The Last Vote: First shown October 20th 1968

Hoss and Joe are on opposing sides in the upcoming mayoral election. They bet on the outcome, with the loser to pay for the winnerís vacation in San Francisco. There are two candidates, lifelong friends Titus Simpson and Phineas Burke. Simpson and Burke donít really care about the outcome of the election, until Hoss and Joe volunteer themselves as campaign managers Ė Joe for Titus and Hoss for Phineas.



I had a great laugh watching this episode. I loved the opening where Hop Sing is in full "go back to China" mood and gives his candid opinion of the Cartwrights in no uncertain terms! I did a ROFL over the way he says that Hoss goes "yap, yap, yap" and Joe goes "yap, yap,yap" and that Ben says nothing except "ugh, ugh, ugh" like "a sore head bear".

The saloon scene where Hoss and Joe are sulking at opposite ends of the bar and giving each other dirty looks is great. I also love it when Hoss tells Joe that he is using "weaselling" campaign tactics LOL!

The Great Room scene where Hoss and Joe are immersed as campaign managers writing speeches for their clients is so funny with the exchange of a range of sparring expressions and superiority towards the each other. Ben's tactful comments seem to fall on deaf ears!

I thought that the actual campaign in
Virginia City was hilarious: Joe holding forth about his candidate's virtues on the decorated podium and then Hoss arriving with his candidate in a buckboard with a drum to drown out Joe's side and extol the opposition's virtues. Joe's marching band then trumps Hoss's card. The wonderful exchange of expressions and bantering between Hoss and Joe have been honed to perfection by this stage in Bonanza and owes a lot to Dan and Michael's friendship and irrepressible sense of humour as well as their great comedic acting skills I think.

Tom Bosley as Titus Simpson and Wally Cox as Phineas Burke give sterling performances and really come across as friends who fall out but are later reunited.

The very funny free-for-all that ensues in
Virginia City as the campaign degenerates is very well staged with some adventurous stunts. It was so funny when one of not-so-worthy citizens hits Joe over the head with a placard and Hoss breaks his drum over another's head. Great stuff LOL!!!

I always did want to know who won but of course the episode closes with Ben (having the casting "last vote" vote in the 302 votes dead heat) still tossing a coin to decide who he should vote for.

A great later episodes comedy.






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