Leaphorn and Chee grow to trust each other. Maybe.
Warning: This is an overview of Episode 102 of Dark Winds, so there will be scads of spoilers here. We strongly recommend that you not read this if you have not yet watched the episode on AMC or AMC+.
Leaphorn and Chee interview the surviving witness to the Big Rock Motel murders. Chee meets with the coroner — but the cause of one victim’s death remains a mystery. Meanwhile, Sgt. Manuelito makes a chilling discovery of her own. What are we to make of this? Here are our five takeaways from “The Male Rain Approaches,” Episode 102 of Dark Winds.
Takeaway No. 1
All sorts of trust issues were raised this week — especially in the give and take between Leaphorn (Zahn McClarnon) and Chee (Kiowa Gordon). The way Leaphorn got Chee to admit he’s an FBI plant was pretty slick — and the payback was amusing much later in the episode when Chee confirmed that there was hydraulic fluid in the water sample tested at the FBI lab. Of course, the other info Chee retrieved from the FBI lab — one of the Big Rock Motel murder victims, Anna (Shawnee Pourier), was quite literally scared to death — opens the door for other, creepier plot developments. “There’s no reason for you to trust me,” Chee said, “but I promise you, I’ll prove my worth.” And he did. This week. But you know what? There’s a new episode next week.
Takeaway No. 2
On the other hand, we don’t trust FBI Special Agent FBI Special Agent Whitover (Noah Emmerich) — a.k.a. High Pockets — as far as we could throw a buffalo. And no, not just because of that crude (albeit undeniably funny) remark he made about John Wayne. He’s just a little too eager to play Satan to Chee’s Faust for our taste. And as for “Father” Benjamin — come on, you knew he was a fraud the first time he appeared in the premiere episode, right? Anybody who sounds that much like Peter Lorre has got to be trouble.
Takeaway No. 3
It’s already clear that Dark Winds is one of those shows in which everything that is introduced or referenced eventually has a payoff. So we were not exactly shocked when Leaphorn’s wife, Emma (Deanna Allison), revealed how she had first-hand knowledge of sterilization programs at the local clinic — knowledge she shared in the premiere episode with the pregnant young Sally Growing Thunder (Elva Guerra). Looks like Sally will be staying with the Leaphorns for a while, and sleeping in their late son’s bedroom. Trouble is, since the girl’s mother, Ada Growing Thunder (Amelia Rico) is a bad news spellcaster — something Sgt. Manuelito (Jessica Matten) discovered again this week during another close encounter with her — this generous gesture might not be the coolest of moves.
Takeaway No. 4
And speaking of the late Joe Leaphorn Jr. (Hataaliinez El Wheeler), we learned in flashbacks this week that, yes, he was dating Anna at the time of his death three years ago — which, naturally, makes Leaphorn all the more determined to find her killer. Flashbacks also revealed that oil-drilling site accident in which Joe Jr. died may not have been an accident after all — and that Guy (Ryan Begay), Anna’s father, might have had some advance knowledge of the big blow-up. All of which explains why there’s so much animosity between Leaphorn and Guy. And why Guy has a limp. Look, when you threaten a badass like Leaphorn with a shovel, don’t complain if you get shot in the leg. Just be grateful Leaphorn’s aim is true.
Takeaway No. 5
As we said earlier, nothing happens in Dark Winds without some sort of payoff. So we probably haven’t seen the last of Devoted Dan (Rainn Wilson), the hyper car salesman briefly glimpsed in a TV commercial. And there’s likely a very good reason why we’re seeing all those signs for the B.J. Vines Mining Co. More important, we really hope that poor Mormon family pops up again.