Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Bonanza 01x06: The Julia Bulette Story

Hey! Want to watch Little Joe fall in love with a manipulative older woman who reminds him of his dead mother? It doesn’t matter how you answered that question because we’re doing it anyway.

This episode begins with Adam and Hoss meeting up with Little Joe, coming in off the San Francisco stagecoach. It’s been two months since they’ve seen him, so Hoss tells him he hasn’t been eating right and Adam says that San Francisco somehow made his face fat. Brothers are like friends you can never get rid of, no matter how hard you try. Little Joe tells them they both suck, and that he sold their cattle for five dollars a head more than Adam got last year. Nobody tells him that markets fluctuate, they just let him have the little victory.

Hoss suggests celebrating in town, and Adam teases that they can take him to a place called Julia’s Palace. Little Joe looks excited, and Hoss is like: “Adam, that’s mean. He thinks you’re serious.”

Since Virginia City is a land of unbelievable coincidences, right after we hear of Julia’s Palace for the first time ever, trouble comes from that direction. Well, actually, the sounds of gunshots and a wounded man come staggering from that direction. The Cartwright boys rush over to investigate, because Adam and Joe are super nosy, and Hoss is some kind of unlicensed veterinarian who sometimes operates on people. The bartender decides to announce to them that it was a fair fight, or at least as fair a fight with the notorious Jean Millain can be.

Adam notices that Millain’s latest victim isn’t dead, and he asks Hoss to help carry him to the doctor’s office. Leaving Little Joe unsupervised in front of Julia’s Palace.

Little Joe lasts maybe two seconds before he tries to look natural as he strolls into the Most Forbidden Place. The first thing he does is admire the drapes, because he’s obviously not supposed to be there. He sees an elegant, mature lady arguing with a man in front of the bar. We find out that the man is Jean Millain, and lady is Julia Bulette. She orders Millain to stop murdering her patrons. In a comically thick French accent, Millain calls her trash. Julia slaps him. He slaps her back.

By now, you should know that violence against women is the universal “go” button for the Cartwrights. They turn full-on werewolf the second they see it. This time, Little Joe literally leaps over a baccarat table and lands a flying punch on Millain. No thinking is going on at all. It’s magnificent. They brawl for a bit before it becomes apparent that Joe is in over his head. The bartender calmly hands Julia a wooden mallet, just as Millain knocks Little Joe to the ground and prepares to shoot him.

Before he can fire, Julia knocks him out with the mallet.

That they keep behind the bar for situations like these.

Maybe they should consider not letting him drink here?

Julia helps Little Joe up off the floor and welcomes him to her Palace. He introduces himself, and she dabs blood off of his lips with her handkerchief. She says that he must come to dinner tomorrow night as her guest, so that she can repay him for defending her. He apologizes for wrecking up her gambling tables, and she tells him to think nothing of it. Tom the Bartender hands Little Joe his hat and his walking papers, but Little Joe doesn’t really pay attention to subtle advice. Or overt advice. He says he’ll be back tomorrow and heads on his way.

Julia tells Tom to get a brandy ready, and Pepe Le Pew gets himself up off the floor.

“Ah, Jewli-ah! You and I are ze messengers of destruction, non? You do it through ze heart, and I do it with ze gun!”

I’m kind of disappointed he doesn’t have a tiny little moustache. I really feel like he should. Also, that is one hell of a rebound after being clubbed with a mallet.

The next day, Little Joe is getting ready for his date while Ben kind of mopes around his room and wonders where to even start with the fatherly advice on this one. I would say the best place is: “Don’t go on this date, Joseph.” And then maybe lock him in his room with a box of crayons and a puppy.

Little Joe asks Ben if he thinks Julia might have known his mother, since they both come from New Orleans. Ben hems and haws and says that New Orleans has a lot of subcultures and a rather large population, so probably not.

Little Joe isn’t sure what that bit about subcultures means. Ben keeps dancing around the point and says that the only thing Julia Bulette and Joe’s mother have in common is that they’re both women. (And they’re both from New Orleans, and of French extraction, and somehow they both wound up in the West. But he leaves those out.) Look, Ben. Just tell your son he is about to go on a date with the local madam and it’s probably not going to be like he’s thinking. Maybe Little Joe will surprise us with his thoughtful response!

Little Joe says that he thinks Julia is the hottest chick he’s ever seen, and Ben has no idea what to say.

They ride into town together in the late afternoon, since Ben has been asked to attend a town meeting. (I hope this one doesn’t end with everybody marching off to kill the Paiute again.) Ben invites Little Joe to come along with him and sit in a stuffy room full of the town’s leading citizens droning on about civic responsibility, but Little Joe mysteriously declines. He’d rather head over to Julia’s Palace and have fun.

Ben’s all: “You know what’s really fun? Acting responsibly!” Which is, of course, a tactic that has never worked in the entire history of parenthood.

But it looks like the joke’s on Little Joe, because as soon as he runs off, a coach pulls up to the town hall. Ben helps Julia out onto the sidewalk, and they make polite small talk before she reveals that she’s been asked to attend the meeting. It’s not just for Virginia City’s most respectable citizens, but also its wealthiest. Ben politely escorts Miss Bulette into the hall, where the aimless grumblings of important people suddenly stop in confusion at the sight of a woman participating in a democracy.

It turns out that the meeting concerns hiring competent law enforcement. The problem is that they're going to have to pay a new sheriff a starting bonus and a salary. The chairman looks right at poor Ben and is all: “You’ve got lots of money, Cartwright. Give it to us.” Ben’s like: “Uh, well. I can give you some money, but my fortune isn’t all in loose cash. Especially at this time of year, when we’re looking at buying more cows and the lumber season is over and so forth…”

Julia saves him by asking if she was invited so that she could give away her money, too. She’s not going to do that. She’s going to raise the money from the people who would benefit from law and order – the local miners. The fine upstanding citizens around her can pick out the sheriff. She’ll be too busy running her “saloon.”

She heads back to the Palace, where Little Joe is loitering around the bar, and begins her fundraising speech by letting everyone know that Virginia City is a wicked town. But while the fancy folk sit on their hands and worry about crime rates, the actual people are going to solve the problem. That takes cash funds. So they’re going to have a little auction.

She asks the bartender for a bottle of brandy and starts the bidding at one hundred dollars. Things climb slowly at first, so she buys it herself for five hundred dollars and donates it right back to Virginia City. She starts the auction over again. Little Joe thinks that she’s brilliant.

Even though the next auction looks like it’s moving faster, it stalls at three hundred, so Little Joe bids five hundred just like Julia did and also gives the bottle back to Virginia City. Then the numbers really start to climb.

Julia gets a big glass vase to put all the cash in and counts five hundreds out of a giant wad of bills she’s got in her purse. Little Joe looks embarrassed and says that he doesn’t carry that kind of money around, and asks if he can give her an IOU note for it.

Oh, Joe.

See, the Cartwrights are very wealthy, but Ben holds the purse strings. Each of the sons is paid for the work he does on the ranch, and if he wants extra he has to ask. Adam makes the most, both by working as an architect and overseeing the construction on any new buildings like bunkhouses and camps, and by being in charge of breaking the wild stallions. Hoss earns the least, but also doesn’t really care about it, since he just does odd jobs as necessary. Little Joe has his own income from things like going on the cattle drive to San Francisco, but he doesn’t exactly have five hundred dollars to burn.

Julia tells him she doesn’t need a note and throws another five bills into the money vase. She says it was spur of the moment and he can pay her any time. Millain comes over to pick a fight, and Little Joe says that just because he shot a few miners doesn’t mean he’s scary. Millain offers to take Little Joe outside and show him why he is indeed scary. Julia intervenes and talks Little Joe into going upstairs with her instead of spilling his blood all over the new wood floors, while Millain vows to fight Joe. And soon.

Upstairs, Julia takes Little Joe into her rooms and offers him a brandy, which he declines. She jokes that she’s glad honest, clean-living young men like him are rare, otherwise she wouldn’t have a business. Little Joe says he’d like her to stay in business, and in Virginia City, for a long time. He’s trying to be smooth, so I don’t think he realizes that he just wished for people to have impulse control problems forever. Julia says she’s sad that Little Joe has to get older and smarter. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if he could stay beautiful and sweetly dumb forever?

No. Grow up right now, Little Joe! You’re wasting everybody’s time with your poor judgement!

Joe asks Julia how she managed to make friends with a jerk like Jean Millain, and she tells him that it goes back to New Orleans and it’s complicated. There’s companionship between her and Millain, and other stuff that Little Joe is too pure and innocent to understand. I think she’s referring to that cynical, tired bond two people develop when there’s nobody in their lives but each other, once they’ve stopped believing in happiness. Either that, or she doesn’t think Little Joe knows what sex is.

Little Joe kisses her and she pulls away. She says nothing’s wrong, he’s just overwhelmingly wonderful. Bleh. Lady, Little Joe is a lot of fine things, but he’s not some Sunset Boulevard golden boy-toy you should be taking advantage of. He’s the hot-tempered one who’s bad at decision making and good at shooting. Now give him back to the town of Virginia City, you’re using him wrong.

To further gross us out, Little Joe then tells Julia that she reminds him of what he’s always thought his mother was like.

He’s been picturing a very expensive prostitute this whole time? How odd.

After that, Julia doesn’t really want to kiss him again and nobody can blame her. That was a creepy thing to say. Anyway, Little Joe asks her to tell him about New Orleans, which is what he did the last time he was in a seductive older woman’s boudoir. I have questions about this oddly consistent behaviour, but I don’t want the answers because I need to be able to watch him do adventures without being uncomfortable. So, hey, let’s go see what somebody else is up to!

Magic mirror, show us something different!

Downstairs, Millain is getting ready to ambush Little Joe when who should roll in but Adam and Hoss. Adam says that he figured it would be about this time when the fight got going, and that if Millain wants to settle something with Little Joe it’s perfectly alright. As long as they do it like gentlemen. Hoss takes Millain’s gun and offers to hold his coat.

Little Joe comes down the stairs and Adam explains the rules of the contest to him.

Millain and Little Joe then engage in the elegant and gentlemanly combat style of wailing on each other’s faces. Hoss and Adam patiently watch the fight play out, and Adam’s all: “I tell him and tell him to keep his elbows in and he never does. He’s going to lose.”

Hoss nods and says that he thinks Little Joe’s problem is that he doesn’t fight dirty enough. He has a size disadvantage, after all.

They order a couple of beers while they wait.

The fight ends with Millain sending Joe sprawling on the floor at their feet. They pick up Little Joe’s unconscious body and throw him over Adam’s shoulders.

“You know,” Hoss says fondly, “That kid’s got a lot of grit. One of these days, he’s gonna be able to whoop that Frenchman.”

“Yep.” Adam replies, “But today wasn’t that day.”

Hoss pays the tab and gives Millain his gun back. Millain watches them go with a look of genuine puzzlement. Perhaps in all his many years of travel and hard living, he has never seen fun before. We should pity that.

Back home at the Ponderosa, Little Joe is icing his face while Ben scolds him. (Ground him, Ben! Ground him for a million days so that he can’t go out and continue his disturbingly oedipal romantic plotline! I do not care that he is legally an adult and it is against the law to hold him against his will! Do it!)

Right now, Ben’s concerned about that five hundred dollars Little Joe “donated.” Little Joe says that he’ll work it off, but Ben says that’s not the point. He was planning to give more than that to the fund anyway. The real problem is how he bid it on that bottle of brandy and, Ben says not gently at all, the fact that he’s starting to look like an idiot.

Little Joe demands to know why he looks so bad and what’s wrong with Julia, so now it’s awkward. Because there isn’t actually anything wrong with Julia, or even with the fact that she’s a madam. The problem is that Joe is acting in the role of a kept man in a very public way. Ben’s not bothered by Julia, he’s bothered by the limitations of what Little Joe can be to Julia, because he wants his son to be more valuable in his relationships. (And Ben doesn’t even know about the “you look like my mom” thing.)

Unfortunately, Ben cannot articulate any of this.

“Uh… It’s just that… well, she’s seen much more of the world than you have…” is his actual explanation.

Little Joe stands up all defiant and disappointed and says that it’s good to know that Ben thinks experiences make you evil.

The two very best communicators in the Cartwright family, communicating at each other. Always a pleasure to watch.

Ben decides that paperwork is much easier to handle than his moody children, so he spends the next few days working at his desk. It’s a sunny afternoon when there’s a knock on the door, and he’s surprised to find Dr. Martin wanting to talk to him. He’s come by to tell Ben about a few cases of fever he just treated in the mining camps. It’s probably nothing to worry over.

It seems strange to Ben that the doctor would ride all the way out to the Ponderosa to talk about something that wasn’t an emergency. He’s right to be suspicious.

The mention of the fever was just foreshadowing for later on. The real reason the doctor is here is because famed lawman Ben Owens has agreed to come be sheriff in Virginia City. Which is great, but it means that the town’s leading citizens should set better examples of propriety. The city council has elected Dr. Martin to come and tell Ben that Little Joe needs to break up with Julia Bulette.

“If Virginia City can keep her house clean, she has a chance to be an important part of this country.” Dr. Martin says, “If not, she’ll stay a dirty little town in the mountains.”

Ben will talk to Julia.

Bonanza: the only family drama in TV history where the dad was the most frequent victim of peer pressure.

Over at Julia’s Palace, Julia welcomes Ben into her sitting room. She’s wearing a frilly nightgown. It’s kind of inappropriate, especially since it’s around noon. She offers Ben a brandy, and he declines. She’s all: “Nobody in your family drinks.” 

And Ben’s goes: “No, we don’t drink much. But we do stick together.” Because he likes to say really lame stuff sometimes.

He explains that he’s here to talk about Little Joe and his special brain. He tells Julia that Little Joe is young and romantic, and that he’s taking the relationship much more seriously than she is. Julia is cynically amused, and asks if Joe has been ordered to stay away from her. Ben says he feels it would be better if she broke things off.

Julia wants to know what Ben’s real problem with her and Little Joe is.

He starts a list. It’s a pretty good one that covers everything we’ve talked about so far, and adds in the factor of the age difference. Julia wants to know if Ben’s just hiding the fact that it bothers him how the whole town is talking about the happy new couple. Isn’t it true that he’s just worried about reputations? Ben admits that he’s concerned about all that, but it’s far from the only thing that matters.

Julia says she’ll think about breaking up with Little Joe.

After Ben leaves, she calls for Tom the Bartender. Apparently, she’d been getting bored with Little Joe and had earlier given orders to Tom that she didn’t want to see him. But Ben’s visit has changed her opinion on the matter. Now she would very much like to talk to her young man.

Thankfully, we’re spared their conversation and jump right to Little Joe coming home to the Ponderosa well past midnight. Ben is sleeping at his desk, trying to make it look like he’s not waiting up. (“I always sleep in this chair with my shoes on! It’s good for my back!”)

Joe says he heard that the fever out in the camps is spreading, he thinks everybody should pay attention to that and not to other things. I agree. Let’s stop talking about all of this romantic garbage and heroically fight an epidemic! We can bring Hoss! And some bandages! Stupid old Ben says that we can’t have any fun at all, and brings up Julia. He asks Little Joe if he’s still seeing her, and Little Joe touchily tells him that he is.

Ben recognizes that Little Joe is technically an adult, but he’s also the Dumbest Son, and so he needs the most guidance. He says that Julia seems like a fine woman, and in many ways she is, but “you can’t get rid of a scar by washing it.”

I don’t think it’s possible for him to be doing a worse job of explaining his completely legitimate concerns.

Little Joe says it was probably the same with his mother, which pisses Ben off. Apparently, Adam told Little Joe that there was a lot of prejudice against Marie because she was part Creole. While this adds a really interesting layer to Little Joe, it’s something they drop by the time we get to the bulk of information about Marie.

Anyway, Little Joe calls his father prejudiced, and says that just because a prejudice is small or common it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Normally, this is a good point. But what’s happening here is that the reasons Ben wants this relationship over aren’t quite the reasons Little Joe thinks they are. Which is exasperating to watch, because all of the tension comes from the characters explaining thing badly.

A couple of days later, Hoss and Ben are having chocolate cake for breakfast, because Hoss is practically a doctor and it is a prescription. Hoss only wants one slice, and Hop Sing is surprised. Hoss tells him that the cake is flat, and Hop Sing says that his cakes are never flat. Everything just seems flat because Little Joe is on one of his quests to wreck everything up, and Hop Sing’s sick of it. If people don’t go back to being cheerful, he’s going to quit.

Hoss promises to eat more cake later.

Adam strolls in with the worrisome stroll. The one that means he’s about to say a thing we don’t want to hear. He casually announces that Little Joe is having a wonderful time with Miss Bulette in Virginia City, and they’ve been seen in all the right places at the wrong times. Ben does the classic: “He is trying to kill me with worry! My own child! Where did I go wrong?” Adam thinks that Little Joe is probably going through one of his idiotic phases. He says the real appeal of the relationship is that Joe has to defend it, and the more people push, the more Joe is going to push back.

Ben doesn’t quite listen to that as well as he should, because he angrily declares that he’d like to see Little Joe push back against being dragged home. He slams his fork onto his plate of breakfast cake, throws down his napkin, and storms out of the house. Adam looks at the cake on the table and looks at Hoss, and Hoss’s face is all: “You solve problems your way, I solve ‘em mine.”

They decide to join Ben on his mission into town.

When they arrive in Virginia City, Ben isn’t quite sure how to track down Little Joe. Adam shows him the quickest method: casually wandering the streets until you hear the sounds of a brawl, and then checking to see if Little Joe is involved. He quickly finds his little brother being thrown out of the opera house and beat on by a couple of bouncers. The Cartwrights pull Little Joe out of the fray, and the impresario comes to demand the cost of repairs from Ben. Ben asks what he’s talking about, and it turns out that Little Joe tore up thousands of dollars’ worth of décor in a blind rage.

Little Joe argues that it wasn’t a blind rage, it was a reasonable rage that was brought about by reasons. Julia Bulette comes forward and explains that the reasons were because her box at the opera has been draped in order to separate her from other patrons. The impresario says that they have to hide all of the unsavory people, what with the district judge and new sheriff coming. It was a committee decision. Because committees suck.

Little Joe and Julia leave, without Little Joe talking to any of his family members or even making eye contact. Ben tells the opera house people to send him the bill, and he hurries to catch up to Joe.

He grabs Joe’s arm and tells him to come home. Little Joe says that maybe they can make him go home, but they can’t make him stay there. All he wants is a chance to figure things out for himself. He goes to get the carriage for Julia, and as soon as he’s gone, Ben turns to her and is all: “Release my son, Sea Witch!”

Julia says that she doesn’t want to.

It looks like everything’s a total loss when Dr. Martin shows up to tell them that the fever is a full-blown epidemic. He thinks it’s the water that’s transmitting it, so Ben orders Adam and Hoss to go to the Ponderosa and get water and supplies for the townspeople. It’s very wrong of me, but I’m glad we can all focus on this rising death toll instead of Little Joe’s troubling love life.

The doctor calls for volunteers, and nobody comes forward. Julia offers to let them use the Palace as a temporary hospital. Julia is an alright person, deep down inside. If she’d cool it with Joe, we could all like her.

A few days later, over at the Palace, St. Julia is caring for the sick. Here we run into an interesting problem. This story was based on an actual woman who tended to the victims of the epidemic in Virginia City, but she obviously didn’t have a tawdry relationship with Little Joe Cartwright in real life. So the character takes a sudden turn to accommodate the interesting aspects of the historical account, and kind of ignores some of the stuff she’s done since the scenes with Millain.

The doctor complains about the lack of volunteers and tells Ben that the committee was wrong to try and ostracise Julia. Ben concedes that she’s a nice enough person when she’s not hypnotizing your son.

Little Joe turns up with more volunteers. Apparently, he’s spent the last three days trying to talk people into helping the sick. According to the volunteers he’s brought in, he’s been raising good points and making everyone feel like jerks.

The doctor tells Little Joe and Julia that they have to take a break now. They head out to a pile of burlap sacks behind the Palace and take a nap together. I’d make a joke about how tame that is, but I approve of things not going further. They wake up and Little Joe says he was dreaming of New Orleans, and he thinks he’ll go to live there someday.

Ha, ha. No. You stay here forever.

Julia tells him that New Orleans is very different from Virginia City. She says that a good man, like Little Joe, doesn’t go wherever he wants to. He stays where he’s needed. A woman like her is different, because she leaves as soon as a town starts to outgrow her. Little Joe is just about to propose marriage to her when she seriously covers his mouth to stop him.

She tells him in French that she wishes she had met someone like him many years ago, and that it’s over. After the epidemic, he will stay and she will go.

I think we’re supposed to feel… sad?

More days go by, and Adam rides into town to report that there are no new cases of the fever in the mines. He says over half of the men have returned to work, and the rest of the survivors are recovering nicely. With that being the case, the doctor decides they can move the remaining sick out of Julia’s Palace and into the meeting hall or the extremely small hospital.

Ben stretches and tells Adam that he’s glad they’ve won this fight. Adam’s all: “Yes. That’s the good news. I’m also here to tell you bad news. This morning, Little Joe came back to the ranch and packed up all of his stuff.”

After hearing about this, Ben goes over to Julia and – afraid that he might lose his son forever – apologizes to her for interfering in their relationship. Julia says she’s disappointed. “A man of strength should never let sentiment interfere with his convictions.” Ben says that’s not what’s going on. They’re both the same people they were before the fever, and his opinion of the relationship is the same.

“But I won’t gamble with something I can’t replace.” He says, “If it’s Little Joe’s wish, you’re welcome to become part of the Ponderosa.”

Julia says that’s an unexpected offer, given that Ben doesn’t think she’s good enough for Little Joe. Ben says he’s not the one who decides whether or not she’s good enough for Little Joe. She is.

Clever! I mean, I suppose he’s being sincere, but it’s also totally going to get rid of her! Nice work, Ben!

After he leaves, Julia goes to Tom and tells him to open up some champagne. She asks the piano player to pick a nice, loud tune. As soon as all of this medical junk is cleared out, Julia’s Palace is going to host the biggest celebration Virginia City has ever seen! Ain’t no party like a post-epidemic party!

Turns out, though, that Little Joe isn’t as fond of post-epidemic parties as everybody else. That evening, he stews at the bar while Julia knocks back an endless river of champagne and flirts with her customers. Finally, he’s had enough and demands to know why she’s acting improperly. (Little Joe? She runs a special saloon. This is her job. How can you have been dating her for like two months and still be in the dark about this?)

Their awkward conversation is interrupted by Jean Millain slamming his hand down on the piano keys. Apparently, Julia sent him to Sacramento so that she could have her fling with Joe. Millain takes off his jacket and rolls up his sleeves because it’s killing time.

Little Joe might not be at Adam’s level when it comes to gunfights, but he’s no slouch. Millain draws, and gets himself the Cartwright special – a flesh wound on his shooting arm. Julia rushes to his side, calls him darling, and tells him that she’ll tend to his injury upstairs.

She’s upset about what’s happened, and Little Joe finally understands. He leaves.

Julia decides that she’s learned a lot about herself and breaks it off with Millain. At first he doesn’t take her seriously, since they break up all the time. But she convinces him that something has changed inside of her, and this time she means it. Millain lets her know that he considers her his property, and he won’t take well to this.

Over at the Bucket of Blood, Little Joe is solving his problems by drinking them away. Hoss and Adam find him, and tell him off for getting into a gunfight with Millain. Joe’s all: “What’s the big deal? I beat him.” Adam’s about to start lecturing when Hoss cuts him off with some exciting news. Ben’s about to give a boring speech at the town hall! Everybody’s thanking him for chipping in during the epidemic. Does Little Joe want to come along and listen?

Ominously, Little Joe says he’ll come.

Hoss? I think he’s planning to ruin your pa’s speech.

And he ruins it in grand style by yelling about how high and mighty everyone is thanking each other, but nobody’s thanking Julia. He’s sooooo drunk right now. Everybody at the meeting yells back at him that they’re going to make Julia an honorary member of the fire engine company. In fact, all of the leading citizens are going to march right down to the Palace to give Julia her fireman’s hat.
During the celebration, Little Joe very publically proposes to Julia, who runs off in tears. I guess that’s a no. Now, get ready for one those horrible Bonanza endings where thirty different things happen in the last three minutes of the episode:

The next day, the new judge and sheriff come up to the Ponderosa. Everybody thinks they’re just there to introduce themselves, but it turns out that Julia was shot and robbed the night before. The chief suspect is Jean Millain, who’s fleeing in the direction of Lake’s Crossing. Adam and Hoss offer to go with the new sheriff to track him down.

Of course, we don’t get to watch the thrilling chase. We get go to Julia’s deathbed with Ben and Little Joe. Ben says some kind things, and Julia tells him that she’s going to give him back his son. So when Little Joe comes to see her, she demands a glass of brandy and pushes him away by pretending to be a much worse person than she actually is. But she can’t keep doing it, and Little Joe knows it’s an act. Julia coughs the tragic Cough of Death.

Downstairs, Adam and Hoss report that they caught Millain.

Little Joe comes down, and it’s obvious that Julia is gone. His family silently comforts him, and ushers him home to the Ponderosa.

High Point: Hoss and Adam.

Low Point: "You remind me of my dead mother, let's kiss."

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