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Category:    Home > Reviews > Western > Action > Drama > TV > How The West Was Won: The Complete Second Season (1977 - 1978/MGM/Warner DVD Set)

How The West Was Won: The Complete Second Season (1977 - 1978/MGM/Warner DVD Set)

Picture: C Sound: B- Extras: D Episodes: A-

Life on the frontier isn't easy and certainly for the Macahan family, caught between the wilderness, Indians, U.S. Army, bandits and outlaws there is never a dull moment. With Uncle Zed leading the family, after losing their mother the Macahan children are joined by their Aunt Molly. As they strive to live peacefully on the frontier and the Macahan ranch, tension between the Indians and U.S. government rise with a threat of war after the U.S. violates it's own treaty with the Indians. And on top of that, Luke is a wanted fugitive when his past starts catching up to him. Can Zed stop war, fix his broken family and clear Luke's name?

How The West Was Won: The Complete Second Season continues the saga on this attempt at a more realistic TV Western. Zeb Macahan is the patriarch of the Macahan family he is more of a mountain man, he spends more time in the mountains than at home. more often trying to keep the peace between the Indians and white men, he has a strong sense of morals, justice and fairness and often sides with the weak and protect them from those who would take advantage. Luke on the other hand, while he tries to be like his Uncle Zeb, his heart is in the right place but he is more impulsive and often doesn't think and gets into trouble with the law, yet he always has a girl in port where he goes. The core of the Macahan's troubles however, truly lies in the fault of U.S. government, while it preaches freedom and equality for all men, but more accurately freedom and equality for all 'white' men (or those who can afford it), with a dash of greed and discrimination. And at times, the Macahans must stand up for justice when no one else will.

This is one of the best Western series out there, it is a mix of action, drama, romance and comedy at time. More often it is like 3 story lines of Zeb, Luke, and the Macahan children with their paths crossing from time to time. The plot often is around their life of the different races out West, their cultures and values and why they clash. It paint a world where those in the U.S. government are corrupt prejudice racists, life is unfair and sometimes all justice is whoever is holding the gun. James Arness, Fionnula Flanagan, Bruce Boxleitner and Kathryn Holcomb star.

The 1.33 X 1 image is softer than it ought to be, but the lossy Dolby Digital Mono is not as bad, though there are no extras.

Episodes this session are...

Part 1 - Molly Culhane joins the Macahan family, Zeb must stop a war when the U.S. government violates the treaty between the Indians.

Part 2 - War breaks out between the Indians and the U.S. Army, but Zeb manages to stall for peace ...but at a great sacrifice. Luke becomes a deputy and is smitten by the sheriff's tomboy daughter.

Part 3 - Luke leaves town and finds a gang of thieves planing to rob the town. Zeb finds a love from his past. Jessie fights for her life after being stung by a swarm of bees.

Part 4 - Luke tries to foil the thieves plans without getting anyone killed, but 2 men end up dead. Zeb finds out what Beth has been doing with her life and her secret. Jessie's condition worsens.

Part 5 - Zeb takes Jessie to see the Indian medicine man to save her life ...against the wishes of Luke and Josh.

Part 6 - Jessie recovers, but they discover the Indians are starving because of U.S. government empty promises. Zed and Luke begins a dangerous journey to find and bring a herd to the Indians.

Part 7 - Jessie is lost in the desert after a stagecoach accident but is saved by an Indian boy, Teel-O. Zeb and Luke purchase a herd bring back to the Indian reservation.

Part 8 - Molly is forced to hire Deek to help search for Jessie. As Jessie tries to break the language barrier between her and the Indian, Molly defends herself from Deek's unwanted attention.

Part 9 - Luke saves a Judge who promises to help clear his name. Jessie and Teel-O get hunted by slavers.

Part 10 - Luke begins his hearing which draws unwanted attention. Jessie is rescued and returns to find gold in Macahan creek.

Part 11 - Deek hires a crooked land agent to try and steal Macahan creek for the gold. Josh goes to support Luke and his hearing.

Part 12 - Stillman hires a man to produce false evidence to convict Luke.

Part 13 - Luke's trial goes terribly wrong and Josh and Luke are forced to take drastic action.

Part 14 - The Judge is found murder and Josh and Luke are running from a lynch mob. The cattle drive makes the final push towards home. Deek menaces Laura and Molly for the last time.

- Ricky Chiang


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