Episode 22 - BLOOD ON THE LAND

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Episode 22 - BLOOD ON THE LAND

Postby Episode Guide » Sun Jun 21, 2015 7:32 pm

Date: February 13, 1960

Summary: Jeb Drummond allows his sheep to graze on the Ponderosa. Ben orders him off his land. Drummond kidnaps Adam, in exchange for ownership of the Ponderosa.

Written by: Robert E. Thompson
Directed by: Felix Feist
Guest Stars: Jeb Drummond...Everett Sloane Billy...Ray Daley Collier...Ken Lynch Wheeler...Jerry Oddo Sam...Glen Holtzman Burton...Tom Reese Bob Miles...(uncredited stunt double)

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slideshow courtesy of Adamant

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Re: Episode 22 - BLOOD ON THE LAND

Postby January » Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:51 pm

Ben seemed awfully rigid regarding anybody crossing the Ponderosa. He was downright mean to Jeb Drummand and his crew. We, the viewing audience, knew that Jeb was a lowdown, dirty creep, but how would Ben know that? Was Jeb planning on doing anything more than crossing through the Ponderosa?

Was it the sheep? Is it known in those parts that sheep herders were good for nothing? Ben called Jeb nothing but a sheep herder who hasn’t done an honest days work in his life. So how does Ben know that?

And what’s your thought about claiming land out west during the 1800s and earlier? Was that fair to allow one person to claim that much land and prevent future settlers from settling there or at least passing through?

And when Ben told Adam to make sure those sheep herders were gone, as promised, and if not … well Ben gave Adam orders. Did he say ‘shoot them’? I can’t remember now. But anyway, Adam shot them and killed one. Something seemed wrong there. The two men were leaving, rifles and or guns in hand. Adam came up from behind and told them to drop their guns.

Image

Hold on there Adam. Are you the law? What really gave Adam the right to say that to somebody. So it happened so fast. They guys turned around, guns already in hand, I think it was reflex what happened next. What's your thoughts there?

Image
Oh, and another thing. Ben calling Adam ‘boy’. :lookaround Where’d that come from? Ben said “What’s wrong with you boy”? Really, boy??? Ben was really acting as bad as Jeb was and Adam told him so.

and for your viewing pleasure. Is this a riot or what?

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Re: Episode 22 - BLOOD ON THE LAND

Postby PlatoofthePonderosa » Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:53 am

I like to imagine that this episode took place a few years earlier than most. It's got a more typical Western "range war" feel. There's a sense in the earliest episodes that all the Cartwrights (but Ben especially) are obsessively protective of their land. Ben is harsh in this one—uncharacteristically so—but I could see this kind of clash taking place between him and Adam in the first years following Adam's return from college.

The parallels between Adam/Ben and Billy/Jeb are fascinating. Two father-figures trying to dominate their sons, two young men bothered by the violent orders they're being given by their superiors but submitting anyway. However, two particular things in the climax bother me: first, that Billy shoots an unarmed Jeb in cold blood. Sure, he was a dirty horse thief and trying to steal the Ponderosa, but are we supposed to condone that?? Second, that Adam tells his father not to save him at the cost of the ranch because his life isn't worth 50,000 acres of prime timber and grazing land. Excuse me? Since when, Adam?!?

I always cringe a little in shame for Ben when he loses his temper and reads Adam the "I worked this land till my hands cracked open and the sweat blinded my eyes" lecture. I think your son remembers, Ben. You weren't the only one with blisters and sweat-blinded eyes.
Joe: Hey, where's the Plato of the Ponderosa this morning?
Ben: If you're referring to your brother Adam, he left on TIME.

(Season 6, "Between Heaven and Earth")

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Re: Episode 22 - BLOOD ON THE LAND

Postby Adamant » Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:30 am

Not one of my favorites. And I thought Ben paid for his land. But if he "claimed" it like the Sooners did, it was legal. He had a right to hold on to it and I don't blame him for insisting the sheepherder or anyone else who passed though, move on. Once people become comfortable, they won't go. Just because Ben owned a large piece of property doesn't mean he hasn't the right to keep it to himself and his progeny.

Sheep are the bane of cattlemen because sheep pull up the grass by the roots -- leave large bald patches and it takes a while for the grass to grow back; they don't graze as cattle and horses do. That's why the herd of sheep is always moving.

I don't see why Billy shot Jeb even if Jeb threatened him with physical harm. Just say no, I won't shoot him. But Billy should have left after Jeb killed the first man in cold blood but then there would be no story. (2nd time that actor appeared in Bonanza, he was also a Billy -- hopefully not the same one. :grin )

And calling Adam "boy" doesn't bother me (although it may have rubbed PR the wrong way) as everyone called them "boys." "Take your boy home, Ben." That came from Sheriff Coffee more than once.
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Re: Episode 22 - BLOOD ON THE LAND

Postby January » Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:49 am

Adamant wrote:
And calling Adam "boy" doesn't bother me (although it may have rubbed PR the wrong way) as everyone called them "boys." "Take your boy home, Ben." That came from Sheriff Coffee more than once.


I don't mind "Take your boy home, Ben". That's (to me) a normal way of talking. Boy or girl is a word that I use a lot. But in the context of the saying I quoted, it doesn't sit well with me. In later episodes, I don't recall Ben talking to his 'boys' that way.
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Re: Episode 22 - BLOOD ON THE LAND

Postby Tahoe Lee » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:03 pm

This was a rough episode for me.

But one of the characteristics I like about Adam is his willingness to confront Ben.
Ben couldn't see that Adam was not only concerned about the Ponderosa but he was
concerned about him...his father.

When Adam said " I don't want YOU running after Drummond."

I agree it was common then for people to be referred to as boy or girl,
but I think in this instance Ben was angry and tried to bring Adam down
a notch by saying "You going soft on me boy?" He put an emphasis on the
word boy...he could have said "You going soft on me Adam?" But that wouldn't
have had the impact that Ben wanted.

There was also a silent message to Hoss and Joe when Ben lectured Adam in
front of them.

In the end it was Adam who taught his father a lesson.

Also I didn't like it when Adam told Ben 50,000 acres wasn't worth his life.
But in a strange twisted kind of way I think Adam believed it. He wasn't
the kind of person who clutched to life at all costs.





"You're a good man, Adam. You're very kind, thoughtful, considerate.
Gonna tell my people, Paiutes, you're our friend." *Toy soldier*

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Re: Episode 22 - BLOOD ON THE LAND

Postby elizabeth » Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:32 pm

I had to look up Robert Thompson, the writer. He also wrote "Vendetta" and "Mission". It appears he liked the gritty, almost despairing style of writing. "They Shoot Horses, Don't They", is very memorable to me. Writing for Bonanza came very early in his career. I'd guess that the characters were still in the formative stage in 1960, and as mentioned above, the screen play reflected the western genre of the time. Ford and Wayne were well into the traditional western of toughness, land holding and defending, and not "coddling" one's children. I'd say the tv theme was consistent for that time period of film making. some of the lines do make me cringe because I compare them to later ones where there is a kinder, gentler Ben.
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Re: Episode 22 - BLOOD ON THE LAND

Postby Julianna » Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:14 pm

It is quite the insult for a southerner to call a man a boy. It definitely rubbed PR the wrong way and I feel that's why. I notice a few times when the line “next time don’t send a boy to do a man’s work “ is used in the series. Once by Adam with Lotta, although he says it a bit different. This is the first episode where we see Adam disagreeing with his father. There are a few more after and by the third season Adam doesn’t anymore. Later episodes only Joe kicks up disagreements with Pa. Adamant said what I was going to about the sheep and why the Cattlemen were at odds with them. This was a real problem back in the 1800’s. I was also very disturbed by the shooting of Jeb. I have to think maybe it was the editing or something but perhaps he was suppose to grab for the gun and Billy then shot him. But that’s not how the scene appears is it? I love Bonanza, but as we all know they never thought it would be scrutinized as it has been almost 60 years later! They certainly didn’t invision the technology! By the way, Billy has a different last name when the actor appears in The Ballad.

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Re: Episode 22 - BLOOD ON THE LAND

Postby Tahoe Lee » Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:49 pm

Adamant wrote:Not one of my favorites. And I thought Ben paid for his land. But if he "claimed" it like the Sooners did, it was legal. He had a right to hold on to it and I don't blame him for insisting the sheepherder or anyone else who passed though, move on. Once people become comfortable, they won't go. Just because Ben owned a large piece of property doesn't mean he hasn't the right to keep it to himself and his progeny.

Sheep are the bane of cattlemen because sheep pull up the grass by the roots -- leave large bald patches and it takes a while for the grass to grow back; they don't graze as cattle and horses do. That's why the herd of sheep is always moving.


Good information. :thumbup

That does put a different light on Ben.
"You're a good man, Adam. You're very kind, thoughtful, considerate.
Gonna tell my people, Paiutes, you're our friend." *Toy soldier*

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Re: Episode 22 - BLOOD ON THE LAND

Postby Julianna » Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:39 pm

elizabeth wrote:I had to look up Robert Thompson, the writer. He also wrote "Vendetta" and "Mission". It appears he liked the gritty, almost despairing style of writing. "They Shoot Horses, Don't They", is very memorable to me. Writing for Bonanza came very early in his career. I'd guess that the characters were still in the formative stage in 1960, and as mentioned above, the screen play reflected the western genre of the time. Ford and Wayne were well into the traditional western of toughness, land holding and defending, and not "coddling" one's children. I'd say the tv theme was consistent for that time period of film making. some of the lines do make me cringe because I compare them to later ones where there is a kinder, gentler Ben.


A great idea to get insight by checking out the writer. Another idea would be to see if he has been interviewed for the golden age of television. I’m not sure how many writers have been but many actors, directors and producers have been and they did share some info on Bonanza.


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