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 - Dead Ringer
By Johnny Betts

October 4, 2004

"The Rider Beat = Near-miss bladder crisis. I love the Rider Beat! Let's face it, 99.8% of the audience is chicks. Acknowledging the draw of the eye candy factor and skewering it -- IT'S WHY YOU ARE BRILLIANT." - Amy C

Rider Beat!

PROLOGUE

"I don't get off-track; I just take the scenic route." - Johnny Betts

It's been so long since the last review that you don't really need a long prologue, right? Good. However, I will take a second to hype THE MOST ENTERTAINING AND INFLUENTIAL MOVIE WEBSITE ON THE INTERNET ... wait a minute, no, I think I'll just hype my movie site instead:

THE MOVIE MARK!

Go check it out if you haven't. And please do me a huge favor and sign the questionnaire AND join the Movie Mark Forum and have lots of fun. Don't worry, I know you won't do it, but for some reason I feel the need to ask.

YOUNG RIDERS TRIVIA

The question: What other project has Anthony Zerbe and David Carradine worked on together?

The answer: North and South II.

The winners: TaMara (who admits to cheating), Brian L. (look at the guy representin'), and Emily (who thought Teaspoon should've been a Southern General, and I agree).

The best answer was Sarah's "Fung-Fu," hahaha. However, Aimee had the ultimate answer: "Oh, but it's NOT so easy is it? I bet most people won't realize they were on not one but TWO projects together... Yes, that's right. Anthony Zerbe guest-starred in Kung Fu, and they were both in North and South II. So there. I'm smart."

Very good, Aimee, you sit atop the pedestal for now.

QUESTIONNAIRE RESULTS

Apparently, "Ghosts" is not a very popular episode. Only 23% of you consider it to be a good YRRT (Young Riders Recruiting Tool). All right, now let's get to your captions.

Name That Caption "Wow those come in jumbo size!" - Laronda

"Hey, look at that! They're both the same size!" - Jade

"Um, Teaspoon my face is up here." - TaMara

"Cody, I don't see what all the fuss is over." - Brian

"Do we really have to eat that stew again?" - Sarah

"Booby, booby, booby." - Sunny

Sunny went on to add, "OK, so it's not a good cap. But it's probably what every male viewer thought of Rachel every second of every scene in which she appeared. I HATED Rachel. I still grieve the loss of Sam and Emma."

"Kid and Lou?!? I'm gonna blow chunks!" - Ang

Teaspoon: "What if I go like this?" Rachel: "No, you're a strange old coot, but you still don't look as freaky as Buzzard." - Ang again

Rachel begins her career as a school teacher by trying to teach Teaspoon how to spell supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. - Aimee

"I really wish I hadn't just chugged that beer." - Rhi

"Hmm, those balloons are looking a little flat, Rachel. I'll just take a deep breath and blow them up for you..." - Emily

"Buck, I've told you before, the [butt] is off limits!" - Aryn

I have to be honest, I'm not exactly sure what this last one means. Especially since Buck isn't in the picture! Hahaha. Anyway, here's MY caption:

Subtlety - not exactly Teaspoon's forte.

READER OBSERVATIONS

Now in an effort to get you kids involved, here are some reader observations regarding "Ghosts". I may comment, I may not.

Jade: Lou's crybaby attitude just killed this episode for me; however, the scenes with Buzzard and the final conversation with Jimmy and Teaspoon were memorable. This wasn't my favorite episode by a long shot.

Careful Jade, Lou's crybaby attitude has the potential to kill EVERY episode. We just have to learn to ignore it the best we can. I agree with you though, the last 10 minutes or so were powerful.

TaMara: Glad to have it after that long, long wait. Although I am not too mad, as I really like the Movie Mark.

Thanks for the plug! TaMara rules. As do the rest of you who have visited the Movie Mark.

Cristy: I miss the Kid bashing!!! More brutality would be nice where Kid is concerned. Although, the remarks about Buck and his perv smile are pretty entertaining. ;)

All right, folks, you now know that Kid bashing is DEMANDED by the fans. It's now officially my solemn duty to give the guy a hard time.

Brian: Furthering the Tarantino/Young Rider connection, perhaps Tarantino decided to show the directors/editors how to effectively use the slow motion when he did Reservoir Dogs the following year (Think my timeline is right, working on memory). I'll back you up on the girls JB since I represent your 1% of readers. As always enjoyed it. Keep it up.

I wonder if it's even 1%? You could be the only male Rider Review reader left.

Sarah: Why was it that Rachel stopped in the middle of being chased to start a fire and sleep? You'd think she would have wanted to put as much distance as she could.

I wonder how many writers would be out of a job if it were not for plot contrivances?

Sunny: Durk, bleh, dumm=der dee.

Couldn't agree more.

Ang: I really liked the Born to Hang screen caption about the shade of blush. I can't remember who wrote that right now, but good job. Very funny.

Cristy wrote that, but can we get back to praising ME now? Thanks.

Aimee: I completely disagreed with you about the Rachel/Lou storyline. It's the reason "Ghosts" is one of my favorite episodes :) But seriously, I know deep deep down you really like it - one day I'll get you to admit it...:)

Yeah, good luck with that. How's that goal going?

Rhi: Now that I have *finally* read it... I think you totally neglected the coolness of Rachel that they finally got around to in the end. I think threatening the bad guy that he might have to "join the lady's social" is at least worth of being nominated for the Mark-out remark of the episode. Yeah yeah, gunfighter angst. It's fun and all, but come on - threatening to shoot off a guy's balls? And just because you didn't use the word enough: Boobies!

True, I will admit that I like Rachel's spunkiness, and the "lady's social" comment was at least worthy of a Mark-out Remark nomination. My apologies to all involved.

Emily: I wasn't ever overly impressed with this episode, but I love how the Teaspoon-Jimmy relationship is really starting to take more shape. So many of their conversations about life are still so very applicable to all of us today... and that's the sign of a real classic.

Guylian: WHAT THE [HECK] were they thinking, getting David Carradine in for a guest spot as a bad guy and only giving him a crappy B-storyline? Imagine an entire episode based around Teaspoon vs. Bad Guy Buzzard facing off each other, like 'Heat' but in the desert... now THAT would be a great episode.

I totally agree. They blew a huge opportunity. Carradine's storyline should've been front and center. Come on, carry the story over two episodes! How about a little background on Buzzard Braddock and his relationship with Teaspoon? Sorry, but "You shot me once so 20 years later I'm getting revenge" just doesn't cut it.

RIDER REVIEW READER PARTICIPATION PROGRAM

This episode's participant is Angela. Some of you may know her as Ms. Ang from the Movie Mark. Have I mentioned my movie website yet? Can't remember. Anyway, thank you Angela for your help. She even offered suggestions for Rider Beat articles.

DEAD RINGER

Fake Hickok Here comes a man dressed just like Jimmy. He's got the jacket and everything. Must be Kid. We all know Kid is jealous of Jimmy and would love nothing more than to be just like him. After all, he's already begged Jimmy to let him be his sidekick. Now he's dressing just like him? So sad. He enters the bank and puts on a mask. Wow, he's finally taking my advice. Thank goodness, I know a lot of you ladies were tired of looking at that mug. Wait a minute, he's robbing the bank! WHY KID, WHY?!?!?! Why are you framing Jimmy for robbery? HOW CAN YOU BE SO JEALOUS?!?!?! He's doing a good job of disguising his voice. Somehow, he knows money is hidden in the back. Man, Kid sure went to a lot of trouble to plan this out.

OH NO! He shoots a dude who tries to escape! YOU WON'T GET AWAY WITH THIS, KID! The guy flies through the window after he's shot. Why? Because that's cool. I must admit that I'm shocked that the bank wasn't on the 2nd floor. That way the guy could've been shot, flown through the window, broken a rail and fallen off the balcony, and then crashed through a wagon that would've most likely been filled with horse manure. And possibly a pitchfork.

As Kid leaves he says, "Smile folks, you can brag you were robbed by Wild Bill Hickok." Same thing I said back in '95 when I ... no, better spare you the details. I never know who might be reading this. So he wears a mask and then says he's Wild Bill Hickok? Shouldn't that throw up a red flag or two? Maybe cause *somebody* to be suspicious that it's actually Hickok? I guess I shouldn't be surprised. YR stock characters are typically the kind of people who complain they can't figure out voting ballots, so we shouldn't expect much from 'em. I love the face the banker makes as he shakes his head. He makes us feel as if he's really disappointed in this example of youth gone awry.

Jimmy is taking a little target practice on some cans. Metal cans, that is. Amazingly he has SEVEN BULLETS in his gun! If you don't believe me then go watch the scene. He shoots seven times without reloading. If anybody ever tells you, "They didn't call 'em 'six shooters' for nothing," then feel free to reply with, "Well, you haven't watched 'The Young Riders' then."

Is it really so hard for editing to make sure little errors like this don't slip through the cracks? Come on, if you've read The Movie Mark (and if you haven't then SHAME ON YOU) then you know I rate my movies on a 5 "mark" scale. Not once have I ever given a movie a rating of 6. You'll never see someone say, "Johnny's review of such-and-such was good, but he screwed up and gave the movie a rating of pi." Some mistakes should just not be made.

Noah's Air Guitar Jimmy pulls out one of his Navy colts, and we see a cool flashback of him shooting Chris Penn. Heeeeey, how's that for a little continuity??? Very cool! Jimmy's at the table reflecting. Here comes Noah complaining about a horse. That's weird. I didn't know Sandra Bernhard guest-starred on TYR. Noah tells Jimmy to "quit courtin' that girl or marry her." He's never seen somebody go through so much trouble for something he doesn't even wear. So Noah's seen Jimmy looking at the Colt one time and all of sudden he's an expert on the subject and the history behind it? Noah's been around for, oh, how long has it been? Oh yeah - THREE EPISODES! So exactly how much trouble has Noah seen Jimmy go through in regard to the Colt? Hey Noah, last I checked, you weren't in Season 1 so it's a bit too early for you to act like an expert on *everything.*

Speaking of Noah, I saw him on an episode of Bernie Mac recently. Well, I actually saw Don Franklin. But wouldn't it have been cool if he'd been in character as Noah? Granted, he would've been little more than dust and bones, and that would've been weird, but it would've been a cool reference all the same.

Noah tells Jimmy to strap the gun on, but Jimmy totally SHOCKS me when he says, "one's plenty." What is so shocking is that Noah thought Jimmy was talking about one *weapon*, but Jimmy clarified, "I'm not talking about the weapon, Token." The surprised look on Noah's face was absolutely priceless. I admit, it's a powerful statement on race relations from that time period, but I can't help but feel it was a little forced. That's not only on the Special Edition I have, is it?

Noah thinks the gun would fetch a good price, and then Jimmy surprises me again when he replies, "Yeah? Well so would you." Holy cow, Jimmy, what are you doing??? Calm down! Are you taking a page out of Kid's book?? Jimmy apologizes and explains to Noah that Kid told him to use that line because he thought it'd be funny. Ohhh. Anyway, Jimmy says the gun ain't for sale. Noah tries to be all cool and philosophical and says that if Jimmy isn't wearing it or selling it then that means he knows someday he'll need it.

Um, why is that what it *has* to mean? There is such a thing as "sentimental value" you know. I don't wear pictures of my grandparents, nor do I plan on selling them any time soon. But you know what? I don't think I'll need them to save my life in the near future. Nice attempt at sounding smart, Noah, but you failed. Jimmy takes off on a run.

The Exorcist Principal Martino from "Ed" checks in at the Cottonwood Hotel. Once he gets to his room he opens his bag and pulls out a Hickok outfit, along with the book J.D. Marcus wrote about Jimmy. Ah, even more continuity! Folks, that's TWO references to the first season in less than 5 minutes! Unprecedented. But wait, does this ruin my theory about Kid being the one who was trying to frame Jimmy for the robbery? Shoot. Hmm, maybe they're working together! That must be it! YOU AND YOUR BIRD'S NEST HAIR WILL NOT GET AWAY WITH THIS, KID! YOU BIG CONSPIRACIST!

Meanwhile, Cody is welcoming Buck, Kid, Ike, and Noah to paradise, and supposedly they've got it all to themselves. I'm pretty sure I don't want to know the details. And after this scene (and the resultant background noises), I'm pretty sure *you* don't want to know the details either. Kid talks about how this was a great idea, and Noah hopes Rachel doesn't get mad because they ran off. Oh man, here we go. Buck flashes his perv smile and says as creepily as he possibly can, "Should've invited her." SEE???? Is everybody starting to realize how creepy he's becoming????

Angela: I used to like him when I was ten. I know he was flavor of the week for quite a while.

Straight Jacket The riders start to undress to go swimming. I start to get more than a little uncomfortable. Buck takes a little pouch off from around his neck. When Cody asks what it is, Buck explains that it contains stuff the "spirits" tell him to put in it, and it protects him. Cody thinks it's all superstition, but Noah and Kid argue that Buck has a right to his beliefs. They dunk Cody in the water and proceed to have a water fight in their longjohns.

Angela: Mmm MMM!!! Skinny legs wrapped in skuzzy longjohns!!

Back at the sheriff's office, Barnett brings Teaspoon the mail. It's a "wanted" poster for Hickok. There's a $400 reward on his head for bank robbery and murder. That's all? I'd think "Wild Bill" would be worth more than $400. Ah well.

Angela: I just love Barnett. He is the perfect foil. Such hilarious ignorance!

While swimming, Cody sneaks out and puts dirt in Buck's pouch. Listen closely, and in the background you hear some very disturbing sounds. Seriously, trying to transcribe some of them does not do this scene justice. We hear stuff like: "Ahhhh, unh! Uhhhh! NOAH! Wooooo hooo hooo! Yeah! Ohhh! OW! Oh oh! *laughing* Heeeeey! Hey! BUCK! BUCK! Unh unh unh." It's hilarious, but it's quite bothersome and disturbing. Who makes those kinds of sounds just swimming? Very unsettling. I guarantee you'll never watch this scene the same way again.

Shhhh Ike catches Cody messing with Buck's pouch. Of course Ike is threatening to tell Buck, but Cody says he's gonna put it back later, he just wants to teach Buck he doesn't need it. Cody asks for one week. Ike ain't too happy about it, but apparently he's gonna go along with Cody's plan. Good job, Ike, I hope you know that your silence equates to complicity. If Buck gets killed then it's your fault for bowing to peer pressure.

Angela: I actually understood Ike's sign language!!

Teaspoon and Lou show up. Spoono needs two people ready to ride. To no one's surprise, Buck and Noah offer to go. After all, Buck's ridden the trail more than anybody and can surely track everything and everybody in the world. I must admit, TYR never got quite as bad as "Walker, Texas Ranger" in the area of scouting. There was one episode where Walker got down on the ground, tasted the soil, and stated, "A plane crashed here." There was no wreckage, no plane fuel on the ground, nothing whatsoever that could offer an explanation. It's one of the most ridiculous things I've ever seen in episodic television. So thankfully, Buck's scouting never got quite *that* bad. And why is Noah going? Well, he's the new guy, and so they desperately need to throw him into some storylines. Basically, they are two minorities with plenty to prove, and one thing they need to prove is that Jimmy wasn't at the bank robbery. Until then, every bounty hunter in the territory will be gunning for him.

Jimmy shows up at a bar somewhere and orders a Sarsaparilla. "You Wild Bill Hickok?" a bodiless voice asks. "No, it's James Butler Hickok," is Jimmy's stone-cold reply. The music stops and everybody stares at Jimmy.

Jimmy: What's going on?
Bartender: Charlie Duff had a lot of friends.
Jimmy: Who's Charlie Duff?

A guy pulls his gun, so Jimmy pulls his and then stops the bartender from hitting him. He walks out with his gun drawn. He just came in for a drink and has no clue what's wrong with these freaks. Reminds me of the time I went to Taco Bell and ordered a Taco Supreme combo. Everybody in the place was staring at me. I asked what the problem was, and the cashier said, "Ty Miller had a lot of fans." I responded with, "The key word being 'had.' This ain't 1989." The moment I saw someone branding a firearm I decided it was time to take my business to Burger King.

Pommel Horse I like the next sequence of events. Jimmy jumps on a horse and carriage as another one almost hits him. The townsfolk are shooting at him. Jimmy climbs on the roof of a building and escapes. He climbs up to the next floor of the roof and then jumps onto a lower section. Say what you will about the selective editing, but I contend that Josh Brolin clearly did all his own stunts here. Anybody who disagrees is just arguing for the sake of arguing. Noah and Buck show up JUST IN TIME with an extra horse. Josh, not his stuntman, jumps onto his horse and they take off. Again, ignore the camera's convenient cutaways, this was obviously all Josh.

I really like this next scene as well. Jake Colter shows up at Teaspoon's office. "Just rode in. Thought I'd pay my respects." He offers Teaspoon a cigar that he had shipped from Virginia. Teaspoon has no problem accepting the offer. Teaspoon then asks what brings him to Sweetwater. Colter shows him the wanted poster.

Angela: I love how we don't see a full shot of him right away... oooh, mystery. Who is this dark, dangerous man? Oh, it's a guy with long blonde hair and blue eyes...

Teaspoon: You're Jake Colter aren't you? Should've known from that cannon you're carrying in.

Colter Colter's pretty happy that Teaspoon has heard of him. I know the feeling. I turn into a little school girl whenever somebody tells me they heard about "The Movie Mark" by word of mouth. Teaspoon says he's heard enough to know Colter's not wanted in Sweetwater. Jake says he likes to introduce himself to the local peace officers, it gives everybody a chance to put his cards on the table. They both have jobs to do, so there's no reason not to get along. He makes a good point. The guy's a bounty hunter, but at least he's upfront about it. I like Colter. But Teaspoon calls him a bushwhacker and says he's never taken a man alive. He shoots most of them in the back.

Teaspoon: I wouldn't kill a dog that way.
Colter: Nor would I Marshal, cause dogs don't shoot at ya. Now, this ain't a sport. It's business, and I'll drop a man anyway I can. Good day, Marshal.

Good comments by Jake. This is how things typically were back in the Old West. One-on-one duels were not the norm. Most guys would take a kill anyway they could get it. Finding gunfighters who were chivalrous about the whole thing was about as rare as finding a celibate Hilton sister. Teaspoon warns Colter to stay away from Hickok.

Teaspoon: He ain't guilty of nothing until he's had a fair trial.
Colter: Then you better find him before I do, cause as long as he's wearing a gun and running free, law says he's fair game.

Teaspoon tells Colter that collecting the reward is one thing. But living to spend it is another. Colter smiles and leaves. Colter rules. He should've been added to the cast!

Angela: JB, can I nominate this scene for the first Classic Scene? I'd like to title it "The scene where Teaspoon takes a cigar from Colter then calls him a Bushwhacker."

Very good. Folks, we have our first classic scene nominee!

Teaspoon warns the riders that Colter will try to bushwhack Jimmy any chance he gets. Rachel checks the schedule and it turns out Jimmy was in Blue Creek at the time of the robbery, which is over 100 miles away. Lou's gonna head there to find someone who may have seen Jimmy.

Cody rides in looking worn out. Teaspoon pulls out one of his awkward metaphors and claims Cody looks, "worse than a nearsighted chicken in a coyote's den." You know, sometimes Teaspoon's little quips just don't work to perfection. Come on. Teaspoon's always pulling out sayings like, "Goodness, Cody, it looks like somebody just covered you in honey, threw you in a bear's den, and when the bear was done with you he threw you into a bee's nest" and it just makes me shake my head while smiling embarrassingly.

Cody says he's been thrown, trampled, forced to watch a Kid episode, half-drowned, and that was before lightning hit. He tells Ike it's the worst run of luck he's ever had. Even the cinch on his hat broke. And worst of all, he signed a contract agreeing to star in a Pauly Shore movie! That's something your career obviously never fully recovers from.

Colter Ike thinks this is all because Cody stole Buck's mystical pouch, but Cody vehemently claims it has nothing to do with that. He refuses to believe that he made the spirits mad at him. After all, he thinks it's all superstitious hog wash. Cody lays on his bunk for a nice rest and lo and behold, it crashes. Ike smiles a little, looks up at the heavens, shrugs his shoulders, and leaves. Funny stuff.

Principal Martino is balancing books at a bank. The bank manager is not happy about him always coming in. He thinks the guy is pretty worthless. Poor Martino, it looks like the entire world is against him. Later, Martino is trying to pick up a chick at the saloon, but she wants nothing to do with him. Some dude beats him up, and throws him through the window. I hope he's paying for that. Did guys in the Old West always take the "throw somebody out the window" route when fighting? Why not just throw them through the door and not risk paying for a broken window?

Angela: My worlds collide! My old favorite show and new-old favorite show are brought together! Dennis Martino obviously went a little crazy after Carol jilted him at the altar. Why did he have to take out his pain and frustration on Jimmy??

Because he's a jerk. Martino is back at his hotel room practicing his Hickok routine in front of the mirror. I guess I can't make fun of the guy too much since I can't really deny ever pretending to be Jimmy. The best was the time when I told my dad to pretend he was Kid. My dad responded, "Kid? What are you talki..." but before he could finish his sentence I had hauled off and punched him in the face while saying, "You ever hit me again, I'll forget you're my friend." As it turns out, my dad wasn't as big a fan at reenacting TYR scenes as I was, and my subsequent punishment definitely proved that point.

The hotel clerk walks by Martino's room and asks him if he's OK. Turns out his name is "Mr. Muncy" rather than "Principal Martino." That's a shame. The guy obviously has some issues because as he looks in the mirror he says, "Nobody laughs at Wild Bill Hickok ... father. Nobody." Well, they might not laugh at Hickok, but they sure laugh at you, freak, and I can't blame 'em. In fact, I'm laughing at you *right now* while pointing at the TV screen. Hahaha, *says in a mocking tone* "Nobody laughs at Wild Bill Hickok ... father. Nobody. Meh meh meh." Bwahahahaha. LOSER!

*knock on the door*

Just a second, folks, let me get this... PRINCIPAL MARTINO?!?!?!

Principal Martino: Nobody laughs at Wild Bill Hickok ... Johnny Betts. Nobody. *BLAM*

*Martino leaves the scene of the crime, thus leaving Johnny for dead. Johnny, being the hero that he is, removes the bullet himself, stitches the wound, and proceeds with the review.*

Ambrose Jimmy rides into Mill Junction wearing glasses, a suit, and a hat. As he heads into the bank we see the reward on his head is now at $500. He tells the bank teller that his name is Ambrose Merryweather. HOLY COW! This is simply unprecedented folks. That is THREE episodes from Season 1 that have been referenced in ONE episode! Unbelievable. THIS IS THE MOST CONTINUOUS EPISODE OF ANY TV SERIES OF ALL TIME!

Angela: I am ashamed to admit this, but when I first saw this episode (when I was 10) it took me a while to figure out that Ambrose was really Jimmy. I had my suspicions, but his hair just looked too neat and tidy, not at all like it was just shoved up under a hat. I know now that Jimmy had discovered the usefulness of bobby pins.

Well, you *should* be somewhat ashamed, but since you were only 10 I'll let it slide.

The bank teller says Hickok did it. Jimmy asks if he got a good look at him, and the bank teller admits that he didn't because he was wearing a mask. For some reason, the teller seems pretty self-satisfied with this explanation. I guess he doesn't realize he's an absolute moron. Jimmy's smart enough to realize that this whole situation is about as rotten as a Paul Walker period-based drama, but the teller brushes it off because hey, Hickok told them his name! Jimmy shrewdly asks why he would he tell them his name. The teller says that from what he hears, Hickok is none too smart. Jimmy's facial reaction to this comment is very funny. Poor guy. HE'S BEEN LEARNING TO READ YOU JERK! The teller says the guy knew where the hidden money was. Jimmy suggests that maybe it was an employee. The teller mentions Muncy but says Jimmy's barking up the wrong tree. Sure thing, idiot.

Angela: I'd like to point out that Muncy never seems to be able to close his mouth - just watch the rest of the episode. It's always open *just* a little bit.

That's true, Muncy is a bit of a mouth breather.

Meanwhile, Jake recognizes Jimmy's horse and asks some horse stable/trader dude where he's headed. The guy claims he's not sure. Colter smiles, points his rifle at the guy, and asks him if he ever wondered how many toes he really needed. Like I said, Colter rules.

Angela: Service with a smile...

Biscuits The riders are at the dinner table, and Rachel's passing biscuits around. But I think what everybody has their eyes on are the buns, KNOW WHAT I'M SAYING?!?! *ahem* Sorry. Cody's holding something near his chest. Kid asks what Cody has around his neck, and Noah asks if it's a rabbit's foot. Cody says it's none of his business. Buck asks if he is getting superstitious, but Kid jokingly points out that Cody "don't believe in that stuff." Cody says, "No I don't." They laugh at him as he tries to maintain that he believes it's all bunk. He then takes a bite of food and out comes a tooth. Buck smiles real big. Pretty funny. If you watch closely, you can tell that Cody is obviously holding the tooth in his hand the whole time. For some reason, the Family Channel and Hallmark cut this entire scene from the episode. Must have something to do with the fact that they're fascists.

Muncy catches up with the guy who beat him up at the saloon. He's on a quest to find out exactly which hand the guy favors.

Muncy: You right-handed?
Dude: Yeah.
Muncy: *shoots him* Now you're left-handed.

Actually, he shot him in the arm. So shouldn't he have said, "Now you're left-armed"??? Muncy's an idiot. Muncy then says nobody laughs at Wild Bill Hickok and shoots the guy dead. This Muncy chap has some real issues.

Angela: Get thee to a therapist!

Jake talks to the none-too-bright bank teller. Apparently Jake gave him a description of Hickok, and the teller says it sounds like him, but he doesn't think it was Hickok that visited the bank earlier. After all, this guy said his name was Ambrose! Plus, he was wearing glasses! And the real Hickok would've been wearing a mask! We all know that it'd be impossible for Jimmy to try to use a different name or wear glasses to disguise himself. I'm pretty sure the bank teller couldn't be any more stupid than he already is. But, just to be on the safe side, he tells Colter that Jimmy's heading to Cottonwood.

Jimmy goes to the Cottonwood Hotel. He tells the clerk that his good friend, Henry Muncy, recommended it. The clerk gives Muncy's room number to Jimmy. I've gotta say, Jimmy's playing a dorky character very well. That just shows what a great acting job Josh is doing. He has to go against type and convince us that he's a geeky, bumbling doofus. Now see, Kid would've fallen into this role easily. In fact, we wouldn't have been able to tell a difference. But Josh does a great job of playing a character COMPLETELY different from Hickok. He's smiling, acting a little geeky, goofily delivering lines like, "He sure is gonna be surprised to see me." Fantastic job, Mr. Brolin. *I arise from my seat and give Josh a standing ovation* Does anybody know if we can get Josh a retroactive Emmy? Let's start up a petition. As Jimmy heads upstairs, I love how when he gets to the top he waves at the hotel clerk like a huge dork. Too funny.

Meanwhile, Cody's getting a little concerned, so he asks Ike for help. He wants to put the Indian spirit gobbledy gook back in Buck's pouch. Ike wants him to tell Buck what happened. Cody isn't too interested in that until a bale of hay falls and almost hits him. "Buck! Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!" Cody screams.

Angela: I love the ooo eee ooo eee ooospooky Indian Spirit music here.

Well, it's like I always say: any time is a good time for some good ooo eee ooo eee ooospooky Indian Spirit music.

Buck's Angst Buck pours the dirt out of the pouch, and uh-oh, Noodle Arms is MAD! He pushes Cody and starts to take off his pimp vest. Watch out Cody! Buck might poke you with his bony elbows and really hurt you! You could lose an eye! Or he might wrap one of his pencil-thin arms around your neck like a rope and try to choke you!

Cody says he'll do anything to set things straight ... anything except watch another Kid episode. He just wants Buck to tell the spirits to stop being mad at him. He thinks they're trying to kill him, and only Buck can stop them. The worst is when the spirits cloud Cody's judgment and cause him to think Biodome will be a good idea with no negative career implications.

Buck lies and says there is one ceremony of repentance that must be performed when the first rays of sunlight warm the earth, but he feels it's too dangerous. Cody's willing to do it though. Don't you just love TV Indian speak? Next time somebody asks you if you're a morning person or a night person just explain to them that you're a "when the first rays of sunlight warm the earth" person. Well, if you're a night person then you can say you're a "when the sun sets in the West and no longer illuminates the land" person.

Back at some bar Jimmy (still in disguise) is listening to people talk about Hickok. Some dude says he shot Silas in the back. Jimmy asks if he saw it. The guy claims Silas told him before he died. Somebody else claims Jimmy shot down John Longley the same way, bushwhacked him. I love how Jimmy is starting to get angry and defensive. He speaks up and says that he heard Longley had a second gun. He's told that he heard wrong. MORE CONTINUITY! This totally rules. Four, count 'em, FOUR season 1 episodes have been referenced!

Fake Mustache Mustache guy then says Jimmy killed some rancher in Sweetwater just to get his wife. Really? Did he also shoot a man in Reno just to watch him die? Jimmy is really mad now and says, "That ain't right." When the guy says he shot him in his sleep Jimmy tells him he doesn't know what he's talking about. He's asked if he's a friend of Hickok's. Jimmy says no, and they tell him that friends of Hickok aren't welcome here. Then when somebody says, "I hear Hickok is friends with that Kid homo," Jimmy loses it and drops everybody at the table.

Mouth-breather Muncy overhears the entire conversation. He goes up to Jimmy and tells him that they'll be sorry for saying that stuff about Jimmy. He brags about being a friend of Hickok. More like a friend of Dorothy. How many people will get that reference?

Cody's ceremony begins. He starts off in his underwear with paint all over him, running through the water, and chanting. If I only had a dollar for every time a female has tried to get me to do that. Buck is waving some feathers and rolling his eyes in the back of his head. It's really quite disturbing. Buck tells Cody that he has to go to the place where he took the pouch and pour pork fat over his head. Shouldn't that be "the place of which the pouch of spirit protection was procured"? Cody asks if he really has to, and Buck just looks up at the sky. Cody's scared, so he complies. Buck says he now must cover himself in dirt.

Cody: Are you sure the spirits are gonna understand all this?
Buck: No, but it sure gave 'em a good laugh.

Ben Stiller Impersonation The riders run by and pour water on Cody. Cody yells at Buck that he's gonna get him and proceeds to chase after him. I can't blame Cody for being mad. It's a shame that Buck decided to resort to lying and deception. Is that what friendship is really all about?

Angela: Did you catch that music when Cody gets mad? How it's timed to his reactions? A little cheesy, but I love it!!

Yeah, it's a funny, subtle touch.

World's Biggest Purse Back at the ol' Cottonwood hotel, Muncy leaves his room, and Jimmy goes in to check it out. He finds the "Hickok bag," along with an imitation Colt.

Jimmy gives a stagecoach driver something to take to Teaspoon. I have no idea what it is. A message about what he has found? Information on his next plan? The name of someone who is willing to take care of the "Kid problem"? Perhaps we shall never know.

All right, let's see, some bank dude is yelling at Muncy about needing some ledgers. He says Muncy's taking too long. I don't know if he is, and I really don't care either. Jimmy shows up, talks to the bank dude, and then the bank dude looks nervously over at Muncy. Yeah, that's not suspicious or anything. Are we supposed to believe that all people who worked at a bank in the Old West were absolute dolts?? If somebody is telling you sensitive information about somebody in the same room, the last thing you want to do is draw attention by darting your head quickly at the guy and giving him a wild-eyed look matched only by Halle Berry's Oscar's face when it found out she agreed to star in Catwoman.

Muncy arrives back at the hotel. Mr. Neatly Trimmed Beard Hotel Clerk asks him if his friend found him. The clerk gives him the name "Mr. Merryweather" along with his room number.

Jimmy decides to eat a little dinner. He seems to be having trouble cutting the steak.

Angela: Well, they gave the poor man a butter knife to cut that tough meat.

Uh-oh, Colter shows up smoking a big cigar. He blows out some smoke rings that are pretty darn cool. I don't smoke, but if I did then I'd want to be able to make those cool smoke rings! Jimmy sees him and leaves. I like how as Jimmy is leaving, the camera focuses on Colter, but we can see Jimmy in the mirror as he pauses and then walks out of the saloon.

Angela: It's the little things like that mirror shot that made this episode my favorite.

Man, they've got some weird tilted camera action going on in this episode. What's the deal? Check it out. The camera is tilted to the left as Jimmy enters his room, and then it's tilted to the right once he's in his room. Is my lack of sleep starting to adversely affect me?

BAM! Whoops. Muncy knocks Jimmy out with his gun.

Jimmy wakes up to a burning fire the next morning. Things aren't normal though because Jimmy is tied up and gagged. Well, I'm sure a lot of you ladies would love for that to be a normal morning. Bunch of Australian Anns!

Angela: You Betts-cha!! *bud-ump ching* And I'm so happy to see his long flowing locks again!

Jimmy awakens right as Muncy shows up. Muncy says he's real sorry he had to hit him. He then talks about how he never expected to meet Jimmy.

Jimmy really isn't interested in exchanging pleasantries, he just wants to know why the mouth breather is doing this. Muncy claims it's because he respects Jimmy; he's helping build his reputation. Jimmy says all he's helping him do is get hung. Um, Jimmy, I don't mean to nitpick, but that should actually be "get hanged." Just wanted to clear that up. Good point, nonetheless.

Muncy blabs on and on about how Jimmy will be known everywhere, and everybody will respect him and fear him. Jimmy doesn't want people fearing him, but Muncy says they have to or you're a nobody and they treat you like a nobody. He reveals that his father beat him, but oh how his father fears Hickok! Jimmy tells Muncy that if he respected so much then he'd turn himself in and clear the Hickok name.

We now see that the riders are on top of a mountain watching the proceedings. Teaspoon wants to take Muncy at the bank so there'll be no question about Jimmy, but he has given instructions to kill if Muncy goes for his gun. Great, back to Muncy... he's gonna rob the bank and lead the posse back here where he'll have to shoot Jimmy. Jimmys says if he does that then he can't be Wild Bill Hickok anymore. Muncy, however, thinks there'll still be a Wild Bill Hickok. After a while, they'll think Jimmy was the imposter.

As Muncy rides off Jimmy inexplicably yells, "Hey! Come back here!" Hahaha. Yeah, as if Muncy would just stop dead in his tracks, turn around, and come back. "Oh, did you tell me to come back, Jimmy? Well, I was gonna ride off and then come back later and kill you. But since you're yelling at me to come back now then I guess I better."

Let's head to the bank. Let's also bring back the ever popular "Johnny Betts speaks in short sentences." Noah and Teaspoon are plants. And I don't mean a tree or shrub. Muncy grabs a woman. Buck and Kid are there too. Kid's wearing some sort of train engineer's cap. They all draw their guns. Teaspoon tells Muncy to give it up. It's all over. Muncy breathes out of his mouth. Johnny wonders how Carson Daly ever got his own talk show. Johnny reflects on how unfair the world can be at times.

Muncy says they won't be taking Wild Bill Hickok alive. Jimmy shows up and tells him, "You ain't Hickok. I'm Hickok." Muncy goes outside and drags the woman with him. Jimmy slowly follows him outside. For some reason Teaspoon says, "Easy Jimmy." Easy? JIMMY WAS WALKING AS SLOWLY AS HE POSSIBLY COULD! If he had gotten any easier he would've metamorphosed into a blonde chick with a last name of Hilton. Yes, that's right, two Hilton jokes in one review, and I'm not ashamed.

Jimmy: Hickok wouldn't hide behind a woman. You ain't Hickok. You're just a coward.

Muncy: SHUT UP! I'm Wild Bill Hickok. Nobody calls Wild...

*BLAM* Muncy is shot and dropped dead. Colter saunters up as cool as can be, "Nobody touch him! That's my kill. Wild Bill Hickok, huh? Don't look so wild now, do he?"

Sugar Daddy Angela: And here is a mystery - why, with all the other riders standing about, would that woman run to Teaspoon for comfort?

She got a look at Buck's perv smile and probably saw Cody grinning goofily and then saw Kid in his little train engineer cap and figured Teaspoon would be the least likely to pinch a little cheek when comforting her.

Colter smiles and laughs at Jimmy. Teaspoon explains to him that he got his man, however, it isn't Hickok. He explains the situation. Therefore, the bounty is no good. Why not? Colter still killed the culprit! WHAT SENSE DOES THIS MAKE?!?! Just because of the name? Did the Wild West really get uptight about such technicalities? I doubt it. Colter killed the bank robber, so I'd think he would still get the bounty. Oh well.

Jake pulls out the wanted poster and laughs, "Well, I think I'm gonna keep this anyway. I just got a feeling I'm gonna be needing it before long." He walks away. Jimmy looks at Teaspoon. It's a troubled look. He walks off.

Angela: If that troubled face doesn't tear at your heartstrings, I don't know what will. Why can't I just walk through that TV screen and put my arms around him and... uh, sorry. I'll keep that to myself.

It's a touching scene. I know I cried.

Teaspoon walks up to Jimmy and puts his arm around Jimmy.

Angela: No fair!

The end.

EPILOGUE

Great episode. Any episode with Jake Colter is definitely a perfect YRRT. I just wish Colter had been used more. In fact, I wish he had been added as a permanent cast member! That would've rocked. Anyway, on to the awards...

Mark-Out Remark: I'm giving it to Jake Colter with, "Now, this ain't a sport. It's business, and I'll drop a man anyway I can. Good day, Marshal." His delivery is just so cool. I wanna be a bounty hunter when I grow up!

Classic Scene: I'm gonna go with Angela's suggestion and give it to, "The scene where Teaspoon takes a cigar from Colter then calls him a Bushwhacker." Excellent introduction to Colter.

HOW THIS EPISODE CHANGED YOUR LIFE

Angela: Back when I first saw this episode as a ten-year-old girl, too mature for my age, I immediately tagged it as my favorite. It had everything - comedy, drama, a good bad guy, a really hot Jimmy. You know, I think this may have been the episode that turned my favoritism towards Jimmy. My best friend at the time and I always had a flavor of the week, and I would go back and forth between Jimmy, Cody, Buck, and Ike. I do believe from that moment on, Jimmy was my favorite. Who couldn't love his cunning disguise, his superb acting skills, his super-sleuthing, not to mention that tumble from the rooftop. And we see the sensitive, troubled side of Jimmy at the end of the episode. I guess what I really want to say is, this episode not only changed my life, it changed the subject and substance of my fantasies for years to come.

Up next is "Blood Moon." This will be a fun episode to review. It's the episode where there's an outbreak of cholera, and the fine citizens of Sweetwater wanna lynch some mute boy (not Ike). The episode is most memorable because Kid gets a harmonica, fake plays it, and then we never see it again.

Don't forget to check out the THE "DEAD RINGER" QUESTIONNAIRE to answer TYR trivia, to name that caption, and more! The trivia is pretty difficult this time, so I'm curious to see if ANYBODY gets it. As far as "name the caption," I have a feeling I might end up regretting the picture I chose.

Your participation is much appreciated. And you're still welcome to send me a personal email if you like.

In the immortal words of Dave Barry, "Karate is a form of martial arts in which people who have had years and years of training can, using only their hands and feet, make some of the worst movies in the history of the world."

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

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