Wednesday, October 2, 2019

The Western Law Man and the Series GunSmoke :: Television Media TV Essays

The Western Law Man and the Series GunSmoke Gun Smoke is the story of a western law man doing his best to bring law, order and integrity to the West, a place that seems to be greatly lacking all three of those qualities. Matt Dillon is the marshal of Dodge City, and to him his job is more than a job, it is his duty. In the "Soldier" episode I listened to an interesting thing happens, Dillon makes a mistake, he arrests two soldiers-one who really doesn't deserve it-and by doing this he causes the man to get in deep trouble with the army. Dillon, though, realizes that he has made a mistake and goes to great lengths to make it right to the man, even when it means hiding him from the army. To Dillon there are times when integrity must be held higher than the law. Law is highly valued, though, in the "Gonif" episode I listened to Dillon is forced to arrest two former Civil War soldiers who have been so desensitized to death that they didn't have much of a problem at all killing a store clerk they tried to rob, but who drew a gun on them. The funny thing about the two men though, is that they are honest almost to a fault and tell Dillon the whole truth about killing the man. Dillon sees that "they are not bad men," but realizes too that they are a danger to people. He feels troubled that he must arrest them and send them to court, where they are almost certainly going to receive the death penalty, but he also feels that he must uphold the law. Dillon doesn't necessarily like that decision, but it is what has to be done in his eyes and he feels convicted to uphold the law. Dillon also sees' that Dodge must have order if it is going to be livable. When a gang comes to town in "Bum's Rush" and "Gonif" they each challenge the marshal's authority and refuse to leave town when he tells them to, so Dillon takes action. With the first gang Dillon shows how crooked the leader of the gang is and uses the local doctor as a witness to prove that instead of being a do-gooder the leader is actually trying to knock off the bank. With the evidence shown them and some strong words from Dillon the mob disbands.

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