‘Billy The Kid’ Season 2 Episode 2 Recap & Ending Explained: What Was John Tunstall Trying To Do?

The first episode of Billy The Kid Season 2 ended with Jesse refusing to fight on Tunstall’s side, which essentially means he is rejecting Billy’s friendship as well. The stage is set for the conflict, and there will be some setbacks as well. Who will be the first casualty of this war?


Spoilers Ahead

Why was Tunstall Bank closed?

Billy The Kid Episode 2 begins with John Tunstall’s bank being given the orders to close, as per District Attorney Thomas Catron. Catron is not just a competitor; he took full advantage of his power to make sure Tunstall’s businesses were closed. Attacking the bank was one of the many steps Murphy and his gang took, with Catron backing them. Catron happens to be a crucial member of the House and the Santa Fe Ring, which allows him to make the sheriff work as per his orders.


The bank was asked to shut down when Tunstall was away in Las Vegas attending to some business. The competitors took control of the situation in his absence and stole horses from his ranch, which were under the protection of Mr. Brewer, the deputy sheriff of the town. The town has been split between these two warring groups, and the townspeople will be forced to take sides. Brewer and his men file a complaint against Jesse and his gang for the theft of the horses. The attempt was successful because the sheriff at times acted like a man who adheres to law and order. He was instrumental in arresting Jesse and his mates and releasing Tunstall’s horses.

Will Billy meet Dulcinea’s father?

Billy was jealous after seeing Dulcinea with another man in town. This gave him the courage to speak his mind and declare his love for her. Dulcinea is fond of Billy as well, but she is the heiress of a rich family. She will have to think before deciding on courting a man who is an outlaw. Dulcinea breaks the news of her engagement, and she cannot walk away from it without causing embarrassment to her father.


Billy met her father after a while, only to let him know his intention to marry Dulcinea. Billy is aware of Dulcinea’s love for him, and he states that the new America gives her the option to choose a spouse of her liking. This sparks a change in Dulcinea’s father, and he believes Billy to be a sensible gentleman. Dulcinea’s father gave her his blessing to marry Billy because being in a free country like America should mean having the right to choose their partner. Her father was never given that freedom, but he wants Dulcinea to take advantage of it.

What happened in Las Vegas?

John Tunstall was bedridden due to smallpox during his visit to Las Vegas. Taking advantage of his deteriorating health, Edgar Walz visits Tunstall and threatens to kill the business magnate if he does not back away from the conflict and close all the businesses that were a threat to Thomas Catron. This was a classic Murphy and Catron maneuver where they preyed on the weak and bullied them to back off so that their monopoly was not threatened. Tunstall might be rich, but he was afraid for his life. There was no point in fighting a war if Tunstall was not alive. Tunstall was under the impression that he might not survive this fever. He wanted to make Murphy an offer he couldn’t refuse.


Why was John Tunstall trying to make Murphy his ally?

Tunstall, after his recovery, requested Billy and all his associates, including McSween, to release Jesse from the local jail. A peace treaty could be the first step toward maintaining law and order in town. Tunstall got into this war without realizing people were putting their lives at risk for him. If Tunstall does not survive the war, most of them will be forced to leave the town. Billy and other associates of Tunstall were not in favor of helping Jesse and submitting a peace offering to Murphy. This is war, and Billy signed up for it knowing Murphy needed to be defeated. Billy knew Jesse and Murphy, and they would probably not assume any of this as being steps towards establishing an accord.

Tunstall believes that Murphy and the House are in deep financial trouble. By walking out of the war, Tunstall was hoping to give Murphy something substantial. He had hoped their businesses could co-exist. This proves Tunstall is indeed a smart businessman who is thinking ten steps ahead aiming to benefit all of them. Murphy and his associates are a bunch of hooligans who were used to arm-twisting their competitors instead of giving each other space to grow. Billy is forced to agree to Tunstall’s plan, and they are successful in helping Jesse and his gang escape prison. They brought them to a negotiation table in the hope of getting Murphy and Catron’s attention.


What was the aftermath of this peace offering?

Jesse Evans and his gang were not ready to accept their rescue as part of a peace offering put forward by Tunstall and his associates. They figured their gang was held captive, and they probably asked for ransom from Murphy for their release. Jesse had every reason to worry about himself and his team. He had not heard any talk about Murphy and Tunstall trying to negotiate their way into co-existing in one town. He also could not trust Billy’s words anymore because of their history.

Jesse walks away from the negotiation table by stating he cannot trust any of their words and ends up killing one of Billy’s team members. This was not the kind of result Tunstall expected. Their time was wasted on people who were stubborn and unwilling to bring about some changes in the town. Tunstall was proven wrong, but he had learned his lesson.


Billy The Kid Episode 2 ends with Tunstall apologizing to his team for going off track and hoping that there will be a peace accord between the two warring factions. Tunstall was probably worried about how the war would affect him and his business, which made him retreat for a brief period. Murphy and his associates will be made aware of Tunstall’s failed attempt at negotiation, which will be used to their benefit in the upcoming episodes. Tunstall unfortunately exposed his weakness by pursuing this route. He requested Billy to stay by his side now that the war had officially begun. This was Tunstall’s last attempt to give his opponent a chance, but since they have shut the door, he and Billy have no choice but to wait for the first move from Murphy’s team. 

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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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