Lawmen: Bass Reeves (2023) s01e08 Episode Script


Bass is dedicated to justice.
Seems sometimes there's hardly
much room for anything or anyone else.
[BASS] Looking for a Moody O'Neil.
[WILLY] You set out to hang
an old Black woman
in a white man's noose.
Go collect your blood bounty,
up-jumped slave catcher.
[ESAU] I wonder how much blood
you left in your wake
on your path to freedom.
No more than I had to.
[ESAU] You are a killer, just like me.
[PARKER] Upon careful review
of the evidence,
- I pronounce you not guilty.
[BASS] You 50 bucks short, Florence.
I delivered a living, breathing man
into the hands of a Texas Ranger.
Who is Mr. Sundown?
Bass Reeves.
Mr. Sundown is cinco peso.
[BASS] There was a boy
that I loved like a son.
I'm going after the man who killed him.
tense, ambient music ♪
[JACOB] You a lawman or an outlaw?
Today, a bit of both, I reckon.
My daddy said they're one and the same.
Your daddy a smart man.
Every man has hell in his heart
some just more than others.
Go on, get.
ominous music ♪
Woke up one morning
on the Chisholm Trail ♪
With a rope in my hand
and a cow by the tail ♪
Ki-yi-yippee-yippee-ay, yippee-ay ♪
Ki-yi-yippee-yippee-ay ♪
Last night on guard,
and the leader broke ♪
Got him?
- Damn it, Sherrill!
We need him talking.
Grab his feet.
Wrists and ankles. Tight.
soaring, triumphant music ♪
Now, you'd best be spilling them beans
before Mama don't recognize you no more.
I killed Mama.
You two fixing to meet.
quiet, tense music ♪
Last time I'm gonna ask.
Where Mr. Sundown?
Holed up your Black ass, I reckon.
But I say unto you,
it shall be more tolerable for Sodom
on the day of judgment than for thee.
Saddle up. We ride for Glen Rose.
What about him?
Take his boots. Cut him loose.
His boots? What about his scalp?
Night's coming quick. The man hurt.
Got no horse.
That a problem for you, Deputy?
Stupid is what it is.
Stupid and soft.
[BASS] Thirty mile to Fort Worth.
Twenty to Glen Rose.
Brutal terrain, barefoot.
No way he'd get to either.
You sure about that?
Sure you don't get a vote.
Who here believes Zion,
that paradise of which we dream,
must be built in a faraway land?
Is that where we want
to deepen our relationship
- with the Almighty?
Is that where we want to prosper?
- No.
- Such a powerful word.
One most of us have heard all our lives.
It's been used against us for too long.
So, why exodus to the Territory?
Why not say yes?
Why not better our lives here and now?
If the answer is yes,
then the question is only: how?
The winds bring word
of prosperity up north.
A Black county commissioner in Illinois.
A state representative in Michigan.
- But I ask you,
has some providence touched
our brothers and sisters in Chicago
that does not deserve to touch us, too?
Do they have a conviction in Detroit
that we ourselves have mislaid?
I ask again, why build paradise afar
when we can build politicians
of our own right here
- in Fort Smith?
- Yes!
Now, I say that's the true path
to the city over the hill.
To freedom.
Deputy Rogers.
You shine like a polished penny
in your Sunday best.
Thank you, Miss Esme.
Your words, they, uh they shine, too.
[SIGHS] I reckon
you gave them folk more to chew
than their mouths normally hold.
- I hadn't seen Sally.
- [JENNIE] She running a fever.
Some awful thing. Day and a half now.
Tuesday, then?
Bass, he's not due back
for at least a week.
You and Sally deserve a night
for what's important.
What's important is
peace and quiet, is it not?
Mama knows best.
[JENNIE] Mm-hmm.
Miss Esme?
May I walk you home?
It'd be a pleasure, Deputy.
Y'all come on.
Come on.
Let me tell you something.
I'm all ears.
Next time you shoot a man
in cold blood over my say so,
I'll put you in cuffs and haul
your ass directly to Judge Parker.
- You mind if I share, too?
- Think carefully.
I'm not in the listening mood.
The minute we began this expedition,
we was waltzing with the devil.
And the sooner you accept that,
better odds of survival.
For all of us.
This is good a place as any.
[SHERRILL] I knew this Injun posse man
when I was first deputized.
We'd be out on the plains,
just like now,
and he'd be a-grubbing and a-farting.
And I'd say, "Is that you
playing that buttock banjo?"
He'd just nod and he'd say, uh,
"Me do, me do."
That always soured my supper
something fierce.
What about you, little red boy?
You do?
[DEEP VOICE] You do, too?
'Cause I know old Bass,
he won't touch a lick of my cooking.
Likely it's the bullshit that
spews out of your fetid mouth.
Well, I'd say you swallowed
a white man word.
I may know the white man's language,
but I'll fight you like the Injun I am.
Your Injun mama,
she must've done
a whole heap of seed swallowing
in order to grow
that white tongue of yours.
You want to jerk that iron, half-breed?
Go ahead.
quiet, tense music ♪
No more talking.
[HARRIET] Jesus paid it all ♪
All ♪
-Had left a
Crimson stain ♪
Sin has left a crimson stain ♪
He washed it white as snow ♪
Jesus paid it all ♪
All to him I owe ♪
Sin has left a crimson stain ♪
tense music ♪
[JENNIE] Hush.
intriguing music ♪
Well, I'd say you're a bit
sooner than expected.
Esau owe me a debt.
I only aim to collect.
Ranger Pierce don't accept
armed company.
I ain't here for a cup of tea.
I'm a Deputy U.S. Marshal.
And I'm Pete. This is Puck.
And that giant there is Malachi.
Rules are gospel around here,
badge or no badge.
quiet, tense music ♪
Expect them back.
This a-way, Deputy Marshal.
And mind the traps.
Never know when one will jump up
and bite you.
intriguing music ♪
Sorry, Miss Rachel.
Oh, I sullied the floor.
- Oh, Jesus.
[RACHEL] Now, where do you think
you're going?
All right. Bite down.
All right.
- Okay.
uplifting music ♪
Aren't you just
[CHUCKLING] Oh, come here.
Well, you have your father's eyes.
Let's hope that's all you got from him.
Are you feeling well, Jennie?
Yes, ma'am.
Isn't that wonderful?
You get your rest.
That's what's important now.
Thank you, ma'am.
We'll see you back at work
in the morning.
You were missed.
Even for a day.
somber music ♪
[JENNIE] Come on, baby.
Harriet, I want you to take
your brothers and sister
down to the waterfall.
[HARRIET] Mama, who's that white lady?
[JENNIE] Do what I say.
[RACHEL] That's quite the brood
you and Bass have been blessed with.
Where are the little ones off to?
- Why you here?
- And this one,
practically a grown woman now.
Hard to believe
I was the first to hold her.
Did you know that, Sally?
No, ma'am.
Jumped on me just like a duck
on a june bug. [CHUCKLES]
Sally, get inside.
Don't be cross before
the conversation even starts.
What conversation?
Trust you'll find your way from here.
I could've found my way from back there.
I'll be seeing you real soon.
ominous music ♪
Decided to pay that visit.
You did.
Question is,
are you a servant of justice,
or rather, some species of queer?
Just here to collect on what you owe me.
- What might that be?
- Fifty-dollar difference
between a pair of boots and a man.
You rode hundreds of miles
for pocket change?
It's the principle, generally.
But I do got a wife
and five kids to feed.
Well, every dollar counts
in the game of love and chance,
don't it, Silvia?
I'm not sure I catch your meaning
or that it matter much.
Well, hitch your horse, then.
Money's inside.
intriguing music ♪
[ESAU] Come find me.
Awful fine on a Ranger's due.
Well, I've become a man
of opportunity and enterprise.
Cattle, mostly.
Supplying the Yanks with the
finest beef you've ever tasted.
You let your badge weigh you down, Bass.
Mine has set me free.
You don't know me.
Oh, but we've known each other
for centuries.
Double what I owe for your effort.
You see my monster upon entry?
Never spied anything like it.
I purchased this land
from an old mining outfit.
When they failed to strike, they
considered it all worthless.
But the things they unearthed,
buried deep like the secrets we keep,
giant beasts who once roamed freely,
now resigned to the dark.
Only spoken of in legend and lore.
Like Mr. Sundown?
Well, cock-a-doodle-doo.
You know, I was wondering
when the foreplay would end
and the rutting would begin.
Are you hungry? Steak, of course.
"Unholy War"?
Well, isn't that just delightful?
I wrote it.
Did you, now? All by yourself?
I'm gonna be a poet.
Your mother fancied her letters, too.
I taught her, of course.
Wasn't an easy task.
Some folks fancy some fine words,
think they know every book.
[EXHALES SHARPLY] You've had your time.
Now, if you don't mind,
I got a wagonload of goods
to unpack and four more kids to corral.
George is doing well,
politicking his sweet heart out.
Seems to forever be in Austin, however.
And these laws they're fighting to pass.
I suppose they're good for some folks,
not so good for others.
Do you have an opinion?
You should.
She's such a precious thing
even as sick as she is.
What a joy it will be to have her
and your children back home.
This is they home.
They're not my laws,
- but they arrive all the same.
- Sally, get upstairs.
- [RACHEL] She's fine.
- Sally.
[RACHEL] You'll feel better
soon, sweetheart.
contemplative music ♪
You need to leave my house now.
I can see my generosity
is not appreciated.
- Generosity.
- Why, yes.
There are men who conspire
to root you out from your land.
And they got their tails up.
Surely, you know this.
Oh, dear.
You've seen it, haven't you?
In town?
- You're a wretched woman.
- Wretched?
Would a wretched woman
offer your children
the opportunity to tend
my beautiful home?
Or would you prefer that they be
turned out as field niggers?
[GASPS, CRIES] Oh, my.
- Get out, devil.
atmospheric music ♪
Made quite an impression.
Didn't I?
You did.
Just maybe not the one you wanted.
I reckon folks ain't ready
to stray too far
from the safety of silence.
I am.
Are you, now?
What changed?
Nothing yet, but the laws will
if we don't fight back.
They'll take it if you let 'em.
And we ain't gonna do that.
There you go, Bass.
A touch warm in here, isn't it?
Hadn't noticed.
We often get a breeze at this hour.
A beautiful night.
Stars are out.
Cows seem antsy.
A Chinaman once told me that terror
tenderizes the flesh.
He was referring to dogs, of course
it's a delicacy in the Orient
but I decided to employ
the practice here.
You be the judge.
Judgment ain't my jurisdiction.
Jury and executioner, then.
Better than dog, I imagine.
Well, dog tastes like shit.
So does this steak.
I admire your steel, Bass.
Your brevity.
Everything about you, really.
What's your grift, Esau?
Careful now.
Curiosity killed the deputy.
I've been enjoying your company so far.
Saw that safe all chock with greenbacks.
More money than I'd earn
arresting every outlaw in the territory.
Count me interested.
Are you, now?
No king built much of a kingdom alone.
You know, Bass, when I accepted that man
was no more, no less
than the animals that we hunt,
corral and consume,
regardless of race or station,
I decided dominance was
my only path forward.
You know this to be true, too.
But you still wrestle with the religion.
Indoctrinated to keep you weak.
You shed that,
you'll truly experience freedom.
God's never been further from my grasp.
Well, God is always in mine.
I arrest the "will not be missed."
Sadly, all Black thieves and killers.
I deliver their boots.
Their bodies are worth
far more than the difference.
Now, the myth of Mr. Sundown,
that's taken a fanciful flourish
from reality.
Not that I mind. [CHUCKLES]
dramatic, tense music ♪
I'll be the biggest supplier of beef
from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
Off the backs of wanted men.
Off the backs of dead men,
far as anyone cares.
Still, I ask you, would you rather swing
from a government gallows
or eat my food, breathe my air,
sleep in my quarters?
Cost seem high,
even for a life already lost,
or one they're just renting from you.
Blood, sweat, little bit of pain.
Pennies on the dollar when
a rope's your only alternative.
Home as promised.
Seems starved.
[ESAU] Oh, yeah, she is.
You care to do the honors?
Do you believe in what I'm building?
Do you?
Yes, what?
Yes sir.
Have I not been patient?
Yes sir.
Go ahead, unshackle him.
tense, ominous music ♪
now for you, Bass.
Time to bear those chains again.
You're the real monster.
Well, yes.
You should've known better
than to take me for a fool.
Just as I should've known better
than to think of you
as more than a slave.
We've known each other for centuries.
dramatic, rhythmic music ♪
Goddamn, kid.
tense, ominous music ♪
Just leave me be.
Almost got it.
Goddamn it, just leave me be.
Devil's got me by the hand, kid.
If it ain't the gallon of blood
I've gushed,
then it's gonna be the damn fever.
And that ain't no way to die.
Jesus, Sherrill.
I might be a right prick
about you people,
but I ain't stupid about lawmen.
You're gonna make one hell
of a Deputy Marshal.
You go save Bass.
Go on. Get out of here. Go.
tense, suspenseful music ♪
somber, atmospheric music ♪
He got Pistol. Headed that way.
suspenseful, dramatic music ♪
Free those men.
quiet, tense music ♪
Legend is yours, Bass Reeves.
The light in the storm.
Death is the only light
in this darkness.
contemplative music ♪
- Go and help the others.
- Okay.
atmospheric music ♪
soaring, triumphant music ♪
Take these men someplace safe.
Somewhere free.
I hear Kansas good.
No one's gonna ever know
that you made history today,
Deputy Reeves.
Come on.
I reckon Sherrill
would want you to have this.
It's yours.
I'll tell Parker you earned it.
you ought to stop in Checotah.
Go marry that pretty girl.
soft, gentle music ♪
I'm home.
Every part of me.
And me.
"Unholy War" by Jacob Banks ♪
Unholy war ♪
My demons are coming ♪
Boy, you better run ♪
Go take your freedom, oh, no ♪
Wade in the water ♪
Be gone by morning ♪
Don't you let them find you here ♪
Oh, no ♪
Let love lead you home ♪
Oh, no ♪
Let redemption keep you warm ♪
So you better run ♪
atmospheric music ♪
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