Episode 239 - THE PURSUED Part 1

Bonanza Season 8 Episodes
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Episode 239 - THE PURSUED Part 1

Post by Episode Guide » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:58 pm

Date: October 2, 1966

Summary:Ben, Hoss and Joe go to Beehive to buy horses from Heber Clawson and end up having to help him, as he is being persecuted for being a Mormon and having two wives.

Written by: Thomas Thompson
Directed by: William Witney
Guest Stars: Eric Fleming as Heber Clawson, Dina Merrill as Susana and Lois Nettleton as Elizabeth

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The Pursued 1+2

Post by Dagburnit » Tue Jul 21, 2015 4:32 pm

That early Season 8 double episode was one of the best I have seen in the first 7+ seasons. No question about it. It was additionally tragic because it almost portended the death of Eric Fleming (Heber Clawson) the actor a few months later in Peru. There's alot to discuss about this story, but I will comment that parts did drag a little too long, especially the chase of the wagon by the townsmen that led to Heber being killed and then the death of Elizabeth. Did anyone note that Joe told Heber that there were alot of good doctors in Virginia City, when in fact there was only one?

We can see that the prejudiced people were led by the wacky preacher (who didn't like the term preacher, preferring "parson") who was obviously and clearly a Methodist circuit preacher. I think the story didn't nuance the issue of the prejudice enough or even offer an "out" for the preacher and his followers in relation to the polygamous Mormons. Plus in every conflict there are two sides to the story. It wasn't clear to me why Heber didn't follow Brigham Young out of Nevada to Utah because I assumed non-compliance would lead to excommunication from the Mormon church. It also missed a few tidbits about the internal wars and prejudices after Joseph Smith's murder in Navoo, and the assorted breakaways, of which Young's group was only one.

With regard to massacring people, there were acts of violence by both Mormons and their enemies, which didn't come through in the episode (i.e. the Mountain Meadows Massacre of 1857 committed by Mormons) and massacres of Mormons in the 1830s, especially in Missouri. So the case referred to by Heber is a bit unclear.

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Re: Episode 239 - THE PURSUED Part 1

Post by patina » Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:14 pm

Before YouTube and DVDs, the only way to see Bonanza eps was on TV. When The Family Channel showed the Lost Episodes, these 2 eps weren't aired by order of Pat Robertson. It wasn't until Hallmark acquired the Lost Episodes syndication package that I saw these 2 eps.

I adored Eric Fleming and was saddened to learn of his death while he was filming a movie.
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Re: Episode 239 - THE PURSUED Part 1

Post by Dagburnit » Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:19 pm

What did Pat Robertson have to do with it? I don't understand. He's not a Mormon or a Methodist. What difference would it make to him, and how would he have the power to affect what was shown? Apparently Eric Fleming died in that accident in Peru a mere few months after filming the episode. It was broadcast in October 1966, meaning it was made in the summer, and Fleming died in December 1966.

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Re: Episode 239 - THE PURSUED Part 1

Post by daisy60 » Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:14 am

I love the episode and I watch now on the Season 8 release. It had been a long time since I've seen it. Pat Robinson was a former minister who owned the Family Channel and banned what he didn't approve. The crazy preacher led people to chase after the Mormon family because of his own greed and his affection for Elizabeth, one of Heber's wives. It shows how damaging prejudice an be. The ending is very sad, when Elizabeth dies giving birth.

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Re: Episode 239 - THE PURSUED Part 1

Post by Dagburnit » Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:45 am

It's too bad there couldn't have been a happy ending. Looks like Ben lost the first group of horses that he bought from Heber.

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Re: Episode 239 - THE PURSUED Part 1

Post by ellen » Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:17 am

Dagburnit wrote:What did Pat Robertson have to do with it? I don't understand. He's not a Mormon or a Methodist. What difference would it make to him, and how would he have the power to affect what was shown?
For years, the network "The Family Channel" was the only station in the US airing the "Lost Episodes", which is the package with this episode. Pat Robertson was the owner of that network, and he chose not to air it.
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