Episode 143 - THE QUALITY OF MERCY

Bonanza Season 5 Episodes
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Re: Episode 143 - THE QUALITY OF MERCY

Post by bonanza1 » Sat Jul 23, 2016 11:30 am

I thought this episode had some great moments between Pa and Joe. Richard Rust and Mike were teamed up again too. I thought they were good together in Tom Dooley.

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Re: Episode 143 - THE QUALITY OF MERCY

Post by ljlover2001 » Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:04 am

I, too, feel it was the easier option making the 'mercy killing' a murder, instead.
And I also agree that Ben was rather hard on Joe, when it was obvious how upset and confused Joe was abut the whole matter.
Knowing how Seth ends up as a murderer, has affected how I write about him in my young Cartwright stories. I have him as Joe's friend, but always the one who is most inclined to lead them into trouble.
Love the scene with Joe and Adam, on the range, when Joe finally tells his big brother what really happened.
And the singing scene is such fun
Little Joe forever
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Re: Episode 143 - THE QUALITY OF MERCY

Post by emilysean » Mon Aug 01, 2016 5:58 pm

They definitely didn't want any one having second thoughts about if he was justified in putting him out of his misery.

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Re: Episode 143 - THE QUALITY OF MERCY

Post by Chenoa » Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:41 pm

elizabeth wrote:great comments. I agree that the writers/producers took the easy way out by making it murder rather than a mercy killing. the big 3 networks were the kings back in the 60s. what they wanted was the law, basically. and euthanasia (sp) would have been way to hot a topic in their opinions. who knows. maybe the writers were made to change the ending. I too think Ben was unusually hard on Joe about this one - he often tries to listen and advise if needed. however, because he was hard on him, it heightened the tension. I also thought Joe was talking about himself at first. I think possibly it was implied that Joe was realizing for the first time that he could be faced with that decision in regards to his family members, and what would they want him to do.
I did not see this possibility before, but I think you are right, Elisabeth, in saying that Joe might be realizing how he could get in the same situation with his own family only too easily.
About Ben being rather firm in this matter; I am sure he knows how serious this subject is, and according to what he tells Joe, he has been in similar situations himself, so he´s probably thought about it a lot before and made a decision as to how to handle such a situation.
He´s aware how hard this can be, but giving up is not like him, so he wants to fight and give life and survival every chance, and since Joe is so insecure he tries to convey to him that it is tough, probably even harder that letting go, but that he must be strong and try to preserve life.
Not a light episode, but just because of that (and a great JPM) one of my favourites.
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Re: Episode 143 - THE QUALITY OF MERCY

Post by elizabeth » Tue Aug 02, 2016 6:34 pm

I agree with everything you wrote, Chenoa. I know so little about that time period. This might have been set post-Civil War. Certainly, the issue of mercy killings during and post-war would have been a familiar one. However, the writers were speaking to 1950-60's USA, when people were living longer and longer, and quality of life was coming into awareness. I think Ben's insistence on life over death is very important.
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Re: Episode 143 - THE QUALITY OF MERCY

Post by torie » Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:52 pm

I saw this episode one time and I thought it sounded like it was talking about mercy killing. Personally I only think mercy killing should be for cats or dogs only, not people. If we start doing that to people that's murder. I remember thinking that when I watched "Shindler's List" last year and the Jewish doctors poisoned the patients who couldn't walk. They thought the Nazi's would kill them anyway, but I remember thinking that God could have delivered them and they shouldn't have had to do that. But yeah, Michael Landon did a lot of controversy in his shows. "Little House" dealt with alcoholism, child abuse, and rape.

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Re: Episode 143 - THE QUALITY OF MERCY

Post by ansinico » Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:43 pm

It is with interest I read the comments. Alike with you all I found the topic of this episode controversial. Ben and Adam's assertiveness of Joe's failure to decide between 'right and wrong' is of course, strong. I always thought that Hoss could've and should've played a bigger part in this episode. I feel Hoss, as not only Joe's brother but his best friend and confidant and Hoss' down-to-earth, homespun common sense would've had more of an impact on his little brother. I am at the moment in the process of writing a WHN or WHI regarding this episode and the input in this thread is, to say the least, more than helpful.
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Re: Episode 143 - THE QUALITY OF MERCY

Post by Threem » Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:25 pm

Just saw Nancy Rennick on an old b/w ep of 'Gunsmoke'. I knew I'd seen that face somewhere before!
Love him forever....

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Re: Episode 143 - THE QUALITY OF MERCY

Post by Adamant » Fri Aug 12, 2016 12:32 pm

One thing that bothers me about this episode is that Seth who Joe has known all his life, would suddenly become capable of murdering out of avarice; that stretches all credibility in my book. No one turns into a cold-blooded murderer over one incident. But that had to be the way out of a convoluted episode--we had to hate Seth.

As for Joe's dilemma, he should have gone to the sheriff whether Seth would go with him or not, but that would have precluded the plot. Mercy killing is a serious issue and I'm going to assume that the main issue of the plot was mercy killing. Of course, I think it's wrong in general but I have found that there are many things that I said I would never do in my life that I ended up doing because you never know what you'll do until it comes up. A light example is that B/C, I would see annoying, whining, crying, temper-tantrum throwing children in the grocery store and elsewhere and I would either think or say to the person with me, "My children would NEVER behave that way." And yeah, they did. My daughter had a complete meltdown in the middle of Publix because I wouldn't buy a cereal that had a miniature My Little Pony inside. Then she puked.

A movie I saw, Dead Presidents, was partly about Viet Nam and one soldier was burned completely and screaming in agony--no chopper to take him out. He begged for another soldier to shoot him because he was in such excruciating pain. And his friend did. In the context, I felt it was merciful. Circumstances are everything, IMO. But perhaps too controversial for the 60's but that was the era of Viet Nam.
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Re: Episode 143 - THE QUALITY OF MERCY

Post by Calamity » Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:53 pm

Adamant wrote: But perhaps too controversial for the 60's but that was the era of Viet Nam.
It is still controversial and still a violation of the Geneva Convention. I suspect that is why Ben had to take so firm a stand. This was a topic for a senior psychology class on death and dying but I don't remember all of the facts. Perhaps it was all best summed up by a WWII soldier who said that someone who wasn't there had no right to judge. Pretty heavy stuff.
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