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The Gentle Giant Recap

Joey and Corky take the wagon into the nearby town, and the rear wheel comes off. A woman, Mrs. Buford, comes out and says that she's the blacksmith. She calls her son Hector out, and Hector easily lifts up the rear of the wagon. Mrs. Buford has Joey help her put the wheel back on, and Corky says that Hector must be even stronger than Abdullah, the circus's former strongman. Joey invites them to the circus, and Hector admits that he's never seen one before. Mrs. Buford agrees that he can go.

At the circus, Tim and Pete look at the nearly-empty matinee and Pete complains about the nearby Dr. Gabby McCullough’s medicine show that stole that is stealing their customers. Abdullah is working for Gabby and Tim figures that McDougall paid Abdullah more. Tim suggests that they go over to check out the show, and Pete goes with him.

At the show, Gabby talks about his "wonder drug", He claims that Abdullah is the way he is because he takes the tonic, and offers $500 to any two men who can stay in the ring with Abdullah for three minutes. Two men go up while Peter tells Tim that Abdullah is a professional writer and could throw six men in three minutes. Abdullah easily tosses both men out of the ring, and Pete and Tim quickly leave.

When they return to the circus, they find Hector eating in the mess tent. Joey explains what Hector did, and Tim says that they could use a man like Hector. Hector agrees but says that he has to ask Mrs. Buford first.

Soon, Hector is performing as "Hercules" and manages to lift Bimbo into the air while Mrs. Buford watches. The crowd goes wild, and afterward Hector picks up Corky and goes to get some lemonade. Gabby and Abdullah arrive to see Hector, and Gabby suggests that they put Hector and Abdullah in the ring together. He offers to buy out half of Tim's interest, but Tim isn't interested. Gabby figures that he'll give in after a few more towns and leaves with Abdullah, and Bimbo grabs a line and trips them. When Gabby accuses Corky out putting Bimbo up to it, a fight starts to break out. Hector stops it, telling Pete that he won't prove anything by fighting, and carries Pete away when he refuses to give up.

Later, Corky is pampering Bimbo when Pete shows them flyers of Abdullah challenging Hector to a wrestling match at his show. Tim figures that it's bad for the circus and good for Abby, and Hector says that he doesn't believe in using his strength against anyone. Joey tells him that it's more like a contest, and Corky convinces Hector to accept the challenge.

Later, Tim goes to the medicine show and tells Gabby that he's accepting the challenge for Hector. It's one fall, no time limit and no dirty tricks. Abdullah figures that he can still take Hector, and Tim says that if Abdullah wins then he'll sell the half-interest to Gabby. If Hector wins then Tim takes the medicine show. Gabby agrees and back at the circus, Tim tells Joey that he had to do it. There's no place else for the circus to go, so all they can do is put Gabby out of business.

Mrs. Buford visits Hector and complains that he's fighting. She says that they're making a fool out of him, and insists that it'll be a fight and Hector will get hurt. Hector agrees to go home with her and they leave together. Tim soon realizes that Hector is gone, and tells Pete about the wager. They admit that they're not sure if Hector can beat Abdullah, and Tim tells Pete to give Hector a few pointers. Tim and Pete find Joey and Corky, and Pete figures that Hector skipped out on them. They all go looking for Hector and discover that he's gone.

With thirty minutes before match time, Tim hopes that Hector will still show up. Meanwhile, Corky goes into town and a man directs Corky to Hector's home. Corky goes there and knocks on the door, and tells Hector that they've been looking for him. Mrs. Buford joins them and says that she's forbidden Hector from fighting and making a fool of himself. Corky says that it would help everyone if Hector wrestled Abdullah, but Mrs. Buford figures that it's not their problem. The boy explains that Gabby makes bets with people that he knows they can't win, and if Hector fights then it will put Gabby out of business. Mrs. Buford forbids Hector to go, but Hector tells him that he's big enough to make his own decisions.

Tim, Joey, and Pete go to the medicine show, and Gabby says that he'll win by default. Hector arrives and Gabby starts the fight. The match begins and Abdullah easily lifts Hector into the air. Mrs. Buford arrives as Hector gets Abdullah into a bear hug, but Abdullah gouges his eyes, blinding him. Furious, Mrs. Buford yells at her son to finish the job, and Hector slams Abdullah to the mat. Everyone cheers and Tim goes over to collect the deed. Tim promises to hunt Gabby down if he ever catches him cheating again, and tells Joey and Pete to dump the phony medicine in the river. Hector comes over and tells them that he's going to have to leave the show. Mrs. Buford plans to have Hector take over the smithy, and Tim assures him that they'll be fine.

Written by Gadfly on Jun 29, 2017

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