The High Chaparral

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Don Sebastian defies Lanier

Daniel O'Herlihy as Capt. Jake Lanier

Buck in final showdown with Lanier

1.17 The Filibusteros        Buck, Don Sebastian
Buck, Victoria and Manolito return to the Montoya Ranch and become prisoners, with Don Sebastian, of a degraded former Civil War friend of Buck.

Produced by William F. Claxton
Directed by by Allen Reisner
Written by Pat Fielder      
Originally Broadcast:  October 22, 1967

Story Line: Lanier and his disheveled army announce plans to create their own state in Mexico by overrunning neighboring ranchos. Lanier forces Don Sebastian to call landowners to a meeting and tells them they have 24 hours to turn over their land grants to him or their families will be killed.

Guest Stars: 

Daniel O'Herlihy 
as Jake Lanier

Roger De Koven 
as Rudolpho

Beverly Hills 
as Lily

Anthony James 
as Harley Deever

Abel Franco 
as the Mayor

Character Highlights: This is a heavy dramatic episode for Buck where he is confronted with his memories and alliances from the Confederacy. John has a small but crucial role early on in an angry confrontation with Buck in the bunkhouse after which Buck heads to Sonora with Mano and Victoria suggesting that maybe he should move to Mexico permanently. The only happy part of the episode is the drunken wagon ride to Rancho Montoya. When they arrive at the Rancho they discover that the ranch has been taken over by Jake Lanier, Buck’s captain in the 5th Virginia. Buck’s allegiance is then in question between his old commander and the Montoyas. When Mano tries to escape their house arrest Buck stops him, saying he is only trying to save his life, but Mano is not convinced of Buck’s intentions. Don Sebastian is dejected and seemingly beyond fighting. There is good dialogue between Don Sebastian and Mano as Mano tries to inspire his father to action. Don Sebastian gives an excellent speech to the local officials in which he tells them all the reasons to cooperate with their captors then concludes with "Fight them. Fight them." When the mayor says that it is easy for you to "say this because you are old", Don Sebastian responds angrily, "I am old because I fought them when I was young!" Buck has an emotional scene when Jake is holding Victoria hostage where he pleads with him to give himself up or face certain death trying to escape. Although he has chosen to betray his former captain, Buck admits to him that he "had to think about it" when offered the chance to go along with Jake’s plan.

Complete Episode Synopsis:  A quiet evening of reading in bed is interrupted for Don Sebastian as Rudolpho, his trusted servant, ushers in a man dressed in a Confederate Army uniform, who announces that he is now in possession of the Montoya ranchero. Don Sebastian is shocked to learn that his loyal men proved more loyal to bribery than to him, and he realizes that he is beaten.

Don Sebastian is stunned to learn of the betrayal of his trusted servant, Rudolpho.

Buck blows up over his treatment by John in the bunkhouse.

Back at the High Chaparral, Manolito and Victoria prepare for a trip to see their father. Buck is scheduled to ride with them as an escort, but a poker game in the bunkhouse causes him to be late reporting in. John seeks him out and rakes him over the coals for irresponsibility. Tempers flare, and Buck feels acutely his low position as a worker on the ranch.
When Victoria, Manolito and Buck arrive at the Montoya ranchero, all is uncommonly still; then soldiers dressed in Confederate colors pour out to greet them, guns cocked. They find the leader, Jake Lanier and his girlfriend, Lily, inside taking full advantage of the Montoya wine cellar. It turns out that Lanier was Buck's former captain during the Civil War, and his reason for taking over the Montoya ranch is that he has dreams of setting up another state, one where the gentility of Southern living before the war could be revived. Buck finds himself torn between personal loyalty to his commanding officer, and horror at what has happened to the fortune of the Montoya family. 

Buck joins his old captain for a toast.

Don Sebastian ignores Mano's appeals.

Don Sebastian has taken to his bed, seemingly unable to face what has happened. Manolito, determined to wake The Lion out of his torpor, calls him a coward, but to his shock, his father only agrees with him. Manolito bitterly tells him that he will not stand with him as the son of a coward.

Mano berates his father for not resisting.

Victoria consoles her father.

A meeting is called for all the neighboring ranchers, and Lanier forces Don Sebastian to talk to his neighbors and present the plan. Physically weak at first, he tells them everything Lanier told him to say, and then to Manolito's joy the Lion roars to life, urging the ranchers to fight. Lanier is not pleased, and tells the them to bring their land grants to him the next day, or be killed.

The Mayor and town leaders listen to Lanier's plan.

Buck returns for the money.

That night, Lanier attempts to woo Buck over to his side with talk of what things once were in the South, and what was lost because of the war. He offers an envelope containing a couple years' worth of pay, but Buck tells him, "Betrayal ain't my strong suit". Later that night Buck creeps into the study to grab the envelope of money. As he counts it, Lanier, who had been waiting, accuses him taking the bribe, and Buck doesn't deny it.
In the morning Lanier, his men, Buck and the Montoyas ride to town, ostensibly for Lanier to take possession of the land grants to all the ranches in the area. Shots ring out, many of Lanier's men are killed, and Lanier drags Victoria into the cantina as hostage. Buck follows them in and tells Lanier that he used the bribe money to turn one of his men to betrayal. Lanier again attempts to use his powers of articulation to bring Buck around, but Buck knows that the end is near. He warns Lanier not to go out the door with Victoria, but he persists. Buck is forced to kill him, and with Lanier's death, the dream of a New Southern State dies with him. 

(Synopsis by Lisa McKenzie)

Lanier holds Victoria hostage.

Buck is distraught over being forced 
to kill his former captain, Jake Lanier.

O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done; 
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won; 
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, 
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring: 
    But O heart! heart! heart! 
      O the bleeding drops of red, 
        Where on the deck my Captain lies, 
          Fallen cold and dead.

First verse of "O Captain! My Captain!"
By Walt Whitman, 1866
Published just after the Civil War, Buck quotes the title when he helps Lanier up 
after he has fallen in the dining room.

Much of this material, including the Story Line descriptions, comes from The High Chaparral Press Kit released in 1971. The Character Highlights were written by Charlotte Lehan.  The Episode Synopses were written by members of the HC Discussion Group and are attributed at the end of each one.
Especially good portrayals of these characters

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