Lawmen Bass Reeves Episode 3 Recap: The First Case

The third episode of Paramount+’s Western seriesLawmen: Bass Reeves,’ titled ‘Part III,’ revolves around Bass Reeves’ first case as a deputy marshal. He sets out to capture Billy Crow, a Native American robber who has been attacking groups as a part of the Underwood gang, led by Huff and Mabel Underwood. Bass joins hands with Garrett Montgomery, his posse man for the case, to bring Billy to Fort Smith. Meanwhile, Jennie Reeves prepares to give birth to her fifth child without the presence of her husband. The engrossing episode ends with a showdown between Bass and the gang who wants Billy back, in addition to the deputy confronting the harshness of the law of the land! SPOILERS AHEAD.

The Search for Billy Crow

‘Part III’ begins with Bass Reeves leaving for Judge Isaac Parker’s office to swear in as the new deputy marshal of the Western District of Arkansas. Before meeting the judge, Bass encounters a black boy who is arrested for unintentionally killing an officer. The boy asks for Bass’ help but since he isn’t a lawyer, he has to ignore the former’s request. Bass swears in as a deputy and receives his first case. Garrett Montgomery, a posse man, offers to help Bass in return for six dollars. The lawman’s first mission is to capture Billy Crow, who robs a German group with the Underwood gang. Bass and Garrett end up in a hotel to seek information concerning the robbers.

Bass plays poker with a group and wins game after game, earning enormous money. When his fellow players threaten him, he offers to return the sum for information concerning his target. Outside the hotel, he comes across Billy with Mabel Underwood. When Bass asks Billy about the robber, the latter pretends to be someone else and adds that the robber possibly left for Muskogee. Since the lawman has a sketch of the criminal he is looking for, he captures Billy right away despite the latter’s efforts to escape from him. Billy grows increasingly worried about the rest of the gang killing him to stop him from “naming names.”

Bass, Billy, and Garrett spend the night resting in the woods. Billy reveals that he knows where the money and jewelry, stolen from the German group, are hidden. He offers to reveal the location of the same in return for his freedom. Garrett wants the money and he is even ready to fight Bass for the same. Meanwhile, they get attacked out of nowhere. Back in the Reeves household, Sally Reeves forms a companionship with Arthur Mayberry, who reveals to her that he is an orphan. Jennie struggles with labor and decides to give birth to her fifth child without the help of a midwife, who will take time to reach their house.

Lawmen: Bass Reeves Episode 3 Ending: Does Bass Bring Billy Crow to Fort Smith Alive? What Will Happen to Him?

While Billy reveals that he knows the location of the stolen money and jewelry, Garrett forgets the law and thinks about his family. He sets out to fight Bass and take the wealth home for their sake. However, the Underwood gang surrounds them by then and they make their presence known by killing Garrett. They shoot the posse man down and target Bass next to ensure that the lawman will not take their gang member to Fort Smith to threaten their safety and existence. However, Bass’ incomparable skills and precision as a marksman enable him to kill not only the gang members but also their leader Huff. After putting an end to his threats’ lives, Bass successfully takes Billy to the prison in Fort Smith.

Although Bass treats Billy only as a criminal, he doesn’t want to give up on him. In his view, Billy is a “confused” kid who ended up in the gang only because he didn’t have any other direction in life to lead the same. The lawman wants to give him a second chance at life, which makes him talk to Judge Parker about the kid. Even though Parker is a ruthless custodian of law, it will not be a surprise if the lawman succeeds in convincing the judge to release Billy so that he can lead his life away from crimes. With Huff and the majority of the Underwood gang dead, Billy may be able to live as a free man without fearing death.

Bass may take advantage of Billy’s knowledge concerning the location of the stolen money and jewelry to make it evident to Parker that he is a useful asset. After Garrett’s death, it is unlikely that more white men will join hands with Bass as posse men. If he can make Parker realize the same, the latter may allow Billy to accompany Bass from his next case onwards. Billy’s exposure to the world of crime and outlaws may help Bass do his job efficiently as well.

What Happens to Myson Davis?

Myson Davis is the black boy who seeks Bass’ help after getting arrested for inadvertently killing a man of law. Although Judge Parker acknowledges Davis’ troubles as a poor hungry man, he cannot be partial towards the latter because of his circumstances. The judge embraces the law of the land over his empathy to sentence the boy to death by hanging. Parker makes it clear that regardless of one’s emotions, the law should be upheld to maintain order and justice. Davis’ fate teaches Bass a very significant lesson. He realizes that, as a deputy marshal bound to the laws of the land, he has to follow rules and notions of justice it offers rather than following his own convictions and conscience.

Bass becomes a deputy marshal after fighting several instances of injustice, starting from enslavement. As a black man who has suffered hunger and poverty, he knows Davis hasn’t done anything wrong. But Parker’s verdict teaches him that wrong and illegal are two things. He gets conflicted about separating the two. That’s the reason why he gets moved by the boy’s fate, which weighs on his heart. He may have understood that he would be forced to follow the law in the future even if he gets convinced that a particular criminal in front of him only did the right thing in his eyes.

Read More: Are the Duttons in Lawmen Bass Reeves? Is David Oyelowo in 1883?