A sandstorm has trapped Meryl and Milly inside a saloon. They joke about treating it as a vacation, but that is short lived as bandits take them hostage along with the daughter of a wealthy businessman. The girls father, Mr Bostork, quickly arrives and talks the situation over with the sheriff. The bandits are demanding a $$1,000,000 ransom, but Bostork doesn’t want to give in so easily because it would make him an easy target in the future. He decides to hire some outlaws for a raid, not caring about who dies as long as his daughter is rescued. Meanwhile, Vash comes waltzing into town, sporting a pair of headphones. Heading straight for the saloon, he has no idea that bandits await him inside. He has three guns pointed right at his head seconds after entering and is tied up along with the rest. Bostork’s daughter remarks to the bandits that they shouldn’t request too much money and that she’d be happy to give them some pocket change. One of the bandits, Gene, becomes infuriated and puts a gun in her mouth. A distraction by Vash knocking over some tables accidentally gives the leader of the bandits time to get the gun away from Gene. Outside, the group of outlaws has arrived, looking far more dangerous than the bandits inside. The radio reports rumors that Vash the Stampede is in town, which makes the bandits very nervous, worrying that the sheriff may have hired him.
The truck with the bounty finally arrives, and Marvin, another of the bandits, is sent out to get it. It was a trap, and he is shot down by the outlaws. Gene sprints out to help him, but the outlaws hit him with the truck and plow completely through the saloon. They open fire and everyone takes cover behind the bar. One of the outlaws gets behind the bar but is quickly cornered at gunpoint by Vash, who hesitates to shoot him. The other outlaws would rather he did, as it would increase their share of the reward. As they ready to open fire again, Milly jumps up and shoots metal claws that knock out two of the outlaws. Vash throws the bullets out of his gun, distracting another outlaw enough to cause him to shoot himself in the foot. The last outlaw is knocked out by the bandits’ leader. When asked why he didn’t shoot, Vash says it’s because “no one likes to get hurt.” Bostork’s daughter offers to pardon the bandits if they quit now, but their leader reveals his motives run far deeper than just money. Fifteen years ago, “Death Bostork” gunned down all the farmers and took the land. They all go outside and the hostages are released. Bostork agrees to a showdown to settle the matter. He is shot down, but not fatally wounded. The leader of the bandits just couldn’t kill him in front of his daughter. It’s not over yet, as the sheriff has other plans. He wants to kill them all and use the bandit situation as a cover story. He, backed up by his officers, has them hand all their weapons over, but didn’t count on Meryl having several guns under her cape. Vash provides the distraction by tackling the sheriff, and Meryl takes down all the officers. Vash and the sheriff end up with guns pointed at each other. The sheriff shoots, but somehow Vash is able to dodge the bullet even at such close range. Vash strips him of his title and makes him repeat “the world is full of love and peace.”
The episodes are definitely becoming more serious. Like episode 3, this one also has a sad back story to its principle side character. Also like episode 3, the city was left pretty much intact. However, where it differs is on the comedic side, as the true villains were mostly serious. As a result, the episode did drag a little. There also wasn’t much action in the first half. As a result of both, I think this is the weakest episode I have seen so far, just slightly less than episode 2. I’m beginning to wonder if Vash will ever fire his gun. He has thrown the gun itself, the bullets inside of it, hit people over the head with it, but never fired it. I hope the next episode has a more captivating plot whether it be on the humorous or serious side.