Episode 254 - BLACK FRIDAY

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Episode 254 - BLACK FRIDAY

Post by Episode Guide » Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:27 am

Date: January 22, 1967

Summary: Joe meets up with a former Ponderosa ranch hand, Friday, who is now a gunfighter. The man is ill and Joe looks after him, only to discover that the man is taking part in a gunfight at the end of the week.

Written by: Herbert Kastle, John Hawkins
Directed by: William F Claxton
Guest Stars: John Saxon as Friday, Ford Rainey as the judge.

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Re: Episode 254 - BLACK FRIDAY

Post by Sharry » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:20 pm

I watched this episode today. I'm not entirely sure if I had seen the whole thing all the way through before - I may have.

One of the most striking things for me was that I had blinked (or something) and Joe had completely grown up when this episode was made. That's not entirely fair, but he was so young when the show began that he ages quite noticeably after season 6.

He's very mature, capable, unafraid, and determined from the opening scenes to the end of the story. I like seeing him like this. :grin :clap
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Re: Episode 254 - BLACK FRIDAY

Post by daisy60 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:27 am

Sharry wrote:I watched this episode today. I'm not entirely sure if I had seen the whole thing all the way through before - I may have.

One of the most striking things for me was that I had blinked (or something) and Joe had completely grown up when this episode was made. That's not entirely fair, but he was so young when the show began that he ages quite noticeably after season 6.

He's very mature, capable, unafraid, and determined from the opening scenes to the end of the story. I like seeing him like this. :grin :clap

After 14 years on Bonanza, Michael wasn't 'Little Joe' anymore but much more mature, able to handle most things by himself. He had a sense of what was right and what was wrong. He never lost his sense of humor or his giggle though. :laughing John Saxon did a wonderful job as an ill gunfighter. Michael wrote the ending scene of the gunfight and a gun with no bullets. :shoot1
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Re: Episode 254 - BLACK FRIDAY

Post by Jim Barnsby » Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:30 am

Four years and someone wants to discuss Black Friday...finally!!!

For my money, this is season 8's best episode. Great performances, atmosphere, and a "nobody wins" ending that's as bleak as anything any show ever did, especially in a show from the 1960s.

James Davidson (Cole Berry) and Robert Phillips (Nate Jakes) were excellent in this. The established killer (Jakes) and the ambitious upstart (Berry) metaphorically circle one another throughout this episode, making their sub-plot a noteworthy addition to an already tense episode. Robert Phillips was a 1960s mainstay in TV Westerns, but this is the best I've ever seen him. James Davidson should have had a much more prolific TV career, as he is also superb. He reminds me of another "angelic" blonde actor, Andrew Robinson from S14's "Forever."

Joe fans must make "Black Friday" a viewing priority--just make sure you're not trampled in the stampede to post your thoughts in this topic! ("Black Friday"...get it?)
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Re: Episode 254 - BLACK FRIDAY

Post by littlejoenice » Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:18 am

I watched this episode for the first time on Saturday night, and I must say, it was an incredible performance. John Saxon was a handsome guest, and I always like to see Ford Rainey in any role. He was so good at the characters he played. Joe's attitude and loyalty towards his friend is natural, even risking his life in order for Friday to have food, water, and medicine. I think my favorite part, though, had to be the end after Friday dies, and Joe looks up at Cole Berry, who now has the gunfighter's reputation.

Friday didn't even have any bullets in his gun, and Berry still went through with it. In a way, I think Friday wanted to die. He was tired of people coming along, always challenging him, wanting to outshoot him and not making it. So sad.
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Re: Episode 254 - BLACK FRIDAY

Post by Jim Barnsby » Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:17 pm

littlejoenice wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:18 am
I watched this episode for the first time on Saturday night, and I must say, it was an incredible performance. John Saxon was a handsome guest, and I always like to see Ford Rainey in any role. He was so good at the characters he played. Joe's attitude and loyalty towards his friend is natural, even risking his life in order for Friday to have food, water, and medicine. I think my favorite part, though, had to be the end after Friday dies, and Joe looks up at Cole Berry, who now has the gunfighter's reputation.
John Saxon imo began as one of many "would-be" Marlon Brando-style actors in the late 1950s. If you watch lots of late-50s, early-60s TV series, you'll see many tepid Brando wannabes. However, John Saxon would not be one of them even though he even has a voice similar to Brando's, but Saxon worked like mad for decades and not always in the best productions, but he was always interesting to watch. John Saxon could play a wide range of roles and he was quite effective.
littlejoenice wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:18 am
Friday didn't even have any bullets in his gun, and Berry still went through with it. In a way, I think Friday wanted to die. He was tired of people coming along, always challenging him, wanting to outshoot him and not making it. So sad.
Like you stated above, Cole Berry now has the burden of a gunfighter's reputation, a western trope that was memorably used in Gregory Peck's film The Gunfighter and much later in Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven. I daresay that "Black Friday" is a worthy TV entry using this storyline.

Joe was a helpless bystander throughout all this, but such was his decency and need to help Friday that he had to do whatever he could even though it was all in vain. It's the kind of experience that Joe kept with him all his years (Bonanza continuity be darned :laughing )

"Black Friday" is an unheralded Bonanza masterpiece.
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Re: Episode 254 - BLACK FRIDAY

Post by Adamant » Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:06 am

Jim Barnsby wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:17 pm


John Saxon imo began as one of many "would-be" Marlon Brando-style actors in the late 1950s. If you watch lots of late-50s, early-60s TV series, you'll see many tepid Brando wannabes. However, John Saxon would not be one of them even though he even has a voice similar to Brando's, but Saxon worked like mad for decades and not always in the best productions, but he was always interesting to watch. John Saxon could play a wide range of roles and he was quite effective.
Saxon even showed up on The Mary Tyler Moore Show as Phyllis Lindstrom's erstwhile date for cultural events. He has the exotc looks tht Brando lacked but the same sensuous mouth and eyes that could make a woman melt. I often wondered if Landon or PR felt threatened by Brando and/or James Dean. Even Vic Morrow acted in the same style as those two and came close to being an idol.
Jim Barnsby wrote:Cole Berry now has the burden of a gunfighter's reputation, a western trope that was memorably used in Gregory Peck's film The Gunfighter and much later in Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven. I daresay that "Black Friday" is a worthy TV entry using this storyline.

Joe was a helpless bystander throughout all this, but such was his decency and need to help Friday that he had to do whatever he could even though it was all in vain. It's the kind of experience that Joe kept with him all his years (Bonanza continuity be darned :laughing )

"Black Friday" is an unheralded Bonanza masterpiece.
This is a well-done episode; the "Fastest Gun" reputation has taken its toll on Saxon's character and if he has to die to keep from being pursued by wannabees, then he will do so. And Joe is to be pitied as he, as you say, was a helpless bystander who had to watch. A bit like Adam in "Broken Ballad" who has to watch as Culp's character is basically murdered before his eyes. And Culp's only response is that Billy was faster.
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Re: Episode 254 - BLACK FRIDAY

Post by Jim Barnsby » Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:12 am

Despite the fact that this episode features shirtless Joe and shaving Joe, "Black Friday" doesn't seem to garner much comment here, or maybe it does in the eye candy threads.

The episode itself, while a Joe solo adventure, doesn't allow him to "save the day", which would have tainted the power of the episode itself. Sometimes the hero must lose one now and again, as Joe does in "Black Friday" with its downbeat conclusion.

Once again: this one has my highest recommndation.

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