Volume 1, Issue 1
[ Home | Intro | Articles and Editorials | Email Pranks | The Rider Review | What's Wrong With People? ]

The Kid
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
Daddy's Girl
Matched Pair
Man Behind the Badge
Then There Was One
Gathering Clouds Part 1
Gathering Clouds Part 2



Born to Hang

The Rider Review - Blind Love
By Johnny Betts

January 31, 2002

I’m only a day removed from the posting of the “End of Innocence” review, but I can already tell that it’s a hit. People seem to like the journal format as well as the fact that the humor was more episode-centric.

Ah, feedback. Sweet, sweet feedback. It looks like I’ve just won my very first Rider Review Award. As handed down by Rhiannon, the winner for the “End of Innocence Rider Review” Sam-worthy quip is:

Johnny Betts with “...warriors showed up and Ryan ran faster than the Taliban on speed.”

Apparently that’s not the only award I won though. Aimee and Rhiannon caught me on this one. At least they think they did. So Aimee would say that the Johnny Betts Blooper award would go to:

Johnny Betts with “The spirited philly is the hardest to catch.”

Now Rhiannon and Aimee both correctly pointed out that it should be “filly”. However, as we all know, Teaspoon is fond of food. Remember when Cody wrote his book and said Teaspoon’s name should be “Shovel” (one of the funniest things in the series)? Welp, that was just my way of showing off my keen ability to play on words. You see, Teaspoon would most likely think that a spirited philly cheese steak sandwich would be the most satisfying to eat.

Aimee: COUGHwhatabunchofcrapHACK
Rhiannon: COUGHjohnnysfullofcowdungHACK

“Wow, Johnny, is that true?” As far as you know, dear reader.

February 1, 2002

Only 8 days away from my 27th birthday. What will I get? I know that I want the Fawlty Towers DVD Collection and the Dirty Harry DVD Collection. Will I get them? We shall see.

You know what, if everybody else here at work can come up with his own clichéd, cheesy catchphrases (i.e. “just another day in paradise”), then I can too! I’m gonna try three: “that’s the sum total of it”, “that’s about par for the course”, and “that’s the nature of the beast”. I rule.

February 8, 2002

Tomorrow is my birthday. I’m turning 27 and feel like I’m still about 20. Hopefully I’ll get a lot of gifts. At least the ice cream cake from Dairy Queen should be good.

It snowed here Wednesday. Man, Tuesday night on the news they were showing all these people stocking up on food like there was no tomorrow. Seriously, you’d think that it had just been announced that a nuclear bomb was headed toward us. We get 4 inches of snow in Memphis and everybody acts like the world’s coming to an end. WHAT’S WRONG WITH PEOPLE?!?!?!

Hmm, I haven’t watched “Blind Love” yet. Maybe I’ll do that this weekend. I’m ready to laugh at some of Sarah’s horrible lines.

February 9, 2002

What a great start to my birthday. Stephanie’s car died yesterday and so I have to spend my whole birthday running to AutoZone and Sears to see if I can figure out what’s going on. We eventually had to call AAA last night and get them to tow the car (this was after a trip to K-Mart, a trip to AutoZone for jumper cables, a failed attempt at jumping the car, a trip back to AutoZone, an attempt to see if the connectors were tight, and another failed trip to AutoZone. The whole ordeal lasted almost 4 hours. Crappy birthday to me, crappy birthday to me, crappy birthday dear Johnny, crappy birthday to me.

Chances are, “Blind Love” will have to wait for a while. Oh, but I have to agree with new rider review reader Melissa – Kid probably wasn’t the one who threw the trash in my truck. That would’ve been too much of a moral dilemma for him. He still wouldn’t be sleeping if he had done such a thing.

February 11, 2002

Now I’m sick, just great. Bring on the Day-Quil.

February 15, 2002

Sigh. Valentine’s Day didn’t go as well as hoped. We went to a Mexican restaurant called Don Pablo’s. I like to refer to them as Don Crappo’s. This isn’t putting me in the right mood to write the review. Must stay strong...better times have to be on the horizon.

February 16, 2002

Hallelujah! I finally fixed Stephanie’s car. Turns out it was just a bad battery. It took me most of the day, but I finally got it taken care of. Things are starting to look brighter. Oh yeah, the YR fan fiction award winners are announced tomorrow; should be interesting to see how that turns out.

February 17, 2002

Here’s a report regarding the fan fiction awards:

Jen continued to read on at the prompting of one of the hosts, “While we’re still able to keep ‘someone’ rambling on, I’ll read the winner of the POETRY category. The nominees are: Lifeline by Vicki, Into Their Own by Mr. and Mrs. Betts, and Jimmy Dear by Beth Goodman. The winner...

oh...the WINNERS are

Into Their Own by Mr. & Mrs. Betts and Jimmy Dear by Beth Goodman”

As the crowd erupted into applause, Johnny slowly stood up and made his way to the podium with Stephanie.

Stephanie: I’d just like to say thank you to all who voted for me.
Johnny: Before you continue, let me just say thanks to Raye for the nomination, and thanks to all the fans who voted, but a TIE?!?! Somebody out there was too lazy to vote and now we have to settle for a STINKIN’ TIE!
Stephanie: Calm down, it’s not that big a deal.
Johnny: I know who it was! IT WAS RHIANNON! I can’t believe you’d allow this to...

*the music cues and Johnny is cut off*

Later in the evening:

Rachel opened the last envelope and read, “The nominees for BEST SERIES are:


and the winner is:


*the crowd erupts and starts chanting, “Johnny! Johnny! Johnny!”*

Johnny: BOOYA! Wow, I don’t know what to say. I’d like to start by thanking God for loaning me the talent to write these reviews. Next I’d like to thank Stephanie for being a great beta-reader and all around great wife. I’d like to thank Lita Marcil for the nomination. And I’d also like to thank you, the readers, for caring about these reviews and giving me an audience to entertain.

With the money that I’ll win from this victory...

*Raye interrupts Johnny and whispers something in his ear*

Johnny: No money? Hmm. Well, with the money I’ll get by pawning the trophy that I’ll receive...

*Raye interrupts Johnny and again whispers something in his ear*

Johnny: Oh. Really? Hmm. Well, it’s a great win anyway, and I’ll use this to motivate me to keep the reviews flowing. I think I will even have enough motivation to write more than 12 reviews this year! Get ready folks, the best is yet to come. 2002 is the year of the Rider Review! And remember, this is just my opinion, you could be wrong.

*the crowd erupts in applause and gives Johnny a standing ovation while chanting, “Johnny! Johnny! Johnny!”*

February 26, 2002

BOOYA! After sending Don Pablo’s an email letting them know that I wasn’t pleased with my last visit, they sent me a profuse apology and begged me to give them another chance. They gave me a $15 coupon to lure me there once again. This just shows that when Johnny Betts speaks, people listen.

March 4, 2002

I finally watched “Blind Love” a couple of weeks ago, so how about we go ahead and review it?

We see a pair of boots walking toward the camera. It’s Jimmy, what’s he up to? Listen to that tense music! Look at his hand near his gun, ready to strike at any moment! Look at the steel gaze in his eyes as he concentrates on his target! Who is Jimmy staring down? Is some young punk looking to make himself famous at Jimmy’s expense? Or worse yet, has Gabe Calder finally returned for revenge?

Hickok reaches for his gun and quickly fires two shots! Who did Jimmy just shoot down? Who is it? WHO?!?! WHO?!?!

Oh. Turns out it was just a tree. Why did I waste my time getting so excited? Ah well, that’s about par for the course (booya).

Some broad-faced manly looking woman: You have something against trees?
Jimmy: Huh?
She-man: I said do you have something against trees?
Jimmy: No, ma’am. I was just practicin’.
She-man: Good idea. You never know when one of those meeeeean trees is gonna sneak up on you from behind.

Oh goodness. She’s trying to be soooo flirtatious, and it’s obvious it’s just bad acting. Right away I see no attraction in ol’ Sarah Downs. She almost reminds me of Sandra Bernhardt – one of the ugliest women I’ve ever seen. When Sarah asked if he had something against trees Jimmy should’ve replied with, “No, but I do have something against your horribly cheesy lines!”

Sarah asks Jimmy if he’s as good on a horse as he is with a gun. Jimmy replies, “You’re thinking of a friend of mine called Kid.” Actually, Jimmy just kind of shook his head acting as if he didn’t know what she meant. I shook my head realizing we were in for a session of “Bad Acting 101 – with Sarah Downs”.

Do any of you remember Sarah from her Exxon commercial? It came on shortly after her guest role on the Young Riders. I can’t elaborate much further because all I remember is her pumping the gas and then making some pro-Exxon statements. Obviously she didn’t exactly set the sky as her limit after her Young Riders role.

Sarah rides off and for some reason Jimmy decides, “I better chase after her!” I would have totally marked out if Jimmy had just shook his head, said “crazy broad”, and then left it up to a bewildered Sarah “Horseface” Downs to come back and ask why he didn’t follow her.

That’s not what happened though. Jimmy chased her until he ran into a low-hanging branch and fell off his horse. Sarah kept riding. Um, if she had an interest in Jimmy wouldn’t she be concerned enough to race back and see if he was all right? I’m assuming that slamming your face into a tree branch while you’re riding full-steam ahead could hurt a little. Sarah’s a wainch.

Jimmy gets up and watches her ride away before getting back on his horse and leaving. What was she doing out there anyway? She just happens to be wandering around near where Jimmy is having target practice?

We see the riders gathered at the table enjoying their dinner.

Jimmy: She was the prettiest girl I ever seen. Not so pretty

What? Has Jimmy only seen about two girls in his life? Sarah Downs may not be Roseanne or Sandra Bernhardt-ugly, but she is certainly not in the Catherine Zeta-Jones or Salma Hayek category. She is definitely NOT in the “prettiest girl I ever seen” category.

Kid: Sounds like you made a heck of an impression of yourself.
Cody: Yeah. One close look at you and she took off for the next county.

Yes! Now it’s time for “Hand Signals with Ike”. I’ve got my trusty Johnny Betts Sign Language Dictionary by my side, and I’m ready to go. Let’s see what Ike has for us today:

He points to his wrist, points to his nose, points forward, pats his heart, and then rubs his hands together.

Buck claims he says, “most times they usually got to get a whiff of you before you scare ‘em that bad.”

Come on, we know that’s completely wrong. Does Buck really expect us to believe that there is a sign for “’em”? Yeah, I don’t think so. All we have to do is consult the JBSLD to help us out:

I smell the blood of your heart. Let’s eat!

Wait a minute, since he was smiling while doing his hand signals the translation actually reads as, “I smell the blood of your heart. Let’s eat! Muhahahaha!”

Whoa. Ike’s starting to scare me a little bit. Let’s face it; all those bumps on the head and horse kicks to the head are bound to take a toll on the hardcore rider’s mental stability. This will be something to keep an eye on in future episodes. I just hope he doesn’t take up the habit of being mean to little kids, because if he does then that’ll stink.

Everybody has a big ol’ laugh at Jimmy’s expense. I’m thinking they wouldn’t have found it so funny if Hickok had stood up and decided to stop using trees for practice targets and start using fair-weathered friends. Oh yes, the laughter would’ve surely stopped then.

Jimmy sickeningly says in a love-sick manner, “All I know is I wanna see her again.” That’s great, Jimmy. You’ve seen the girl once for a total of about 2 minutes and you’ve already fallen for her? I’m sorry, but her “mean trees” statement would’ve been enough to make me roll my eyes and shoo her away.

Cody: Fast as she was travelin’, you might try California.
Lou: I don’t see what you guys are so jealous of?
Kid: What do you mean jealous?

That’s actually a good question by Kid. They joke with Jimmy a little bit and all of a sudden it’s just all about jealousy? I’m thinking Lou has some frustration a’ brewin’ under them skin and bones.

Lou: I mean, it don’t hurt seeing one of you takin’ a fancy to someone besides yourselves.
Jimmy: Takin’ a fancy? What are you talkin’ about?
Lou: What I’m sayin’ here is you’ve got feelin’s stirrin’ up inside, and you’re tryin’ to do something about it.
Kid: There’s nothin’ wrong with takin’ it slow and being careful. He doesn’t even know that much about her.
Lou: Wait too long and sometimes the right time passes you by.

Kid sits there looking dumbfounded with his mouth open. Johnny Betts sits here looking dumfounded with his mouth CLOSED. It’s a fact of life – keep your mouth closed when you’re walking around in public and you’ll look less retarded.

It’s obvious that Lou isn’t happy that Kid hasn’t started making out with her in the Public Square, but “wait too long and sometimes the right time passes you by”?? Jimmy’s seen about 2 minutes of this girl and it’s already time to worry about the right time passing him by? Please. Is Lou gonna suggest that he hurry up and find her and propose right away because this is obviously the woman he’s meant to spend his life with??? What is this, 7th Heaven?

But aside from all of that, what on earth is the deal with Kid’s shirt? It’s got some flap across the front that buttons. It’s just a weird shirt. And Kid’s hair sure is looking flat while they’re at the dinner table. I think the writers did that to make him look more innocent and gain sympathy from those taking his side over Lou’s.

Sarah is riding along in some picture-esque setting. Jimmy somehow tracked her down and shows up in front of her.

Jimmy: Sorry. Didn’t mean to frighten you.

Sarah throws her arms in the air and actually says, “Don’t shoot. I sweeeear I’m not a tree.”
Pull the trigger
Oh man. Did the writers take a nap while writing this script? And I think Sarah’s delivery was supposed to come off as sexy, but it just came off as stupid. That line just won “Worst Line of the Episode”. I’m not even giving any other lines a chance to compete. Whew.

Jimmy: If you are a tree, you’re the prettiest one I ever seen, ma’am.

NOOOO! Come on, Jimmy, don’t play along! And trust me, I’ve seen some trees that are prettier than Sarah.

Sarah and Jimmy introduce themselves to each other. Sarah asks if Jimmy rode out here just to block her path, and Jimmy says he’s not sure why he rode out there. Sarah actually pretends to have the ability to speak with horses and asks Jimmy’s horse why this “handsome young man” rode all that way just to see her.

This whole scene is a little painful to watch because it’s just cheesy. The worst is when Sarah puts her ear to the horse’s mouth and acts like she’s listening to it. Um. If Stephanie had started asking my dog questions about me when we first met then I would’ve asked Stephanie if she was feeling all right.

Jimmy inexplicably plays along and asks what the horse said. Sarah claims she’s a lady and it wouldn’t be proper for her to repeat words like that. Oh, so what would be proper for a “lady” such as you, Mrs. Downs? Lying? Stealing? Setting up a young man to die? Murder? Apparently those are actions that are proper for a “lady” of Sarah’s status. Ah well, that’s the nature of the beast (booya).

After making her comment, Jimmy rubs his chin for a split-second, pooches out his lips, and then suddenly changes his mood and asks where she’s going. It’s funny because the script says that Jimmy was “startled by her honesty”. So apparently “startled by her honesty” is represented by fakely rubbing your hand on your chin for 0.05 seconds while pooching your lips out.

As far as where Sarah’s going, I could give Jimmy an answer, but I don’t want to turn this into a religious debate.

Before Sarah rides off Jimmy asks if he can see her again. She claims she has to talk to his horse first, but what his horse has supposedly said so far doesn’t sound half bad. Whatever. Tramp.

Jimmy stands there watching her leave and then his horse snorts. Jimmy tells him to shut up. Et tu, Jimmy?

The next scene is very good, especially thanks to Cody’s comments. We join Jimmy, Kid, and Cody outside at the bunkhouse. Cody’s trying to sleep, but sleep is the last thing on Jimmy’s mind.

Jimmy: I wonder what she’s doin’ right now.
Johnny: Dunno, don’t care. Probably plotting to have someone murdered.
Jimmy: (turns to the Kid) What do you think?
Kid: I don’t know, but whatever it is I wish you were doing it with her.
Jimmy: What’s eatin’ you?
Kid: Nothin’s eatin’ me. You’re just drivin’ us crazy with all this mysterious woman talk.

Why is Kid so angry with Jimmy? Jimmy just asked a simple question, and Kid knew nothing about Sarah at this point.

Cody’s trying to sleep but can’t with Jimmy and Kid bickering. Exasperated, Cody says, “Would you button it up please?” Too funny, especially the way he says it. Cody just has a way of saying things that makes them funny.

You might not want to use that line on your parents though. I remember the time when my parents were talking about how they were going to be able to manage all their bill payments for the month or some such rubbish. Well, I was trying to sleep, but their endless chatter was distracting me. I couldn’t take it anymore and finally said, “Would you button it up please?” The end result was not favorable for little Johnny. Why are some people so selfish?

Jimmy: You mean I ought to handle things more like you.
Kid: What’s that supposed to mean?
Jimmy: That ain’t the look of a brother watchin’ his sister when you stare at Lou, now is it?
Kid: One girl ropes you in and all of a sudden you’re an expert on man-woman stuff.

I gotta give Kid credit, that’s a good point. I can’t say I’m too happy with Jimmy’s uncharacteristic lovesick attitude in this episode.

Jimmy: I ain’t no expert on man-woman stuff. I just got the guts to do somethin’ about it.
Cody: Ain’t love grand.

Jimmy’s had enough of this conversation and storms off.

Cody: What I like most is the way it keeps us all together nice and friendly-like.

Kid follows Jimmy. I nominate this as the first “classic scene contender”. I like the tension between Kid and Jimmy, but Cody serves as perfect comic relief with his comments. We’ll call it, “The scene where Jimmy and Kid argue and Cody asks if they’ll button it up”.

Kid grabs Jimmy’s arm and spins him around. Are they about to dance? No, he tells Jimmy to leave Lou out of this. He’s mad now!

Jimmy: You know; I’m gettin’ tired of you tellin’ me what to do.
Kid: Maybe if you did more listening, you wouldn’t need so much telling.

Lou shows up.

Lou: What’s goin’ on?
Kid: Nothin’.
Jimmy: No, she wasn’t talkin’ about you and her. She was talkin’ about you and me.

Ooooooooooooooooooooooh! *clap clap clap* I’m sorry, but Jimmy just totally NAILED Kid with that line. Was it a cheap shot? Maybe. Was it hilarious? Absolutely. I have to nominate it as the first “line that Johnny Betts would most likely say or that would most likely be said about Johnny Betts” contender.

That takes me back to the time in 10th grade when I was talking to my friend Josh (not Brolin) about our upcoming Biology exam. We were the only two people in the classroom, so when Ms. Raiford came in she was probably confused about what was going on.

Ms. Raiford: What’s goin’ on?
Josh: Nothin’.
Johnny: No, she wasn’t talkin’ about you and her. She was talkin’ about you and me.

I then left the classroom and I left Josh and Ms. Raiford with dumbfounded looks on their faces. It was great.

Jimmy leaves. Feel the tension between Lou and Kid.

Lou: Why do you keep doggin’ him?
Kid: Me? What are you gettin’ on me for?
Lou: Nobody ever died of a broken heart, Kid.

That’s not true. People die of broken hearts every day. Heart attacks, burst valves, heart disease; the list goes on.

We see Lou watching a horse and pony. Jimmy shows up and they start a discussion about family. Lou doesn’t want Jimmy to let the other riders get to him. Jimmy starts to wise up and says he thinks he’ll let things sit for a while.

Unfortunately, Lou decides she’ll butt-in and mess everything up. She somehow knows where Sarah lives and invites her to a picnic. We see some old man show up and give Sarah some water.

Tramp Sarah shows up at the “picnic gathering”. Jimmy shows up shortly thereafter. Turns out that Lou blatantly lied and set them up. For some reason Sarah’s blouse is completely unbuttoned. Um, she was expecting a whole lot of people to show up, why is she walking around with her blouse halfway unbuttoned?

She starts buttoning up, but I don’t think she ever accomplished her mission. It looked more like she was just fiddling with the button to give the viewers the allusion that she was buttoning up. Didn’t fool me. Jimmy says he’s sorry they were duped, but ol’ wainch isn’t. They take a walk. Meanwhile, sick, perverted Lou is being a voyeur and watching all this.

A whole bunch of boring stuff takes place next. Jimmy talks about his mother being beaten. Sarah says this place is beautiful. She spins around. Johnny’s stomach spins around. She watches Jimmy walk and says he’s nice to look at. She knows Jimmy’s a gunfighter. She turns Johnny into a vomit-fighter. Jimmy never took pride in taking a man’s life. She puts a flower in Jimmy’s shirt pocket. Johnny sighs. Johnny points out that it’s a disgusted sigh, not an “oh how sweet” sigh. She wants to know if Jimmy’s been in love. Jimmy references Emma and says he thought so but they were better friends. Sarah says some rubbish about friendship. Then they cross the line:

Jimmy: What is it about you makes me want to tell you every secret going on inside my head?
Sarah: Probably the same thing that makes me want to know all of them.

They kiss. Sarah tries to tell Jimmy something, but he says that can wait. They smooch some more. That’s it. I can’t take anymore. See ya.

March 5, 2002

Whew. Sorry about that, but I spent the rest of the night with my head over the toilet. I think I’m better now. But I do have to say something to Jimmy before I continue. *ahem*


Sorry. I had to get that off my chest.

Jimmy rides backs to the station. Ike smiles as he notices Jimmy’s flower.

Jimmy: How’d that get there? (Takes flower out of pocket) This is between you and me, right?

Ike zips his lip.

When Jimmy goes inside we see an exasperated look cross his face. Teaspoon has a flower in his hat, Lou puts a flower in her shirt, Ike has a flower behind his ear as he makes the lip-zipping signal (funny - a nice touch), Cody sniffs a flower and bats his eyes, Buck picks off petals, Kid has a flower in his mouth and waves, Emma holds a flower and twirls it, Teaspoon laughs. It’s a funny scene. Unfortunately Ike revealed himself as someone not to be trusted. I think the writers have made their point clear, never trust a bald-headed mute. I call that generalizing, but what can you do?

We see Jimmy and Lou in town and they’re just walking and talking. Lou sees who she thinks is Sarah’s father and forces Jimmy to go talk to him. Jimmy introduces himself and says he’d like to court Sarah. Mr. Downs gives us all an uppercut to the jaw and announces that Sarah is his wife.

Jimmy doesn’t know what to say and tries to apologize. Mr. Downs said she made fools of both of them and tells Jimmy just to keep away from her.

Jimmy is understandably upset with Lou and announces he has no need for future advice from her. Why is he taking love advice from Lou anyway? She ain’t exactly lining herself up for any “How to Make a Relationship Work” book deals based on the problems she’s having with Kid.

And while I’m on the subject, why exactly is she upset with Kid? What did he do to get her all worked up? She’s still pretending to be a boy, so he can’t display any public affection. Teaspoon and Emma (supposedly) don’t know her secret yet, so he’s gotta be careful at the way station. As much as I give Kid a hard time, I have to say that I really don’t understand why Lou’s so bitter at the moment.

Back at the station Kid wonders if he should go look for Jimmy. Teaspoon says no. Wainchy woman shows up looking for Jimmy. Emma isn’t too happy with Sarah’s arrival. Sarah tries to explain that they don’t understand the situation. Emma holds her hand up and says, “Talk to the hand cuz the 1860s-style dress don’t wanna hear it.” She then tells Sarah to take a hike.

Jimmy’s taking target practice. This sets us up for another...


Notice that Jimmy fires 6 shots. As he’s reloading his gun we can see that it is clearly a 6-shooter. Sarah shows up and tells Jimmy she was worried about him. She just wants him to listen. She decides to wait until he fires his gun some more. Now here comes the goof. After Jimmy has finished loading his 6-shooter (for those in Palm Beach that means it fires SIX shots), he proceeded to fire EIGHT shots! Wow, how did he manage that?? A better question is how did editing manage to miss that mistake?

Sarah then tells Jimmy she tried to tell him. Waaah. Boo hoo. Jimmy says she didn’t try hard enough. Did she just expect the truth to disappear? The Wainch claims that Randall had the deed to their farm and thus forced her to marry him. Yeah right. She shows Jimmy’s some bruises on her arm and claims Randall did it. Whoop-tee-do. She then shows how much of a weasel she is and brings Jimmy’s mother into it saying that Jimmy should know what she’s going through. Sarah Downs, oh how I loathe thee. “Johnny, do you REALLY loathe Sarah Downs?” That’s about the sum total of it (booya).

Sarah makes me reach for a bucket to vomit in as she says she never wanted Randall, money, or anything in this lil’ ol’ world until she met Jimmy. Jimmy falls for this load of horse manure and hugs her. Man, look at her eyes as he hugs her! SHE’S EVIL!

Jimmy says she’s coming with him. Where exactly do you plan on going, Jimmy? Sarah says Randall will hunt her down. At his age? I doubt Jimmy is scared. Jimmy says Randall will have to get past him first. They smooch again. Ugh. I don’t know how much more I can handle.

Jimmy shows up at the bunkhouse. It’s late at night and he wakes up Kid.

Kid: You all right?
Jimmy: Go back to sleep.
Kid: Where you goin’?
Jimmy: It don’t concern you.
Cody: What’s going on?
Jimmy: I’m leaving.

As Jimmy walks out, the rest of the riders follow him. Oh great, for some reason Lou grabs her gun out of the holster. She’s obviously going to do something stupid.

Yep, Lou fires her gun AT Jimmy! Jimmy’s got his back to Lou, she fires her gun, and then we see the bullet hit the ground just a couple of feet to the right of Jimmy. How stupid was that? Why wouldn’t she have just shot the pistol in the air? You don’t fire TWO FEET TO THE RIGHT OF SOMEONE!!!

Jimmy draws his gun and spins around. He’s upset, after all, he could’ve just killed Lou. Lou says running away won’t solve anything, but Jimmy points out that he is running TO Sarah, not FROM her. Kid tells Jimmy he’s making a mistake, but Jimmy says it’s his mistake to be made.

True enough, but I would’ve tried to talk some sense in him also.

Kid: Don’t do it.
Jimmy: Kid, you got all the answers. Problem is, they ain't to my questions.

It’s a good line, I’ll make it another “line that Johnny Betts would most likely say or that would most likely be said about Johnny Betts” nominee. Feel free to use it whenever your parents offer you advice you don’t care to take.

Kid: You’re ruining your life, I’m telling ya, she ain’t worth it.

Jimmy then punches Kid and totally floors him. Well, since they’re outside I guess technically he “grounded” him. Now typically I’d cheer Jimmy punching Kid with the gusto of Roseanne at her favorite buffet, but I don’t know if Kid’s actions really warranted his being punched.

  1. Was Jimmy acting rash and not thinking straight? Yes on both counts.
  2. Should Kid have said anything at all to try to dissuade Jimmy? Yes.
  3. Should Kid have told Jimmy he was ruining his life and Sarah wasn’t worth it? No.
Sure, Kid should’ve told Jimmy to slow down and think about things, but how did Kid know Sarah wasn’t worth it? At this time nobody knew she was the evil wainch that she turned out to be. I admit, if I had been Kid I would have cut my hair and gotten a new shirt, but I wouldn’t have stood by and said, “Have a nice life, Jimmy!” After all, they did know that Sarah was married. Her story could’ve been legitimate for all anybody knew. BUT, only Jimmy knew Sarah’s claims of being beaten by her husband. So I have to conclude that Kid was still under the assumption that Sarah was a two-bit tramp who was married and thus he did not deserve to get punched by Jimmy. As much as it pains me to not frolic in the joy of Jimmy punching Kid, facts are facts.

On second thought, I marked out when Jimmy punched Kid.

As Jimmy is leaving, Teaspoon tells him he has a funny way of saying goodbye to folks he’s grown close to. He thinks if Jimmy’s going to leave then he needs to do it right. I agree; waiting for the series finale would be much better. You don’t just leave almost halfway through the first season!

Jimmy didn’t want it this way, but I guess he thinks he has no choice. Teaspoon makes a good point and says that if the feelings are real then they’ll still be there tomorrow. Jimmy says it’s not that easy. Teaspoon hopes all of this is for the right reason. Jimmy claims he loves Sarah, and for some reason Teaspoon just says there’s no better reason than that. I’ll try not to use the word “reason” for the rest of this review.

That’s the best Teaspoon could do? He’s the wise, grizzled, experience-laden former Texas Ranger! Why not question Jimmy’s definition of love? How on earth could Jimmy think he loves this girl? This whole plot is pretty unbelievable.

Jimmy thanks Teaspoon for everything, and Teaspoon warns him to watch his back. Unfortunately Jimmy didn’t heed this warning throughout his entire life because he ended up being shot in the back and killed in 1876. WHY DIDN’T YOU LISTEN TO TEASPOON?!?!

Jimmy rides out to Sarah’s house, but she’s nowhere to be found. Hmm, seems fishy to me. All of a sudden somebody shoots at Jimmy. James takes cover and is fired at again. He then takes some wild shot at the house that somehow manages to go through the window. Almost immediately Jimmy storms into the house. Um, wouldn’t he wait a little while to make sure he wouldn’t risk being shot at?

Jimmy sees Randall lying on the ground. As Jimmy rolls Randall over we, the audience, see a big, round red marker stain on Randall’s shirt. Oh, apparently that’s supposed to be blood.

BAM! Someone nails Jimmy on the head with a gun...HOLY COW! IT’S KID! LOOK AT THAT SHIRT! I can’t believe this. I can understand him being upset with Jimmy punching him, but now he’s gonna get back at Jimmy by framing him for murder??? This just isn’t right. WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM, KID?!?! WHY?? WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS?!?! I just can’t bel...oh wait, as the camera pans up we realize that it’s Richard Gentry. Why in the world is he wearing the exact same goofy shirt as Kid?

March 6, 2002

Gentry shows up at Sam’s office to report a murder. When Sam sees that Jimmy is the one being accused he gets a troubled look on his face.

After Jimmy regains consciousness he tells Sam he was defending himself. Gentry lies and says he only heard one shot. Jimmy says he’s either deaf or he’s lying. Gentry claims he had the right to kill Jimmy right then. As Jimmy points out, that proves he’s not deaf. Well, if Jimmy had read the second sentence of this paragraph then he would’ve known that was the case.

Sam wants to know why Jimmy was there. When Jimmy explains he was there for Sarah and Gentry tells Sam that Sarah is Randall’s wife, Sam replies with, “Well that’s wonderful.” Haha, it’s a funny delivery.

Jimmy explains that Randall beat Sarah and would’ve killed her, but Gentry speaks up and says Randall was so gentle he couldn’t even stand branding a calf. Aww, what a sweet guy.

Why didn’t Jimmy tell Sam to find Sarah and look at the bruises on her arms?? Why didn’t Sam think to call Sarah in there to see if there were signs of abuse?? That would’ve thrown serious doubt into Gentry’s credibility. Sam isn’t exactly C.S.I. I don’t suppose.

Jimmy gets too mushy by saying he was gonna take care of Sarah, blah blah blah. He says Randall didn’t know of their plans. Gentry disputes this and claims he heard Randall and Sarah arguing over dinner. Sarah supposedly changed her mind and decided she’d stay with Randall but was worried what Jimmy would do to her. Randall, the man who couldn’t brand a calf, said he could take care of himself. Yeah right. This 90-year-old man who supposedly can’t bring himself to squash an ant was gonna handle Jimmy? Balderdash.

Jimmy and Gentry stick to their stories, while some crazy guy in jail is watching the whole conversation.

Jimmy: What are you gonna do, Sam?

They go to Randall’s. Sam checks Randall’s gun and comments that the chamber is full and thus it hasn’t been shot. Once again, this isn’t exactly C.S.I. Why wouldn’t Sam check the entire house to look for another gun? Why wouldn’t he check the area where Jimmy had taken cover? Maybe they could’ve recovered one of the bullets and show that Jimmy was telling the truth. Or more obviously, why wouldn’t Sam compare the bullet that killed Randall with Jimmy’s bullets and see if they were the same?

Welp, for some reason Sam did none of that and just threw Jimmy in jail. Sarah shows up, followed by Teaspoon, Kid, and Lou. Jimmy tells Teaspoon what happened. Kid apologizes for what he said; he didn’t really mean it. Jimmy simply replies with, “I know.” Come on, Jimmy, be a little nicer than that. Kid’s being a man about the whole thing. You punched the guy in the face and now HE is the one apologizing. Get over Wainchy Woman already!

We see that Kid is still wearing the same goofy shirt that Gentry is wearing. I sure hope it doesn’t turn out that Kid is working with Gentry and they end up becoming “The Goofy Shirt Gang” or something.

Sarah: Why Jimmy?
Jimmy: He shot first.

Sarah claims she was afraid for them and was hoping they could just keep things the way they were. Then she spews some more dog mess about how she wished they had never met. Whoa. I didn’t think this would happen, but Sarah just said something that I totally agree with! I don’t think any Young Riders fan would shed a tear if she and Jimmy had never met.

Unfortunately Jimmy doesn’t agree and starts hugging her. I start hugging my stomach as I start to feel some queasiness down there. If this crap continues then I’m gonna be hugging the toilet while bidding a not-so-fond adieu to my lunch.

Jimmy tells Gentry he knows he’s behind this. Sarah fakely yells, “Why are you lying?” Gentry wishes he was lying for her sake. Johnny wishes this whole sordid Jimmy/Sarah relationship would just end. Johnny also wishes he’d bought the extra-strength Tums. Crazy prison dude just smiles and nods and acts like he just figured something out.

Outside Teaspoon, Kid, and Lou talk to Sam. And folks, I’ve gotta admit it, Kid handles this scene really well.

Kid: If Jimmy’s found guilty you ain’t gonna hang him, are ya?
Lou: Are ya?
*Sam stares at them, speechless*
Kid: You’re gonna have to deal with us first.

BOOYA! That’s right, I gave a “booya” for Kid. The way he said it, you could tell he was nervous. He had this look on his face as if to say, “I don’t know if I should say something this bold and cross an authority figure like Sam, but here goes...” Kid’s just being a good friend.

Sam: I’ll pretend I didn’t hear you say that, Kid. Now get out of here.
*Kid glances nervously at Teaspoon, not knowing what to do*
Sam: Go on!

Kid and Lou leave, and Lou gives Sam a dirty look. I don’t blame her, what’s Sam’s problem? I usually like Sam, but come on, he has to suspect that something fishy is going on! Sam is totally out of character in this episode, just like Jimmy. And Kid’s doing stuff I like? That does it; I’m officially declaring this episode the “Bizarro Young Riders episode”.

Sam: Teaspoon, would you try and talk some sense into them?
Teaspoon: I’d be glad to Sam, if I knew what sense was in this particular instance. Do you?

Very good scene. In fact, I’ll nominate it as a “classic scene” contender. I just really liked the way Kid stood up to Sam. We’ll call it, “The scene where Kid takes a stand and Sam is the one who needs sense talked into”.

Sarah leaves the jail and tells Sam she’s sorry for everything. Sam asks if there’s anything she can tell him that might help Jimmy. Sarah shows Sam her bruises and then lies by saying Jimmy threatened to kill Randall if he did something like that again.

Simon Camden Is there anybody out there who actually likes Sarah? If so, you need to be punched in the brain. This chick’s nothing but a filthy, skanky, trick-turnin’, vomit-inducin’, always lyin’, makin’ Jimmy fans cryin’, two-timin’, worse actor than the dude on 7th Heaven that plays Simon, trash-bag ho. And those are only the nice things I can think to say.

But instead of making Sam doubt Jimmy’s innocence, shouldn’t Sarah’s actions have made Sam question Gentry’s truthfulness? Sam saw the bruises, so who was beating her? Was it Randall? That’s what Sarah said. So if that were the case then that would prove Gentry’s “harmless as a pinky toe” story wrong. Else, it would show that Sarah and Gentry were plotting something together.

Back in jail crazy prison dude is talking to Jimmy. He claims he was once a man of the cloth who gave into the temptation of the flesh. Jimmy just wants to know what he’s getting at. He then starts using fancy wording (none of which I feel like transcribing) to say that he recognized Gentry and Sarah as a couple he betrothed.

Let me just ask, what on earth is he doing in Sweetwater? Where were they married?

Jimmy thinks the man is crazy. Duh. Why else would I call him “crazy prison dude”? Crazy prison dude doesn’t deny that he’s crazy, but that doesn’t change the fact that he never forgets a face. We see that Sam heard all or most of the story.

Back at Emma’s we see Kid asking Sam why they just don’t let the prisoner take the stand. Apparently he wouldn’t be the most credible witness. So Sam sends Kid and Lou to Ft. Laramie to try to find some proof. He says Ft. Laramie is a two-day ride so they’ll have to push it. Sam then wimps out and says he can’t promise he’ll be able to delay the trial.

We’re in court now. The defendant is asked to rise. Jimmy is pronounced guilty of murder and is scheduled to hang “at dawn, day after tomorrow.” Emma mouths “Jimmy” while the rest of the riders sit around looking sad.

I’m sorry, but I just don’t see where the evidence is stacked so heavily against Jimmy. Why didn’t Sam take the stand and raise doubt about Gentry’s credibility? Why didn’t anybody question whether or not it was indeed Jimmy’s bullet that killed Randall? Uh-oh. I just thought of Jimmy kissing Sarah again. I’ve gotta call it quits for the day.

March 7, 2002

We see some guys testing the hanging contraption. Emma, Cody, and Buck all try to talk some sense into Jimmy, but he won’t listen. Cody asks Jimmy how he knows he can trust Sarah when it’s obvious Gentry is lying. Sarah shows up and immediately starts whining. Says she’s sorry, she’s not perfect, blah blah BLAH! Cody gets it right when he turns away shaking his head and has the classic tongue-in-cheek, eye-rolling Cody-look on his face.

Jimmy calls Sarah over to console her. I almost vomit. Better go to the bathroom just in case...

Ok, I’m back. I ALMOST vomited, but I held it in.

Emma tells Sam that being a fool isn’t a hanging offense. Sam just hopes Kid and Lou get back in time.

Ft. Laramie – Kid and Lou are pouring through records. Lou finds a record that indicates that Sarah married some old dude. Some librarian-looking chick butts in and says that the dude was now dead. The hired hand reported that the guy “drowned” in his own lake, but the whole thing was pretty sketchy.

The woman just happens (boy, what a coincidence) to have a Wanted sign for Richard and Sarah Gentry and asks if that’s who they’re looking for. Come on, what are the chances of that? It just happens to be in her hands? And why didn’t Kid and Lou think to ask somebody first if they knew anything about Richard and Sarah? Apparently people in Ft. Laramie just walk around holding Richard and Sarah Gentry Wanted posters, so that could’ve saved a lot of time.

So were they married in Ft. Laramie? If so, then how did Richard, Sarah, AND crazy prison dude all end up in Sweetwater at the same time? I just don’t get it. Am I missing something?

We see Sarah combing her hair. Richard comes in. They talk about Jimmy a little, and then they start to kiss. The only reason to include this scene was to verify that yes, Richard and Sarah were working together. Some people need the obvious slammed against the side of their head.

The riders show up for Jimmy’s hanging.

Jimmy: I don’t want to die Sam, especially for something I didn’t do.

Cody comments that Kid and Lou should’ve been back by now. Well, that’s what happens when you don’t ask for help.

Emma wants to know if they’re just gonna watch Jimmy hang. Nobody answers. I guess that’s a “yes”? As Jimmy is led to the noose we see some dude who looks a lot like Kid standing next to Gentry. Hmmm. What if it really is Kid and he didn’t go to Ft. Laramie to help Jimmy? WHAT IF THEY REALLY ARE WORKING TOGETHER?!?

He and Gentry are already twinsies as far as their shirts are concerned. Come on Kid, Jimmy punched you out of anger, LET IT GO! IT’S NOT WORTH HIS LIFE!

Before Jimmy can be hanged, the riders (AND Teaspoon) draw their guns at the VERY LAST SECOND! We hear somebody in the crowd yell, “Good for you boys!” Sam agrees that they really didn’t have much choice.

A funny exchange takes place:

Jimmy: What took you guys so long?
Cody: Every time we voted, came out a tie.

Masochist? Jimmy laughs. So does Johnny. This is why I like Cody so much, and that’s why I think Jimmy and Cody worked well together.

That reminds me of the time I fell out of a tree at my house. Actually, I was sitting on a branch and it broke. I landed right on my back. I know my parents were watching me from the window, but for some reason they didn’t come out to help me. After what seemed like an eternity they finally showed up.

Little Johnny Betts: What took you guys so long?
Mother Betts: Every time we voted, came out a tie.

I never did find out which one voted for helping me and which one voted for not helping me, but ever since then I watch my back around both mom and dad just to be safe. Jimmy may not have taken Teaspoon’s advice, but *I* sure will.

The riders are about to ride out, but here comes Kid and Lou. They show Sam the proof they’ve found, and Sam announces that there won’t be a hanging today. Gentry tucks tail and runs.

Gentry goes to tell Sarah what’s going on. He tells her that they’ve probably figured out that “we killed Downs and not Jimmy”. Who thought they had killed Jimmy? I didn’t think there was ever any issue over who was killed. Oh, he meant they figured out that Jimmy didn’t kill Downs, but that they’re the ones who killed Downs. Ohhhh, it’s all clear now.

Wait a minute. Jimmy didn’t kill Downs? Are you serious? WHAT ABOUT DOWNS’ GUN?!?!?! THE CHAMBER WAS FULL! THE GUN HADN’T BEEN FIRED! SAM’S IMPECCABLE FORENSIC INVESTIGATION PROVED THAT JIMMY WAS THE MURDERER! I guess the writers felt there still may have been one or two poor saps who still hadn’t caught on to what was going on, so they had to wrap everything up. Gentry shouldn’t flatter himself; I think everybody with half a brain FIGURED it out from the start, they just needed some evidence.

The riders come blazing toward Sarah and Richard. Rico is set to fire at Jimmy, but Sarah pushes the rifle out of the way. How noble. Richard gives her a backhand for her troubles. They both take off. Jimmy chases Sarah while everybody else chases Richard.

Sam shoots Richard and takes care of that problem. Meanwhile, Sarah’s horse falls causing her foot to get trapped. The horse begins to drag her. Cool, another problem solved. Go horse go! Go horse go! Go horse go! As she’s being dragged she starts yelling stuff like, “Help! Help! Jimmy!” Man, she has the NERVE to yell for Jimmy’s help after she framed him for murder? Unbelievable.



That doesn’t happen. Jimmy holds her and actually touches her hair. Johnny cries.

We see Sarah in handcuffs. Jimmy wants to talk to her, but she says it was just business, nothing more. Jimmy thinks she’s lying. Sarah thinks Jimmy thinks too much of himself. Johnny thinks Jimmy better learn a lesson from all this.

Jimmy: But I loved you.
Johnny: Sigh. Why, Jimmy, why?
Sarah: Then you’re a bigger fool than I thought.

Ok, there’s still time for Jimmy to redeem himself. Come on Jimmy, pull your jacket over your revolver and END THIS ONCE AND FOR ALL! Sam can give Sarah his gun and we can have a happy ending to this episode. Do it Jimmy, do it for Johnny! DO IT FOR ALL THE JIMMY FANS OUT THERE!

Nope, he just stares as Sam leads Sarah to the buggy. We see a tear trickle down her eye. So I guess we’re supposed to infer that she really did like Jimmy. Oh well, I have no sympathy for her.

Jimmy just stares.

Kid: You all right?
Jimmy: I’ll be ok.

But his eyes tell a different story. Look at that steel glaze; it’s INTENSE! Call me crazy, but I think there’s some hatred behind that look. If I had to guess, I’d say this is gonna make Jimmy a bit jaded and will give him his cockiness back.

Good, I’m not a fan of the lovesick Jimmy. I want the Jimmy that says cool stuff like, “Sorry, but apologizin’s something I only do on Sundays, today’s Tuesday.” THAT’S the Jimmy we all know and love.

March 12, 2002

“So Johnny, what did you think of this episode?” I think it’s pretty obvious what I thought. Jimmy and Sam were both out of character – and that’s not a good thing. I hated seeing Jimmy get lovesick over this absolute wainch. There were some good moments in the episode, so I didn’t hate it or anything. But it’s definitely not one you should use to try to turn someone into a fan.

Ready for some awards? We’ll make this quick and simple:

Worst Line of the Episode: Sarah Gentry with, “Don’t shoot, I swear I’m not a tree.”

The line that Johnny Betts would most likely say or that would most likely be said about Johnny Betts: It's a tie! The first winner is Jimmy Hickok with, “No, she wasn’t talkin’ about you and her. She was talkin’ about you and me.”

I can’t help it, I marked out. That line got one of the two biggest reactions out of me so it’s one of the winners.

The second winner is Cody with, "Every time we voted, came out a tie."

It's just too funny not to be rewarded with something. I love that exchange with Jimmy and Cody.

The Classic Scene of the Episode: It’s a tie between “The scene where Jimmy and Kid argue and Cody asks if they’ll button it up” and “The scene where Kid takes a stand and Sam is the one who needs sense talked into”.

Both Cody and Kid get their due.

Now for the reader awards:

Rider Review Mark of the Week: Aimee
Best play-by-play feedback: Rhiannon
Most Colorful Feedback: Aimee
Rider Review Newcomer Awards:Sameena, Julia, Cara Ann, Melissa, Brian, Benedetta, and Yana

Lots of new readers, all you old fans must be doing some major recruitment. Keep it up.

In the immortal words of Augustus McCrae, “You ride with an outlaw, you die with an outlaw.”

As always, this is my opinion, you could be wrong. Or as my Italian friend Benedetta would say, così la penso io, ma voi potreste anche sbagliare.
The Sun Sets on The Rider Review
Copyright © 2002 Madlib Productions, All Rights Reserved

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