Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Review of "Dark Star," episode 31 of season 1 of Bonanza

Review of

Dark Star, episode 31 of season 1 of Bonanza

Four out of five stars

Gypsy wagons enter the Ponderosa

 This episode is based on the basic biases that people had against the gypsy people. They were considered a superstitious lot as well as shifty and will steal anything they want. When Hoss and Little Joe find an injured woman on the Ponderosa, they take her back to their house and have her examined by a doctor. She is beautiful and Little Joe is immediately attracted to her, even though she bites his hand.

 A small gypsy caravan arrives on the Ponderosa and that woman is from that band. She is considered to be possessed by evil; hence she is called Dark Star. She has been rejected by the band and she considers herself an exile from all of humanity as a consequence of what she believes is her possession.

 Ben tries to convince the leader of the gypsy band to take her back and is amused when the leader invites his family to a pig roast that they are having as long as Ben brings the pig. There is thievery, hints of evil magic, Little Joe falling for Dark Star and one of the gypsy men going into a murderous rage over it. All things that fit into the stereotypes of gypsy people and acceptable in television of the late fifties.

 The story ends on a down note, yet it was a predictable outcome. There are some amusing scenes where the gypsy leader openly admits to his malfeasance to Ben and succeeds in talking his way out of it.

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