The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. 1.11 – Deep in the Heart of Dixie

In the previous episode of Brisco County Jr., writer David Simkins delivered an in-joke about Brad Kern being really fast with scripts. Tonight, Kern returned the name-check favor, but perhaps his script was written a little too quickly. Andrea Parker makes the first of two appearances as a villain named Rita Avnet, and it is incredibly obvious that she’s the baddie sending secret plans to David Warner, who plays the main criminal. I think that could have been done with a little more subtlety and been more entertaining.

Warner, who probably filmed the Lois & Clark episode “Foundling” just a couple of months after this, is, unsurprisingly, a great villain. It’s a real shame that his character, a fancy, food-loving gourmand assassin named Winston Smiles, gets blown up because I’d have loved to see him back for a rematch.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one, but apart from the great mid-story cliffhanger where Brisco is tied to a stake in the ground at his boots while his wrists are bound to the back of a train that’s being slowly fed some coal, our son wasn’t as thrilled. It wasn’t just that Kelly Rutherford returns as Dixie Cousins, with all the attendant smooching, but she and Brisco had to keep talking about their relationship and why they can’t commit to each other. When you’re an eight year-old boy, the only thing worse than smooching is talking about smooching. The show ends with the starcrossed lovers heading out on a traditional date for the first time. It’s a really sweet ending, and Brisco should think about this a little more seriously. Unlike the ladies in many TV westerns, most of the women in this series can take care of themselves. Dixie may be a little naughty, but she has a heart of gold and she’s tough as nails.

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