As we draw closer to ending Tulsa King’s season 1, Tylor Sheridan is sure to tie up all ends. Episode 9 opens with a flashback from 1997. We are in California and see Chickie, Vince, and Armand together. The first two are torturing Ripple, one of the family’s workers. Armand calls Dwight in a panic as he cannot stop them from torturing him. He comes running in and stops the ordeal. Unfortunately, the place is gradually lit on fire. It spread venomously and Ripple is chained to a radiator. The key is lost and while others scamper, Dwight chooses to show mercy on Ripple by giving him a quick death.
This is what he went to prison for. Bodhi sends Elliot as Dwight’s counsel. The police, ATF, and FBI do not have anything concrete on him and he walks scot-free. Dwight visits Stacy, who will be all right, in the hospital. He says that her gesture to save him could not be repaid with anything and that he is grateful for it. Waltrip is on the loose. Stacy informs Dwight that the biker leader has a lot of money and influence and will never be caught.
When Waltrip asks his men to make a final, explosive move against Dwight and his crew to eliminate them forever, one of them stands up and suggests they lay low. As he is presenting his views, Waltrip shoots him dead, indicating to his men that they do not have a choice. Armand reveals how he reacted after Dwight was arrested in 1997. Chickie reached out to him and the next year, he was so fed up that he wanted to finish it all. But when he went to meet Chickie, he froze and just drove West.
He stopped at Tulsa and that is how he got here. He declares to Dwight that he is not willing to run again and that he will be shoulder-to-shoulder with him in the fight. Chickie, Goodie, and Vince take in the sultry weather. They are surprised by Dwight and his crew. They threaten Chickie and Vince to return to New York and never come “into his town without permission” again. Dwight offers Goodie a job with him and he takes it. He is the boss now and Chickie and Vince are escorted back to the airport.
At Bred2Buck, Dwight gives an impassioned speech about the importance of moving forward, facing your challenges, and doing so together. He implores all his men to have each other’s backs and wither this storm like a family. Dwight asks Bodhi if he can hack into Waltrip’s laptop and the former computer geek (from his days in “Silicon Valley”) responds affirmatively. Mitch and his father discuss Dwight and concur that he can be trusted. Bodhi empties Waltrip’s accounts and Tyson drops off a pen drive with details of an account with $1 million to Stacy, who reluctantly takes it.
It is the day of reckoning for Dwight and his men. Waltrip and his gang arrive with full weaponry but the bar is prepared to welcome them. An intense fight breaks off with bullets flying from either Dwight’s men are able to overpower the gang and when Tyson is shot in the arm, Dwight takes matters into his own hands by eliminating Waltrip in hand-to-hand combat. The crew has once again emerged stronger and rejoice in their triumph.
We jump three months into a rosy future for the Manfredi family. It is the day of the opening of the casino and we see Dwight watching Tina’s kids with her riding on Pilot. Margaret is acquainted with Tina and discusses the night with Dwight. He is excited that he has his family back and even rides Pilot when Tina calls her by “dad”. Stacy will be reinstated into the force again but her superiors have a condition attached to the reinstatement. She must deliver Dwight to them.
As the night gets darker and more enjoyable, something calls Dwight out from the bar. Stacy has called the cops on her and uses the pen drive to accuse him of trying to bribe a federal officer and impede a federal investigation. Dwight and Tina watch in shock as he is once again taken to jail.
The Episode Review
Just when we thought it was all over, Dwight’s rotten luck strikes again. Stacy’s betrayal came completely out of the blue. She had the decision to make when she was offered her job back. Even though Stacy had mentioned how she was dependent on the job for money, she rejected the offer of a million dollars and turned Dwight in.
It definitely seemed like an anti-climax after the relentless gang wars. Sheridan’s storytelling moves at a quick pace with brief moments of emotional reprieve that give substance to the story.
How will Manfredi come back from this? There surely has to be a way and the finale of season 1 will decide how he will – if he does – come back in the next season.