Episode 101 - THE FIRST BORN

Bonanza Season 4 Episodes
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Episode 101 - THE FIRST BORN

Post by Episode Guide » Mon Jun 22, 2015 3:54 pm

Date: September 23, 1962

Summary: Clay Stafford is hired on as a hand on the Ponderosa. He reveals to Joe that they are half-brothers – Clay’s mother was Marie DeMarigny.

Written by: Judith and George W. George
Directed by: Don McDougall
Guest Stars: Clay Stafford...Barry Coe Harry...Eddy Waller Roy Coffee...Ray Teal Miner #1...Robert Karnes Miner #2...Michael Ragan Stan Perkins...Don Beddoe Bob Miles...(uncredited extra) Bill Clark...(uncredited extra) Betty Endicott...(uncredited extra) Bartender...Cosmo Sardo...(uncredited)

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Re: Episode 101 - THE FIRST BORN

Post by January » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:47 pm

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Pulke! This is the drink that got Joe into a lot of trouble with Pa, but gave Bonanza fans some wonderful humorous good-looking scenes.

There's a lot of important things to study in this episode. There is the background story of Clay, the relationship of Joe and Clay before and after Joe finds out who he is and the relationship of Clay and Ben, Adam & Hoss. Plus the decisions that Clay and Joe had to make about their futures, together or apart.

Do you think that Clay should have stayed on, or Joe should have gone with him, at least for a while? And if Clay had remained on the Ponderosa, would he have really ever been able to fit in with the family?

And who do you think was the best looking, Joe or Clay. OK, have fun with your responses. :laughing
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Re: Episode 101 - THE FIRST BORN

Post by Smorgana » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:18 pm

Ok last question first = Joe of course!

I think if Clay stayed it wouldn't have worked in the end and it would have upset the dynamics almost Hoss, Joe and Adam. I like this episode and the wistful way it ends for Joe.

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Re: Episode 101 - THE FIRST BORN

Post by daisy60 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:36 am

We learn that Marie had another son before Joe and he seems excepted by Ben. This has some great scenes, especially after Joe has a hangover from too much pulke! That was my favorite scene. The idea of Clay staying was originally to take Adam's place if Pernell left. I don't think it would work in the long run. Clay was a totally different person, used to being on his own and a gambler. He would have caused trouble and pulled Joe into it. It would have made more sense for an occasional visit. :cheers

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Re: Episode 101 - THE FIRST BORN

Post by Smorgana » Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:10 am

Daisy60 I agree occasional visits would have been interesting.

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Re: Episode 101 - THE FIRST BORN

Post by manulanee » Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:23 am

Clay and young Joe looked a little bit alike at least. You would accept them being half-brothers.
Clay of course would have meant a lot of trouble in the family. The dynamics could have been Clay and Joe "against" Hoss and Adam, Clay pulling Joe out of the family and into Mexico - at least till Joe knew better, the family perhaps having to "accept" another killing over a poker play etc. etc.
Lots of intriguing plots, but I doubt whether it would have been good for the show to have Clay settle into the family.
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Re: Episode 101 - THE FIRST BORN

Post by showdown » Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:38 am

I like this episode, you learn so much about the family.
The “kids” are locked out, while Pa is talking to Clay and Hoss is not amused about it. :laughing
Adam is suspicious and don’t want to believe a man coming from who knows where, that´s the way an older brother should react.
This plot has a huge potential for more scripts. A fascinating story which could have provided enough material for further good episodes with Clay. What a pity the producers had failed to take the opportunity. A new family-member turns up and that screams out for thrilling stories about the Cartwrights – maybe jealousy between Adam/Hoss against Clay/Joe, troubles Clay has to integrate, etc. (There was the same failure with the episodes about Will Cartwright IMO. )
I would have appreciated it if Clay had returned after Adam´s drop out. Instead of Candy (nothing against Candy! I like Candy! :yes ) but Clay would have belonged to the family. In the later seasons the producing team wanted to make the family bigger – so Jamie had to be adopted! So why not take real family-members like Clay or Will for guest appearances?

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Re: Episode 101 - THE FIRST BORN

Post by Cartwright fan. » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:03 am

IMO, Clay would not have made a good addition. He was almost everything Ben raised his boys not to be. I don't think Ben would've wanted him behaving like that if he lived with them, but I can also see him not reprimanding Clay the same as his boys, or Clay not responding the same way. Basically, I don't think Clay was all that great, or would've been a good addition as a permanent. Show up once in a while? Sure, but just not too often.
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Re: Episode 101 - THE FIRST BORN

Post by elizabeth » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:42 am

who is most handsome? Joe of course.
It would have been helpful to have a little more backstory about Clay. Who actually raised him, I think his grandmother (father's mother), but who were the "dad" people for him? He is really too old to fit into the Cartwright family, and clearly doesn't need or want fathering. He is more interested in having brothers. It was a fair picture of what happens sometimes when a long lost step child appears. This one is especially awkward because no one knew about his existence. At least a family usually knows who the "steps" are. Not always. If he had become a semi-permanent part of the cast, it would have made for plenty of interesting, family conflict episodes. 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.
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Re: Episode 101 - THE FIRST BORN

Post by manulanee » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:08 pm

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.
How many lives - do you figure - yours is worth? (Adam in "The Way Station")
A child is no pot to be filled, but a fire to be ignited. (François Rabelais)

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