This is just a really fun episode. Brilliantly, brilliantly written and acted. Not enough Slim and Jess in it but John McIntyre just about makes up for it and it was probably just as well that Slim did not go along for the ride because I donít think he would have found the Judge quite as amusing as Jess did. And Jessís curl was front and centre. It was also a nice little episode to get Jess into the law business, which shows so nice forward planning. There was a reason Jess was trusted to be deputy so often.
The judge was fun from start to finish. Drunk or sober he was just about the best not quite villain on the show. Donít you just love a totally amoral character with gallows humour and the judge surely was that and he more or less got away with it.
I love that you just know Jess really liked him, even when Jess dragged the judge back to face Slim. even when the judge was giving him a hard time about his nasty honest streak. Although Jess was doing a pretty good job of keeping the honest streak hidden. I also loved Jessís enigmatic little smile when he said that any bad guys around would just recognise him from doing bad things, having been in trouble. A statement to which Slim did not even react.
It was a nice little game they played at the beginning making you think it would be a Slim episode then turning it into a jess one. The bad guys were fun to have along apart from the judge. Well Chocktaw was a bit one dimensional but the others were really good. James Best was terrific and the other two made their point
And there was a really nice little balance between Jess acting angry and a tough case and what Jess is really like when he blows. Just enough of a difference not to get anyone thinking when Jess goes off in one of his passions he could be play acting.
There are many scenes that were standouts. Just so funny when Jess and Dallas and the Judge were looking down on the body ( the camera) and the judge is saying he looks so natural you wouldnít think he was dead iffen his throat wasnít cut.
And the judges drunk scene in the beginning. Did my ears deceive me or did the judge say ďpissĒ
And Jess trying not to reel when the drunk judge breathed in his face in gaol.
And what was that sound. The sound a of a fella gettiní bit by a rattle snake. Poor little fella ( the rattle snake not the guy bitten)
Jess not even taking offence when the judge tried to fire the empty derringer at him
Jess and the judgeís total lack of sorrow for departed when they asked each other if they had done the killing when tied to the tree.
And the last scene at the house was just a giggle and for once the law worked to be the law and to protect the rights of all, even a total amoral person like the judge. Was that noise Slimís teeth grinding down?
Would love to know what goes on in Jessís head when he decides boots will be inside or outside his pants today. At least he had them outside his pants for all the episode and did not just chose to do it on the two occasions he needed to stick something in his boot. No foreshadowing that a derringer in his boot was going to save the day. Being Australian I donít know much about small guns. Are derringerís touchy? Do they go off that easily? I wondered if Jess was risking blowing his foot off.
I know Jess can normally get the food down but in this one he excelled himself. First and last scenes he was shovelling it in and he sure was enjoying the judgeís cooking. Not even a gun aimed at him by Dallas was going to stop him eating. I love the way while the Judge and Dallas are arguing about how he will get killed and Jess does nothing about it until the plate is empty.
And in the scene where Jess agrees to go instead of Slim, Jess isnít even minding his manners and waiting for Slim to sit down as he shovels it in. And Jonsey says nothing to Jess but has a crack at Slim ( have to be changing your name) when Slim just asks for a man sized helping. Come to think of it over the seasons, there are quite a number of cracks at Slim for putting on weight.
And how come Jonsey cooked rackling chicken and squashed tatas for a reprobate like the judge instead of mulligan stew.
And I thought Jess usually enjoyed a drop of the hard stuff. Whatever was in that bottle must have been pretty bad from the faces he was pulling.
Not much to see except if the horse the Jess bought for the judge was a $15 horse it must have had a bog spavin or bowed tendon. It was a beautiful animal. And one I keep referring to as dapple (a chubby bay with very dappled shoulders usually seen as a walk through horse, got to be one of the bad guy horses.) And for once the one I think of as Snip was missing. Very chubby bay with a snip on his nose and a funny half moon white spot over the near eye. He has had more quest appearances than Norman Leavitt. In one episode he chased himself in the posse. And he has appeared regularly on Wagin Train and was Judge Garthís horse, as well as doing double duty as villainsí and possesí horse in the Virginian and even turned up as an all-purpose horse in F Troop.
What is Slim paying Jess, a dollar a day and keep? I grant the way Jess eats the cost of food could be one of the reasons that Slim is always seeming broke but Jess sure is paying his way. What does he get in this episode about $2000 finderís fee and he hands it all over to Slim. And other episodes he hands over the $125 he got for marshalling in Agate, even though it does not seem like heís taking wages before they left. Just like he does not seem to be taking wages at the beginning of Trail Herd and Jonsey appropriates the scout fees from ďThe PassĒ to buy new relay teams.
Any way the Lawbreakers is a really fun episode I think mostly due to the terrific interaction between Robert Fuller and John McIntyre, and James Best. That John McIntyre could play the judge as he did just staying on the right side of chewing the scenery up and did NOT blow the other two off the set, just shows what terrific actors they all were.