Lawmen: Bass Reeves – Season 1 Episode 8 Recap, Review & Ending Explained

Part VIII

Lawmen: Bass Reeves Episode 8 starts in Fort Worth, Texas, where Bass, Billy and Sherrill kidnap an associate of Pierce’s and take him to a house outside of town. Sherrill tortures him, but he doesn’t give up Pierce’s location. Bass then takes over questioning him, but they soon decide to head to Glen Rose where the plan is to take the man’s boots. Bass thinks the man walking for miles will result in his demise. Sherrill decides to kill him instead. Later on, Bass and Sherrill argue over the man being killed and Sherrill tells him he needs to understand they were “dancing with the devil.”

Does Bass Reeves confront Esau Pierce about Mr. Sundown?

The next day, Bass visits Pierce’s home. He is ordered to leave his weapons at the gate before he can meet with him. He heads up to the house and spots slaves in the field being monitored by armed men. When Bass sees Pierce, he tells him he’s there to collect a $50 difference in pay between a pair of boots and a prisoner. Pierce gives $100 to Bass. He mentions his Mr. Sundown theory to Pierce.

Back at home, Jennie and the children listen to Esme at church. Esme flirts with Deputy Rogers, who proceeds to walk Esme back home. On the wagon ride home, Jennie spots a white man alone in a wagon. When they arrive home, they find George Reeves’ wife Rachel sitting with Sally on the porch. Rachel refuses to leave, saying her husband is working on passing new laws that mean the Reeves might lose their homes. Rachel says she is willing to take the children as slaves, which prompts Jennie to slap Rachel in the face! Later on, Jennie visits Esme and tells her they must fight back or slavery will rear its ugly head again. 

Back at Pierce’s residence, he prepares a steak dinner for Bass. The prisoner, Jackson, is revealed to be alive, but tied up and in extreme pain. Pierce says he admires Bass but wants to know how he earns his money. Pierce reveals that he sees prisoners as animals and says it is not about race at all. Black people are worth more alive to sell rather than put through the courts, he claims. He also says he’s totally satisfied with the legend of Mr. Sundown. Turns out, all the slaves working on Pierce’s property are presumed dead. Pierce is using them as slaves because nobody is looking for them.

Does Bass kill Pierce (aka Mr. Sundown) and release the slaves?

Bass meets with Jackson in the barn, and Pierce asks Jackson if he believes in what he is doing. Jackson reluctantly says yes. Pierce throws Bass the keys to the shackles and he frees Jackson, who then collapses. Pierce’s henchmen shoot at Bass as Pierce tells him it’s time he returned to slavery. Bass takes off his hat, which is the signal for Billy and Sherrill to open fire. Jackson rescues Bass, with Billy and Sherrill chasing Pierce’s henchmen. Bass gets hold of a rifle and chases after Pierce.

In the woods, Sherrill steps into a bear trap and tells Billy to leave him, but Billy refuses. A man fires at Billy, but Sherrill kills the shooter. Sherrill realises he’s going to die, as he can’t get out of the trap. He goes on to admit he had prejudices against Native Americans, but hands Billy his badge and tells him he’ll make a great Deputy Marshal. Billy leaves to save Bass, and Sherrill ends his own life.

Billy finds Bass and gives him a horse and they chase after Pierce. Bass tells Billy to free all the prisoners. Bass catches up to Pierce and shoots him in the back. When he falls, he finishes the job. 

Billy frees the prisoners, while Bass heads into Pierce’s house and loads up bags of cash from the safe as well as finding a bag of diamonds. The next day, Billy and Bass take the prisoners away from Pierce’s compound, which is now engulfed in flames. Bass gives Jackson the money and tells him to take everyone somewhere safe and free. He suggests Kansas as a possible destination for them. Jackson tells Bass no one will ever know about this incident, but he has just made history. Jackson and the prisoners leave as Billy tries to give Sherrill’s badge to Bass. He refuses to take it and tells Billy he’ll tell Judge Parker that he earned it. He hands Billy a diamond and tells him to go to Checotah and ask the girl he loves to marry him.

How does Lawmen: Bass Reeves end?

The episode ends with Bass returning home to find Jennie on the porch, and he promises her he has now returned home forever. Later on, Bass sits next to Jennie as she plays the piano, and we see a montage of events from his future life before the screen fades to black. The End!


The Episode Review

A solid final episode wraps up all the loose ends, coming full circle with Bass Reeves killing Pierce and releasing a number of slaves from captivity. David Oyelowo puts in his best performance of the season, and Dennis Quaid deserves a special mention for his role as Sherrill Lynn in the final episode, with his brilliantly nuanced performance.

The plan for the future is to tell the story of different lawmen in history, and we can’t wait to see what Taylor Sheridan comes up with next!

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You can look forward to a full season review when this show ends!

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