Episode 86 - THE AULD SOD

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Episode 86 - THE AULD SOD

Post by Episode Guide » Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:56 am

Date: February 4, 1962

Summary: Danny Lynch, Virginia City’s resident lush, has been writing to his dear old mother in Ireland for years, telling her that he is a wealthy rancher. To his dismay, Nellie Lynch shows up, without warning. For the sake of dear old “Darby”, Ben allows Danny to pretend that the Ponderosa belongs to him and that the Cartwrights are the hired hands.

Written by: Charles Lang
Directed by: William Witney
Guest Stars: Danny Lynch...James Dunn Nellie Lynch...Cheerio Meredith Higgins...Jeff De Benning Howie...Howard Wright Roy Coffee...Ray Teal Mr. Riley...Keith Richards Telegrapher...Norman Leavitt Bartender...Cosmo Sardo...(uncredited) Bill Clark...(uncredited extra)

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Re: Episode 86 - THE AULD SOD

Post by January » Tue May 23, 2017 7:50 pm

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In The Auld Sod, Ben does a wonderful thing for an old lady. He allows her the chance to believe that her son is a successful man that he has told her he is. But did Ben do the right thing by perpetuating a lie? In the beginning, it certainly didn't teach Danny a lesson; instead he just took advantage of the situation.

We got some great family moments because of the situation, and the boys just added to the lie, but in reality ... was it the right thing to do? In other words, did the end justify the means? And by the way, how did that little old lady get Hoss out of the well. :wink

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Re: Episode 86 - THE AULD SOD

Post by daisy60 » Wed May 24, 2017 2:13 am

This is a great episode from the beginning when Adam and Joe wet their fingers so their matches burn slower than Hoss's, Hoss falling in the well and helped out by little, old Nellie Lynch right down to the party where Danny has suddenly become dependable and works hard to pay his mom back the money he took so she can go home to Ireland.

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Re: Episode 86 - THE AULD SOD

Post by BensReader » Wed May 24, 2017 9:16 am

Good question. Was it right to let Nellie Lynch believe her son was that successful? As time went on, Nellie Lynch, being the very savvy Irish mother that she was, figured out that her son really was a failure, and that he didn't own the Ponderosa. She was a sweet lady who saw the kindness the Cartwrights had shown to her, and was as astounded, as were the others, when Danny came strutting into the house with enough money to get him and his mother on the ship back to Ireland. Now, we all wonder if their fish and chips business was a success after their return to Ireland.
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Re: Episode 86 - THE AULD SOD

Post by PJudith » Wed May 24, 2017 10:21 am

A warm and funny episode which shows Hoss at his kindhearted best. He wasn't so concerned for Danny Lynch as much as he was for Danny's mother. He wanted Nellie Lynch to have a happy reunion with her son.

The only problem I had with this episode was Nellie's "passage money" to return to Ireland. Seriously, at her age would she be taking on such an arduous journey BACK to Ireland? We think of travel as hopping on a jet or taking a cruise ship across the Atlantic.

In that day, Nellie's trip would have been long and uncomfortable. First, a long trip across the ocean and then crossing the country by train and stagecoach to arrive in Virginia City. It would have taken her months. People simply didn't make 'pleasure trips' like that back in the 1860's. If an elderly Nellie undertook such a long journey it would likely have been with the intent to stay with her son.

I know that the idea was for Danny to gamble away her money and then later redeem himself. But he could have just as easily gambled away her money to buy a house and settle in Virginia City. She seemed like the independent type who wouldn't expect her son to support her. I just don't see someone Nellie's age coming to America for a "vacation" and then crossing the continent to go back home. Sorry!

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Re: Episode 86 - THE AULD SOD

Post by ellen » Wed May 24, 2017 10:23 am

BensReader wrote:Good question. Was it right to let Nellie Lynch believe her son was that successful? As time went on, Nellie Lynch, being the very savvy Irish mother that she was, figured out that her son really was a failure, and that he didn't own the Ponderosa. She was a sweet lady who saw the kindness the Cartwrights had shown to her, and was as astounded, as were the others, when Danny came strutting into the house with enough money to get him and his mother on the ship back to Ireland. Now, we all wonder if their fish and chips business was a success after their return to Ireland.
I don't know if it was right, but it wasn't a very smart thing to do. The Cartwrights and the Ponderosa were a huge part of Virginia City; the idea that this secret could be kept for any length of time was ridiculous.
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Re: Episode 86 - THE AULD SOD

Post by Adamant » Wed May 24, 2017 10:58 am

This episode annoys me on many levels. I can't see Ben or Adam going along with the pretense that Danny was the owner of the Ponderosa. I'm always reminded of the line in "Loves Me Not" about the pain felt in immediately telling the truth is less than the pain of the truth deferred.

And when Danny pours himself the brandy, although it's for humorous effect, I can't see Ben allowing it. I know he registers that he is furious but, really? The whole episode, beginning with Hoss falling in the well, is ridiculous--funny but highly improbable. And as big as Hoss is, little Nellie Lynch pulled him from the well? (Where is Lassie when you need her?)

But the episode has a feel-good ending and a well-known guest star, Jams Dunn, at least to the audiences of that time. And he is an excellent actor, especially when he's on the verge of tears--he is so convincing and his acting is effortless. I would imagine that the actors--all of them--appreciated Dunn's subtle acting skills. As for Nellie, well, gotta love her! She trudged on even knowing her son was a drunk like his father. (It does show Irishmen in a poor light but the Irish do/did have a reputation as drunks. Whether it's deserved or not, I don't know. I do know that Richard Harris and Peter O'Toole often used their Irish roots as excuses--humorously so--for their weakness for alcohol.)
Last edited by Adamant on Thu May 25, 2017 5:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Episode 86 - THE AULD SOD

Post by Cartwright fan. » Wed May 24, 2017 11:24 am

I think this episode is best watched if you don't take anything too seriously, and don't pay close attention to all the little nuances. Because if you hash out the "right and wrong" and the, "could this really happen", then you end up like me; paranoid. :laughing

But I've just realized that the real question to ask is not how Mrs. Lynch got Hoss out of the well, but as to how Hoss didn't get hurt when the "beam" or whatever you want to call it, broke off and fell in after him. Logic dictates that the wood would be heavy, and there isn't much room for it to miss Hoss in that skinny well, so did Hoss get brained or what? :shrug (and why did we have a beam that would break off that cleanly on there in the first place?)

As for HOW Mrs. Lynch got Hoss out of the well, there are numerous possibilities. Hoss could've told her to get a rope and tie it off so he could pull himself out, or she could've done as Linda in "Gift of Water" did, where she got a horse and a rope and had it pull Hoss out. And I don't mean she mounts the horse, but leads it along. Just a few thoughts.

I really didn't like Danny that much, but James Dunn did do a tremendous job of acting. I have no idea if the man really was Irish and if he had an accent, but he did pretty well on faking it if he wasn't/didn't.

But should the Cartwrights have let Danny pretend? No, probably not. But you kinda have to consider the why. They did it so they hopefully wouldn't break poor Mrs. Lynch's heart, and even though I would say they shouldn't have done it at all, they did have good motives behind them. (misplaced, but good. It's why we love 'em. :yes)

So, the episode might be "bad" if you watch it for the logicality of the content, but if you just watch it with the mind of a child, purely for entertainment, then it is an enjoyable episode. :thumbup
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Re: Episode 86 - THE AULD SOD

Post by littlejoenice » Wed May 24, 2017 3:13 pm

I guess I'm one of the ones that really enjoyed this episode, right from beginning to end. I thought it was sweet of the Cartwrights to play along with Danny's crazy scheme. I could tell that at times both Ben and Adam were very annoyed at this game, but it was all they do. I mean, after all, not one of them would have it in them to break the heart of a little old lady like Nellie Lynch.

Another reason I liked it so much is because I liked James Dunn. He was a terrific actor, and in this episode, very sweet. The way he "reformed" after being caught trying to sell Ben's prize bull was wonderful. Love for his mother outweighed everything else.
But I think my two favorite parts are these: the part where Joe runs into his room and comes racing right back out again, telling his father that there was "someone sleeping his bed." It reminded me so much of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. (However, in this case, I think it would have to be rightly called, "Nellie Lynch and the Four Cartwrights :laughing )

My second favorite part is where Ben is at the jail, asking Danny if he'd like to see his mother again. Danny laughs and says he would, but he can't rightly go all the way to Ireland. Ben's response. "Your mother's not in Ireland," and then he reveals exactly where she is.

It was a sweet episode, but there's one thing that's left to the imagination. It's something that I've always wondered about, as I'm sure many of you have also. Exactly how did Nellie manage to pull Hoss out of that well?
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Re: Episode 86 - THE AULD SOD

Post by Julianna » Wed May 24, 2017 11:14 pm

Cartwright fan. wrote:I think this episode is best watched if you don't take anything too seriously, and don't pay close attention to all the little nuances. James Dunn did do a tremendous job of acting. I have no idea if the man really was Irish and if he had an accent, but he did pretty well on faking it if he wasn't/didn't.
James Dunn was born in NY, NY. He won an academy award for supporting actor in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I know him from his performances with Shirley Temple in 4 of her films, the best of which was Bright Eyes. He had no Irish accent--that was acting!
I really like this episode. It is one of those episodes that is really about someone other than the Cartwrights. I think it is one of the best of that kind of episodes. It is a humorous yet serious in parts. I love Joe and Adam's tricks with the matches and their winks! :wink Also funny was Joe and Adam getting Pa to open her suitcase and her smacking big Ben Cartwright with her cane! All 3 men looked scared of her! I thought it was great that Adam supported Hoss and questioned Pa why he didn't go in and tell Mrs. Lynch the truth! As far as Hoss and the well, why couldn't she get a rope from the barn and either tie it on a horse like someone else here suggested or a big tree trunk and Hoss could have pulled himself out. If you can believe that people riding at full gallop on a horse can shoot straight to hit their targets you can suspend belief to think Nellie helped Hoss. I like how all the Cartwrights seem to get equal screen time and seemed to enjoy this episode. A happy ending with Danny Lynch is turning over a new Leaf is a plus. Mr. Dunn did pass away 5 years after this episode was aired. :adam :hoss :joe :ben :wink
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