The Magnificent Seven 21
The Governor of the territory is coming to the town to support his case but Mary is a big advocate for Statehood and has been using the Clarion to promote her views.
Ezra is in the saloon with Buck, reading a letter from his mother who wants him to leave the town and join her in St Louis at a riverfront casino. When Buck asks how much she wants, Ezra replies $2000, which is $1999 dollars more than he currently has. A woman walks in and starts to incite the crowd with talk of remaining a territory. Her talk angers the sheep farmers who believe the Governor is in the pocket of the rich cattle barons. A brawl ensues. Buck saves Louisa from a flying bottle and Ezra remains out of it until someone spills his whisky. He joins the brawl but is knocked unconscious by a chair across the back after as Chris and Vin enter and Chris shoots up at the ceiling to stop the fight.
A little later, Vin and Ezra are just outside where Ezra is holding a towel to the back of his head. He complains that he doesn't get paid enough to deal with brawls, but Vin replies that they all get paid the same. Chris adds, "Nobody else complains about it." Ezra mouths back Chris's words unseen. At that moment the hotel manager, Heidegger, approaches, complaining about a guest who has not left his room in three days or paid his bills. Chris, Vin and Ezra investigate. They kick in the door and the stench of a decomposing body makes them reach for their bandannas and handkerchiefs. Vin does not suspect foul play though he figures Nathan should confirm that. Ezra checks around and finds a leather bag filled with what looks like ten thousand dollars. Vin finds an expensive rifle. Chris pulls back the cover and sees the man's crippled/mangled hand and knows that the guy is not Mr. Smith but Lucius Stutz, a 'long range shooter' assassin. The money is blood money, used to pay for Stutz's services and the rifle is a specialist one for doing the job.
As they leave the hotel with the money, Ezra tries to persuade Chris that if no one comes forward then the money reverts to the finders but Chris is determined to put the money in the bank and tells Ezra to keep quiet about it or every yahoo for miles would be claiming a piece of it. Ezra says that is not a problem as he isn't inclined to share the money.
While Vin is putting the rifle together at hsi wagon, he shares his doubts with Nathan at how a man could possess such a gun and not become a monster. he says that if he had possessed such a weapon as a bounty hunter then he would have taken in most bounties in as the dead part of 'dead or alive'. Nathan tries to convince him that it is still the man who has a choice on whether to be aq monster or not.
That evening, Heidegger goes up to Chris in the saloon where he is drinking at the bar and starts demanding the money. Ezra approaches as Chris tries to tell Heidegger to keep his voice down but Heidegger accuses Chris of trying to steal it from him. Others overhear before Heidegger storms off. Ezra tells Chris that the seven of them could work all their lives and never see such an amount but Chris's only response is that he doesn't want to have to shoot Ezra.
Next morning Ezra is trying to keep a crowd from getting into the bank. He lets Vin and Josiah pass and enters the bank, locking the door behind them seemingly disgusted by the display of greed outside the door. Two Mexicans jump though the glass wit guns blazing, a bullet passing so close that it takes Ezra's hat from his head. One of the attackers is killed but Josiah subdues the other. He is saddened and says that desperation brought them to this action but at least one if them is now, hopefully, at peace as a way of absolving Vin from the guilt of having to kill the man. By now Chris has arrive but the bank manager comes out and drops the bag onto the boardwalk by Chris, saying he wants it out of his bank as it will bring nothing but trouble. As Ezra reaches for it, saying that he would look after it, Chris grabs it and throws it to Josiah. When Ezra asks Chris if he has doubts about Ezra's honesty, Chris cannot hold back a snort of derision and covers it by walking away restating that Josiah can look after it.
Chris goes to Hopewell and tells him about Stutz and the possible assassination attempt, advising Hopewell to cancel his rally the next day but Hopewell will not be dissuaded. About that time a former assassin is recognized in the crowd near the Governor. Liver Eating Jones proclaims that he has changes his ways and does not carry a gun any longer. There is no reason to hold him so Chris tells him that they will be watching him closely.
In the meantime, Ezra is upset and tells Nathan and JD that Chris believes he is a larcenist. JD retorts, "Nah, he just doesn't trust you with money." Ezra is even more upset and says he has put up with a lot of things in this town but he cannot abide that his associates don't trust him.
Ezra is even more upset later when he has to watch over Jones, who has terrible eating manners. When Jones gets up to leave Ezra asks where he is going and Jones says he needs the outhouse. Ezra refuses to follow, saying he would rather hang.
Moments later a shot is fired through the restaurant window where Mary is having dinner with Hopewell. Chris rushes up to Ezra and demands to know if he has let Jones out of his sight and acts disdainful when Ezra says, "Surely you didn't expect me to follow him into the outhouse?"
Buck is hopelessly in love with Louisa and asks her to marry him but she refuses.
Even more upset by the lack of trust and respect shown by Chris, Ezra makes his way to the church to seek advise from Josiah, who has just been awoken by his own demons tempting him over the money. He tells Josiah that he has spent his whole life with people tilting their heads and looking at him strangely, wondering if they could trust him, and hoped that the people he considered friends saw him differently. When Josiah starts quoting verses that seem to mirror that distrust, Ezra is even more upset and starts to walk away but Josiah grabs him and tells him that he needs to find out what kind of man he really is. Josiah goes to the money bag and says, "I am the serpent, and this is the apple." he throws the bag at Ezra. "Take a bite."
Jones is now in jail but causes a noise by rattling his tin cup over the bars. He tells Nathan and JD that they should be looking for Stutz. When they tell him that Stutz is dead, he tells them that Stutz worked with his son as a partnership. The younger Stutz was a normal looking man but had a 'dead eye' replaced with a glass eye. They tell Chris and the others, and Josiah recalls a travelling bible seller who fit the description. The rally is due to start soon and Chris asks Josiah if he has hid the money well but Josiah replies that he gave it to Ezra. When Chris asks him why, he says it is serving a purpose. Nathan retorts that the purpose is only to make Ezra rich. Chris says he'll deal with it later, and none of them realize that Ezra is standing within earshot.
Chris goes to Mary and as they discuss the other killings he realizes that the target is not Hopewell but Mary as all the other assassination victims were pro-Statehood. He wants Mary to stay away but she insists that she has to go or those against Statehood would have won without firing a single shot, and that she has to stand up for what she believes in.
Ezra returns to his hotel room. He grabs a razor and slices into the lining of his jacket, stuffing the money inside. He is disgusted when he sees his face in the mirror, and turns the mirror away. Walking to the livery having made a decision to leave, a man brushes by and he recognizes him as Stutz. Due to the assassins reputation they were expecting him to be on a rooftop rather than make a close-up kill on the ground. Ezra has lost the man in the crowd so he goes straight to where he had seen Chris with Mary. He tells Chris that Stutz is not going long range and they need to get the Governor down and Chris tells him the target is Mary. Chris decides Mary has to leave immediately but she is refusing and while his attention is focused on getting her out there Ezra spots Stutz coming through a small gap in the crowd and heading straight for Mary. There are too many people He rushes forward between them straight onto the gun Stutz is holding; the gun goes off. Chris sees Ezra fall; he has already drawn and points it at Stutz who uses the panic to grab Louisa to use as a shield and hostage while Nathan rushes in and drops to the ground by Ezra. Buck warns him that if he hurts Louisa then he will die slow and painful. Vin is on the roof with Stutz' rifle and he has a head shot on Stutz and his finger is itching on the trigger but at the last moment he drops the site and shoots Stutz in the leg. Chris demands who hired him but he is killed by the Governor's security man on the pretense that Stutz was going for his gun. Chris looks back over his shoulder at Mary and at Nathan and Ezra. He goes over to them and tells Ezra he did good. Just then Nathan pulls out the money and tells Chris that Ezra would be dead if not for the money. Ezra tells Chris that in future it would be best not to burden him with other people's money.
Although none of them can prove otherwise, they are convinced that Hopewell was behind the assassinations but are forced to watch him leave. Louisa quits though and tells Buck they can marry and go on the road together as she still has work to do.
Chris goes to the livery to check up on Ezra and sees him up on the balcony outside Nathan's infirmary. He asks how Ezra is doing but as he starts to leave Ezra asks, "By the way, what are we planning to do with that money?"
Chris turns away laughing.
END OF EPISODE