The Magnificent Seven 12
Love and Honor

Opening Scene:

The episode begins with Chris working at his shack sawing wood. Vin is with him but is getting ready to leave. They clasp forearms and Vin mounts up and rides away. Before Chris can settle back into more work, two horses (three men) arrive for the other direction. Chris casually picks up his gun belt and slings it over his shoulder, ready to draw if necessary. It appears that one of the men lost his horse a way back and the leader, Don Paulo, had determined that Chris will hand over HIS horse. Before it gets ugly, a shot rings out from the distance. Vin had seen the men ride in and had decided to wait under cover in case he was needed.

The men ride on into town.

In the town, Buck is enamored by Inez Recillos, who took over as the manager of the Standish Tavern at the end of the previous episode. She holds her own against his charms. JD has taken Casey to the pond to catch frogs. Chris rides into town and is stopped by the black-clad Mexican gunman, Raphael, who is intrigued by Chris. They banter, measuring each other up.

Inez is walking along the street when she runs into the expensively-dressed Don Paulo. We learn that Don Paulo had come to the town for one reason only. He has been hunting down Inez and wants her to return with him, which she refuses. Buck intercedes and when Don Paulo challenges him to a duel, he accepts. If Buck wins then Inez stays, if he loses then she must go with Don Paulo.

Vin takes it upon himself to be Inez's guardian until the duel. He persuades her to stand and fight rather than keep on running from Don Paulo.

The following morning, Chris meets with Buck and tries to persuade him to walk away from this duel, accusing him of being too full of pride. They argue and Chris walks away in anger. While Chris is in the saloon with his back to the door, nursing a shot of whiskey, JD enters and sits with him. Moments later, Raphael enters and JD stands up. Chris tells JD that Raphael is not going to shoot him in the back but, ever the hot head, JD almost challenges Raphael to a gun fight but Chris stops him. Chris invites Raphael to join them. He pours Raphael a whiskey and they banter some more. He baits Raphael about working for a man as arrogant and despicable as Don Paulo.

Later, Don Paulo walks down the street with Raphael, who is carrying an ornate box. Buck has mistakenly believed that the duel will be with guns but Don Paulo informs him that the choice of weapon is the sword. Although the others tell him to back down, Buck takes the offered sword and agrees to the duel on the following day. Chris walks away without a word.

Buck has no idea how to handle a sword and Ezra takes it upon himself to give him lessons. While they are practising, Nathan arrives and we learn a little more about Nathan's past as a slave. His owner, Mr. Jackson, had forced Nathan to learn how to sword fight by using him as a sparring partner. Nathan takes over the lessons after soundly beating Ezra in a sword fight. He tries to instill some common sense into Buck, aware that Buck's only hope is to fight on the defensive rather than attack as attacking would leave him open for a counterattack by a superior swordsman.

Aware that Buck is no swordsman, Inez meets with Don Paulo later that evening. Vin prevents her from killing Don Paulo. Don Paulo reveals the scar from his last entanglement with Inez. We learn from Inez that Don Paulo tried to coerce her and she fought back and escaped, and had been running ever since.

Buck has his own fears, suffering a nightmare where he recalled the day he was sliced with a sabre wielded by Colonel Anderson while protecting JD at the Seminole village. He refuses to back down, though, and the next day, Chris goes up to him and this time he tells Buck that he will accept Buck's choice and stand with him. Nathan tries to give Buck some last minute instructions and reminders to stay on defense but as soon as the fight starts, Buck seems to forget everything Nathan taught him.

The others notice that Don Paulo has brought in men to ensure that no one interferes, and to start shooting if it looks like Don Paulo is losing. Buck is cut several times and Inez tries to intervene when by sheer luck, it looks like Buck is winning with both men down. Incensed by Don Paulo's lack of honor, Raphael shoots a man who is about to shoot down Buck. When Don Paulo realizes that his plans have backfired, he pulls out a dagger and attacks Buck, but Buck swings round and plunges the sword into Don Paulo, killing him.

Back in the saloon, with Buck all bandaged up, Inez kisses Buck on the cheek and declares that they are now even.

End Scene:

Raphael is preparing to ride out, aware that he will now be a hunted man for allowing the death of his patron's son--Don Paulo. He asks Chris f he wants to ride with him but Chris is not interested. Once more he states that he wishes he could have seen how fast Chris was with a gun. Chris grabs JD's already bullet-holed bowler hat and throws it up, drawing and shooting it several times while it is in the air.

Raphael: Magnifico!

He rides off and, with Chris grinning at him, JD draws and shoots his own battered hat, saying he needed a new one anyway.