Volume 1, Issue 1
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SEASON 1
The Kid
Gunfighter
Home of the Brave
Speak No Evil
Bad Blood
Black Ulysses
Ten-Cent Hero
False Colors
A Good Day to Die
End of Innocence
Blind Love
The Keepsake
Fall From Grace
Hard Time
Lady For a Night
Unfinished Business
Decoy
Daddy's Girl
Bulldog
Matched Pair
Man Behind the Badge
Then There Was One
Gathering Clouds Part 1
Gathering Clouds Part 2

SEASON 1 WRAP-UP

AN INTERVIEW WITH ... ED SPIELMAN

SEASON 2
Born to Hang
Ghosts

   
The Rider Review - Gathering Clouds Part 1
By Johnny Betts

May 19, 2003

Rider Beat!
PROLOGUE

Can you believe that I've almost finished reviewing the entire first season??? I mean, it's only been, what, a little over 2 1/2 years? But hey, I was once on pace to finish the first season in THREE years, so you gotta admit, I picked up the slack a little bit. Don't worry; I don't plan on taking as long to review the final two seasons. Plans can change though, so keep that in mind.

I was originally gonna do one HUGE review of both parts of "Gathering Clouds," but there's no way I feel like doing that, so I'm separating it into two parts. And since it's more like one review split into two parts (rather than 2 separate reviews), the second part of "Gathering Clouds" will be a quicker review than usual.

Reader: Yeah right, Johnny, we've heard that before.

Come on, just trust me.

RIDER REVIEW READER PARTICIPATION PROGRAM

After I'm done reviewing "Gathering Clouds," I'm gonna do a "Season One Wrap-Up," and then we'll move on to the second season. In the Season Two reviews I'll introduce the "Rider Review Reader Participation Program," (or the RRRPP, as the hipsters like to call it) in which you, the reader, will be able to add comments to particular reviews (similar to how Stephanie has had a couple of guest spots). So go ahead and email me and let me know if there's a particular review you'd like to participate in. It may be your favorite episode, or it could be an episode that you've always loved to make fun of. Act now before someone claims your episode! In fact, send in your top 3.

How about the latest Rider Beat cover?? Ouch, what was Gregg thinking??? I can't figure out what the worst part of the picture is:

  1. The attempt to create a bicep with his fist.
  2. The red underwear showing.
  3. The five strands of hair on his chest. Why even bother?
What do you ladies think? I need a female's opinion.

I also need a guest book signature for May (because I'm a loser), so who will be the next person to answer the JOHNNY BETTS GUESTBOOK CHALLENGE??? The guest book features a new question. That's right, signers can now submit who their favorite rider is.

Reader: Ooooooooooooooooh, ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!

THE YOUNG RIDERS ON DVD

Would you like to see The Young Riders on VHS or DVD? Then head over to Raye's site and fill out the online form:

http://www.theyoungriders.net/trailtales/DVDpoll.html

I'd like to see TYR officially released on DVD by the time I finish writing all the Rider Reviews, so please do your part to help in the efforts. MGM/SONY is indeed listening.

Rider Review Marks of the Last Review: There are two of them! The reason why they won is because they are the only two who mentioned my little broken baseball bat story that I carried over three reviews. I kind of liked the story and thought I did a masterful job of tying it to TYR episodes, but only two of you gals thought to mention it.

Apparently the rest of you gave about as much thought to it as your last belch, maybe even less. So congratulations to Lindsay B and Sarah. Let me also congratulate Lindsay on winning 4th place in a creative writing Poetry contest that she recently entered and unanimously winning 1st place in the Short Story division. Both of her works are Westerns. It's good to see my young protege already achieving success at such an early age. Keep it up!

A new feature to the review is the Rider Review Mark certificate. That's right, all winners of the award will now get certificates that they can print out and put on their wall at home or at work. I can't tell you how envious friends, family, and coworkers will be.

Lindsay, you may click RIGHT HERE to view your certificate.

And Sarah, you may click HERE.

If any past Rider Review Mark winners like these certificates and want me to personalize one for you then let me know.

Rider Review Newcomers: I'd like to welcome Lisa, Melinde G, and Benji W to the review. Lisa's a Ty fan, but unlike some French Ty fans, she doesn't want to see me publicly stoned. If Melinde or Benji are Kid fans then they haven't admitted it yet!

ALAMO SURVIVORS

If you're a faithful Rider Review Reader (a triple R), then you know that the last episode, "Then There Was One," claimed that Teaspoon was an Alamo "survivor." He was sent to get reinforcements, but they didn't make it to the Alamo in time. I questioned whether or not this was historically accurate. A couple of gals stepped up to the plate and answered the question:

Karen: I live in Texas and wanted to let you know that men really were sent out to get reinforcements for the Alamo a few days before the attack on the mission. They were sent to Fanin at Goliad and Houston, wherever he was at the time. Fanin started to come but for some reason changed his mind and went back to Goliad where he too was massacred. Hence the battle cry, "Remember the Alamo, Remember Goliad" at San Jacinto. Houston didn't send reinforcements because he had ordered Travis to abandon the Alamo at a much earlier time. As amazing as it is, the TYR writers didn't make up that historical fact -- riders really were sent away before the battle.

And...

Kathi: The writers actually did get it right; there were riders sent out to get help, or so they claim if you go to the Alamo. At least one got to Stephen Austin who refused to send help feeling the mission was indefensible and not the place to fight a decisive battle with Santa Anna.

Thanks for the info ladies. Amazing. The writers didn't totally erase history in this instance! I've been to the Alamo before, and I recommend it. While you're in San Antonio you should also check out the Riverwalk. They do it right, not like in Memphis where our "riverwalk" is a 6-inch deep replica of the Mississippi River.

THE SCREENSHOTS W/ CAPTIONS

The Screenshots w/captions Marks of the Last Review:

Why do I post your opinions on the screenshots? Mainly because the screenshots are one of my favorite parts of the review, and I figure that if I give y'all your props then you'll be more likely to praise the screenshots in the future. Plus, the screenshots/captions are a way to bring us, the YR family, together through the power of images and words.

Evie Jean with, First, I'll tell you what made me laugh out loud: the picture of Teaspoon captioned "Teaspoon takes a break from gunfighting to do a little ice skating in front of the Alamo." I loved that, that was the best part of the review, considering it wasn't one of my favorite episodes.

Rhi with, AHA! The caption about Taco Bell! So true. So very, very true.

Rhi went on to explain how Tijuana tacos don't bother her a bit, but apparently Taco Bell has her running to the bathroom at 3:00 AM. Tis true. Taco Bell can really give you the Corey B. Trotz. That's a little homegrown humor for you folks. Corey B. Trotz is a lawyer in Memphis and he has absolutely the CHEESIEST TV commercials I've ever seen. They're usually on UPN also. So he's a laughingstock amongst my friends and me. How can you not make fun of a guy with the last name of "Trotz"? So when we have to go to the bathroom we'll say something like, "Excuse me, but I've got a case of the Corey B. Trotz." See how "case" falls in with the whole lawyer thing? Clever, huh?

Or if I'm in the bathroom for a while and Stephanie asks me if I'm OK then I might respond with, "Yeah, unfortunately I was served a subpoena by Corey B. Trotz." The thing with toilet humor is you've gotta make it subtle, and you've gotta make it classy. Feel free to make up your own Corey B. Trotz analogies. Let me know if you come up with anything good. Start using them around friends and family to show them just how jocose you are.

Melinde G with, The captions are fantastic.

Lindsay with, Your captioned pics were superb in this episode, I loved the "cactus is not good for toilet paper" one, the Jimmy Skywalker one, the ice skating at the Alamo one, etc! It really does look like they're ice skating, and the way you caught the blast from Jimmy's gun on screen looks just like a lightsaber.

Speaking of lightsabers and all things Star Wars, you've gotta check out the Star Wars Kid video. Watch the "original video" and make sure to check out the "lightsaber remix." The backstory is this kid filmed himself acting out his wildest lightsaber fantasies. Problem is, he filmed himself on a school video camera and left the tape behind. Somebody found it, put it on the web, and now special effects have been added. Truly classic stuff.

Australian Ann with, [The review] was much enhanced by the screen captures. I especially liked the cactus toilet paper. I had some similar stuff myself when I was a poor Uni student. I also liked the one where Jimmy has a look of disappointment and disgust after watching a pathetic Kid episode. The best thing about your review was the Tombstone. I'm so happy you got a reaction from that.

See what I mean? Ann can relate to the cactus toilet paper! Now don't we all feel just a little bit closer to Ann and to each other thanks to that one simple little caption? I thought so. And it's nice to find someone that doesn't want me dead because of the tombstone picture! If any of you don't read the YR message boards then let me just say that there was one particular Kid fan who did NOT like my doctored screenshot of the tombstone in the "Then There Was One" review. Email me if you'd like details.

And Rider Beat Magazine was a huge hit!

Angela T-hawk: I also really like the Rider Beat Magazine- hilarious!!!

Mandy S: That magazine is way too bizarre. haha!

Amy C: The Rider Beat -- I can't put it into words. The cover photo alone! Unparalleled.

Lindsay: I totally screamed when I saw the TTWO review with that lovely *barf* picture of Ty Miller. The Rider Beat magazine is the best thing since captioned pictures, and the cover stories are a hoot. Wish I could actually read them, now that would rule. And yes that was a totally horrible yellow sweater!

Australian Ann: That picture of Ty in the dandy yellow sweater was stolen from GQ's files. Admit it!

Oregon Ann: The rider review magazine is great.

Sarah: I loved the rider beat cover.

Aimee: I do like that Kid made the first Rider Beat (heh...I love the name too!). I personally have always liked Ty's gay yellow sweater, but then again, yellow is my favorite color, and I think the color looks good on him, plus I'm sure some late-80s fashion editor/photographer picked it out, so I can overlook the gayness of it all.

So whether you love the sweater or hate it, nobody's denying that it is indeed gay. Can't wait to see what y'all think of Buck's pose for the latest Rider Beat cover.

YOUNG RIDERS TRIVIA

Here was the clue:

This actor knows what it's like to be hunted, and he's had problems with traffic. If you ask him, then he can probably tell you all about the way of the gun. He's also acted with two members of the Young Riders.

Here are the questions that I posed, along with the answers:

1) Who is the actor?

Benicio Del Toro.

2) and 3) What two Young Riders cast members has he worked with? AND What movies/TV shows did they do together?

Well, it turns out there were actually FOUR YR cast members that he's worked with. The two I was thinking of were Stephen in "The Usual Suspects," and Josh in "Private Eye." However, he also appeared in "License to Kill" with Anthony Zerbe, and he will be in the upcoming "21 Grams" with Melissa Leo.

The big winner, and the only person to get all four correct is ... RAYE! She is this review's YR Trivia Queen. And guess what? I have an award certificate for her also! HERE YOU GO!

It's probably not interesting to any of you that "21 Grams" was filmed in Memphis. Unfortunately, I never found out where they were filming so I didn't have the chance to track down Melissa Leo and ask her about Josh and what it was like to work with him.

Karen came in second. She was 3 for 4. The only one she didn't get was Josh. Thanks for all the contributions. Here are the other runners-up:

Mandy S (she got 2), Australian Ann (2 for her), Angela T-hawk (she got one right), Amy C (well, she knew the actor was Benicio), and Oregon Ann (same results as Amy C).

NEW TRIVIA QUESTION!

David Soul guest stars in "Gathering Clouds." He is most famous for his role as "Hutch" in the old TV series, "Starsky and Hutch." The man who played his partner "Starsky" in the TV show has also worked with two former YR cast members. Which YR cast members have worked with "Starsky," and what were the projects? Good luck, this one's a little tougher than the last one.

Gathering Clouds

Gathering Clouds. It's an exciting day in town. Hmmm, will the dust from all the people walking in town create "gathering clouds" of dust??? And then these dust clouds will cause the townsfolk to have really bad coughs? Will this be the explanation for the episode name??? We shall see...

Ike in drag? Ooooh, soldiers are entering the bank! And guess what? A man is trying to get a loan! Excitement and tension fill the air. Look! It's a baby carriage! HOLY JOEY FATONE IS NOT MY HOMEY IT TIPS OVER! Folks, this is gonna be one action-packed episode! A dude in a dress draws a gun. What in the world? Is Kid trying on one of Lou's dresses again?

Uh-oh, it appears that other people are in disguise as they draw THEIR guns on the soldiers. It's a hold up! But some dude in gay little overalls says no one's gonna get hurt. Welp, there goes the excitement. Dress-boy says that Hawk's Raiders send their regards. The guy in overalls gives dude his loan, and says not to worry about paying it back. Nice guy. He's Robin Hood of the Old West.

Let me just go ahead and point out that the guy in overalls is Aaron Darnell, and the guy in the dress is Jeff Darnell. They're brothers. Feel free to decide which one has the dorkier outfit. I'm not really sure why they thought Jeff should disguise himself as a woman. I know the baby carriage tipping over was supposed to cause a distraction, but if someone was gonna wear a dress then they should've gotten somebody smaller than 6'0" 170 lbs! Goodness.

Hawk's Raiders, huh? Probably a rip-off of the real-life Quantrill's Raiders whom Jesse James rode with.

Cody Fears Debney We're 15 miles West of Sweetwater. Cody is stopped by Hawk's Raiders. He tries to get away, but his horse falls when jumping some sort of fence. They take his saddlebag. Hmmm, it appears to be a package containing an Urban Brush Company catalog. Aaron's in luck because he's been meaning to get his girlfriend a brush. He opens it, but hey, it's not a catalog! It's an army dispatch! What kind of pranks are these young riders trying to pull??? Aaron asks Cody if he knew he was carrying an army dispatch, but Cody doesn't answer. Aaron tells him to thank Major Ross from Hawk's Raiders and to tell him that Urban Brush Company is out of business. Could Jeff Darnell be a bigger pretty boy? Did he come from the Beverly Hills 90210 School of Bad Guys?

Pretty Boy We see more soldiers. Apparently Major Ross has been removed from duty. Whoooa, what's Henry Winkler doing in this episode? Apparently taking over for Major Ross. Nice mullet. Seriously, take a close look, the new Captain looks like the Fonz! Ayyyyyyyyyyyyy! I'm sorry, but this mullet is going to bother me the entire episode. If you're not familiar with mullets, then THIS SITE will provide you will all the info you need.

[Note to all 5 Henry Winkler fans left in the world: Yes, I know that is Franc Luz and NOT Henry Winkler playing the Captain.]

Dude and Fonzie are talking. Ross's job was to eradicate the Hawk, but just like James Carville attempting to NOT look like an alien, he failed, thus he's gotten the boot. War's on the horizon, so now it's up to the Fonz to get rid of the Hawk.

What happens next is one of the funniest and weirdest moments in YR history. Fonzie says that he's gonna request two additional platoons from Fort Miles. The soldier he's talking to BADLY spits out, "Do ... you .... really ... think ... they'll ... help?" Then in one of the worst dubbing jobs in history the Fonz says, "It's that kind of defeatist attitude that I wish to address first!" It's said in a high-pitched voice and is just really strange. Then the soldier says, "Yes sir," but as the camera pans over to him his mouth isn't even moving. What in the world??? How did a Bruce Lee movie get placed in my VCR? You really need to see the scene to get full enjoyment. I have no idea what was going on there, and words alone can't describe the beauty that is this scene.

The Fonz Fonzie doesn't want people to think that he's there for the army to take over the town, but he's willing to do what it takes to stop the Hawk. That means he'll call on Opie, Potsie, and Ralph Malph if he needs to! I'd hate to be the Hawk right now.

Fonzie makes mention of a trail of death and destruction that the Hawk supposedly left in Kansas. Turns out Anna Nicole Smith just ran out of food and make-up during a promotional stop in Kansas. The generic soldier says that the Hawk's changed his ways since moving to the territory. People see him as a hero rather than a terrorist. The Fonz says that sort of thinking must not be allowed.

Jimmy Reading Let's head to Tompkins' store. Why? Because Emma needs some molasses and she wants Jimmy to get it for her. Poor Jimmy, he's having a little trouble reading the cans. But boy is he giving it all his little heart has! Emma arrogantly saunters over there and asks Jimmy if he knows which one it is. He gets a little testy and says yes woman, he knows which one it is. Emma mockingly tells him to go ahead and pick it out then. He picks up the wrong can and hands it to Emma. She asks if he wouldn't mind if she put that on his hotcakes. He says of course not, why should he? Emma then says that he better learn how to read or learn to love liniment. Hey, don't knock the liniment! I can't tell you how many times little Johnny Betts had to endure a little liniment on his pancakes. Or maybe that's just what my mom's homemade syrup tasted like.

What up with Emma totally embarrassing Jimmy in public like that? She knew he couldn't read! Was this "tough love" or something? Personally, I call it abuse. Speaking of abuse, that reminds me of the time little Johnny Betts went to a Memphis Chicks (our old minor league baseball team) game. I was about 12 years old at the time, and we were sitting in the outfield bleachers when all of a sudden a foul ball was hit in my direction. I ran towards the foul ball like Justin Timberlake running to a "Bad Michael Jackson Impersonation" class, but some dude in his 20s started chasing after the ball as well. And wouldn't you know it, the guy beat me to the ball by just a split second. Amazingly, the crowd in the bleachers started to boo the guy, and one dude yelled out, "CHILD ABUSER!" really loud. The heckling prompted the guy to give me the ball. The crowd cheered. Truly one of my funniest memories.

Kid asks Tompkins where the oats are. Tompkins says they're out by the army's horses and then adds that he'll be glad to see the army leave. A generic townswoman says the army is protecting the town from the Hawk, but an equally generic townsman (whom I assume is her husband) says that the Hawk sounds like a man of the people. The Hawk says the government is getting too big for its britches and that they shouldn't be telling people what to do. What kind of britches does the government wear? I'm gonna guess corduroy.

Dude says he is "half a mind" to agree with him. What does that saying even mean? He agrees with him with only half of his mind? Has he not made up the other half of his mind yet? Man, what does THAT saying mean??? I haven't "made up my mind" yet? Made it up? I think I'm dwelling on this a bit too much.

Kid makes the comment that that doesn't make stealing right. But Tompkins counters with, "Or taking over the town either." Ooooooh, face! The Kidster had no retort for that. Funny how Kid had no problem STEALING Katy by only lasting 1 minute and 45 seconds against Johnny McClarnen rather than the required 3 minutes. Nope, I'm never letting Kid off the hook for that one.

Outside, Kid listens in as an old man talks about how the army's presence in the town proves that Washington is committed to taking away the people's Constitutional right to determine their own destiny. He says the people need to be vigilant in protecting their basic freedoms given to them by the founding fathers before it's too late.

Some scruffy redneck soldier shows up and says the man is talking treason and should be strung up. Um, he should be hanged because he's saying the people need to protect their freedoms? Uh, yeah, OK dude. The old man says he's got the freedom of speech. The soldier asks about the slaves, does he want to talk about their freedom too? The old man correctly replies that this has nothing to do with the slaves. The soldier then says, "See, he ain't got an answer." Yeah he does, he just said this has nothing to do with slavery.

Sorry, but an 1860-era Union soldier most likely wouldn't have been expounding on the virtues of freeing the slaves. In fact, the North offered the South constitutional protection for slavery in order to convince the Southern states not to secede, but that's not what the South wanted. Secession wasn't about slavery.

The soldier tells the old man that he's nothing but a treasonous snake hiding behind his fancy clothes. The old man comments that he's a retired army colonel from Virginia, and no one is more loyal to the country than he. The soldier disagrees and starts beating up the old man. Real brave dude. Tired of beating up your grandpa so you figured you'd go find another old man to kick around? Something tells me that beating up old men is not the army's best method to garner support. What's next, kicking a dog?

A stray dog crosses the street and the soldier delivers a fierce gut punch to the helpless pup.

Kid Fighting Kid jumps in and punks out the soldier. I never thought I'd say this but, Go Kid!!! Another soldier jumps in and Kid beats him up. Yeah! Woooo, Kid's kicking butt and taking generic names! Man, this could be Kid's finest performance ever! Granted, it's nowhere near believable that Kid would beat up two soldiers, but I'm always willing to give credit where it's due. If you look closely then you'll see that the force of the wind from Kid's missed punches is what was doing all the damage to the soldiers. Sam shows up and asks what's going on. The old man praises Kid for taking up for him. Kid says it wasn't a fair fight, and Sam disperses the crowd.

Man, I've just gotta give all sorts of credit to Kid, I mean, he has really surp... wait a minute, let's see what's about to happen. Kid's probably gonna do something else to redeem himself. Cool! Kid knocks on the door of a hotel room. Some dude answers the door and says, "It went well." Hey, the guy who answered the door is Ben Fetterman. He's the guy that got Cody mixed up in all sorts of trouble in "Decoy."

We then see the redneck soldier cleaning up. Kid hasn't finished the job yet! He's tracked down the soldier and is gonna finish the rump kicking! Kid asks if he's all right. Huh? What's that all about? Ohhhh, I get it. Kid's playing mind games. I guess he'll now say, "Because if you ARE all right, then I'll be glad to change that." Yeah, you go Kid! The soldier says if he knew Kid punched like that then he wouldn't have volunteered.

Volunteered? I see how it works! THE SOLDIER TOOK A DIVE! I KNEW IT! IT WAS ALL STAGED! KID HAS PROVEN FRAUDULENT ONCE AGAIN! I'm so sorry, Kid fans, he was so close to doing something admirable. Ah well, back to ye olde drawing board.

Kid asks who the other soldier was. Turns out he wasn't a part of this scam. But it made the Kid's PERFORMANCE look even more believable. Nah, I'm sure the townsfolk saw the 140-pound Kid beating up two soldiers and thought, "Yeah right, this has got to be staged."

Kid asks what this is about and Ben explains that it's all an elaborate plot to try to get the Hawk to recruit him to join his Raiders. The man that Kid defended has two sons that ride with the Hawk. Hmmm, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say those two men are Aaron and Jeff Darnell. Am I perceptive or what?

It's also believed that Kid's brother might have known the Hawk. No one knows the identity of the Hawk, so they want Kid to infiltrate his gang, find out who he is, and find out where the Raiders are located. Yeah right. You might as well ask Buck to grow chest hair. It just ain't gonna happen. No one knows who the guy is but Kid's gonna swoop in and take care of business? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight. What is this, a plot to a Chuck Norris movie? The Kid is ... BEN FETTERMAN'S MAN: A LINE IN THE SAND!

Freedom Kid asks soldier boy what he has to do with all of this. Well, it's believed that someone in the army is supplying the Hawk with info, so it's his job to find out who the perp is. Dude says the Hawk's influence is spreading like a disease. Not unlike reality TV, eh? Hawk's spreading his "propaganda" all over the place, and it's supposedly pretty effective. Dude claims that men like the Hawk can destroy the Union. Kid says he's in. You know, it'd be nice if the writers would've make Kid walk the line Johnny Cash-style a little bit more. He's from Virginia, so I doubt he'd be so gung-ho about bringing down the Hawk and saving the Union without at least thinking about it.

Now we begin a silly little subplot that involves mail order brides. A wagon comes in with a passel of 'em. Buck, Ike, and Lou watch the proceedings. Hey look, it's Cynthia Nixon from "Sex and the City." I'm proud to say that I have NEVER seen an episode of that show. I can't stand Sarah Jessica Parker. She's one of those people who is obviously a ditz, but she tries so hard to sound intelligent when she's on a talk show. It's really quite embarrassing to watch.

Cynthia Nixon They've got Cynthia looking as plain and homely as possible, but for some reason Ike's got his eye on her. Unfortunately for her, she's the only one who's groom-to-be didn't show up. When ol' Harold Jackson doesn't show, some dude in the crowd yells that he must've taken a look and had second thoughts. Uh-oh, Ike didn't like that! Look at that death-glare he gives the guy!

The man who runs the mail order service tells Cynthia that Harold was probably just delayed, but some guy shows up with a letter that says Harold was in a cave-in at a mine, and they're not holding out hope for survivors. The mail order dude gives her money for stage fare back to Baltimore and will pay for her hotel room until the next stage arrives. Ike's watching everything. Hmmm, guess he'll comfort her in her time of trouble. Opportunist! You know, I see this plot line going in all kinds of wrong directions.

Ike runs over to her and points to where the hotel is. He then starts making a bunch of hand motions, and of course Buck pops up out of nowhere to interpret. How convenient. Ike points to himself, rubs his hands together, and then points at Cynthia's bags. Cynthia doesn't understand what Ike is saying and Buck has to explain that Ike wants to help with her bags. How can you not understand that? "Hmm, you're pointing at my heavy suitcases. Give me a second here ... I'm sorry, I just can't figure out what you'd like to do. You want to look at my suitcases?" Why must guest actors be so clueless?

Truth be told, Ike was pointing at HER instead of the bags, and according to the JBSLD he was saying, "I wanna create a little friction with you." COME ON, IKE! Goodness, THE WOMAN JUST FOUND OUT HER GROOM-TO-BE MIGHT BE DEAD! Sheesh. For the sake of decency, can you give her a little grieving time??? Did I not tell you this was headed in the wrong direction?

Haha, I like how Buck mentions to her that Ike is doing Indian sign. Buck introduces the two. Cynthia's name in this episode is Annie.

Hutch! We're now in a classroom. IT'S HUTCH FROM STARSKY AND HUTCH! He's a teacher now, and he's teaching a lesson about freedom. And he's using an apple as an example. Because hey, what says "freedom" more than an apple? He talks about the freedom of choice. An apple plays into the picture because Eve gave Adam an apple from the tree of life, and he had to choose whether or not to take it. Some little smart-aleck tries to be cute and comments on how they were both naked. SEND THE BRAT TO THE PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE! The classroom is no place for show-offs like that. Granted, little Johnny Betts was known to put on a little show every now and then.

I remember the time in the 6th grade when my teacher had to leave the classroom and told us to STAY IN OUR SEATS. As soon as she left, I stood up and started doing that little dance where you put your hands on your knees, touch your knees together, swap hands, and repeat over and over. Welp, the teacher must've forgotten something because she came back in the room about 3 seconds after I started my little jig. Uh-oh. She told me to come with her to the principal's office.

Once there she asked me what I was doing, and ashamedly I told a story and said that Anthony needed some paper so I was getting up to give it to him. How could I have honestly thought she'd buy that extremely lame story??? So she asked me how in the world doing a dance related to giving Anthony some paper. Good question. She then lectured me about how I was a good student but sometimes I was a little rebellious. She said something about how I was too old for her to give a spanking. I thought about saying, "That wouldn't be so bad," but I wisely refrained.

Jimmy the student Awww, here comes Jimmy! Looks like he wants to learn to read.

Hutch makes a comment about how everybody's gonna have choices to make soon. Why? One little brat speaks up and says the war is coming and his pa says they have to choose sides. Hutch says yes, it's a war that'll split the country in half. Oooooh, he cuts the apple in half! What an illustration! Apples not only represent freedom, but they also represent what war can do to a country!

Oooooh, the Schoolmarm is eyeing Jimmy.

Girl: My daddy says the South ain't right to make people slaves.
Hutch: Your daddy's right. It's a sin to enslave anybody. Whether that's in the cottonfields of the South or in the factories in the North.
Johnny: BOOYA!
Brat 1: The North don't have slaves.
Johnny: They've had slaves in the recent past. Punk.
Hutch: Well, they have factories, they have sweatshops, they have money men who value their workers less than the slave owner does his field hand.
Johnny: Yeah! Tell it like it is, Hutch!
Brat 2: So, then you think the South's right.
Hutch: No, I'm saying a choice has to be made. I'm saying that a good man can sometimes be wrong. I'm saying that the wisest course of action could very well be the least popular.
Brat 2: Like those men who took the army's money and gave it to the people.
Hutch: *laughs and looks at schoolmarm* Well, that's a discussion for another day.

After class, Hutch approaches Jimmy. Hahaha, I love how Jimmy takes his gun out of his jacket and puts it back in his holster. It's a nice touch showing us that he had the courtesy to hide his gun from the little kids.

Hutch (his real name is Jeremy Styles, he's new in town, and he's the new school master) asks Jimmy if he can help him. A new guy just waltzes into town and immediately becomes the new school master? Huh? Jimmy was just looking in, but Hutch says he's welcome any time. When Jimmy introduces himself, Hutch recognizes his last name and his reputation.

Here comes Hutch's assistant, Vera Collins. She starts flirting with Jimmy. Jimmy says he wants to improve his reading. Problem is he's gone a lot since he rides with the Express. Hutch says no problem, Vera would probably be glad to tutor him. Oh I bet she would.

Fonzie interrupts the conversation to escort Vera. Jimmy doesn't seem too happy about this. And why should he be? Unhappy is the man who sees an attractive woman on the arm of a Mullet-head. There you go, kiddos, that's what I like to call a Johnny Betts Nugget of Wisdom. I'll try to sprinkle more nuggets through my reviews (shut up with the sarcastic comments; I KNOW what you're thinking). Feel free to collect them and make your own inspirational calendars out of them.

Kid walks up to a store window near where that fake soldier he "beat up" is standing. The soldier oh so secretively tells Kid they may be on to something. He wants to meet in the alley behind the doctor's office after dark. Hmmm, having a secret meeting in an alley after dark, am I the only one who detects a whiff of trouble in the air? He should've just said, "A dark alley sounds like a good place for something bad to happen, so let's meet there!" As Kid starts to walk away, the fake soldier pushes him to the ground and tells him he's tired of him and his treasonous talk. Kid gets up and brushes himself off and notices Fonzie and Vera looking at him. Uh-oh.

It's night time now. Fonzie tells Vera how Washington is finally providing him with the resources that he needs. Scissors to cut that mullet? Oh, no, he's referring to the newest Springfield rifles. If he can bring down the Hawk then he'll most certainly get a promotion, and that could lead to a command in a more desirable part of the country. I see. So it's all about him. IT WAS NEVER ABOUT PREVENTING A WAR! JERK!

Vera is less than enthused. She claims she likes it where they are. Because, you know, they've been here for all of a few days now. The Fonz tells her that an officer's wife must come to accept never living in one place for too long. Oooooooh, they're married. She says for the right officer she supposes it's worth the sacrifice. They kiss. The Fonz says, "Hey!" and they part ways. Somebody should have told Vera that the "right officer" never, under any circumstances, has a mullet.

Evil Shadow Jones Vera is up to no good! She leaves to meet Aaron Darnell. Hmmm, looks like she may be working with the Hawk! Fake redneck soldier is spying on her and approaches her. He tells her that she's grown careless and he wonders what Captain Fonzie will think about this. She pulls out a gun and shoots him. Whoa, cold-blooded! Kid shows up for his meeting and witnesses the whole thing. He runs up to the dead fake soldier and asks what happened. We see that Aaron is hiding in the shadows with his gun drawn.

Vera Collins Vera points at Kid and in what can only be described as possibly the most annoying screaming in television history, she starts yelling, "YOU KILLED HIM! YOU KILLED HIM! HE SHOT HIM! HE SHOT HIM!" Kid understandably stands there looking dumbfounded. As he gets on his horse to ride away some soldiers shoot at him. A bullet hits Kid in the shoulder. It's a shot that probably would have killed anybody other than a Young Rider. As Kid rides off (like any good death-defying Young Rider should do), the soldiers try to console Vera who is doing a grand job of faking like she's freaked out.

After commercial, Vera is telling the Fonz a bunch of lies about what happened. She claims to have had a headache and went outside to get some air. That's when she says she heard Kid and redneck soldier arguing. When she mentions "the young man who rides for the Pony Express," Fonzie refers to him as, "The one they call 'the Kid.'" Hahahaha, for some reason it just sounds funny when he says it.

She claims that Kid said men like the Hawk were the only hope this country had left and that Sergeant Miller (who? Oh, the fake redneck soldier) called him a traitor. Before she knew it the Kid shot him dead. She fakes a little crying, says it all happened so fast, and asks to be dismissed. I'd like someone to dismiss her and her annoying screeching from the show. Sergeant MILLER, huh? Interesting.

Fonzie asks a sergeant to escort Vera home, and then asks one of his Lieutenants to assemble a squad to go after Kid at dawn.

Kid Pays the Piper For some reason Kid thinks he has time to nap on the ground. Hey Kid, you're a fugitive! This ain't Nap Time With Bozo the Clown! He's quickly awakened by the sound of soldiers on horseback. Kid's shoulder is in pain, but he gets on Katie and rides away. The soldiers see him and take chase. Hmmm, who are those men on top of the cliff watching all this??? Kid takes cover on a hill. Good job. When being chased it's always best to get off your horse and take cover where somebody can catch up with you on foot. The soldiers dismount to go after him, but all of a sudden they're being fired at! IT'S HAWK'S RAIDERS AND THEY'VE COME TO KID'S RESCUE! They successfully chase away the soldiers.

Jeff and Aaron head over to an unconscious Kid. Jeff's wearing a cute little round hat and asks, "That the one?" Aaron affirms that it is. Jeff then has our first "Mark-Out Remark" nominee when he says, "I don't like his face." Hahahaha! Jeff's the man! I couldn't have said it any better myself. They pick up Kid and start dragging him somewhere.

Teaspoon and Fonzie are talking. Teaspoon is sorry about the dead soldier, but he assures the Fonz that Kid didn't do what he's accused of doing. The Fonz lays down the facts, and all signs point to Kid as the killer and as working with the Hawk. Fonz tells Teaspoon that he's called for a town meeting today and he expects Teaspoon there. Teaspoon is dismissed. Teaspoon should've said, "Dismiss THIS!" and punked Captain Fonz in his mullet.

Buck Makes a Face Outside, Teaspoon explains to the riders that Kid is in trouble. Teaspoon mentions how the Raiders rescued Kid and asks Buck if he had any luck picking up their tracks. Whoa, Buck says NO! What?!?!?! Buck says that it's like they disappeared into thin air. Unbelievable. Buck, the all-powerful super tracker lost the track? Folks, I don't know what to say. Well, that proves it; Hawk's Raiders can't be human! The riders are dealing with a force not from this world.

Cody comments on how the Raiders know what they're doing, and the army has reason to worry. Teaspoon tells Jimmy to keep an eye on Vera. I'm pretty sure he won't mind doing that. Probably wouldn't mind keeping a hand on her either. Pervert. Lou asks what the rest of them can do, and Teaspoon says to tell Emma that Captain Fonzie is calling a town meeting, and he thinks they all need to be there. He excuses himself. He has somebody he needs to visit.

Teaspoon goes to see Ben. Ben lies to Teaspoon's face and says he doesn't know what's going on, but Teaspoon slams his hand on a chest of drawers and says he knows Ben is lying. Did anyone else ever think it was called "chester drawers"? I also used to think "shadow of a doubt" was "shout of a doubt." Aren't y'all better people now that you know that?

Teaspoon Makes a Face Teaspoon tells Ben he better fess up now. Teaspoon hasn't eaten his wheat germ today, so there's no telling what he might do if Ben isn't straight with him. Ben admits that he's using Kid to infiltrate the Hawk's gang. Teaspoon ain't happy about this. Ben says only himself, Matthew Freeman, and now Teaspoon know about the operation.

Teaspoon asks Ben what he's gonna do now, and he better not say "nothing" or he'll blow the lid off this whole thing faster than Stephen Baldwin can say "yes" to a straight-to-video movie. Ben's sorry Kid is in danger, but he's infiltrated the Hawk's gang, and they need whatever info he can get. Afterwards he'll make sure Kid is cleared of all charges. Yeah, that's assuming Kid doesn't get killed first. Teaspoon thanks him for nothing.

Town meeting. Am I the only one who thinks it a little odd that the Captain shows up to the meeting wearing a leather jacket with the collar flipped up? Captain Fonz hits the podium and the lights come on. Wow, how did he do that? Oh yeah, he's the Fonz! He addresses the crowd. He claims the territory is in danger, and Teaspoon stands up and says yeah, mullet boy, it's in danger of being overrun by you, your men, and that frightening mullet! You go Teaspoon! Fonz says, "Ayyyyy, you don't understand" all while standing at the podium giving two thumbs up. What is this guy's problem? Teaspoon takes offense to this, but Emma makes him sit down. Haha, rascally old codger!

Fonzie tells them to ask the people in Kansas about the atrocities the Hawk and his men have committed. Some dude stands up and says they gave his brother a $20 gold piece. Fonzie asks if that buys his loyalty. I would've said, "Yep, what have YOU given me?" Sam's watching the proceedings with a careful eye.

Fonzie says the Hawk and his Raiders are murderers and thieves and their plan is to overthrow the government. Some dude who looks just like Mark Twain stands up waving a piece of paper and says that's "not what it says here." He explains that the Hawk says that everybody should live his life the way he sees fit without the government telling him what to do. A brave, valiant soldier pushes the old man down. Nice. Yet another big tough soldier. He can push around an 80-year-old man! That's the second Union soldier we've seen beating up an old man in this episode. When will they start beating on women and children??

The Captain bans such "treasonous" propaganda and says anybody found possessing it will be arrested. Emma jumps up and asks what about freedom of the press, has he ever thought about that? YOU GO EMMA! PUT FONZIE IN HIS PLACE! The Captain claims he's doing what he's doing in order to protect everybody's freedoms. Please. "I'm taking away your freedom to protect your freedom." Somebody seriously needs to give this guy a boot to the stomach and a DDT right on the ground. It's treasonous to say that people should live their life without the government telling them what to do? Fonz is a punk.

Hutch stands up and says the Captain has a difficult task. Our freedoms must be protected. Then he makes an analogy about how 2000 years ago Pilate had to protect the freedom of his Roman citizens from an intruder. Jesus sacrificed His freedom, but His word lives on. Teaspoon doffs his cap to Hutch. Hutch says he's sure nobody envies the Captain's position. Captain Fonz ain't in a hat-doffin' mood and says he doesn't believe the word of the Hawk can be equated to the word of the Lord.

The Captain then says that if anybody wants to dispute his authority then they can contact Colonel Benton in Fort Miles. Colonel Potter from M*A*S*H stands up and says that the Captain's men have taken over his hotel and he has yet to see a nickel. As far as he's concerned, the Captain and his blue coats aren't welcome anymore. The people seem to agree with him. The Captain, however, doesn't and orders the man to be arrested. Man, why is there no love for the old people in this episode??? Did they learn by watching Teaspoon and Erastus in "Then There Was One" that old people can be dangerous? A huge brawl between the army and the townsfolk breaks out. It's a brouhaha! Go townsfolk!

If somebody doesn't punch Fonzie in the face soon then I'm gonna be very upset.

The Captain puts a halt to the fighting by firing his gun into the roof. For some reason, roof material doesn't fall to the ground. He must've shot his bullet through a small, pre-existing roof hole. The building was probably designed with the roof hole just in case somebody ever needed to fire his gun inside to stop a fight. Apparently most buildings in Sweetwater are designed with a similar roof hole. Does anybody know of at least ONE instance when somebody on TYR has fired a gun indoors and we actually see roof particles fall to the ground? At the moment I can't recall such an instance.

Fonzie orders some of the townsfolk to be arrested and orders the rest to disperse immediately. Sam finally gets up in Fonzie's face and tells him he's making a big mistake. Come on Sam, lay the smack down! Fonzie says he has no choice. He saw what happened in Kansas and the only way to stop the Hawk is to isolate him from his supporters.

Fonz tells Sam he'll be needing to use his jail to house several prisoners. All right Sam, here it is, tell him he can use your jail as a suppository! Tell him he can use your jail to house the beatin' you're about to give him! Do it, Sam! PUT FONZIE IN HIS PLACE! Sam remains silent. *sigh* And unfortunately, Sam's silence equates to compliance.

Fonzie hands Sam a wanted poster of Kid and tells him to post them around town. Hahaha, is that a drawing of Kid or David Cassidy on the poster?? And it's only a $200 reward? That's weak!

Floating Rifle Hawk's camp. Aaron asks Kid how he's feeling. Apparently Kid has been out cold for a couple of days. Wimp. Kid's first concern is where Katy is. How sad is that? Aaron assures Kid that she's fine, they have her outside. He says Kid's arm should be fine too because he took the bullet out himself. Luckily there wasn't much muscle to work around. Jeff watches the proceedings cautiously.

Aaron asks Kid if he shot the sergeant that roughed up his daddy. Kid says no, but he wishes he had. Aaron knows Kid's name (well, he knows that he's called "Kid"), and he knows he's from Manassas, Virginia. Kid wonders how he knows so much about him, and Aaron says they pride themselves on being thorough. Aaron mentions that he used to ride with a guy named Jed from Manassas. He says Kid reminds him of Jed. Kid mentions that Jed was his brother. Aaron knew that too! He introduces himself and Jeff. They're from Richmond, VA.

Jeff says that Jed didn't do too much good for them in the end, but Aaron says that was Yankee talk and it's not very reliable. He tells Kid that Jeff has a sharp tongue, but his heart's in the right place. He talks about how Jed was a good man and asks if Kid believes the same way he did. Kid says, "Most things." Then he blurts out, "You the Hawk?" Real smooth, Kid, reeeeeeal smooth. Not going with the whole subtle approach, huh?

Aaron asks if it would be a problem if he was. Kid shakes his head. Aaron laughs and gives Kid his gun back. Jeff stares suspiciously at Kid. And who can blame him?

Back to the Ike and Annie story. Yippee. Let me fluff my pillow here. Ahhhh, nice and comfy. Somebody wake me up when this snoozefest is over. As Annie's leaving church she sees Ike and yells to him that she didn't see him at the service. The heathen shakes his head to let her know that he didn't go. Annie finds church to be a great comfort and is sorry that she won't be seeing Ike in Heaven when they both die. She tells Ike to say hi to Beelzebub for her. Ouch.

Ike hands Annie a piece of paper, she reads it, and then says a ride in the country would be all right. Can anybody explain to me why it took Annie about 10 minutes to read "would you like to ride in the country with me"? They head over to a horse and buggy and voila, through the magic of TV editing, they are now in "the country."

Annie tells Ike that she was born in Baltimore and her parents died when she was 10. As expected, sappy music is playing. Oh man I hope this scene ends soon. I would fast forward, but nooooo, I've gotta be thorough with my review. It's come to be expected of me.

Ike points to himself about 3 times, and this prompts Annie to ask if he's from Baltimore too. He points to himself about 3 more times and she says, "Oh, you're alone too." What? Please. She's known Ike for 10 minutes and all of a sudden she can decipher that pointing to himself three times means he's alone? Besides, I doubt that's what it meant anyway.

Picking Boogers Annie then bores us some more as she says how beautiful the land out here is. People back East thought it was a bunch of cactus and tumbleweeds, but she knew it'd be lovely. She asks Ike if he thinks it's wrong to marry someone you've never met, but he sheepishly shakes his head. She starts to talk about her supposed dead husband-to-be and mentions how they wrote each other for a year. Ike obviously doesn't care to listen to her ramble on about this jerk.

She could tell by his letters he was a kind and decent man. BLAH BLAH BLAH! NOBODY CARES! If Jimmy doesn't hurry up and shoot something then I'm stopping this review. I can't take much more of Annie and her annoying voice. Ike then pulls at the heartstrings of his female fans as he picks a flower and hands it to her. She sniffs it and then lets Ike sniff it. He starts to sneeze. Hey, if he's a true mute then why is he making noises while sneezing?

Back at the Hawk's camp Kid is looking at the horses. Gross. Jeff catches him and asks why he's so interested in the stock. Kid uses the ol' "I ride for the Pony Express and I know a thing or two about horses" excuse and says they have some good ones. Jeff tells him not to think about taking a ride on one. He doesn't trust strangers, no matter who their brother was.

Corey Feldman Aaron rides in and tells the Raiders that they're gonna bust out the prisoners tonight. Kid says his arm is feeling pretty good, so Aaron says he'll be riding with them. Jeff doesn't like the idea, but Aaron says he needs to get his feet wet. There's one rule though - don't tell anybody about fight club. No, that's not right. Oh yeah, newcomers don't ride alone. He shows Kid his "wanted" poster. Kid asks if he can keep it, and Aaron tells him to give it to his mom. HEY! His mother's dead! Have a heart!

Awww, Jimmy's practicing his reading! And Vera's helping him. "You ... run up ... the ... hill." Vera treats him like a 10-year-old and says, "That's great! Keep it up and you'll be my best student!" Jimmy replies with, "That's because you're the best teacher!" Awwww, Jimmy's got a crush on the teacher. Somebody's teacher's pet!

He then pulls out the Hawk's letter and says that's what he'd really like to read. Vera says it's against the law to have that, but Jimmy says that's Captain Fonzie's law, and it doesn't (oh, I'm sorry, that should be "don't") hold well with him. The Hawk seems to be making more sense. In comes Hutch.

Hutch tells Jimmy to be careful; words like that can land a man in jail. Jimmy replies with, "It'll be a sorry time when plain talk's against the law." Let's make that the second "Mark-Out Remark" nominee, shall we? Jimmy then says that if the Hawk's against what the army's doing to this town, then he's all for him. Hutch says in these times it's best for a man to use caution if he wants to achieve his goals.

Ike and Annie are standing in front of her hotel room. She thanks him for a lovely evening. They awkwardly stare at each other until Ike takes the plunge and kisses her. She stops the kiss, and he points to his nose twice and starts to walk away, but she says she's sorry, kisses him on the cheek, and bids him a good night.

That night at Emma's, Emma and Sam are having a little chinwag with Ike about the birds and the bees. Emma talks about how Annie was planning on getting married, but then her hopes were crushed, so Ike needs to be careful. When a girl gets hurt like that, she's fragile and can hurt again easily.

Sam cracks me up. He starts to explain to Ike that the real reason to be careful is that if Annie's like a lot of those girls then she's probably real desperate to get married, hahaha, especially since she's not... at this point Sam's trying to say she's not real attractive, but starts tripping on his words. Emma sternly asks what's he's trying to say. Sam stutters, "She's not real ... you know." Emma asks if he's trying to say she's not real pretty, so Sam starts saying how that doesn't necessarily apply to him, but it does to a lot of folk, men in particular. It's a very funny scene. Good chemistry between Sam and Emma.

Gangsta Ike Ike clenches his fists together near his chest. Um. Then he points his fingers at his face and kind of moves them along the outline of his face. Sam asks what he's saying, and Emma claims he's saying Annie has her own kind of beauty. Sam starts saying yeah, that's right! That's what he's been talking about all along! Hahaha, good stuff. Ike just smiles and shakes his head.

That's not exactly what Ike said though. According to the JBSLD, Ike was saying that if a woman has an ample bosom, then he doesn't care about her face. That's just wrong, folks.

Kid Sings Opera Sam obviously just finished watching a Kid episode because now he's sleeping inside his office. Kid and the Raiders burst in. They free the prisoners and tell them it'd be wise to stay out of the territory until the army's gone. Jeff holds his gun on Sam and is ready to shoot him, but Kid yells "NO!" Aaron tells him there'll be no shooting. Jeff comments that Sam has seen their faces. Aaron says seeing them and finding them are two different things; he can't shoot everybody that sees him. So why didn't Jeff want to shoot Cody when they stole the army dispatch from him? He saw their faces, but Jeff made no mention of shooting him. Seems strange to me.

Hmmmm Aaron tells Kid to lock Sam in prison. Sam hopes Kid knows what he's doing (not likely), and Kid "whispers" to Sam to tell Ben Fetterman to meet him at Signal Rock at noon tomorrow. Nice whisper. Hey Kid, I think one of the Raiders in the back didn't hear you!

The next day the Fonz tells Sam that last night's raid of the jail is proof that Sam can't maintain order in Sweetwater. Sam says that Sweetwater was plenty orderly until Fonzie came in and made it an army camp. He then says if there's any support for the Hawk, it's because the Captain caused it.

The Captain disagrees with this assessment and says he's declaring Marshal law. Or wait a minute, did he mean "Martial Law"??? Is Captain Fonz the one responsible for that horrible TV show starring Arsenio Hall and some Chow Yun Fat wannabe??? If so, then GO HAWK! RID US OF THE FONZ AND HIS ARSENIO HALL LOVING SELF!

Sam asks the Captain if he's trying to start a war. The Fonz says no, he's trying to stop a war. Technically, isn't he trying to PREVENT a war? A war would have to have already started for it to be stopped. Sam should've pointed this out to Fonzie. I can see the Captain getting red in the face and his mullet flapping in the wind as he shook with anger. I would've laughed heartily. Unlike most of you reading this review.

The Captain says that if Sam tries to interfere, then he'll have him arrested. Sam says he's gonna send a deputy to talk to the Colonel in Ft. Myles because, "I can't believe you've got the right to run rough shod over an entire town." Fonzie understands, he'd probably do the same thing.

Bob Newhart Kid meets with Ben. Ben asks Kid why he shot Sgt. Miller. Kid says he shot the sheriff, but he did not shoot the deputy. Ben just sits there looking confused, so Kid says never mind, it's a 20th century joke. He then says he's not the one who shot Miller and asks Ben whose side he's on. Ben says he can ask the same thing and asks Kid how he can know he can trust him. Kid says he can't know, but he could've shot Ben the minute he rode up.

Ben finally accepts this and asks Kid if he's found out who the Hawk is. Nope. Ben tells Kid to hang on a few more days because Captain Fonzie is expecting a big shipment of rifles soon, and he wants Kid to find out if the Hawk knows about it. Kid tells him to meet him at the same place the day after tomorrow.

Arm Gun Kid rides away. As Ben is leaving, Jeff blocks his path. His gun is pointed at Ben, and he tells him to get off his horse. Ben says he doesn't have any money, but Jeff isn't after money. He wants to know what Ben and Kid were talking about. At this point, most rational-thinking people would make up a good story about what they were talking about. Most people would refrain from riding towards someone holding a gun on them. Welp, Ben ain't most people. He runs into Jeff and tries to get away, but Jeff bounces up and shoots Ben in the back. Apparently, he thinks it's cool to rest his gun on his arm to aim. Every bad guy has to have a signature I suppose. I wrote "Ben" 14 times in the last three paragraphs. Realizing that makes me question whether I'm really getting the most out of my life right now.

Later that night Jimmy spies on Vera talking to Aaron and then he follows Aaron.

Uh-oh, Kid's in trouble. He's in front of a fire and he's sweating more than Michael Moore at an NRA meeting in Death Valley during an August heat wave. Jeff's got his gun pointed at him as well. Kid wants to see how brave he is without the gun. Jeff just laughs and says he knew Kid was a snake the first time he laid eyes on him.

Aaron rides up and asks what's going on. Jeff says Kid's a spy. He caught him talking to an army agent. Kid says he "didn't see nothing" and claims he's making it up. Jeff hands Aaron the piece of paper that Kid had given Ben. Kid maintains his non-spyness. Here comes Jimmy in the shadows.

The Hawk Aaron says the Hawk will have to decide what to do with Kid, but Jeff wants to kill him right now. Aaron says no, and when he tries to grab Jeff's gun, Jeff punks him. Jeff points his gun at Kid. This causes Jimmy to draw his gun just in case he has to save Kid's life once again. Off screen we hear someone say, "Jeff!" Who is it? Could it be the Hawk??? He's got his head lowered, and as he looks up we see that it's HUTCH! HUTCH IS THE HAWK! Woo, big surprise there. Nice attempt at a plot twist, but really, I can't say this revelation hit me upside the head.

The Kid vs. Corey B. Trotz Jeff explains that he caught Kid talking to an army agent. Hawk says, "Then why waste a bullet? Hang 'em." Jeff smiles, Kid scowls, and tense music plays. Freeze frame on Kid, and it's to be continued ... as is this review.

So far we have learned that apples can be used as valuable learning tools, and Sweetwater doesn't do extensive background searches on new school masters.

What will happen next? Will Kid be hanged?? Will the Hawk and his Raiders take over the town?? Will Ike and Annie get married and live happily ever after?? Will Fonzie cut off his mullet?? All of these questions and many more will be answered in ... Gathering Clouds ... PART TWO!

To be continued...

I better head out, I've been eating too much candy and I think Corey B. Trotz is giving me a call.

In the immortal words of Robert E. Lee, "I cannot trust a man to control others who cannot control himself."

This is just my opinion, you could be wrong.
The Sun Sets on The Rider Review
Copyright 2002 Madlib Productions, All Rights Reserved

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