Matt captures a small-time fugitive and returns him to the town where he escaped. There, Matt meets the sheriff, an old acquaintance of his who used to play draw-and-shoot games with him. But the town seems profoundly uneasy even at a casual glance. Matt stays around to inquire, and learns that the sheriff has become a power-mad tyrant, viciously abusing even the slightest lawbreakers (including an old lady and a young boy, just for openers) and gunning down any serious challengers. Matt convinces the town council to depose the sheriff, but when Matt leaves the sheriff comes back, worse than ever (he stares down his own deputy and kills him). Matt is frantically summoned back and starts a cat-and-mouse game with the sheriff in a High Noon showdown that everyone is convinced Matt will lose.
Did You Know?
This was the last time in Victor French's entire career where he played the villain. He did one more "Gunsmoke" as an actor ("The Sharecroppers," the last episode to be telecast) and five as a director while simultaneously beginning a 15-year partnership with Michael Landon. See more