Eli and Pete join forces in a bloody battle.
We’re offering a list of five takeaways from every episode of The Son aired during the drama’s premiere season on AMC. Warning: There will be spoilers a-plenty in each of these overviews. Here are five takeaways from Episode 104, “Death Song.”
Takeaway No. 1
Call it “A Tale of Two Ambushes,” and you won’t be far off the mark. In “Death Song” — the episode’s actual title — we time tripped back and forth between 1849, when Young Eli earned Toshaway’s gratitude and respect by bringing a dying Escute (Alex Livinalli) back to camp after tribesmen were attacked by Texas Rangers during a buffalo hunt, and 1915, when Eli and Pete joined forces with a gaggle of other guys (including at least one Texas Ranger) to ambush Mexican raiders known as sediciosos before they could damage train tracks sufficiently to cause a multiple-fatality crash.
Takeaway No. 2
Pete still seems spooked out after having to kill Cesar in self-defense. And this week, he appeared none too happy when his son Charles (Shane Graham) defied his orders and joined him, Eli and all the other armed Texans lying in wait for the sediciosos. It wasn’t just that Pete feared his boy could get killed in the conflict — he didn’t want Charles hanging around a bad influence like the aggressively bloodthirsty Niles Gilbert (James Parks). During the actual battle, however, Pete once again demonstrated that his good intentions can have bad results: After he released a Mexican woman who served as an advance scout for the sediciosos, she returned to the fray to take a shot at Tom Sullivan. Pete responded by shooting the woman — multiple times — revealing, once again, that maybe he’s not as different from Eli as he would like to think.
Takeaway No. 3
Looks like Pete isn’t the only one torn by conflicting impulses. After seeing her father provide the sediciosos with the tools they needed for their sabotage, Maria Garcia tipped off Pete about the impending danger. Naturally, Pete passed the info on to his father, who in turn helped round up the welcoming committee for the sediciosos. Later, as Eli pressed Pete to tell him just how he obtained advance word of the planned sabotage, one thing led to another, and pretty soon the audience got to hear confirmation of what we’ve suspected since the first episode: Years ago, Pete and Maria were an item. And when Pete reminded his dad that Eli was the one who insisted he marry Sally instead of their lovely Mexican-American neighbor, Eli shocked Pete – and, yes, the audience as well — when he replied, “You could have said no.” Say what? “It’s a surprise,” Eli asked, “that I care about what happens to you?” Well, yes. Actually, yes.
Takeaway No. 4
Meanwhile, back in 1849, Young Eli earned points with Toshaway by trying to transport Escute back to camp before the latter died from injuries he suffered during the clash with Texas Rangers. Maybe, just maybe, this will encourage Charges the Enemy to stop calling him “Pathetic White Boy.” Or not.
Takeaway No. 5
It’s difficult to tell whether Neptune (Quinton Johnson), the proud black army vet employed by Eli, will continue to get along with, or at least remain a wary frenemy of, the casually racist Niles. In “Death Song,” Niles indicated a grudging respect for the man he referred to as “a brother in arms.” And, mind you, that was before Neptune proved how proficient he could be with a machine gun. But Niles doesn’t come across as the most enlightened of men, so who knows what the future will bring?