At the end of “Dark Winds,” episode 2, we saw Sergeant Bernadette Manuelito have an unnatural experience with Ada Growing Thunder, the mother of Sally Growing Thunder. Joe Leaphorn informs Jim Chee about Anna Growing Thunder and Joe Jr’s relationship. The episode ends in a cave where we see Father Benjamin Tso and the yet-unidentified guy from the Growing Thunder warehouse talking about the money and the cactus painting. “Dark Winds” Episode 3 shows Joe and Jim looking into the disappearance of the Mormon family. Jim and Bernadette become more than just partners. Joe has a new guest at his home. We find out who our unidentified “warehouse” man is.
Some Water and a Bilagaana
“Dark Winds” Episode 3 begins by exploring the whole money racket that is run by the famous car dealer, Devoted Dan. It also involves Benjamin Tso, the “warehouse” man, the guy with the mustache (episode 2), a trucker named Edwin Yazzie, as well as Lester’s wife Wanda, and some other Navajo natives. And the cactus painting is what is used as a way to move the money from one place to another.
Bernadette finds a receipt from the trunk of the deserted green car, a Lincoln Continental, which has the name Wilson Smith as the buyer. The receipt is from Lester’s store. Joe and Jim find Raymond Begay, a local burglar, and hire him to look for anything unusual under the water body by Benjamin Tso’s house. Raymond doesn’t find anything the first time, so Joe tells him to take another lap. Joe also tells Jim that the tire tracks at the Growing Thunder house match those in the desert where the Mormon family went missing. Emma is trying to find out more about anything that might help in the case of Sally Growing Thunder, their new house guest. Meanwhile, Bernadette arrives at Benjamin Tso’s house and informs Joe about the receipt she found. She reveals that the Mormon family is officially reported missing. Joe decides to go to Flagstaff and talk to the feds and tells Bernadette and Jim to follow up on the matter.
While at work in the hospital, Emma finds her niece Nanobah, who has just had her first period. But she wants to celebrate her kinaaldá (a ceremony that celebrates a woman’s coming of age among the Navajo) with Emma and not her father. So Emma brings her home, where she is introduced to Sally.
Bernadette and Jim arrive at Lester’s shop, Short Mountain Trading Post, to ask about the Smiths (the Mormon family). He tells them that a “bilagaana” (Navajo term for American) guy with a mustache came to the store looking for the cactus painting sometime after the Mormon family left. Bernadette and Jim leave the shop. Benjamin Tso was in the shop all the while, listening to the two officers.
The Coming of Age
Joe returns home and finds out about Nanobah. He tells Emma that he will be going to Flagstaff, Arizona, the next day (to talk to the feds). Emma is yet to find out anything from Sally Growing Thunder. Nanobah’s Kinaaldá begins and will go on for 4 days. On the way to Flagstaff, Joe comes across trucker Yazzie who is driving a shiny new truck. Joe checks the registration and finds the name “Devoted Dan.” He then lets Yazzie go. On the other hand, Bernadette and Jim visit Lester’s wife, Wanda and ask her about her cactus painting, the Mormon family that went missing, and the American guy who came looking for it later. She denies knowing anything about it, something that neither Jim nor Bernadette are willing to believe.
Joe meets Whitover at Flagstaff, who tells Joe that the Mormon family missing case is Joe’s responsibility. When Joe asks about updates on the Atcitty-Tso case, Whitover reveals that the case is closed and the families can retrieve the bodies. Joe calls up Emma and tells her that he will have to spend the night in Flagstaff as he will be bringing back the bodies of Anna Atcitty and Hosteen Tso to Navajo. Jim brings Bernadette to his childhood Navajo home, and they both find out more about each other and their parents. Bernadette would like Jim to come over to Emma’s niece’s Kinaaldá. Jim asks her if she will be there. She says she will. Meanwhile, Raymond Begay recovers a white helmet from the water body.
The next day, Joe brings back the bodies of Anna and Hosteen. He first goes to the Atcitty family and hands her body over to them. Then he arrives at Benjamin Tso’s house with his grandfather’s body. But after not finding him there, he buries Hosteen himself. Meanwhile, Anna’s parents bury her too.
The Hairclip and the Grandson
Lester’s wife, Wanda, drives to the cave where we saw Benjamin and the “warehouse” guy in “Dark Winds,” episode 2. There, Benjamin blames her negligence for their having to keep the Moron family as “insurance.” She is the one responsible for the painting landing in the wrong hands, which can compromise their whole racket. She also tells them that she didn’t tell the police. Benjamin believes her and asks her for her hair clip, but keeps it to himself. After Wanda leaves, Benjamin tells the “warehouse” guy to give it to “you know who” (just in case Wanda tries to escape).
Joe arrives at Lester’s trade shop to buy some firewood. Lester warns him about Black Widow spiders that “love that wood pile.” Lester then gives Joe a letter he found. It was addressed to Benjamin Tso by his grandfather, Hosteen. Hosteen had asked Lester to mail it, but he somehow couldn’t. He also tells Joe that Benjamin came in half an hour earlier and asked him about Joe’s address. But all that Lester told Benjamin was that Joe buried his grandfather.
‘Dark Winds’ Episode 3 Ending Explained- What’s In Hosteen Tso’s Letter?
Bernadette arrives at the Leaphorn residence for Nanobah’s Kinaaldá in beautiful customary attire, followed by Jim in a pair of sober trousers and a full-sleeved off-white shirt. While the ceremony is on, Joe calls Jim to the side and shows him Hosteen Tso’s letter. It begs Benjamin to return to Navajo, meaning that he has been gone for a long time. There is also a mention of Benjamin’s brother. But what’s curious is that the letter was never delivered. So what is Benjamin doing in Navajo now?
Sometime later, Benjamin arrives there too. He tells Bernadette and Jim that he has come to thank Joe for burying his grandfather. He then meets Tso as he comes out of the house, showing his gratitude. However, he asks Joe to show him where he buried his grandfather. Meanwhile, Sally is able to see and hear their conversation from inside the house. There is an expression of fear on her face as she stares at Benjamin. Just then, she begins to whimper and then scream in pain that seemingly arises from her pregnancy. Benjamin hears her scream and looks through to see Sally. Joe and Emma put Sally in the car, and Bernadette and Jim bring her to the hospital. After a few minutes, Joe and Emma also arrive. Sally is put in bed, and her pain has subsided. When she finds herself with Emma and no one else around, she whispers something in her ear.
The next day, it is the final day of Nanobah’s Kinaaldá. Emma tells Joe that Sally gave her a name, Frank Nakai [the father of the baby, who is also our “warehouse” man]. She also tells him that she wants Sally and her baby to stay with them. Somewhere in the desert, Ada Growing Thunder buries Wanda’s hair clip in the sand (given to her by Frank) and utters what seem to be some incantations. The scene cuts to Lester’s trade shop, where Wanda is shifting wood. As she keeps some pieces of wood on a pile and takes a sip from a bottle of alcohol, a Black Widow spider crawls up her arm from among the heap and bites her on her neck. Wanda immediately falls to the ground, foaming.
By now, it is clear that Ada Growing Thunder knows black magic because her incantations and Wanda’s death are too simultaneous to be coincidental. On the other hand, Joe and Jim will approach Benjamin about his grandfather’s letter. Joe will also search for the father of Sally’s baby, Frank Nakai. Moreover, it seems that the brother that Hosteen mentions in his letter to Benjamin is none other than Frank himself. There is also the helicopter at the bottom of the body of water, as well as the white helmet that Raymond Begay recovers. “Dark Winds” Episode 4 will probably have some new revelations.