The High Chaparral

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Third Season
Plot and Character Highlights

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Victoria with Blue's sketches

Blue's sketches published

John explaining how important Blue is to him

3.76  Generation              John, Blue
Determined to seek a new career as an artist, Blue announces his decision to leave the Cannon Ranch for good.
Written by Irve Tunick         Directed by James B. Clark

Story Line:  Blue is chided by men of the Chaparral for assuming his drawings have merit. Blue has the last word, however, when an editor sees some of his work and offers him a high-paying job in the city.

Guest Star: Aspa Nakapoulou as Angelina????  (Unfortunately this scene has been completely cut out of recent airings of this episode, so we have no picture of her.) 

Character Highlights:  Blue is frustrated feeling that nothing he can do will please his father after John criticizes his attention to his drawing. When Blue ends up punishing everyone by working double time though, it is John who makes the first move to set things right even when Blue remains unresponsive.  Once again it is Buck who is able to reach Blue by encouraging him to follow his heart in his pursuits.   Victoria's role here is pivotal in getting Blue's artwork recognized.  When Blue decides to go to St. Louis to pursue an art career, it is hard on the whole household but they do their best to respect Blue's decision.  Excellent scene in the end where John follows Blue to Tucson to explain in a rare show of affection how much Blue means to him and to the High Chaparral. While Blue finally decides here to stay on at the High Chaparral, since he did not return in the fourth season, this is the episode many fans rely on to explain his absence - that sometime later he may have decided to go to St. Louis to study after all. 

Complete Episode Synopsis:  Blue’s passion for sketching finally comes to light and he is dismayed to find an unappreciative audience. John, having no regard for art, is concerned that Blue’s obsession for drawing is interfering with his work out on the range. The bunkhouse boys, seeing Blue’s humorous caricatures as evidence of his lack of talent, ride him mercilessly about his hobby until Blue, unable to stand the strain, decides to give it up entirely. In a fit of anger he gives all of his drawings to Victoria -- the one person who is sensitive to his artistic expression -- and vows to never draw again. He works twice as hard on the ranch until everyone feels uncomfortable and guilty. John, feeling largely responsible for what has happened, tries to make amends with Blue but his son is unresponsive to his overtures.

Matters finally come to a head when Blue agrees to accompany Buck and Mano into Tubac for a weekend of fun. The pathetic sight of Blue brooding over his whiskey inspires Mano to try to fix him up with a pretty saloon girl ... but Blue does not handle his liquor well and succeeds only in stomping on her feet. Hissing like a cat, Angelina divulges that Mano prompted her to be nice to Blue and Blue responds by punching Manolito. Realizing that he has lost control of himself, Blue is contrite and asks Buck what has happened to him. On the way back to the ranch, Buck tries to explain that every man has to have an outlet for the strain that comes with everyday living ... and if Blue’s is drawing, then that is exactly what he should do, no matter what anyone else says.

The three men arrive home to mysterious excitement; John is bewildered and Victoria is nervous for apparently no reason. She casually tries to explain to Blue that there is a letter and a package for him inside the house. When Blue opens the package, he is stunned to find several western magazines, all illustrated by his drawings! Victoria explains that after Blue had given her his drawings, she sent them in to a publisher. Blue then opens the envelope and finds a check. He is now a paid freelancer. John and Victoria, intensely proud of him, agree to let Blue split his work between ranch duties and drawing.

All goes well until Blue, on guard duty, sees a stallion in the distance and can’t resist the temptation to try to sketch him. He is knocked out from behind and the herd is stolen. Even though John is completely forgiving of Blue’s mistake, Blue isn’t. While Blue is recovering in bed, he directs his father to read a letter that had come to him a few days prior. John is shocked when he realizes it is a job offer from St. Louis and that Blue is considering accepting it. Everyone tries to persuade Blue not to go but Blue, feeling he has let everyone down, decides that his leaving is best for everyone concerned and makes up his mind to go. While he is waiting for the stage, his father confronts him one last time to explain what Blue really means to him. For once, John finds the words to explain to his son that everything he is doing at The High Chaparral is for Blue and Blue’s children, and that he can’t imagine having a son he could be prouder of. Blue, deeply touched by this rare show of his father’s love, instructs the driver to take his bags down from the coach and decides to stay at High Chaparral.  (Synopsis by Brenda Meskunas)

Much of this material, including the Story Line descriptions, comes from The High Chaparral Press Kit released in 1971. The Character Highlights were written by Charlotte Lehan.  The Episode Synopses were written by members of the HC Discussion Group and are attributed at the end of each one.
Especially good portrayals of these characters

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