Joe Pickett (2021) s01e02 Episode Script

Circling Vultures

You got to come home
Hi, Cricket.
I need to speak
with Sheriff Barnum.
It's Joe.
The game warden.
- Right, sorry.
Yeah, the sheriff's out.
So is the deputy.
They got an emergency call
this morning.
- Do you know where they went?
- Some campers called saying
that they witnessed
a wounded man on horseback
last night
riding through
Round Acre Campground.
- Did you get a description
of the man on the horseback?
- Thirties, beard,
bloody T-shirt.
The suspect allegedly
was waving around
a plastic box or cooler
or something like that.
- Uh are you in contact
with Sheriff Barnum?
- I believe so.
- Okay. Why don't you tell him
that the man he's looking for
is Ote Keeley
and that Keeley
is now lying dead
on the woodpile
behind my house?
- Come again?
- Girls,
away from the window, okay?
- Is that a dead body?
- Mom!
- I'm sorry,
but this kind of thing
just does not happen
in Jackson Hole.
- Shh.
Sheridan, get your dad.
- Lucy.
Come. Come, come.
Hurry, hurry
- Mom, just take her
to the back.
- We're going.
Go, go, go, go, go.
- Joey Pickett!
Joey Pickett!
- Was that man trying
to hurt us?
- No.
No, I don't know
why he came here, but
I'm gonna figure it out.
- If you don't know
why he came here,
how do you know
he wasn't here to hurt us?
- Listen to me.
It doesn't matter
why he came here.
There's nothing in this world
I wouldn't do to keep you safe.
- That horse must have
come a long distance.
- Well, at least as far
as Round Acre Campground.
- I don't know, Joe.
I think further than that.
Look at that saddle--
how loose it is.
I mean, Ote must have
ridden her pretty far
to lose that much weight.
- You know, the thing
that troubles me
- Mm?
- Ote was injured
at Round Acre.
He was bleeding,
arrow through him.
Every step
must have been agony.
Police station would have
saved him a mile of riding.
But he came here.
- What do you think
that means?
- I'm not sure yet.
All right.
- Wait.
- So
where's the body?
Yep, that's Ote Keeley,
all right.
- Oh, damn it.
- Nice of you to join us.
- I got stuck
behind some cows.
Is he still dead?
is that an arrow
sticking through him?
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
- Well, I guess we won't need
ballistics anyway.
- But the arrow is custom.
- So?
- Look, the broadhead,
it's a four-blade mechanical
with a shock collar.
And you see that
little rubber guy there?
It's a pod.
- A pod?
- Yeah.
It's a little pouch,
holds poison.
- Is that legal?
- No, it's very not legal.
My guess is that toxicology
report on that pod's
gonna give you more
than ballistics would have.
- Whoa.
Sheriff, looks like we got
Perry Mason on the case, huh?
- Perry Mason was a lawyer,
not a detective, dumbass.
- There's one other thing
this cooler.
There's some sort
of scat inside of it.
- Well, now, that is some
fine detective work, Pickett.
- Excuse me, fellas.
Attention, all-points bulletin,
be on the lookout
for a giant mouse
with a bow and arrow.
- Will you shut up?
- I--
- It doesn't look like
mouse scat to me.
I think you should
take a sample
and send it to the lab
for testing.
- Doesn't seem necessary.
- But
it's potential evidence.
I can do it if you want.
- All right.
If It'll make you feel better,
we'll mail it in.
- Sheridan,
away from the window.
- Okay, okay.
- Hey.
- I think you and the girls
should get a motel
in Saddlestring
just for a day or two, okay?
Till we get things figured out.
You still think
it's unsafe here?
- I think it's smart for us
to act as if it could be.
- Is the state gonna
pay for it?
- Why?
We can't?
- It's end of the month, Joe.
Look, I would feel safer
here with you anyway.
- I don't know
what this is yet.
Please, can we--
can we use the credit card?
- Yeah.
Yeah, okay.
- Hmm.
- Don't make this any worse
than it has to be, okay?
- What do you mean?
- I know that look
in your eyes
like you're trying real hard
not to say things
you'll regret.
- I don't know
what you're talking about.
I'm a summer breeze.
Wow, she's a
- Regular Betty Homemaker,
isn't she?
- Thank you.
- Mm-hmm.
- Oh, my goodness,
that is good coffee.
Tell me, uh
dark roast?
- Ready to go, Mom?
- Coming.
Well, a mother's job
is never done.
- Yeah.
- They grow up,
but they never really
leave the nest.
- You know, I wish
you could work a crime scene
half that good.
- That there's
public outreach, sir.
Just doing my job.
- Bye. Love you.
- Bye.
Love you, too.
Fingers and toes,
safe to close.
Love you.
- Love you.
- Love you, too.
- Pickett
it's time to address
the elephant on the woodpile.
Wasn't Ote Keeley the man
that took your sidearm
from you?
- Yeah, he was.
- Well, pointing a weapon
at a state employee
is a serious crime.
So how come the first time
I heard about it
was in the gossip pages
of the "Saddlestring Roundup"?
- Ah, Ote and I resolved
the situation internally.
Figured it looked bad
for both of us.
- Well, I'll say
especially when one of you
ends up dead
on the other one's woodpile.
Tell me, Pickett,
you wouldn't happen to have
a compound bow around here,
would you?
- So then you wouldn't mind
McLanahan here
took a look around?
- You think
if I was gonna kill a guy,
I'd do it
in my own backyard?
- Well, I've seen smarter
people do dumber things.
I'm just dotting my "I"s.
- Okay.
You know what?
Yeah, actually, I do mind.
- What are you afraid
we'll find, Pickett?
- There's nothing to find.
Sanctity of my home
was violated.
Today anyone wants
to go inside that house
better bring a court order
or be ready to kill me first.
- Well
At least make yourself useful
and help us put
that dead hillbilly
into a body bag.
You ready? Let's go.
- Okay.
- Okay. Okay.
- You want to leave
my kids without a father?
- McLanahan.
Don't forget that.
- God forbid, right?
- Hey, quick question.
- What?
- I have to drop
Ote's horse back anyway.
If you want
I can notify his widow.
- Really?
Well, yeah, okay.
just be careful, all right?
She's, uh--
she's a live one, hmm?
All right.
- If you had told me
two days ago
that I would end up
in a place with no hallways
- Let me know
when you're ready
to be part
of the solution, Mom.
- I'm ready.
- Great.
Okay, I'm gonna go get
my morning cup of coffee,
You check in.
Be back in a minute.
Who's ready for girl time?
- Yeah.
- Yay!
- Hi.
Your mom home?
- And who in the hell are you?
- My name's--
- It was a rhetorical question.
I don't give a shit
who you are.
Why don't you take
one step forward
so I can shoot you legally?
- Ma'am.
- I ain't your ma'am.
- This is about Ote.
- He ain't here.
- I know.
What, is he dead or somethin'?
- Would you put
down the weapon?
- Oh, hell.
- Okay.
- Easy.
- Ote,
you dumb son of a bitch.
What the hell
am I supposed to do
with all these damn kids now?
You know who done it?
- Not yet.
Anyone you can think of
who might have wanted to?
Let me tell you,
a lot of
people didn't like Ote.
That old boy could sure start
some crazy shit.
Well, there's one guy
Survivalist type,
lives out in the wood
with a bunch of falcons.
Ote shot some bird.
Guess the guy
had a problem with it.
Didn't sound bad enough
to get killed over, but
- Hmm.
Ote ever hunt with a bow?
- No.
Ote was a man.
He killed his elk with a gun
like a normal person.
Hey, you're a game warden.
What are you doing
investigating a murder?
- I'm not, technically.
I'm, uh--I'm looking
into a hunting violation.
- A hunting violation?
You--you mean
my husband's murder?
- No, the weapon.
It was an illegal arrow.
- Ote was killed with an arrow?
That's about the stupidest shit
I ever heard of.
Wait a minute.
You are not
that new game warden
that took Ote's license,
are you?
You got to be shittin' me.
You can get the hell
out of my house, Warden!
Got on, get.
- Yeah.
Can I ask you one question
before I go?
Where was Ote headed
when you last saw him?
- Thought he was going
to see you.
- Come again?
- He told me he was going to
get his hunting license back.
- Okay.
- Whoa, whoa.
Hey. Whoa, whoa, whoa.
Easy, easy.
- Let me do it.
He gets scared of strangers.
Hey, Elway
I need you
to get out of this trailer
and come back home.
Oh, please.
Ote Keeley was an asshole.
- Where was he found?
- That's the best part.
He was found on the doorstep
of the new game warden's house.
- Ten bucks says he did it.
- Too obvious.
- I don't know.
I heard Vern Dunnegan
once caught Ote selling antlers
to the Japanese--
you know, for boners.
- What does that have
to do with anything?
- The kind of game warden
who tickets the governor
is not the kind who'd look
the other way like Vern would.
And someone like Ote
could do something stupid,
you know,
force a guy's hand.
Just saying.
- You know, there is one thing
you're missing.
The new game warden
has an airtight alibi.
- Yeah?
- Yeah.
He was lying in bed
with me.
- I like her.
- What is it?
What is it, girl?
Someone here?
- Hi.
I was just about to call you.
- Everything okay?
- Yeah, yeah,
everything's fine.
How's it over there?
- I'm not sure.
- What do you mean?
- Just keep your eyes
about you, okay?
- Yeah, I will.
So I overheard something
about Vern
that just
didn't sit well with me.
- Ahh.
Your family all right?
- Ah, a little shaken up,
but okay.
- I can imagine.
- Vern, how well
did you know Ote Keeley?
- Me?
You need a drink?
- No, it's a little early
for me.
- Ote and I had an arrangement.
- What kind of arrangement?
- I caught him poaching once,
but unlike you,
I played the long game.
So he would tip me off
to things
that I should be aware of--
kind of my eyes and ears,
if you will.
- Hmm.
So, when you talked to me
about giving his license back--
- Yeah, he asked me
to put in a word.
- Do you know anything
about Ote being involved
in some kind of poaching ring?
- Poaching ring?
- Yeah.
You make it sound
like there are a bunch
of criminal masterminds
at work.
- Joe, the land
under our feet,
this is one
of the most valuable resources
on this entire planet.
Everyone is here
to steal from it
from the natural gas,
minerals, water, antlers.
It's like one giant bank vault
with money strewn
all around it.
There's always gonna be
some dickhead like Ote Keeley
who comes running in,
trying to scoop up
all that money with both arms
no matter what you do.
So you can make peace
with it now
or after it's broken you,
because it will break you
unless you learn how to bend.
- Ah, well
I can be pretty stubborn.
- And how's that working out
for you?
The whole town
thinks you're a dipshit.
And now you got a dead body
on your woodpile.
What's Barnum think
about all this?
You got a sense?
- I get the sense he's in
no real rush to figure it out.
Well, that doesn't surprise me.
You know,
the problem with Barnum
is nobody's challenged him
for sheriff in over 30 years.
It's made him lazy.
But all that's gonna change.
- Someone's running
against him?
- Your old pal Wacey Hedeman.
- Wacey?
I thought he liked
being a game warden.
- Well, you know Wacey.
He likes the action.
I cannot wait to see the look
on Barnum's dumb face
when he loses.
And I wouldn't hold my breath
waiting for Barnum to figure
out that Ote Keeley murder.
- Ah, I've got a few leads
of my own.
- Do you?
Like what?
- I'm gonna find
that poaching ring.
- Good day.
- Good day.
- What brings you in, Warden?
- You do nice work.
- Yes, I do.
The very best.
- Get many trophies
from bow hunters?
- Some, not a lot.
- Have you ever seen
a broadhead
like this?
- Maybe.
Ah, I see.
There's a pod on that thing.
I'm not too up on the code,
but I got to assume
that's illegal.
Not sure it'd be too good
for business,
me getting my customers
in trouble.
- Well,
not sure it'd be much better
if I noticed the elk
you mounted
has velvet on its antlers.
- It's an old mount
- With wet glue?
- A client asked me
to remount an old trophy.
Everything I do here
is aboveboard.
So why don't you go look
somewhere else for trouble?
- Do you remember
who put this up?
- Can't say I do.
- Thanks for your help.
- Uh-huh.
- Yo, Pickett.
- Sherriff.
- You ever been in that new
coffee place down the block?
- Couple times.
- Mm.
It's a good place.
New owners
are a little goofy, though.
They moved here
from California.
You know, they got all these
different kinds of coffee.
This here
is Ethiopian Jaba-Java.
You know, all my life,
I thought there was only
one kind of coffee--
came in a big red can
with a little Mexican guy
on it.
All of a sudden, there's
over 100 kinds of coffee.
So I'm trying
a new one every day,
trying to make up for all
those years I was missing out.
Mmm. Try it.
- Oh.
- No, no, seriously, try it.
Yeah, it's pretty good, eh?
- Sure.
- You know, McLanahan told me
he bamboozled you into
informing Ote Keeley's wife.
- That's not exactly--
- That's what he said.
But I'm assuming
he did not ask you
to interrogate Jeannie Keeley.
It seems to me like
you took that upon yourself.
I know you're new in town.
You don't know how things roll.
So I'm gonna give you
the benefit of the doubt.
But this is a homicide
investigation, Pickett,
which means
it's my jurisdiction.
So you stay the hell
out of my way.
- All due respect, Sheriff,
murder weapon
violates hunting regulations.
So, technically,
it's my jurisdiction, too.
- I should warn you.
You do not want to be
on the wrong side of me.
No, you keep that.
I don't care for
the mild berry aftertaste.
- Race you
to the merry-go-round!
I win!
- Wasn't a race.
- I said race you.
- But I didn't agree.
- Do you want to know a secret?
- Okay.
- I think I can do real magic.
- Really?
- I've been wishing
for a new pet,
and then today
one magically appeared.
- What kind of pet is it?
- Race you
to the teeter-totter!
- It's not a race!
- I feel like
I owe you an apology.
I'm afraid that I was not
a very good mother to you
or your sister or your brother.
- You were fine, Mom.
We all turned out okay.
- Sort of.
- Sort of?
- Well, I mean, let's face it.
Your brother has never reached
his potential.
Your sister's basically
still a child.
But I had such
high hopes for you.
- I like my life, Mom.
It's a good life for me.
- Is it, though?
Okay, just 'cause
your life's going to shit
doesn't mean we all
have to be miserable.
- Marybeth,
you have a law degree.
You were tops in your class.
You are too special
to be some park ranger's wife.
- He's not a park ranger.
- Whatever.
- You know, I did the
law-firm thing, Mom, remember?
Oh, no, you wouldn't.
I guess that was
part of your lost year.
I worked 80-hour weeks
in a 10-by-10 box
with a view of a parking lot.
When I did
see Joe and the girls,
I was so tired and so anxious,
I had nothing left for them.
I didn't like myself
in that life.
I picked tea out of my garden,
and I drank it while a moose
played in the yard.
This is where I belong
regardless of what
you wanted for me.
- All my life,
I relied on men,
and look where it got me.
But I raised you
to rely on yourself,
not some man.
And what did you do?
You went and became
a housewife!
- Joe is not like Dad.
- Honey,
they're all like your dad.
Some just hide it better.
- All right, kid.
Time for you to go home.
- You really are
a stubborn son of a bitch,
aren't you, Joey?
- Please drop the axe.
- Are you alone?
I suggest you don't point
that thing in my direction.
- Okay.
- Is that a rabbit shooter
you brought up here?
- You the one making
these broadheads?
Don't come any closer.
Just stay there.
- I don't have my glasses.
- Yeah, well, just stay there.
Drop the axe.
- No. This is my property.
You drop your weapon.
- This is not your property
This is public land.
- I am the public.
- You take one more step,
and I will consider that
an act of aggression.
- The broadheads
I make are legal.
- Not if you outfit them
with poison pods.
- Do I look like
the kind of asshole
that would use poison pods?
- I haven't made up my mind
what kind of asshole
you are yet.
Well, let me enlighten you.
I'm the kind of asshole
that if I saw another asshole
using poison pods,
I'd give them two in the chest
with this.
- Drop it!
Drop the weapon! Drop it.
- I'm just saying, man,
I would.
- Don't point that at me.
- Nate Romanowski,
this is the Twelve Sleep
County Sheriff's Department.
- Nate Romanowski,
you keep your hands in the air.
- All right, all right,
I'm going down.
Not resisting.
- Pickett, what the hell
are you doing here?
- Ah, I was following up
on some arrowheads.
What about you?
- Oh, we got a tip
that Ote had a run-in
with some survivalist
over a falcon.
That could only mean
one person.
- Hey, Sheriff.
Compound bow.
- I love it
when they make it easy.
- You know,
I'm a little insulted
that they sent
the local yokels to take me in.
- Hey. Stop.
Hey, stop it!
- Stop!
- Hey, this isn't game warden
business, Pickett!
- Hey,
if you act like an animal,
maybe it is
game warden business!
- Nate Romanowski,
you're under arrest
for the murder of Ote Keeley.
- Wait, what?
- You have the right
to remain silent.
Anything you say can and will
be used against you
in a court of law.
You have the right
to an attorney.
If you cannot afford one,
one will be
appointed for you.
- I got a kid,
another on the way.
Can't feed the kids,
I figured the license
- I figured the least I can do
is make sure
nobody kills them when they're
having their babies.
Give their young a chance
to stand on their own.
You really think
the cops are gonna care
about what happens
to someone like you?
- No.
I don't.
Hey, Victor.
- I was scared you weren't
gonna come back.
I was okay.
- Will you promise me
If you ever run away for real,
you got to bring me, too, okay?
You can't leave me here alone.
- I promise.
- You were just a kid when you
made that promise, Joey.
- I still broke it.
You were mine to protect.
- No, I wasn't.
But you tried anyway.
Hell, I would have left, too.
- Mom?
- Yeah?
- Do you think the bad guys
will come back and get us?
No, honey.
- What if they do?
- Then your dad will stop them,
and so will I.
- But what if Dad
didn't know what to do?
- You know
People tend to underestimate
your dad.
But not us.
- No, not us.
Good night, Mommy.
- Good night, honey.
- Hi, this is Marybeth.
Please leave a message.
- Hey.
I was just calling
to say good night.
good night.
- This Pickett?
- Yeah.
Who's this?
- It's Nate
I finally get my one call,
and I'm calling you, buddy.
- Why aren't you calling
your lawyer?
- I thought about it,
and I'm calling you.
Can we meet?
That's--that's ridiculous.
- Yeah, it sure is.
Did you get
the vulture I sent?
- You did that?
- Mm-hmm.
- Why?
- I need to see you.
I'll clear my schedule.
- You'll--
- Hey.
Your visitor's here.
- You think that's gonna work?
- Hmm.
They're a little loose,
but they'll firm up.
As long as I don't use 'em.
- You mean like for eating?
- Yeah, I've been meaning
to lose a few pounds, you know?
- What's with the dead vulture?
- It's weird, right?
It's like
it just fell
right out of the sky.
There's plenty more, too.
Figured you could figure out
what's wrong with them.
- I'll look into it.
So I don't suppose you
called me here
to listen to your confession.
- I didn't kill Ote Keeley.
That's not to say
that I wouldn't,
given the opportunity.
Last spring,
he killed one of my falcons.
You ask me,
he got what he deserved.
But, no
I'm innocent on this one.
- Why aren't you telling this
to your lawyer?
My public defender
is a 26-year-old named Jason.
- Huh, maybe you ought to call
a private-practice
criminal lawyer, then.
- But I didn't. I called you.
- Yeah.
- Because you showed up
with a rabbit shooter
to apprehend me.
Everybody else showed up with
AR-15s and bulletproof vests.
But not you.
Why is that?
- Well
comfortable with it.
I've had that rifle
since I was a kid.
And I didn't know
your reputation.
- I don't buy it.
Want to know what I think?
I think you like
being underestimated.
Let me ask you something, Joe.
Were you raised
by a dangerous man?
Because I was.
And let me tell you--
I learned in order to keep
the people around me safe,
I had to make this old man
think that I was an idiot.
Safe on the outside
but dangerous in here.
Now, they may not recognize
you, Joe, but I do.
I see you, man.
Now, you may not like this.
You are the only one
standing in between
me and the needle--
- No. No.
You--you can't put that on me.
- I got nowhere else
to put it, Joe.
So can I trust you?
- It depends
how you mean that.
This doesn't constitute
attorney-client privilege,
if that's what you're asking.
So you should choose
what you tell me accordingly.
- Can I trust you
to look for the truth?
- Yes.
You can trust me
to look for the truth.
- Well, then there's something
I should tell you.
- Pickett.
What do you want
at this hour?
- Romanowski said
he saw Ote Keeley and two men
headed for Crazy Woman Creek
right before he died.
He said they were armed
to the teeth.
Looked like they were up
to some bad business.
- Yeah?
- He said
he told you that. too.
- You suggesting I should ride
a horse all day up a mountain
based on the word
of some asshole survivalist?
- I'm just saying,
if there's a chance
that we got the wrong guy,
maybe we should make sure.
- Last time I looked, Pickett,
you were a game warden,
not a cop.
I keep this town safe,
and I do a damn good job at it.
Now, what happens
up at Crazy Woman Creek,
well, nature tends
to sort those problems out.
- Well, maybe it is
a game warden matter.
Known poacher on state land
with two armed men.
- You want to do my job?
- No, I don't.
Someone's got to do your job.
- He did it!
Look at him, for Christ sakes.
He had the bow.
- What if he didn't?
What if the killer's
still out there?
- Ote Keeley died
on my woodpile.
I'd really like to know
who to thank for that.
If you won't do it,
I'll ride up there myself.
- You won't even be able
to find your way.
I mean, Crazy Woman Creek
is 30 miles
of some of the roughest terrain
in Twelve Sleep.
There's no roads.
Radio comms
are sketchy at best.
If you get yourself killed
up there,
no one will be able
to find a body to bury.
- I have a guy
that knows the way.
- Really? Who's that?
- Wacey Hedeman.
- Wacey Hedeman.
He's running against me
in the next election.
- Oh, he patrolled Twelve Sleep
before I got there.
He knows those elk camps
along there better than anyone.
- I'll tell you something,
I'm not sending any backup
for you
and Wacey goddamn Hedeman.
- I kind of figured.
- And you better bring
some artillery
'cause if there is anybody
up there,
they're gonna have you
seriously outgunned.
- Yeah, maybe.
- Hey, Pickett!
If this thing goes sideways,
I will personally make sure
it's your last screwup
in Saddlestring.
God damn it, I hate it
when things go cowboy.
- Life's a casino ♪
I'm tellin' you ♪
And everybody's playin',
boys and girls ♪
Women, children,
me, and you ♪
The dice are loaded ♪
And everything's fixed ♪
Even a hobo
would tell you this ♪
Welcome to hard times ♪
And feelin' low ♪
Do you like sinnin'? ♪
No? ♪
you will before you go ♪
We got lots of gamblin' ♪
Oh, and we're tellin' lies ♪
You're certainly welcome
to hard times ♪
Hard times ♪
Yes ♪
Hope you're feelin'
welcome ♪
Hard times ♪
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