Lawmen: Bass Reeves Season 1 Review – A solid Western crime drama series

Season 1



Episode Guide

Episode 1 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 8 – | Review Score – 4/5


Taylor Sheridan is back with another show, Lawmen: Bass Reeves, at Paramount +, and this one sees David Oyelowo take the lead role of Bass Reeves, a slave turned lawman in the west of Mississippi. The show is the first of an anthology set to feature other lawmen and outlaws throughout history.

Episode One begins the life story of Bass Reeves as he navigates life as a slave in the 1860s. Episode 2 jumps 10 years ahead in time and sees Bass Reeves becoming a Deputy U.S. Marshal. This story forms the rest of the 8-episode series, and after taking a few episodes to get going, it really comes into its own from episode 5 onwards. David Oyelowo puts in a great performance as the central character, Bass Reeves, and there are some stellar appearances from Hollywood legends like Dennis Quaid and Donald Sutherland. The latter is used sparingly throughout the run but steals most scenes he’s in as Judge Parker, who initially gives Reeves the opportunity to be Deputy Marshal, based on his skills with a gun. 

Bass goes through a couple of different partners in the earlier episodes, with Quaid’s Sherrill Lynn showing him the ropes early on before the series settles on former criminal Billy as Bass’s posse man, and Forrest Goodluck is a revelation in the role. 

There is some gripping action throughout the series as Bass and Billy hunt down some vicious gangs. It does feel a tad episodic at times with a different case every week, but the final 2 episodes return to the story of slavemaster Pierce and zero in on the themes that were set up in the pilot, bringing it full circle. The show depicts slavery in a very realistic and brutal fashion, but once everything gets wrapped up, it leaves the audience with a strong positive vibe after Bass saves the day.


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  • Verdict - 7/10

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