CTVA - Overland Trail #1.16 "The Reckoning"  29-May-1960 NBC

The Classic TV Archive - TV Western series
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[16]  "The Reckoning"
Original NBC airdate - May 29, 1960
Stagecoach Productions

Opening Credits:
William Bendix [Kelly]
Doug McClure [Flip]

Ending Credits:
Directed by William Witney
Written by B.L. James
Produced by Samuel A. Peeples
Executive Producer Nat Holt
William Bendix
Doug McClure
Monica Lewis [Anne Michaels]
Harold J. Stone [John Michaels A.K.A. Cash Burdette, Leader of the Wild
Bunch Outlaw Gang]
John Carradine [convincing as the sleazy Mr. Nash, Unscrupulous
Newspaper Man out to swindle Anne by promising her, for a fee, information
on her missing son]
Dennis Miller [Jimmy Michaels A.K.A. Nicky Michaels]
Ron Nicholas
Bob Palmer
Ethel Shutta [Ruth Hull, Boarding House Owner]
Stuart Randall [Marshal]
Howard J. Negley
Forrest Taylor

[Harper Flaherty, un-credited, was seen near the doorway when it was posse
gathering time]

filmed in hollywood at revue studios
mca tv exclusive distributor
Director of Photography Bud Thackery, A.S.C.
Associate Producer  . . .  Frank Price
Art Director  . . .  George Patrick
Editorial Supervisor  . . .  David J. O'Connell
Film Editor  . . .  Richard G. Wray, A.C.E.
Music Supervisor  . . .  Joseph E. Romero
Sound  . . .  Melvin M. Metcalfe, Sr.
Assistant Director  . . .  Ben Bishop
Set Decorator . . .  Perry Murdock
Costume Supervisor  . . .  Vincent Dee
Makeup  . . .   Jack Barron
Hair Stylist  . . .  Florence Bush

Anne Michaels (Lewis) has come 1500 miles on the promise of a
lead to the whereabouts of the son she had abandoned years ago. Although
Kelly tries to persuade the sickly blind woman to return East she is
determined to remain
in Laramie with hopes of reuniting with her boy even though it is obvious
that Nash (Carradine), an extorting newspaper man, had little
information and was only after her money.  Kelly assures the exhausted Anne
that the Overland saw to the needs of its passengers and takes her to the
boarding house where a kindly Ruth (Shutta) attends to her.  In the mean
time some
members of the Wild Bunch had strung
a wire across the road to stop the stage so they could steal the cash box.
Flip gets off a shot at one of the men before he himself is wounded.  When
the close-to-death young stage hand is brought into town Anne asks Ruth
for his description--one which closely matches that of her son Jimmy.
Although disappointed when Kelly says he had known Flip for about ten years
and practically raised him after finding him in an Indian camp, Anne still
wants to do something to help the boy survive (stating that she would hope
that someone would do the same for Jimmy) and has him taken to the boarding
house where she "mothers" him until he regains strength.
A grateful Flip tells the woman that she had saved the life of someone she
didn't even know--an act that should offset the sin of having left her son
to run off with another man--and the two, hungry for family attachments,
form a close bond.  Cash Burdette (Stone), the outlaw leader and secretly
Anne's ex-husband, plans to rob Laramie. Setting up a
diversion one of the outlaws rides into town pretending the Bunch were
after his buffalo hides in order to get the townsmen to go on a chase
their businesses unprotected.  Flip, feeling it was the least he could do
for Kelly, follows after the posse and there identifies the "hunter" as
being part of the gang.  While the other men, discovering they had been
tricked, go back to town Flip rides after the escaping outlaw who recognizes
him as the one who had slain "Nicky" Michaels. Hearing that surname Flip is
devastated that it had been Anne's son he had killed during the stage hold
He decides to break the news to her but can't bring himself to say that he
the one who had shot him nor that her boy had been part of the gang and
lies that she would have been proud of Jimmy who had died trying to protect
the ranch where he was working
from an attack by the Wild Bunch.  But as Flip is leaving he runs into the
sleazy Nash who, still trying to get money from the lady, uses the locket
taken from "Nicky's" body to prove that he indeed had information worth
paying for and tells Anne that it had been Flip who did away with her son.
All hope of Jimmy's reconciliation dashed, Anne is hurt and angry not only
that Flip had killed her boy
but that he had lied about it and tells the distraught
stage hand that she wants nothing more to do with him.  Flip rides after
Nash and,
during an argument with the
newspaper man, is captured by Cash who is seeking vengeance on him for
Nicky's death.  Back in town Anne, ashamed of her feelings against Flip,
asks Kelly to find the boy and tell him to come back.
At that time Nash enters wanting to be treated for the head wound received
the scuffle with the outlaws and tells Kelly that the gang had taken Flip
and was planning to hang him.  As Kelly goes to round up a posse Anne
pleads with
Nash and promises to pay him whatever he wants if he will take her to the
hideout.  While Anne tries to stop Flip from being executed she and Cash are
wounded.  Anne dies in Flip's arms leaving him to question the fairness of
life.  In this episode's "lesson" Kelly replies, "Sometimes things even out,
Flip.  You have to learn that--even when it hurts." (bj)

This was the only episode of the series that maintained an air of
seriousness through the entire story.  Even though several of the other
episodes dealt with serious issues they still began and/or ended rather
"Flip-pantly." (bj)

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