Writer: Mort Thaw Director: William F. Claxton
Guest Stars: Liam Sullivan (Terrence O’Toole), Margaret Mahoney (Molly), Tim McIntire (Jeb), Ray Teal (Roy Coffee), Paul Birch (Porter), Paul Genge (Judge), Bern Hoffman (Bartender), Robert Carson (Jury Foreman)
Air Date: 2 January 1966
Jury duty again for a Cartwright and this time it is Joe. Just like his brother Hoss in the season 4 episode The Jury, Joe is the only hold-out in a jury that has voted unanimously to find out Terence O’Toole guilty of murder. Joe wants to make sure that the decision he makes is one that he can live but he eventually decides to agree with the others.
The main problem for Joe is that the evidence points to O’Toole killing Fred Dimmer over $400. When O’Toole was arrested he was found with $400 on him, which he said was his own money that he had been saving up so that he could go back to Ireland. The fact that the billfold that held the money is still missing is causing Joe to have doubts.
After the trial, Joe still has doubts and so he begins an investigation of his own by talking to O’Toole and to the murdered man’s family. He goes to Ben for advice and Ben tells that it is okay to have second thoughts about a decision. Ben also realises that he has grown up sons and that they have grown up problems that they have to solve on their own.
In an effort to ease his conscious, Joe goes to the Virginia City Jail to talk to O’Toole. The Irishman refuses to ease Joe’s conscious by insisting that he is innocent. Joe leaves feeling more unsure than he did before. He heads over to the saloon to drown his sorrows.
When he gets to the saloon, he notices Dimmer’s son, Jeb playing poker. The bartender tells him that Jeb has been losing heavily but always comes back with more money. Joe attempts to question Jeb about this but the man tells Joe that it is none of his business.
Later that day, Joe goes to Dimmer’s ranch to talk to the man’s widow, Molly who is unwilling to answer any questions. She explains that she both Fred and her step-son Jeb only thought of her as a housekeeper. Finding out nothing, Joe leaves and soon after he does, Jeb arrives home.
It seems that both Jeb and Molly have secrets. Jeb knows that Molly has been secretly seeing O’Toole and Molly knows where Jeb got the money from. They both agree to keep quiet and Jeb leaves unaware that Joe (who evidently had decided to keep any eye on the ranch for a little while) is following him. Eventually, Joe sees Jeb throwing something away and to his surprise it is the missing billfold. Happy that is has found the evidence to prove O’Toole innocent, Joe heads back to town.
Meanwhile, O’Toole not wanting to make the trip to Carson City for his date with the hangman’s noose has knocked out Roy Coffee and is making his escape when he is spotted by some townsmen. They shoot at O’Toole with one of Jeb’s bullets finding its mark in O’Toole’s shoulder. When Joe arrives back in town he is told what has happened and that a posse is now after O’Toole
O’Toole makes his way to Dimmer’s ranch and asks Molly for help. We find out that Molly and O’Toole have a past in Dublin and that he regrets the decision he made back then. Joe arrives and tells Molly that he has found the evidence that proves O’Toole is innocent. However, Joe finds out that all is not what it seems before the episode ends in tragic consequences.
The Dublin Lad is an episode that mainly focuses on Joe’s troubles and how he deals with them. Hoss is left in the background, adding tiles to the barn (mostly off-screen) for most of the episode. Ben’s purpose in the episode is to offer the customary fatherly advice. The story of O’Toole serves mainly as the purpose of giving Joe a problem to solve.
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