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 - False Colors
By Johnny Betts

Hello class, Dr. Betts is here once again with another lesson on how to entertain people. Today, we will be reviewing the episode "False Colors." I know everyone is anxious to get started, so let's begin with some opening notes.

The "Ten-Cent Hero" review was a smash success, especially the "What's Wrong With People?" segment. Look for a few more entries in this review, as well as in future reviews. I'll also be including guest entries in the reviews, so if you've witnessed somebody doing something inexplicable that just made you stop and say, "What is wrong with that moron???" then send me your story and it might make the review.

Even though the "Ten-Cent Hero" review was unanimously loved, it seems there was at least one person out there who didn't like the "Black Ulysses" review. If you'll recall, it was the review that included an "interview" with Kid.

While doing a search for "Johnny Betts" (I was checking to see how many Johnny Betts fan club pages y'all had started), I found a message on a Ty Miller message board in which someone wasn't too happy with the review. Though this person didn't have a firm grasp on the basics of grammar and punctuation, I still got the gist of what she was saying. She accused me of claiming to have actually interviewed Ty Miller. No, no, no! I never made such a claim. I made it clear that my interview was with Kid. However, if Ty would like to go one-on-one with me in an interview then he's more than welcome.

[UPDATE - August 15, 2002 - Ty Miller still has yet to respond to the "Johnny Betts Interview Challenge." Until he does, we can only assume that he is fearful of the legend that is Johnny Betts.]

Anyway, she basically said that I was a "rude abnoxious jerk" who needed to be "punced" in the nose. Aimee came to my defense and tried to explain what my reviews and I are all about. Wow, Aimee came to my defense without me even asking her to! Aimee's efforts will win her a Rider Review Award for this week. Stay tuned to see which award she gets.

"So why are you saying all of this Johnny? Did that grammatically-challenged girl's words hurt you? Are you now going to start being nicer and less controversial because you don't want people saying things like that about you?"

Hahaha, yeah right. It takes a lot more than that to offend me. Personally, I think it's funny. It's nice to know that I can reach both extremes of people's emotions. It takes pure, unadulterated talent to make one group of people fight to the death for you, while making another group pray for your death. Johnny Betts has that talent. Granted, only one or two people fit in the latter category.

At any rate, the reason why I brought all this up is that I wanted to have a little poll to gauge people's opinions of me. I figured I'd give everybody an easy way to let me know what you think of me. Look over the choices and let me know which you think best applies to me:

A) Johnny Betts is a "rude abnoxious" jerk who should be "punced" in the face.
B) Johnny Betts is "an amazingly talented writer."
C) Fair-dinkum, that Johnny Betts is a bonza bloke!
D) Other (please specify exactly what you think I am)

You'll have to ask Laura Brown from Australia exactly what a "bonza bloke" is. She assures me it's a good thing. I'll tell you one thing; Johnny Betts ain't no fair-dinkum. No ma'am, I'm all man and as straight as an arrow.

So send me your choice and I'll announce the results in the "A Good Day to Die" review.

All right, time to announce some Rider Review awards! This is the part where I reward my readers for taking the time to show their appreciation. Also, this is where I mention some people's names so they'll stop threatening me. I at least have a good shot at getting the following people to vote for "B" in my little poll.

The Reader Almost Demented as Me: JESS. The girl's crazy, plain and simple. And please note that her name is in all caps, she has a whole paragraph dedicated to her, and this is the first award given out. I must thank her for continually feeding my ever-expanding ego, and hopefully I've done a little to help her uphold her reputation.

Best New Reader: Kirsten. She's already offering to help me out with copies of the scripts!

[UPDATE - August 15, 2002 - Unfortunately, real life must've caught up with Kirsten because I haven't heard from her in quite a while. Anybody else out there have scripts they'd like to make copies of for me???]

Rider Review Stalker of the Week: Suzanne from Holland. She's still trying to decide what to send me in the mail to freak me out but she's on the right track.

Most Dedicated Reader: Rhiannon. Here is what she has gone through just to read my reviews:

  1. Almost hurt herself reading the first review in the computer lab at school because she was wanting to laugh so hard but had to refrain.
  2. Has checked for new reviews wherever she might be. She even spent a considerable portion of her California vacation griping about how long it was taking for the next review to come out.
  3. Moved to Oklahoma and risked being approached by a stalker in the library.
  4. Wasted part of her daily public library allotment checking to see if there was a new review out.
  5. Stays at work late in a haunted Indian Hospital to read the reviews and provide lengthy feedback.
Wow, that's dedication! I figure she should win SOMETHING.

Rider Review Feedbackers of the Week: Jeanette Rider, Aimee and Ann from Australia. These gals just don't stop. Kudos to Jeanette for toughing it out when her feedback didn't get to me the first time she sent it.

Rider Review Defender of the Week: Aimee. She's a huge Kid fan, and despite my constant jabs at Kid she still defended me against another Kid fan!

And now for the big one. The Rider Review Mark of the Week goes to ... drum roll please ... Ann from Australia!

The prodigal daughter returned from whatever hiatus she was on and hooked me up with Keiko Kirin who was able to provide me with all of the "Private Eye" episodes. Thanks to Ann for the contact, and thanks to Keiko for the tapes. The lesson is clear: find me stuff I want and you'll win an award.

[UPDATE - August 15, 2002 - Apparently Australian Ann has gone on hiatus again. Ann from Australia? Hello? You out there?]

Before we move on to the actual review of "False Colors," I'd like to clear up something from the last review. There seems to be some confusion over Gabe Colter's name. Miss Raye and Jeanette both queried me on this. The reason I used "Colter" is because on IMDb they list the character as "Gabe Colter." However, I've seen mistakes on there before (such as Stephen Baldwin being listed in a movie called Lighthouse), so that might not be completely accurate. I agree with everyone who says it sounds more like "Calder" or "Caulder". I actually found someone with the last name of "Calder" in the phone book, and since it DOES sound like that, and since the actual name isn't listed in the credits, I'll refer to him as "Gabe Calder" from now on. If you have any objections then please let me know.

[UPDATE - August 15, 2002 - I also made this correction in the "Ten-Cent Hero" review that now resides on TDS.]

What's Wrong with People

Our first entry today is a guest entry from Jess. What is it about the human race that she just doesn't understand? I'll let her tell you:

"Why do people (mostly guys, mind you) wear socks with sandals??? The whole point of wearing sandals is to free your feet, so why wear socks? If your feet are cold, wear tennis shoes! WHAT'S WRONG WITH PEOPLE???"

I agree, what up with that? I once saw my manager wearing a pair of sandals with socks at work (that counts as business casual?) and so I was thinking he had broken his foot or sprained it and he was just wearing one of those weird brace things you have to wear. Then I noticed he was wearing two of them and they weren't braces, they were SANDALS WITH SOCKS! What's the point? They were weird sandals, too. It's hard to explain what they looked like, so I'll just say they looked like some weird foot brace you'd wear if you had a sprained or broken foot or ankle.

But enough of that, let's move on to the Rider Review of "False Colors."

The episode starts off with a flurry of punches to the viewer's gut as we see a train riding into the station and then we see PEOPLE GETTING OFF THE TRAIN! There's just something about the unending barrage of action that starts off the show that let's the viewer know that this is indeed a Kid episode. Goodness, I used "that" three times in the above sentence, now THAT can't be the most efficient way to write THAT sentence. I should do something about THAT, but I have too much review left to write to start nit-picking.

Ah, we see soldiers getting off the train. A man delivers one of them a message informing him that their orders have been changed. We then see some guys out in the middle of nowhere trying on some Yankee uniforms. Jed, the message deliverer, says the army is full of fools and heroes and he isn't either. Meanwhile, we see the real soldiers tied up and sitting on the ground in their longjohns.

Do you see what's going on here? The band of outlaws is now posing as soldiers thus meaning they are wearing FALSE COLORS!!!

One of the real soldiers complains and tells Jed that he can't leave them out there, why they have no food and water! Um, did he expect Jed to say, "You're right, that wouldn't be very neighborly of us, we better go ahead and untie you and let you go"? Jed's men just tied these guys up and stole their uniforms, I doubt they're concerned about the soldiers' lack of food and water.

In the next scene we see Jimmy, Kid, Buck, Teaspoon, some old dude, and a crate. It's funny because the old dude brings Teaspoon the crate, and everybody knows that it needs to be moved but Kid and Jimmy are sitting there avoiding the work. Teaspoon finally tells them to get to work.

Kid and Buck start to pick up the crate. They seem to be having some trouble picking it up. Kid comments, "You don't have to strain yourself Jimmy." Jimmy wisely states, "It's only got two ends." Ha! It's true. You know the guy that comes over to help you move a sofa who says, "I'll take the middle"? Well, that guy NEVER carries any weight. He places his hand under the middle of the couch while the guys on the ends do all the work. While he never does any work, he gets as much credit as the guys on the ends. Jimmy didn't want to be that guy.

Buck and Kid the Weaklings The riders are curious as to what's in the crate. Teaspoon says it's a surprise for all their hard work. They beg him to let them open the crate since they came to help. He finally gives them permission. When they open the crate they find a couple of bats, a few balls, and some hats. THIS is what Buck and Kid were struggling to carry? I sure hope the crate weighed about 100 pounds because baseball bats, balls, and hats don't weigh very much at all. However, neither Buck nor Kid would ever be accused of abusing steroids, so it's understandable they'd have trouble carrying a baseball bat or two. I, on the other hand, would've hoisted the crate on my shoulders and whistled a little ditty.

Jimmy looks at the bat and asks, "What do you hunt with this?" Teaspoon goes on to explain you don't hunt anything with it, it's a baseball bat. Teaspoon then inexplicably starts singing, "Peanut butter jelly, peanut butter jelly, peanut butter jelly and a baseball bat!" What on earth?

Teaspoon's a wise old man you see, and he likes to keep up with current events. Apparently he's been recently reading about this "new game" called baseball. In actuality, baseball was invented in 1839, about 29 years prior to Young Riders time. But mail was slow, so maybe the news about baseball wasn't spreading too quickly. Besides, I love the baseball plot line within the show, so I'll cut the writers some slack.

The riders are a little curious as to how this game is played, and the following conversation takes place:

Kid: How do you do it?
Teaspoon: Well, I don't know the particulars, but the notion is you hit that ball with that bat.
Buck: Why?
Teaspoon: So's you can run around the bases.
Jimmy: What for?
Teaspoon: To score. Every time you go around you get yourself a point.
Kid: That's it? Swat balls, run around in circles?
Teaspoon: I don't think I've left anything out.
Buck: People do this for fun?
Teaspoon: Well, yeah. You don't want to play, you don't have to.

Very funny scene. I felt sorry for Teaspoon. It was fun watching him struggle to explain the game, but you could see his feelings were a little hurt. Good acting on Mr. Zerbe's part.

We see the fake soldiers riding in wearing their FALSE COLORS. They go to the bank where they're planning to pick up $200,000 in gold. Jed says they'll take it to St. Joe, and he wants to pick up the delivery that night. The bank dude says that won't be possible. Flooding along Green River delayed the crossing. IT'S ALL JOHN FOGERTY'S FAULT!

Here's an interesting, if useless, bit of trivia for you. "Green River" is the title of a Creedence Clearwater Revival song, written by John Fogerty. There are two lines in "Green River" that I'd like to point out:

"Up at Cody's camp I spent my days ... Old Cody Jr. took me over ... "

John Fogerty wrote that song to describe a place he used to go to during his childhood summers. There was a river there they called Green River, and they referred to the camp as "Cody's Camp," because the old man who ran the place claimed to be a descendent of Buffalo Bill Cody. What does this mean? The writers were obviously big fans of Creedence! Any other Creedence fans out there?

So let's see, the longhaired dude (Stark) in Jed's gang didn't care for the situation too much. He had a bad feeling about it.

In the meantime, Kid has just bought a new hat. Jimmy and Buck tease him about it. Jimmy asks to see it and then he and Buck start tossing it to each other. Jimmy then throws it on the ground. Kid kicks Buck, and we see Buck kick him back. Kid is actually smiling when he goes to pick up his hat! Wow, he didn't whine and fuss about it! He actually took it all in stride! Bravo Kid, bra-stinkin'-vo.

Jed and Kid Kid notices Jed and approaches him. Jed doesn't recognize Kid. Kid asks him, "You recall cursing a plow mule named Jeremiah, used to wallow in the creek when the heat came up?" Jed then realized it was Kid. When I first saw this episode I thought Kid had just revealed his real name to be Jeremiah. Then I figured that Kid probably wouldn't refer to himself as a plow mule. But did Kid's family really call him "Kid"? If so, then why?

Jed and Kid did a good job of acting excited to see each other, especially Jed. He hit Kid's chest (nearly caving it in) and said, "Look at you, you finally got some meat on you!" Whoa, Kid must've been REALLY skinny about 10 years ago then. Kid replies with, "You finally found honest work." Jimmy smiles.

Is it just me, or wouldn't Kid be a little suspicious that Jed was in the Northern army? As we know, they're from Virginia, so shouldn't Kid have at LEAST asked, "Why are you in the NORTHERN army?" Call me crazy, but I think Kid should've been a little curious as to what the deal was. I know the war hadn't officially started yet, but I'm assuming the Northern troops still wore the blue uniforms. If by some chance I'm wrong then I'm sure some Kid fan who has done 30 hours of research will let me know.

We see Jed eating supper with all the riders. He tells many a fanciful tale about going to New York and riding on elevators. Emma asks about their family. Kid won't ever say anything, so they've gotta try to get answers somewhere. Kid rudely butts in and BLATANTLY LIES and says their father was a sharecropper. He claims they were driven off their farm because of a drought and ended up being placed in separate families.

Jed wants to know why Kid BLATANTLY LIED and took up for their father. It turns out that their father beat them and their mother and ran out on them. Kid replied, "I ain't gonna waste my life hating him, caused enough hurt." All right, I have to give Kid credit, it's admirable that he's trying to leave the bad memories behind and not dwell on them. However, I do believe we have established a pattern. Don't forget how Kid FRAUDULENTLY won Katy. I respect the fact that he's trying not to dwell on bad memories, but I think we need to keep an eye on the guy.

Kid makes a comment about Jed being in uniform and says their mother would've been proud. If only he knew.

Back at Outlaw Camp we see Stark bragging about how HE would've robbed the bank already and been gone. One of the other bad guys says that's why Jed's the leader, he's smart enough to wait until there's money in the bank. Does it really take much intelligence to know the best time to rob a bank is when there's money in it? Stark seems to be worried about Kid, but Jed shows up, fires a shot, and says Kid is his concern.

As Johnny works feverishly on his review, Kathleen is in her apartment updating the Riders Coming! Web site. All of a sudden, a man with huge, oddly proportioned buttocks walks in.

Gabe Calder: I look pretty good for a dead man, wouldn't you say?

Kathleen: Excuse me? How did you get in ... M.C. Gainey?

Gabe Calder: The name's Calder, Gabe Calder. I understand that you're acquainted with Johnny Betts.

Kathleen: Well, he writes Rider Reviews and I post them on my web site, but ...

Gabe Calder: You're making that kid a hero at my expense. He thinks he can make his little jokes about me? He's going to challenge my manhood because I rode into town on a stage? A man in my profession can't abide a public insult so I'd be much obliged if you told me where I can find him.

Kathleen: I honestly don't know, he hasn't given me an address.

Gabe Calder: How about you send him a little e-mail message and ask him? Play your cards right and I might let you off the hook after I'm done with Mr. Betts.

Jed takes all the riders to a saloon called the Silver Spurs. It supposedly has the smoothest whiskey, the luckiest cards, and the prettiest girls. How exactly would Jed know that since he's only been in town for a few days? I guess word gets around.

Hold on a second ... weird, Kathleen just sent me an e-mail asking me for my address. I guess she wants to send me a nice little surprise. Cool, works for me!

We see a bunch of girls dancing around, and we see Lou is uncomfortable there. She thought they were going to eat, but apparently Jed likes his dessert first. Pervert.

Cody and Jimmy Jed orders some drinks for Cody, Jimmy, and himself. Cody tries to act cool and says, "Yeah, the usual." Cody asks what exactly they're drinking. Jed doesn't say anything as he downs the drink with nary a grimace. Cody and Jimmy take a shot and start coughing. Seems it didn't go down quite as smoothly for them.

It's important to point out that Jimmy is wearing his BLACK jacket. You see, this is his fancy jacket that he wears when he's ready to go out and party. Speaking of Hickok jackets, some of you may recall that in the "Ten-Cent Hero" review I waxed reminiscent about the time I sent a letter to some Young Riders address asking about how to get a jacket like Jimmy's. I didn't get an answer to my query, but I did get a complimentary Young Riders postcard.

Telling that story gave me the motivation to once again send a letter and try to get some more free stuff. I found an address that I didn't think would work, but I thought I'd give it a shot anyway. Nothing ventured; nothing gained, eh? In the letter I told the story that I've already related to you. I talked about the desire that I still have of one day getting a genuine Jimmy jacket. I talked of the old days when I was just a little Johnny Betts, glued to the TV every Thursday or Saturday night (depending on which season it was). It was a heart-warming letter that would touch the most frozen of hearts.

"So what happened Johnny, did you ever get a reply??" Well, my dear fans, here's my story:

Picture a calm Thursday afternoon. A good-looking young man (me) has just gotten home from a hard day of work. All he wants is some supper and to curl up with his wife, watch a Young Riders episode, and enjoy the mail that is sure to be waiting on him.

"Hey sweetie, I'm home, did I get my Young Riders mail yet?" the handsome young stallion asks. "I think so, there's a package on the table," his beautiful young wife replies.

I looked on the table, and there it was. A brown envelope. Not large by anybody's estimations, but not small either. Pretty much what you'd expect. I walked over to the envelope and picked the package up. My arms were shaking. Not out of nervousness or excitement mind you, I had also stopped by the gym on the way home. I gotta keep these 17" guns in prime condition.

I just sat there and read the address over and over.
"Well, is that the letter?" Stephanie asked.
I opened my mouth, but nothing came out. I put the envelope down; I just couldn't open it.
"What's your problem?" inquired Stephanie, "Just open the thing already!"
She was right; there was no sense in waiting.

I began to tear away at the envelope. It seemed as if I was opening it in slow motion. Piece after piece of the envelope pirouetted to the ground as I became more and more determined to reach my destination. Finally, I looked inside. My heart sank. Where was the thick letter answering all my questions? Where were the free goodies? I reached inside and pulled out a slip of paper.

It simply said, "Up yours, signed former Young Riders people."

I flipped the paper over and on the other side it had written on it, "One complimentary piece of JACK SQUAT."

Suffice it to say, I was flabbergasted. Was I totally surprised? No, not really. But flabbergasted nonetheless. But never fear; I won't let this get me down. I THINK I'LL KEEP A' WALKIN' ... WITH MY HEAD HELD HIIIIIIIIGH ... I'LL KEEP MOVING ON ... AND ONLY GOD KNOWS WHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, we see Ike and Buck playing the ol' guess-which-walnut-shell-the-pea-is-under game. Ike puts his money on the table and takes a guess. He was wrong. Before the hustler can take Ike's money, Jed shows up and asks to see what's under the other shells -- absolutely nothing! The hustler makes some lame excuse about how the pea must've rolled away, and then out of nowhere a pea falls on the table. Where in the world did THAT come from? All of a sudden a pea flies out of the air and starts bouncing around on the table. Jed let the dude know that'd he'd be buying the next round. Aw, Jed isn't such a bad guy!

Meanwhile, a couple of saloon girls approach Lou and Kid. It looks like they're ready to show them a good time. Kid is able to get them out of the situation by whispering to one of the girls that Lou fancies men. Lou didn't seem too happy that Kid did this, but he was right, it was the truth.

Back at the bar Cody is telling Buck that he needs to try whatever it was they were drinking. Cody asks the bartender for two more drinks. The bartender doesn't comply with Cody's wishes, prompting Jed to say, "I think the man said two."

"We don't serve his kind," replied the bartender. Jed says the only kind he sees here is his friends. Then in a scene taken straight out of Lonesome Dove, Jed throws his drink in the bartender's face, slams his face into the bar, and tells him to pour. As Jed is doing all of this the riders pulled their guns on the bartender. I'm not quite sure why it was necessary for them to pull their guns out. What exactly did they think the bartender was going to do? Buck smirks and pours the drink out.

Why didn't Buck start whining and complaining they weren't taking up for him just because he was their friend? Remember how he did that earlier in the season, accusing Hickok and Cody of fighting only because Tompkins called them Indian lovers? I guess Buck has learned to be more appreciative of his friends sticking up for him.

The scene ends with Jed saying he knows where to go where they can have some REAL fun. In my Family Channel episode the next thing we see is everybody riding back to the bunkhouse. Did the Family Channel cut something out? I haven't seen the original episode since it first aired, so I can't remember. It just seemed weird that the scene ended with Jed saying that. It was a good scene. Jed came off as a pretty nice guy.

Ike and the Red Smoke As everybody rides back to the bunkhouse Emma comes out of her house none-too-happy. Emma says they're just boys, but Jed says, "Appears to me they do a man's work, gotta treat 'em as such." He explains to Emma that he watched over them and that's why they arrived home safely and that by the time they wake up they'll think twice about touching the whiskey (or whatever it was) again. Emma finally agrees with him. Jed then uses his Southern charm to flirt with Emma a bit.

Kid rides in and looks to be the most sober of the group, causing Emma to comment that at least one person showed some restraint. Kid says, "Yes ma'am," and then falls flat on his face. Funny stuff.

Over in Sam's office a Pinkerton detective shows up to tell Sam about the gold shipment. Sam isn't pleased that he wasn't made aware of what was going on. The Pinkerton says that secrecy is the best policy in circumstances like this. But I thought that honesty was always the best policy? They live by a whole different set of rules, those Pinkertons. Sam informs the Pinkerton that he's the law here and it's HIS job to keep the peace. Amen! But then Sam unwittingly directs the Pinkerton out to Jed's camp.

Trouble's a' brewin' in Tompkins' store as we see Stark harassing a woman. He follows her out of the store and continues to bother her. In a cool move we see Cody show up out of nowhere and slam the fake soldier into the side of the store. He pins him against the store and says, "I think the lady told you to stop." If I were ol' long-hair I would've said, "Actually, she told me to leave her alone. Sure, it's nit-picky, but she technically didn't tell me to stop." Instead, the False Colored soldier told Cody he just made a big mistake. Cody smiled his Cody smile and said it ain't the first.

Sam takes Stark and locks him up. Jed shows up and claims he'd prefer to let long-hair rot in the jail. But hey, he needs every man he can get. Sam then lets Jed know that he told the Pinkerton where his camp was. Bad move, Sam, bad move.

We see the Pinkerton at Jed's camp. Jed shows up and shoots him. Now why did he have to go and do that? Stark wants to hit the gold shipment before it gets to town. Jed says that's not a good idea. They'd have too much weight to carry and would be hanged for sure. Stark also doesn't want to give the gold to the South. Jed says it's smart business. For half the money they'll also get shelter, food, and doctoring when they need it. They'll be viewed as heroes! Long-hair, however, has plans of his own.

What's Wrong With Parents?

Calder: Well?

Kathleen: I do NOT feel comfortable doing this, but he responded, here's his address.

Calder: Thank you kindly. And just to make sure you don't get any ideas about sending him a warning, I'll leave you with this: *BLAM*

Calder pointed his rifle at Kathleen's computer and blew a hole right through the monitor. He then headed off in search of Johnny Betts.

All right, next up is the baseball scene. This is definitely a classic. In fact, it's the "Classic Scene" winner of the episode; there's nothing else that comes close. I'll try my best to do a play-by-play that does it justice.

Jimmy Hickok is up to bat. His lifetime batting average of .000 can shoot up to 1.000 if he can get a hit here. William Cody goes into his unique windup prompting Kid to ask what's on the mind of all the viewers, "What is he doing?" Cody delivers the pitch. Jimmy swings and WHIFF! He misses! "Strike 5," says Teaspoon, "one more and you're out." "Well he's throwing it funny," complains Jimmy.

"I'm putting it right in front of you Jimmy," says Cody, "You're just blind."

"Yeah, I'll show you who's blind, big mouth," says Jimmy, "Now toss that thing again."

Cody once again takes his time with the pitch. Jimmy starts to get frustrated, "Come on, throw it, come on!"

Baseball Here comes the pitch ... Jimmy swings ... WHAM! It's going, it's going, IT'S GONE! HOMERUN! HOMERUN! But apparently we're playing by Old West rules which means a ball hit over the fence isn't a homerun. Ike's on the chase and hops the fence. "How'd you like that one?" gloats Jimmy. RUN JIMMY! RUN! NO, THE OTHER WAY!!!!!!!

Jimmy's heading for first ... TACKLE! BUCK HAS THE TACKLE! "The base man cannot hold the runner," Teaspoon explains. Jimmy wrestles himself away from Buck (not a hard task to slip through ol' Noodle Arms) and heads for second ... TRIP! CODY HAS THE SLIDING TRIP! According to Teaspoon, "That's fair, tripping is legal."

Ike has the ball, and he seems quite excited about it. Jimmy better hurry! He taps second base and starts to crawl to third. For some reason, Teaspoon refers to Jimmy's hit as a foul ball, "Foul balls must be thrown to the pitcher." Ike throws it in to Kid, and Cody is anxious to get it, "Give me the BAAAAAAAALL!!!!"

Kid throws it to Cody ... Cody gets the ball and spits on it for good measure ... Jimmy is on his way home ... Cody throws the ball and BAM! He nails Hickok right in the leg! As Jimmy falls to the ground his only response is, "Ow, ow!" Everybody awaits the ruling from Teaspoon..."You're out!" Teaspoon further shows he does not have a firm grasp of the rules as he makes the "safe" motion. NO! That's not fair!

Jimmy: He hit me with that thing, that ain't fair!
Teaspoon: Nice throw, Cody.
Cody: Yeah!
Teaspoon: Plugging the runner is legal.
Jimmy: No it ain't!
Teaspoon: Yes it is.
Teaspoon: I make the rules!

Jimmy starts to kick dirt on Teaspoon!

Cody: Come on Jimmy, don't be a sore loser!
Jimmy: You hit me with the ball!

Jimmy with the right jab to Cody's jaw, Cody goes down like an Eider pillow! Everybody starts to pile up on the ground. Whoa, did you see Kid on top of that pile? Call me crazy, but I think he was getting a little handsy. If you listen carefully you can hear Jimmy say, "Kid, that better not be YOUR hand on my butt." Kid then can be heard to say, "Whoops, sorry, thought it was Lou." BUT, if you look VERY closely, you can see Kid with a slight smirk on his face. Disgusting. I hope that's not just in the Special Collector's Edition that I have.

Teaspoon: Nothing like a quiet Sunday at home.

Teaspoon and Jed look at each other, look at the pile of riders, look at each other again, and then run and join in on the fun.

It's a great scene. The funniest parts are when Cody slides and trips Jimmy when he's running, when Cody throws the ball at Jimmy and nails him in the leg, and when Jimmy starts to kick dirt on Teaspoon. Josh does a great job of making it look like Jimmy is really angry and frustrated about being cheated. Excellent scene.

That takes me back to my baseball years. I'll never forget the day I got cheated out of being the hero. It was my senior year, and we were playing in a tournament. The score was tied 1-1 and I was up to bat. There was one out and a man on third. A hit here would give us the lead. I hit the first pitch to left field and the run scored. But then the other coach was complaining about something. It turns out that our scorekeeper had written my jersey number down wrong. My jersey was 35, but in the scorebook I was listed as 38. The umpire called me out, and the run was taken away. I was not happy, to say the least.

Johnny: That ain't fair!
Umpire: Yes it is.
Johnny: No it ain't! SHOW ME THE RULES!
Umpire: I make the rules!

That's when I lost it. This is the point where the lines of reality and fantasy become a little blurred. I yelled to the ump, "No one cheats Johnny Betts!" and I immediately put him in a bear hug, and then did a nice little belly-to-belly suplex right off the pitcher's mound. The crowd went wild. And then, as you typically only see on an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger, each of the opposing players came at me one at a time, and each in turn received a stunner, much to the crowd's delight. I pointed to the other coach who had complained in the first place, told him, "Complain about THIS!" and then broke a bat right over his back.

The crowd was going absolutely nuts as the umpires and opposing players and coaches were laid out on the field. Then over the sound system the sound of glass breaking could be heard and then my theme music hit as I exited the baseball field to the cheers of a raucous crowd.

It almost seemed as if I was walking in slow motion. This was a day where time truly almost stood still. Chants of "Johnny, Johnny, Johnny" were echoing through the air. As I got to the edge of the field I stopped, turned around, raised my fist to the crowd, and yelled "BOOYA!" They went nuts.

We lost the game 2-1, but we later found out that the umpire had ruled incorrectly. I never should've been called out. It was a small victory, but the real justice had already been carried out -- Johnny Betts style.

Meanwhile, Sam and his deputy aren't having so much fun as they find the Pinkerton's body floating in Willow Pond. A couple of choirboys snuck out of church and found the body.

Back at the bunkhouse Jed is telling everybody a story about how Kid once came running out naked in front of their mother and her church friends. Kid claims he was only three, but Jed says he was eight. I believe Jed (Kid's allergic reaction to the truth has already been well-documented), and on that note let me just say I'm disgusted. Eight years old and he's running around naked in front of his mother and her friends?!?!?! What on earth is wrong with the guy? And then he has a case of grabbitis while on top of the pile? The guy needs help.

What happens next perfectly illustrates what I'm trying to say. Everybody else has a good laugh at Jed's little story, but the camera moves over to Jimmy and we see he has a concerned look on his face. Now, the casual viewer may just think Jimmy is starting to have doubts about who Jed really is and what he's in town for. Not so fast. Johnny Betts has managed to get his hands on a rare copy of the original script for this episode. The script actually transcribes Jimmy's thoughts. Check it out:

The camera pans over to Jimmy who has a look of concern on his face. "Kid was running around naked in front of his mom and her friends when he was already EIGHT years old?" Jimmy thinks to himself. "That just isn't right. Then he gets a case of the 'loose hands' while on top of the pile? Not only do I not want to share a bunk with this pervert, but I need to find a way to warn Lou."

Take it with a grain of salt, Kid fans, I know it's hard to digest. But who's going to reveal this stuff to you other than good ol' Johnny Betts?

Mysterious Brand Sam rides up and notices the brand on Jed's horse. He decides to question Jed about the Pinkerton. Jed claims he never showed up and he never heard any shots. He tries to get off the hook by saying there are a lot of "vermin out there gunning for Pinkertons." Sam is still suspicious of Jed and says he should stick around Sweetwater until the killer is found.

Jed isn't too happy about this and says he has his orders. Sam wants to see Jed's orders. Jed asks if Sam is questioning his word, and Sam says he's questioning his judgment. This causes Jed to become more defensive and he lets Sam know that if he attempts to interfere with his business then he'll regret it. Sam decides to leave.

Kid follows Sam outside and says he can vouch for his brother. Oh you can? You haven't seen Jed in 10 years, so I doubt Sam will just take your word for it. Sam responds with, "Asking questions is my job Kid, bothers me when people don't answer them." Good line, I'll have to nominate it as a Sam-worthy Quip contender.

Kid naively says Jed can't answer questions he's told not to. Poor guy, he's trying hard to defend his brother. Sam places some serious doubts in his head though when he says, "Maybe not, but I'd sure like to know why his horse doesn't carry an army brand."

Sam is heading back to town and runs into Teaspoon. Well, he didn't literally run into him, but they did see each other. Sam asks Teaspoon to send the fastest rider to Fort Laramie for confirmation of the identities of the soldiers. It can't be Kid, so Lou gets sent.

Kid finds Jed playing poker at the saloon. Kid needs to talk to Jed, and he doesn't have time to wait for him to finish the round. Oooh, we can see that Kid is mad! He wants to know exactly what Jed is doing in Sweetwater. He just knew that he wasn't a soldier. He had hoped Jed had changed, but it appears he hasn't. Jed mentions the war and says that the gold will help buy rifles for the South so that they can protect their homeland. Jed says he needs Kid's help. He assures him that there will be no bloodshed. Kid asks what he has to do, Jed says he needs to join him and his gang. Jed then said, "A haircut couldn't hurt either." That line was later removed from the episode.

Meanwhile, Calder rides into Johnny Betts' hometown in a station wagon. He comes across Johnny's good friend, Baker's Dozen.

Calder: Johnny Betts, where can I find him?

Dozen: Betts, Betts, I can't rightly say I know such a person.

WHAM! Calder gives Baker's Dozen a shot to the head with the butt of his gun. Dozen falls to the ground. A bug walks by.

Calder: I'll track Johnny down at work, I'm sure I'll find him there. If you see him, then tell him that's where I'll be waiting.

What's Wrong With People

Our next entry is yet another guest entry. This comes to us from Aimee. Her gripe with the human race?

"Jess, Kirsten, Cass, Wendy and I were at Old Tucson Studios the day after Thanksgiving. We had stopped to eat lunch in this cafe there, and they always play western 'cowboy' songs in this place (it's also the place we always eat at in OTS). Anyway, this particular day we were in there for about 45 minutes, and the WHOLE TIME they played 'Back in the Saddle Again.' Can you imagine what it is like to hear that song over and over and OVER again for 45 minutes??? WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE????"

Very good question Aimee, what IS wrong with these people? And no, I can't even begin to scratch the surface of imagining what it's like to hear that song played over and over for 45 minutes. A pleasant experience I'm sure it was not.

Back at the station (I'M BAAAACK, nair nair nair-nair nair nair nair-nair I'M BACK AT THE STATION AGAAAAAAIN! Sorry, couldn't resist) we see Kid's run is up next. Cody runs out and takes the ride. Teaspoon doesn't like this and decides to go see what's going on with Kid.

Kid's in the bunkhouse pouting.

Teaspoon: This station has six riders, not five. That was your run.
Kid: He owed me.
Teaspoon: That's what you said yesterday, but I head this outfit, you ride when I tell you.

Ooooooh, Teaspoon is laying down the law! For some reason I've always liked the fact that Teaspoon got pretty stern here. We always see him being a lovable old codger freely dishing out advice, but here he shows that he can get a little stern when someone isn't doing his job.

Kid complains about how long Lou has been gone. Teaspoon says that Lou is his concern and that Kid needs to worry about doing HIS job. Lay that law down Mr. T! Kid then yells that maybe he's sick of this job and PICKS UP A CHAIR AND THROWS IT ACROSS THE ROOM! It smashed on the table. Whoa.

And all the Kid fans say Jimmy is the one who is the hothead? Seems to me ol' Kid has a bit of an attitude problem. Teaspoon should've warned Lou about this tantrum before she married Kid. Here's what I imagine happening sometime after the show ended:

Kid: Hey Lou, I'm home, what's for supper?
Lou: I'm sorry, I haven't had time to fix it yet.
Kid: What? But I've had a bad day!
Lou: It's all right, we can fix dinner together; that's what marriage is all about!
Kid: Maybe I'm sick of this marriage! *picks up a chair and hurls it across the room*

I will have to give Kid credit for starting to show some emotion.

Teaspoon tries to calm him down. Kid talks about feeling obliged to two different things and not knowing how to choose. Teaspoon says that there comes a time when every man has to decide what he holds most dear, "But every man has to make his own choice, and that choice determines the kind of man he is, sort of sets the rules he lives by." As much as he wants to, Teaspoon can't help Kid. Kid must follow his heart on this one.

Sam tells the banker to stall Jed.


Jed talks to the banker and wants to be alerted the moment the gold arrives.


Lou enters Sam's office, drinks some water, and tells Sam that he was right.


Sam's at the bunkhouse informing the riders of what's going on. Soldiers are coming from Fort Laramie to arrest Jed, but it'll take 24 hours for them to get there so it's Sam's job to protect the gold. He asks for the riders' help, and they eventually agree to it. Of course, it was Jimmy who had to step up and display the courage to offer their help even though they were dealing with Kid's brother.

Lou tells Kid what's going on and he rides off.

Back at the saloon a guy sits down at a table with the False Colored soldiers. He says he's buying them all a drink because he got the gold to Sweetwater safely. Stark says they'll take care of everything.

Kid tells Jed that he can't ride with him, and then he asks Jed to ride out. Jed wants to know what's going on, but Kid will only tell him to just ride out.

Stark tells Jed about how the gold has already arrived. Jed asks Stark if he's sure about that, and Stark says yeah. Um, wouldn't Jed have asked for more details? I at least know that I would've been asking how he knew that and where he heard it. Oh well. They're off to get the gold.

We see Sam telling Kid to stay out of this and not to come out until it's over. "All right, I promise," is Kid's response. I guess we'll soon find out how sacred Kid's word is.

All the riders take their positions and wait for Jed and his gang to show up. When they do they head for the bank, only to find that there's no one around. Sam tells Jed to just give it up, but that doesn't appear to be Jed's plan so a gunfight ensues.

The riders easily win the battle, 7 - 0. I'm surprised the gang didn't kill at least one no-name deputy. One part that never ceases to amaze me is when one of the bad guys runs out of the bank door full steam ahead and then is shot right away. What was the guy thinking? "Hmm, there's lots of gunfire going on outside, what should I do? Should I try to explore all exits to minimize my chances of getting shot, or should I just run out of the door full steam ahead? Full steam ahead it is!" He should've also started waving his arms around shouting, "LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME! BET YOU CAN'T SHOOT ME!" Stupid, stupid bad guys.

Jed tries to get away via horse, but Cody shoots the horse and causes Jed to flee to a nearby barn where he kills a guy and hops on a horse. Kid BREAKS HIS PROMISE and runs after Jed. He tells Jed that he's not leaving and then said something about how Jed was killing people out there. Well, not technically. If you do the math then you'll see that the riders had 7 kills to Jed's gang's 0.

Kid tries to stop Jed from leaving and receives a kick in the face for his efforts. Jed says he'll kill Kid. Kid grabs a pitchfork (possible symbolism that Kid has dealings with the devil? OK, maybe that's pushing it a bit) and tells Jed he isn't leaving. Jed draws his gun and shoots Kid in the arm while continuing to say he'll kill Kid if he has to.

Kid Cries "Don't do it Jed," Jimmy says as he enters the barn. Jed turns around with his gun on Jimmy but Jimmy is quicker on the draw. Kid runs over to the fallen Jed and tells him to hang on. Jed utters his final words to Kid, "I couldn't have shot you Kid." Kid responds with, "Nooooooooooooooooooooo!"

Jimmy apologizes to Kid, Kid looks at Jimmy, Kid hovers around Jed's dead body, and in a scene that was later deleted, the riders came in and asked what happened and Jimmy responded with, "Jed's dead baby, Jed's dead." The show ends.

Aimee was telling me that she couldn't understand what Jed's final words to Kid were, so she figures that if she had trouble understanding them then other people must have also. She suggested that other people send in their ideas of what they thought Jed was saying. Even if you understood what Jed was saying, then send me your ideas of what Jed's final words SHOULD'VE been to Kid. I'll post some of the responses in the next review. Be creative with it. Something such as, "Get a haircut" is more likely to get posted than, "I'm sorry for all the ways I failed you as a brother," so keep that in mind.

Calder finally arrives at Johnny's place of employment where he immediately runs into Johnny's boss.

Boss: I understand you've come for Betts.

Calder: That boy's making a reputation at my expense, so I have to teach him a lesson. It's too bad he won't be around to benefit from it.

Boss: I see.

Calder: You ain't calling me out, are you?

Boss: No, oh no, not at all. Do what you want to. That smart-aleck is more trouble than he's worth. With his wit, intelligence, and over-abundance of charm, he'll have my job in no time. It wouldn't hurt my feelings if he were out of the picture.

Calder: That's good to hear. Where can I find him?

Boss: Down the hall and to the right.

So what did I think? It's a pretty good episode, especially considering the fact that it's a Kid episode. The baseball scene really makes the show. As I've already said, it's definitely the "Classic Scene" of the episode. If you don't want to show a friend the entire episode then you should definitely at least show them the baseball scene.

It's too bad that Jed had to die. I don't think he was such a bad guy. Actually, he seemed like a pretty nice guy with just a bit of an outlaw streak in him. He should've just listened to Kid and left town.

There weren't too many lines that stood out in this episode. Teaspoon had some good advice for Kid and all, but I'll have to give the Sam-worthy Quip to Sam himself with, "Asking questions is my job Kid, bothers me when people don't answer them."

That reminds me of the time when I made frequent use of that line. In school I'd ask my teachers the hardest questions I could think of. After they were tired of receiving questions they couldn't answer they'd ask, "Why do you have to ask so many questions?"

I'd always respond with, "Asking questions is my job, bothers me when people don't answer them." This was always followed with a petition drive to have the teachers fired for incompetence. I never managed to get anybody canned, but it kept them on their toes.

Holy cow this review is long! I actually have to cut some material out of this review! That's all right, that just gives me a head start on the next review. I know many of you were waiting to hear my harrowing tale of joining the Bon Jovi Secret Society, but I'm going to save it for the next review. I PROMISE it'll show up there. Let me wrap up with a couple of newsworthy items.

The big news of the week is that a Goonies sequel is in the works, and according to Richard Donner "everybody is coming back." It should be a pretty big movie, so expect our boy Josh to get some pretty good exposure. Meanwhile, Ty Miller is somewhere sitting near a phone waiting for Rue McClanahan to call and tell him that the "To My Daughter" sequel is a go.

Speaking of Ty Miller and what he's up to these days (not his neck with acting offers), Yvonne Suhor was asked this same question in an on-line interview. The interview was orchestrated by Rider Review fan Sunny, and Lou, um, I mean Yvonne, offers a lot of interesting, inside information. It's on Kirsten and Tanya's site, give it a read.

Here's the question that was posed by someone named Dana:

"I see all of the cast in other things except for Ty Miller. Did he just quit acting all together, or do you know?"

*snicker* Sorry, I find the question a little humorous. Anyway, below is Yvonne's response. In brackets and in red you'll find my own comments. I'm just trying to flesh things out a little and let everyone see what was actually going on.

"I don't know about Ty's current ambitions [or lack thereof]. A funny thing happened. A few years after TYR, I was in San Diego with my then-boyfriend -- George, "Adam" from Buffy. Anyway, I was in the lobby of the hotel, and I SAW TY!! [looks like that season as Eric the bellhop in 'Hotel' helped pave his post-TYR career path]. We hadn't kept in touch -- I had gone off to grad school -- and I looked at him, my heart bursting with joy, and shrieked, "TY!!" Well, I think he thought I was a fan [thus his moment of shock] for a moment, because he looked at me with total UN-recognition [and then asked, 'May I take your bags, ma'am?']. No clue for at least 5 seconds who I was [she must've been wearing a Wonderbra]. It was clear to me, he had evolved so far from our wild west days [i.e. he had cut his hair]. It almost looked like he had forgotten he had ever been an actor [Just like the rest of the world I suppose]. I asked him what he was up to [as he hurriedly covered his bellhop name tag], and he mentioned he was there with his girlfriend, who was shooting something too [note the lack of specifics, very suspicious]. We only chatted in passing. It was bitter-sweet. So, no. I don't know what he's up to ... but it was really nice to see him, and relive a warmth that I had in bygone days."

So the truth comes out. Ty's working at a hotel and then covering for himself by saying that he's there with his girlfriend who is "shooting something too." Poor guy.

Speaking of interviews, how about a Johnny Betts interview? I'm sure there are plenty of questions that all the readers out there would like to ask. I know you're dying to attempt to get into my head and see what makes me tick. Let me know what you think. You can either send me questions or some of my loyal fans can take the idea and run with it.

Also, somebody needs to try to set up an interview with Ty Miller conducted by none other than Johnny Betts. Now wouldn't THAT make for interesting reading for all the Young Riders fans? Anybody who has connections to Ty can pass along my idea. Who knows, Ty may be reading the review. Hey Ty, if you're out there drop me a note. I'll give you the opportunity to defend yourself against all my jabs. I'll be fair. It'll be the Rider Event of the year.

[UPDATE - August 23, 2002 - Ty has yet to contact me.]

With that I'm out of...

Calder: Betts!

Johnny: M.C. Gainey?

Calder: The name's Calder, you know who I am.

Johnny: But you're not real.

Calder: I'm standing right here, aren't I?

Johnny: As strange as it is, I suppose that you are.

Calder: You're more trouble than you're worth, boy.

Johnny: That's what they say.

Calder: You've written your last little joke about me. Let's end this once and for all.

It was an all too familiar situation for the hero
He faced many a fearless foe everyday
Johnny had carved out his own fate though
He had built his reputation, and it wouldn't go away.

The office was as silent as a dead man's heart,
The only motion was the dust in the wind.
It seemed that the other employees had begun to depart,
Not a soul was to be found, neither foe nor friend.

The confrontation was inevitable Johnny knew
Calder's experience made the fight seem unfair
But Calder called him out; there was nothing he could do
Johnny regretted it, but death was in the air.

"Prepare to meet your destiny," Calder said.
With this each man drew his gun.
The sound of gunfire indicated that someone was left dead
"Sorry," said Johnny, "but not today son."

In the immortal words of Coach Noeth, "That's how you show a hot dog his mustard."

As always, 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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