The sixth episode of Lawmen: Bass Reeves, reintroduced the enigmatic character of Esau Pierce, and it turns out he wasn’t the Cherokee leader Bass had met years ago. Bass’ new chapter with Esau began, now that he was a Texas Ranger. There was an antagonism evolving between the two, but this was no time to dig up the past. Bass did try to go see Sara, whose son was shot and killed by Esau years ago. The episode explored Bass’ deteriorating integrity, where he was finding it incredibly difficult to deal with the responsibilities of his job. He was seen getting drunk, almost on the verge of doing something drastic, but the bounty hunters did him a favor by jolting him out of his sorry state when they came to claim his life. Bass was revived and now wanted to know the real identity of the feared slave hunter terrorizing the region, who simply went by the name Mr. Sundown.
Why did Esau stop Bass?
In the previous episode, it looked like Esau and Bass had run into each other by sheer accident, but Lawmen: Bass Reeves Episode 6 showed us that wasn’t the case at all. Esau remembered who Bass was and told him that he was a Texas Ranger now. Bass was carrying Jackson, the man who murdered James Neblett, with him, and Esau told him that he had to hand Jackson over. The conversation was almost too cryptic to be understood, but Esau seemed pleased that Bass had married and become a lawman. But he wasn’t at all happy with Jackson, who had killed Neblett in a cruel manner. Jackson had just told Bass about the ‘why’ of the killing but missed on the ‘how’. Esau filled in the gaps, and Bass figured that Jackson was just as cruel as the rest of the murderers he had sent to Parker, many of whom were going to hang soon. Bass handed Jackson over to Esau and then headed over to Sara’s place, but found that there was nobody home and perhaps Sara had passed away. Bass probably wanted to apologize to her for putting her son in harm’s way that day when he was just a little too green. For whatever it was worth, he spent some time at the abandoned house, probably paying his respects to the departed.
Why was Bass attacked in Checotah?
Bill Crow, Bass’ posseman, was getting tired of the cryptic business Bass was in. He didn’t understand what was happening or why Bass was adamant about visiting Sara’s place. Bill was tired, and he needed some rest. Bass himself wasn’t doing any better, but he decided to travel to Checotah, a territory he knew pretty well. He promised Bill some resting time, but he had to promise to stay mum the whole way, as there was something that was bothering Bass that wasn’t going to be solved by Bill’s chattering. When Bass arrived in Checotah, he had only the luxury of alcohol to quiet his mind. He almost got into a duel with a Texas Ranger named Braxton Sawyer, who just happened to be in Checotah that night. Bass had a moment of insight, or perhaps a lapse of judgment, where he feared that the badge he wore on his chest was no better than the chains he wore when he was George Reeves’ slave. He got hammered, and the bounty hunters got a chance to try and get to him in the night. Bill was indulging in some leisure time with the woman he had met on the night he had shot Silas, and he almost came a little too late to save the drunk Bass from the bounty hunters. He saved Bass just by a whisker, and the duo then gained their form and neutralized the bounty hunters.
How did Edwin and Bass’ conversation get heated?
After almost getting killed, Bass returned, bruised and battered, to a dinner at his home, where Jennie had invited Edwin and Esme for a conversation with Bass. Bass was not too keen on chatting with anybody, probably not even Jennie, but he entertained Edwin to the best of his ability. When Edwin started to try to persuade Bass to join his ‘struggle’ to fight for a ‘Black Nation’ formed on Indian territory, that’s when Edwin irked Bass just a little more than he was in the mood to tolerate. He got told of the ‘disappearing’ cases, where colored people were going missing. Edwin thought this to be a reaction to the abolishment of slavery. Bass seemed to be in a hostile mood, possibly a result of his near-death experience with the bounty hunters, and Edwin’s constant inquisitive tone, as if to imply that Bass was betraying his Black folks, was more than enough to make it an extremely heated conversation. Jennie broke off the tension and said what was on her mind: that she wouldn’t allow Edwin to reduce Bass to a poster boy for his ‘struggle’.
Who is Mr. Sundown?
Something was eating Bass from the inside. Even Jennie could sense it. When Bass went to collect his wage for the delivery of Jackson to the Texas Rangers, he was not given his full pay. On further inquiry, he found he had been given the lawful pay for delivering Jackson’s boots, which meant that Esau had killed Jackson on his way to court. Suddenly, something got triggered in Bass, and he went to meet Ramsey, the prisoner who had told him about a certain Mr. Sundown, the ghostly figure, who was hunting Black people. Ramsey was on death row, and he refused to tell Bass if he knew who Mr. Sundown was. Before getting hanged, he publicly mentioned that Sundown was ‘cinco pesos’.
Bass heard Ramsey’s last words and figured something out. At the beginning Lawmen: Bass Reeves Episode 6, he met Esau, who had shown him the Texas Ranger badge, which was made by carving a 5 peso coin. 5 meant ‘cinco’ in Spanish, and it seemed clear what Ramsey was referring to. Bass was haunted by Esau’s statements about his willingness to honor his badge and Bass’ inherent nature to get bogged down by the duties of the job. Does it mean Esau, the Texas Ranger, the holder of a ‘cinco pesos’ badge, was misusing his power to kill off Black people? But there were other Rangers, like Braxton Sawyer, who could well be the monster Ramsey was talking about. The next episodes will surely clear up the confusion, and hopefully Bass will be able to nab Mr. Sundown.