Black Bird– Season 1 Episode 6 Recap, Review & Ending Explained

You Promised

Episode 6 of Black Bird starts with Jimmy having a bad dream. He’s imagining himself in Larry’s place; he’s choking out girls; disagreeing with his father; he’s also playing football.

What happens between Jimmy and Larry in the morning?

When Jimmy eventually wakes up, Larry is watching him from the edge of the cell. Larry mentions his stories, as Jimmy challenges him and wants details. Eventually, Larry grits his teeth and squares up to Jimmy. “I’m not lying James,” He says.

Jimmy isn’t convinced, pointing out that he has “wannabee” eyes. When Larry leaves though, he tells his friend to meet in the woodshop later so he can show what sort of eyes he has.

While Jimmy prepares for what could be to come, Carter approaches our protagonist and proposes a business deal. Carter wants in on his transaction with the marshals but Jimmy is clever. He throws a curveball – call off his dogs for a week and he’ll tell Carter who he’s working for. Of course, in that week’s time Jimmy could well be walking free – if he can nail a confession from Larry of course.

Does Jimmy get a confession from Larry?

That night, Gigante waits for Jimmy outside his cell with his boys. He throws an ominous threat his way, before walking off. With this rattling around in Jimmy’s mind, our protagonist shows up at the woodshop as promised. He’s carved 21 birds. Apparently he’s the carver while Gary is the one who paints. The birds watch over the dead, guiding their spirits and making sure they’re okay. Now, that means if there are 21 birds then there could well be 21 dead bodies too.

Larry tells Jimmy he’s part of something bigger. Folding the clothes are apparently an act of kindness for a deity. And the person’s clothes? Trisha Reitler’s. Larry also admits to killing her, and goes on to nonchalantly declare he’s dug so many graves – including Tricia’s. According to Larry, Tricia’s grave is the best he’s ever dug and no one will find it. He also knows exactly where that is – including “everyone else’s” too.

Jimmy lets Larry finish his story before gently suggesting he hand over the map so he can give the victims peace. Jimmy suggests sending the map anonymously so the families have closure. Larry though, doesn’t see this lack of closure as a bad thing and begins chuckling. He refuses to do this and instead, is self-aware enough to know he’ll win his appeal and walk away a free man. But not if Jimmy has anything to do with it.

Jimmy snaps. He shouts at Larry, telling him he’s never going to leave this place and lashing  out at the killer. The guards step in though and break the pair of them up.

What happens to Jimmy after the encounter with Larry?

In the morning, Jimmy is picked up by four guards who throw him into solitary confinement. He pleads with them for a penful, so he can at least sketch out a map of where the bodies are, but it’s no good. Instead, he remembers Larry’s words and decides to use his own blood to make up the map on the wall. The guards don’t believe that Jimmy has been sent by the FBI, and leave him to rot.

Meanwhile, Brian and Lauren visit Gary again. He’s convinced that Larry won’t be able to have a normal life but is pretty confident that his brother hasn’t killed anyone. It seems he’s trying to convince himself more than the officers though, especially if Brian’s probing is anything to go by.

Gary hands over a photo album to show the officers their past together. He also mentions the hitchhiker they picked up years back. Here, he confesses that Larry slept with a girl and watched him choke, spit on her and hit the girl several times. Gary was in shock, seeing his brother with a wild, wolf-like look in his eyes. Gary is convinced that this is the incident that tipped Larry over the edge. Lauren warns that if Larry gets out, he’ll get right back to his old tricks again.

Dr. Zicherman and Lauren eventually pick up Jimmy from the prison, who’s fixated on the map and determined to draw what he’s seen for them. Like a man possessed, he draws it out on the table, marking where the bodies are. Jimmy is clearly not in a great mental state, pointing out the details for the case, including the two belts, the folded clothes and the other details.

What happens with Larry’s map?

That map Larry sent back home? Well, Larry’s father takes that and the bird, throwing them in a fire and destroying them. While they burn, Jimmy Keene is freed from prison and released. However, the ordeal has very clearly changed him.

Jimmy feels guilty that he wasn’t able to do more, as Lauren introduces him to Brian. Although the trio have effectively stopped any more crimes from being committed, it’s still not the closure Jimmy wanted.

Does Larry get released from prison?

As for Larry, after losing his appeal he attempted suicide but was unsuccessful. Gary heads in to visit, telling his brother that he needs to tell the truth about the girls. Larry refuses though, believing he’s been “corrupted” and is to blame for him diving off the deep end.

How does Black Bird end?

Jimmy’s father is on the mend from his early stroke though and recovers at home, where Jimmy shows up a free man. However, on November 28th 2004, we learn that Jim Keene actually died of a heart attack. This is 5 years after Jimmy was released from prison.

As for Jimmy Keene, he’s still haunted by everything that’s transpired. Larry Hall recants all 15 confessions his brother convinced him to admit to, while none of the graves are actually unearthed for Larry’s victims.

Jimmy embarks on a successful business career following everything he’s done, dedicating his life to helping out the police in profiling serial killers.


The Episode Review

AppleTV have been on a roll this year with some absolute bangers. After Shining Girls, Severance and Pachinko, Black Bird has followed suit with a really solid and smartly written drama. The show has managed to blend excellent acting and a simple but effective storyline into this 6 episode miniseries.

The ending gives no illusion over how this one has ended and I’d be really surprised if we get another season. Everything here is wrapped up while simultaneously doing enough to make for a solid watch on its own.

Jimmy Keene manages to get a confession from Larry eventually, and although the story is quite straight forward, the way it comes about is anything but. There’s a lot of intriguing elements to this show and the writing has been solid across the board. Ultimately, Black Birds bows out with a great finale, rounding out this series on a high.

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1 thought on “Black Bird– Season 1 Episode 6 Recap, Review & Ending Explained”

  1. Great episode and ending but I am amazed that he was allowed to send a map of his crime scenes through the mail via the prison and no one searches the inmate mail? A prison for the criminally insane you’d think people are watching what goes in and out of there. I know it’s based on a true story so that makes it even more horrible.

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