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Duchess McCain

The Sidewinder. . . and Grid Maule

I watched this episode for the first time last night.  It is the first episode that I have seen with Lou Mallory.  To be honest, I liked the story, but I think it needed to be a lot longer than 30 minutes for us to really get what they were trying to say.  I think it would have made a great two part story.  The idea of a boy who wouldn't listen to the men, but was drawn to a women is very realistic, at least in today's society.  I've met quite a few kids that are this way.  But they spent so long building up Grid's hate and hurt that they didn't leave much time to watch it heal.  

Now I know that we all have different opinions, and that some aren't too fond of this episode (Cough Cough rooster Cough), but I'd like to reopen the discussion.  I'm thinking I might write a series of stories with Grid, and so I would love some feed back!
markisddg

Hey Duchess, I just have to agree with Rooster that the story had great potential but then took a bad turn and fell flat. Here is a boy who has ridden umteen miles to face off with the man who killed his pa. He can shoot as good as Lucas and is as cool as "a skunk in the moonlight." What happens he is completely changed by a woman. Lou takes him under her wing first with kindness then starts slapping him into shape. It works and all is wonderful and he is a changed kid. At the table he agrees to work as an apprentice to Nils and then for laughs gives exploding cigars to Micah and Lucas who also laugh it off. HUH? Again it had potential but fell flat. Whimsical maybe? great writing NO.
Howard

markisddg wrote:
..I just have to agree with Rooster that the story had great potential but then took a bad turn and fell flat.


Thirty minutes wasn't enough to make a believable transformation.
After Lou thumped him, when asked if everything was okay,
he said, [sic] just going up to take a bath...
From killer, to weenie with one thump from a woman?  

One whack, and he was transformed??
Nah.


Dan
Duchess McCain

This would have made a great Wagon Train story.  They were always good at developing stories it the long time slot they had.  But seriously, we know the writers just didn't hit the target, but I want to have feedback of what would make it better.  Because so many people are disgruntled with the story, I don't just want it to be my fanfiction, I want it to be all of ours.
rooster davis

Where I think the story went wrong was that Grid should not have been 'transformed'. As an eight year old boy he had to bury his own father, and had spent years on his own, living and getting by and learning to shoot so he could get revenge for his father's death. Nobody was going to transform him, and especially not into a boy who looks to a lady for approval. "Should I take the job? Should I huh should I?"

My take on Grid Maule was that there should have been a means to de-fuse his anger toward Lucas. He might not forgive him, and could just realize that the revenge would be wrong, but given his life and background he was not going to change back into a boy. The whole idea of that was ridiculous. That's why I wrote my alternate ending, so that the story could come to a logical conclusion without Grid Maule being turned into anything other than what he was. From the start I found the idea of a character like him to be very interesting and unusual because a boy his age who was lethal with a gun would always present the same dilemma he posed to Lucas, namely 'can you shoot a boy?'

I also think the idea of Grid Maule riding off again still in the original Grid Maule character leaves the viewer with the chance to wonder what the rest of his life might have been like, maybe the chance to re-appear again in a later episode. He was far too interesting a character to waste as the writers did.
rooster davis

Howard wrote:
markisddg wrote:
..I just have to agree with Rooster that the story had great potential but then took a bad turn and fell flat.


Thirty minutes wasn't enough to make a believable transformation.
After Lou thumped him, when asked if everything was okay,
he said, [sic] just going up to take a bath...
From killer, to weenie with one thump from a woman?  

One whack, and he was transformed??
Nah.

Dan

Personally I think Lou had a thing for Grid. Before she'd seen him for two minutes she was indirectly telling him he was good looking, and then she was awfully big on that bath idea. Freud would have had a field day with the way she slapped him around, too.

I've said before if I was Grid I'd have made her a deal, 'I'll take a bath if you come up and wash my back.' I happen to find Lou rather appealing!
rooster davis

Re: The Sidewinder. . . and Grid Maule

Duchess McCain wrote:
I watched this episode for the first time last night.  .... Now I know that we all have different opinions, and that some aren't too fond of this episode (Cough Cough rooster Cough), but I'd like to reopen the discussion.  I'm thinking I might write a series of stories with Grid, and so I would love some feed back!


I think it's a fantastic episode right up through the part where Lou talks to Grid in the jail cell. Right after that scene is when they start wrecking his character and the story gets stupid. Before that though it was great. Billy Hughes played that role as though he believed he was really Grid Maule, and he was able to handle a Colt revolver amazingly well - even moreso if you consider that he was thirteen when Sidewinder was filmed. I've got a couple of Colt replicas (fully functional, parts-interchangeable) and they are heavy and clunky. They would have been all the more difficult to handle with a 13-year-old's smaller hands. Watch the scene where Grid comes back to the McCain ranch to try and get Mark to have a shootout with him; when he draws his revolver he cocks it at the same time (I can hear the four rapid clicks a Colt makes when you cock the hammer), and he draws and cocks the gun in a split second. Clearly he had a lot of practice before the Grid Maule role came along. He also 'fanned' the hammer neatly and cleanly to bang off six shots (albeit they were blanks of course) and that is not easy - it too requires a lot of practice to do smoothly.

That episode could have been ridiculous if the role of Grid had been played by someone less convincing; I doubt anyone else that age could have been as good in the part as Billy Hughes was. Of all I've seen him in, that was his best role.

By the way - I saw it shown not long ago on AMC and it was a travesty. They completely chopped out the first scene where Lucas sends Mark back to fill the canteen, and the whole first scene with Grid Maule at the ranch house. When I saw how badly they had butchered the episode I turned it off in disgust.  I (and we all) deserve better than to be served up AMC's remnants of the original episode.
Howard

Re: The Sidewinder. . . and Grid Maule

rooster davis wrote:
I (and we all) deserve better than to be served up AMC's remnants...


"Deserve's gut nuthin' to do with it" -William Munny

Dan
markisddg

I like from Killer to weenie with one thump from a woman...and the bit about I'll take a bath if you come up and wash my back.

Speaking of AMC I know exactly how many minutes of commercials they bore us with. I was watching Vaqueros and walking on the treadmill...they played more than 4 minutes of Rifleman then the commercials lasted for almost 4 minutes..they also cut out the scene with Mark and the hombres where he doesn't want to eat and starts to cry on the tree. Also when Lucas starts walking in the desert they switch right to him walking up to the cantina.

In The Queue they kept in the scene between Wang Lee and Wang Chi about how people are different and how Lee wants to stay..but cut out the scene between Mark and Lucas talking about the Wangs as Mark washes.
rooster davis

It's not as though it must cost a fortune to show Rifleman, that AMC has to stuff in that many commercials. Encore Westerns managed to show it uncut and still had room for enough commercials; there have been other networks that show it (including METV) which also find enough time for ads without chopping up the programs.

AMC simply displays a lack of integrity by doing this.
Duchess McCain

Rooster, do you have a link for the alternate ending you wrote?  I wanna make sure I don't copy it!  

Biggest question I had during the episode was 'Why is Lou so interested in the boy anyway?'  She takes a liking to him as soon as he walks in the hotel.  Granted, this is my first episode with Lou, so maybe that's just her personality.
rooster davis

Duchess McCain wrote:
Rooster, do you have a link for the alternate ending you wrote?  I wanna make sure I don't copy it!  

Biggest question I had during the episode was 'Why is Lou so interested in the boy anyway?'  She takes a liking to him as soon as he walks in the hotel.  Granted, this is my first episode with Lou, so maybe that's just her personality.


First - here is the link to my alternate ending:

http://www.riflemanconnors.com/Ri...r/sidewinder_alternate_ending.htm

I wrote it at least five years ago and decided to re-read it before I shared the link. I have to say I still like it enough that I wouldn't change a word of it. I think I got everyone's character down and still left Grid with his dignity. It's 100 times better than the slap-around and bath and exploding cigars we actually got.

I wrote my version beginning where Grid comes back to the McCain ranch to have a shootout with Mark. I wrote it exactly as it was in the actual episode, word for word, up through the scene where Lou talks to Grid in the jail. My actual version begins at the point where Lou offers to take charge of Grid; in my version he refuses, and the rest of the story is all mine.

Re Lou, she said she had once been very close to her cousin who had run off and disappeared. She saw a lot of him in Grid and I think that is why she found him so interesting. Who knows, maybe she'd had a bit of a crush on her cousin and some of that appeal also carried over with Grid.

Let me know what you think of my alternate Sidewinder ending. By the way, I also wrote two more entire Grid Maule episodes. The way they're written (as I recall) only one or the other of them would have been do-able, not both of them, because in each one he finds himself having to go back to the McCain ranch, and he'd have only gone through that one time.
rooster davis

Duchess McCain wrote:
Rooster, do you have a link for the alternate ending you wrote?  I wanna make sure I don't copy it!  

Biggest question I had during the episode was 'Why is Lou so interested in the boy anyway?'  She takes a liking to him as soon as he walks in the hotel.  Granted, this is my first episode with Lou, so maybe that's just her personality.

So Duchess, how's your take on 'Sidewinder' coming?
Duchess McCain

I don't know if you've read any of my other stories, but I'm currently half way through a my next big story.  I'll have to put The Sidewinder on hold.  Hopefully that story will come out sometime this summer.  (sigh) So many stories. . . not enough time.  

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