"Bonanza" The Mission (TV Episode 1960) Poster

(TV Series)

(1960)

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6/10
Crossing the desert
bkoganbing28 April 2015
This episode of Bonanza has US Army Captain John Dehner on a mission to transport gold across the desert. When his scout Peter Whitney gets drunk, Dehner has no choice but to hire grizzled old timer Henry Hull who was a noted Army Scout but now does drunk for a living. Hull's not sure he's up to it and asks Dan Blocker to come along and essentially hold his hand.

What they don't know is Whitney is leader of a ban of outlaws who plan to rob the army gold and leave no survivors. As was pointed out in Casino, the desert swallows up a lot of problems.

Hull is fine as the old timer not sure if he still has the right stuff for the job. Hoss believes in him though. The usual situations about deserts present here.

Who's really good is Peter Whitney. He's a swaggering braggart and a bully, but not stupid. One of the best roles Whitney ever had.

Nicely done story.
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4/10
every bit as awful as the worst "Big Valley" episodes
grizzledgeezer29 March 2013
This is one of those heartwarming "alky gains self-respect and recovers" stories. The alky in this case is Charlie Trent (Henry Hull), whose stories about his scouting with General Fremont are popular, and earn him free drinks at the saloon. (In a remarkable coincidence, Hull was married to Fremont's granddaughter.)

It's also a "bad guys cause trouble" story, and you know how those go. It's so consistently bad that you'll be laughing most of the time. One particularly amusing howler occurs when the Army party crossing the plains approaches the first water hole. The mountains in the background appear to be the same mountains we saw when they headed out in the opposite direction.

Whoever composed the music decided to write a "cavalry march" -- which sounds like Roman Empire by way of Tchaikovsky.

It's difficult to believe that TV shows such as this were produced by people who grew up during the Golden Age of American movies. They must have seen many fine motion pictures, so it's hard to understand how they created TV shows devoid of subtlety or restraint. Everything is played "full blast", with the performers screaming and overacting, even in "quiet" scenes.

It's even harder to understand why these people were willing to put their names on such trash.
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5/10
Let's drink and scout!
mitchrmp10 March 2014
This is not one of my favorite episodes. A town drunk is just that - a drunk. That's all he ever thinks about. Hoss (Disapointingly, the only Cartwright who shows up in this episode) has taken the man under his wing to help him find a decent way to live, but Charlie is just too hooked on the venom liquor. So instead, an army officer decides to use HIM to scout for them and find water...Good move, right?

Hoss has to go with the man (yep, a babysitter) to make sure he stays clean and is able to fulfill his job. Unfortunately, the scout the army fired (played by Peter Whitney, a great baddie) is mad and was only scouting to steal the gold. Now he's planning on killing some people to get to the gold.

Lewt Cutter - that's the bad guy - stays a head of the army and poisons the water, making the men very upset with Hoss and Charlie. How will Charlie ever get himself out of this mess? Well, you'll have to watch it to find out...or not...

Two dead
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