Lawmen: Bass Reeves continued airing on Paramount+ on Sunday (Nov. 12), and Part 3 of the new Western series from Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan offered up more violence, while viewers came to a deeper understanding of Reeves’ moral compass.
Part 3 begins with Bass Reeves’ (David Oyelowo) wife, Jennie (Lauren E. Banks), telling him to make the family proud before he’s sworn in as a Deputy U.S. Marshall by Judge Isaac Parker (Donald Sutherland), who tells him that few men survive long enough to become good at the job.
Elsewhere in the episode:
- Reeves hires a posse man of his own, Garrett Montgomery (Garrett Hedlund), who turns out to be a man of weak character, essentially Reeves’ opposite.
- They venture into Indian Territory to pursue a gang of stagecoach robbers, looking for a man named Billy Crow (Forrest Goodluck), and Reeves ends up in a high-stakes card game that he wins, trading the huge pot for information regarding the gang, which leads to him apprehending Crow.
- Reeves and Montgomery very nearly end up in a violent confrontation after Crow offers to tell them where the money from the most recent heist is hidden, which tempts Montgomery’s greed. But Montgomery dies as they come under surprise attack from the stagecoach robbers, who have tracked them down. Reeves kills them all in the ensuing gunfight, then warns Billy Crow that if he doesn’t change the path he’s on, the same fate awaits him.
- Reeves’ daughter, Sally (Demi Singleton) begins to chafe at her mother’s authority over her and her new chores, and begins a new friendship and flirtation with Arthur Mayberry (Lonnie Chavis) after Jennie told him to stay away.
- When Reeves escorts Billy Crow back to Arkansas, he puts in a good word for him with Judge Parker, who is revealed as a merciless hanging judge with little nuance in his sentencing. But he appears to take Reeves’ words to heart — and though it’s not stated, it won’t be a surprise if Crow works off his sentence as Reeves’ new posse man. Reeves also tells Parker that Montgomery died honorably in the commission of his job.
Reeves returns home to find that his wife has given birth to their fifth child while he was away, ending the episode in the same way it began, in the comfort of his home surrounded by his loving family. Part 3 drives home the dichotomy the premiere revealed even more: Reeves is quick with a gun and won’t hesitate to use it when it’s warranted, but he also has a bedrock sense of moral clarity, justice and honor that actually help make him a better lawman as a result.
Lawmen: Bass Reeves will continue to air on Paramount+ for a total of eight episodes, with a new episode streaming each Sunday.
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