At the start of the penultimate episode in Lawmen: Bass Reeves season 1 episode 7, the legendary lawman finds himself on the other side of the courtroom. This time the bounty was on his head for a murder he was responsible for.
Reeves isn’t usually one to play God with the lives of even bad men, but we soon see what causes Bass to reach this point and the demons he cannot keep hidden within. As Bass Reeves is awaiting the results of the trial, his mind traces back to Esau Pierce scalping another soldier.
Knowing the lengths Pierce has gone to in war and having that man call him a monster, is eating away at him. A man who is constantly trying to do right by the law and his family and then be judged by the likes of this man, is nearly too much to bear.
Being the prestigious lawman that Bass Reeves is, it has now taken a tremendous toll on his family. Gone for months at a time, just to come home for a split second and then be after the next criminal.
It’s a giant sacrifice that is not taken lightly by Jennie or Bass. Sally Reeves is as big of a daddy’s girl as they come.
She has lived her life through the eyes of her father and tries to emulate him throughout her life, which has recently gotten her in trouble with the white members of their town. Slavery may be abolished, but the hatred and superiority some white people have against the black population remains.
Trouble comes knocking for Sally when the little girl she put in her place at the fair, appears at her mother’s doorstep. It becomes clear she was sent by her family to see if Bass was home to protect his family.
Sure enough, she quickly finds out that’s not the case. Revenge is likely coming next.
Sally may have done what her father would have, but she also doesn’t have a badge to stand behind. Jennie reprimands and reminds Sally that you still have to watch your tongue around white people.
Times are changing, but they haven’t changed that fast. There are still dangers all around and a lot of progress yet to be made.
A note to add to the casting department for Lawmen: Bass Reeves needs a giant round of applause. The chemistry and likeness between Demi Singleton and Lauren E. Banks is phenomenal.
If you didn’t know any better, you would swear the two are mother and daughter in real life.
Lawmen: Bass Reeves season 1, episode 7 recap: The words you cannot say
There is one thing Edwin Jones was right about. Bass has been free for some time now and busy with his work.
He did need the reminder about the struggles his people have gone through and continue to go through on a day-to-day basis. Reeves is doing his part to make a better world, but those who surround him believe he should be doing more to help the black community and not just be a face of inspiration for it.
Bass comes to collect Moody O’Neil. This is now the second person of his own kind Bass has had to arrest, who shed no regrets for the murder they committed.
He knew Ms. Moody’s fate as he cuffed her. Now this was feeling like a pattern that Cinco Peso was behind and because he had to remain in his territory, there wasn’t a lot Bass could do about it.
Esme told a lovely story around the dinner table about Bass and how he never missed a shot. It was a warm moment, quickly halted by a dangerous warning that Sally had helped create.
Jennie had Sally rush everybody upstairs for safekeeping. Sadly, this is the price they are paying just for asking to be respected in their country.
Sally may have spoken out of turn, but these are human rights we all should have. Sally being angry with a white child, who treated them as though they did not exist is a human reaction, and sporadically we do speak with hard emotion before thinking.
When Bass and Billy arise the next morning, Willy had let Ms. Moody go. When Willy accused Bass of being nothing more than a slave catcher, it pushed Bass to a boiling point. Those were words he was not ready to hear.
He was already carrying the guilt of having to turn his people over to likely be hanged for their crimes.
Lawmen: Bass Reeves season 1, episode 7 recap: “You are wolf Bass Reeves.”
Bass cannot get Pierce’s voice out of his head. “You are a killer, just like me.”
But what Bass really can’t let go of is, revenge. Until he avenges the death of Curtis, he may not be able to let go of the anger that nearly put him away for life for killing Willy.
Next time, he may not come out of it so lucky. In the trial, Bass was found not guilty even though he clearly was.
But Reeves has too much dirt on Judge Parker and if he went down for the crime of murder, there were plenty of skeletons in Parker’s closest that he would not want revealed. Though they both do believe in justice, he had to let Bass go.
In the end, Bass admits to Jennie that when they were apart, he bonded with a boy named Curtis, who became like a son to him. With little emotion in his voice, he tells his wife he’s going after the man who killed him, Esau Pierce.
Pierce didn’t reveal he had no desire to kill the boy, but it still wasn’t anything Esau needed to do. Without so much as a kiss goodbye, Bass rides off into the sunset with his men to destroy the enemy he should have taken down so many years ago.
The burden of Curtis’ death reigns heavy on his soul. You can sense this is a burden Jennie feels like her and her children shouldn’t have to pay.
But Reeve’s continues to get himself into these situations without a lot of thought of the consequences. Will Bass get lucky once again and take down another terror of society?
Find out next week on the finale of Lawmen: Bass Reeves on Paramount Plus.
What did you think of Lawmen: Bass Reeves season 1 episode 7? How do you think the series will end?
Watch Lawmen: Bass Reeves on Paramount Plus.