#50 - "Enemies and Brothers"
The Captain's previously unmentioned brother Frank was supposedly killed in the Civil War. However, unbeknownst to the Captain, Frank took the identity of slain hero Bart Cutler, leaving his papers on the body. Frank assumed Cutler's identity and became an outlaw wanted for murder on both sides of the border. Joe and Reese pin down the Cutler gang. The two men with him are killed while Cutler and his girlfriend escape. Meanwhile back in Laredo, Erik and Chad both claim to have ailments requiring the services of the new lady doctor in town.
While they are offering each other their excuses for needing a doctor, Captain Parmalee comes by and notes the presence of "Heaven's answer to the working girls." He guesses they are off to see the doctor because the smell of hair tonic is strong in the air. However, when Erik and Chad reach the doctor's office, they find the doctor in the arms of their Captain. He introduces her as the widow of his late brother.
Joe bursts into the office to let the Captain know Cutler seems to be heading toward Laredo while his girlfriend rode off in the other direction. As the Captain sends the Rangers out to cover the trails, Dr. Jessie finds her husband in the back office. It is clear she despises him. When he asks for money, she hands him her wedding band. At one point she slices him with a scalpel. She has only kept his secret so his family won't know he's a traitor and a coward. Their conversation indicated that both brothers loved her but she chose the wild one instead of "the saint." She continues to keep his secret because she doesn't want the Captain to have to kill his own brother.
When Frank leaves Laredo, he is apprehended by our four Rangers. But their glee at capturing him is dashed when he claims to be Frank Parmalee and Chad recognizes him from a picture the Captain showed him. Chad reminds them that Cutler is wanted in Mexico.
The boys "get lost" going back to Laredo and end up across the Rio Grande despite Reese's constant complaining that they are going the wrong way. A few shots at an imaginary rattlesnake brings a band of Federales who recognize Cutler and cart him off to a Mexican prison.
Back in Laredo, Captain Parmalee is talking with Jessie who apologizes for eloping with Frank. She acknowledges now, she chose shadow over substance. She indicates the intent to open a hospital on an Indian reservation so she'll feel useful. He senses there is something else she wants to tell him, but they're interrupted by the returning Rangers.
Before they can stop him, Reese tells a story about an Indian raiding party killing Cutler that is so ridiculous that the others know it will not be believed. Especially when the Captain gets a telegram from Mexico indicating that Bart Cutler escaped from a Mexican prison, killing two guards.
The next morning the Captain gets word that Cutler has robbed a bank, killing the manager and getting wounded in the process. He sends the Rangers out to hunt him down. He complains to Jessie that it almost seems as though they were protecting a killer. She suggests they might be protecting someone they love. He responds, "those four don't even like the same brand of whiskey."
In the barracks, the boys muse over whether they should tell the Captain about his brother. They argue about whose side Jessie is on. Joe is sure a fine woman like Jessie would never help a killer. Erik, whose experience with women is more eclectic, has his doubts. Chad wants to give her the benefit of the doubt. But either way someone has to keep an eye on Jessie in case Frank tries to get to her. Reese gets that job because he's supposed to be out checking with the Indians who supposedly killed Frank in case they were in on some kind of trick.
Meanwhile, Frank is badly hurt and his girlfriend Liza is worried. The rest of the gang is getting restless. They want to leave with their share of the money. They're worried that if he dies without telling where he's hidden the money, they'll be left empty-handed. Frank sends Liza into Laredo to get Jessie, at gunpoint.
When Reese tries to follow, he discovered by the Captain who wants to know why he's still in Laredo. Reese is further delayed when the Federales come into Laredo to ask Parmalee if he helped Cutler escape. His shocked reaction when they disclose Cutler is Frank Parmalee, tells them he was in the dark.
Chad, Joe and Erik lose Frank's trail, but spot the wagon carrying Jessie and Liza. They follow to the barn where Frank is holed up and figure how to collect the bad guys without hurting Jessie. Inside, Franks girlfriend has started to realize that Frank was only using her. He wants Jessie to come along with them.
When the gang comes out to find the money Frank hid, a shoot-out ensues. The Captain and Reese arrive in time to finish off the last of them. Over the objections of the men the Captain insists on trying to talk to Frank. He convinces Frank to surrender. But when he tosses his gun, Jessie cries out that he has another. Before the Captain has to shoot, Liza shoots him from behind.
After Jessie leaves for the reservation, the Captain lectures the Rangers on misplaced loyalty and their duty to the law. They're only fit for stable duty. But first, the drinks are on him.
NiteOwl Review: This episode made us realize just how little Philip Carey was used in Laredo. He has more screen time in this episode than any of the others. This was a pretty decent episode for the second year, although it was kind of a stretch everyone taking so many chances just to keep the Captain in the dark. It's interesting (to us anyway) that in Lawman, Marshal Dan Troop (Peter Brown's boss) had also lost the love of his life to a woman who loved Dan and his brother Clay equally but chose the outlaw brother over the straight-arrow good guy.
Cast Note: Jack Kelly was best known as Bart Maverick in Maverick.
Our Favorite Scene: We always like the scenes that let William Smith and Peter Brown show off a little. During the shoot-out with the gang, Peter got to perform one of his graceful jump, drop, roll and shoot maneuvers. Bill dropped off a steep hill and came up shooting. (We don't remember Robert Wolders ever doing anything resembling a stunt, unless kissing counts.)
The Rangers try to protect their Captain
from the knowledge his brother is a killer
Original air date Feb 17, 1967
Directed by Gene Nelson
Teleplay by Brian Barstu,
Tom Adair & John Elliotte
Neville Brand as Reese Bennett
Peter Brown as Chad Cooper
William Smith as Joe Riley
Robert Wolders as Erik Hunter
Phil Carey as Capt. Parmalee
Jack Kelly as Bart Cutler/Frank Parmalee
Mary Murphy as Jessica Boyd Parmalee
Barbara Werle as Liza Curtis
Ned Romero as Captain Montoya
Olive Dunbar as Widow Morton
Troy Melton as Lester
Chuck Bail as Duke
Fred Scheiwiller as Homer Grunch
Official Peter Brown Fan Site