GUNSMOKE SEASON 12 Episode #22 “The Returning” written by James Landis directed by Marc Daniels music supervision by Morton Stevens guests: Lois Nettleton, Michael Ansara, Jonathan Lippe, Kenneth Mars, Roy Barcroft, Ted Jordan, Roy Roberts, Billy Halop, Troy Melton, Steve Sanders, Johnny Whitaker, Richard Webb A poor farmer named Luke Stone (actor Michael Ansara) joins back a band of robbers to pay his debts (bank, general store) and meets a troublesome new member named Billy Judd (actor Jonathan Lippe). At night, they raid the freight company at Dodge City during a storm. The majority of the outlaws get killed but Luke Stone returns home on the sly and hides the loot in his wife’s bedroom closet and leaves to avoid Matt Dillon and Thad. Amy Tod (actress Lois Nettleton) and her two children must face the daily routine, alone and broke. Amy pretends to get a loan from a mysterious aunt living in Saint Louis to pay the bills. Matt Dillon reveals that the freight company offers amnesty against the money. It’s a good poor family drama that loosely reminds John Ford’s The Grapes of Wrath because of actress Lois Nettleton’s input. It’s the companion piece to this season “The Wrong Man” and “Whispering Tree”. Two scenes are noteworthy: the night holdup at the freight company and the intrusion of robber member Billy Judd (actor Jonathan Lippe) into the farm willing to get the loot by using violence. The cast of robber characters is good (Richard Webb as Will Hays, Kenneth Mars as Clyde Hayes, Troy Melton as Harry Barton, Michael Ansara as Luke Stone, Jonathan Lippe as Billy Judd). Actor Michael Ansara (“Honor Before Justice”), Jonathan Lippe (“Killer at Large”, “Prime of Life”) and Richard Webb (“Treasure of John Walking Fox”) all return from season 11, Troy Melton from this season “Champion of the World” and Lois Nettleton from the season 7 “Nina’s Revenge”.