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 - Ten-Cent Hero
By Johnny Betts

Hello and welcome once again to the Rider Review. In this edition, I'll be reviewing the ever-popular episode "Ten-Cent Hero." This is one of my favorite episodes of the entire series, so my motivation level is running high.

It seems most everybody loved the interview with Kid in the "Black Ulysses" Rider Review. I was planning on having an interview with Hickok for this review, but I've decided to save that interview for later. I have plenty of material to work with, and I want to save the interview for when things need to be spiced up a little. Thanks to everybody who sent in questions for Jimmy (especially Jeanette), I will save your questions and they will be asked when the interview occurs.

A lot of you were apparently too lazy to send in questions even though I kindly asked you to do so. Sad, so sad. I put my heart and soul into these reviews, and you can't take the time out of your day to respond to my cries for help??? Here's how I feel a conversation would go between me and the typical reader:

Typical Reader: Hey Johnny, you lazy bum, WHEN IN THE WORLD IS THE NEXT RIDER REVIEW COMING OUT?!?!?!
Me: Hi there! Sorry for the delay in the review but do you know the process I go through to write the Rider Review?
TR: Nope, sure don't. Don't really care either but go ahead and tell me, I need a good nap.
Me: Well, first I watch the show and take notes. This involves many instances of pausing and rewinding to make sure my notes are as accurate as possible. I then transcribe my notes to the computer. I then start putting together thoughts and ideas, trying to make things as interesting as possible. That's only the rough draft. I must then go through the review and polish it up. My stories don't always come to me right away. It takes time and effort to make this review as funny as it is. By the time I finish, I've got over 10 pages of absolute hilarity.
TR: Whatever, just as long as it entertains me, I really don't care what you have to go through.
Me: But you don't understand. Don't you remember what it was like to write college papers? Well, sometimes my reviews are longer than many of my college papers were. And yes, sometimes research is involved.
TR: Yeah, yeah, so when is the next review going to be done?
Me: Soon, it'll be soon! When I'm done you'll send me some sort of feedback and let me know what you thought, right?
TR: If I have time. I'm very busy.

And so is the life of one of the most gifted and entertaining writers on the net. You folks better start to show a little love, you don't want to get me testy. Trust me, it doesn't pay to upset Johnny Betts.

[UPDATE - August 8, 2002 - If YOU want to pay ME then I'll let you upset me all you want.]

I'm sure I'll hear from some of my long-time readers who'll be asking, "You don't mean ME do you Johnny?" Probably not. I know who the faithful are. Thanks to all of you who never fail to let me know how I'm doing, without you I wouldn't have the motivation to keep writing the reviews. All you folks ROCK! To everybody else reading: let me know how you feel. Even if you don't like the review or think I treated a character unfairly then let me know. I understand that many people are intimidated by the overall legend that is Johnny Betts, but you really don't need to be. Sure, I kick butt in a major way, but I'm still a nice guy.

Just to prove I'm a nice guy, I'll now announce a few Rider Review winners. If it's one thing I know about you folks it's that you love seeing your name in print. So without further ado, here are the "Black Ulysses" Rider Review Winners:

Best New Readers: Shannon and Suzanne (from Holland)
Rider Review Feedbacker of the Week: Jeanette Rider
Review Mark of the Week: Cristy Maudlin

I'm also taking entries for "Johnny Betts' #1 fan." Cristy and Aimee are making strong claims to the title, but based on previous correspondence Jess, Jeanette, and Ann from Australia all consider themselves strong contenders. Anybody can be a contender though, after all, I CAN be bribed.

I'm introducing a new segment to the Rider Review. It's called "What's Wrong with People?" Every day I see people doing stuff that just doesn't make sense. Things that make you stare in bewilderment and ask, "What's wrong with people?" This may not have anything explicit to do with The Young Riders, but it'll keep things interesting. It's kind of like a commercial break except more entertaining.

[UPDATE - August 8, 2002 - The "What's wrong with people?" segments used to be included in full in the review, but I'm just going to provide a link to their section on the website.]

Oh, and stay tuned to the end of the review. There's a plethora of Young Rider web sites out there, so if you're thinking of starting your own YR page but you need help with some tag lines to advertise your site then I'm gonna provide some possible ideas for you to build your site around.

What's Wrong with People at Airports?

...WHAT'S WRONG WITH PEOPLE???

I'm sure many of you think the exact same thing when you read my Rider Reviews. Ah well, I can't win 'em all. Speaking of Rider Reviews, let's get started with Ten-Cent Hero!

Ike We see Sam playing poker. For some reason Lou is suggesting to one of the players that he might want to fold (at least I'm assuming that her violent head shakes and the pouty face she made were to be read as, "You might want to fold"). Ike is also trying to influence one of the players. He points, flaps his arms, and then circles his hand over his face. Buck interpreted it as, "When the shadow moon hangs and the sky with the rising sun is at the owl or the rooster that crows."

Let me pull out the ol' Johnny Betts Sign Language Dictionary and see what Ike was really saying...HOLY COW! BUCK DID INDEED INTERPRET IT CORRECTLY! You folks know what this means, don't you? It means I was right all along! Ike is always just signing a bunch of gibberish, and Buck just proved it to be true! Go back and watch the scene again closely. In the background you can see a book that is partially blocked by Buck's rail thin body, but you can see the following:

Joh... ...tts' ...uage Dictio...

Yep, justice is served. I hope that part isn't only in the Special Collector's Edition that I obtained because I'd really like all the readers to see it.

Anyway, Sam tells them to mind their own business. I don't blame him. Why exactly were Ike and Lou trying to help out two characters that we had never seen before and that we'd never see again? Seems like they'd be pulling for Sam to win. Did Sam do something to make Ike and Lou mad? That must be it. I heard Sam was known for running around and rubbing Ike's bald head for good luck. Must've done it one too many times. As for Lou, it may have just been that time of the month.

There was another part during this scene that always surprised me. When Lou shook her head at that one guy, he laid his cards down and calmly stated, "You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run. You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table. There'll be time enough for countin', when the dealin's done."

Sam just looked at the dude and said, "A bit over dramatic, don't ya think?" You might not remember that scene, I think it may have been removed when Kenny Rogers threatened a lawsuit. Word has it that he was still upset over not being chosen to play the role of Woodrow Call in "Lonesome Dove." Come on Kenny, move on already!

While we're on the subject of music, who else out there held out hope that Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive" would be played on an episode of The Young Riders? Come on, raise your hands. Yep, I thought so. Speaking of Bon Jovi, prepare yourself for the next review. It will contain my true life story about joining the Bon Jovi Secret Society fan club. It's a story you won't want to miss.

I always laugh when dude raises Sam a nickel and Sam replies with, "This is getting' serious." Then Jimmy says if he were Sam he'd see that nickel, to which Sam says, "Well, ya ain't me," and then Cody says, "Thank the Lord for small favors." I don't have any great analysis to provide for that scene, I just think it's funny.

Plus, Cody's line is a good one to use in various circumstances:

My mom: I'm too tired to cook supper tonight.
Johnny: Thank the Lord for small favors.

Or

My mom: Goiter neck is out of town this week so you don't need to cut her grass.
Johnny: Thank the Lord for small favors.

Dead Man's Hand The coolest part of the scene is when they show Sam's cards and he has ACES OVER EIGHTS! THE DEAD MAN'S HAND!!!! If any of you don't know, that's the hand that the real Jimmy Hickok was holding when he was shot from behind and killed, thus it's now known as the Dead Man's Hand. That's one of those small little things about the Young Riders that make the show so cool. In fact, that might be the absolute coolest "tidbit" of the entire series. Unfortunately, I'm afraid most people didn't fully appreciate that little tidbit.

Jimmy urges Sam to keep playing. He says the other guy's bluffing. Unfortunately, the guy wasn't bluffing and Sam lost. The Dead Man's Hand was a loser! NOTE THE SYMBOLISM! Hickok would once again be a loser with the Dead Man's Hand later in life! Well, maybe the writers weren't trying to be THAT symbolic, but hey, you never know.

Jimmy tries to get Cody to come watch, but Cody is reading. Jimmy refers to Cody's books as "ten-cent hogwash." All the while, we see the little weasel J.D. Marcus watching. Cody tells Jimmy that he should try reading the books sometime, he might learn how to be a real hero. In a Sam-worthy quip contender Jimmy says, "Real heroes learn from doin', not readin'." BOOYA! That's an awesome line.

I used the line in school all the time. My teachers didn't much cotton to it, especially not my old English teacher Mrs. Wexler.

Mrs. Wexler: Listen up class, I want you all to read The Metamorphosis tonight so that we can have a nice discussion about it tomorrow.
Johnny: Sorry Mrs. Waxyourlip, but I won't be doing that.
Mrs. Wexler: And why not?
Johnny: Real heroes learn from doin', not readin'.

The class would clap loudly for me until ...

Mrs. Wexler: All right Mr. Hero, then what you're gonna be DOING is marching yourself on down to the principal's office.

Worked for me. I got out of class, and I always got out of trouble. Too bad my principal wasn't Ms. Musso (read the rest of the review if you don't understand the meaning behind this statement).

So Cody tells Jimmy he doesn't know anything about the finer things in life. This prompts Jimmy to toss Cody's book in a water bucket and inform him that school's out. He tells Cody he'll buy him another one, and Cody finally agrees to watch the poker game.

Marcus comes up behind Jimmy and Cody and gives Cody a new book. Cody is excited to learn that Marcus is the one writing all the 10-cent novels he's been reading. Jimmy is less than impressed. In another funny sequence Cody asks Marcus to write something personal in his book. Cody starts to read it out loud, "To Bill Cody, an s...an as..." to which Hickok responds with, "Least he got that right." Funny stuff.

Marcus claims not only does he know the people he writes about, but he made them famous. In yet another Sam-worthy quip contender, Jimmy responds with, "If they were any good, they wouldn't need you or anybody else to write about 'em. Word just seems to get around, Mr. Marcus." Marcus says yes, usually by people who can read. Oooooooh, he's asking for it!

Marcus claims he can recognize right away a boy who would wet himself if he were to meet up with a real gunfighter. Oh man, you shouldn't have gone there J.D.! You're insinuating that Jimmy isn't a real gunfighter?? Bad move, my friend, bad move.

Jimmy Rocks Marcus pushes the book in Jimmy's face and tells him to read it. This Marcus fella ain't too bright, is he? Jimmy pushes it aside and causes Marcus to spill his drink on himself. Jimmy says it looks like Marcus is the one who wet himself now. Marcus is then dumb enough to raise his cane to hit Jimmy. Jimmy spins around and shoots off about three pieces of the cane and then shoots Marcus' hat. It was pretty cool.

Sam gets mad at Jimmy for going straight for the gun. Come on Sam, nobody was hurt! Marcus tells Jimmy he'll be hearing from him. Jimmy says he's looking forward to it. The riders leave. The entire scene was very good. I'll go ahead and nominate it as the first "classic scene" contender. For brevity we'll call it, "the scene where Sam plays poker and holds the Dead Man's Hand and then Jimmy tells Cody to quit reading and later shoots Marcus' cane and hat."

We then see Marcus in his office. He starts to write about "The Legend of Wild Bill Hickok." I wish the writers hadn't made it look like Hickok just got the name "Wild Bill" for no particular reason. This is one thing the show could've portrayed more accurately; they could have had an entire show dedicated to the issue.

There are different theories as to how the name came about, but consensus says that while Hickok was working at the Rock Creek Pony Express Station, he met a man named David McCanles. McCanles started referring to Hickok as "Duck Bill" because he had a protruding upper lip (the reason why he later grew a bushy mustache). Hickok eventually got in a shoot-out with McCanles and killed him and three of his friends. The nickname "Wild Bill" was attached to Hickok sometime after this.

There are different stories as to when and why, but I'll let you do the research if you're interested. I guess the writers didn't know how to explain the "Duck Bill" aspect of the nickname. I guess they figured viewers weren't quite ready to believe that chisel-faced Josh Brolin would be referred to as "Duck Bill." That would be the equivalent of expecting the audience to buy into Buck being called "Monster Pecs" or Kid being referred to as "Baldy" or even Lou being referred to as "Chesty." So I'll give the writers a little break since they were cool enough to show THE DEAD MAN'S HAND!

Tompkins tells Cody he has a new 10-cent novel, but Cody says those books don't interest him anymore. What? About a day ago, Cody was begging Marcus to write something personal in his book and now all of a sudden he's lost his interest in the 10-cent novels? Ah well, at any rate, once Cody sees the front cover he flashes a big Cody smile.

Lou Reads the Rider Review He rushes into the bunkhouse and gets Lou to start reading the book. Kid and Buck listen in, and they all soon realize the book is a bunch of lies. After all, Jimmy had never killed anyone in a stand-off other than Longley, and he certainly didn't have 20 kills in 18 years.

Teaspoon shows up and says the book is saying, "There's a new king of the hill and his name is Wild Bill Hickok. Mr. Marcus is setting up Jimmy, and cashin' in to boot." This is an example of the writers showing us how wise Teaspoon is. Like a dork, Lou had the gall to ask why Marcus is making Jimmy look like a hero after Jimmy showed him up in the saloon. Duuuuuuh. It's a good thing that Teaspoon was there to point out the obvious. Grizzled wisdom, Teaspoon is thy name!

What's Wrong with People Part 2:

[UPDATE - August 8, 2002 - I didn't put this WWWP segment on the Website, so I'll leave it here.]

Does anyone know who Brandon Call is? He was the eldest dark-haired son on the Suzanne Somers show "Step By Step." A real dork. I'm pretty sure there aren't too many girls who'd be attracted to him. Welp, I actually saw a "Brandon Call barefoot" picture being sold on Ebay. If that wasn't bad enough, the bidding had gotten up to $31!!!! I mean, Brandon Call? $31?? WHAT'S WRONG WITH PEOPLE??? I don't remember how in the world I came across that listing. Must've happened whilst looking to add to my vast array of Patrick Duffy memorabilia.

Jimmy's out on a run when he rides up on someone who is faking to be hurt. The guy holds his hand up to Jimmy and OH MY GOODNESS!! IT'S MIKEY FROM "PARKER LEWIS CAN'T LOSE!!!!!!!" Another interesting fact is the actor playing Marcus (Gerrit Graham) was Dr. Norman Pankow in "Parker Lewis Can't Lose!"

What's the deal? Why is this a special Parker Lewis episode? Let me also point out that Gerrit Graham played Kevin Arnold's dentist in "The Wonder Years." What's more is that the chick who played Parker Lewis' sister was also in an episode of "The Wonder Years!" If that wasn't enough, Mikey's real life brother played "Eddie Pinetti" in a "Wonder Years" episode!!!!!!!! And you know, Kid's afro often reminds me of the afro that Kevin Arnold used to sport! IT'S A SPECIAL YOUNG RIDERS/PARKER LEWIS/WONDER YEARS CROSSOVER EPISODE THE LIKES OF WHICH HAS NEVER BEEN SEEN! If Gabe Calder ends up being played by Jason Hervey then I'm outta here.

Is it just me, or is it possible that all of this could have something to do with the time-space continuum? Personally, I'm getting a little frightened, but I'll keep reviewing the episode nonetheless.

Jimmy and Mikey It turns out Mikey wants to fight Hickok. He shows Jimmy the book. Jimmy says the picture on the book looks like him but it isn't him. Besides, his name isn't Bill or William. It's James, as in James Butler Hickok. Somebody please tell me, how in the world did Mikey know where Jimmy would be riding? How in the world did he know that Jimmy would ride up to the exact spot where he was waiting? I guess it's possible Mikey followed Hickok from the station, but that's a little suspect.

Oh well, Jimmy doesn't really want to fight this kid, so he just pretends like he's going to and then he runs over and takes Mikey's guns and knocks him down. He should've thrown the guns a little farther than three feet away from him though. Personally, I would've kept the guns and sold them on Ebay. Jimmy tells Mikey the next time he has 10 cents to spend that he should spend it on candy.

In a scene that only appears in the Special Johnny Betts Review Edition, Jimmy then said, "Oh, and maybe Parker Lewis can't lose, but his best friend Mikey sure can. BOOYA!" That was a little out of character for Jimmy, so that part of the scene never aired.

Jimmy was wearing a really cool poncho in this scene. If anybody knows where I can find one like it then please let me know. Back when the show was still on the air, I really wanted a jacket like the one Jimmy wore all the time (the light-colored one). My sister had one of those teen magazines that had an address where you could send a letter in an effort to win a Young Riders poster. The poster contest was over, but I decided I'd send them a letter and ask where I could get a jacket like Hickok's.

I think a couple of months went by before I ever got a response. Then one day I received a letter in the mail with some sort of address that let me know it was from the Young Riders people (I don't remember the exact address). To my dismay, no one felt the need to actually respond to anything I had asked in the two-page letter I sent them. They did, however, send me a Young Riders postcard, so that was cool. I later got a jacket similar to Hickok's and I still wear it to this day.

YR Postcard Sure, I had wanted them to respond to the questions in my letter, but I suppose they were busy folks. At least I got something out of it. And perhaps they didn't quite know how to respond to the part where I said, "Also, where could I get some pistols like the ones Hickok uses? I'd like to 'get Jimmy' on a few people around here." Hindsight is 20/20, but perhaps the letter could've used some editing.

"Yeah, much like your reviews, Johnny!"

Shut up.

Jimmy finally makes it back to the bunkhouse, only to be hassled by Kid. Kid tells Jimmy he read the book, and in a funny comeback Jimmy says, "What do you want, a reward?" The delivery was perfect. Kid especially liked the part where Jimmy shot 5 men in Dodge and then shot a chandelier causing it to land on another dude. But Jimmy was only warming up; he killed 15 more before the day was through. Kid said he was telling everybody he was Jimmy's sidekick.

This only strengthens my theory that Ty Miller is in fact Chris O'Donnell. Kid is telling everybody he's Jimmy's SIDEKICK, and then Chris O'Donnell goes on to play one of the most famous SIDEKICKS of all time -- Robin. Coincidence? You know it isn't.

Hmm, I might have to start referring to Kid as "Robin."

The next scene is also very funny. Everybody is sitting at the table eating when Jimmy walks in. He's whistling and buttoning up his shirt. "Nice evenin', ain't it?" he says, but everybody is quiet. Jimmy requests some "Spuds and peas." In true waiter fashion, Ike drapes a napkin over his arm and complies with young Mr. Hickok's request. Jimmy then asks for some biscuits (or something like that, I don't feel like rewinding and making sure), and Buck responds with "As you wish." Cody lifts up a lamp and hands the plate of meat to Jimmy. Jimmy is pleased with the food and says, "Mmm mmm, sure is good Emma." Emma winks and responds with, "So is this," as we see she's holding a picture of Sam wearing longjohns. Realizing her faux pas, she quickly picks up the "Wild Bill" Hickok book and says, "Uh, I mean THIS." Very good timing.

So Jimmy discusses the issue of the book with everybody and they go back to eating. Cody keeps giving Jimmy funny looks until Jimmy is finally forced to ask him what his problem is. Cody responds he knows Jimmy like a brother, and he thinks it's only fair that the rest of the riders cash in on Jimmy's new found fame.

Jimmy tells him to stand up. When he does, Jimmy yells "Draw!" and pulls a carrot on him. Cody is not amused, but everybody else at the table is. This entire scene was very funny. Cody's facial expressions never fail to make me laugh.

The riders are in town buying supplies. They need to get Emma some lilac water. Jimmy wonders which kind to get, but Kid doesn't know. Whew, thank goodness. All you Kid fans were just spared a few insults. Jimmy asks two girls which lilac water would be their favorite, but they just giggled and walked away. They were reading the Wild Bill book, so I guess they didn't know how to react in front of a celebrity. Jimmy gets mad at Tompkins for selling the book, but hey, Tompkins is trying to turn a profit, and he knows what sells. In another Sam-worthy quip contender, Jimmy says, "Seems like lies will follow a body around closer than his own shadow."

Man, tell me about it. Once the rumors of "those Johnny Betts pictures" started spreading, I never thought I'd be able to get the girls to stop e-mailing me and asking me where they were and how they could obtain them.

As Jimmy and Kid are loading the wagon, a little kid yells, "It's Wild Bill, come here!" The kids gathered around to stare until Jimmy yelled, "WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT?" and they dispersed. It's funny because you can see Jimmy smiling after he's chased the kids off. He wasn't being mean; he was just having fun.

Same thing happened to me the other day. All of a sudden I hear, "It's Johnny Betts, come here!" I look up and a group of midgets are surrounding me. I have no idea what was going on. I just went about my way, VERY confused, and more than a little unnerved.

We see a couple of outlaws ride in, but Sam quickly tells them to get out of town. Seems they're old acquaintances of Sam. The bad guy with a beard says that if it's one thing he can't stand it's "an ex-gunslinger with a badge."

The two ruffians hear Tompkins call Jimmy "Wild Bill." They go to confront him and they tell Jimmy that they understand that he bushwhacked Gabe Calder. Jimmy says they understood wrong. Sam comes over to break it up. He ends up hitting mustache boy, and Jimmy draws his gun on beard dude. Sam grabs Jimmy by the arm and throws him in his office.

Sam Dances He claims he almost killed a man because of Jimmy and he wants to know why. I always thought Sam was a little mean in this scene. It's not Jimmy's fault the two men approached him! Hey Sam, ever heard of getting the full story before you start yelling and screaming like a madman???

Jimmy explained the whole book story to Sam, and Sam wasn't too happy about it. He told Jimmy he once traveled the road that Jimmy is starting on, and it only leads to an early grave. Sam gives Jimmy one piece of advice -- "You shoot to kill, it's the only chance you got." We've got some FORESHADOWING folks!

In a scene that was later deleted, Sam then said, "You have no chance to survive make your time." To which Jimmy replied, "All your base are belong to us."

What's Wrong with People and Elevators?

Hickok's having nightmares about somebody chasing him. The "Wild Bill" legend is starting to get to him. He wakes up to see all the riders sleeping peacefully in their longjohns.

Jimmy's washing his face and Kid notices he hasn't gotten much sleep. As Jimmy is saddling his horse, Kid walks up behind him. Jimmy pulls his gun on Kid and then tells him not to sneak up on him like that. A tad jumpy, are we?

Jimmy's in town now, and he sees two little girls reading. He asks them what they're reading, and like the two little RUDE AND OBNOXIOUS FEMALE JERKS THAT THEY ARE, they ignore him. Jimmy should've thrown down on them right then, but alas, he merely grabbed the book to see what they were reading. Rather than being the Wild Bill book, it was "Gulliver in Lilliput." Jimmy tries to apologize, but they run off crying. Good. The little brats got what they deserved. Hey kids, next time someone asks you a question you better answer it or it'll be the pimp hand for you! I would've totally marked out if Jimmy had pulled his jacket over his gun. THEN we really would've known that all this Wild Bill stuff had pushed him to the edge of his sanity.

Jimmy's apparently had enough because he heads to the steam house with Teaspoon. Jimmy knows it doesn't matter if HE knows the truth, the problem is that, "If enough people believe it, a lie ain't no different than the truth." Jimmy liked being talked about at first, but he's tired of it now. Not Johnny Betts, I still love all the fame and accolades that I receive thanks to these immensely popular Rider Reviews. Teaspoon tells Jimmy to not believe the lie, else he'll become someone he isn't. Apparently, in the end all you have is your truth and you've got to hold to that. If Teaspoon says it, then it must be true.

We see Marcus in his office when in walks JASON HERVEY! WAYNE ARNOLD IS GABE CALDER! That does it, I'm quitting. I can't continue with ... oh wait a second, that's one of the deleted scenes found only in the special edition. Apparently the writers decided that Jason Hervey would NOT be a good Gabe Calder. Good decision.

Calder and Mick Foley Well, let's get back to the show and IT'S MICK FOLEY FROM THE WWF!!!! GABE CALDER IS PLAYED BY NONE OTHER THAN MANKIND!!!!!!! Seriously, look at the guy. The long hair, the scruffy beard, the oddly proportioned huge buttocks. It's obviously Mick Foley's long-lost brother. Now that I think about it, Marcus kind of reminds me of William Regal.

Not that anyone cares, but M.C. Gainey also played a bad guy in "Con Air" and "Breakdown."

"I look pretty good for a dead man, wouldn't you say?" Calder asks of Marcus. Calder's pretty steamed that Marcus has made Jimmy a hero at his expense. Marcus won't quit crying like a baby, so Calder slaps him. Marcus wets his pants and tells Calder he can find Hickok riding for the Pony Express in Sweetwater. Calder announces that once he's done with Hickok, he'll be back for Marcus. The music is very appropriate during this scene.

You know, Calder is another bad guy that should've been more of a regular. With some depth, he would've been an excellent character and an excellent on-going nemesis. So far he's one of my top two favorite villains, along with Longley. I just wish they would've done more with him.

Marcus rides into town to let Sam know that Calder is coming for Hickok. He claims he feels badly about what he wrote regarding Hickok. Yeah right. Marcus is a little weasel. Sam's right, Marcus is just a vulture waiting for something bad to happen just so he can write about it. Sam lets Marcus know that there will be some smack laid down on him if anything happens to Jimmy.

We see Mikey getting a room at a hotel in town. He just happens to sashay into town at the same time that the Calder gang is coming? Seems to be a bit of a coincidence, but this is such an awesome episode that I can let it slide.

The news is spreading about the Calder gang coming. People are scared and running home like the little pansies that they are. Mikey isn't scared though. Nope, he's looking forward to the arrival of the Calder gang. He's so tough that he's gonna drink him some whiskey!

Calder's gang has a nasty reputation, so Sam decides to head on over to the waystation and warn Emma. Despite's Kid's protests, Emma takes off to find Jimmy.

Calder gets to town, and some photographer takes a picture of him and his gang. I always thought this was kind of cool because you see all these pictures of outlaws and this kind of gives you a glimpse of how those pictures were made. It's pretty weird to think about these ruthless killers being kind enough to let someone take their picture.

But let me ask you this, if Calder and his gang had such a nasty reputation, and if they were soooo tough, then why in the world DID THEY COME INTO TOWN ON A STAGE?!?!?!?! Would a tough guy gang really come to town via stage? Come on, even the citified Jack-a-dandy Marcus rode to Sweetwater on a horse. I never understood the reasoning behind that. I guess it's possible that they couldn't find a horse big enough to hold Calder's abnormally large buttocks.

Anyway, Calder says the picture is going to wind up in the history books. Well, it might have, but then the history books found out that you and your gang of hardened criminals RODE FROM TOWN TO TOWN ON A STAGE! Sorry Gabe, but that did you in, my friend. However, it didn't stop the photographer from telling Calder where he could find Jimmy.

Calder shows up to the way station and asks Kid where he can find Jimmy. Kid, once again, BLATANTLY LIES and acts like he doesn't know who Hickok is. "Hickok, Hickok, I can't rightly says I know such a person," lied the Kid. OK, OK, in all seriousness it was the right thing to do. Of course I would expect Kid to cover for his friend! Unfortunately for Kid, it earned him a gun to the head.

Kid Messes With Johnny Calder wants Kid to tell Hickok he'll be waiting in town for him. For some reason, Kid started to move his hand toward a rifle propped against the fence. WHY?!?! First of all, would Kid really be hurt THAT bad? He's lying on the ground as if he's about to die. I've seen him recover from bullet wounds faster than that. And second of all, why would he attempt to go for his gun, especially if he was THAT incapacitated? Calder fires a shot at him and wonders what Kid's problem is. He was trying to keep Kid alive! Nice guy, that Calder.

Note the acting job of the bug that's walking on the ground in this scene. Excellent work.

Emma heard the shot and came back to help Kid. Jimmy rides up and finds out what's going on. He's heading to town to face Calder, and this time Emma's not gonna stop him. BOOYA! Kid lets Jimmy know that there are "four of 'em."

Back in town Mikey laughs at a drunk who knocks over a bottle. For some reason, the gang doesn't cotton to Mikey's laughing. Sam enters the saloon and approaches Calder. Calder lets Sam know Hickok's making a reputation at his (Calder's) expense, so he (Calder) will have to teach him (Jimmy) a lesson. Calder expresses regret in the fact Jimmy won't be around to benefit from said lesson.

Sam isn't too keen on all this though. Calder wants to know if Sam's callin' on him, and Sam says he surely is if he and his gang don't head out of town. Well, we all know that Calder isn't going to back down. Nope, he'll be out to face Sam in just a minute.

Sam tells his deputy to get on the roof. If it's a fair fight, he needs to stay out of it, if not then he better not miss. Meanwhile, Marcus weasels his way to the hotel window and gets ready to write. Back in the saloon, Mikey toasts Calder, and we're ready to go.

Calder heads out to the street. Things could get messy, but never fear, Jimmy is here! Jimmy sneaks up behind a guy with a rifle and knocks him out. He then sneaks up behind YET ANOTHER guy holding a rifle. I really like this part because Jimmy holsters his pistol, yells "Hey," waits for the guy to turn around and THEN shoots him. THE JIMSTER WAS ALL ABOUT FAIRNESS! I've just always thought that was cool.

After hearing Jimmy's shot, the deputy on the roof (at least I assume it was him) yells, "Marshal!" Here's the sequence of events that followed:

1) Rifle dude shoots Sam
2) Deputy on roof shoots rifle dude
3) Calder shoots deputy on roof

Calder then points his gun toward Sam and says, "Wrong place, wrong time, Marshal." But before Calder can finish Sam off, Jimmy's there to save the day.

Jimmy: Calder.
Calder: Hickok.
Jimmy: You wanted me?
Calder: I want you bad BABY! Get over here, cowboy!

Oh wait, that's another one of those deleted (thank the Lord for small favors) scenes. Let's pick up where we left off, shall we?

Calder: You're more trouble than you're worth, boy.
Jimmy: That's what they say.

So the two square off. Jimmy shoots Calder's right hand and you can see a nice chunk of flesh "pop-up" where Jimmy shoots him! I don't know how they did it, but it looks pretty cool. It grossed my sister out, but I personally thought it was a cool effect. Calder falls to the ground, but he refuses to give up. Despite Jimmy's warnings, Calder goes for his gun. Jimmy shoots Calder's left hand. Calder wants Jimmy to finish him off, but Jimmy walks away.

Jimmy, do you not remember what Sam told you? SHOOT TO KILL! IT'S YOUR ONLY CHANCE! The show really should have brought Calder back for a future episode. Granted, in "Bad Company" one of Calder's friends challenges Hickok, but Calder should've returned for an episode or two. I'm thinking a good two-parter where Calder planned his revenge would've been perfect. It would've culminated in a showdown that would have definitely closed the Hickok/Calder chapter.

Sam tells Jimmy he handled himself well, but this is only the beginning for him. As Jimmy heads over to the other riders, Mikey comes out of the saloon and yells "Hickok!" As Mikey starts to draw his guns, Jimmy spins around and shoots him.

Mikey CAN Lose Jimmy walks over there and says, "I never even knew his name." So Jimmy didn't watch Parker Lewis, huh? Even so, is there any reason why Jimmy should've known the kid's name?

Rumor has it there was talk of having Corin Nemec show up in a future episode to try to get revenge for Mikey's death. From what I hear, Parker was going to claim Ms. Musso and Jimmy conspired together to kill Mikey. Obviously, this never panned out, and I think everyone will agree with me that's probably for the best.

This whole scene, from Sam confronting Calder to Jimmy finishing Calder off, was very good. We'll count it as one scene and nominate it as the show's second "classic scene" contender. We'll call it, "the scene where Sam challenges Calder, a whole bunch of people get shot, and Jimmy saves the day."

Cody sees the Wild Bill book under Mikey's coat and notices that Marcus is watching from the hotel window. The riders, along with Teaspoon, head up to the room to confront Marcus. Teaspoon lets Marcus know that they'll hunt him down like a dog if he keeps writing lies about Hickok. WAY TO SUPPRESS THE MEDIA! Teaspoon has an idea for Marcus' next book. You see, Wild Bill would get wounded and decide to hang up his guns. So he'd retire, buy a home in California, and live happily ever after. Teaspoon likes the idea, and Cody hopes that Marcus likes it too.

As we see Hickok walking off in the distance, Marcus ends with these words:

"But I hope you realize that what happened here today can't be suppressed. True, false, it doesn't matter. It's the stuff of legend. The sort of legend that a young, growing country needs. It doesn't matter what I write, it's the kind of story that takes on a life of its own."

HOW COOL IS THAT?!?!?! Makes you wonder how accurate the legends of people like Billy the Kid and Jesse James are. I know some of the stories are true, but there are so many things that aren't verified. Could some of these instances be a case of a story taking on a life of its own?

[UPDATE - August 14, 2002 - When this episode originally aired I told my sister that the show was being cancelled. I said that Jimmy walking off in the distance signified that his character was walking off into the sunset and wouldn't be on anymore. I said they were going to write each character off one at a time. She believed me until the next episode when she saw that Jimmy was still on the show.]

So what did I think of the show? AWESOME! One of my favorites, if not my favorite. There are just so many cool things in it. And who can forget THE DEAD MAN'S HAND??? If you have any friends who aren't yet Young Riders fans then SHOW THEM THIS EPISODE!

Before I get to the post-show awards, let me just ask, are y'all as sick as I am of Peter Cetera's Karate Kid song? You know the one, "Glory of Love" or whatever it is. There's a radio station here that plays all love songs at night. Whenever I'm driving somewhere at night I'll stop the radio scan on the station just to hear some of the people who are requesting love songs. This is always good for a laugh until just about every song that is played is "Glory of Love."

Redneck: Yeah, I yelled at my wife for gittin' mad at my friend Bubba, but I really do love her and want her to know.
DJ Chick: So you had an argument, and now you're making up?
Redneck: Yep. I already oiled her tractor for her, but I wanted to do a little more, you know?
DJ Chick: I sure do know, let me pick out a song for you...

WE DID IT ALL FOR THE GLORY OF LOVE!!

And then the woman will play the song for totally inappropriate situations.

Mother: My son is graduating soon, and I'm really going to miss him. I feel bad because we've been arguing a lot lately, and he's going to go away to school soon, and I want him to leave on good terms, you know?
DJ Chick: I sure do know, let me pick out a song for you...

WE DID IT ALL FOR THE GLORY OF LOVE!!

STOP PLAYING THE SONG FOR EVERY SINGLE SITUATION KNOWN TO MAN! It's gotten to be a joke. Stephanie and I will be driving around, we'll hear some moron talk about being upset that he yelled at his pet mongoose and I'll jokingly say "Better play Glory of Love," and what do we hear?

WE DID IT ALL FOR THE GLORY OF LOVE!!

Unbelievable.

Now let's hand out a couple of post-show awards. This will be short and sweet:

Sam-worthy Quip: Jimmy Hickok with "Real heroes learn from doin', not readin'." There were several contenders, but I just liked this one the best. It's all in the delivery.

Classic Scene of the Episode: This one was tough, but the winner is "the scene where Sam plays poker and holds the Dead Man's Hand and then Jimmy tells Cody to quit reading and later shoots Marcus' cane and hat." It could have easily been the last scene, but hey, you just can't beat THE DEAD MAN'S HAND!

Wow, this has been a long review. In fact, it's the longest review so far. But hey, this is one of my favorite episodes, and I was pretty motivated. You folks have been waiting a while for this review, so I'm sure you'll be perfectly happy with all the goodies this review has to offer. Let's face it, this review rocks. You know it, and I know it, so let's be happy about it.

OK, let's get to those web site ideas and call it a night, shall we? If you've got a web site about a particular character, but you haven't found the perfect tag line to use when creating a link for your site or when trying to advertise it, then have no fear! Here are a few ideas that will guarantee you to rack up the hits!

1) Click here if you want to Know-a more about Noah!
2) We'll give you more than a teaspoon of info about Teaspoon!
3) You can now CROSS "Find a Buck Cross Web site" off your "to-do" list!
4) Click here for absoLOUtely the best place for info on Lou!
5) You're not DONE searching for info on Rachel Dunne until you've looked at THIS site.
6) Click here to access the Travis "He So" Fine Web site!
7) Oh me-o my-o, you've found a website for Melissa Leo! (ouch)
8) Get ROLLIN' to the Josh Brolin Web page!
9) You'll be a bald one if you don't click here to learn more about Stephen Baldwin! (what on earth does this even mean?!?!)
10) Brett Cullen CAIN'T believe you haven't checked out his Sam Cain site yet!
11) Stop KIDDING around; click here for all the hair-raising info on Kid!

There you go. That should fill your cheese quotient for the week. If anybody actually uses one of these ideas then I'll have a good laugh at your expense. I'm outta here folks. Send me your feedback and let me know that I did indeed hit a homerun. I'll end in the immortal words of Lash Larue, "I've got a whip and a gun that says you won't."

And please, don't forget, this is just my opinion, you could be wrong.

*In loving memory of Lillian Arnold, my grandmother.
The Sun Sets on The Rider Review
Copyright 2002 Madlib Productions, All Rights Reserved

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