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"Cutthroat Junction"
March 18, 1961
The Cartwrights help Jed Trask, a troubleshooter for the Sierra Freight & Stage Lines, stop a group of bandits that are cutting off Virginia City's supplies.  When the company fires Trask, he takes revenge by starting his own gang and hijacking the freight. 
RL's Character:
Jed Trask
Favorite Scene:
The scene where he takes the brush out of Belle's hand and kisses her.
Favorite Lines:
Ben:  "Now what gives you the authority to come in here and threaten us with a gun?"
Jed:  "Mister, there are 26 men who questioned my authority.  Now they're all dead."
* * * * *
Jed (to Belle):  "There are only two things in my life - my work and you."
* * * * *
Thorn:  "Big Mike set us up.  Covered for us.  Now you expect us to turn on him?"
Jed:  "You'd turn on your own mother if there was enough money in it for you."
* * * * *
Belle (about Jed):  "Ben, you gotta try to understand.  The Sierra was his life.  When they fired him, it was as if they tore out his heart."
This is probably my least favorite of the three Bonanza episodes in which he appeared.  He looked better in this one than he did in the other two, but I don't like it when he is the bad guy.
It was hard watching him slap Belle.  I was trying to remember if he ever hit a woman in anything else he did, but nothing comes to mind.   
I liked his cowboy hat in this one.   
Pet Peeve:
Shirley Ballard, the actress who played Belle, couldn't cry worth a lick.
RL Factor:
He was 32 when he did this episode and he looks incredibly delicious.  He is really tan and trim, and there are some very nice shots of his hands.
The series has not been officially released on DVD by the studio, but from what I have been able to ascertain the first two seasons are in the public domain.  Numerous episodes from those two seasons have cropped up in both DVD and VHS formats.  I haven't been able to find "Cutthroat Junction" on DVD, but there are simply too many versions out there for me to state unequivocally that it hasn't been released.  However, I did see a VHS copy for sale on Amazon.  That version was released by Republic Pictures in 1997, but I don't have a copy of it myself so I have no idea as to the quality.  If anybody has further information about this, please let me know.

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For screen caps of RL in this role, click the link below:

Cutthroat Junction Screen Caps

For a really cool Bonanza site, including some fun trivia about RL's appearances and information about filming locations for the episodes he appeared in, click here and scroll down to the Episode Guide section:

Bonanza Episode Guide

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Series Regulars:
Lorne Green... Ben Cartwright
Dan Blocker... Hoss Cartwright
Pernell Roberts... Adam Cartwright
Michael Landon... Joe Cartwright
Other Guest Stars:
Shirley Ballard... Belle Trask
Dick Wessel... Big Mike Campbell
Robert Anderson... Thorn
John Harmon... Weasel
Jim Hayward... McCorkland
Robert Alder... Stage Driver
Dan White... Simms
J. Edward McKinley... Walker
Written by... Nat Tanchuck
Directed by... Dick Moder