Discuss Gunsmoke

This relatively early episode was strange, because it depicts Dillon, shortly after killing three men in self-defense, in psychological torment, reflecting on all the men he's killed over the years. It actually causes him to resign.

Perhaps the strangest thing is the ending. Chester convinces Dillon to put his gun belt on again because Chester admits he's not up to the task and only Dillon can face the gunfighter. But after Dillon rearms himself, we just see him ride off to face the gunfighter; we never actually see how the action is resolved.

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Well, since Matt was still alive, there could be only one of two results:

  1. Matt had to kill the gunfighter.
  2. Gunfighter taken into custody.

Unless someone else in town took care of him before Matt and Chester got back to town.

The point is that this is perhaps the only episode that does not explicitly resolve the situation clearly. I wonder if they received criticism for that, and never did it again. (I.e., the production code tends to require clear justice for the criminal.)

Maybe they just felt there was no need to show the results this one time. Since the series kept going with Dillon as the main character, we know the gunman has been dealt with in some way. Fatally or not.

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