Photography: Van Redin/AMC

Eli brings Phineas in on a dangerous secret.

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 108, “Honey Hunt.”

Takeaway No. 1

In playwriting — and screenwriting — they call it The Law of Chekhov’s Gun: You don’t introduce a firearm in Act I unless you plan on firing it in Act III. Remember a couple weeks back when Eli told Jeannie about the time Apaches killed his wife and child while he was away on business? And how he and his men killed almost everyone in the tribe responsible for the attack, except for a boy who earned Eli’s respect? Well, that boy grew up to be the father of a daughter who grew up to be — well, a woman with a serious grudge against Eli. Meet Lena (Sara Tomiko), one of the prostitutes hired to serve more or less as party favors for the guests at an overnight hunting party thrown by the shamelessly corrupt Judge Thaddeus Kilborne (Adrian Sparks). Eli just happened to be one of those guests, but Lena didn’t do him any favors when she tracked him down to a secluded spot in the moonlit woods, and shot him. It was touch and go for Eli after that, and he came close enough to dying to fantasize about meeting Young Eli and being helped onto a horse that would bring him to The Happy Hunting Ground. But Phineas found his wounded dad just in time to call for help. When we last saw Eli in this episode, he was patched up and ready to be driven home. It should be noted, though, that he declined to identify who shot him. Maybe he thought he had it coming?

Takeaway No. 2

Except for that, Eli and Phineas, how did you enjoy the hunting party? Very much, as it turned out, because Phineas convinced Judge Kilborne to accept a sizable bribe in exchange for some crooked paper-pushing and document-altering that will relieve Pedro Garcia of his property — and allow Eli to claim the site where he discovered oil. But wait, there’s more: During the titular “Honey Hunt,” when party guests were encouraged to interact with the lovely party favors, Phineas had a close encounter with a “soiled dove” eager to service his, ahem, needs. Yes, Phineas is still very seriously gay. But he was too polite to refuse the woman’s offer of servicing. “Your ambition does you credit, ma’am,” he told her. “You just relax,” she replied, “and pretend I’m someone else.” And that’s just what he did.

Takeaway No. 3

And speaking of Pedro Garcia: The proud paterfamilias paid a visit to the McCullough family home on the morning after his daughter Maria spent the night there with Pete. Pedro didn’t know for sure that Pete and Maria had engaged in spirited lovemaking from dusk till dawn. Being a reasonably sentient individual, however, he figured it was safe to guess they’d done a lot more than chat about old times. Pete insisted that, oh, no, Maria hadn’t been there, that he was a happily married man, that… Pedro didn’t buy a word of it. And he warned Pete: This time, he’d left his gun out in his car. “Next time I come,” Pedro said, “it will be in my hand.” Could this be another example of Chekhovian presaging?

Takeaway No. 4

Young Eli — a.k.a Pathetic White Boy — may have loomed large in Old Eli’s fantasy, but he was nowhere to be seen this week during the scenes set back in 1850. Maybe he’s still lying at the bottom of the canyon after Charges the Enemy pushed him off that cliff last week? Whatever the reason, his absence served Charges the Enemy well. He returned to the Comanche camp with the wild horses he needed to give Prairie Flower’s adopted father as payment for, well, Prairie Flower. What happened to Pathetic White Boy? According to Charles in Charge… er, Charging the Enemy, he allowed PW-Boy to escape and return to his paleface brethren because PW-Boy let him keep all the pretty horses. Toshaway found it difficult to believe Young Eli had skedaddled — or maybe he just didn’t want to believe it — but he raised no objections to the union of Charging the Enemy and Prairie Flower. Prairie Flower herselfy had quite a few objections, but wound up agreeing to the marriage to fulfill her duty to her adoptive father. Of course, if and when Young Eli makes his way back to camp…

Takeaway No. 5

When Pete and Maria weren’t busy doing the wild thing, they really did talk about old times. Maria revealed that she’s not a widow – rather, her husband abandoned her in New York because Maria couldn’t bear a child for him, leaving her no place to go but back home. Pete offered to run away with her, explaining that he’s unattached now that Sally and their children have moved away to Austin. But Maria rejected the proposal — “I’m not running off with a married man!” — and that’s probably just as well, since Pete indicated he would finance their flight with money Eli keeps stashed away in his home office safe. That money, unfortunately, is no longer there. Judge Kilborne has it now.  

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