"Bonanza" episode
Season 5, Episode 9
#143 in Series
Air date November 17, 1963
Guest starring:
Written by Peter Packer
Directed by Joseph H. Lewis
Episode Guide
Previous Episode:
Journey Remembered
Next Episode:
The Waiting Game
External links
The Quality of Mercy on IMDb
The Quality of Mercy on


Little Joe struggles with his conscience, trying to believe that his friend, Seth Pruitt, did the right thing after Seth admits to the mercy-killing of his fiancée's father when the man was in agony from a broken back and begging for death.


At a mine cave-in, Joe's friend Seth Pruitt stands over the body of his future father-in-law, a man he admits to having killed. The older man man was in severe agony and begging to be put out of his misery. Seth swears Joe to secrecy, leaving Joe to struggle with determining if it was morally right to kill the man, and if it's right to keep the secret.

Cast and CharactersEdit

The Cartwrights



Did you know?Edit

  • German episode title: "Die Erlösung", meaning "The Salvation".
  • This was one of Michael Landon's favourite episodes.


Adam: "Joe, it's never too late for the truth."

Adam (to Joe): ". . . I think you're trying to convince yourself that two wrongs make a right, and they don't."



Bonanza The Quality of Mercy

Bonanza The Quality of Mercy

See alsoEdit