In the opening scene, Fallon catches up with Garver, a wanted man, at a campfire. Garver raises his hands in surrender. Fallon shoots him dead then sits down to drink Garver's freshly poured cup of coffee.
Meanwhile back in Laramie, in what appears to be a filler scene, Johnny helps a couple of friends load their wagon. Just after they drive off, Fallon rides in with the body over the saddle. Johnny is wary, but Dan is plain hostile, having run into Fallon in Abilene. As Fallon collects his bounty, Dan asks if he's ever thought of bringing someone in alive. Fallon notes that the man who put out the poster wasn't particular. Dan makes it clear Fallon isn't wanted in Laramie, but Fallon says he plans to relax in town for a while.
Dan knows Fallon would stay around only for business and makes Fallon show him a wanted poster of a man wanted in North Platte for a $1500 robbery committed a year ago. Dan doesn't recognize the man, but it's clear from his reaction that Johnny does. And now we know that the wagon-loading scene wasn't filler. The man on the poster is the man in the wagon.
After Fallon leaves, Johnny voices his disgust over the kind of scum who collect rewards for shooting people. He argues that Dan should have locked up Fallon. Dan notes that Fallon hasn't broken any laws. "As long as these invitations go out, the bounty hunters are going to come to the picnic." Dan can tell something's bothering Johnny. He gets it out of him that the man on the poster looks like his friend Red Barrington. When Dan finds out Red bought a ranch a year previous for $1200, he points out the "coincidence." Johnny's worried that Dan is just going to sit there and let Fallon shoot Red. Johnny gets a determined look on his face and grabs his coat. He tells Dan he's not going to let a friend be shot down without a warning. Dan stops him and gives him a lecture on his obligations as a lawman. The only thing Johnny can do is agree to bring Red back for questioning.
Despite hostility from the other patrons, Fallon has has wormed information out of an old drunk about Barrington. He has to use his gun to get a recommendation for an eating establishment and is sent to Dru Lemp's. Fallon makes unwanted advances to Dru until Dan comes in and orders dinner as well. It is only after Fallon finally leaves that Dru notes that Dan has eaten a second dinner while his first one is still digesting.
Meanwhile, Johnny catches up with Red Barrington and his son Roy. He tells Red about the bounty hunter and says he has to take him in for questioning. Before Red can respond, Roy clubs Johnny with the handle of the buggy whip, knocking him out. But instead of taking the opportunity to get a head start to Montana, Red insists on taking Johnny back to Laramie to see a doctor.
Unfortunately, one of the first people they meet is Fallon who starts to walk Red at gunpoint to a waiting horse. Johnny manages to sit up long enough to claim that Red is his prisoner, but then collapses back into the wagon.
When someone finally locates Dan at Dru's place, they tell him they saw Fallon take Red away from his deputy. When Dan won't let Fallon leave, he draws.
Despite his head wound, Johnny is assigned to take Red to North Platte for trial. Dan tells him not to come back until he testifies as a character witness at trial. Johnny accepts Roy's apology for hitting him. In the end, Johnny drives off with Red and Dan gives Roy a reassuring fatherly arm on the shoulder.
NiteOwl Review: After a few generic episodes, it was nice to see an episode that was apparently written for the two Lawman characters. The script remembers that Johnny was raised in Laramie and so he recognizes the man on the wanted poster, while Dan is the new man in town, fresh from his marshal job in Abilene. This should have been the 4th episode.
Johnny visits with his friends Red and Roy Barrington
The face is unfamiliar to Dan
Johnny knows the face on the poster
He wants to help his friend
He gets a lecture from Dan
Dan lets Fallen know
Dru is not on the menu
Johnny tries to bring Barrington in for questioning
Roy hits Johnny and knocks him out
Johnny sits up to claim his prisoner then collapses
Always a mistake to draw against Marshal Troop
Johnny accepts Roy's apology
Johnny will testify as a
character witness at trial
Dan's affectionate gesture with Roy is interesting because despite the strong regard Dan and Johnny have for each other, the manly gestures of affection common on other westerns were rarely seen between the characters in Lawman. Even male-female affection was very rare.
Our Favorite Scene: When Johnny is set on warning his friend Red Barrington, Dan stops him. "No, you don't boy. Now you wanted this job pretty badly didn't you? You think any part of it is helping a wanted man escape? Maybe you just don't have what it takes to be a lawman after all. Law is the same for everybody. Friendships, enemies don't have anything to do with it. Now if you can't understand that, you'd better take your badge off right now." This was spoken pretty harshly. After a moment's silence, Dan does give Johnny an option preferable to letting Fallon shoot Red down. Bring him in himself.
Original air date Nov 16, 1958
Directed by Leslie M. Martinson
Written by Finlay McDermid
John Russell as Dan Troop
Peter Brown as Johnny McKay
Bek Nelson as Dru Lemp
Pat McVey as Red Barrington
Robert Wilke as Fallon
Russ Thorson as Wilson
Ralph Reed as Roy Barrington
Kelly Thordsen as Garver
I. Standford Jolley as Gil
Official Peter Brown Fan Site