Sunday, September 1, 2019

Review of "Bonanza: Feet of Clay" episode

Review of

Bonanza: Feet of Clay episode

Five out of five stars

The tender side of Hoss Cartwright

 The mother of a boy in the 8-12 age range dies, leaving him all alone. His father has gone away and despite his promise to return, has not done so. His only known relative is an uncle that lives some distance away and it will take many days for him to arrive. When no one else will take custody of the boy, Ben Cartwright agrees to care for him.

 However, the boy is into mischief on a regular basis and Ben gets extremely frustrated. Finally, Hoss tells Ben that perhaps he has forgotten how to talk to young people. Agreeing with Hoss, Ben allows Hoss to make the attempt to fill the role of parent. The boy and Hoss hit it off very well after some initial difficulties.

 When two escaped convicts appear in the area near the Ponderosa, all available men are mustered to look for them. Leaving Hoss and the boy at the Ponderosa. One of the convicts is the boy’s father and when they arrive at the Ponderosa, he contacts the boy, asking him to bring the two escapees some food. There is a violent confrontation between Hoss and the boy’s father and the outcome turns the boy against Hoss. Despite his emotional turmoil, Hoss manages to keep his focus on the boy and there is the inevitable and predictable happy ending.

 This episode has Dan Blocker doing some emotional acting, something that he and the Cartwrights are not known for. While his acting is not spectacular, it is at least tolerable, it is most unusual to see a man six-foot-four and over 300 pounds crying. The incongruity of it, makes it work.

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