The Concrete Corral (Murder Arena I)
McCloud is assigned to shepherd the cowboys at a visiting rodeo. They’re old friends, and one of them is killed by a jealous rival over a woman, it appears.
A Woman’s Prerogative
The two parts are connected not as a sequential structure but as an Elizabethan mirror, the one about the blind sex murderer and the fellow who couldn’t tell a lady’s mind. A simple case of misunderstanding, like the one in Cassavetes’ A Woman Under the Influence, when the title character beseeches her father with the words, “stand up for me,” and he bravely rises to his feet at the dinner table.
Blue Roberts is a man of bravado who nonetheless can’t impress his wife, or so he thinks. There is a question about his affair with Billy’s mistress Iris. Billy, who isn’t a model of fidelity either, roughs him up at a New York bar, and Iris tells Goose the rodeo clown she’d like to see him dead.
Billy’s found dead in his hotel room, and Blue is sought by McCloud, who finds him hiding in a freight train down at the yard. Now, Blue’s protesting his innocence all along, so the great revelation comes to Goose in a subsequent conversation with Iris, who tells him he’d mistaken her meaning, it wasn’t Billy she wanted dead but cruel and heartless Blue, and anyway...
All this is expressed with a look and a word.
Albert Salmi Goose Jenkins
Story by David P. Harmon, Warren Douglas
Iris McKensie is so spelled in the opening credits.
Chief Clifford is addressed as Lieutenant by McCloud (in later episodes, he is a captain). The name on his door is Peter B. Clifford, not the erroneous J. sometimes and perhaps humorously seen on his deskplate.
Ringo Montana, the TV Western star McCloud is charged with protecting at the end of the episode, is played by Doug McClure of The Virginian in a disguised and unbilled cameo.
McCLOUD: Why do I have to babysit a whole rodeo?
CHIEF CLIFFORD: Orders, that’s why.
McCLOUD: Come on, Lieutenant. I mean, what’s fair is, uh, fair.
CHIEF CLIFFORD: Not with me behind this desk.
(Would Sgt. Broadhurst care to take on McCloud’s assignment
SGT. BROADHURST: (To McCloud.) How could I handle that buncha spaced-out cowpokes?
CHIEF CLIFFORD: (To McCloud.) Now, you’re assigned to keep your friends from the farm peaceful and quiet, and that’s it.
IRIS McKENSIE: (After Blue and Billy mix it up in the cocktail lounge at the hotel.) I’m gonna kill him, I’m gonna kill him, so help me I’m gonna kill him, I’m gonna kill him...
(Blue’s continual goading of Billy.)
DONNA ROBERTS: Why, Blue, why? Why do you have to strip a man clean?
BLUE ROBERTS: Billy’s not a man.
DONNA ROBERTS: What does that make you?
BLUE ROBERTS: A lot more than you give me credit for.
McCLOUD: (Picking up a bar tab at the hotel.) Newewew York! That’s a couple cases o’ beer in Taos.
McCLOUD: I been walkin’ this spread for quite a while, and it’s a
lot easier for a man t’ hide in a forest than it is in a desert.
CHIEF CLIFFORD: (To Sgt. Broadhurst.) That make sense to you?
GOOSE JENKINS: (Of Chief Clifford.) I’ve
landed on cactus softer than him.
McCLOUD: There ya go.
(Blue Roberts is from Wyoming, “close to 1200 miles” from
New Mexico, but they’re both Westerners...)
CHIEF CLIFFORD: Now, what would you do if you were on the run in New York?
McCLOUD: (Reflects.) Oh, I think I’d dig me a gopher hole.
CHIEF CLIFFORD: You’d hide, of course.
McCLOUD: Yeah... then, when I thought it was about time, I’d stick my head up kinda slow, ‘n look around, ‘n head west.
CHIEF CLIFFORD: And just where would you hide?
McCLOUD: Well, that’s kinda hard t’ say, Chief. (Grinning.) A good gopher doesn’t (Rhymes with “bunt”.) tell. (Leaves the room.)
CHIEF CLIFFORD: (To Sgt. Broadhurst, who is about to point out the humor of this remark.) Don’t say it. (Sgt. Broadhurst leaves the room. Chief Clifford is alone, muttering.) A good gopher doesn’t tell. (He shakes his head.)
McCLOUD: (Of Blue Roberts, to Donna Roberts.) They got more cops in this town than they got people in Taos. Someone’s bound to trip over ‘im.
(Blue Roberts is about to “head west”.)
McCLOUD: You do and I’ll come huntin’ for ya, Blue.
BLUE ROBERTS: Aw, it’s a big country.
McCLOUD: It’s not that big.
(Sgt. Broadhust is ordered by Chief Clifford to stick close
McCLOUD: Care t’ make a deal?
SGT. BROADHURST: Oh, no, none of your deals, and don’t try to corrupt me.
McCLOUD: Shoot, Joe, you’re s’ far gone now, there’s nothin’ left t’ corrupt.
(The culprit is nabbed.)
CHIEF CLIFFORD: This is the right man, eh?
McCLOUD: Well, that depends, Chief, on who’s askin’ the question.