Dark Winds – Season 2 Episode 2 “Wonders of the Unknown” Recap & Review

Wonders of the Unknown

Episode 2 of Dark Winds begins with Joe managing to get the required help for Chee. His bullet wound is severe and he almost bleeds out. But Joe drags him all across the hills and stops a truck passing by.

Meanwhile, Colton Wolf, our blonde-haired suspect, goes back to his trailer and nonchalantly picks out shards of glass from his face. Elsewhere, Bernadette gets a mail from the US Department of Customs and instructions from Joe on the phone at the station to record Chee’s statement.

Joe has started to zero in on Colton, connecting him to the bombing and shooting Chee. But he is still way off establishing his motives and who he really is. Joe has been perturbed since he found his son’s belt buckle at the site. To find out more, he confronts BJ at his house. Due to the circumstances he found it in, Joe cannot be sure that BJ was involved in using the buckle, even though Joe Jr. died on the property that BJ now owns. The explosion didn’t happen under his watch and for now, Joe can’t be certain the contents of the locker were at the site.

BJ denies any wrongdoing or knowledge about the People of Darkness. As he is leaving, Joe spots a strange pattern on the rug in the living room, almost as if something or someone was dragged on it. Joe visits Sheriff Sena to ascertain the contents of the box. It doesn’t mention the buckle. Sena suggests Joe talk to his father to learn more about the church and their ideology. There is definitely some innate witchcraft at play here. 

Bernadette and Chee’s meeting is not as exciting as we thought it would be. She stuck to police business as Che took the lead by apologizing to her for the events of the last season. Bernadette seems to be over it but still reels from Chee’s betrayal. She also hands him a totem to “protect him” from witchcraft and other dark winds.

Joe visits his parents’ house. It is clear he doesn’t frequent it. His father recalls that the Tribal Police were wound up by all the church business. But they still continued meeting in secret and disobeying the law. He brands them “real criminals” and categorically against the “ideals of the Native American people.” There is some coldness between the two about Joe’s life choices. His father rues the fact that Joe didn’t make it out of the Rez to take on the same job he did.

Joe starts to leave and his father asks him to talk to Margaret, Guy’s mother, whom we met in the last season. Margaret tells Joe that Dillon Charley, Emerson’s brother, invited the “white men” to commercialize the property on the Rez. He believed that keeping these outsiders in the regime of the church would keep the community safe. But he lost his way in the middle.

Margaret believes that the church is still active. Although the people don’t have an idea what they represent, Joe senses danger. He meets Chee at the hospital to discuss what Rosemary Vines told him about the burglary. They still cannot figure out the connection between the safe box and the church.

Emma is visited by a reporter at the hospital. Her name is Mary Landon (from the LA Times). Mary wants to do a story on the impact of the Family Planning Services Act on Indian women but Emma shoots her intentions down. She does not want the stories of these affected women to become a play piece for the rest of the country. 

Bernadette visits Joe at his house to discuss the letter from earlier. it turns out that she is applying for an interview with the Border Patrol since a Congressional law will make it compulsory for them to hire Native officers next year. Joe’s reaction is cold. He does not want Bernadette to leave the Rez but she does not see her future there. Despite the slight tensions, they end the interaction on a congenial note. Joe even offers to “get someone to write a reference” for Bernadette.

In the dead of the night, we see Colton leaving yet another bomb wrapped up like a gift somewhere.

Joe and Bern go to the Malpais in the morning and find BJ’s safe box. They also find Tomas’ dead body beneath the rocks. It turns out that Colton left the gift box at Tomas’ doorstep. Benny finds it and thinks it is from his father. Joe and Bern arrive at the house and the former finds a doll in the box. Joe discovers the bomb and asks Bern to take Benny away from the place. Colton calls the hospital and cleverly gets Chee’s room number, intending to “pay him a visit.” 

Joe calls his father to look at the doll and diffuse the bomb. With Joe’s help, he is able to do it successfully.

We briefly see people in various spots gathering to watch the moon landing. Joe and Bern reconvene at the station where the latter informs him that the papers they recovered from the Malpais are Drumco’s licence request to the State.

Joe consoles Benny about his father. He makes Benny a sandwich as the little boy mentions seeing “an astronaut” near their house with “light hair” a few days ago. Emerson told him to stay away from the man because “he was the one who blew up the well.” Joe almost loses his footing when he hears it and firmly believes Colton murdered his son. 

The Episode Review

Episode 2 is shadowed by the historic moon landing event as a signature of the times. Other than that, it was a refreshing change to see the balance of things disrupted in this episode. Usually, the storytelling takes precedence over the show’s insightful deep dive into Dine traditions and customs. But this episode felt closer to the roots of the Dine community’s culture and beliefs. Emma’s protective stance captures the spirit of the Indian people who have forever lived in doubt about their existence. The “evil” foreign man is a familiar foe that keeps them on their toes.

We did not see much movement story-wise, which was a slight downer. The episode lacked the taut pace and tension of the season opener but things do seem ready to take off. This one was more deliberative in its tone with more background about Joe and his dynamics with his father.

I think “Wonders of the Unknown” chooses to play with a double-edged sword, where even though it took greater strides into the identity of our characters, it sacrificed plot building for sure. 

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You can read our season 2 review of Dark Winds here


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