August 5, 1956: Sam leaps into "Doc" Daniel Young, a veterinarian working on a Texas ranch. Sam is convinced that his mission is to win over the ranch owner's daughter, Tess, by competing in a "cowboy" contest against her. That is, until he realises his true purpose is as simple as providing Buddy Holly with the lyrics to "Peggy Sue".
Sam leaps into veterenarian, "Doc" Daniel Young, while holding a sick, screaming piglet and working on a Texas ranch known as "Riata". Sam overhears the ranch owner, Chance, imploring his daughter, Tess McGill, to get married and start a family so the ranch can continue operating after he is gone. Tess, a tomboy and expert ranch hand herself, is adamantly opposed to marriage. However, she agrees that if there is any man on the ranch who can prove a better "cowboy" than her, she will marry him. Chance agrees, though Tess retains the right to choose her competitor. She points to Sam, convinced that his counterpart, Doc, cannot possibly beat her in a cowboy contest. Chance approaches Sam with the offer that if he wins, he gets to marry Tess and inherit the entire ranch. Sam refuses, and takes the screaming, sick piglet he has in his arms, back with him to his place.
While returning home, Sam is greeted by a young, spectacled man playing a guitar on the front porch. The young man says he has finished his chores so Sam dismisses him for the day, though he is awkwardly unable to refer to the boy by name since he doesn't know it. Inside Doc's home, Sam sets about attempting to discover what is wrong with the sick piglet. Sam hopes his mission is as simple as curing the pig. However, Al informs Sam of Ziggy's prediction that there is an even chance that Doc will marry Tess, but an overwhelming likelihood that she will end up with a man who writes her love letters. Sam discovers a diary in Doc's drawer revealing Doc's secret love for Tess. Though the diaries are not technically love letters, Sam is nonetheless convinced by Al that his mission is to win the contest so Doc can marry Tess.
The next day, Sam returns to the ranch to compete in the "cowboy" contest against Tess. One of the ranch hands, Wayne, has a clear animosity toward Doc and plays a trick on him by getting Sam to ride Tess' prize stallion, Widowmaker. No one, other than Tess, is able to ride Widowmaker and Sam is promptly thrown off the horse and on to the ground. Wayne slaps Sam on the back and insists his actions were "just a little cowboy humor". Meanwhile, the contest commences with cattle roping. Tess wins easily as she is clearly quicker and more effective than Sam, though Sam does eventually manage to rope one of the calves, thanks to helpful advice from Chance. Sam decides to play a trick on Wayne by pretending his thumb was torn off by the rope after the calf was released. As everyone rushes over to see if he is injured, Sam reveals that his thumb is in tact and slaps Wayne on the back, assuring him that it is "just a little cowboy humor".
The next stage in the contest is poker playing. Al tells Sam that Wayne is palming the winning cards. Sam accuses Wayne of cheating in front of everyone at the table. When he is proven wrong, Wayne prepares to confront Sam over the matter, though Tess convinces him to drop the issue and yanks him from the table. Sam takes a look at Tess' cards and realises that Al was right: Wayne was palming the cards and shifting them to Tess. Wayne tells Tess that he is trying to help Tess win the contest, though Tess insists she can do it without cheating. Wayne is unsure as he senses something different about Doc.
The following day, Sam and Tess compete in a pole-digging contest. Tess suffers from heat exhausation and collapses. Sam rushes her back to his home and tends to her. He strips off her clothes down to her underwear in order to cool her down. When Tess awakens to find herself half naked on his couch, she misinterprets Sam's actions and punches him in the face. Sam insists that he is trying to help her and Tess eventually accepts. After she has recovered, Sam convinces Tess to dance with him. As he is about to kiss her, Tess pulls away. She concedes that, while he beat her in poker, pole-digging and dancing, she beat him in rangling, roping and drinking. Even though it is a tie, Tess reminds him that the object of the contest was to beat her outright and since he did not do so, he has lost. Sam asks her for a tiebreaker and she tells him to ride Widowmaker. Tess leaves, convinced that Sam is unwilling to do so.
The next morning, however, Sam takes Widowmaker out into the stable and is able to succesfully ride the stallion. Even though he has won the contest, Sam walks away, stating that he rode the horse to prove he could do it, not so he could marry her. Convinced that Tess must marry Doc out of choice not coercion, Sam gives her Doc's secret diaries in which he professes his feelings for her. Now aware of his true feelings, Tess asks Sam to dance with her and the two share a kiss. Though Tess is seemingly accepting of the idea of marrying Doc, she is afraid that, once they marry, she will lose Riata. Sam tells her they can run the ranch together. Moments later, Wayne shows up and confesses his own feelings for Tess. He produces love letters that he'd written to her, correctly proving Ziggy's earlier prediction that Tess would marry a man who wrote her love letters, and confirming that in fact Wayne was her true suitor all along.
Frustrated that all his efforts to woo Tess were fruitless, Sam tends to the now fully recovered piglet he brought home from the ranch. The piglet races out into the front yard and Sam chases it, calling out "Piggy souiee". The young man on the porch begins strumming his guitar and singing, "Piggy Souiee". Sam, now realising that the young man is in fact Buddy Holly, suggests he change the title to "Peggy Sue". His true mission satisfied, Sam leaps...
Kisses with HistoryEdit
Sam inspires Buddy Holly with the lyrics to "Peggy Sue". In truth, however, the title was named after Peggy Sue Gerron, the girlfriend of Crickets' drummer, Jerry Allison.
In August, 1956, Buddy Holly would have been 19 years old and had already teamed up with his band, the Crickets, and signed up with a record label. "Peggy Sue" was released as a single in July, 1957. Curiously, Holly's other famous hit, "Oh, Boy" is not referenced in this episode, despite this being Sam Beckett's regular catch phrase.