This article of the Paramount+ series Lawmen Bass Reeves Season 1 Episode 2, “Part II,” contains spoilers.
Lawmen Bass Reeves season 1 episode 2 recap of “Part II” opens with Bass performing a prescribed burn for his land. He is now a farmer in Van Buren, Arkansas, in 1875, and is struggling to provide for his family. Bass now has four children with Jenny, and one is on the way. He’s visited by Sherill Lee, a U.S. Marshall who offers him an opportunity as “Posseman.”
Lee wants Bass to accompany him on a search after serving a “writ” on a trip to the “Chickasaw” nation. At first, Bass refuses. However, Lee sees out loud how many mouths he can feed with an empty harvest. Since Bass is good with a gun and speaks “Muskogean,” Lee thinks he will be useful in the search for a man, One Charlie.
On the trip, Bass earns the respect of Lee by being cool under pressure. They came upon an ambush. Bass was able to shoot two assailants. A dying man in a carriage was used to trick Lee and Bass. The older adult male dies shortly later. Bass buried the body and said a prayer. Lee questions Bass’s faith in a world that treats Bass so poorly.
Lawmen Bass Reeves Season 1 Episode 2 Recap: Where is One Charlie Hiding?
When Bass and Sherill arrive, One Charlie is not there. They are told this when Sherill shoots the lock on the door and enters. He finds One Charlie’s wife holding a shotgun. She asks Sherill to leave, who lowers his gun, but antagonizes the woman. Bass intervenes to de-escalate the situation since he speaks the language.
It turns out that Sherill (Dennis Quaid) was wrong. Charlie is the woman’s cousin, not his wife, and has been a “thorn” at her side for years. Bass thanks her for the information and gives her some money for the damages Sherill caused. While this is happening, Sherill walks around the house, looking for whiskey.
Jenny (Lauren E. Banks) receives a grand piano, a gift she has wanted to buy herself for years. When it arrives, it’s dropped off by the Mayberry family. Bass and Jenny’s teenage daughter, Sally, are outside as well. The Mayberry’s son takes a liking to Sally. Jenny warns him to stay away and not come back.
Who kills One Charlie?
Technically, Bass kills One Charlie by shooting him in the head. However, the reason was a humanitarian effort. When they arrive at One Charlie’s hiding place, they hear gunshots fly past their heads. They take cover by an old, dilapidated wagon. Sherill suffers a flesh wound on his left arm and Bass tells him to rest.
In order to end things peacefully, Bass tells Sherill he is going to go around back to talk to him. Sherill admires Bass’s courage. While talking to him, it appears Bass is about to convince the assailant to come out to save his dignity. However, Sherill grabs a container with a combustible liquid.
Sherill tosses it through the window, and One Charlie begins to scream. The man then runs out of the cabin and is in flames. He falls to his knees, trying to snuff out the flames by rolling around. Sherill comments That he was saving them time and says he’s not worth the bullet. That’s when Bass fires his gun.
Episode 2 Ending Explained: Why does Bass accept a job as a U.S. Marshall?
Even though Bass punches Sherill in the face over his action with One Charle, Lee still admires that Bass has “sand” for the job. Lee also adds a comment about how rare that is because most men don’t. He also adds that Reeves’s earnestness will likely get him killed.
Lee recommends Judging Parker (Donald Sutherland) that Bass be sworn in as a Deputy U.S. Marshall. There is some question if Bass would take the position. Bass has a large family. When he arrives home, Jenny has bought a piano because of their “big” payday.
The episode ends with Bass referencing the Bible. Reeves talks about the passage that talks about “justice.” We are then left to assume that Bass will take the job. Overall, the episode continues to establish lawman Bass Reeves’s character, with great performances by David Oyelowo and Quaid.
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