The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. - Plot - Synopsis


Members of the Westerfield Club hire Brisco County, Jr. (Bruce Campbell), the son of the slain U.S. Marshal, to track and re-capture Bly (Billy Drago) and his gang. The Westerfield Club's timid lawyer, Socrates Poole (Christian Clemenson) relays instructions and financial support to Brisco. Another bounty hunter, Lord Bowler (Julius Carry), who is known for his expert tracking skills, also hopes to capture Bly. Bitter over the elder County's fame, Bowler treats Brisco as a rival. The two men often find themselves reluctantly joining forces to achieve a common goal. Later in the series, Brisco and Bowler work together as partners and friends.

In the pilot episode, Brisco tracks John Bly's second-in-command, Big Smith (M.C. Gainey). In a battle on a train car, Brisco knocks Smith off the train and into a river; he is assumed dead until he reappears later in the series. Brisco, Bowler and Socrates hunt the rest of Bly's gang in subsequent episodes. All ten of the gang members are captured or killed, and Brisco's pursuit of Bly, who is seeking the Orb for its supernatural power, frequently puts him into contact with the object. Each encounter with the Orb reveals a fantastic effect on people who use it. In the episode "The Orb Scholar", Bly shoots Brisco and leaves him to die. Professor Odgen Coles, a scientist who studies the Orb, heals Brisco with the device. In the episode "Bye Bly", it is revealed that Bly is a fugitive from the distant future who has traveled to 1893 to steal the Orb. Bly plans to use the Orb to travel back to his time and rule the world. Instead, Brisco uses the Orb to travel through time to save Bowler's life. Brisco eventually kills Bly by stabbing him with a rod from the Orb. Series creator and executive producer Carlton Cuse said that the Orb represents faith and that depending on the intentions of those who use it, the object rewards or punishes them accordingly.

The pilot episode introduces several characters who make recurring appearances throughout the series. Big Smith's moll Dixie Cousins (Kelly Rutherford) is a saloon singer and con artist who has a brief romantic encounter with Brisco. In later episodes, Dixie becomes Brisco's primary love interest. In his first mission, Brisco also meets Professor Albert Wickwire (John Astin), an eccentric scientist who returns to help many times during the series. Wickwire's ideas and inventions play into Brisco's interest in technology and the future, something Brisco calls "The Coming Thing". Pete Hutter (John Pyper-Ferguson) is a hapless mercenary working for Bly. He has a compulsive attachment to his "piece" (pistol), and given any opportunity will pontificate about topics such as art and philosophy. Pete appears throughout the series as a comic foil to trade barbs with the heroes. He appears to be killed three times during the series, but returns each time with a comic excuse for why he didn't die. The second half of the series includes many episodes with Whip Morgan (Jeff Phillips), a young cardsharp whose attempts to assist Brisco and Bowler often end up causing trouble.

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