A Grave for Cully Brown

First Impressions:    A very good all-Jess episode. None of the other cast members appear unless we're missing some scenes we don't know about. **New pictures from the episode at the bottom of the page.

The Story:    Jess rides up in the middle of a gun battle between a single man who is pinned down and two men in some rocks above. Jess pitches in and helps the underdog and gets him out of a big scrape. The grateful man is a charming rogue named Cully Brown. He claims the two men, who turn out to be bounty hunters, started shooting at him for no reason. Musta thought he was someone else. After they run the two bounty hunters off, Cully hitches a ride with Jess into the nearest town where they have a few drinks at the local saloon. Jess is buying of course since poor Cully is in a temporary slump. Cully notices that Jess is carrying a lot of money. Jess says it's from a cattle sale and he's taking the profits home. There's an awkward moment when Cully suggests that it might be safer on Wells Fargo. Jess says he figures he's as good as any Wells Fargo shotgun and Cully agrees. Besides, says Jess, Cully's the only other one who knows about it. Cully smiles (he does that a lot) and says that he owes Jess a man-sized debt and he wouldn't pay it back like that. He goes on to tell Jess that he's on his way to the Bar B J ranch,owned by Brian James, to take a job that was offered in a letter that he's carrying. He hopes his fortunes will turn around soon.

As they're drinking and talking, one of the bounty hunters from the trail comes in and takes up residence at the bar, watching Jess and Cully. Jess spots him, but doesn't let on just yet. After a few moments, the bounty hunter turns and fires. Jess jumps up and shouts a warning to Cully and then fires back. The bounty hunter is dead, but not before he gets a shot off that hits Jess along side the head. Jess is out and Cully, who conveniently ducked out of the way when the shooting started, tries to get help for him. He's told that the doctor is out of town and the only place to get help for Jess is at the local undertaker. All the locals present agree that that's where Jess is gonna end up anyway. "It don't look like he's gonna last."

The next we see of Jess, he's laying on a slab in the undertaker's office with the doctor working on him. The doctor disagrees with the sheriff's and the undertaker's diagnoses that Jess is a goner. He says he'll be alright with some rest.

The sheriff comes in with a wanted poster and claims that he knows what all the shooting was about. The bounty hunter was after this here feller Cully Brown. And lo and behold, Jess matches the description on the wanted poster. The sheriff is convinced he has his man when he finds Cully's papers in Jess' pocket and a gun on him that has "CB" burned on the butt. We don't see hide ner hair of the real Cully Brown.

A day or so later, Jess is in jail and is madder'n a hornet. He can't convince the stubborn sheriff that he's not Cully Brown and that the man who was with him is and he stole Jess' $500! The sheriff stubbornly refuses to believe him and is just waiting for the Doc to give the okay for Jess to travel so he can take him to Denver. The Doc comes in to look at his patient, and while he's in the cell, Jess grabs a pair of scissors out of his bag and threatens the Doc. He escapes and rides off to find Cully Brown.

Jess rides hard and far, heading for the Bar B J where Cully said he had a job waiting. When he arrives, he's weak and bleeding again. When the lady of the house, Linda James, opens the door, Jess tumbles in and passes out at her feet. We see an evil little smile on her face when she sees the gun with "CB" on the butt.

Jess wakes up the next morning and the woman, believing he is Cully Brown, says how glad she is he came and asks him when he can "do it". Jess is perplexed, but doesn't let on that he's not Cully. Linda's husband is Brian James, the owner of the ranch. He's an older man than she, and he's in a wheelchair. After a time, Jess comes to realize that Linda has hired Cully to kill Brian. Hearing of his reputation, she wrote to Cully when she found out her husband offered him a job, and offered him a different kind of a job.

Brian is a gruff and jealous man and does not trust this new man much at all. He turns Jess over to his only other hand, Soby. Soby takes Jess to the bunkhouse and shows him around and tells him what has been going on around the ranch. Brian is jealous of his much younger wife, and she doesn't have any qualms about partaking of the local gentlemen since Brian became incapacitated.

Brian is in the wheelchair because of a fight with another hand who was having an affair with Linda. Linda claims the man attacked her, but all the other hands knew better, and realizing she was trouble, they all left. Soby sees Linda making eyes at Jess and says it's starting all over again and this time, he's not going to stay around to watch it happen.

The next morning, Jess finds Soby's bunk empty and all his gear gone. Linda comes to visit the bunkhouse to see Jess. She asks "Cully" again when he's going to kill Brian and begs him to make it soon. Jess hesitates and stalls her by telling her he needs time to work it all out.

Jess goes to Brian and tells him that he's not Cully Brown and that Linda has hired Cully to kill him. Brian already knows Jess isn't Cully because he knew Cully years ago, and he doesn't believe Jess about Linda hiring Cully to kill him. He believes Jess bushwacked Cully and found his letter on him and came here for Cully's job. A few minutes later, who should show up, but the real Cully Brown. He rather charmingly tells Brian that Jess is telling the truth and he'll explain everything. He goes off to talk to the boss and later comes back to talk to an irate Jess.

Cully placates Jess with his sob story about how he needed Jess' identity to get the law off his back and he thought Jess was a goner anyway. As much as he hated leaving him, he knew Jess wasn't going to make it and he had to save himself. Jess wants his money back and Cully gives him the wallet with $300 missing. He promises he'll pay every cent, but they have to finish rounding up the horses for Brian so they can get paid and then Jess will have all his money back and can go home. Jess has no choice but to agree. Then Jess asks Cully about the deal with Linda. Cully promises that he has no intention of going through with that. Why Brian James is one of his best friends and he don't treat friends like that. He says he got Linda's letter and came here with the intention of trying to get the lovebirds back together. Cully is as slimey as they come, but Jess has no choice but to go along if he ever wants to see his money.

Brian talks with Linda. He knows about the deal she offered Jess, but he wants to forgive her and promises that things will be better now that Cully is here.

That night, Cully and Linda have a rendevous in the barn. She offers the ranch and herself to Cully to kill her husband. Cully reckons he'll kill the boss, kill Jess, blame the bogus "Cully" and live happily ever after with Linda on the ranch.

The next day, out on the range rounding up horses, Jess accidently falls into a raging river. Cully could easily save him, but instead pushes Jess out into the white water and watches as he disappears. He then goes back to the house to kill Brian. Cully toys with Brian, telling him how he's going to have Linda and his ranch all to himself. Brian grabs for a rifle and shoots the light out. As Cully stalks Brian in the dark, we hear someone ride up outside. It's Jess risen from the dead. There's a final showdown between Jess and Cully, and Cully loses.

The next day, Linda rides out of Brian's life and Jess and Brian say goodbye. Brian wants Jess to stay, but Jess has to get home. Brian offers to make up the money that Jess lost to Cully. Jess says it's not his debt to pay, but Brian insists. He also gives Jess a letter to take back to the sheriff explaining everything so Jess can get off the hook with the law. Jess allows, "Daggum, I sure hope he can read," and then he rides off for home.

Annie's Favorite Moments:  The opening scene where Jess wades into a battle he knows nothing about is just so typical of him. He sees a guy outnumbered and in trouble and jumps right in to help. Boy, I'll bet he's sorry this time. Also like when Jess knocks on the door of the James' ranch and then proceeds to collapse dramatically at Linda's feet. Good stuff, that.

Jenny's Favorite Moments: I love Jess' collapse scene too.  He's one heckuva collapser.  And even though he's a bad guy, I enjoy David McLean's performance in this.  Even knowing he was bad news, I liked him.  I wanted him to change and be a good guy.  Oh well.  My favorite moment is probably when Jess arrives in time to save Brian.  Yeah, I figured Jess was alive somewhere, but it was still a nice dramatic moment, and I love cheering Jess on.

Notes of Interest:    Cully is played by David McLean, who was Marshal McGary in The Marshals. Frequent guest, Karl Swenson played Brian. There is a bit of an uh-oh in this one. Jess has $500 dollars on him at the beginning. When he gets the money back from Cully, there's only $200 left. Then Jess says he wants his $200 dollars back! Maybe Jess had to quit his schoolin' before he got to the cipherin'.

The Owie Factor:   Poor Jess gets shot in the head, "That's along side the head, makes a heap o' difference". Sorry, along side the head, and bleeds a heap. We think he deserves two sticky pads.

Annie's rating: Four stars for this fun excursion into a twisted buddyhood.

Jess and Cully bond over drinks

Cully Brown

Jess takes a bullet for Cully

::pat pat:: "He's a goner,mister."::pat pat::

Jess is laid out at the undertaker's

"That's along side the head. Makes a heap o' difference."

Jess meets Linda

Jess is wearing Cully's gun

Jess recovers at the James' place

"You want me to what?" Just kidding, he doesn't say that.

Jess meets Brian James

Linda begs Jess to kill her husband

Cully returns

The High Country Town



The Runt