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 - Unfinished Business
By Johnny Betts

July 26, 2002

PROLOGUE TO THE PROLOGUE

To spice things up a little bit I'm gonna do something a little different with this review. As some of you may know, my lovely wife Stephanie is my "beta reader" for the reviews. Welp, we thought it'd be interesting to let her include some of her comments within the review. I'll let her introduce herself. Since her favorite color is green that'll be the color of her comments. I want you to let me know what you think. Without further adieu...

Steph: Stephie Betts here. Johnny has graciously allowed me to share some of my thoughts in this review. Perhaps a female perspective will liven things up. Most of my comments are centered on Sam and his good-looking self. I hope it doesn't get too old, but come on, SAM LOOKS GOOD! I couldn't help myself. Now, on with the show.

July 22, 2002

PROLOGUE

Folks, I'm on a roll. That's all there is to it. Can y'all remember the time when I almost went two months in between reviews? I'm not saying it won't happen again, but at the moment I'm riding a wave of inspiration, so soak it all in while you can. If I recall correctly, I only wrote 8 reviews in 2001. This review is the SEVENTH review that I've written this year. I made a promise to you fine readers that I would write more than 8 reviews this year. Welp, I've got 5 months to write 2 more reviews. I'm just gonna put this baby in cruise control.

Steph: It's worked out great for me too. The greater preoccupation Johnny has with writing the reviews, the less he pesters me about fulfilling his so-called "needs."

Blah blah blah. You're asleep by 10:30 PM anyway, so I have to find SOMETHING to do.

Let's start off with some reader awards.

Steph: Why do all these strangers get awards, but not me? Who is the one who proofreads them all to perfection? IT'S ME! WHERE'S MY AWARD?!?!

Um, hello? You're reward is a little something called all this *Johnny points to himself*

Most Recent Guestbook Signers: Cathy Labanon from Hawaii, Emily, and Lindsay from Hawaii. That's right, THREE people signed the guestbook after the last review, and two were from Hawaii! What are the odds? Is there anybody else out there who'll take the JOHNNY BETTS GUESTBOOK CHALLENGE???

Rider Review Mark of the Last Review: It's a tie between Karen Myatt and Lindsay. Karen is a Kid/Lou fan but she stepped up to the plate and offered to help me with a couple of items on my Young Riders Wish List. There's still plenty of stuff I need though, so if you want to try to help then CLICK RIGHT HERE to see what I need and to see what you can help with.

Lindsay gets co-Mark of the Last Review honors for the following observation: "ps. the sunset pic at the end of Lady for a Night was cool."

THANK YOU! I was hoping somebody would think that picture was as cool as I did, and Lindsay was the only one to comment on it. I must thank the ever-illustrious Beth F. for sending me a card that contained the picture.

Rider Review Mark of the Hard Time Review: I'm retroactively giving this award to Cathy Labanon because she responded to about 3 reviews in a row. And I just realized she hadn't won the award before.

July 23, 2002

READER OBSERVATIONS

I'm gonna make this section a little shorter than last time, but the readers still had some interesting and/or thought-provoking things to say.

TaMara: Did DimWitt really have eyes in the back of his head? I'm glad others out there agree on how creepy he was. My jerkdar went off the entire episode.

JB: Your "jerkdar" must've been off the charts during "Unfinished Business."

Katta: Great review! And Jimmy *was* a wuss. Nothing wrong with that, I am all the time.

JB: No, no, not a wuss! A teacher of a profound life lesson.

Cathy Labanon, accepting her Comeback Award: Thank you. I will be looking forward to the package in the mail with my award.

JB: Well, I sent the award, but apparently the postal worker handling the award is a huge Kid fan, therefore I cannot guarantee that you'll receive it.

Sarah: It was another wonderful and funny review.

JB: This girl's a genius.

Ann from Oregon: One of the readers (can't remember who) said Jimmy was a wussabout the dentist, sorry but I would not have let anyone use that wickedlooking thing on me. He (the dentist)was also thebarber so that is also too scary for me. Jimmy was right not to trust him.

JB: Yes Ann, he indeed was right. And we should all salute him for teaching us ALL a very valuable lesson.

Cristy: i never understood lou's attraction to dewitt either. at least if you're gonna make the girl attracted to scum make him young, good-looking scum.

JB: Gotta agree with Cristy about this. They should've had her fall for someone similar to Brett Cullen. That would've been more believable. According to the responses I've gotten, not too many of you gals found DimWitt charming or good-looking. However, you find Johnny Betts to be plenty of both. Aww, thank you!

Steph: You're welcome. Lou doesn't deserve someone as good-looking and studly as Brett. He's mine.

Well whatta ya know. It's getting old already. That didn't take long!

Jennifer: Did you ever see the Regis and (then) Kathie Lee spot with Gregg Rainwater? It was so sad. Don't get me wrong Buck was my favorite Rider but it was bad....

JB: Jennifer goes on to explain that Gregg was asked to jump on the horse from behind but was not having a good stunt day. I've never seen this. Is there anybody out there who'd like to send me a copy of it? I'm sure someone has it. I'll do a review of the segment if you send me a copy!

Mary, a Kid fan: For once, I agree with your review about 99% ... All-in-all, good review, makes for a nice change! Don't backslide, now, Johnny!

JB: So let me get this straight, where you come from "makes for a nice change" means "just like always"? Hmm, that's interesting. Never heard of that before, but I can dig it.

Maria, another Kid fan: There's no possible way that a girl could fall for a fifty-year-old man when Kid is around.

JB: Actually, I guess THAT is the only thing that makes Lou's attraction to DimWitt somewhat believable. Mr. Stay-Pressed Shirts eventually drove her to the point where she'd act so out of character.

Rhiannon: I would like to say that the little battle between you and the Kidettes is not fair until you have an impartial judge. As a competitor, you cannot decide the score yourself! I suggest you find a person that has an unbiased opinion of the situation and have them decide the score.

JB: Oh Rhiannon, you're just too cute. You should know that since this is the Rider Review *I* make the rules. Therefore, I have a strict set of rules and regulations that must be used for my competitions with Kidettes, Lou-sers, Buck-et heads, and other fan groups. An "impartial" judge might not be aware of these rules and would not be able to judge the competition fairly. Therefore, I must remain the judge. However, rest assured that I will be COMPLETELY fair. I can't help it if I have a knack for winning EVERY argument. Thanks for your concern though. Speaking of those little competitions...

Steph: I'm impartial and I must say Johnny's score is right on the money.

Well, there you go, Rhiannon. I hope that makes you feel better.

JOHNNY BETTS VS. THE KIDIOTS

Steph: bwahahaha

Starbright vs. Johnny

JB: "Actually, I had to do the reviewing BEFORE lunch so that I wouldn't LOSE MY LUNCH while reviewing a Kid episode."

Here JB not make sense -

JB: Reread that sentence and ask yourself, "Is JB really the one not making sense?"

see, you really don't wanna know how long you lunch stays in the ingestive track do you Ate meat too? Ah man, you could have lost it HOURS after having had it Hence , JB, lame excuse he he he

JB: Again, who isn't making sense? Unfortunately, your fear of punctuation prevents your paragraph from making too much sense. However, who said I'd write the review RIGHT AFTER eating lunch? If I had waited until the moment the food was prime to be regurgitated then it STILL would've been AFTER I had eaten lunch. Therefore, that's why I started on the "Hard Time" review BEFORE lunch. Plus, it's DIGESTIVE TRACT. No point for you.

Steph: Ah, there's definitely a reason why you, Johnny, are the kind of person who writes reviews. Whew.

Rowr.

JB: "Ah, then that obviously explains why you're a Kid fan. What'd he weigh, 120, 130?"

And still he kicked Jimmy's [posterior] on numerous occasions Yup that's my man!

This Kidette 2 - JB a big fat 0!


JB: Please, everybody knows that Kid punching out Jimmy is the most unbelievable thing that ever happened on The Young Riders. The writers have been known to stretch the truth before: in real life Cody would've been a lot younger, Hickok never truly rode for the express, and YOU even commented on how inaccurate the show was by acting like the Pony Express had 40-year-old riders. Sorry, but you just defeated your own argument. The writers didn't always have their heads planted firmly in reality, and this is just another case. No point for you.

Plus it takes this Kidette like 2 seconds to jab right back at ya - not 3 weeks - start writing the next review now!

JB: It's a lot easier to write about 5 sentences as opposed to a 20-page epic.

And someday JB, I'll show you what we're really like during "that time of the month" which, strangely enough, seems to happen to me every day of the month.

JB: Excuse me while I DON'T quiver in fear. Nice try, but no points for you. Maybe next time.

A LOU FAN'S POINT OF VIEW

After getting some attention from the male townsfolk, Lou "egotistically" admires herself in a window? Naw, she's just not used to getting that kind of attention, and she's looking at herself to see if she's really as pretty as the men seem to think. Mean Johnny.

JB: But if she then said, "Yep, I'm looking pretty hot," then that would indeed be egotistical. Calling it like it is Johnny.

I'm thinking that a fair number of women married (sometimes much) older men in those days, maybe for a number of reasons: financial security, love, no one else available (prospects low), etc. So it isn't so hard to believe that Lou (or any woman) would be interested in an older, good-looking man who pays her a compliment when she's not used to getting them.

JB: Problem is, most of my female readers have stated that they did not find DimWitt attractive. Granted, she was stuck with Kid all the time so even someone like DimWitt would've probably been a breath of fresh air.

Also, it didn't seem to me like she was acting giddy or schoolgirly.

JB: Just listen to the way she says, "Yew dew?"

As for DeWitt being stupid to tell her about the shipping schedules? Well, he's a man, right? So he has to brag about his job. And I'm sure he doesn't expect Lou to be intelligent enough to ever put two and two together; he probably doesn't even think she's heard anything about the robberies.

JB: A lot of guys are stupid, especially when they think they have to start bragging to impress the ladies. If you're going to be the best bad guy that you can be then you don't reveal ANY secrets to ANYBODY.

Why did Lou treat Kid so badly when he found her with the dress after her return? Because she was feeling guilty about having dinner with DeWitt, and she was a little tired of waiting for Kid to show more interest in her. And she sure doesn't want to talk to him about it, so she treats him lousy to get him to leave her alone.

JB: Could be, but she was still mean. That was my point.

Lou sneaking back to DeWitt's room to check out his drawers(heh, heh): same as the conversation with Emma. She's still attracted to him, and she wants to see for herself if he's a bad guy before she turns him in. Not too smart, maybe, but not so unrealistic, either.

JB: That's the problem. It's not so unrealistic if you want to think that Lou would be that stupid. She could at least have taken backup JUST IN CASE.

Okay, your challenge to explain Lou trying to crawl away from DeWitt at his hideout: sure, there's no real chance that she'll get away by trying this, but she's not gonna just sit around and wait for DeWitt to kill her, is she? She's gonna let him know that she won't make it easy for him. She even told him soon after that he might as well kill her, she was practically daring him. It was like his dare to her at the end, that she couldn't kill him. Well, he COULDN'T kill her, could he? But she sure was able to do the job when she had the chance.

JB: No, HE couldn't kill HER because she was one of the show's main characters. You do an admirable job of trying to justify Lou's attempts at crawling away, but I still think she had escape on her mind.

Sam and Kid show up: how did they know where to find the gang and Lou? I don't know if I missed something there....

JB: I'm sure Buck "sensed" where Lou was and led the riders there. Thanks for the response, you make some valid points.

July 13, 2002

KID'S REAL NAME REVEALED!

Congratulations to Karen Myatt for figuring it out...

Oh, and one quick comment on the review:maybe Mitch Gaylord was Kid's real name, so that's why he never told anyone........

Hahahaha! BINGO! It all makes sense now. Don't you love it when everything comes full circle like this? Gaylord - that HAD to be it!

July 16, 2002

YOUNG RIDERS RUMORS

It has been rumored that a Kid fan, who shall remain nameless, has been spotted driving a car with the following vanity license plate:

JBRULZ

It's obviously a double entendre for "Johnny Betts" AND "Josh Brolin." Sorry Kid fans, but you can't hide your true feelings.

WILL JOHNNY BETTS DO REVIEWS OF MISTER STERLING?

I'm seriously thinking of doing reviews of Mister Sterling, at least of the pilot. If the show is a huge hit then I most likely will be the first person to actually do an in-depth review of it and thus I'll be famous.

People will flock to The Doorless Stall in order to read my Sterling Summaries and will in turn find the Rider Reviews which will then lead to a lot of people becoming interested in the Young Riders. There will then be a HUGE demand to put the Young Riders on DVD and it'll be done. I will then be a huge national hero and life will be rockin'. Josh will become a HUGE movie star and Tom Cruise will only be able to get roles typically reserved for midgets. Josh and I will appear together on David Letterman and all you ladies will swoon. This is gonna rule.

Unfortunately, chances are after about 10 episodes (NBC has ordered 13 episodes) there will be some big mystery that's about to be solved, but the ratings won't be stellar and so the show will be preempted. The remaining three shows won't even be shown except for in a couple of smaller markets like Buffalopatty, NM and Cowdung, TX and then Josh will go on to do a few more independent movies where he's killed off after 30 minutes. THERE IS NO JUSTICE!!!!! But still, I hope for the best.

PEOPLE I DON'T WANT TO SEE IN TIGHT JEANS

Roseanne Barr.

Steph: Speak for yourself.

Even as a joke that's just disgusting!

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Man, I'm so bored at work. Does life have to be so boring during the workday? I say NO! That's why I'm gonna start doing a little reviewing. My brain is kind of numb right now, so as I start reviewing that'll get my creative juices flowing and will make me a much better and much more creative employee. It's pretty amazing how the Rider Review is actually making me a better employee. Who'd have thought?

So let's see, I accurately guessed the plot line of "Lady For a Night" based on the title of the episode. "Unfinished Business" is a little vague and doesn't leave much room for guessing. However, it is safe to assume that somebody will arrive in town to settle some ... DUHN DUHN DUHN ... UNFINISHED BUSINESS! How cool would it have been if Gabe Calder had returned to confront Jimmy for leaving his hands looking like tenderized meat? Now that's some unfinished business I'd like to see taken care of!

We see a group of wagons and horses. Everybody's headed for Salt Lake City. I was gonna make a joke about how someone started singing, "I'm headed for Salt Lake City, Salt Lake City here I come." I was then gonna persist with the non-stop hilarity by making an obligatory "the writers decided against the whole Young Riders meets Cop Rock idea" joke. But I decided all that was pretty lame and dropped the idea. We best get back to the "action."

Turns out the guide for the trip is a man with the FAKEST BEARD I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE! His name is Crandall, and if you don't know, he turns out to be Emma's long-lost husband. Man, that beard is HORRIBLE! They couldn't make it look somewhat realistic? It looks like they hurried up and slapped some colored wool on his face. I'm telling you, it's much worse than Wayne Northrop's (Roman from "Days of Our Lives") fake beard in "Gunfighter." It's truly laughable. If I was part of the group heading to Salt Lake City I would've said, "Sorry, but I don't trust a guide with a beard that looks so fake."

Steph: Ain't it the truth. You'd figure a more realistic-looking beard wouldn't have broken the bank. I grow a better beard than that.

If that were actually true I'd make sure you had your face waxed DAILY! I hope none of y'all are offended by the fact that I'm disgusted by facial hair on a woman.

All of a sudden someone shouts "Riders Coming!" Whoa, I think there's more to this than meets the eye! This may only be on my Special Rider Review Collector's Edition (RRCE), but I rewound the tape and if you listen carefully you can hear the following exchange:

Bearded Generic Guy #1: On what website did Johnny Betts' Rider Reviews originally appear?
Bearded Generic Guy #2: Riders Coming!

Folks, I'm shocked. I really don't know what to say. I'm touched and honored, but I'm also amazed that the writers were able to predict that I would one day be writing reviews of the show AND they were able to predict that the reviews would originally appear on Kathleen's Riders Coming! website. Speaking of which, Kathleen? You out there? Your page hasn't been updated in forever! Hello???

Crandall hides Unfortunately, the Rider Review discussion comes to an abrupt end as some bad guys show up and proceed to kill everybody and raid the wagons. After the bad guys leave, we see Crandall slithering (like the snake that he is) out from under some clothes where he had been hiding during the shoot out. All right, this guy doesn't deserve to live. Sorry, but he's a weasel. And that fake beard alone is enough to warrant a hangin'.

Some woman named Mrs. Dandridge is alive and choking out some final revelations. Crandall acts like he cares and crawls over there to check on her. Man, this is classic. She's trying to spit out her dying words and he says, "Don't try to talk now." It would've been a REAL hoot if he had said, "Talk to the hand cause the beard don't wanna hear it." Then he puts his ear closer to her mouth and says, "HUH?? WHAT?!?" Excuse me, but didn't you just tell her NOT TO TALK?!?!?! Who does this guy think he is, Kid?

I love whenever we're treated to a few choked out, dying words. Mrs. Dandridge starts off with, "Hidden ... under ... board." Crandall says he doesn't understand. It's real simple, Crandall, she said HIDDEN UNDER BOARD! She then spit out, "Take ... to ... church ... in ... Salt ... Lake." I think her head then tilted to the side and started bouncing up and down. At least that's how most fake Young Riders death scenes are.

Steph: Actually, I think "Hidden ... BEHIND ... board" would have been better yet. Maybe she really said "Hidden ... under ... beard" -- perhaps she stored something in his beard unbeknownst to him?

Hahaha, I've gotta admit, I wish *I* had come up with that one! Good call.

Crandall immediately runs over to some board and opens it up. Man, that's convenient. That's probably not the first place I would've looked. The board was standing straight up, so it would've been more appropriate to say, "Hidden ... IN ... board" rather than, "Hidden ... under ... board." Oh well. Crandall finds a chest and decides to shoot the lock in order to open it. Dude, you're lucky the bullet didn't ricochet and kill you! Well, YOU'RE lucky, unfortunately the viewing audience isn't. Shouldn't he have stepped a few feet back before firing? Personally, I'm not gonna fire a gun at a lock that's right in my face. But maybe they did things differently in the Wild West. Maybe the fake beard was a living creature that controlled Crandall's thoughts and kept him from being able to think logically. And in case you're wondering, the chest was full of jewelry. Also, in case you're wondering, Pamela Anderson's chest is full of silicone.

Steph: Not as full though. She replaced the big 'uns with smaller ones.

Doesn't matter. She's still a ragged-out lookin' skank.

LARRY McMURTRY REFERENCES THE YOUNG RIDERS

I interrupt this Rider Review to bring an important announcement! I know most of you have heard of Larry McMurtry's "Lonesome Dove." If you haven't watched the miniseries starring Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones then you must watch it NOW! Read the book too, it's good. Well, Mr. McMurtry has written two prequels to "Lonesome Dove," and I'm currently reading the second one: "Comanche Moon." I just had to point out that Larry McMurtry MENTIONS THE YOUNG RIDERS IN THE BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Check it out:

"Of course it was not unusual for men who were good riders to do feats of horsemanship - Comanche riders, particularly YOUNG RIDERS, did them all the time."

BOOYA! Granted, a casual reader might not realize this is indeed a reference to our favorite show, but the significance was not lost on me! Man, does anybody else have the problem where you're holding a book, and let's say you put your thumb in the middle of the page, and when you remove it the text is smeared?? IT'S GETTING ON MY NERVES! What if I want to hold an 803-page book with one hand? It's hard to avoid touching some of the text! Ah well, back to the review.

Next up we have a couple of really good scenes. Lou rides in and SURPRISE, she hands a pouch to Ike who then takes off on a run. Sorry Ike fans, but this obviously means we probably won't be seeing much of the hardcore rider in this episode.

Sam is working on Emma's window, and the riders are having a good time joking about it. Cody makes a comment about Emma needing a window that opens if Sam plans on sneaking in. Disgusting, where are the riders learning this stuff??? Emma comes out and says they should be helping, but according to Kid Sam said he could do it better and faster by himself. Jimmy claims that he doesn't know the first thing about windows, and Cody chimes in with a funny comment about how if Jimmy needs a breath of fresh air then he'll just shoot holes in the wall. Hahaha.

I guess Sam's had enough of their joking so he asks Emma if they have any chores they can do. Unfortunately for them there's some manure that needs to be spread. Kid then totally shocks me when he says, "If there's manure that needs spreading shouldn't we let the writers do that? Just watch "Hard Time" and you'll realize they're experts at that. In fact ..." but then Kid's sentence is cut off. Bad editing job I think.

Poor Sam, he hammers his thumb and as he tries to catch himself the windowpane starts to break. The ladder's broken, so the riders have to haul the wagon of manure under Sam. Cody yells out, "Come on Sam, time to take the plunge!" Hahahaha. Sam falls into the wagon of manure and immediately jumps up hootin' and hollerin'. Whoops, seems nobody took the rake out of the wagon!

Steph: Poor Sam. I don't mind if he smells like poop. And I'd be happy to make his injured buttocks feel all better.

Sigh. Do I act like this whenever I comment on Ali Landry or Gwen Stefani (within the reviews that is, what I say at home doesn't count)? Nooooooo. You don't see ME making such comments (within the reviews that is, what I say at home doesn't count). Sadly, I'm sure most my readers (since they're almost all female) are sitting there clapping and agreeing with you. Children.

Sam in his Longjohns We then see Emma sewing Sam's pants. He refuses to come out. Emma ain't shy, apparently she's seen his legs before. Sam finally comes out and some funny music starts playing. Sam's standing there in his longjohns and seems to be embarrassed. It's not that big of a deal, Sam, it's almost like you're wearing pants! Emma won't give Sam his pants back and he runs after her and finally catches her. They're about to kiss, but Sam hears noises outside. It's very funny the way he embarrassingly says, "Somebody's out there Emma!" He falls as he's trying to put his pants on. We see the riders all peeking into the windows laughing and smiling. This is funny, but it's also sad at the same time. First Cody is talking about Sam sneaking into Emma's window, and now they're acting like a bunch of frequenters of Australian Ann's site and trying to spy on Emma and the underwear-clad Sam. WHO IS CORRUPTING THESE KIDS' MINDS?!?!?!

Steph: That just goes to show you that Sam is soooo good-looking that even the guys want a glimpse. Who can blame them? Not I.

No, that's NOT what it goes to show! Certainly not in the case of Jimmy and Cody. Kid? Well, him I'm not so sure about.

Even though it's kind of two scenes, they're related to each other, so I'm gonna go ahead and combine the two scenes and make it the first "classic scene" nominee. We'll get right to the point and call it, "the scene where Sam falls while working on Emma's window and then Emma has to fix his pants and the riders spy on them." Oh, and I KNOW someone will chastise me for not mentioning this, so I'll go ahead and say that yes, it was funny when Sam told the riders, "Ya ain't funny atall!" Thank you.

You know what, that Sonic burger I had today is starting to weigh heavily on my stomach. I've got a little "unfinished business" with the bathroom to take care of, know what I'm saying? After that I'm gonna workout a little bit. I've gotta keep these 17-inch guns in prime condition you know. Physical conditioning is an important aspect in writing an effective Rider Review.

Steph: I will vouch for the fact that Johnny's arms are solid as a rock. That strength comes in handy for the massages I demand from him.

Yeah, funny how you're always coming up with some new shoulder or neck "injury" on a daily basis. I'm starting to see through your little charade.

July 17, 2002

Cody Falls Asleep I'm back! Where were we? Ah yes, Crandall heads to the post office to see if he received a package from Colorado Springs. Nope, it's been delayed. Meanwhile, Cody and Kid head to the saloon. I sure hope Kid doesn't decide to watch anymore "ladies of the night" do a little gambling. Cody sees Crandall and notices he's wearing Sioux buckskins. Kid doesn't seem too impressed, but Cody chalks it up to Kid not having any sense of style. There was more to this scene that was unfortunately cut from the final version:

Cody: Kid, you ain't got no sense of style.
Kid: Forget the Sioux buckskins, I'm more interested in that wool face warmer he's wearing. That could come in real handy in the winter.
Cody: You're right, that thing does look toasty. If they tried they may even be able to make it look realistic and then it could also serve as a fake beard.
Kid: Yeah, but it needs a LOT of work first. I'd just be happy using it as a wool face warmer.

Again, that's only on my special RRCE, but trust me, it's a riot.

Steph: hahahaha

Cody and Kid go to talk to ye olde fake beard. Cody tells him he admires the buckskins, but Crandall's beard gets all angsty and starts asking if he's interested in killing Indians. Cody says no, he's just interested in learning about them. If you know your history, then you know the real Buffalo Bill Cody was a famous Indian fighter. I guess he must've learned that the Indians could be really savage and decided to start fighting them.

Crandall's beard starts whining about all these awful things it's witnessed. It actually says it's seen things that no one has ever seen before. Yeah right, like what? Somebody who was actually fooled into thinking his beard was real? I'm pretty sure PLENTY of people witnessed PLENTY of brutal killings back then, so I'm doubtful that ol' Evan Crandall or his beard had a niche on "things not seen by other people before."

After Crandall's beard finishes its whine-fest, it gives Cody the wagon it was whittling. Man, the thing is PERFECT! And what's amazing is there are only a few wood shavings on the table! I'm somewhat doubtful that he'd have whittled such a perfect wagon (with working wheels and everything!) in such a short amount of time. There'd have been more wood on the table. What exactly did he carve it from? Probably a bigger wagon he bought at the store. He just whittled on it and made it a little smaller. Cody and Kid rode the whittled wagon home.

Back at the waystation the riders are eating. Kid and Cody are talking about beard boy and showing everyone the perfectly whittled wagon. Emma sees the wagon and starts thinking. I guess Evan Crandall is the only man who's ever whittled anything and that's what makes her start thinking of him. She asks what he looks like. Cody begins to describe him, but he neglected to mention "enormous fake beard." Emma gets choked up and runs out. Cody cracks me up when he asks, "What's wrong with her?" I don't know why I find the comment so funny, but I just do.

Jimmy goes to check on her. Emma says the description just reminded her of someone. Jimmy says they don't seem like happy memories, but Emma says it'll pass and starts to sing, "MEMORIES! PRESSED BETWEEN THE PAGES OF MY MIND!" I really like what Jimmy did next. He just said OK and went back in the house. Now Kid, he would've bombarded Emma with about 30 questions and demanded to know what was going on. But I like Jimmy's restraint. He was there to check on Emma and help her if she needed it, but he realized that it was important for her to have some distance at the moment. JIMMY RULES!

I think Emma and Jimmy have good chemistry in this episode, and we can thank "End of Innocence" for setting that up. "Lady For a Night" is one of Aimee's favorite episodes, but she's bored by "End of Innocence"? Psh. It's important to realize that "End of Innocence" helped set up Emma and Jimmy's future relationship, and it plays a big part in this episode. See how the Jimmy episodes tend to build upon each other, whereas the Kid episodes are kind of just forgotten?

Crandall's Fake Beard Back at the hotel Crandall stares at himself in the mirror. He starts to slowly raise a knife to his throat. OH MY GOODNESS! WE HAVEN'T EVEN MADE IT TO THE FIRST COMMERCIAL BREAK AND EMMA'S HUSBAND IS GONNA KILL HIMSELF! HIS BEARD IS INDEED AN ALIEN LIFE FORM THAT IS CONTROLLING HIM! THIS IS UNBELIEV... oh, he's just gonna shave off his beard. Why did he need a knife? I'm sure that thing was just attached by velcro, so he should've just pulled it off.

Back at Emma's, we see her hanging up some sheets. A clean-shaven Crandall shows up. Emma doesn't look as surprised as she probably should be. She just meanly asks what he wants and says he has no right coming there. Jimmy, Cody, and Kid show up. Cody and Kid recognize the clothes. Emma introduces Evan Crandall as her husband, the boys look at each other, and we cut to commercial.

We come back from commercial and Jimmy is walking towards Crandall. And he isn't just walking, he's WALKING WITH A PURPOSE! Jimmy informs Crandall that he has 30 seconds to leave. BOOYA! Let's go Jimmy! Pull your jacket over your gun and drop this guy! JIMMY! JIMMY! JIMMY! Emma tells them to leave, and while Jimmy is hesitant to leave Emma alone with the Dick Dietrick look-alike (will ANYBODY get that reference??), Cody and Kid finally manage to get Jimmy to leave. Boooooo. But Jimmy didn't leave before forcefully pulling his arm away from Kid's grasp. Hahaha, I love that.

Back inside the riders are sitting around the table discussing this recent turn of events. Check it out, Ike's back! Who wants to bet that within 2 minutes he'll fall and hit his head on the table??? It turns out that no one other than Jimmy knew about Emma being married. In a typical act of Kidiocy (thanks for the suggestion, Lindsay) Kid has to be holier-than-thou and say, "It sure ain't reason enough to get in a fight" as he looks in Jimmy's direction. OHHHHH. Come on, PUNCH HIM JIMMY! PUNCH HIM RIGHT IN THE BRAIN!

Kid then proceeds to be EVEN HOLIER than the rest of us and says it's Emma's business and not theirs. So let me get this straight, it's all right to poke around in Lou's business but not Emma's? I just want to make sure I'm clear on what rules Kid is playing by. Cody thinks Crandall might not be so bad. Now see, Cody was MUCH more diplomatic than Kid. Kid had to get all judgmental about Jimmy wanting to start a fight, but Cody just said they maybe should give him a chance.

Jimmy Sees the Light Jimmy finally spills the beans about Emma, her baby dying, and Crandall leaving them to die. Kid wants to know how Jimmy knows all this. He's jealous you see. Jimmy mentions that Emma told him all this when they went to Ft. Reunion. BOOYA! How's that for some continuity for you?? I'm telling you, the plot lines involving Jimmy are usually the most continuous. Lou wonders why Crandall came back. All I can guess is he must have some ... DUHN DUHN DUHN ... UNFINISHED BUSINESS!

Crandall's looking around Emma's house and talking about how they used to be happy and how he used to love her. When he refers to Emma as "my Emma," she quickly puts him in his place and says, "I'm not YOUR Emma anymore." Ohhhhh, IN YOUR FACE! What this all boils down to is Emma grew weary of hating him, Crandall is desperate for a place to stay, and Emma's obviously gonna give in to this creep.

Out on the plains we see some bad guys. The leader, Sutrow, rides in and talks about the ambush on the settlers who were headed for Salt Lake. He mentions that a chest is missing and so is Crandall. Conveniently, Crandall got drunk once and mentioned to some bad guy named Comstock that he had ties in Sweetwater. Sutrow tells Comstock to head to Sweetwater and scout things out. Isn't it nice how things like that always fall into place for bad guys in Young Riders land? They can always find who they're looking for, they just can never shoot them in point blank range.

Steph: hahahaha

Let me take this opportunity to mention that the guy playing Sutrow is the guy who played Big Zwey in "Lonesome Dove." Yet another connection between TYR and LD. I think this is just more proof that Larry McMurtry was indeed giving the Young Riders its props in that quote I provided earlier.

YOUNG RIDERS TRIVIA QUESTION

Since I'm on the subject of "Lonesome Dove," I figured this question would be appropriate. Which Young Riders cast member unsuccessfully auditioned for a part in the original "Lonesome Dove"? This happened prior to "The Young Riders." If you attempt to answer then let me know if you really know or if it's just a random guess. The answer to the trivia question will be in the next Rider Review.

Back at the waystation the riders are eating. Ike is getting a second helping of food. He's obviously gotta build up his strength to prepare for the next big bump he takes. I'm waiting for him to accidentally poke himself in the eye with his fork which in turn will make him fall down and bump his head. You never know what injury will happen next when Ike's around! Emma informs everyone that Crandall will be staying with them for three weeks. Three weeks???? Holy Cal Ripken, that seems a bit extreme! Jimmy's facial expressions show that he's not happy about this turn of events. Either that or he was told that he'd have to share a bunk with Kid.

Steph: And how much did a crappy hotel cost over there? I would have rather scrounged up some dough for a hotel then have that no-good loser staying at my place.

That reminds me of the time Stephanie's brother visited from out of town and stayed at our place ... bwahahaha, sorry, couldn't resist.

None of the riders seem happy about the situation, but Teaspoon says that's the way it's gonna be. The next scene is awesome. Crandall comes in and sits down to eat.

I'm Gonna be Sick Jimmy: I lost my appetite, may I be excused?
Emma: No you may not!
Crandall: Let him go, Emma.
Jimmy: I ain't asking you!
Emma: Jimmy, didn't you hear a word I said?
Jimmy: I'm sorry, there's something making me sick to my stomach.

Jimmy gets up and walks out while Kid just stares out in space. Awesome. I'm gonna make this the second "classic scene" nominee. We'll call it, "the scene where Crandall makes Jimmy sick to his stomach." I love how Jimmy sticks by his guns and has the guts to walk out on Crandall. Now THAT is an example of standing firmly by your principles. Jimmy just oozes intensity. I tried Jimmy's routine once and it didn't work out so well though.

Did anybody else's dad ever come to the table in the morning and eat his breakfast in his underwear? Well, my dad did once and I wasn't gonna stand for it.

Little Johnny Betts: I lost my appetite, may I be excused?
Mother Betts: Excuse me?
Father Betts: What are you talking about?
Little Johnny Betts: I ain't asking you!
Father Betts: I beg your pardon young man?
Little Johnny Betts: I'm sorry, there's something making me sick to my stomach.

I walked out the door and went over to Mikey Cruiser's house for a couple of hours. We headed over to Ms. Goiter Neck's house and noticed she was sleeping on the porch. We dared each other to run up to the porch and touch her monstrous goiter. Much like Crandall's beard, we believed it was an alien life form that controlled her. Neither one of us had the courage to "touch the goiter" that day, so I finally decided to just head on back home and face the music. Suffice it to say, my dad's belt took care of some "unfinished business" on my backside when I got home.

We head over to Sam's office where Emma is telling Sam about Crandall. Turns out she'd never told him about being married, and Sam is understandably upset about all this. Emma says this won't affect their relationship, but Sam wants Emma to throw Evan out. Emma said she can't do that because Evan supposedly saved her from herself. He was the first guy to ever see something in her. Yeah? Well he also became a drunkard and left you and your child to die when you got the small pox. Sam doesn't know if he can accept all this so Emma leaves. Give Sam a break, Emma. Goodness, that's a pretty big secret you've been hiding from him!

"Um, Sam? I got something to tell you. Well, you see, I used to be married, and I even had a baby! And then one day my baby and I got sick with the pox. My husband became a drunkard and left the baby and me to die. The baby did indeed die. But here's the best part. You ready for this? I'm kind of STILL married, and now my husband is back and wants to stay with me. I forgot to mention this to you before? Oopsie. My bad."

Sheesh.

Steph: OK Sam, you don't need to be dealing with that ex-ho anymore. You're too good for her. Come over here if you wanna be treated right. Rowr!

No Sam, you just stay where you are. I'd hate to have to punk you out.

The riders are doing their chores. As the boys are working hard, Crandall is just sitting there doing nothing. Man, what a LOSER! This guy's such a punk. Emma agrees to give him a place to stay and he's just gonna sit there and do nothing? He should show some appreciation and offer to help in any way he can. Man, I don't like this guy at all. As Jimmy is hammering on some metal he asks, "Does he ever move?" Buck responds with, "Seems to move just fine when food's being served." Hahahaha. All right Buck fans, prepare to mark out. I am going to nominate that as the first "Mark-Out Remark" of the episode.

Jimmy Takes a Seat Jimmy doesn't understand what Emma ever saw in this loser. Teaspoon pulls a Buck and shows up out of nowhere to drop a few pearls of wisdom: people change, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. Cody has a funny line when he tells Jimmy, "Well, at least we know there's hope for somebody like you, Jimmy." Hahaha, I love the fact that Cody has no problem with joking around even though Jimmy obviously isn't in the best of moods.

Jimmy's had all he can stand and starts walking over to Crandall. Man, Crandall is just a jerk. All smarmy, he asks Jimmy if there's anything he can do for him. Jimmy says, "Yeah, you can start by getting out of my sight." YEAH! TELL HIM JIMMY! Crandall's less than brilliant reply is, "You know, I just can't figure you." Jimmy doesn't back down and says, "Well that suits me fine because I've had a belly full of you." BOOYA! It just totally rules how Jimmy gets in Crandall's face and says EXACTLY what's on his mind. Jimmy knows Crandall is a creep and he isn't scared of hurting his feelings.

Crandall starts acting like he regrets the pain he has caused Emma. Somewhere violins play softly in the background. Crandall says Jimmy doesn't know him and therefore can't pass judgment on him. Jimmy correctly says he knows more than he needs to. Crandall then tells Jimmy that makes him an unusual man. Why does that make Jimmy unusual? Jimmy knows Crandall left Emma to bury her own baby, what else does he need to know? Crandall runs off to town. If you look closely enough you'll notice a sizeable wet spot on Crandall's pants.

When Crandall gets to the hotel, the clerk tells him that a man is waiting for him in his room. Crandall finds Comstock rummaging through his stuff. Comstock immediately tells Crandall that he should grow his beard back. Shouldn't he have said he should put it back on? Crandall claims he's through with this line of work, he wants out. Comstock says he can tell it to Sutrow. For some reason this prompts Crandall to cock his gun. Comstock doesn't think Crandall has the guts to shoot him but he was wrong. Crandall fires and shoots Comstock. Wow, what a clean shot, there was NO BLOOD whatsoever!

Welp, it's 11:06 PM. I'm gonna go take notes on the next segment and will continue with the review tomorrow.

July 18, 2002

Welp, I'm back and I'm mad. First of all, I was so busy at work today that I didn't even get to work on the review! Don't these people know that I've got fans that I have to keep happy?? And then to make things worse I started on the review a little while ago but lost about 3 paragraphs of top-notch material. It's a long story as to how it happened, but let's just say I'm not too happy that it happened. I guess I shouldn't watch Charlize Theron when I'm working on the review. Ohhhh, I was just playing Internet Checkers and my opponent quit like the little wuss that he is! BOOYA! That proves it, EVERYBODY fears Johnny Betts.

This next scene irritates me to no end. Sam is questioning Crandall about the shooting. Crandall says he doesn't know why Comstock was in his room, but Sam knows he's lying. It's just too hard to believe that Mr. Cranberry Pants would get the jump on a cold killer like Comstock. Now this is where I get really aggravated. Emma decides to poke her nose around where it doesn't belong. She meanly tells Sam that he has no right to accuse Crandall like this. Sam shows that he's the man though when he replies with, "I'm doing my job, Emma. I've got a right to do it as I see fit." You tell her Sam! Emma further annoys me when she tells Sam to make sure that's all he's doing. Exactly who invited Emma to this interrogation? Crandall just killed someone, I think the Marshal has the right to ask him questions without a third party throwing her opinion around.

Steph: How can Emma treat my baby like that?? How can she not look at Sam and forget everything about Crapdall? Hello! Hunk extraordinaire, or Dick Dietrick. THERE IS NO COMPARISON! I thought Emma was a smart lady, but I guess I was wrong. DUMP HER, SAM! DUMP HER NOW AND COME TO ME!

OK, first of all, Sam is not your baby. Second of all, he doesn't need to be coming to you unless he wants me to get Jimmy on him! I'd hate to have to do it because I think Sam is cool.

Crandall shows why he's nothing but a jerk who needs to be kicked in the teeth when he tells Sam that he should be thanking him for getting rid of a known killer. Sam should've said, "No, what I should be doing is shining my boot up reeeeeeeal nice, turning it sideways, and SHOVING IT STRAIGHT UP ... " oh, I'm sorry, got a bit carried away there.

Sam's getting tired of this, and so am I. I hate the way Crandall is acting all smarmy and arrogant. He knows he's got Emma on his side, so he figures he can act however he wants. The guy needs a severe beating. That's pretty much all there is to it. Sam picks Crandall up and tells him he wants to know what's going on. YEAH! Come on Sam! Punch his teeth in! Sigh. Emma has to jump up and get involved. Sam should've never allowed her to stay in the office while he was talking to Crandall.

Johnny's Wanted Sam makes Crandall leave, but Emma decides to stay behind and get on my nerves a little more. She has the gall to ask Sam if he's proud of himself. Sam tries to explain that Crandall's story doesn't hold water and that this has nothing to do with Emma, but Ms. Mean McCrankyPants coldly replies with, "Yeah? You sell that someplace else, Sam Cain, cause I ain't buying it." Sam immediately strolled over to Tompkins' store and sold it for $5.78. Not bad.

What gives Emma the right to act like that? Last time I checked Crandall JUST KILLED A KNOWN KILLER WHO WAS SNOOPING AROUND IN HIS HOTEL ROOM!!!!! You know what, Emma? I'd have to say that Sam has a right to be suspicious. Personally I think Sam should've given Mr. Fancy Pants a couple of kicks to the gut to try to get more information.

Steph: While Sam's at it he can give Emma a few kicks too. This is the thanks Sam gets for looking so good and fixing Emma's window? DROP HER!!

Meanwhile, Crandall heads over to the post office and asks about his shipment. He's pretty mean about it. The post office guy says there's a shipment coming in tomorrow afternoon. Crandall gives him some money and says to send word immediately to Emma Shannon's place when the shipment comes in. The post office guy starts to comment about how the shipment must be important, but Crandall gets all mean and yells, "JUST DO IT!" Dude, why don't you try to act a little more suspicious! What a moron. What's weird is that right after he said "JUST DO IT!" the camera panned down to his boots which had a huge Nike emblem on them. Sad, so sad. I never thought I'd see The Young Riders resort to such commercialism.

Steph: hahahaha

July 19, 2002

It's Friday, it's 11:13 PM, and I'm ready to do a little reviewing. Once again I was too busy at work to get any of the review done. I think that's a sure sign that I'm overworked. Should I play a little Internet checkers while working on this review? Sure, I'll give it a shot. I'll keep everybody up-to-date.

We see the bad guys out on the plains. Comstock hasn't returned, so this leads Sutrow to believe that Crandall is indeed in Sweetwater, so that's where they're headed next! Uh-oh, looks like Crandall isn't the only one who has some ... DUHN DUHN DUHN ... UNFINISHED BUSINESS!

Back in Sam's office he's looking at a wanted poster. Is it supposed to be of Comstock? If not, then what's the significance? I have no idea because it isn't brought up again. Some dude (who I assume is the undertaker, and I don't mean the wrestler) brings Sam Comstock's belongings. Sam tells the undertaker that he can dig a hole and drop Comstock in it for all he cares. I'm guessing Sam wasn't a member of the Comstock fan club. Sam rifles through Comstock's stuff and finds a pocket watch engraved to Myrum (?) Dandridge. Or is that William? Man, I really need these episodes on DVD! I could get closer to the TV and verify the name, but that would involve rewinding the tape and standing up and well, it's just a hassle.

BOOYA! I just got two of my checkers kinged! Ohhh, hold on just a sec ... OHHHHH, QUITTER! I had the dude in a bind and he QUIT! That's two days in a row that my opponents have quit. Johnny Betts - the most feared Internet Checkers player around.

Crandall's in the saloon losing a hand of poker. I guess he's had a little too much to drink because he jumps up and accuses a generic bearded poker player of cheating. He points his gun at him and demands to have the winnings passed over to him. Thankfully Sam shows up to put an end to all this madness. He tells Crandall to put the gun down and then asks the bearded dude what happened. Turns out the bearded dude actually has a name! It's Josh. They OBVIOUSLY named him after Josh Brolin. Welp, ol' Josh explains what happened, so Sam tells Crandall it's time to go. Crandall tells Sam to get his hands off him and then annouces, "This man is sweet on my wife."

Sam and Crandall Crandall then makes the mistake of trying to punch Sam. SAM WITH THE BLOCK! SAM PUNCHES CRANDALL AND SENDS HIM CRASHING THROUGH A TABLE! Wow, Sam has a major knockout punch. Let me just go ahead and say that Sam did absolutely NOTHING wrong here. He tried to tell Crandall to leave, but noooo, Mr. Cranapple had to take a swing. Sam was just defending himself. Don't try explaining that to Emma though.

Sam heads to Emma's with an unconscious Crandall draped over a horse. In regard to Crandall Sam says, "He was cheating at cards." Um, not exactly Sam. He was accusing ol' Josh of cheating. Emma has to turn into Ms. SUPER WAINCH and say, "Oh, so you decided to beat him up?" Hey Emma! Why don't you try getting the full story before jumping to conclusions! It was ONE punch. I'm sorry if your deserter of a husband can't handle that. Man, sure, maybe Emma still has some feelings for Crandall. They WERE married, so I'm sure all her feelings for him wouldn't be gone, but it wasn't necessary for her to be so mean to Sam.

Steph: What?? Johnny, Johnny, Johnny. Look at Sam. Look at Crapdall. That right there should be enough to make Emma forget her husband.

You know, maybe Emma was one of those people who didn't think looks were everything.

In regard to Emma's unnecessary response Sam says, "Well, if I DID then he would've been killed..." Haha, I think he meant if he "didn't." They couldn't have done another take?

Steph: If they couldn't afford a more realistic looking beard, they probably couldn't afford to do a retake.

Sam asks Emma how long she's gonna keep defending her jerk of a husband and she just stays in wainch-mode and tells Sam she won't be needing any more of his help. I'm glad Teaspoon speaks up and asks her, "You sure you're taking your anger out on the right man?" You tell her, Teaspoon!

Steph: Amen! How could she be so mean to Sam? That would be like being mean to Matthew McConaughey. Impossible.

Actually, that's not impossible at all. Here's an example, "Hey there pretty-boy. So let's see, your new movie "Reign of Fire" cost about $90 million to make, but it's grossed only a little more than $30 million so far? Good job. You really know how to bring people to the box office."

After Crandall sobers up he gives Emma the deed to the property. He claims that he bought it with some money he had saved up. As they're sitting there on the swing ol' Crandall decides he'll try to swoop in for a kiss. Well, at least Emma was firm enough to tell him no. Crandall thinks there is still something between them, but Emma says he sees what he wants to see. She then tells him to be out of Sweetwater in two days. Ohhhhhh, is Emma finally finding her backbone? Sure took long enough.

Steph: Even so, Sam should not take her back. She's not worth it!!

Emma cuts her thumb while she's peeling potatoes, but here comes Jimmy to the rescue. You can tell he doesn't want to say it, but he tells Emma that Sam thinks Crandall is into something bad. He says it might have something to do with the recent massacre. Emma goes into denial. She can't believe that Crandall would ever do something like that. Jimmy hopes she's right, but he wouldn't count on it. He then gives Emma his handkerchief and leaves. I think he handled that perfectly. Emma just cut herself and was upset, but Jimmy knew he had to relay the message to her. And he handed her his handkerchief to help, but he left because he probably recognized that she needed to be left alone. If Emma needed Jimmy to stay then she'd ask. Man, Jimmy sure knew how to handle situations well, didn't he?

Emma the Wainch Unfortunately, this latest bit of news turns Emma back into SUPER WAINCH (echoes). She bursts into Sam's office and claims how Evan couldn't do this, Sam has no right to accuse him, blah blah blah. As Sam points out, FOUR FAMILIES WERE BUTCHERED! Sam's right, if Crandall was a part of this then he can't turn his back on it. I also agree with Sam that Emma is scared that Crandall is going to turn out to be the man she fears he truly is.

Steph: Emma makes me ill. Why is she going out of her way to defend this total loser WHEN SHE COULD BE CUDDLING UP TO SAM?? Forget the fact that she wasn't Miss Sexpot, she should have been tossed off the show just for being so wainchy in this episode.

Oh, get a load of this, Emma said Evan "couldn't kill anybody, he doesn't have it in him." Bwahahaha. Where has she been?? In case she forgot, HE KILLED SOMEONE LESS THAN 24 HOURS AGO! Sam should've pointed that out also. I don't really understand this next part. Emma tells Sam that if he keeps "this" up then he'll rip a split between them that he can't repair. Sam replies with, "Well if you don't believe in me, then what we got ain't worth having." BOOYA! Preach it, brer Sam! And what exactly is Emma talking about? If he keeps what up? Following the law? Trying to find killers? Trying to exact justice? Looks to me like all of Sam's hunches have been dead-on.

Steph: Of course, because Studly Sam can do no wrong, except for trying to rationalize his perfectly sound behaviour to Evil Emma. GIVE HER THE BOOT!

Well, I wouldn't say Sam can do no wrong. Do you recall his less than C.S.I.-esque detective work in the "Blind Love" review? JIMMY WAS ALMOST HANGED BECAUSE OF HIS LACK OF ATTENTION TO DETAIL!

Emma makes things more confusing when she says, "I don't owe anybody anything. Ain't nobody ever gonna leave!" Um, what? Does she mean she doesn't want anybody to ever leave her again? I guess so because Sam starts saying he'd never leave her. But "ain't nobody ever gonna leave" doesn't make sense. Does she mean she won't let anybody leave again?? She's gonna forcefully prevent everybody in the world from leaving? Did Melissa Leo flub her lines?

Emma then tells Sam that when she walked out on him he didn't come after her, he had to think about it. She then tells him goodbye. Sam yells after her, but alas, she rides off into the night. Was Sam supposed to chase after her when she left with Crandall or when she first told him about Crandall? And isn't she the one who walked out in the first place??? I don't know that Sam had to "think about it," I figure he just had enough of her attitude. Can't blame him.

Steph: Good riddance! Don't give her a second thought Sam! She's no good for you. I'm here. Come to me, I'll bring you happiness.

NO HE WON'T! All right, we're well past the "this is gettin' old" stage. I think we've moved into the "these croutons are so old and stale that they're chewy" stage. DON'T MAKE ME PUNK OUT SAM!

Sam heads over to Tompkins' store and asks if anybody has been there selling jewelry. Tompkins tries to be evasive and wants to know why. I like how Sam stares at him and sternly says, "I ain't got time for this. Now you got 10 seconds to come straight with me." Sam is all business and Tompkins knows it because he shows him a locket that Crandall sold him. Sam knows it's time to go find the little creep.

Some of you probably know that Tompkins is played by the veteran actor Don Collier. I'd just like to take this opportunity to say that the Don Collier website now has a link to the Rider Reviews!

http://www.doncollier.com/young.htm

They did spell my first name wrong but that's all right. You know what this means, don't you? I'M FAMOUS NOW! Well, maybe that's not what it means, but I thought you might be interested in checking out Tompkins' website. You'll be interested to know that there is NO disclaimer on the page saying that half-breeds aren't welcome.

Steph: Background info -- Poor Johnny begged and pleaded with Collier to include a link to the Rider Reviews on his site. Harassed him for days. Poor Collier finally gave in just to get Johnny off his back. But the results were well worth it!!

No idea what you're talking about.

Crandall the Sissy Crandall is leaving the saloon and he seems to be pretty happy. I guess he sold a lot of jewelry and must've bought some people a few drinks. His smile fades pretty quickly though when he sees Sutrow and his men ride into town. He then starts to scurry around like the little weasel that he is.

After we return from our final commercial break, Sutrow confronts Sam. He's looking for Crandall, but Sam let's him know that if he is looking for trouble then he's come to the wrong town. Sutrow reassures him that they're not there to cause trouble, they're gonna clear it up. Hmmm, in other words, Sutrow and his men are there to take care of a little ... DUHN DUHN DUHN ... UNFINISHED BUSINESS!

Crandall runs into Emma's house, but the jig is up. "Up where, Johnny?" Um, well, I'm not really sure about that. All I know is that Emma went by the bank and was told that Crandall paid off the deed with silver and jewelry. It seems as if Emma is finally seeing Crandall for who he is. Crandall starts to stammer about how he was going to deliver the jewelry to the church and then SMACK! Emma slapped him upside his head and told him to stop lying. There you go! That's what you need to be doing! Emma then followed that up with an AWESOME roundhouse kick to Crandall's head.

Steph: Finally, Emma wisens up. However, it's too late, she already treated Sam like dirt and should go ahead and leave Sweetwater. I'll take her spot and will do things right.

Sigh.

Just when Emma was about to pull out the nunchucks, Crandall pushed her aside and headed outside. He's about to ride off, but Emma comes out with her shotgun and tells him to get off the buckboard. Ohhhh, Emma is a woman scorned and she's packing plenty of fury! Somewhere the devil is shuddering. Crandall tells Emma that she couldn't shoot him, and we get a total Mark-Out moment when we hear Jimmy's voice say, "I could" and then we see him point his gun at Crandall. BOOYA! There's a new feature of the review - a Mark-Out Moment.

Crandall is surrounded by Teaspoon, the riders, and Sam. As Sam rides up he and Emma apologize to each other. I think Emma owes Sam more than just, "I'm sorry too, Sam."

Steph: I'll say! And what's Sam apologizing for? Unless it's for not drop-kicking Emma for the way she's been treating him.

The riders find the chest on the buckboard and Crandall claims that no one was supposed to get hurt. It was just supposed to be a robbery. That may be true, but it didn't stop him from hiding under some clothes while all the shooting was going on.

Sam informs Crandall that 10 men are after him. Did you catch that? Sam said TEN men. I'll get back to this in just a minute. Emma angrily yells at Crandall, "YOU BROUGHT 'EM HEEEEERE!" Jimmy steps up as the voice of wisdom, "Why don't we just give 'em Crandall? That's what they want." I totally agree. No use in risking innocent lives. Emma protests and says they can't do that. Sam makes a comment about letting him go and tracking him down later but decides against it. Cody says it's ten against ten, and Kid thinks that's a fair fight. I disagree. The good guys have Jimmy on their side, so the bad guys are by far the underdogs.

I'm sorry, but I admit I'd be just a tad bit hesitant about risking my life for someone like Crandall. I'd give him a fresh horse and tell him, "Welp, you better get to riding or you'll be dead in a few minutes. Good luck, Chico." I just don't think it was worth risking 10 innocent lives. Well, make that nine. Crandall wasn't so innocent.

Teaspoon delegates all the riders. He wants to set a bear trap. Where's a bear trap? I don't see no stinkin' bear trap!

Sutrow tells his men to check the bunkhouse and the barn. He wants to leave no one alive! Do y'all notice anything strange? There appears to be ELEVEN bad guys, not ten like Sam said. Looks like somebody goofed up again. Oh well, I guess they didn't count on an eagle eye like Johnny Betts actually counting the number of men.

Teaspoon seems to think that Sutrow must be an army man because of the way his men are moving. Too bad they didn't reveal a little more about Sutrow. I would've liked to have seen a little more character development for him.

Sutrow calls out Crandall, but Sam yells that nobody is going anywhere. Sutrow somehow recognizes Sam's voice even though they've only exchanged a couple of sentences. Wow, I guess Sutrow really is an army man! He gives the signal and the bad guys charge. All the riders are in position. Man, Crandall is COWERING IN THE CORNER!!!! Even Emma is at a window with a rifle! Unbelievable, this is the guy that they're risking their lives to save? What a TOTAL wuss.

Ike The shoot out begins. Ike looks over and notices Crandall cowering against the wall. Apparently Ike doesn't like this. He points his gun at Crandall and Sam tells Crandall, "they'll kill you or we will." Crandall finally pulls his gun out. You go Ike! That's definitely a Mark-Out Moment as well. Good job, Ike. I'm proud of ya.

The funniest part of this whole fight is when Cody knocks one of the bad guys off of his horse with a shovel. Cody's pretty excited about it, "Wooohooo! I got you!" Hahaha, Cody's in the midst of a big gunfight and he still knows how to laugh and have a good time. How can you not dig that?

Uh-oh. Sutrow bursts through the door! Emma better watch out! In one final heroic act Crandall pushes Emma out of the way, takes the bullet, and SAVES THE DAY! CRANDALL IS A HERO! HE'S COMPLETELY REDEEMED HIMSELF! Well, not really. Sam shoots Sutrow, then he turns toward the window and shoots a dude coming out from under a wagon. This allows us to witness a pretty good fake death scene as the guy physically throws himself over the wagon.

Emma holds Crandall as he dies. She lies and says he's gonna be fine. He makes some sappy comment about how he finally doesn't feel any pain for the first time since leaving her and then dies. Emma cries. I don't.

Outside, the bodies of generic bad guys litter the ground. The riders survey the damage they've done, and Kid makes a comment about having some fixing to do. Emma and Sam hug as the camera pulls away. For good measure they should've had a statement pop up on the screen saying, "As always, no main characters were seriously injured during this fictional gunfight."

Steph: However, I'm hurt that the scene didn't end with Sam giving Emma an uppercut to the jaw for the way she treated him.

This is Emma, not Sarah "Horse-Face" Downs, that Sam was dealing with.

July 23, 2002

EPILOGUE

"Unfinished Business" is a pretty decent episode. However, I wouldn't use it as a YRRT. A younger audience probably wouldn't be too interested in it because of all the "adult issues" that are dealt with. Despite Emma's unnecessary meanness towards Sam, Melissa Leo did a good job in this episode, but I especially like how Jimmy was protective of Emma. How can you not like when he got in Crandall's face and when he refused to sit at the dinner table with Crandall? If that's not standing by your principles then I don't know what is. I just wish he had been able to punch Crandall at least once. Also, I think they should've developed Sutrow's character a little bit more. He had the look of an effective bad guy, he just didn't have much development.

Mark-Out Remark: I haven't heard from Lisa, the co-president of the "Buckettes" in a while, so maybe this will bring her out from hiding. The winner is Buck Cross with, "Seems to move just fine when food's being served." Very funny comment.

Classic Scene: "The scene where Sam falls while working on Emma's window and then Emma has to fix his pants and the riders spy on them." It was a very funny scene and provided some welcome comic relief to a rather somber episode.

What YOU Think

Aimee: I'm not a big fan of UB. There are some good moments, but it's never been a favorite.

Cristy: i remember not liking this one when the show originally aired just b/c i wanted to see eps w/ the riders not the "grownups." i liked emma, actually preferred her over rachel really, but i sometimes thought she acted too...prissy? i don't know if that's the word i'm looking for...she was just so stern! uptight! i think that's what i'm trying to say. but this ep kinda gives her good reason to be so, i guess.

JB: The problem is she's such a wainch towards Sam in this episode and I don't think it's justified. I usually like Emma, but there were some moments in this episode where she was completely unlikable. If anybody had a right to be mad then it was Sam. He could've made a big deal about the "trust issue" but he remained pretty level-headed. Your comment about the "grownups" episode is funny because I was the same way. Thankfully they threw in a big gunfight at the end to keep the kids happy.

Ann from Oregon: Idon't think it is a bad episode. Ilike the first scene where some of the riders arewatchingSam fix Emma's window, pretty funny stuff in that scene, especially between Cody and Jimmy.Kid and Lou were a couple of whiners when they were told to do chores, I guess that would make them agood match, huh? Lou isn't too careful either when she says "I think that's sweet." Nowdoesn't Sam still think she is a boy?I don't think aboy would say something like that.

JB: This is an excellent point that I didn't catch the first time around. The way Lou said it was also kind of girly. She didn't exactly say it in a manly way (if that phrase can even be said in a manly way). They should've had Sam give Lou a funny look or something. Or he could've shaken his head and said something like, "That ain't the only thing a little sweet around here." Sweet - man, how weird of a word is that?

I also think that Emma isn't being fair with Sam or honest with him. She should have told him she had a husband. Wouldn't that be a little bit scandalous back then? Even if he had left her ten years before I wouldn't think that would change the fact she was a married woman.what was she thinking leading Sam to think otherwise? At the risk of sounding callous... at leastin the end it didn't matter anymore. Did I just write that?

JB: Another good point. Emma and Crandall were STILL married. What if Crandall had never returned? Would Emma have married Sam anyway without telling him about Crandall? What if Crandall then returned AFTER Emma and Sam's marriage? The new marriage would be nullified and Sam probably would've thrown down on Crandall. Shame on Emma for not telling Sam about her previous marriage! WHERE'S THE TRUST?!?!?!

Steph: And where's the love? It's not enough. I think the unfinished business of the episode was the full reconciliation between Emma and Sam. Emma goes from wainch supreme to "I'm sorry" and they hug? Something's missing.

Perhaps it's hidden in Crandall's enormously fake beard, aka wool face warmer.

Oh, and one other thing Sam and Cody both said there were ten men coming after Krandall [sic], it was actually eleven men. oh, well...maybe they were just rounding off? Can't count might be another guess. One extra didn't make too much of a difference in the end anyway.

JB: I'm glad to see I'm not the only person who watches the show so closely as to notice these things. Knowing that some of you folks pick up on these bloopers makes me feel a little less abnormal.

Peeping Cody Sarah pretty much liked all the scenes I did (Sam ripping his pants, Jimmy explaining Evan leaving Emma, everybody giving Evan dirty looks at dinner, Jimmy getting in Evan's face), so let me comment on the following:

Sarah: ... and when they were fighting off the bad guys in the house and Evan was just hiding in the corner and Ike told him to start fighting ...

JB: WHOA! I must've missed this. Ike broke his silence and TOLD Evan to start fighting?!?!?!?! Sarah obviously has a special collector's edition of her own.

it was a pretty good episode, I just couldn't stand evan.

JB: Nor could I. Is there ANYBODY out there who liked the creep??? If I recall correctly, there currently aren't any Evan Crandall websites.

Rhi: So when a guy has a really long beard like Emma's hubby did, and he is all leathery on top, it seems to me that when he shaves off his beard that the top half of his face would be all dark and tanned, and the bottom half would be white as a baby's butt because it hasn't seen the light of day. But that doesn't happen to Emma's hubby-man. I think Ike should have shot him. go Ike... go Ike...

JB: Hahaha, EXCELLENT point! It is pretty amazing that the lower half of Crandall's face was EXACTLY the same color as the top half. There's simply no way sun would be able to get through that wool face warmer he was wearing. And yes, I'll say it again, Ike deserves the highest props for sticking his gun all up in Crandall's bid-ness (that's business for those of you who don't speak ebonics) letting him know that he was gonna cap a gat if Crandall didn't get busy up in dat junt.

TaMara: I love Emma and this episode reminds me why. What she went through, a weaker woman wouldn't have made it through. Its good to be able to see an episode that's not about the riders. Emma is too good of a person, helping Crandall even though he left her, just because he helped her out once before. This episode also reminds me of how much I love Sam! His feelings in this episode are understandable and justified. I don't care for Crandall, he is the worst kind of person. Emma is better off without him.

JB: I've gotta agree with TaMara. I did give Emma a hard time in this review, and I don't think she was right in being so hostile towards Sam, but she does show a lot of character by trying to help Crandall out despite the fact that he's a huge jerk. She was married to him, and they were close at one time, so I can understand her hoping that maybe there was some good left in him. It took her the entire episode, but she finally came to her senses and saw him for what he really was - the Bizarro Johnny Betts (for those of you who don't watch Superman or Seinfeld that means "the opposite of Johnny Betts").

Steph: blah blah blah. Quit trying to paint Emma in a good light already! Character schmaracter, she should have told Sam what up and Sam could have laid some smack down all over Crandall and much danger could have been avoided.

Tush. I mean, touche.

Next up for review is "Decoy." This is a CODY EPISODE! And a very good one at that. It's got Cody facing off with Bart the bear, the riders caring for an abandoned baby, and a special appearance by Evil-Lyn! Like I've previously said, Cody is my second favorite rider. He's got some great moments in this episode, so it should make for an excellent review. But would anyone expect anything less? I didn't think so.

In the immortal words of Thomas Paine, "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right."

This is just my opinion, you could be wrong.
The Sun Sets on The Rider Review
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