Lawmen: Bass Reeves finale Recap: Will we see more of the greatest lawman to ever live?

Bass Reeves took Paramount Plus by storm in Lawmen: Bass Reeves but have we seen the last of him? Here is the recap to fill you in on the season finale of Lawmen: Bass Reeves.
David Oyelowo as Bass Reeves in Lawmen: Bass Reeves, episode 2, season 1, streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo Credit: Emerson Miller/Paramount+
David Oyelowo as Bass Reeves in Lawmen: Bass Reeves, episode 2, season 1, streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo Credit: Emerson Miller/Paramount+ /

The time has sadly come to say goodbye to Bass Reeves. But is this the end of the line for the infamous lawman? Lawmen: Bass Reeves tells the story of one of the greatest heroes of his time and the inspiration behind the Lone Ranger. Bass Reeves has been a part of western movies and television for decades but recently we got to see Bass Reeves star in his own story by the talented likes of David Oyelowo.

You can’t pull a lot over the eyes of U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves and the finale shows you just why. The finale highlights the showdown between Esau Pierce between his internal struggle to fight for what is right. What lasting legacy is Bass Reeves going to leave behind? Being a slave catcher is not something he wants in his wheel house but can he make a change and do his job at the same time? Worlds collide in this finale episode as Bass tracks down Esau to seek justice for the child he considered a son.

While Bass is out getting justice over his past Jennie and the family back home must deal with the past as well. Rachel shows up on the porch of the family home in Arkansas. Rachel was of course the wife of former slave owner George Reeves. She got word about the trouble that Sally Reeves had gotten into for standing up to the white population in town. Rachel thought she was going to be some savior Jennie would succumb to but things did not go as planned for her.

How does Jennie’s story end in Lawmen: Bass Reeves?

Jennie reminisces back on the time she was working for Rachel and gave birth nearly on the dining room floor. From then on, she vowed to always keep her daughter protected from that family, especially Rachel. There was no going back for her. That’s all she can think about as she pulls up to her porch and sees Rachel with Sally.

Jennie does not care for Rachel’s false generosity. She stands her ground no matter what the townspeople threaten to do to them. Rachel gives her the option of coming back home with her or allowing them to turn back into field slaves which is satisfyingly met with a slap across the face. I can’t imagine the courage it took to hold herself together in that traumatic situation but Jennie is a strong force of a woman.

At this point, Jennie knows that Esme has been right about fighting back. Though she doesn’t always agree with her aggressive stances she knows that if they don’t fight back slavery could rise once again and all this change will be for nothing. There’s no turning back now.

Along the way Sherill and Bass bump heads on how to handle criminals. Sherill has no bone of mercy in his body whereas Bass has more of a moral compass. Sherill leaves no risks and no stones unturned but it’s his no-filter mouth that gets him into trouble most of the time. While they both may be on the same side of the law, they share very different views on what it takes to be a good lawman.

The showdown: Esau vs. Bass Reeves

The time has come for Esau Pierce to pay for his crimes. Bass Reeves risks it all to travel to his ranch in a place where slavery still runs free whether it’s legal or not. Esau thinks that Bass has fallen right into his lap and right into his plan but things do not come easy for him or for Bass.

The vacation to the ranch of hell continues and Bass is no sight for sore eyes when it comes to Esau Piece. Reeves is there to collect but not just for material things. Esau is already onto him. He knows full well Bass did not come for some money and boots but this was the game he wanted to play anyway.

Esau offers Bass some dinner and opens the window to let the breeze in. Quickly he begins playing mind games with Bass and shows off one of his slaves named Jackson tied up to a pole. He continues to eat the horrid steak as if it wasn’t bothering him. Esau allows him to take down the man in shackles but only in place for him. Esau has a monstrous need to see Bass up in chains again like the slave he used to be but Billy and Sherill come just in time and a shootout ensues.

The end of the road comes for Deputy Sherill. He finds himself caught in an animal trap and knows there’s no way for him off the ranch. Before his death, he hands Billy Crow his badge and tells him he’s going to make a great deputy marshal. He may not respect Native Americans but he does respect the man. Billy has come a long way from the man that Bass Reeves did not fully trust to protect him.

Esau Pierce succumbs to the same fate as Sherill at the hands of Bass. Following the killing of Esau, Bass Reeves would take money and a diamond from his safe. Not for himself but for the future of the people who helped him survive this. He gave Billy the diamond so he could marry Calista and gave Jackson the money to help him and all his people get to a safer area and start a new life. Possibly Kansas. In the end, Bass promises Billy that he will tell Judge Parker he deserves to be the next Deputy U.S. Marshal in Sherrill’s place.

A season 2 is unlikely but not impossible. Director Damian Marcano says Reeves could be back but under what capacity is unknown. At this point, it will most likely be an anthology series that can cover different parts of Bass Reeves’ past. The sky could be the limit for the amount of stories that could be told. David Oyelowo brought the house down with his portrayal of Bass Reeves and we look forward to more in the future!

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