This week I rewatched two more episodes of The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. This time we travel to No Man’s Land and Jalisco. Saddle up and prepare to ride with the Chin That Won The West. Spoilers ahead.
No Man’s Land
Episode 4 is “No Man’s Land” which was actually the third one aired. I’ll let Bruce Campbell introduce it.
The episode begins with Brisco riding into a town in chaos. He’s on the trail of the Swill brothers (remember them from the last episode?) who have just pillaged the town. Before continuing the chase he has time to save a little girl who has wandered into the street.
While Brisco is on the trail of the Swill Brothers, Socrates Poole has hired Lord Bowler to recover a stolen mobile battle wagon being developed for the Army. What are the odds these two separate plots will meet?
Brisco catches up to the Brothers Three - Phil, Bill and Will Swill - and gets the drop on them. Unfortunately for Brisco a fourth brother, Gil, gets the drop on him. Brisco barely gets away but ends up unconscious and bleeding from a head wound lying across railroad tracks. Gil says the brothers are going bigtime since their cousin Ed (who married his mother) has stolen a mobile battle wagon being developed for the Army. Do you suppose it’s the same one Bowler is looking for?
A dazed Brisco rolls clear of the railroad tracks before being accidentally run over by Professor Wickwire riding the rocket car from the pilot episode. Wickwire gets his rocket car off the tracks and with Comet harnessed to pull it takes Brisco to the nearest town for medical help.
It turns out the town’s name of No Man’s Land is literal. Only women live there. Sheriff Jenny Taylor lets Brisco and the Professor in after disarming Brisco (the town has a no gun ordinance). Brisco is treated by Doctor Quintano, Medicine Woman (yes, that’s really how she introduces herself).
The Swill brothers ride into town expecting it to be deserted. They take over the saloon and capture Sheriff Taylor. Brisco goes into the crawlspace under the saloon to get the key to the locked gun vault but is discovered by the Swill brothers who open fire through the floor...
Brisco evades the bullet storm (the Swills are obviously graduates of the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship School) and frees the sheriff. But the Swills have the gun vault key so Brisco and the women are still unarmed.
After an unsuccessful attempt to stop the mobile battle wagon Bowler rides into No Man’s Land. Gil Swill pretends to be the sheriff long enough to find out that Bowler is after the battle wagon and takes him prisoner.
Brisco finds a photo showing that Jenny Taylor used to be John Bly’s gal. Brisco is understandably ticked off but Jenny explains that when Brisco’s father caught up to her, he gave her a second chance to straighten out her life. So she ended up in No Man’s Land keeping the peace as sheriff. Brisco sees she’s turned her life around and the matter is settled.
Brisco and the townswomen capture the other three brothers and recover the key to the guns. But before they can get Gil Swill the mobile battle wagon rolls into town. Gil and Ed begin shooting up the town with the wagon’s main gun. Small arms fire is useless against the wagon so Brisco comes up with an alternative. Professor Wickwire’s rocket car is repurposed as an anti-tank weapon and destroys the mobile battle wagon along with Ed and Gil Swill.
The three remaining Swills are in custody awaiting a Marshal, Professor Wickwire is staying in town so the blackmith sisters Katrina and Ilsa Schwenke can help him rebuild his rocket car and the town of No Man’s Land is at peace as Brisco rides off.
- The buff German-speaking Schwenke sisters are played by bodybuilder Corey Everson and her sister Cameo Kneuer. They’ll turn up again.
- Further evidence that The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. is actually a holonovel in the 24rd Century - Sheriff Taylor is played by Denise Crosby and one of the Swill Brothers is also one of Sulu’s Excelsior bridge officers (both in Star Trek VI and that episode of Voyager).
Brisco in Jalisco
Episode 5 “Brisco in Jalisco” was the fourth episode aired. Here’s Bruce:
We start off with Brisco in a poker game with a card sharp where both of them are blatantly cheating. The card sharp lays down five kings but Brisco beats his hand with five aces. The card sharp laughs and says Brisco cheated him fair and square...
Back at the Westerfield Club Brisco and Socrates meet with a couple of the tycoons they work for. The tycoons want them to recover some stolen rifles that have been taken into Mexico. The tycoons don’t want the rifles getting into the hands of either the local generalissimo or the local revolutionaries. The MO of the heist is similar to the way John Bly was sprung in the pilot episode (guess who’s going to show up).
Brisco knows the general so they stop there first when they get to Jalisco. The entertainment at the general’s villa is none other than Dixie Cousins. She visits Brisco and Poole later to warn them that the general is up to something. The two men sneak out of their room to investigate and find Pete Hutter trying to sell the rifle to the general. Brisco confronts Pete, who explains he was only gut shot at their last encounter (see the episode note below) and got better. The general tries to have Brisco and Poole killed but they escape his villa with Dixie.
She leads them to the revolutionaries and their leader Emilio who is an idealistic true believer in the cause. His number two man Aguerro has traitor written all over him but no one notices. Brisco and Poole bed down in the barn. Poole wins a coin toss with Comet and gets the nice straw filled stall while Comet ends up outside. Dixie sneaks in to have some quality time with Brisco (if you know what I mean) since Emilio likes her but loves the revolution. They only get to the kissing phase when they’re locked in and the barn is set on fire...
Brisco gets up to the barn loft and breaks through a loft window. He opens the barn doors from the outside to free Poole and Dixie.
Brisco has an idea how to get the rifles. He finds Pete in a cantina and offers to be his partner in selling the guns. Brisco meets with the general to broker a deal. He tells the general where to find the guns after getting half of the payment and is left with a guard watching him. Dixie shows up to distract the guard. She and Brisco leave the general’s villa and return to the revolutionary hideout.
There Brisco gives Emilio the general’s payment and tells him that the general was sent to the wrong location. Aguerro slips out after Brisco mentions the true location of the rifles. It turns out he’s the traitor (color me shocked). Aguerro leads the general and his men to Pete and the guns while Brisco leads the revolutionaries to the same spot.
The situation becomes a standoff with the general’s forces and the revolutionaries on opposite sides of the clearing with Pete and the rifles in the middle. (You would think there was some sort of term for this kind of standoff.)
Brisco breaks the stalemate by riding out and throwing a bundle of dynamite sticks into the wagon of guns. Aguerro tries to get to the fuse but doesn’t reach it in time. The wagon, the rifles and Aguerro are blown up. Pete slips away during the confusion.
Brisco and Poole have fulfilled the spirit of their mission. The rifles weren’t recovered but they won’t be used by either side of the conflict. Dixie is staying with the revolutionaries in Jalisco for now to be their Lady of Liberty. Brisco kisses Dixie goodbye and rides off with Socrates.
- This episode was made later but aired before “Socrates’ Sister” so it was the next appearance of Pete Hutter after he was shot in the pilot. So the Pete Hutter situation made sense in the order of airing.
- I still find Kelly Rutherford’s Mae West bit somewhat distracting when Dixie talks.
- As Bruce Campbell noted, this was filmed at a movie ranch and the classic Western look really shows. Getting that look nowadays would be difficult to do on a TV show budget. Just don’t do any Once Upon A Time type obvious green screen background as a substitute.
All images via screencap