An enemy forces Young Eli to question his loyalties.
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 105, “No Prisoners.”
Takeaway No. 1
Looks like Young Eli has “gone native” completely in the 1849 narrative thread. While serving as advance scout (or, perhaps more accurately, human guinea pig) for the Comanches as they prepare to attack a Tonkawa encampment, he discovers that almost all of the Tonkawa have succumbed to small pox — the result of their receiving infected blankets from the palefaces. Thick Hair (J. LaRose), the sole surviving Tonkawa (who, truth to tell, doesn’t look like he’ll be surviving very long), suggests that Eli keep the bad news to himself, and allow the Comanches to be infected as well when they seize his tribe’s horses, blankets, food, etc. “Take your people’s magic,” Thick Hair says, “and kill them all.” But Eli — who’s fortuitously immune to small pox, thanks to a vaccination he received years earlier — opts not to take revenge on his captors for their murder of his family, and instead advises them to avoid the Tonkawa camp. Back in his own tepee, while he and Prairie Flower are conversing before they get down to other business, she pointedly notes: “You called the whites them.” Yep, he did.
Takeaway No. 2
Have to admit: We thought Thick Hair came pretty dang close convincing Eli to turn on the Comanches by reminding the young paleface that they’ve named him “Pathetic White Boy.” Sooner or later, Toshaway and Charges the Enemy or somebody better give the guy a better name, or face the consequences.
Takeaway No. 3
Know how you can get yourself into trouble by posting a revealing and/or embarrassing photo on Facebook? Well, multiply the fallout from such a folly by a zillion or so, and you’ll have some idea what resulted when pictures taken after Eli and his compatriots killed themselves a mess of Mexicans last week got widely circulated on both sides of the border. Never mind that the Mexicans killed actually were Sediciosos about to derail a passenger train — the “trophy photos” are more than enough to inspire a revenge attack by Sediciosos on Eli’s home. During the assault, loyal Tom Sullivan is killed, Pete again demonstrates his prowess with a gun — and Jonas (Caleb Burgess), Pete’s younger son, is seriously wounded. As the shooting stops, Sally accompanies her boy in a truck bound for Austin, where he’ll undergo surgery. Sally already was voicing her misgivings about living in the middle of nowhere even before the area became a war zone. So it wouldn’t be surprising if she and Jonas (assuming the lad survives) don’t come back.
Takeaway No. 4
Eli probably doesn’t want to admit it — indeed, he’s conspicuously slow to offer thanks —but he and his family would not have survived the attack on his home without the last-minute intervention of Pedro Garcia, who arrives just in the nick of time with several armed men to kill or disperse the Sediciosos. This is a pretty big deal, since an open alliance with Eli inevitably (and immediately) places Garcia and his own family in grave danger. Which may explain why he had to be more or less shamed into helping his neighbor by his daughter, Maria. Whatever his motivation, however, Garcia has more assuredly chosen sides in the ongoing conflict — and Eli, however reluctantly, is grateful.
Takeaway No. 5
More good news for Eli: His granddaughter Jeannie rides back to the house with oil seepage on a hoof of her horse. Which means that, somewhere in the vicinity, up through the ground came a bubbling crude. Oil, that is. Black gold. Texas tea.