Episode 101 - THE FIRST BORN

Bonanza Season 4 Episodes
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Re: Episode 101 - THE FIRST BORN

Post by PJudith » Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:33 pm

Well, not a permanent member of the family on the Ponderosa, but it would have made for some interesting stories if Clay made an appearance every now and then.

Obviously Clay was NOT a Cartwright, Ben wasn't his father who raised him so it's not strange that he was different from the other sons. But he was Joe's brother. And he was the son of a woman Ben loved. I can't imagine that he would reject Marie's son.

Joe lost his mother and Clay was his one link to her. I don't think Joe would've rebelled and gone off to do wild and crazy things. He just wanted to know his sibling. In time I think Adam and Hoss would have come to care about Clay because he was part of their little brother's family.

I think Clay's one bad influence on Joe was getting him drunk on pulque! :grin I read about it and I can't understand who would want to drink it! It's fermented from the agave plant and "has a sour yeast like taste." Yuck! Give me a nice Chardonnay.

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Re: Episode 101 - THE FIRST BORN

Post by littlejoenice » Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:42 pm

OK, first off, Clay didn't strike me as the Cartwright type, so definitely Little Joe would have to be my pick. Clay didn't seem like the type of person that would fit in. From the information that I gathered about his character, he was reckless, irresponsible, a drifter.
Even though he was Joe's half-brother, he seemed like more of a trouble-making type to me, and personally, I think if he'd have stayed on, it would've messed things up.
Considering the way he and Joe seemed to hit it off, it just didn't seem...natural. The Cartwrights were sometimes kind of wary of newcomers, particularly when told that a visitor happened to be related to them.

I think if a vote was taken, Joe would be voted most likely to wind up in jail the most number of times, and if Clay was there, they probably both would've gotten into so much trouble that Ben would've had to bail them both out, and most episodes afterward would've focused more on the two of them and their "shenanigans" if I may, rather than the Cartwright family as a whole.\

Also, the information given here, and the facts given in Marie, My Love didn't really seem to add up. Her married name was Marigny, then Cartwright, yet her son's name before she married Ben was Clay Stafford. How did he wind up with that last name?
Worth watching for a good fight scene, a great JPM at the end, and a bit of comedy in the middle, but in my opinion, I think that's all this episode had going for it.

I'm glad Clay left. He struck me as the kind that would visit, cause trouble, then leave again before he was caught. A good episode, one I watched maybe twice, but I don't think Bonanza would've run fourteen years had Clay become an honorary Cartwright.
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Re: Episode 101 - THE FIRST BORN

Post by elizabeth » Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:49 pm

manulanee wrote:
elizabeth wrote: I think Joe's response, as portrayed, was surprising. It sort of suggests that he had been longing for connection on his mother's side all along. I can't quite see that given that he had good relationships with Hoss and Adam. overdone probably but makes for good dialogue and poignant separation from Clay at the end.
Actually I can imagine Joe longing for a brother from his mother's side. He perhaps would like to compare what he and Clay have in common and attribute these traits to their mother's heritage. You know, people like to find out which one of their character traits are inherited from their father's or their mother's side. I think it's a way of getting to know yourself and who and what you are. Knowing only their father leaves many people wondering about their mother and longing to get to know some relatives from their mother's side.
Clay as a semi-permanent would have been intriguing and should have resulted in interesting plots.

Interesting idea, Manulanee. Since Joe did have a lot of conflict with his brothers, Adam specifically, when you put it that way, I can see Joe wishing he had a brother he was related to on his mother's side (perhaps thinking it would be better). However, the love between Adam, Hoss and Joe won out in the end. Joe could have trailed after Clay if he had truly wanted to.
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Re: Episode 101 - THE FIRST BORN

Post by PJudith » Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:09 pm

littlejoenice wrote:OK, first off, Clay didn't strike me as the Cartwright type, so definitely Little Joe would have to be my pick. Clay didn't seem like the type of person that would fit in. From the information that I gathered about his character, he was reckless, irresponsible, a drifter.
Even though he was Joe's half-brother, he seemed like more of a trouble-making type to me, and personally, I think if he'd have stayed on, it would've messed things up.
Considering the way he and Joe seemed to hit it off, it just didn't seem...natural. The Cartwrights were sometimes kind of wary of newcomers, particularly when told that a visitor happened to be related to them.

I think if a vote was taken, Joe would be voted most likely to wind up in jail the most number of times, and if Clay was there, they probably both would've gotten into so much trouble that Ben would've had to bail them both out, and most episodes afterward would've focused more on the two of them and their "shenanigans" if I may, rather than the Cartwright family as a whole.\

Also, the information given here, and the facts given in Marie, My Love didn't really seem to add up. Her married name was Marigny, then Cartwright, yet her son's name before she married Ben was Clay Stafford. How did he wind up with that last name?
Worth watching for a good fight scene, a great JPM at the end, and a bit of comedy in the middle, but in my opinion, I think that's all this episode had going for it.

I'm glad Clay left. He struck me as the kind that would visit, cause trouble, then leave again before he was caught. A good episode, one I watched maybe twice, but I don't think Bonanza would've run fourteen years had Clay become an honorary Cartwright.
Well Clay wasn't a "Cartwright type" because he wasn't a Cartwright! :grin

You said he seemed "reckless, irresponsible, a drifter". Interesting as that's how Will Cartwright was portrayed when Ben first encountered his nephew. Apparently if you were NOT raised by Ben Cartwright, superdad, you were destined to be a loser. :laughing

I find it interesting how the show portrayed the Cartwrights as so open minded and caring about friends and strangers and even people who did bad things to them. They opened their home, gave away land and money to anyone in need. But someone who was a relative was looked on with suspicion and judgment because he wasn't a "real" Cartwright.

Don't want to be pelted with rotten tomatoes here, but sometimes the Cartwrights seemed a bit snobbish, as in, " You are NOT one of us. You may be a relative, but if you don't conform to our standards EXACTLY, go away!" :grin

As for Clay's last name. We weren't given much on his background, but I'd say that he took the last name of the people who raised him. Many people are adopted later in life when they aren't babies and they often take the name of the stepfather who raised them. Either that or Clay just decided to change his name to distance himself from a family who didn't really want him anyway.

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Re: Episode 101 - THE FIRST BORN

Post by Tracy » Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:25 am

The pulque scene and the aftermath scene always make me smile.

Ben advises his sons (and even friends, at times) to allow a stranger time t prove him or herself before trusting them -- yet he appears to be clueless when Adam suggests he look into Clay's story. Did it never occur to Ben that Clay might not be who he said he was?

Siblings - even those who get along - wouldn't, IMO, be immune from hurt feelings if a "new, half-brother" showed up and suddenly slides into place. I know Adam and Hoss were grown men, but Joe seemed to enamored with having another brother that he didn't really consider how that would have made Adam and Hoss feel.

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Re: Episode 101 - THE FIRST BORN

Post by PlatoofthePonderosa » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:23 am

PJudith wrote:Apparently if you were NOT raised by Ben Cartwright, superdad, you were destined to be a loser.
:ha
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Re: Episode 101 - THE FIRST BORN

Post by elizabeth » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:03 am

PlatoofthePonderosa wrote:
PJudith wrote:Apparently if you were NOT raised by Ben Cartwright, superdad, you were destined to be a loser.
:ha
The writers truly had to struggle to keep that 4 man family unit intact, using blue dresses, rogue relatives, and who knows what else! :lol
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Re: Episode 101 - THE FIRST BORN

Post by PJudith » Sat Jul 15, 2017 1:37 pm

Yeah, I think if it was real life, the Cartwrights would've accepted any family who came to the Ponderosa. But in the life of TV actors, new and handsome co-stars could be perceived as a bit of a threat! :grin

Adam and Hoss were mature adults. Hoss especially was great about "taking in strays". Anyone who needed his help got an invitation to the Ponderosa. Adam was no slouch in that department either. If Clay had stayed, I don't think either one would have pouted and acted like little boys with a bad case of sibling rivalry.

I mean really, "Boo hoo, little Joe likes Clay better than us!" :no

Many parents have to tell their children that when they bring home a new baby, their love is not DIVIDED, rather it's multiplied for all their kids. Joe's love for Clay would not have detracted from his love for his other two brothers.
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Re: Episode 101 - THE FIRST BORN

Post by RedShirt » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:26 am

Well, I'm glad to see somebody took time to look into pulque. Pulque, mescal and tequila are all made from agave, but the process for each is as different as the results. You could liken pulque to beer, mescal to brandy, and tequila to bourbon.

Tequila's better known than mescal or pulque; so naturally Joe's more familiar to us and therefore we find him more attractive than Clay Stafford. Similarly you could liken Clay Stafford and his past to Joe's, except he's been through a very different process, and the results are very different too.
He probably wasn't bad raw material -- like Adam and Hoss, he's a half-brother to Joe. But he lacked the attention and care Joe got from his father and brothers, and he grew up in the "civilized" territory around New Orleans (as dangerous in its slightly different way as San Francisco) without the financial support Joe had -- in a time when many a grown man thought $1 a day and his board to be really good wages, teen Joe's casual request of $20 from Hoss, "No, better make that $50," reveals a real level of privilege. That's not an excuse; it's just a factual condition. Man's got to live, and if you're halfway good-looking, can shuffle cards, and don't mind being a cold-blooded killer, being a riverboat gambler's not the worst living you could make. It beats being a soldier, or a miner, or a muleskinner, if not for the money in it when you're having a good run of luck, for the lack of backbreaking labor in it when you're not: you can just drift on out of town and try your luck somewhere else. So it looks like lots greener grass, maybe, to a man whose roots are not set deep as a hundred-and-fifty-foot-tall Ponderosa pine's, and a man like that can paint it to look like greener grass -- at least for a little while -- to a star-struck youngster, especially one who's got a head full of romantic notions about his mother, and where she came from. Was Clay a half-brother? Quien sabe? Maybe a cousin, maybe just an opportunist (I'm thinking here of The Bride) who could spin a good yarn. Either way, by the time he finds Joe, Clay has been making bad decisions for too many years to backtrack.

I'm sort of glad he didn't drift back in, and I'm definitely glad this wasn't the character to try to fill Adam's boots.
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Re: Episode 101 - THE FIRST BORN

Post by Adamant » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:17 am

PJudith wrote: If Clay had stayed, I don't think either one would have pouted and acted like little boys with a bad case of sibling rivalry.

I mean really, "Boo hoo, little Joe likes Clay better than us!" :no
I agree but often times we feel one way but know not to behave in such a manner. In other words, we can know something intellectually, but still feel another was emotionally. After all, the C's were grown men but Clay was an interloper, jonesing to get into the family dynamics. Hoss and Adam must have felt resentment of some type -- it would be the normal reaction. Adam does tell his father that he and Hoss were talking...and they think Clay should be investigated as well as the veracity of his claim.
PJudith wrote: Many parents have to tell their children that when they bring home a new baby, their love is not DIVIDED, rather it's multiplied for all their kids. Joe's love for Clay would not have detracted from his love for his other two brothers.
Well, I always think how a wife would feel if her husband brought another woman into their bed and said that it doesn't divide his love for his wife, but multiplies it! That, I would imagine, is how many a child feels about a new sibling. :laughing
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