Brothers Hoss (Dan Blocker) and Little Joe (Michael Landon) arrive in a
sleepy little Texas town just to stay overnight - but for some reason
everybody thinks they are the Slade brothers, notorious gunmen hired by
Alonzo McFadden (Douglas Spencer), to help him in his feud against the
Hadfields, and when Hoss and Joe finally want to move on the next day,
they walk into an ambush, are made prisoners by a lynch mob and the local
sheriff (Henry Hull) can only just save their necks for the time being by
throwing them into jail. Then though, Hoss and Joe are broken free from
jail by the McFaddens, but that's when their troubles really start because
the McFaddens won't even think about letting them move on but instead
insist that they do what they (actually, the Slade boys) were hired for:
Kill as many Hadfields as possible.
Soon enough the town prepares for a showdown between the McFaddens and
the Hadfields which Hoss and Little Joe don't want to be any part of, but
everyone else sees them as the main attraction - only the sheriff turns
out to be on their side, unexpectedly, because he's the only one who does
not believe they are the Slade boys, and between the three of them, they
come up with a plan to use bible thumping Lorna (Ellen Corby) and her
circle of women to prevent a blood bath in the nick of time and force the
McFaddens and the Hadfields to make peace.
Hoss and Little Joe get away from the village just in time because all
of a sudden, the McFaddens and the Hadfields decide to put the blame for
everything on the Slade boys. Interestingly enough, at exactly this
time, the real Slade boys (also played by Blocker and Landon) enter town
and ... ouch.
Basically, like many other Western series, Bonanza was
just a watered down version of the B-Western from 20 to 30 years ago, it's
your typical formula Western but lacking the action and inventiveness of
the gest of its kind. That said though, this episode is one of the better
of the series, it's quite amusing in its own way and lacks messages about
good fathering that were imminent in especially later episodes of the
series. Mildly entertaining, but nothing great.