Leaphorn, Chee, and Manuelito descend on the hiding place of the Buffalo Society.
Warning: This is an overview of Episode 106 — the Season Finale — 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+.
Just about everybody gets what they deserve. What are we to make of this? Here are our five takeaways from “Hózhóo Naasháa,” the Season Finale of Dark Winds.
Takeaway No. 1
We’ve been fascinated and engaged all along by the time-tripping structure of this season’s narrative arc, and amused to see how, each week, we’ve learned bits and pieces of backstory that explain motives and clarify actions. But the Season Finale prologue really was a banger. And, better still, it confirmed all of our worst suspicions about Special Agent Whitover (Noah Emmerich).
Takeaway No. 2
On the other hand, there have been times this season when we’ve felt the plot relied a tad too much on coincidence. But never mind: We’re certainly not going to complain that Guy (Ryan Begay) just happened to be in the right place at the right time to play Good Samaritan for someone who provided all the info he needed to be in an even better place at an even for propitious time. Truth to tell, we’re actually happier that it was him, not Chee (Kiowa Gordon), who gave Whitover a forced feeding of just deserts.
Takeaway No. 3
Really, everything about this episode — from the clever way scripter Maya Rose Dittloff and director Chris Eyre contrived to gather everyone at a specific location to the emotionally satisfying three-months-later conversation between Chee and Leaphorn — was exceptionally fine. And all that action and suspense inside the cave kept us on the edge of our seats. But what really gripped us was the final conversation between Leaphorn (Zahn McClarnon) and James Tso (Jeremiah Bitsui), which gave both actors opportunities to bare the souls of their characters — and to provocatively raise questions about which man was doing more for his people. Go ahead, hand each actor a fistful of kudos.
Takeaway No. 4
OK, if we correctly understood the exchange between Leaphorn and Chee at the very end, Frank Nakai (Eugene Brave Rock) might still be wandering around somewhere with a stash of cash. (Of course, we’re assuming that he’s likely sharing at least some of it with his people.) But what about Pete (Rob Tepper), the white dude who was in on the armored car heist? Did we miss something, or is he, too, a likely prospect for a return engagement in Season 2?
Takeaway No. 5
It’s difficult, maybe impossible, for us to choose which dialogue exchange was our favorite in Episode 106. Obviously, it was nice to hear the short-but-sweet reconciliation between Manuelito (Jessica Matten) and Chee. (Manuelito: “You didn’t have to come back.” Chee: “I know. But you’re here.”) But the final words between Leaphorn and Chee were just… well, we’re not ashamed to say they left us a little misty-eyed. And eager to toast both actors with an ice-cold RC Cola.
Photo: Michael Moriatis/Stalwart Productions/AMC