‘Lawmen: Bass Reeves’ Episode 2 Recap & Spoilers: Why Did Lynn Offer Bass The Badge?

The second episode of Lawmen: Bass Reeves, suddenly jumps 13 years ahead in the timeline and lands in 1875, skipping the part about how Bass and Jennie set up their own house away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Bass, who had run away after winning his freedom in a card game, was a farmer now, and he had no intention of ever holding a gun again or even working for a white man, for that matter. He did both of those things in this episode, and the results were interesting. With great performances by Dennis Quaid, who shows up portraying Deputy Sherill Lynn, and David Oyelowo, the episode feels captivating but a bit jarring in the beginning because of the sudden jump, but eventually the narrative starts to engage.

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Spoilers Ahead


How Did Jennie Convince Bass To Join Deputy Lynn?

In Van Buren, Arkansas, poor Bass thought he was being taught a lesson by the Almighty, as he wasn’t able to grow any harvest for the season. He depended on it. With four kids of his own and a fifth on the way, Bass needed an income source to provide for his family. Jennie wasn’t too perturbed, as she seemed to have more faith in the Lord than Bass himself. She was optimistic about their future, and sure enough, soon came Deputy Lynn to offer Bass a job. But there was a problem: Bass didn’t want to be Lynn’s posseman. Lynn was pressing him, as Bass was someone who could handle Lynn’s case on hand. Lynn was after a man named ‘One Charlie,’ and the only way to get any clues was if he could have a conversation with Charlie’s wife, who spoke Choctaw. Having lived in the Indian Land for a while, Bass not only spoke Choctaw but wasn’t a bad shooter himself, which was the other reason Lynn wanted to hire him. His partner, Horace Lee, had died, and he needed someone to provide him cover if things went south. Even after a good offer, Bass refused. Jennie came to know about it, and she reminded him what a great opportunity it was for Bass. The Deputy had come to his door and asked for help, and Bass had declined. Jennie quenched his doubts over handling a gun again, which he thought to be a dangerous weapon. Jennie convinced him that a gun was just a simple tool, but it was better if it was in Bass’ hands than in any old fool’s. Bass thought over it again and realized that he was carrying a bit of the past with him, and he could work for Lynn after all.

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What Beef Did Lynn Have With Native Americans?

Lynn seemed like an experienced fellow, but having seen some horrendous things in his day, he had grown a tad bit cynical. His views regarding the Native Americans, or ‘Reds,’ as he liked to call them, were rather disturbing. This fugitive ‘One Charlie’ had killed Horace, and Lynn wasn’t going to let that go. Charlie was wanted for selling whiskey, which was illegal at the time, and now he was on Lynn’s hit list after the Horace episode. But this isn’t where Lynn’s distrust for the Native Americans began. When Bass tried to talk him out of the opinion he held for the Native Americans, Lynn proceeded to tell a story about his survival where the ‘Reds’ had attacked the ship he was on, and when he managed to get on land, a savage barbarian tried to cut out his scalp. He even showed a scar to prove these facts. Bass figured that Lynn was prejudiced, and it wasn’t easy to bring him to the other side, where he could see that one single incident cannot be used to stereotype an entire people.


How Did Bass And Lynn Deal With Charlie?

First, Lynn found out where Charlie’s wife lived and tried to barge into her house. Bass, sensing the situation escalating, tried to calm her down and had a private conversation where she revealed that she wasn’t his wife but his cousin. She had been paying Charlie’s debts, and she knew that someday he would be in deep trouble. She had a sense that Charlie would be killed, but all she asked Bass was to let her know if something happened to him. Bass promised he would, and soon the time came when he would have to inform her about her cousin’s death. Bass wanted to avoid it at all costs, but Lynn was hasty.

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When they found Charlie’s abode, Bass tried to reason with him and told him to stop shooting, but Charlie was frantic. That didn’t make Bass flinch, and kept on shooting and when the bullet grazed Lynn’s shoulder, he grew furious. Lynn circled around the house, and while Charlie was busy listening to Bass, he threw a burning molotov in through the window. Charlie ran out, screaming in agony, and caught fire. Bass couldn’t stand to see the painful death any longer and spared him any more agony. He shot him and ended the chapter. But his chapter with Lynn had just begun. Bass was furious over Lynn’s antics. Bass punched Lynn when he couldn’t take his tirade about the ‘Reds’ any longer.


Why Did Lynn Offer Bass The Badge?

Jennie managed her house all alone and waited for Bass to return. Meanwhile, she bought herself a piano while avoiding the pressure from members of the separatist movement who wanted a nation for black folks. She also took care of Arthur, the piano transporter, who was smitten with Sally, Jennie’s daughter. Bass returned and saw that perhaps this happy household was going to be put under duress, as he expected Lynn to return with the cavalry to arrest him. When he did, though, Bass was surprised to hear that Lynn had come up with a proposition for Bass: to become a Deputy U.S. Marshall. Lynn had had a change of heart, and even though the punch had knocked him out, it was necessary, he felt. The truth was, Lynn was impressed with Bass’ earnestness, and even though nothing would have been possible without Judge Parker’s decision, it was Lynn who helped Bass get that offer. Bass was in no mood to let the opportunity go by, as he was a man who believed in justice, and he thought he was ready to be a lawman.

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Ayush Awasthi
Ayush Awasthi
Ayush is a perpetual dreamer, constantly dreaming of perfect cinematic shots and hoping he can create one of his own someday.

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