Episode 36 - THE MILL

Bonanza Season 2 Episodes
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Re: Episode 36 - THE MILL

Post by littlejoenice » Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:30 am

This is one of the few times that Claude Akins really scared me a little. I always liked him, I found him to be a very good actor, but at times, such as this, he could be frightening. And I agree with the other comments here about Ben and Adam's conversation. Had Joyce gotten a divorce, and married Ben, I got the feeling, too, that Adam was 100% behind him on it.
Wait a minute, wait a minute. What you're saying is that at your age, you don't know the difference between a girl and a horse?

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Re: Episode 36 - THE MILL

Post by makedonaki » Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:14 am

It is abdolutely one of my favourite episodes!
Why?
The answer is obvious....Adam is really attractive..and those arms.....!
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Re: Episode 36 - THE MILL

Post by Drifter » Sat Mar 02, 2019 5:44 pm

Ok, what’s not to like about Adam hard at work and utilizing his Engineering skills? That and watching the family pitch in to create the mill was worth watching.

The rest, eh, I could live live without. Joyce clearly went to the Cartwrights to “escape,” even though she kept insisting she didn’t intend to stay and had to leave. C’mon you came all that way. You wanted some refuge. Nit that I can blame her.

I think Joyce really just wanted someone to talk to, and she trusted Ben. Problem weasel while Ben was a friend, he really had feelings for her, which made for a messy situation. There was definitely an emotional affair developing whether realized or not, and I would say this is one of the few times Ben slips in judgement. Yet I’m not saying I expect Ben to be perfect. There are things one never believes they would do until putting themselves in vulnerable situations before things get out of hand.

I think Adam was doing his part to be supportive and definitely like Joyce if were to have another stepmother. But after Pa left, you could still see he was uncomfortable with the situation with the timing being off (Joyce still being married, and his father showing himself as vulnerable to something he wouldn’t advise for his sons).

I suspect Joyce left out if the grief, with all the dramatic events taking place, not to mention perhaps some guilt over likely being in love/wanting to be with Ben despite being married at the time. She would see Ben, that house, that mill, if they were to remain and relive the drama over again I suppose, in her mind.

And yes, Claude Akins is so despicable in this role, I would’ve conked him over the head with a gun and left before remaining in that house any longer!
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Re: Episode 36 - THE MILL

Post by RedShirt » Sun Mar 03, 2019 3:39 am

Rewatching this I was struck anew by how versatile Claude Akins really was as an actor -- I remember him best as "Sonny," the truck driver from "Movin' On," but he was probably better known for the lead in The Adventures of Sheriff Lobo, a spin-off from Greg Evigan's BJ and the Bear. I think I remember seeing him on the Andy Griffith show a time or two, as well.

That sly number he does on what a good-looking boy Adam is ... is downright creepy, especially when it's not Adam who's the object of Joyce's growing, um, fascination? infatuation? affections, anyhow.
And it's doubly disturbing to realize he's trying to poison Joyce's husband against Adam when there's really approximately zero mutual interest between those two. I guess the writers figured the very idea that Joyce and Ben might mutually fall for one another wouldn't occur to somebody who kind of had his own designs on Joyce (you can see that in some of the second half of the episode, and at that point Claude Akins really does show off his skills at playing a bad guy).
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Re: Episode 36 - THE MILL

Post by Sahra » Tue Mar 24, 2020 5:52 pm

I watched this episode expecting it to be an Adam-centered episode. In a brief synopsis it said that Adam did both the blueprints for a watermill and then rolled up his sleeves and worked on it with the rest. Well, that part was true, and, as I had expected, the others tease him about being "the professor". But Adam is always great at demonstrating that he's a laborer like everybody else on the Ponderosa. Being an academic makes you neither delicate nor a loafer.
Unfortunately, the episode exploits a stereotype, and that's paraplegia as a reason for being bitter and potentially dangerous. It's a trope that used to be incredibly common and didn't start to disappear in the media until the 1990s. We've come a long way, thankfully.

Now...as I said, I was expecting an Adam-centered episode and ended up with a Ben-centered episode. The Cartwright patriarch, a man of strong morals who won't let Hoss eat with his mouthful is having an emotional affair with a married woman. Interesting, I thought, and I was itching to see their first kiss. It was only a question of time, given how close they were. That scene when they are picking grapes, for example. I don't know if the scriptwriter thought the same, but I was thinking of a vineyard used as an allegory for any place you can have sex. Now, of course, they were only picking grapes, but when Ben grabbed her by the shoulders, it looked first like he was going to kiss her, then he backpedaled by turning it into a protective gesture and said something to the effect of wanting her to be safe. Then, within a few seconds, it turned into a romantic situation again.

The thing with adultery is that we all consider ourselves incapable of it -- until we've done it for the first time. Then you realize that it's surprisingly easy. I think it's those very people who are unfamiliar with the concept who allow an emotional affair to go on for quite a long time because they think they are incapable of actually doing the deed. Except, as I said, it's easy.

I wonder if the mill will make a cameo in a later episode or if it will be forgotten.

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Re: Episode 36 - THE MILL

Post by daisy60 » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:15 pm

There were some innuendoes here but this was supposed to be a family show! I started watching as a 7, almost 8yr. old in 1959 and was immediately captivated by Little Joe [ and his horse!] I always watched with my parents right there. :laughing

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Re: Episode 36 - THE MILL

Post by Sahra » Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:50 am

@daisy60 I don't think my parents would have let me watch something like that. In a twist of irony, my mother watched Bonanza as a child, her parents were more lenient. However, when I was 7 -- or 8, for that matter, I was only allowed to watch Sesame Street with my younger siblings. No innuendo on that show, to the best of my recollection.

Even without watching Bonanza, I kept pestering my father to buy a Western saddle. There were always ads for them in the same magazines that advertised studs (often with pictures!) and they looked great. But they also came with huge price tags. However, there was at least one household in the vicinity that had one, and I found that riding with your legs hanging down all the way looked really cool. I only knew the classical ("English") riding style which requires the stirrups to be slightly above ankle length if you let your legs hang down freely. You then get into the stirrups with the first third of your foot, press down your heel and turn the tip of the feet outward. This posture has a lot of advantages. You are able to give more nuanced hints and it facilitates riding fast because your gravitational point is more to the front -- but being a cowboy is neither about dressage nor riding fast, it's about being on horseback for hours and hours and hours.

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Re: Episode 36 - THE MILL

Post by daisy60 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:45 am

My kids watched Sesame Street but it hadn't started yet in 1959 when I was 7 or 8. There were some cartoons, The Little Rascals and Sky King. At night there were a lot of westerns but Bonanza stood out and my dad loved the show. We usually watched what he wanted! :laughing

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Re: Episode 36 - THE MILL

Post by Sahra » Wed Mar 25, 2020 5:03 am

My father was more into association football (soccer) and show jumping. We sometimes watched that on TV.

Returning to the underlying subject of the episode: I once had an interesting discussion with an older man about infidelity in TV shows. He was Italian-American and had very conservative views. I, as usual, talked freely. At one point, he said something that stuck with me. He said that men feel attracted to a woman by the degree they feel about themselves in the woman's presence.

While it is hinted that Ben had been carrying a torch for that woman for quite some time ("Old friends"...really?), throughout the episode he played the part of a protector and, indirectly provider, for her. The prince on a white horse, to put it in fairytale terms.
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Re: Episode 36 - THE MILL

Post by Adamant » Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:04 am

Sahra wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 5:52 pm
The thing with adultery is that we all consider ourselves incapable of it -- until we've done it for the first time. Then you realize that it's surprisingly easy. I think it's those very people who are unfamiliar with the concept who allow an emotional affair to go on for quite a long time because they think they are incapable of actually doing the deed. Except, as I said, it's easy.

I wonder if the mill will make a cameo in a later episode or if it will be forgotten.
I don't know if you're speaking from personal experience here, @Sahra , ("...as I said, it's easy.") but I heard once that "we" always know when we're doing the wrong thing, but never sure we're doing the right thing. Ben knows that having an "affair" with Joyce would be wrong--and there is often discussion about the lost time in the grape arbor, but what should he do? When Adam asks Ben about the rumor, Ben asks what Adam would think if it were true. Of, course, he says that she couldn't do any better (or something like that) and Ben thanks him. But once Ben rides away, Adam's face changes -- one can't give one's parent approval to walk into a hornet's nest.

But Joyce's life is miserable and Ezekiel only makes it more so. And if Joyce and Ben are in love, I can't blame her for seeing him as a way out. If they have a physical relationship or not is never clear but she definitely needs him to maintain her sanity.

And there are a few FF stories where the C's have an affair with a married woman -- I've written a few myself, but as with all of the stories, someone is in a loveless marriage; it's never just for a fling because the people involved are bored. Adultery is not a casual subject as there are too many people who can be injured.

And, @RedShirt, Claude Akins was never on The Andy Griffith Show although R.G. Armstrong was (who was a close friend of Griffith's) and so was Alan Hale, Jr.
Last edited by Adamant on Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:40 am, edited 2 times in total.
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