf: It is well. You cannot bring back the dead, not yours, not mine.

    • Stacy: I never even thought of them as having names.
      Elaine: Who?
      Stacy: Maybe I never even thought of them as being human beings.
      Elaine:: You mean the Indians?
      Stacy: I mean the men who killed my mother and father.
      Elaine: Stacy, you're not thinking--
      Stacy: Of what, revenge? I don't know. I wasn't thinking of it--it isn't why I came. But here I am, and there must be a reason for it.
      Elaine: Not to kill someone. I can't see you doing that.
      Stacy: All I can see is the darkness of that cellar.

    • Grainger: I guess every man has a right to look back once, before he goes forward again.

    • Stacy: Have you ever had a dream, a nightmare that keeps comin' back to you? (Grainger shakes head.) Well, I have. Ever since Mom & Dad were killed.
      Grainger: Well you had a pretty rough time of it, you and Elizabeth, hidden in that storm cellar with all that shooting and yelling. But if you've been having nightmares, why didn't you tell me?
      Stacy: They went away. Until two nights ago.
      Grainger: The day you bought that watch.

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