Powerful entry. Writer Meston again shows the disturbing effects of homesteading on the prairie. Matt takes Kitty to a homestead after she has fallen from her horse. There they encounter a family clearly suffering from frontier isolation. This is poverty on the prairie, in spades. Mom, Dad and son Lootie look like they've been clothed in Salvation Army rejects, and as Mom says, water's too valuable to waste on washing. Obviously, the isolation has caused mental problems for Lootie who's likely never seen a young woman like Kitty. At the same time, Dad takes his frustrations out by beating his wife who bears up by accepting her lot in stoical fashion. What a long way this grim portrait is from the romanticized settlers of other westerns of the day.
There's an undercurrent of tragedy here. It's especially the case with the haggard looking Seymour as the mother. With her, Meston again shows his rare sensitivity toward the hardships of frontier women. On the other hand, catch the amusing exchange at entry's start between Doc and Chester. It's so well acted and scripted. Anyway, this is the kind of entry that established the series' classic reputation, leaving the viewer with a vivid emotional experience.
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