Episode 119 - THE LAST HAIRCUT

Bonanza Season 4 Episodes
Jim Barnsby
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Re: Episode 119 - THE LAST HAIRCUT

Post by Jim Barnsby » Sat Jun 11, 2016 5:54 pm

I was also put off by this episode. Instead of the strange attacking of Miller's vanity, the story would have worked better for me if Joe was to learn a lesson about how justice isn't always attained through the law. Of course, that would be a hugely bitter pill for the audience to swallow! Especially in 1963,when such storylines probably never aired--except perhaps on Gunsmoke, which was no stranger to a downbeat ending (and neither was Bonanza but not nearly as often).

Perry Lopez was a superb actor. He is probably best known for his role in the movie Chinatown but he also appeared in a 1960s Star Trek episode--"Shore Leave", I believe it was. A much-missed actor who did a fine job in a (for me) below-average episode here.

There also weren't enough Cartwright interactions here for me and I found Joe's reaction to the whole affair rather one-note and un-Joe-like. The script was lacking in having the family talk about the way Duke's lawyer worked the trial. I'm sure Adam would have had a LOT of interesting things to say. In fact, that's exactly the kind of material that Pernell probably would have loved to have had, given his desire for dramatic and socially-relevant scripts.

Just my two cents; hope no one minds my episode ramblings.
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Re: Episode 119 - THE LAST HAIRCUT

Post by AgnethaF » Sat Jun 11, 2016 6:16 pm

Not one of my favorite episodes. I don't mind your episode ramblings at all, Jim.
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Re: Episode 119 - THE LAST HAIRCUT

Post by elizabeth » Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:11 pm

I'm new to the BB chats. I thought the acting was excellent, as others have mentioned already. I also was not satisfied with what the scriptwriters did with the entire problem of justice not being found in the courtroom, an all to real life situation. I'm not sure that Joe, as I understand his character, could have found satisfaction with a public shaming. It just felt a little odd. I think the actor, Perry, did his best to build up to that ending ( a picture of a man whose vanity was everything). I do appreciate that a complicated social issue was tackled at all. One of the things that made Bonanza one of the best.
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Jim Barnsby
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Re: Episode 119 - THE LAST HAIRCUT

Post by Jim Barnsby » Wed Jun 15, 2016 6:01 am

"The Last Haircut" was written by Charles Lang, who earlier had penned "The Auld Sod", a much more successful episode in my view. According to the IMDb, those were the only two episodes of Bonanza written by Charles Lang. Other than a subsequent episode of The High Chapparal, Lang's tv writing career was over.

I'm a bit surprised by the lack of discussion on the episodes side of things here at BB. It seems like there is a lot more attention paid to games and the like. Those are fine but I wonder where the fans are when it comes to discussing the actual series?

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Re: Episode 119 - THE LAST HAIRCUT

Post by debbiejo » Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:38 pm

Adamant wrote:Since Joe identifies with the Paco whose father is murdered, I can understand Joe's fury and frustrated anger. It doesn't seem unusual behavior at all, especially since Joe could flare up in a second. It also seems realistic that Duke Miller would get away with murder considering the circumstances. What I find rewarding is the rest of Virginia City is upset as well and they all participate in some way or another in bringing about Duke's punishment. It's a throwback to public stockades and "shunning."

There's also a chain--Ben helps Joe deal with the incident and the failure of the justice system and then Joe passes that wisdom along to Paco.
Just discovering this thread and am also surprised that there in not more discussion. Personally, I thought this was a very good episode and agree that it wasn't unusual behavior for Joe, given his temperment, to want to see Duke Miller get his, so to speak. Remember, in "The Legacy", when the sons think that Ben had been killed.......how did Joe react...he wanted to kill the guy that did it. Remember how he had a gun to Willie Twilight's head til Adam talked him down. Joe reacts and then thinks. He's very emotional. I think that "The Last Haircut" really engaged the viewer to want to see what happened to the bad guy. While the ending still left Duke Miller alive, it gave the less sophisticated 1960s viewing audience some sense of payback and a great, emotion-packed finale.

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Re: Episode 119 - THE LAST HAIRCUT

Post by snapdragon » Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:07 pm

Jim Barnsby wrote: I'm a bit surprised by the lack of discussion on the episodes side of things here at BB. It seems like there is a lot more attention paid to games and the like. Those are fine but I wonder where the fans are when it comes to discussing the actual series?
Hi Jim, I'm snapdragon. :howdy2

I basically said the same thing when I first started posting here. As a new BZ fan I've been dying to talk about the episodes as I view each one of them (I still haven't watched all eps/seasons), but most of the regulars here seem to just want to play games. :shrug

I'm glad you're posting here now. I look forward to reading your thoughts and random comments on various episodes.

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Re: Episode 119 - THE LAST HAIRCUT

Post by Chenoa » Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:37 pm

I like the idea of the episode, how justice is not found in court and those knowing the truth must find a way to accept it.

Particularly the relation between Joe and Paco is very touching; on one hand Joe feels like the boy in wanting revenge, needing someone to prevent him from acting upon his emotions. On the other he also realizes that there is nothing they can do within the law, knowing he must be the reasonable adult and keep Paco from doing domething stupid, leaving him torn between his anger and the responsability toward Paco and his own family. I like how he brings him the glass of milk and talks it over with the boy, coming to terms with things not only for Paco's good but for his own as well (Ben always knows... :yes ).

The shaving scene seems somewhat odd to me too; not so much because of Joe's actions, I guess all the build-up pressure finally found a way out here (though I don't like Joe acting like this), but because it seems out of character for a man cold-blooded enough to shoot another man over a haircut, to be so upset about being shaven bald...

However, the ending is one of the most touching of the whole series, when Joe picks Paco up and holds him, it always get's to me.

Jim Barnsby, debbiejo and snapdragon, I also wondered when I first got here that many episodes remain uncommented, so I hope we will be able to do something about that :grin
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Re: Episode 119 - THE LAST HAIRCUT

Post by emilysean » Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:59 pm

The episode was on cable today. It always makes me think about a later work of Michael Landon's "Sam's Son". I even double checked to make sure the Michael didn't write this story. The story is all about a kid who thinks if he grows out his hair it will give him super strength.


BTW I am confused about the way that the trial ends. I don't want to spoil it for others but there seems to be an explanation missing. If I missed something please message me the third man.

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Re: Episode 119 - THE LAST HAIRCUT

Post by ellen » Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:06 pm

emilysean wrote: BTW I am confused about the way that the trial ends. I don't want to spoil it for others but there seems to be an explanation missing. If I missed something please message me the third man.
I don't think we have to worry about spoilers for episodes, but I don't understand what you're confused about.
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Re: Episode 119 - THE LAST HAIRCUT

Post by emilysean » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:10 pm

During the trail the witnesses identified the third man only to be trapped by the lawyer because the man was in jail at the time of the event. So was the third man a twin or were the witnesses wrong? Did they ever explain what happened?

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