Dark Winds – Season 1 Episode 3 “K’e” Recap & Review


Finally, we have a glimpse of Rain Wilson in action during episode 3 of Dark Winds. Wilson, of course, is the star of the hit American sitcom, ‘The Office’. The actor’s appearance was much awaited and seeing him as Dan quenches the thirst. Against the backdrop of Tina Turner’s Proud Mary, we see Devoted Dan is in cahoots with the robbers.

The money funnelling involves a man from the shop (Yazzie), Wendy from the store, Dan, and the robbers from the heist. Another big reveal is that the BJ Vines and Co. belongs to these foul men, signalling the presence of a big cartel looking to establish a monopoly in the town. The sight of Chee chasing around Raymond Begay while Leaphorn sucks on a cold cherry iced cone is what comes next. Admittedly, it is a bit satisfying to see Chee get worked up.

Emma’s niece’s (Nanobah) Kinaalda – basically Quincinera in Hispanic culture – comes up next. Full marks to the Native writers for further representing their culture in the narrative. It is good for them to have this space in the television world. Raymond is a former Navy diver and is hired to peruse the water body behind Father Benjamin’s house. Leaphorn wants to find the helicopter. Nothing gives, which is surprising.

Bernadette joins the scene where she reveals that the Mormons – the Smith family – have been officially reported missing. She also hands over a receipt from Lester’s shop for the painting and a few other things she found in the trunk. It won’t take the deputies much time to put two and two together and reach the robbers.

Leaphorn notices the name of the previous owner of Yazzi’s car in the registration – Devoted Dan. Bernadette and Chee continue their investigation into the Smiths’ disappearance and are getting closer than ever. Leaphorn meets with High-Pocket a.k.a. Whitover to discuss the Attcity/Tso case, which is “closed” from the Fed’s side. John Lennon’s under-appreciated masterpiece “Working Class Hero” makes way for a montage of Leaphorn buying the necessities for Kilanaade. He is in the local market – which is not local at all with foreign artefacts being sold more.

It is refreshing to see the song and it deserves a mention. Chee takes Bernadette to his ancestral house. He narrates how his mother was labeled a “witch” after she stood up for herself against an abusive boyfriend. Chee faced ostracism at school because of this. And had to go away from the place. Leaphorn brings back the bodies of Tso and Attcity from Flagstaff, wrapped in two carpets he picks over that morning. Tough to see that sort of treatment being meted out to a human being. But they do get a proper Dine send-off – their bodies buried at a higher place by Leaphorn and Anna’s relatives.

Wendy drives off into the sunset. At the rendezvous, she sees the Mormons being held as “insurance”. Benjamin also takes Wanda’s hairclip as “insurance” against her keeping mu in front of the police. But who will he “give it to”? The answer is Ada Thunderstorm, Sally’s mother. She is an actual witch. Raymond finds the helmet in his final dive from the lake. Leaphorn retrieves a letter that might just prove Benjamin isn’t really who he says he is.

Which credible and devoted man of God would wear torn jeans, high boots, and a leather jacket like that? Not someone from the priesthood, I suppose. Speak of the devil – he appears. Benjamin drops by Leaphorn’s house to extend his “gratefulness” for burying his grandfather. Sally notices him through the window and is stunned. She is rushed to the hospital where she might have told the truth to Emma in hushed tones. We do not hear what she says, but it doesn’t take two guesses.

Nanobah’s Kinaalda is finally over and the community celebrated her womanhood. “Frank Nakai”, is what Sally says to Emma, who passes on the name to Leaphorn. Maybe that is Benjamin’s real name. Ada, Sally’s “mother”, kills Wanda with her black magic.

The Episode Review

Episode 3 is the best in this season. We get to see so much Dine culture that it almost seems like the story takes a backseat. But the writers have managed the two things so well, that it progresses organically. All the secrets that the inhabitants of the town are hiding are slowly windowing out.

The plot is thickening as Leaphorn and his deputies are coming up against a wide, powerful cartel that will not stop at anything for self preservation. These men look like they mean business.

The beautiful montage where the bodies are buried and Nanobah’s Kilaanada ceremony is in process is the reason why we should have more representation off the screen. ‘Dark Winds’ is shaping up to be a real heart-stealer. More to come in the next week!

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You can read our full season review for Dark Winds Season 1 here!


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6 thoughts on “Dark Winds – Season 1 Episode 3 “K’e” Recap & Review”

  1. With so much respect to a worthy culture and people shown, you would think there would be a modicum of respect for the ‘Mormons” who are treated as freaks and portrayed as comical fools. It ruined the story for my family of non-comical LDS saints who respect the honest portrayal of other cultures.

  2. Leaphorn didn’t wrap those bodies in carpets. Those were Pendleton blankets. They are prized by the Navajo and are actually pretty expensive. So he was actually honoring them. Also, Ada’s last name is Growing Thunder not Thunderstorm. 😉

  3. Can someone tell me what actor plays BJ Vines? Both the actor and character are not on IMDb or rolling credits…

    Thanks in advance 🙂

  4. I’m grateful to AMC and producers Redford and Martin for such an excellent series and adaptation of the novels and for inclusion of great Native American cast. I have no known First Nation heritage but my exwife and partner of 20 years did and I served on the Board of a local organization which supported education of a wider audience to Native American cultures. So far, the series has been beautiful, and as a psychologist who treated many Native American combat veterans, I appreciated the inclusion about such horrors as the boarding schools and bias that our nations first peoples experienced. I hope the series continues to be as meaningful as these first episodes

  5. I am Anglo & Latter-Day Saint from Utah. I have read every Joe Leaphorn book & the Manuelito/Chee stories. The Navajo, Ute, Paiute, cultures are intrinsic to the 4 Corners. I have always been fascinated with Navajo culture especially. I found the Leaphorn books many years ago & wished for more Navajo representation in Television & movies. I have always wondered why the culture/& stories depicted in the books had to be written by a Gringo. Were
    there no Native American Navajo authors?
    I am fascinated & already love the characters more watching Dark Winds.Seeing Joe & Emma happy together for a time is really sweet. I always thought they had a true love story.

  6. Agree 100% with all! This show is great, the cast is great, and it is another “better than the movies TV show” that deserves accolades and awards. Thank you writers for following the Tony Hillerman story-telling that makes this show so special.

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