Thursday, 10 March 2016

Bonanza 01x03: The Newcomers

This is a great episode if you secretly hate Hoss. I love Hoss, so damn this episode a million times.

We begin with everybody riding up to look at a small camp and complain about a man named Blake McCall, who butchered a prize steer that morning and refuses to leave the Ponderosa even though Ben asked him nicely. Adam, who is still going through his strangely aggressive early episode phase, boils over with rage at the mere mention of McCall and gives his father a rather dramatic I-told-you-so. I grow weary of grim-dark Adam and want regular Adam now. With the random singing and the architecture pencils.

The last time McCall gave them trouble, he was alone, but the camp indicates that he’s now travelling with other people. Little Joe and their foreman, Jose Moreno, think that McCall has gone insane with gold fever and their only option is to ride down to his camp and shoot him. Ben’s says to cool it, and tells Jose that he doesn’t get a vote because he’s not a Cartwright. That’s a totally unnecessary thing to bring up, since it was already three-to-two against Joe’s idea. Ben’s just being petty.

Down at McCall’s camp we see a handful of people hanging around a fire and drinking coffee. One of them is Blake McCall himself, but the one that stands out the most is a delicate blonde woman perched on a rock. A scruffy looking guy in a brown jacket sits next to her. She turns out to be Emily, and he turns out to be her brother John. John is sassing McCall about his troubles with the Cartwrights and seems jumpy about the decision to pass through the Ponderosa. But, in fairness, the Ponderosa is ridiculously big so you can’t really just go around it.

John says maybe they should have asked the Cartwrights for permission before trespassing, after all the Cartwrights are just people, aren’t they? McCall scoffs at that. “People,” he sneers. “Yeah, they’re people.”

(Maybe McCall bitterly despises humans because one of their wizards trapped him in a feeble mortal body and took away his mighty manticore form?)

John is uptight about any delays. And he’s worried that if the Cartwrights decide to give them trouble, the trip’ll take longer than it would have just to go around the small independent nation of Ponderosa. He has a reason for being high-strung. Emily is sick and needs to get to high desert country in order for her health to improve. John takes off to let his temper cool down.

McCall escorts Emily to a little tent where she can rest, and he kisses her on the cheek. Pretty racy for 1859! They’d better be at least engaged!

A couple of the other guys who are travelling with the group start to give McCall a hard time about having emotions and friends and other useless time wasters. One of them says that McCall should just leave John and Emily in the woods to die and go exploit the land. “There’s gold here!” He says.

No, random guy, there’s silver north of here. There’s lumber here.

Also, the unsavoury roustabout adds, Emily will probably die soon. So it’s silly to try and give her dignity and comfort. McCall’s in the middle of giving this guy a thorough scolding when the Cartwrights ride up.

Immediately, McCall’s approach is to be a dick: “Well, well, if it isn’t the great Ben Cartwright!” John pushes him aside and cuts him off with something like etiquette kung fu. He introduces himself and explains that they’re heading to Virginia City and were told that this was the best way to get there.

Adam yells about property laws because it’s his turn, and reminds McCall that he was kicked off last month for killing steer and cutting down trees. Emily is shocked and confused and asks McCall what it all means.

“It’s simple,” he says, “the great Ben Cartwright thinks he owns the world!”

Actually, he owns the land you’re on right now without permission, and also shut up because if you keep talking like this everybody is going to get one of Ben’s speeches about hard work and ethics!

Ben does start one, but a hero steps forward to save our ears. A timid botanist named Justin Flannery who is only here to collect specimens of certain flora. He fell in with McCall’s group a few days ago, and he had no idea they were passing through private property. Adam is highly amused because he really likes talking to specialists about weird stuff (who doesn’t) and he’s about to give the botanist a free pass, but Ben’s like: “I thought botanists were smart. McCall is obviously a terrible person, and you should have seen that right away. No free pass!”

Emily takes offense at Ben’s assessment of McCall, and John asks Ben if there’s any way to work something out. Maybe pay for McCall’s prior damages and take an escort with them the rest of the way through the Ponderosa? Ben refuses, and John wants to know why Ben isn’t willing to be reasonable.

And, oh crap, it turns out John introduced hydraulic mining in California, which is very bad for the environment and kills a lot of trees, and yes there is a speech and it never ever ends. One of the roustabouts is sick of hearing old man Cartwright talk about dead orchards, so he draws his gun, but Adam is quicker and shoots the guy in the hand or the shoulder, it’s kind of hard to tell. The point is, a man would rather risk death than listen to Ben’s views.

Ben tells Hoss to tend to the injured man, and Hoss gets off of his horse to go see the damage, but Emily defiantly stands in front of the patient and trembles as she half-heartedly says: “You stay away from him, you ugly brute!”

Very gently, Hoss picks her up by the shoulders and moves her aside.

“Ma’am, I can’t very well help being ugly, now can I?” He smiles and goes over to the gunman, and reports that it was the upper arm that got hit and the bullet just grazed him. He bandages up the man’s wound, and Emily looks conflicted.

I hope you learned a lesson, Emily. Just because Hoss is terrifying to look at doesn’t mean he’s dangerous! He’s actually the least dangerous Cartwright, but still a very dangerous person under the right circumstances, but mostly very gentle!

Later on, once Hoss is finished applying first aid to Adam’s latest round of target practice, John huffily demands to know why Ben will not let them continue on through his land. Because of dead orchards, John! Quit bringing it up! Emily stands by her brother, and wants to know why Ben is being unreasonable, and both of you need to stop before he tells the whole crazy peach tree story.

Oh god. Here we go.

“I’d like to tell you a story about a friend of mine who came across the plains with me. He had a dream and a wagon full of peach trees…”

So, shortest version possible: Ben’s friend moved to California and planted an orchard that got ruined by a combination of hydraulic mining and other careless environmental practices. He lost his mind, and Ben’s outraged about it. It gets brought up a lot during season one.

John decides to defend hydraulic mining, but he emphasizes that he has no desire to bring hydraulic mining to the Sierras. Ben’s all: “A likely story! McCall has filed claims on neighbouring ranches that have watersheds vital to this area and the Ponderosa!” But John doesn’t know anything about that.

McCall assures John that the claims are legally filed under the name of the partnership and that they’ll work them together, but John’s not that interested. Ben thinks everybody is lying and he says as much. Emily treats us to a random selection of words that don’t make sense. The scene plays it like she’s a very wise, understated woman, but it really just sounds a little crazy.

“The pattern of history, Mr. Cartwright. A man goes into a new country knowing he’ll be killed, but after him come two more men, and two more, and then the military. And the military builds a fort.”

True wisdom is saying stuff that nobody understands.

For some reason, this has an effect on Ben – maybe because he also speaks the language of quasi-profound gibberish – and he agrees to let McCall and his people camp the night. He then offers to get Emily anything she needs, and she coldly declines. She thinks she’s better than all the Cartwrights, because they’re wild, gun-toting mountain men. Well, joke’s on you, Emily. Adam went to the most expensive college in the country and he always knows which fork to use at fancy dinner parties! And Little Joe tries!

Later that night, Team McCall is hanging around the fire again, with Emily wrapped in a shawl and looking very sickly. John gives McCall a hard time about his secret land claims, since hydraulic mining would be absolutely devastating to the region. McCall says he doesn’t care about environmental consequences, he just cares about gold, even though there is no gold here. There is silver. To the north.

Emily is kind of upset that her boyfriend/fiancé (?) doesn’t care about nature, but she just gave a speech about how Ben was an idiot for thinking he could protect the environment. At least, I think that’s what her speech was about. I don’t know, my brain is fried from hearing Ben’s stupid peach tree story and I just had a bout of flu that almost killed me. I shouldn’t really be explaining things or trying to understand them.

McCall says life is different for him, he didn’t have a rich father who died and left him a million dollars and a mining company. He’s an idiot. He should just keep his mouth shut, marry Emily, wait for her to die of her mysterious illness that’s probably tuberculosis, inherit her money and blow it all on booze and poker games.

Huh. Emily thinks she’s going to get well. That’s a nice, positive attitude for a one-episode side character with a mystery illness. McCall tries to patch up the fight, and says that someday they’ll both have everything they’ve ever wanted. He will have gold and the sympathetic status of a widower, and she will have… other ghosts to play with?

The unsavoury roustabout from earlier begins to taunt McCall again. His name is Krug.

Krug says that it’s pretty interesting how all of a sudden John gives the orders, when it used to be that McCall was in charge. McCall asserts that he’s still in charge, and he punches Krug in the mouth. Krug seems a little too pleased to be hit. It’s uncomfortable. He tells McCall that Flannery, the heroic botanist, intends to go on by himself. Wouldn’t it be a shame if the Cartwrights were to shoot the little nerd for trespassing?

Krug suggests killing the harmless old man in the Cartwright’s front yard. Just to rub salt in the wound, we learn that Flannery has a faithful mule named Christian, and we get to watch him pack up his botany books and equipment while he gets ready to move on. All while Krug is literally pointing his rifle at the old man and plotting his murder.

The next morning, the Cartwright boys are getting ready to ride out when Flannery comes up to the house. They go over to talk to him, just as Krug creeps along the mountains and lines up his shot. Yeah, I’m probably going to cry. He’s just a quiet old man who’s learning about flowers.

Krug shoots Flannery in the back and we go to dramatic commercial.

I don’t like this. Can’t we go watch Little Joe fall in love with a married woman who’s trying to destroy the Ponderosa for her drug-addicted husband? That sounds like more fun.

Ben takes Christian and Flannery’s equipment back to McCall’s camp, and McCall acts all indignant. He accuses Ben of killing Flannery just for stepping onto his precious land, and Krug and some other goons get ready to fire on Ben. But you can never get the drop on a Cartwright, because there’s always more than one. Adam, Little Joe and Hoss circle the camp, guns at the ready.

Emily is pretty quick to take McCall’s side, even though he’s obviously a douche.

Ben replies that Emily was the one who mentioned a lone soldier going into enemy camp just to be killed. That’s what she meant? I’m glad somebody explained it.

McCall gets all grand and dramatic about how good, honest people will hear about Flannery’s death and wipe out the Cartwrights and divide their precious land. Little Joe goes up to him real slow and says it sounds like he’s got it all figured out.

Fight! Fight! Fight!

Joe grabs McCall’s vest and gets in his face, but there will be no fight today. Ben intervenes.

He orders the company back to California, which is a pretty bold command. He can really only kick them off the Ponderosa, not out of the territory. Anyway, John is like: “So you won’t murder us with guns, but you will murder us with time?” They’re out of supplies, and he emphasizes that Emily is sick and needs to get to desert country.

Hoss steps forward and explains that the Cartwrights aren’t actually the worst people in Nevada, that’s just something McCall says to justify his inadequacies. They’ve brought extra supplies and fresh stock, and Hoss is going to go with them just to make sure they get safely the hell off his land.

Emily seems alarmed that Hoss will be their guard. Did she miss the part where he was really kind and friendly? Because I feel like that’s a hard thing to miss once you’ve heard Hoss speak words. Anyway, Hoss tells her that he’s not so much of a guard as he is a protector, just to make sure nobody gets hurt and that they get where they need to go as easily as possible. He assures her that he wouldn’t hurt her for any reason in the world, and she has a panicked coughing fit and hides in the tent.

Hoss feels bad and asks Ben if somebody other than him should go. No, Hoss. Adam is going through his “terrifying” phase, and Little Joe will somehow burn everything down and almost drown at the same time. It’s got to be you.

They hit the trail, and Hoss gets on John’s case for making the wagon ride super bumpy. Emily is sick, and sick people don’t take kindly to being rocked around violently. Emily seems surprised by Hoss’s concern, I guess because she’s terrible at paying attention to people and didn’t notice that Hoss was awesome.

Later on, they make camp and Emily proudly serves up beans like she’s the first woman to ever think of serving beans under these circumstances. Everybody’s like: “Amazing beans, Emily!” But they’re just being extra nice because she’s dying. Also, on Rawhide they wouldn’t have let the woman with TB cook for the group. Just saying. (Also, I’m just getting over having fluid on my lungs and if somebody asked me to cook them beans right now, I’d tell them to take a long walk off a short pier.)

John gets passive aggressive with McCall, implying that he’s basically written Emily’s death certificate by ruining their chances of getting through to the desert. McCall’s upset and asks if John thinks it’s his fault that Flannery got shot. John says he’s pretty tired of how violence and death always seem to be around at the same time as Blake McCall, to which McCall replies:

“You and your pretty little world all wrapped up in tinsel. How do you think I got that land we hydraulicked in California?”

And everybody laughs, because there’s something really hilarious about hearing a viciously angry man say the words tinsel and hydraulicked in the same breath. Okay, so they actually look mortified instead of laughing, but that is a hilarious line and I laughed.

John reminds McCall that the real reason they’re making this trip is to get Emily to a dryer climate, or is there something more important to McCall than Emily? (Imaginary gold. Imaginary gold is more important to him that anything.) Emily panic-coughs, and McCall tells her to try and control “that miserable coughing!” The music here is really dramatic, like getting annoyed with a sick person is worse than the murder that happened at the end of act one.

Man, we need cheering up. Luckily, Hoss is here to bring over a bunch of soft fir boughs for bedding. He tells Emily to just put them on the ground under her bedroll, and adds that the perfume of fir is really good for lung trouble. Which is true! Fun Fact: The earliest cough syrups were made from extracts from fir trees, and fir oil can still be found in many modern respiratory medicines! (Fun personal fact: I am in a room with a humidifier full of fir and eucalyptus oil right now!)

Hoss bids everybody goodnight and goes to look after his horse. All of the Cartwright horses have cute names and distinctive personalities. Hoss’s horse is called Chubby, and he’s very playful and sneezes a lot. Hoss promises Chubby extra oats because it’s been a rough day to be a horse, and Emily makes her way over to spy on him.

Hoss notices Emily listening in, and he tells her that horses like it when you have little conversations with them. It makes them feel respected. Emily asks if he likes horses, which is a stupid question to ask a man who is lovingly talking to a horse, and he says that he loves all animals. He trusts them. He says that some people have a natural mean streak, a kind of sophisticated cruelty that animals don’t really have. Hoss has never owned a cat.

Emily heads back to the campfire, and gives McCall an angry glare on her way. McCall and Krug are bedding down right next to each other – like right next to each other, like they turned their single sleeping bags into a double sleeping bag and I’ve got some questions that I actually don’t want them to answer given that weird punching scene from earlier. Anyway, Krug asks McCall if they’re going to give up, and McCall is like: “What are we supposed to do? That big giant moose could break your back by sneezing on you.”

Krug says that he’s noticed how Hoss dotes on the animals. Wouldn’t it be convenient if one of the horses were to go lame tomorrow morning? Because shooting defenseless old men isn’t enough for him, he has to engage in animal cruelty to get his real kicks. Of course, Krug goes on, they’d need guns and ammunition to tackle the rest of the Cartwrights, once Hoss was suitably distracted or killed. But Krug has that part worked out, too, because he’s like a disquieting cowboy version of Lady Macbeth. They’ll kill Jose Moreno and steal his weapons.

McCall asks what they’ll do about John and Emily, and Krug says he doesn’t care. He’s a simple man, and all he wants is gold.

There. Is. No. Gold. Here.

The next morning, McCall calls Hoss over to take a look at his lame horse, and while Hoss is inspecting the horse’s shoe, Krug knocks him unconscious from behind. Emily sees this and runs over to Hoss, horrified at what McCall has done. I don’t think running is good for her cough. John follows behind, looking all tragic and defeated.

When Hoss wakes up, he’s surrounded by guns. He has two options: He can go get weapons and ammunition from Jose Moreno the way he wants, or he can refuse and Krug will go get them the way he wants. So, obviously, we’re picking Option One.

Hoss rides up to Jose, who is happy to see him and starts making conversation. He notices something is wrong, because usually Hoss makes conversation back, but not this time. Hoss looks around for any signs of McCall’s men and decides it’s safe to start talking.

He barely gets half a sentence out before a gunshot goes straight through Jose’s chest. It was Krug, of course, just waiting for any excuse to shoot another defenseless and likeable guy.

Soon enough, all of McCall’s group are standing around Jose’s body having an argument. John is furious, and says that McCall finally came to cold-blooded murder. That was actually earlier, John. Krug killed the botanist, too. McCall says that murder is the only way to fight the Cartwrights, which isn’t true. You can fight them pretty well with a combination of public opinion and the right legal documents. He then tries to play the “I was only thinking of my dying fiancée” card, and Emily doesn’t take well to the excuse. The only person Blake McCall has ever cared about is Blake McCall. John says that they’ll stop him, somehow.

Krug offers to shoot John, but McCall tells him not to. He tells John that they can still be partners, if he wants to be. John declines, explaining that when somebody vows to stop you at all costs, it’s like they’re cancelling your friendship. The part where you’re on the same side is over. McCall is crushed and orders John tied up next to Hoss.

Over at the ranch house, Adam is drinking his after-dinner coffee out of one of his fancy cups and complaining about productivity. Replacing Hoss takes four guys, and Adam is sick of trying to balance the allocation of manpower. Little Joe’s like: “Why don’t you marry a spreadsheet?” And then gunfire ricochet’s through the house, hitting one of the lamps and sending everybody scrambling for cover.

The shooters fire a few more warning shots, and dump Jose Moreno’s body onto the front steps. Once it seems safe, Ben heads outside with his gun drawn. He finds Jose and makes his revenge face.

Back at Jose’s, Hoss and John are tied up while a random goon keeps watch. Emily is coughing dramatically and sitting on a stump, when the goon decides that the best cure for tuberculosis is making out. He grabs Emily, and ignores her pleas for him to let her go. In fairness to this dumb goon, people didn’t know that you could catch tuberculosis until 1869 – up until then it was thought to be a hereditary disease.

Hoss breaks the ropes around his hands and charges at the goon, easily knocking him unconscious. Then he goes to untie John, but John says it’s more important to get Emily away, so Hoss scoops her up and makes his escape.

When McCall gets back, he’s pissed but not too concerned about Hoss’s escape. He doesn’t think Hoss can get very far with a sick girl slowing him down. Except Hoss can carry her around with no more trouble than if she were a porcelain doll, and he’s spent his whole life on the Ponderosa so he knows the land way better than you goobers. You know, I thought the last episode’s evil meat baron was dumb, but I actually think McCall is dumber. At least the evil meat baron accepted his limitations.

Meanwhile, Hoss has chosen to hide next to a beautiful lake, full of clean bright water. Emily is stretched out on a warm rock, like Sleeping Beauty, and Hoss dabs her face with a moistened bandana. He says he can get her something to eat, assuring her that the forest is full of safe and delicious things, if you know what to look for. Emily says all she wants to do is rest for a very long time.

Hoss tries to explain that they can’t stay where they are for too much longer, because McCall and Krug will be after them. Emily says she doesn’t care at all what happens. This worries Hoss, and he tries to get her spirits up, but she just ends up having another coughing fit. She shouts at Hoss to get away from her, and Hoss apologizes for upsetting her. He tells her that he can’t stand to see anybody hurt, especially not a pretty lady, and he’s only trying his best to help.

Emily does the whole “do you really think I’m pretty?” thing, which is always annoying when the woman is a slim and delicate featured blonde. She apologizes for calling Hoss ugly before, and he gently leads her on into the wilderness.

Damn it, Hoss. Stop falling in love with things that need to be looked after.

McCall has somehow managed to start a small, anti-Cartwright rally with a group of local miners. The weirdest element of this episode is that it’s never very clear how much time we’re skipping. McCall is now in land neighbouring the Ponderosa, while Hoss and Emily still haven’t made it to one of the various camps dotted around the Cartwright property. Regardless of temporal quirks, McCall shouts to his newly assembled mob that old man Cartwright shot down a gentle, unarmed botanist. He then yells about how much gold is hidden on the Ponderosa, and how much more valuable it is than the “blue stuff” over in Washoe. The “blue stuff” is, of course, silver. McCall is maybe not as educated about mining as he ought to be, given that his job is to assay claims for a small mining company. He manages to convince the miners to give up the security of silver for the lurid promises of nonexistent gold, and they grab their pitchforks while dollar signs flash in their money-mad eyes.

They set up an ambush for the Cartwrights, who are riding around presumably looking for Hoss or investigating Jose’s murder. They’ve still got poor John tied up, and they’re making him ride around with them, I guess because McCall needs him alive for business purposes.

Back to woodland guide Hoss, dutifully leading Emily to safety while she coughs and looks frail. Emily says that she’d like to explain about her and Blake McCall, but Hoss knows that some people just aren’t good judges of character, and that’s okay. Sometimes, he says, we look at a cactus and see a rose, because we want it to be a rose. There’s nothing wrong with looking for the beauty in things, as long as we see the beauty that’s really there instead of the beauty we’ve imagined. He says that loneliness makes us look for small, pretty things.

Emily should probably mention that she’s dying.

There’s a canyon Hoss goes to in the spring, full of blooming dogwood and young golden ferns, and it’s the loveliest place he’s ever seen. It’s his secret hideaway, and he’s never taken anybody else there, but he’d like to take Emily.

She’s not telling him that she’s dying.

Hoss gears up to propose to her, and she’s still not telling him that she’s dying. Maybe mention that, Emily? Just so it doesn’t blindside him?

Before he officially pops the question, he hears horses not too far in the distance and goes to investigate. He sneaks up the rocks and sees McCall and his small mob of idiots getting ready to ambush Ben, Adam, and Little Joe. People always forget to anticipate a sneak attack by Hoss, and Hoss knows that. He goes back to Emily to tell her that he’s going to go single-handedly take on twelve armed men so that they don’t kill his family, and she’s all: “You can’t leave me alone! I have a cough!”

Hoss considers staying, but you can see it all over him that if these yahoos hurt Ben or Adam or Joe, he’ll never be able to live with himself. It’s okay, Hoss. I prefer all of the Cartwrights to Emily as well.

So, in what has to be the greatest fight scene in the series so far, Hoss runs down the hill bellowing: “MCCALL!” and tosses his hat to one side. The ambushers can’t fire their guns at Hoss, or they’ll tip off the other Cartwrights, who right now have the advantage of high ground. Hoss practically panda-rolls into the first guy he gets to, and then just starts punching anybody who’s close enough to punch. McCall finally decides to take aim, but John hits him with his horse before he can fire. Because John said he would do anything to stop McCall and he meant it. McCall isn’t totally out of the fight, and he gets to his feet just in time to take one hell of an uppercut from the whirling death machine that is Hoss.

Hoss flings McCall’s unconscious body over his shoulders and keeps fighting the other men.

Just when it’s getting really good, the other Cartwrights ride in and hold the group at gunpoint.

“Looks like you’ve got everything under control.” Adam manages to say with a straight face.

“Uhm, yeah,” Hoss looks around at all the unconscious bodies and blushes, “Guess I kinda lost my temper, didn’t I?”

One of the miners tells Ben that everything was McCall’s idea, and Ben’s all: “Snitches get stitches, son. Get off my land.” All of the miners scatter, and Ben decides to pick on John since he’s conscious and also because hydraulic mining kills peach trees. Hoss hurries to help John explain the events of the last few days.

Emily comes running down the hill – running is great for people with severe respiratory illnesses – and collapses in Hoss’s arms.

A doctor must be fetched at once!

So, Emily is upstairs in a Ponderosa guest room when the doctor finishes with her and says that she would like to speak privately with her brother. Sure enough, Emily tells John she’s totally, incurably dying. She wants to go back to San Francisco and die alone. John is to go on to Washoe and become a noble silver baron, and nobody is allowed to say anything to Hoss. Because Emily doesn’t want to be a burden.

Hoss, who doesn’t know why Emily suddenly has to go home right this minute, arranges for her to meet with a wagon train heading for California. He’s getting the buggy all set when Emily and John say their final goodbye, and I feel bad for John because he’s become a very interesting character and he sticks to his vows of vengeance, which I admire.

Hoss gets Emily to the wagons and offers to go along with her, just to make sure she’s safe. Emily says he’s needed back on the Ponderosa, and asks him to tell her about the dogwood in the canyon. Hoss tells her if she comes back in the spring, he’ll show it to her. She promises she’ll be there when the blossoms are in bloom, by which she means she intends to literally haunt Hoss’s favourite place. I’m not sure how I feel about that. She says him that she loves him and wants to marry him, and gently touches his face.

Back at the house, John and the doctor have explained everything to Ben and Joe and Adam. They’re standing around with somber expressions when Hoss cheerfully bursts through the door and announces that he’s engaged and that Emily loves him.

Ouch. My heart.

Somebody tell him she’s dying!

Wait, no! Nobody tell him she’s dying!

Let’s all talk about the weather instead!

Hoss wants to know why nobody is excited about his engagement.

Quick, Little Joe! Start a fist fight with John!

Adam is standing really close to the front door, and I like his thinking. Let’s just bolt before this gets emotionally difficult. Adam and the audience, running away to start a new story, and maybe sometimes wondering if anyone ever told Hoss that thing...

The doctor informs Hoss that Emily only has one month left to live. Hoss calls the doctor a quack, and Ben’s like: “That girl is obviously dying, son. We all feel bad, but you need to cool it and be real.”

Hoss leaves, surging with a thousand emotions that all feel crappy. Poor Hoss. All he does is be the best one and this is how the show repays him.

Little Joe goes to follow him, but Ben says that he’s an expert on grieving dead ladies and it usually involves a lot of alone time.

After about a week meditating in the woods, trying to understand it all, Hoss comes home with no deeper knowledge of himself or the world. Ben tells him that work will take his mind off of the pain, and Hoss dutifully begins chopping wood.

They play sad Bonanza music over the closing credits.

Emily is the first on-screen love interest to fall victim to the Cartwright Curse. She absolutely will not be the last. In fact, she’s the first of what I would like to estimate at several hundred? It feels like it can’t be less than two hundred women over a period of seventeen years and spread out across five separate male leads. I don’t know for sure, I’ve never really counted.

High Point: The fight between Hoss and twelve armed miners.

Low Point: Hoss is sad!

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