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 - End of Innocence
By Johnny Betts

December 19, 2001

Welcome to the Rider Review Journal. I'm trying something new for this review -- I'm keeping a journal of events leading up to the finished product. You never know what will show up in this review, but I think it'll help me keep things flowing at a smoother pace. Probably not, but we'll see.

The next episode up for review is "End of Innocence." I haven't prepared myself for the review yet, but I will do so soon. I do know that Don Henley's song doesn't appear in the episode. I think that's for the best. It's a good song, but it doesn't exactly fit within a Young Riders episode. Neither does that "That's the way it's gonna be, little darling" song from the "Littlest Cowboy", but we'll get to that when I review that episode. It's a little early to make the call, but that could possibly be the gayest moment in Young Riders history. But like I said, it's still a bit too early to make that call.

While I'm not ready to start reviewing just yet, I am ready to expound on Jeanette's WWWP gripe from the "A Good Day to Die" review.

What's Wrong With People in Checkout Lines?

December 21, 2001

Ah, victory. Sweet, sweet victory, how I love thy taste. The Tigers have now won two quality games in a row, and things are starting to look up. I've almost forgotten about the loss to Ole Miss. The NCAA championship is now just a hop, skip, jump, 19 more regular season games, conference tournament, and 6 NCAA tournament games away. I can almost taste it.

Still haven't watched the "End of Innocence" episode, but thanks to Rhiannon I may have figured out who threw the trash in the back of my truck. Looks like Kid is a lead suspect. As Rhiannon pointed out, if Kid was clueless enough to give an Indian prisoner his gun and fall for the ol' "whose God?" trick, then he would probably throw trash in the back of my truck. However, if he were to see me in my truck in a dark alley, then I can assure you that there would be no trash throwing. Why? Because I'm just that big of a stud.

I leave tomorrow morning for a trip to Houston, TX. I plan on watching "End of Innocence" while I'm away. What Texas adventures await me?

Weird. I'm at work, and I just went to get some water when all of a sudden I feel someone nudge my shoulder. Some dude then says, "Hey man! I haven't seen you in a while!" I've seen the guy around the office 2 or 3 times, but I've never had a conversation with him, and I certainly don't even know his name. Yet here he is acting like we're long-lost best friends.

I did my fakest to act nice, "Oh hey! How have you been?" "Pretty good, but I'm in deep today." Whatever that means. This is what it's like to be Johnny Betts.

December 23, 2001

I'm in Texas now. Still haven't watched "End of Innocence" yet, but I have thought about it. Something else I've thought about is the stupid catchphrases that people at work try to come up with. Here are a few scenarios I hear about 9 times a day:

Dork 1: How's it going?
Dork 2: Fair to partly cloudy.


Dork 1: How's it going today?
Dork 2: Just another day in paradise.

Or if Dork 2 has had a really bad day:

Dork 2: Just another day in paradise lost.

Seriously, I think Dork 2 is hoping that somebody will make a t-shirt with one of his little catchphrases on it and bring it to him at work. He'll then show it off to everybody and he'll be convinced that he is indeed the ruler of the workplace. It annoys me to no end.

December 26, 2001

Johnny Betts as Duster Christmas is now officially over. Stephanie really surprised me this year. She got me the shirt that Josh Brolin actually wore in the movie "Slow Burn." I'll have to scan in a picture of me wearing it. You can just call me Duster now.

I also got the Goonies DVD. The best part of the DVD is the commentary by the cast. They watch the movie while making comments; it's very interesting. Josh is very funny. Corey Feldman says some funny stuff, but at times he doesn't know how to shut up.

I really should watch "End of Innocence" sometime soon.

January 10, 2002

Finally watched "End of Innocence" on Tuesday. I'm not sure that classifies as "fairly soon." Guess I'll proceed with the review now. I hope you like it. This is a very good episode, and it's more serious in nature, so I'm going to have to really work hard to extract humor from it. So as you read the review, keep in mind the effort I had to put into it just to entertain you.

End of Innocence. We're led to believe that somebody will lose his innocence in this episode. Who will it be? Oh who will it be?

We see the shot from the opening credits of the silhouette of a rider riding (because that's what riders do) toward the screen. For some reason, I used to think that was supposed to be Kid, but if this episode is to be the judge then it was just a no-name rider.

No-namer rides to the bunkhouse. Teaspoon says it's bad news because good news always comes at a decent hour. That's a good quote and all, but is it really true? I mean, since when does good news only come at a decent hour? Babies are born in the middle of the night, isn't that good news? What if you get a call at 4:00 AM from the police saying that they've found the child that you thought was kidnapped? Wouldn't that be wonderful news? Or what if your best friend calls at 5:00 AM to let you know that the latest Rider Review has just been posted, wouldn't THAT be good news? As much as I like Teaspoon, I have to disagree with his statement.

Johnny Betts: Good news and bad news can both come at a decent hour, but the decency of that hour can be determined depending on how good or bad the news is.

Thank you.

Now let's see a show of hands from everyone who thinks I just overanalyzed Teaspoon's statement. You can put your hands down now. Smart-alecks.

No-namer reveals there's some sort of Indian trouble brewin' at Fort Myles, so Teaspoon sends Kid there to deliver a dispatch to the general. In a line that was later cut, after Kid had ridden out of sight Teaspoon said, "If there's Indian trouble, then Kid's dispensable."

Kid's barely in this episode. You know what this means don't you? THIS IS THE BEST EPISODE EVER! Well, not really because who do I have to make fun of now?

Emma's not gonna let a little Indian trouble keep her from going to Fort Reunion to be with her friend Ellen Seward who is about to give birth. Now Sam, he doesn't like this at all. He wants Emma to wait until the Indian trouble has passed, but Emma will hear none of it. Sam says her "trouble" is she's been living without a man for too long.

She says that's none of his business, and then we see their silhouettes as they make out behind a sheet that Emma put on the clothesline. She says they'll discuss it later when she gets back from Ft. Reunion. I bet Sam thought he'd put the moves on ol' Emma and would charm her into staying in Sweetwater. Didn't work. He should've handled it the Johnny Betts way.

Emma: I'm going to Ft. Reunion and you can't stop me.
JB: Look woman, I'm the man and I say you're staying here.
Emma: *slap*

Well, maybe the Johnny Betts way wouldn't have worked in THIS case, but it will work in MOST cases (maybe this will spark a few e-mails). Emma and Sam have good chemistry together; it's too bad we didn't get to see their wedding.

Teaspoon has the riders draw straws to see who will accompany Emma on her trip. Jimmy ends up drawing the short straw. Good thing or this episode would've ended up being a little less interesting. Thank goodness they didn't send Lou while keeping the same storyline. I'm sure that's something they'd try on ER these days.

Jimmy isn't too happy about this assignment. He says it's gonna be worse than Sunday School. Heathen! What's the big deal anyway? "Aw shucks, Teaspoon! I'd rather stay here and brush a horse than travel across territory where there's always the possibility of an Indian attack and other such hazards!" Sure, I can see Kid thinking that, but Jimmy?

Jimmy and Cody Cody doesn't have a big role in this episode, but to keep all you Cody fans happy I will mention that it's funny when he flashes that famous Cody grin and tells Jimmy that Teaspoon is right, "Fair is fair." Jimmy chases him off. I wish there had been more storylines concentrating on Jimmy and Cody working together. Cody was the perfect comic relief to Jimmy's straight man.

Jimmy and Emma are riding along in a wagon with Emma chatting away about how Ellen was like a sister to her. When asked, Jimmy unenthusiastically says he has two sisters of his own. I think I'm starting to see why Jimmy didn't want to go on the trip. Emma was probably talking his ear off. Women are like that sometimes. Pretty soon they come upon a river of some sort. The raft appears to have washed away. Oh wait, no it didn't, they found it! WHEW! Going around the river would've taken an extra day!

[UPDATE -- September 19, 2002 -- Somebody (I can't remember who) pointed out that the horse was NOT on the raft with Jimmy and Emma. Hmmm, what happened to the horse??? How did it get across the river???]

As Jimmy is maneuvering the raft across the river Emma starts to do a little dance of some kind while trying to wash her clothes.

Jimmy: Hey Emma, don't move around so much.

For some reason I found it funny the way he said it. Emma falls in. Serves her right. Jimmy immediately jumps in to save her. There's just one problem ­ Jimmy can't swim. Emma asks why he jumped in if he can't swim, and Jimmy replies that he's gotta protect her! He admits pride is going to kill him one day. You have to admire Jimmy's nobility, but jumping in wasn't the smartest thing to do. I probably would've first tried to lean over and pull her back onto the raft. But if you unwrap the many layers of the complex puzzle that is this scene, what you'll find revealed is that Jimmy put concerns of Emma's safety above his own, and really, who can place any fault on him for that?

Emma makes a comment about how Jimmy needs to get out of his wet clothes, and she asks him to give her his pants. Man, WHAT A PERVERT! I think it's obvious what Emma is after. Can you see a guy trying to use that line these days?

Guy goes up to girl after a hard rain: Man, you got soaked! We've gotta get you dry, NOW GIMME THEM PANTS!

Wouldn't work. He'd be in jail by the end of the day. And no, I'm not speaking from experience, thank you very much.

Emma Chokes Jimmy Jimmy and Emma (I almost wrote Jimma and Emmy) are sitting around a fire in their 1860-esque underclothes. Jimmy seems a bit uncomfortable because he's not used to seeing women walking around half-naked like that. His mother and sister are the only women he's been around. Emma blabs about how Jimmy's gonna have a lot of sweethearts. She then proceeds to tuck him in as if he's about 5 years old! What's up with that? Jimmy had the covers pulled all the way to his neck. I was expecting Emma to start reading him a bedtime story and then sing a lullaby.

Rock-a-bye Jimmy, on the cold ground
When the wind blows he'll fear a bad guy's around
When the door opens, the bullets will race
And down will fall Jimmy, holding aces and eights

Morbid? Yes, but no less morbid than the original Rock-a-bye Baby. Would someone please explain to me how a song about a baby falling out of a tree amidst rushing winds became a lullaby? That's not soothing! IT'S ABSOLUTELY HORRIFYING!

During the night Jimmy wakes up and looks at Emma sleeping. As he sits by the fire in his longjohns we see Emma open her eyes. Uh-oh, something's going on between these two.

Jimmy and Emma arrive at Ft. Reunion the next day. They are immediately greeted by one of the scariest people I have ever seen -- Lt. Cassidy. Look at him! HE HAS NO PUPILS! Seriously, those eyes are pure evil. Now that I think about it, he reminds me a little of Dylan McDermott. I almost wrote "Dermott Mulroney." I had to look up "The Practice" on IMDb to make sure what his name was. Who else hates that cell phone commercial he does (Dylan McDermott, not Cassidy)? What I hate most about the commercial is when he's sitting there in some sort of pose staring gaily into the camera. What's the point of that? How exactly does that push the product?

Emma isn't too impressed, but Cassidy mush-mouthedly explains, "We're not yooshed to having vishitorsh." Dude, remove the marbles from your mouth and talk properly. Who are you, Sean Connery?

J and E see a man tied to a couple of posts. Ol' Evil-Eye Cassidy explains Captain Ryan ordered this punishment because the soldier missed Reveille. Emma complains that, "He's just a boy!" Just a boy? The dude looks like he's at least 36 years old. How could anyone look at this guy with his big bushy mustache and sun-wrinkled face and think he's "just a boy"? I think all that riding has affected Emma's eyesight. At any rate, Captain Ryan says, "A man who would sleep through Reveille would sleep through an ambush." He's got a point.

J and E are introduced to Captain Ryan. Ryan informs Emma her trip has been in vain. You see, Mrs. Seward and all the other women were recently evacuated from the fort. According to Ryan, Mr. Seward and the rest of the unit were killed during an Indian ambush at Cedar Springs. As Ryan is talking about Cedar Springs, the doctor and Evil-Eye have looks on their faces that suggest something strange is going on. I'm thinking they wouldn't make good poker players. Ellen did have a healthy young son to carry on the Seward name though.

Ryan won't let J and E leave. He claims it's not safe. Jimmy says they made it there all right, but Ryan claims that's just because the Indians let them. No, it's because one look at Jimmy would force the Indians to wet their pants out of fear and run for cover. Similarly, one look at Kid protecting Emma would force the Indians to wet their pants out of laughter and run to show their friends.

Ryan is waiting for reinforcements and says J and E must stay there until then. Emma says she appreciates the invitation, but Ryan tells her it's not an invitation; it's an order. Oooooh, Ryan is all business! He claims he's just thinking of their well-being. Maybe so, but we all know what Emma's thinking of.

This scene is pretty funny because it has a pretty big goof. It's hard to explain this in paragraph form, so I'll break it down like this:

  1. The camera focuses on Ryan.
  2. The camera then focuses on Jimmy; his hat is on.
  3. The camera shows Ryan again.
  4. The camera then shows Jimmy, but what's this? His hat is off! Hmm, must've taken it off while Ryan was talking.
  5. We see Ryan again.
  6. Now we see Jimmy and Emma, and Jimmy's hat is still off.
  7. Ryan again.
  8. Jimmy and Emma, and huh? Wha? Jimmy's hat is back on!
  9. Ryan.
  10. Why looky there, it's Jimmy and Emma, and Jimmy's hat is off once again!
Was Jimmy playing musical hats or something? The editing department must've been on vacation when they filmed this episode. Look for it the next time you watch this episode; it's funny.

Welp, it's the end of the workday so I'm heading home. I don't know if I'll do anymore reviewing tonight, so I'll sign off until tomorrow. In fact, I KNOW I won't do any further reviewing tonight. Smackdown and C.S.I. are on tonight, and after that I have some new Playstation games to play, so the review will have to wait.

January 14, 2002

Tomorrow came and went and I didn't continue with the review. Hey, these things happen when you're writing a review for about 8 people. I must push on because I told Lori I'd finish this review before the end of January. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LORI! This is my gift.

Nasty Food Speaking of birthdays and gifts, MY birthday is on Feb. 9 and you'll be happy to know that yes, I DO indeed accept gifts. E-mail me for details.

What's going on with the show? Ah yes, Jimmy and Emma are eating dinner with the troops. Jimmy's pretty disgusted and asks what it is. Lt. Cassidy says that if it's not moving then they don't ask questions.

Reminds me of some of the meals my mom has made.

Johnny: Ugh, what is this?
Mother Betts: It's salmon patties, now quit complaining and eat.
Johnny: Tastes more like cow patties to me.

My mom would then go into some rant about how us kids are so unappreciative of the fact that she spent all day slaving behind the stove. First off, it doesn't take all day to open a can of salmon patties and fry them on the stove. Second of all, maybe us kids would be more appreciative if YOU ACTUALLY MADE US FOOD WE WANTED TO EAT!!!! When we say, "Hey mom, I don't really like the salmon patties" and then mom continues to make the salmon patties, exactly what are we supposed to be appreciative about???? Unbelievable.

During the course of conversation, Dr. Frank introduces himself and starts talking about how Captain Ryan (West Point, class of '40) wants to be a famous Indian fighter. When Jimmy asks about Cedar Springs everybody gets quiet. Again, not a poker player in this bunch.

J and E are led to their quarters. Evil-Eye Cassidy explains, "It ain't fancy, but it's the best we got." He sounded just like Forest Gump when he said it. "Life is like an army's living quarters ­ you nevuh know whut your gonna git."

Later that night a drunken soldier puts his hand over Emma's mouth and says he just wants to "dance." Emma tries to scream. Jimmy hears the commotion and runs in. He just starts wailing on the dude. BOOYA! Emma has to pull him off. It's my favorite scene of the episode so far, so I'll make it the first "classic scene of the episode" nominee. We'll call it, "the scene where a drunken soldier wants to dance with Emma but Jimmy beats him up instead."

Evil-Eye and Doc run in to see what's going on. Emma doesn't want the soldier punished, but Evil-Eye says that's up to the Jack Nicholson wannabe Captain Ryan. The good doctor makes the comment, "Thinkin' in the army is a military sin, actin' on it is a corporal offense."

Jimmy and Emma start hugging, and Jimmy tells Emma that he'll take care of her. I bet he will. All of a sudden that beyond-annoying Julio Iglesias, Jr. song "Hero" starts to play. I CAN BE YOUR HERO BABY! I CAN KISS AWAY THE GAYNESS! "But Johnny, that song is a NEW song, it wasn't even written when this episode was filmed!" Do you people always have to take things so seriously?

Meanwhile, we see that Evil-Eye lets the soldier go. I guess he figured that four punches from Hickok was punishment enough for anybody. Good decision.

Where did the soldier get the alcohol? The Captain is about to cut the water ration to just one cup a day, but there's enough alcohol for a soldier to get drunk on?

The next morning Emma gives Jimmy a kiss right on the mouth and thanks him for last night. Whoa. What in the world did we miss out on?? Looks like the Family Channel (I'm still looking for ABC originals of the first season ­ HINT HINT) did some major editing on this episode. Did you see the smile on her face? She was beaming (not literally because that would've been stupid).

Captain Ryan Captain "I wish I was Jack Nicholson" Ryan cuts the water ration down to one cup a day. Doc doesn't like it. Emma doesn't like it either. Johnny doesn't care because it's just a show and not real life. Emma has a conversation with Ryan and tells him he's being hard on the men. She also says he's needs to cut out the Jack Nicholson voice because no one is buying it. Ryan Jack Nicholsonly says that the more the men fear HIM, the less time they have to fear the enemy. Emma says he's a lonely man and gives him an evil stare. Ryan then says, "YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!"

I will have to say that Captain Ryan isn't trying to imitate Jack Nicholson as bad as Christian Slater still is. Give it up, Christian, your career is over. That rapidly receding hairline saw to that.

Back at the bunkhouse the riders are doing some cooking. They're cooking biscuits, but unfortunately they burned them (who taught them to cook, my mom? Just kiddin' mom!). There was one biscuit, however, that was saved -- the gem of the bunch. Sam comes in and wants to know what's going on. Cody explains that Teaspoon's been making some shots for his rifle. Good line.

Sam's offered the lone biscuit but doesn't seem too enthused about it. He wants to know what's up with Kid. Cody offers to go check things out because he wouldn't mind missing a few of Teaspoon's meals. Cody tells Sam that he (Sam) should've married Emma so that she'd stay put. I'm not really sure how marrying Emma would've all of a sudden forced her not to leave to see her friend. It's not like Emma was leaving Sweetwater for good. And why is everybody worried about Emma and not Jimmy? WHAT'S UP WITH THIS BLATANT DISCRIMINATION?!?!

Teaspoon: The spirited philly is the hardest to catch.

[UPDATE -- September 19, 2002 -- I know, I know, it should be FILLY.]

Teaspoon probably heard Kid say that before.

Back at Ft. Reunion, Jimmy tells Emma that they need to leave or they just might die. He tells Ryan that he's a Pony Express rider and can serve as a scout for him. Ryan loves the idea. As the Captain and everybody prepares to ride, the Captain yells, "Forward ho!" The camera then immediately shows Emma. What are they trying to say? Emma's a ho? What prompted that? I guess something really did happen between Jimmy and Emma.

As Jimmy is scouting he picks up what appears to be a rock. Turns out it was some horse manure. I think Josh picked up the wrong prop. "Did that really happen Johnny?" Watch the episode and find out. I don't know what the purpose is of picking up the rock, how would that serve as a clue? Jimmy sees an Indian.

What in the world is the Indian doing? He's just sitting there looking at dust or something. It's a classic "I'm just sitting here doing nothing trying to waste time until somebody sneaks up from behind me and tackles me" pose. Jimmy sneaks up from behind and tackles the Indian. The Indian wants to be killed. Ryan shows up shortly after and the Indian calls him "Shadowman." The Indian says something about how, "the ghost of our children will pluck out your eyes for your bad Jack Nicholson impersonation" and gets nailed in the head with a rifle butt. Jimmy asks Ryan why the Indian called him "Shadowman" and Ryan passes it off as "savage gibberish."

Did anybody else used to think that Jack Nicholson and Jack Nicklaus were one in the same?

I've got a Playstation game called "Shadowman." Maybe this is a sign from God that I need to start playing it again and finally win the stinkin' game.

[UPDATE -- September 19, 2002 -- I hope it wasn't a sign from God because I didn't take it too seriously. I don't think I've played the game since originally writing this review.]

January 15, 2002

Before I continue I just have to point out that I just read one of the most ridiculous things ever. I saw the following on IMDb:

"Actor John Travolta has demanded eight new Armani T-shirts a day to appear in his new movie -- because he refuses to wear the same one twice. Travolta objects to washing clothes for religious reasons, so he had it written into his contract for new film 'Basic' that he be supplied with the $350 black tops. Travolta is a devoted member of The Church Of Scientology, which frowns on the chemicals used in dry cleaning. But movie bosses, desperate to sign Travolta up as leading man for the film about army basic training, had little choice but agree to the $2,800-a-day demand. According to Britain's The Sun newspaper, a source close to the production says, 'John wasn't happy wearing just any old shirts - he wanted to look right. He likes the designer Armani shirts and said he wanted to wear those. But the producers were amazed when he said he wanted eight a day.' The source adds, 'They don't come cheap and it adds up to quite a large sum per week. But John told them he wanted it included in his contract before he accepted the part in the movie.'"

Unbelievable. So John has a problem with washing clothes, but he seems to have no problem on $2800 being spent per day on black t-shirts when that money could be spent on the poor and homeless that he pretends to care about? The hypocrisy sickens me to no end. Travolta needs to be punked. Mind you, *I* wouldn't necessarily spend the money on the poor and homeless either, but *I'm* not being hypocritical about it.

[UPDATE -- October 8, 2002 -- Rhiannon thought she would chime in and demonstrate how the chemicals in dry cleaning really don't cause any more pollution than making Travolta's 8 new shirts a day. Take it away, Rhi!]

Rhi: From an environmental engineering standpoint (clearing my throat to sound like the professional the engineering board says I am on my way to becoming) there are just as many chemicals and destruction to the environment in making a new shirt, once you contaminate the field with fertilizers to grow the cotton, consider emissions from the tractor as it plows the cotton, truck the materials to the factory (nevermind the air pollution from wearing down the tread on the tires, which is considered in air pollution analysis), consider the energy required to keep the factory running to produce the 8 T-shirts a day (and if Armani doesn't have a "factory" we must consider the energy input for a light bulb to shine on some stuck-up tailor while he hand crafts these precious T-shirts) and the packaging required to keep the shirts clean until they get to Travolta, who will probably promptly roll in the mud and throw them away. John Travolta should have consulted me when he was making this contract, I would take his scientology doctrine, turn it sideways, and shove it up his...

Johnny: BOOYA! Rhi says this is called a "life-cycle analysis." I say it can also be called a "John Travolta just got punked" analysis.

Back in town the riders are getting supplies. The army rides in and explains that there's Indian trouble at Ft. Reunion. This forces Sam to join the troop and ride with them. Once again he's immediately concerned about Emma while making no mention of Jimmy. All of the riders want to join also, but Teaspoon says no way, they've got responsibilities to take care of. When he asks who just finished a ride everybody's hand goes up. Teaspoon isn't that dumb so he tells Sixth Sense Man (Buck) to go. Was there any doubt as to who would get sent? I don't think so.

I'm surprised that he didn't let all but one person go, isn't that how it usually works? "One person (Ike) can handle all the rides, everybody else go be part of the action!"

Back at Ft. Reunion Doc is playing chess by himself. He tries to flirt with Emma, "Ms. Shannon, I was just contemplating my next move." I bet you were. Emma is worried about Jimmy, but Doc tries to reassure her with the following Sam-worthy quip contender: "That Hickok fella of yours looks like he could ride through Hell without so much as a singe."

Doc explains to Emma how his wife died in childbirth, the child died also, and he's been married to the army ever since. Emma tried to feign sympathy through all of this. "Oh. That's awful. That's horrible. That's so sad. Such a shame. I wants some Jimmy. Poor thing."

Ryan wants the Indian to be interrogated and says to use the branding iron if necessary. Doc doesn't like this; after all, it breaks some treaty that supposedly exists. Meanwhile, Jimmy expresses his concerns with Emma and says the Indian knows something.

Angsty Indian Jimmy asks the Indian what up. Jimmy shows his knowledge by explaining that "Shadowman" means coward, someone who's afraid of his own shadow. Kid? The Indian reveals the truth about what happened at Cedar Springs. Turns out that Captain Ryan attacked the village while the warriors were hunting. Ryan was killing women and children. The warriors showed up and Ryan ran faster than the Taliban on speed. One soldier was left alive because he tried to save the children. SO THIS IS WHY EVERYBODY GOT QUIET WHEN CEDAR SPRINGS WAS MENTIONED! SOMETHING SUSPICIOUS WAS INDEED GOING ON! WE HAVE BEEN SWERVED ONCE AGAIN! I DIDN'T SEE THIS COMING!

Jimmy tells Evil-Eye what happened. Evil-Eye says it's just a trap. Evil-Eye makes a stupid comment about possibly filling out a report. Jimmy wisely states that there's no time for that garbage. Jimmy then tells Evil-Eye, "You're nothing but a coward." Johnny Betts says BOOYA! Evil-Eye gets mad and claims he's a soldier and a good soldier does his duty. Johnny Betts says that excuse smells like someone did a "duty" all right. How many people out there (when you were younger) used to giggle when they heard the word "duty"? Come on, you know it's true. Now how many people STILL giggle (now that you're older) when they here the word "duty"? Come on, you know it's true.

During this scene Doc referred to Evil-Eye as "Josey." Wow, a guest character who actually has a first name! Josey Cassidy? Sorry, but there's only one Josey and that's THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES! Awesome Clint Eastwood movie, check it out when you get a chance.

Once Evil-Eye is gone, Doc decides to "put [his] knight into play" and gives Jimmy a key to the guard house. Why? Because that's where the Indian is being held. Emma gives Jimmy a kiss on the mouth and wishes him good luck. Man, Emma is such a tease.

Jimmy: Sure beats a horseshoe in the mouth.

Kid would probably disagree with that statement.

Jimmy helps the Indian escape. Indian boy says he'll meet Jimmy in "two suns." For those of you who are not as familiar with the Indian vernacular as yours truly, let me explain that "in two suns" can be roughly translated as "in two days." No need to thank me, this is all part of my job. Remember, the Rider Review is more than entertainment; it is a public service.

Ryan is mad about the Indian escaping and asks Doc to produce his key. Jimmy slips it to him behind his back. Why wouldn't Jimmy have given it to Doc before this happened? Seems like that would have been the safe thing to do. Ryan says there's a traitor in the midst and makes everyone turn in their blankets until someone fesses up. Emma and Jimmy turn their blankets in as well because it's something they feel they should do. Not me. Doc's already referred to this army as a bunch of hooligans and riff raff, so I'm pretty sure I'd have no qualms snuggling comfortably under my blanket at night.

Back at their quarters Emma and Jimmy are fighting the cold and talking about the Captain.

Jimmy: How'd he get this far?
Emma: Power does strange things to people.

What kind of answer is that? That doesn't specifically answer Jimmy's question. I'm gonna assume that Emma is implying that maybe the Captain wasn't so bad at first and that's how he became a Captain, but over time his power transformed him.

Jimmy puts his jacket over Emma and then rubs his hands together and puts them on her face. She quite enjoys it and comments on how her husband used to do that. She then tells Jimmy about how she once had a baby that died of smallpox. Her husband was depressed and one night he just didn't come back. Hmmm, could we see Emma's husband in a future episode??

Jimmy: I'd never leave you.

Jimmy then inexplicably pulls a "Cop Rock" and sings:

I can be your hero baby. I can kiss away the pain. I will stand by you forever. You ... can ... take ... my breath away. *breathes as if breath is being taken away*


Would anyone like to sign my petition to have Julio Iglesias Jr.'s "Hero" banned from the airwaves? Please let me know if you'd like to support this worthy cause. And I apologize for referring to this song TWICE in this review.

Getting back to the show -- SMOOCH! Jimmy planted a big one on Emma, and Emma returned the favor. Do you know what this means??? It's an end, an END OF INNOCENCE!!!!

Emma's Shock Does anybody else find this a tad creepy? Emma has already established herself as a mother figure to the riders, now she starts smooching on Jimmy? Oh well, I guess I can understand that she couldn't control herself. I read somewhere that Emma was supposed to be 25 on the show. Melissa Leo was only 29 at the time. That's just very strange. I always thought she was in her late 30s. Anyway, Emma stops the kiss and says that she cares for Jimmy, but this can't happen, she can't mislead him.

Emma: You gotta think of me as a big sister.
Jimmy: Up yours, I've got more than my fair share of big sisters so please stop touching my face you WENCH.
Emma: I shouldn't have let this happen.
Jimmy: Word. You tramp.

A soldier gets whipped for stealing water. He tried to explain that his throat was burning, but Ryan didn't care to hear any excuses, "I CAN'T HANDLE THE EXCUSES!" Doc asks Evil-Eye how much more of this he was going to take. Jimmy decides that HE can't take anymore and tries to jump the fence. Unfortunately, Ryan shoots him before he gets away.

Um, why did Jimmy decide that THIS was the best time to make a getaway? Unless a day magically passed and we weren't made aware of it, it was only the first day (i.e. one sun) since Jimmy had talked to the Indian. Second of all, IT WAS BROAD DAYLIGHT! Third of all, THE SOLDIERS AND CAPTAIN RYAN WERE RIGHT THERE! Did Jimmy think he'd just sprint around the corner and hop the fence and no one would be suspicious? I guess Jimmy is JUST THAT DARING! He should've done the "Running Man" dance all the way to the fence just to make himself a little more conspicuous.

The show heads to commercial, and I'll continue the review tomorrow.

January 16, 2002

Emma runs screaming over to Jimmy. The Captain says if Jimmy's alive tomorrow then he's gonna hang. Yeah, I bet. Who here wants to bet Jimmy doesn't hang? Doc operates on James and gets the bullet out. "Only the good die young," says Doc. "Way to rip off Billy Joel," says Johnny Betts.

Did anyone else notice the blatant disregard of the Pony Express rules when Jimmy was given whiskey to "kill the pain"? Emma even forced the stuff down his throat. I hate to be so strict, but I really think Emma deserves a reprimand. After all, rules are rules.

Jimmy says Emma must think he's a fool kissing her the way he did, but Emma said he paid her a great compliment doing it. If you watch closely you can see that "fool" is dubbed in. I can't tell for sure what Jimmy actually said, but it looks like it may have been "idiot." Why did they feel the need to dub in "fool" instead? Maybe he originally said, "You must think I'm a Kid kissing you like that", but they didn't want to upset too many (all three) of Kid's fans.

Jimmy: Why am I old enough to get killed and not old enough for you?
Emma: *makes sad face*

Sam and Buck show up with the army troops. Sam hugs Emma, and we can see that Jimmy isn't too fond of it. Jimmy takes off riding with Sam and Buck. Wait a minute, he was going to be hanged just a few minutes ago, and now he's allowed to ride out of the fort so easily? Wouldn't Ryan have Jimmy locked up or something? What kind of army Captain is Ryan?

Too Much Army Food They meet the Indian and the surviving soldier. He retells the story of how Ryan forced them to attack a village that they were supposed to be protecting. Ryan claimed the women and children were just decoys and had them killed. He even killed a girl that was waving a white flag. When the Indian warriors showed up, Ryan ran like a rabbit that was part of the Taliban. What purpose did Buck serve? He didn't do any scouting or sensing, what up with that? He could've at least been wearing his pimp vest with no shirt. That would've given us all a good laugh.

Sam, Jimmy, and Buck escort the soldier back to the fort. It turns out that the soldier is none other than CHARLIE SEWARD! HE'S ALIVE! They stop Ryan from leading a detachment against the Shoshone. Charlie says that he's one of the men that Ryan left to die at Cedar Springs.

Emma: Ellen's all right, and you got a son.
Ryan: Lies, all lies.

Actually, it's true that Ellen is all right and that Charlie Seward has a son. Why would Ryan call that a lie? I guess that shows just how crazy and out of touch with reality he is.

Ryan: What are you waiting for? Arrest this man immediately! THAT'S AN OR-DER!

I hate the way he says "order."

Evil-Eye Evil-Eye Cassidy finally develops a backbone and places Ryan under arrest. As Cassidy assumes command, Ryan claims, "I stand by Cedar Springs." Jerk.

Jimmy and Emma syruply share how special each thinks the other is.

As Sam revs up the wagon, Emma throws a gift to Charlie to give to Ellen.

Evil-Eye: You sure you don't want to stay, Hickok? You'd make a fine soldier.
Hickok: I think I'll stick with the Pony Express for now, the food's better.

The End.

January 24, 2002

"So Johnny, what did you think?" I think it's a good episode. It's a Jimmy episode, so how can it not be entertaining? It's not one of my favorite Jimmy episodes though. Captain Ryan makes a good bad guy mainly because he's annoying and easy to dislike. Plus, the way he says "order" at the end of the episode is enough to make you hate him. He wasn't very menacing though. Longley and Gabe Calder are still the two best bad guys so far.

I don't know if I really see Emma and Jimmy falling for each other. I can see Emma having the hots for Jimmy, but I just think it would be hard for Jimmy to see Emma as anything other than a mother figure. But their chemistry wasn't totally unbelievable.

Final assessment -- It's a good episode, but it's not one to show first- time viewers. Show them "Gunfighter" or "Ten-Cent Hero" instead. "Blind Love" is up next. It's another Jimmy episode, BOOYA!

I've decided to change the name of "Sam-worthy quip." It'll now be referred to as "The line that Johnny Betts would most likely say or that would most likely be said about Johnny Betts." I'm just trying to make things easier. And now for the post-show awards:

The Classic Scene goes to: The scene where a drunken soldier wants to dance with Emma but Jimmy beats him up instead.

And as if there was any doubt...

The line that Johnny Betts would most likely say or that would most likely be said about Johnny Betts: "That Hickok fella of yours looks like he could ride through Hell without so much as a singe."

Oh, and just to keep you folks happy:

Mark of the Week: Rhiannon
Runners-Up: Jess and Sunny (she sent me a Christmas "present")
Best Feedbackers: Rhiannon (I like the "real time" commentary) and Aimee
Prodigal Daughter of the Week: Ann from Australia
Best New (and only) Spanish Reader: Marian Fernandez
Might have been the Best Feedbacker had she had time to send Feedback: Jeanette Rider

One last rant before I sign off: What's Wrong With People Who Don't Know What '10 Items or Less' Means?

I'm out of here. Send me lots of birthday gifts and keep your eyes open for the Johnny Betts Web page ... IT'S COMING!

[UPDATE -- September 19, 2002 -- As you already know, IT'S HERE! BOOYA!]

In the immortal words of Josey Wales, "Are you gonna pull those pistols or whistle Dixie?"

And in the equally immortal words of Johnny Betts, this is just my opinion, you could be wrong. Or as Marian Fernandez might say, "Esto es solo mi opinión, podrías estar equivocado."
The Sun Sets on The Rider Review
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