Monday, April 20, 2020

Review of "Blood On the Land," episode 22 of season 1 of Bonanza

Review of

Blood On the Land, episode 22 of season 1 of Bonanza

Three out of five stars

 Implausible premise that is well played

  Jeb Drummond has a flock of sheep, a crew to move them across the land and an attitude that nothing will stand in his way. When they reach the boundary of the Ponderosa, one of his men refuses to ride against Ben Cartwright. Unwilling and unable to tolerate any dissent, Drummond deals harshly with his former hand.

 This sets up a major clash of wills between Drummond and Ben Cartwright, Drummond is first determined to take his sheep across the Ponderosa on his way to California and then to actually take the land from the Cartwrights. To do this, he takes Adam hostage and will kill him unless Ben signs over some of his land.

 This is an episode that shows Ben Cartwright in a somewhat negative light. When Adam counsels him to seek the help of the sheriff, Ben refuses, demonstrating a stubbornness nearly equal to that of Drummond. This is where the premise is implausible, no person could possibly think that such a scheme to rob a man of his land would ever work. In the end, Drummond is exposed for what he is, and the Cartwrights gain a friend.

 Throughout the series, Ben Cartwright is portrayed as a man of integrity that follows the law. In this episode, he expresses a willingness to go to guns and risk their lives before he goes to the law and speaks very harshly to Adam about the issue.  Although at the end, he acknowledges the error of his ways.

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