Maria and Pete are drawn together in a time of crisis.
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 107, “Marriage Bond.”
Takeaway No. 1
OK, we knew this was going to happen sooner or later, right? They tried to delay the inevitable for as long as possible, and kept on slow-burning it through the first six episodes. Hell, they even kept us waiting until near the very end of this episode. But at long last, Pete and Maria owed up to their barely contained passion for each other, and got busy just before the closing credits. For the time being, they seem to be very happy. For the time being.
Takeaway No. 2
Heaven knows Pete needed some serious cheering up. Before the, ahem, climax of this week’s episode, he learned that (a) the racist vigilantes of the Law & Order League lynched Ramon, (b) other vaqueros (including some longtime employees) want to quit their McCullough Ranch jobs to avoid similar fates, and (c) Charles, Pete’s impressionable son, was lured into being an unwilling participant in the murder by the dastardly Niles, the Law and Order League ringleader. Pete figured it was a good idea to get Charles and his sister Jeannie out the area for a while, so he drove them to the McCullough House in Austin, where Sally has been staying with the recuperating Jonas. More bad news: Sally viewed Charles’ complicity in the crime as yet another sign that the McCullough Ranch is a bad environment in which to be raising a family — so she once again suggested that they move away from the place. (Charles, she warns, is “surrounded by men who think there’s glory in violence.") Pete makes a counter-offer — he will return to the ranch while she and their three children remain in Austin — that Sally reluctantly accepts. For the time being.
Takeaway No. 3
Naturally, this arrangement left Pete conveniently alone in the final scene. But Maria didn’t have a very pleasant build-up to the lovemaking, either. Not only did the beautiful widow have to deal with her mom’s nagging about finding a new husband. (A complicating factor: Maria revealed to Pete that, technically speaking, she might not actually be a widow.) She also had a very unpleasant encounter in town with the slimy but smooth-talking Niles, who has been posting Law & Order League flyers encouraging white folks to “Protect Our Land from the Mexican Menace.” When she accused him of being responsible for Ramon’s death, Niles pointedly reminded Maria that “her people,” much like his people, massacred Indians to claim land in the area. The only difference between them, as he sees it: “You have risen higher on the backs of the oppressed than I.”
Takeaway No. 4
Eli kept a relatively low profile in Episode 107, but he did agree with Pete that Niles, despite his temporary value as a necessary evil, will have to be neutralized at some point. (“Accounts will be balanced.”) Maybe that explains why, during Pete’s absence, Eli loaded up his truck with cash and guns and drove off somewhere under cover of night. On the other hand, maybe this means Eli is plotting something more sinister — something to do with claiming the oil he discovered on Pedro Garcia’s property. Meanwhile, off in Austin, Phineas did his best to brighten the spirits of his sister-in-law Sally by taking her out to dinner, and then to his favorite Austin gay bar for a nightcap. (The latter scene could have come off as offensive or absurd, but co-stars Jess Weixler and David Wilson Barnes helped make it charming and amusing.) After they returned to the McCullough House, however, Phineas revealed a different side during a conversation with the guilt-stricken Charles: Way back when he and Charles’ dad were youngsters, they helped Eli track down, and summarily hang, cattle rustlers. Yes, Pete actually shot a man when he was 12. But Phineas suggested that his own hands are similarly bloody. So if Eli is planning some sort of land grab, well, maybe Phineas will be offering more than just business advice?
Takeaway No. 5
Time-warp to 1850: Young Eli, a.k.a. Pathetic White Boy, tended to Ingrid after the captured white girl attempted suicide — and promptly sparked jealousy in Prairie Flower. At the suggestion of Toshaway, PW-Boy set out to win the favor of Prairie Flower’s father (and get out of the doghouse with Prairie Flower) by killing a deer and offering the old guy some meat for his family. And that, not surprisingly, enraged Charges the Enemy, who views Prairie Flower as his bride-to-be. The romantic revivals had a face-off in the woods that was interrupted when they heard wild horses nearby. But when PW-Boy was distracted by the livestock, Charges the Enemy shoved him off a cliff. Now, of course, this can’t be the end of Young Eli — otherwise, there wouldn’t be an Old Eli. But it does set things up for a violent payback, doesn’t it?