The High Chaparral

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Third Season
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Pedro and Joe being less than helpful for Blue.

Blue cleaning up from a mud bath.

Buck giving Blue his pep talk.

3.63  To Stand for Something More      All 
Left in charge of the Chaparral, Blue fails in his first major test of responsibility and then takes drastic steps to redeem himself.
Written by Milton S. Gelman         Directed by James B. Clark

Story Line:  In the absence of his father, John Cannon, his Uncle Buck and Manolito, Blue is given full authority to run the ranch only to have their prize stallion stolen by bandits. Hurt by his father's criticism and determined to regain his confidence, Blue faces the bandits alone in his attempt to retrieve the valuable horse.

Guest Stars: 

Don Diamond 
as Miguel

Troy Melton 
as Upjohn

Rico Cattani 
as Felipe

Mike de Anda 
as First Guard, Carlos

Gino Conforti 
as Raul


Red Morgan 
as Clarence

Character Highlights:  Excellent performances all around here, with especially strong contributions from Joe and Pedro.  This is a behaving badly episode for both of them where they not only treat Blue poorly but end up putting the ranch and Victoria in jeopardy also.  John also behaves badly here when he is overly hard on Blue over mistakes made while he was in charge of the ranch even though Blue had tried his best to do everything well and follow Victoria's advice when she offered it. Excellent scenes in the bar when Joe sticks up for Blue and later when Buck goes to bail the crew out of jail.  John's humiliation of Blue is so extreme that Victoria seems truly angrier with him here than we have ever seen.  Both Buck and Mano do their best to help improve Blue's perpsective on the situation but Blue is determined to prove himself on his own anyway.  Good scene with Mano and an old family friend, the rather slow bandit, Carlos.

Complete Episode Synopsis:  Blue Cannon is left in charge of High Chaparral while his father, Buck, Mano and most of the ranch hands go off to deliver horses to the Army. When his father asks him at breakfast if he wants to take on the responsibility of being in charge of the ranch, Blue adamantly replies "you bet I do." Before departing to deliver the horses, Big John tells his son that being in charge for the first time can be tricky. Once a man starts giving orders he stands for something more than himself. And that can put a man in a difficult position. Big John also tells Blue to take good care of their new stallion, Corizon, a horse he just purchased from Don Sebastian Montoya for a great deal of money. Blue is enamored with the stallion so the added chore of taking care of Corizon is something he's looking forward to.

Blue heads off to check on the ranch and runs into Pedro, Joe and Felipe unloading a wagon full of supplies. The men are bickering among themselves when Blue rides up and Pedro asks Blue if he has time to help them. Blue informs them that's he's in charge until Big John returns. The men tease Blue and ask if that means he gives all the orders. When Blue tells them that's what it means, Joe asks him why he doesn't get down off his horse and give them a hand. Blue replies that he has other things to do. Pedro continues to heckle Blue, telling him that he is a man of importance and of course he is not expected to help the "peons." Blue rides away confused at the men's reaction to his being in charge. Victoria finds a troubled Blue grooming Corizon a short time later and asks him what's wrong. Blue tells her about the incident with the hands and that they don't seem to be taking his being in charge very seriously. Blue looks to Victoria for advice and she tells him that he needs to show the men he's willing to work as hard as they do and that just spending ten minutes helping unload the wagon would have been enough. Blue thanks Victoria, having taken her advice to heart. Meanwhile, the bandido Miguel learns that Don Sebastian Montoya has sold Corizon to John Cannon. Miguel had the opportunity to buy the stallion, but he's not willing to buy what he can steal. The stallion is the light of Miguel's life and he desperately wants to acquire the horse. He learns that most of the crew from High Chaparral is away and goes to the ranch to check things out.

Later Blue has another run in with Joe and Pedro where they pull a practical joke on him, ending with Blue face down in a mud hole. Instead of laughing at the joke, Blue loses his temper and puts them to work "digging holes and planting posts until the moon comes up." Returning to the ranch, he realizes that he should have handled the situation differently and vows that he can't let himself be made a fool of. After washing off the mud, he finds the men and carefully scrutinizes the job they've done on the fence posts. After inspecting the job Blue delights the men by giving them the rest of the day off. The men take advantage of Blue's generosity by heading straight into Tucson to get drunk. The bandido Miguel sees the ranch hands heading for town and realizes the odds of acquiring the stallion have just improved. Late that evening Victoria finds Blue pacing the living room, angry with the men for going into town and leaving the ranch unprotected. Victoria tells Blue to go to Tucson and get them. Blue hesitates, knowing he shouldn't leave Victoria alone even for so short a time. Finally he decides to go after the men, leaving the ranch completely unprotected. In Tucson, Blue attempts to persuade the crew to return to the ranch. In the process a fight breaks out and everyone is thrown in jail. While the ranch is unprotected, the bandido Miguel steals the stallion.

John, Buck, Mano and the ranch hands return to High Chaparral to find the corral busted and Corizon missing. Mano asks Victoria if there was a raid. She responds it was more of a visit and that all they were interested in was the horse. Mano asks her where the men are and she tells them they went to Tucson. John is furious to learn that Blue left the ranch unprotected. Buck heads for Tucson to bail the boys out of jail. At the jail, Buck finds the men very reluctant to be bailed out knowing they have to go back and face Big John. Blue asks Buck what he thinks Big John will do to them. Buck replies he'll ream, steam and clean you and pounce on your gizzards til all four of you holler for blessed relief. Upon returning to the ranch, that's pretty much what happens to Blue. He is totally humiliated by his father and sent to his room so his father doesn't have to look at him. John almost immediately regrets being so hard on his son, knowing the boy was only doing what he thought was right. Later John admits to Victoria that he was too hard on Blue and that he has to find a way for the boy to regain his pride.

The next morning Blue sneaks away from the ranch and attempts to retrieve the stallion from the outlaws. John, Buck and Mano go after him, knowing he is completely outnumbered by the bandits. Blue tracks the outlaws to Bodega Canyon on the edge of Don Sebastian's property. Mano informs John and Buck that Blue will be killed attempting to rescue the stallion since there is no way to sneak up on the bandits. John, Buck and Mano decide to let Blue get back his pride by allowing him to think he's rescued the stallion alone, but actually they are helping him get past the guards. Blue succeeds in finding Miguel and confronts the bandit, telling him he has come for the stallion. Miguel whistles and Blue is suddenly facing ten or more bandits. Blue bluffs that he's got men with him and gives them to the count of five to release the horse. When the bandits comply with his request, Blue realizes that he's not alone and that his father, Buck and Mano have been helping him. The boys take the whole gang into custody, intending to turn them over to the authorities in Tucson. Blue apologizes to his father and Big John tells Blue he's very proud of him. That he did a foolish thing but that Big John's proud of the feelings Blue had that made him want to do what he did. Big John tells Blue that the horse belongs to both of them now, and that Blue has certainly earned his half.  (Synopsis by Pat Banaszak)

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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