‘Billy The Kid’ Season 2 Episode 3 Recap & Ending Explained: Who Killed John Tunstall?

The second episode of the second season of Billy the Kid ended with Tunstall coming to terms with the inevitable war between him and Murphy’s gang. His attempts to negotiate fail miserably, but he apologizes to Bill and his entire team for going off track. The war has been declared, and a lot needs to be uncovered about the politics of this conflict as the series progresses.


Spoilers Ahead

What Is Murphy And Riley’s Gang’s First Plan Of Action?

The Murphy and Riley gang again took assistance from the Sheriff to close Tunstall’s store. It was one of their ways to further destabilize John Tunstall and put a stop to his cash flow. The money coming from the store was financing Billy and his gang. Putting a stop to it was an intelligent decision. Deputy Sheriff Brewer was also fired from his job to avoid his interference as an officer of the law. McSween was also informed about the orders being passed to seize Tunstall’s ranch and other properties to handicap the businessman further. Murphy, Riley, and Thomas Catron were doing everything in their power and capacity to throw Tunstall out of business. Slowly, this war was becoming one-sided, with no option left for Tunstall but eventually to maybe give up on the fight.


Is Tunstall Giving Up?

John Tunstall initially suggested barricading the properties to make sure no one trespassed on their land. Tunstall and McSween were aware of the possibility of the local sheriff swinging by their home anytime with his orders. Tunstall and Billy were initially keen on resisting this move from the authorities. Tunstall suddenly had a change of mind because he believed he would be letting his deceased father down by leading a group of honest men to perish for his cause. He could not bear the burden of being responsible for the deaths of these loyal men. Instead of defending the land, he suggested they move to another property of his in the hope that the Sheriff and Jesse would not follow them.

Tunstall had panicked because he had a lot to lose as he wondered if the winds had changed and the war was going against him. He couldn’t risk losing loyal men and couldn’t help but wonder if there could be another way to avoid all the mess that came from this war. Tunstall was changing his mind for the third time, and Billy was willing to hear him out all this while because he believed in the man’s cause to start a clean business that would benefit the community.


Who Killed John Tunstall?

Jesse and his gang reached Tunstall Ranch, only to find it abandoned. Jesse was hoping to confront Billy and Tunstall, but with no luck. He had developed a hatred for Billy, and it was exhibiting an evil side of him. Jesse ordered his gang to follow the trail until they found them. Some of the members of the group were keen on taking legal orders from the sheriff before hunting their rivals. Jesse had been an infamous outlaw, and going down the legal course was a tiresome process for him. He orders men to follow his orders as they begin their journey to hunt Tunstall and Billy.

Billy and Tunstall took a momentary break from a long journey and were on the lookout for some food with the gang. They left Tunstall unguarded. To their horror, Jesse and the gang caught up to them and were quick to corner the lone standing Tunstall and killed him. Tunstall’s death happened suddenly and unexpectedly. The war had only begun, and the key person who was rallying an honest fight was dead. The show portrayed the ugly face of rampant corruption in America in those times, and it spared no honest person, including John Tunstall. The viewers would believe the war is over, but Billy’s resilience was too strong, and he was not willing to give up yet.


What Are Riley’s Concerns Now?

Riley and Murphy were under the impression that the war was over, with John Tunstall dead. They believed the town could go back to how it functioned before Tunstall showed up. Their problems are far from over because Edgar Walz informed the men of Billy being alive, and the war would not cease until he was killed. Thomas Catron still believes the threat looming over them is real, and Riley will have to gear up for a bigger battle, as this time the famed Billy would stop at nothing.

Walz was aware of the upcoming battle and of the fact that ‘the House’ was financially struggling. In his bid to showcase Thomas Catron’s power, he offers to provide a loan with Riley’s property as a collateral. Riley’s assets would become Lincoln County’s property until the mortgage is repaid. It proved that Thomas could not be trusted, as he played Riley and Murphy by luring them into this war. Thomas was keen on taking over the businesses of these two men as well. Since they were allies against Tunstall from the beginning, Riley and Murphy could not back out of the deal. Financially, they will have a lot to lose if this deal falls through. With Billy still at large, Riley and Murphy will stand no chance, even with Jesse Evans on their side.


Jesse demanded the sheriff to wrap up Tunstall’s death as a case of resisting and evading arrest. The sheriff was enraged at the thought of Jesse taking the law into his own hands and not worrying about the consequences. Jesse believed Riley and Murphy were powerful, which allowed him to make grotesque decisions. He was slowly becoming corrupt and started considering himself to be invincible.

Will Billy Take Revenge For Tunstall’s Death?

Tunstall’s death created a void that would be hard to fill. An enraged Billy took it upon himself to fight for Tunstall’s cause till Riley, Murphy, and the whole ring of corrupt officials were defeated. Billy believed in Tunstall’s’ cause, and at this juncture, he would do anything to make his dream come true. Tunstall had given up on his aim to create a corruption free market in town. Billy believed in it and created a team of allies who would help him take up arms against the rich and the powerful.


McSween wanted to take the legal route. With John Tunstall out of the picture, their only way to survive was to go to court and win a legal battle. Billy was aware of the rampant corruption, and he knew the verdict would never go in their favor. Billy captured one of the men from Jesse’s gang to find out who killed John Tunstall. Billy wanted to even the game as the war had just begun and the back and forth of killing was going to be a staple sight. They learned of two names, but Billy was surprised to know Jesse was not one of them. Billy and his gang plan to go after Morton and Baker, the men who were revealed to be Tunstall’s killer.

Billy believes Tunstall was unarmed, he could not defend himself, and killing him in this manner was unethical. Billy and his men corner Morton and Baker, and the men are offered asylum if they surrender. We believe Billy’s men were willing to give Morton and Baker another chance by including them in their gang. Enraged at the sight of the men who killed his mentor, Billy shot them dead. He took the law into his own hands because he had given up on the system. He sternly believed this war could be won only with weapons and not at court.


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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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